Wednesday, December 31, 1997

The Thinking Media Holiday Party

There were quite a few events on Friday as well, but I headed over to The Thinking Media's holiday party for a chance to unwind with some friends. I ended up chatting with Mark Friedler of V-Cast for quite a bit about upstate New York and business in Sweden. Larry Aronson and Geo Geller were there with their S.O.'s and Tery Spataro with Bonnie Halper charmed a few new fellows. Owen Davis and I munched on terrific prosciutto as we pondered the unfairness of companies going with a less qualified client just 'cause they're rated by Standard and Poors. Obviously still an important barometer for older established companies, and yet the frustration exists when you have a better product and can't get in the door.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

YIL magazine panel

On a final note, I participated in an online panel discussion organized by Angela Gunn of Yahoo Internet Life Magazine a couple of weeks ago. She organized quite a list of interesting women to discuss issues about women, men, online relationships and the like. Our answers were as varied as our panel: Isadora Alman (Ask Isadora), Danni Ashe (Danni's Hard Drive), Esther Drill (gURL), Mary Gay (NetNoir), Stacy Horn (ECHO), Xander Mellish (Daily News, telephone-pole samizdat), Rebecca Odes (gURL), Dr. Cleo Odzer (Virtual Spaces: Sex and the Cyber Citizen), Aliza Sherman (Cybergrrl), Ruby Yeh (FolksOnline), and yours truly.

Results can be seen in the upcoming March issue of Yahoo Internet Life magazine.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Last week intro

There's a little more than a week left of 97' and what a year its been! I've never been to so many office parties before, and then again, there have never been so many offices I'd want to go to.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Friday, December 19, 1997

Two Weeks Left in '97

We're just two weeks away from the new year and people still startle me when they say "See you next year!" Yet here it is, near the end of 1997. And that meant it was time for the annual Silicon Alley blowout: the WWWAC holiday party.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, December 18, 1997

Think New Idea's Holiday Party & The Eliashevichs

I was also a fly on the wall at Think New Ideas' Holiday party the next night, Dec. 18th. In the spacious F-Stop in Chelsea, employees could fill up on the hot buffet of chicken and pasta or on some free holiday beverages. Former VJ Adam Curry and his biz-guy Ron Bloom were dashing about in zoot and pin-stripe suits (respectively). Guests were permitted after 11pm and then I'm sure it was a rockin'!

I headed over to the hip new spot Chez Es Saada on the lower East side for a quiet dinner with friends. We talked long into the night and I missed a few other events, but this is the season when time must be made for friends.As the week comes to a close, things are coming to a screeching halt as people realize no holiday shopping was done, there's just not enough time, and this is our last chance to rest before the new year ramps up. New Year's will have a few new media parties I'm sure, but its also nice to get back to "our roots" and rejuvenate for this coming busy exciting year. [NOTE: THIS WAS THE ANNIVERSARY DINNER FOR ANNA AND VANYA ELIASHEVICH]

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Wednesday, December 17, 1997

Darwin Digital and NYNMA Holiday Party

Wednesday the Dec. 17th's evening started out at the quickly evolving interactive/communications group, Darwin Digital. Similar to other large advertising agencies, this group is currently under the umbrella of Saatchi & Saatchi (who just broke off on their own, away from Cordiant). Darwin is a fully functioning company on its own, being pretty self-reliant for all aspects of website production, print and other media services for its clients. There was the typical Secret Santa gift exchange, some people getting coveted gifts and others getting giddy on the occasion.

NYNMA had their Holiday celebration not far away, the same night, at the Duggal Studios on Broadway in Soho. This has been the choice space for the members only affair for the last 3 years and still has quite a respectable draw.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Friday, December 12, 1997

TCS intro (w/o 12/12/97)

'TIS THE SEASON for holiday parties, office functions and Internet World.The whirlwind generated from this major conference in our fair town, during the busiest tourist, season offers a sack loaded to the brim full with ideas, contacts, and Net presents (presence) a plenty. There were at least ten events during the day and five events a night to go to. Armed with an artillery of friends who were willing to brave the crowds and scene, here are some of the tidbits from the busiest week of the season...

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, December 11, 1997

WWWAC's Holiday Party Benefitting MOUSE

We're just two weeks away from the new year and people still startle me when they say "See you next year!" Yet here it is, near the end of 1997. And that meant it was time for the annual Silicon Alley blowout: the WWWAC holiday party.

I freely admit that this will be a super-biased account of the bash. I helped to plan, promote, and host it. Doubling as a benefit for MOUSE (Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education) the party at Irving Plaza on Dec. 11 managed to draw a good-sized crowd, despite all the competition that night.

The evening started off with the thrilling voice of Toby Williams and artful jazz musicality of Cocktail Angst. Early arrivals benefited chomped on the half dozen six-foot long submarine sandwiches from Manhattan Deli. (Thanks to SonicNet for tipping me off to this great place!) An open bar featuring local brewer Gidon's Original Sin Hard Cider warmed up anyone left cold from the vast dazzle of Javits and the chilly night. Glenn Hauman and Shara Zoll wowed the wallflowers with some very fancy footwork on the dance floor, with Brandy's (Glenn's wife) permission of course.

A bit later, the Bari Koral Band played and once again almost stopped the show (er, party). Almost as mesmerizing was the artwork Rainbow Heart and his assistant Kimba painted on people's faces and bodies. [He labored over my eyes and when finished, the effect was part mermaid, part Indian princess, I'm told.] Other guests had accentuated mustaches, hearts painted on chests, and sparkly swirly effects above eyebrows.] Even DJ Jon Spooner of Netmix, who spun tunes between bands, had dramatic Superhero eyebrows. Filling out the fun filled activities were Michael Chaut of Monday Night Magic and Caricatures by Akbar. I was a lucky Cinderella in a beautiful hand painted-silk dress made especially for me by Russian fashion designer Anya Eliashevich.

The beauty of the Internet was prevalent this night as I got to meet two of our @NY international readers: Karl Karlsson of Mindscape Interactive AB in Sweden, and Laurent Lathieyre of W3Cube in France.

For pics of two of New York new media's top sages and my Mermaid/Indian princess look, check out the website --

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Wednesday, December 10, 1997

Association of Internet Professionals dinner

Wednesday, Dec. 10 -- As Bill Clinton tied up all of midtown in knots, digital party-goers dodged police truncheons as they dared to walk to the Waldorf-Astoria for the first "dinner" (in the loosest sense of the word) of the Association of Internet Professionals. Andrew Kraft, chief operating officer for the nationwide group, welcomed House minority leader Dick Gephardt while folks like Brian Cooper of E&Y, Bennett Kleinberg of Edelman, publicity diva Lauren Shanahan, and wired club space guru Andrew Rasiej.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Museum of Television and Radio event

Braving the security junta that descended on midtown to protect the President from marauding commuters, many folks made their way over the Museum of Television and Radio, where a positively glowing Steve Case hosted the AOL Studios bash featuring tasty pasta and chicken canapes.Making the scene were outgoing (and underappreciated) NYNMA executive director Lori Schwab, CyberTimes columnist Lisa Napoli, and a cast of hundreds.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Tuesday, December 09, 1997

Doubleclick, Alta Vista, WWW tV; One Club Gallery;; Michael Kaminer PR

This was a week of excess, and fittingly DoubleClick, Alta Vista and Wild Wild Web TV show had their bash at XS, the multi-game arcade party space. The whole Alley, and many Valley folks were out to revel in the fun, frivolity, and feasts of networking and the Net. Meanwhile, all of 21st Street was literally abuzz with Silicon Alley revelry the same night. At the One Club Gallery, a cast of interactive agency honchos took in the august advertising group's first-ever digital media show, put together with the help of Agency.Com's Kyle Shannon and Chris McCarthy, formerly of Avalanche and how on the west coast with RedSky Interactive. Swilling Merlot and munching on salty olives were Wiredco-founder John Battelle, Peter Seidler and Cherry Arnold of Avalanche, and ubiquitous Alley party boy Jon Sarno. A few doors up the block at MayRose, digital PR man Michael Kaminer hosted a hopping holiday party for friends, clients, and countrymen. Among those sipping the (even better) Merlot were New York Times technology business editor Rob Fixmer, who recently movedback to the print paper after founding CyberTimes, Village Voice scribeAustin Bunn, and Cone Interactive ink-driver Shelley Bates.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Monday, December 08, 1997

Canadian Consulate g-Digital Summit E-Commerce

Monday, Dec. 8 -- The Canadian Consulate of New York and g-Digital's Summit on E-Commerce aimed to bring together Canadian and U.S. new media firms to share ideas, create new ones, and generate biz opportunities. That same night, I was rubbing elbows with Mayor Giuliani and First Lady Donna Hanover at Gracie Mansion. Skitch Henderson was honored with the Handel Medallion and we listened to a piece by George Shearing just for Henderson.Many other music aficionados, notable New Yorkers, and other New York Pops supporters were on hand. It was a fine, elegant evening and reminded me of all the deep treasures the city has to offer in so many different industries. Meanwhile over in No Man's Land at the Javits Center, Silicon Alley met IWorld head-on as BizSig entrepreneur Miles Rose premiered his Silicon Alley morale building flick, "Why New York Works for New Media" and introduced Microsoft chief technologist Nathan Myhrvold to Silicon Alley.The peanut gallery included the likes of Fred Wilson and Jerry Colonna of Flatiron Partners, Microsoft's Howard Greenstein, and Ken Jordan who is now working for Andersen Lemke.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Friday, December 05, 1997

N2K Holiday Party

Friday, Dec. 5 -- N2K's holiday party was also in the Digital Sandbox.Many, many music people were there, and a handful of new media types too.One woman (who shall remain nameless) horrified a good number of us as she combed her hands through the pretzel, peanut, cracker Chex mix searching for cashews. Ew! While guests filled up at a falafel serving station, a band set up and played after 9:00 pm. I ended last week at Times Square arcade haven XS for an interview on GRIT as the Tourde Grit stopped by there before driving (literally) into the Javits Center for Internet World. The local online radio folks, led by founder Rob Gould,drove an RV from San Francisco to New York, broadcasting all along the way,and throughout the convention. Talk about hearty travelers and talk show hosts!

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

TCS intro (w/o 12/05/97) - BVI, Mouse, New Media BC

News Flash! Special first-time coverage of the New Media scene in Vancouver!

Highlights of this week's column:
* The British Virgin Islands--sailing around the Caribbean, not surfing the Web
* MOUSE Holiday Benefit
* New Media BC--the scene in Vancouver

It's a rare opportunity when a person has the opportunity to travel from one corner of the United States to the other within a week. Seeing palm trees and sailing around the US and British Virgin Islands over Thanksgiving week to seeing the Rocky Mountains in Vancouver this week has been a unique experience and one that spans the range of digital connectivity on many levels.

You may have noticed my column did not arrive in your In-box last week. For once, instead of attending several new media events a week, I had the delicious experience of sailing from tiny island to tiny island between the USVI and the BVI, snorkeling and lazing around. Eating fresh Caribbean lobster on Jost Van Dyke--an island of 150 people, was something I'd never done before and relished every bit. As our lives get more connected and people become more "wired"--cell phones, Palm IIIs, laptops, voice mail--the chance to escape it all seems harder to do but more important than ever. Sure there were signs of Internet filtration: advertisements for the resorts', diving schools', charter boats', and other tourist companies' Web sites; but checking them out online was nowhere near my itinerary. This was one trip I'd do totally un-wired.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Web Writers in the Flesh

EXOTIC ANTIQUE textiles were the backdrop in the Manhattan Internet Lounge ( for "Web Writers in the Flesh" ( Xander Mellish in a bright orange silk cocktail dress was the final of six poets and writers to perform on December 2. Each writer read a piece of their work in a multimedia fashion. Xander read from her own "Glory & the Golden Age" with the Duke Ellington song "Caravan" in the background. Her stage was decorated with large white foam board cutouts of Manhattan skyscrapers. CyberGrrl Aliza Sherman was there with some folks from CBS, whom she is consulting for. Also present was Sturges Warner, a theatrical director, who is collaborating on a dramatic piece with Mellish. Another highlight of the evening was Alison Dorfman reading some of her poems about high school life in the '80s. The audience roared as they had samosas and magaz, Indian specialties complements of Kumar Kalantri, director of the Gallery 678 in the MIL.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, December 04, 1997

Exec Tech and N2K

Thursday, Dec. 4 -- What a night! Two big office parties competed with the ExecTech summit at 55 Broad Street for revelers and shop talk. Larry Rosen of N2K schmoozed with daughter Sondra (the company's publicity director)around the Digital Sandbox, while the money folks like Ronald Celmer of Prospect Street Ventures, Paul Gardi of Geo Capital Partners, and Bob Masiello of the Industrial Technology Assistance Corporation perused the booths.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Connors Communications Holiday Party

Thursday, Dec. 4 -- Meanwhile, uptown, the office of Connors Communications office had an exquisite fresh fragrant evergreen wreath with lovely little white lights and sprite sprigs of holly throughout. All employees wore fresh red or white flower buds pinned on their lapels to identify them from the guests. The caterers were so efficient they scared me -- they kept whisking away the food, only to bring it back just as quickly but in a smaller, more appropriate bowl as the portion dwindled.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

The Globe's Holiday party

Thursday, Dec. 4 -- The Globe's party was less subdued by the time I got there. Hits from the 80's were blasting from one employee's computer, as the sound system played other hip tunes, a full spread of gourmet hors d'oeuvres were still aplenty and the beverages were flowing. Co-founder Todd Krizelman beamed, as he should -- he and Stephan Paternot landed $20 million in financing recently.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Wednesday, December 03, 1997

MOUSE Holiday Party

I arrived back in New York just in time to attend the MOUSE Holiday Benefit party on Tuesday, December 3rd. The crisp cold night made the excitement about this organization's first major benefit even more heightened. Executive director Sarah Holloway's and president Andrew Raisej's decision to host the event in Jonathan Leitersdorf's stunning triplex apartment added to the drama and sense of specialness appropriate for this non-profit. Letiersdorf donated the use of his six bedroom home-cum-rented-party-space complete with heated pool (outside on a deck facing East).

The guest list read like New York's Who's Who of new media CEO's, venture capitalists, and small business owners. Robert Levitan (iVillage), Lara Stein and Diana Butler (iXL), and MOUSE board member Peter Chislett came in support with friends. Gordon Gould, executive ++++++ for the Silicon Alley Reporter, Roz Resneck of NetCreations, ++++++, and +++++++ arrived early, along with many other attendees. Real estate guru Debra Lee Charatan and Victoria +++++ spent some quality time at the event, firmly entrenched in conversation by the massive stone fireplace with roaring fire. Andrew Klein and R++++ Rooo+++++ of Wit Capital, ______, and _______ all had the opportunity to enjoy stunning views and mouth-watering Asian cuisine hors d'ouvres donated from 1,2,3 and 4. Even Andy's mom showed up! Other family members of Silicon Alley movers and shakers and some high school friends of Ms. Holloway helped make this high-powered $250 a ticket event seem warm and friendly. Andrew Raisej spoke for a brief bit on MOUSE (Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education) and its successes. The non-profit has currently wired and trained teachers in 15 New York City public high and junior-high schools on integrating the Internet and new technologies. Two high school students shared their dreams of future success, conceivable due to the new world MOUSE has opened up for them. Upstairs the grass carpeted patio led to a glass-enclosed duplex where many guests stood in awe of views of stars above and their friends downstairs, which they could spy on thanks to the 12-foot projection screen monitor set in the room. Seasoned new media-ites Troy Tyler (NYC Investment Fund), Mark Hurst (Creative Good), Ted Werth (Digital Club Network), and (guys name in checked suit.....) were mixed in with a motley crew of seasoned investment types, some less palatable than others. One self-important gentleman stood impatiently at the door upon arrival, throwing a blank check at one of the guest list checkers, while on his cell, and barked "Just fill it all out." Upstairs, rumor has it another man flat out propositioned a woman (name withheld, but she was a classy art restorer). Well, not everyone had the class, or panache that newly IPO'd success stories Jack and Murray Hidary had as they escorted their father around. Judging from the happy faces of guests as they arrived and their even more beaming looks as they filtered out, the MOUSE event was a success in many ways. The stunning space and fund-raising success (unofficially it reached several tens of thousands), reflect and highlight MOUSE's grand goals and achievements. As the holiday season continues on, let's continue to look at the good works around us, take a little time for charity and for your soul. It'll feel good, and you'll probably have a good time at it!

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Spanker Site

SPANK ME BABY! Or maybe someone should have spanked The Spanker at his re-launch party of the site at Coney Island High on Wed. 12/3. His hideously long diatribe droned on but didn't keep the crowd from losing interest (for some reason). I guess they were all still dazed by the dazzling fire eating erotic dancers (who I first saw at the Webmasters Valentine's Ball '96), a fabulous Elvis Impersonator, and the lecherous Santa milling about.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

CanApple Vancouver conference

Continuing on my travel mode, two days later I flew to Vancouver, British Columbia on Thursday, December 3rd. I was bestowed an honor from Matt Toner of The Canadian Consulate in New York, and co-director of the CanApple program, to speak with two other Silicon Alley-ers at a panel discussion on New York and new media. The newly formed New Media BC non-profit, similar to our NYNMA, has panels and networking events for members in the British Columbia territory with an interest in new media. Put on in conjunction between CanApple, New Media BC, Industry Canada and Deloitte and Touche at the geodesic dome Science Fair in downtown Vancouver the event was a classy introduction to the new media scene in BC. Jane Green, executive director of New Media BC, is a talented and dynamic woman whose energy and vision will take this organization far. I spoke first, providing a backdrop for the event and background on Silicon Alley and how the NY new media community and industry has grown and developed since the early days in 1994. Garnet Hernaman, co-founder and CEO of University Ventures, Inc. gave much-desired advice to the audience with simple, clear points on how to go about getting venture capital. Recounting the trials and tribulations of the experience for an Irish company doing business in New York, with a bit of humor thrown in, Niall Swan gave the attendees a sense of how foreign firms can survive in NYC and the new media community. Rounding out the session Matt Toner explained the CanApple program and how the Canadian government and Canadian organizations like his can assist interested new media professionals.

Believing in the importance of knowing who's who and who does what, I set out in Vancouver to discover some interesting companies and the people who run them. And what a discovery I made! I am so impressed with the amount of talent in this town, the professionalism of every person I met, and the energy and activity going on in this beautiful city.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Tuesday, December 02, 1997

NYNMA Super Cyber Suds

Ah yes, Thanksgiving. A time to begin reflection on the first feast where two different peoples gathered to share in mutual bounty and benefit, and to remember all the things we are thankful for.

As I sit far away from the bustle of the Metropolis, I reflect on the good quiet country life. Snow on the ground, hearty healthy meals, family, and a chance to rejuvenate before the blizzardy days of the Holiday Season smack us in the face like a gust of cold wind.

Monday, November 24th was a good barometer of what's to come. The crowds swarmed in the Puck Building for the NYNMA's Super Cyber Suds and created a flurry of old and new happy faces. Strategically poised near the entrance was @NY and the SAR. @NY had brand spanking new buttons with the impactful new logo, and SAR ordered greasy pizzas at the last minute to satiate underfed sudsers. Catering was provided by La Casalinga and, but you know what an appetite schmoozing and browsing demo tables can be. A bevy of demos there were indeed. Companies represented included: Wille H Productions, Push Media Group (, Touchscreen Media Group (, The Duck Corporation (, and NetStakes ( A complete listing is at NYNMA's website ( During the schmooze fest, while I was stationed at the @NY table, Miles Rose was filming various industry folk for a presentation on the web. Of course by the time I got up there Miles bemoaned that they "just finished taping and I missed it." Funny how there was enough tape left for Andrew Raisej though... Hmph.

There were other events going on this week, but this reporter was busy tending to some transitional events in her life -- i.e. investigating "bomb threats" and new job notices!

Be thankful you didn't have to deal with that amidst the party circuit. But I would like to invite all of you to send me an e-mail ( with what you're thankful of, and I will post them in The Scene -- and start a Think Thank Board.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Clement Mok presentation

Dec. 2
Just moments before, I was in a quiet seminar room at the Apple Market Center for a presentation by digital design guru Clement Mok. Heckled by an older gent in a ponytail, Mok pressed on trying to answer questions about his logo (the symbol is the original Phoenician letter "A") and design business. Afterwards I asked Tom Volpe what he thought of the presentation. He felt Mok spoke to the audience, meaning he catered to the "rowdy crowd who just wanted to know what tools to use to make quick easy Websites. The true designers just sat quietly." Maybe that heckler should've gone over to the Spanker party.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)