Thursday, May 13, 1999

Luxumbourg's New Media/Tec biz & dinner with HRH Henri

As the presentations were beginning, I glanced at my watch and
 realized I was almost late for dinner with HRH Crown Prince Henri of
 Luxemburg. Over at the Marriott Marquis the cocktail hour was still
 underway. A full afternoon of panels and presentations from
 companies in Luxumburg doing new media/tech. biz had already
 informed guests. Those companies were the National Media &
 Communications Development Agency (, the
 satellite communications company SES-Astra (
 (footprint of 74 million European households), the largest European
 entertainment and radio-TV broadcaster CLT-UFA, the Web design
 and services company Incotech (, the SEC group of
 telecommunications companies (, the digital media firm
 Cybea and the multimedia translation company Euroscript

 At the cocktail reception I met Romit Leora, Gabrielle Riera, Susan
 Steier (an attorney and board member of NYSIA) and saw William
 Lopez of Qwest. Thomas Klinkowstein, president of Media Arts, and
 I chatted for a while about who we think are the most interesting
 people in the industry (Red Burns, Jaron Lanier). He told me about
 the three women astronauts he knows, how he helped Laurie
 Anderson get going in Europe, and about some of the shows he did as
 a performance artist. Robert Hoffman, a famous Luxumbourg lawyer;
 Anne Lux of Euroscript; Linda Gras, Deputy Commissioner, division
 for int'l biz, NYC Commission for the UN, Consular Corps and
 Protocol; Sal Venezia of Merrill Lynch; and Susan Livington at Brown
 Brothers Harriman were also present to learn more about the business
 opportunities for these two countries.

 Stefan Chorus was snapping pictures of guests and HRH. Gilbert E.
 McNeill, Executive Director of AmChamLux, was about to introduce
 me to the "handsome prince" (as all the women I met thus far said),
 when he politely told me I must put away my paper. No paper is to be
 out in front of HRH. This was very confusing to me, as when I
 RSVP'd I'd made a point that I was "press." But apparently I wasn't
 invited as press, but simply as a new media person. The Prince didn't
 want to meet press and, in fact, the NYTimes or the WSJ didn't get
 invitations. And yet I spied a freelance reporter not far away. Hmmm.
 I told Mr. McNeill that I certainly did not want to offend the Prince,
 as I tucked my notepad into my pocketbook, but that he really
 should've told me this was the case in his e-mails. So, now the big
 moment. I met the Prince, who was tall, tan, elegantly attired and
 graceful. He was also a good conversationalist. He asked if I knew
 much about Luxumbourg, and I mentioned that I would love to learn
 more about this country-the reason, really, that I was interested in
 attending this event. So Prince Charming and the Little Prince went
 away to meet more people, but not before Justin Model of the NYC
 Economic Development Corporation asked HRH Prince Henri if he
 was spending lots of money in New York. Alright, Justin! That's the
 spirit. I tell ya, that guy is always working for the good of his State
 and school--as he asked me if I sent in my donation to Skidmore, our
 Alma Mater. Tillie Castellano of the NYCEDC joshed Justin a bit and
 we moved into dinner.

 While I sat througha HRH the Crown Prince Henri of Luxemburg's
 speech, Kevin Bacon and the Bacon brothers were belting out
 "Footloose" to the 1000 or so attendees for's big,
 banner bash at Webster Hall. I stopped by near the tail end to find out
 that's band got mixed reviews -- Sam Huxley of Brand
 Dialogue thought Modem Media's band was much better, while Marc
 Frons, Editor-in-Chief of thought they were great!
 In addition to meeting Eric Lob and several loopy partiers, I had a
 chance to pal around with my old colleagues from Brand Dialogue:
 Mike Potter and Peter Grasik (who's moved onto a new firm).