The soft sounds of mellow background music plinked on a baby grand caressed your ears and the festive red, black and white balloons, silvery banners and baby elephant-sized ice sculpture greeted your eyes as you stepped off the elevator into iXL's office on the 14th floor at 79 Fifth Avenue. Immediately after getting my nametag I was enthusiastically welcomed by Mark Swanson, general manager, who took me into the space where the rest of the iXLers were milling and swilling (some brewskies)!
Outside on their deck were two little cabanas with beers and snacks, and inside people were mingling about computers and desks. This was where I bumped into Jarret Summers, who was having "Cocktails with Jarret" this night. Outside, Adam Spitzer of Music Maker, Kiyash Monsef of Visibility PR and Justin Wilkes (a freelance film producer) were enjoying the cool Fall air and a brew. Inside, Mitch Payne and Miriam Eaves (who's moved to their Consumer Financial Network from Cha! Technologies) were chatting. Dennis Meaney and I had a charming chat ala russe (in Russian) about our time spent in the grand country full of drama. He lived there longer than I did, and while I was studying Russian dance, singing and acting, he was passing time in the famous Zagorsk monastery!
After this inspiring moment of "govariteh porusski" I traveled downstairs to the 8th floor where the party continued. This space was a wide, open field of cubicles in circular groupings with the famous Silicon Alley Spine above for the cables to snake through the space. I admired John Ferrara's area with a "Sublime" poster fashioned after the McIlhenny Co.'s Tabasco sauce label. He was giving demos of the work they did for GE Capital's site. Enjoying some of the DJ sounds were James Ontra (iXL), Murray Soloman (Ernst & Young), Brian Mulhern (SVP, group account director, Cliff Freeman Partners) and some friends. The party was gearing up, but I was out the door and onto the next one!