Thursday, April 13, 2000

Silicon Alley does 21st Street

Thanks for making my life easy last night, everyone! I traversed from the East end of 21st Street to the West Side Highway for four different events Thursday night, April 13th. And they were as varied as Gramercy Park is from Chelsea Piers.

Colette Ballou where are you? Well, she was at Punch with a select group of friends for her farewell soiree. She's heading West to assume the mighty position of Director of PR for Audio Base in EssEff. Jed Miller, interactive editor for the New York Times Digital section, writer Eileen Gunn and Christine Mohan of were conversing over community sites and activity (and lack of funding) in this area. I also met Meg D'Incecco of Self Magazine and Jennifer Goldstein of Anderson Consulting, who were also enthusiastic about their friend's new venture!

Around the corner, in a serene throw-back to the days-gone-by neighborhood of Gramercy Park, the Village Voice hosted its Thursday night social at the home of a former Mayor of NY (no one could tell me who, though). It was also an opportunity to buy a cute little handbag crafted by Tysabel. Not really a new media crowd, though I did see Danielle Cyr of Richards & O'Neil and her friend on their way over to iSyndicate's bash.

Before iSyndicate (which was waaaaay over on the West Side Highway), I popped into Centro-fly for SmartRay's techno-pump party. Polka dots and vertical line patterns played tricks on your eyes and the DJ mixed music with a furious frenzy that while the dance floor was empty, your ears were throbbing with action. Don Brown, VP biz dev of was sipping calmly on a martini with Catherine Winchester and Mark Lucente of Soliloquy on the other side of the room. The soft modular benches were comforting, but the mirrors, polka dots and stripes would jar you right out of any mellowness. As I made my way across the vast underutilized dance floor, I chatted with Robert Rundmaker and Sean Malattesta of Business is good -- as it is everywhere and they seemed to be riding the wave of busy-ness well. Over by the main bar I chatted with Steve Schaer of InteractiveFutures and Jeff Neubauer about scarves -- their uses and how to tie them ( Holding center court was Andrew Playford of SmartRay, who entertained guests with his amusing repartee, and on the other end of the bar was David Kidder, no kidding aside, who re-introduced me to Douglas Stone of Starwood and Kathy McMorrow of Teltran International. Ali Afashar of Redfilter and I took our T-shirt shrink-wrapped into the shape of a cellphone gift, and hopped a cab to the next stop on the party street.

Next stop? Straight down 21st from 6th to 10th Avenue -- iSyndicate's blow out bash at Lot61 to announce their New York office. What to do when faced with a football field sized party of cute young guys, limitless drinks from ze bah and a parade of appetizers (at 11pm) coming your way? Stand back, speak to a handful of people and leave the boogie-ing for those who don't have a Friday Noon deadline! : ) I spoke with Don Loeb and Jack Speilberg of iSyndicate before seeing Marc Seago of As I waited to get a Pellegrino, I chatted with Craig Schwalb, a new hire at 24/7 Media, and just before gathering my things and leaving, I had a nice chat with Edward Joback of Lucent, who enthusiastically told me of some exciting new ventures in his life. We'll be hearing from him again, but maybe not from a Silicon Alley soiree! Bill Holmberg "interviewed" me from -- microphone in hand and cameraman digitizing our exchange and as I opened the door to leave, the list-checkers were still handing out charm-bead bracelet-entrance "tickets" to late arrivers.