Saturday, July 22, 2000

Web-Dive 2000

Unlike any other weekend, on one particular Saturday (July 22, 2000, in
fact) I decided to venture out of my apartment at 5:30 am, stumble down
21st Street, hail a cab and join Peter Shankman (president of and the Silicon Alley Web Divers for a day of skydiving
and socializing. When I arrived on the corner of 36th Street and 6th
Avenues, I immediately thought "of all the events Courtney sends me to,
why must I jump from a plane, only to report for the New York cyber
scene?" But soon all my worries were diminished when I met Christina
Pecori ( She introduced me to her co-workers and friends: Alan
Friedman (business development), Brad Powers (vice president, marketing)
and Chirag Chaman (CTO). We all analyzed our feelings about plummeting to
the earth at top speeds, and what would happen if the chute did not open.
Christina forced us to think positive, thank goodness, and we soon began
to look forward to the experience.

Filtering into the bus, we were handed a goodie-bag full of useful items.
Icon Nicholson donated disposable cameras to capture our fear as we headed
toward earth. donated our official Web-Dive 2000 T-shirts, donated footballs and frisbees to take our mind off the fear,
and finally, my donated foot massage cream for
after-landing recuperation. While on the bus, I chatted for a bit with
Dirk Smillie, a reporter from Forbes.

When we arrived at Skydive Sussex,, we were greeted
by Bud Mazeiko, who has successfully completed more than 4000 jumps! Wow!
Since we were jumping in tandem with an instructor, we were given
instructions on how to exit the plane and to throw back our arms when your
instructor tapped us on the shoulders. Then you fly!  It was brief and to
the point.  Soon the first plane took off.  Waiting patiently on the
ground, I became increasingly excited and scared. Christina offered
support throughout the morning.  Finally, my turn! Well, I'm here to
report that I survived the jump, as did all 69 of us web-divers.  Flying
through the air from 10,000 feet above reminds you about living in the
moment.  I was greeted at the landing field by all other jumpers and
soon-to-be jumpers.  When Jessica Ashbrook (PR associate, JUNO) offered me
a ride back to Manhattan, I "jumped" at the opportunity. Love these

Submitted by Joanna