It was raining cats and dogs, and the wind gusts reached over 40 miles per hour in some parts of town. Everyone who showed up was dripping wet and closely resembled a lovely, drowned wharf rat. But those were dear friends who showed up with their support for my impromptu Cocktails with Courtney event on Wednesday, March 21st. And what, pray tell, would prompt me to host a soiree at such a late notice on such a wet night? Well, dry martinis are always an allure, but it actually was at the behest of a few other sources. You see, dear readers, pauvre, fatique Courtney pulled together a special soiree because the New York Times Style section and Japan TV needed an event to document for several stories they are doing on us. What's a media darling to do but comply? And so, we hosted a small soiree at Flute Flatiron, the uptown champagne bar's newest branch, for friends and supporters we've know over the years.
And what support we got! More than 100 wonderful, darling people risked life and limb to say hello, and flash their pearly whites for the NYTimes Style photographer, the very charming Christopher Smith. The Knot.com's Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder Carley Roney, and CEO and Co-Founder David Liu came in from the rain to dry off and say "hello." The Globe's Todd Kritzleman came by to catch up on news before heading out to former partner Stephan Paternot's birthday party "way over on the West side." Forbes.com's Josh Kruter, Iguana Interactive's James Ontra, Comedy Central's Lara Stein and Cardmine's Harald Neidhardt all stopped by to hang out. Volker Detering of EventMe.com and Start Abroad.com had his photographer - a German doing a piece on his site - come by, and Live Idea's MD Larry Smith enjoyed the lounge atmosphere of the champagne bar. Steve Masur, of Masur & Associates, long-time Alleyite Seth Price, and Sports Futures' Chris Jones' stopped by before heading back out to a business dinner. San Jose Mercury News' New York Technology Correspondent Maureen Fan chatted with guests, such as Black Logic's Scott Ettin, Mark Filstrup and Iquana Studio's Jason Jercinovic. Etiquette International's Hilka Klinkenberg came in from the rain to chat with good friend and NYNMA's Director of Educational Programs Ellen Auwarter and iXL's Diana Butler.
Vincent Grimaldi networked a bit with Grand Central Holding's Greg Belmont and Lawyer Access' Josh Margulies and Kris Zdyb. CAP Gemini Ernst & Young's Julio Cassels, Jon Serbin, The Economist's Marc Seago and LocalBusiness.com's Mo Krochmal all shared a glass of good cheer and relaxed to some mellow tunes before heading back out to battle the weather. EWomp was well represented in Alan Friedman and Daniel Alvarez, while David Behin of yada yada showed his support. Juno's President and CEO Charles Ardai stopped in, and one of sponsor Aperian.com's directors, Humberg Powell, stopped by. Korn/Ferry International was the other sponsor, and together we raised a small amount of cash for the East Harlem Technical school again. Redwood Partner's Kailah Rove, Michael Flannery said "hello" and chatted with Administaff's Mark Elis and FullAudio's Debbie Newman.
Former MIT students Mark Lucente came with his wife, LabMorgan's Kathleen Kenney Lucente, and ADIA Global's Shuja Keen. Koko Interactive's Glen Lipka, Katie Peters and Spencer Spinnell dried off for a bit after a very bad downpour. The City of Yokohama's Justin Zimmerman was able to chat a bit with one of the Japan TV producer's Miuki. The Square.com's James Marciano and I exchanged some thoughts about the "Silicon Alley Stories" upcoming documentary, and producers Thurston Smith and Vittoria Frua came by to hand out flyers to the April 6th showing during the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. Black Tie sponsor Interactive Futures' Steve Shaer came by at the tail end with a friend and bought me a delicious round of fine champagne to celebrate the rainy First Night of Spring. Dr. Askia Davis, from the Chancellor's office also came out on this wild night to represent the East Harlem Technical School, our beneficiary for this year's Holiday Black Tie. DF Consulting's Dawn Fotopulos looked as fresh as a daisy, as usual, despite the downpour, and my long-time friend James O'Connor was the Dapper-est Dan I'd ever seen on a night like this.
Alas! All good things must come to an end and after a lovely glass of champagne (or two) to brace ourselves for the night winds, the crowd thinned and I headed out into the Wizard Of Oz-like winds to find my way home.