Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Mickey D's and Deal Making

Usually I avoid McDonald's at all costs. And even though there were promises of Veuve Cliquot champagne, it was still difficult to walk into the overly bright fluorescently lit plastic and formica joint. But I did. The occasion that brought me, and a hundred other Silicon Alley veterans, investors and newbies was Jason McCabe Calacanis's and the Venture Reporter magazine's celebration of its Venture Reporter 100 Party on Tuesday, May 14th at the McDonald's on 34th Street. It was also coined the "Back to Reality Party," and back to reality it was. I saw Alley notables like Connors Communications' Connie Connors and iVillage.com's women.com director Joelle Klein there along with new people like ValueLine.com's Ludmila Merka.

Mariner Pacific Ltd managing director Sanjay Pai and Starvest Partners' Rachel Masters were comparing notes on a few deals they were both looking at. West Coast-based Brad Nye was in town and told me about his new non-profit Amuse (beamuse.org) and I got to catch up with MSNBC's Lisa Napoli and Consect's Mark Frieser. Attorneys Steve Masur and Danielle Cyr chatted with friends upstairs, where I also saw WWWAC's Scott Bowling and Silicon Alley Station's president Bob Ponce and executive producer Dolly Neilson.

The beloved Bernardo appeared after a two-month hiatus in Europe. (He looked very tan and relaxed!) Inside, under the unfortunate glaring lights, I saw Gevity HR's Cynthia Aston, and Rhizome.org's Mark Tribe, who reported that his event from earlier that evening went fabulously! Henry Bar-Levav was looking quite rustic in a full beard and overalls and Katie Scheding, Plesser's Jason Chupick and Jen Mediano were snacking on some chicken fingers and sauce. Near the door were SkyForge Solutions's Andrew Weinrich and Scott Heiferman who were reminiscing about old times. Sonata's founder Owen Davis was intense in conversation while I heard about F*cked Company's party downtown from HipGuide's Syl Tang. Apparently, according to many eye-witnesses, it was a "geek of the week" fest, "Pud" was well on his merry way of blissful happiness and girls were fair game for the over-served "gentleman" geeks. Arnell Group's Monte Bartlett also reported on the F*cked affair, which made it easy for me to decide to get a Big Mac and fries and go home!