Thursday, June 29, 2006

ShopWiki's Silicon Alley Luau

Being greeted at the door by a tall, sexy, slender blond is a great fantasy for many men (and some women)! When she's in a coconut bra and grass skirt and is handing you a blue martini, it's even better. Such was the real-life vision for me and the other guests who arrived, dripping wet from the torrential rainstorms on Thursday, June 29th, at ShopWiki's Silicon Alley Luau! What was even better than the drink for me was the fact that said blond loaned me her "regular" wrap skirt so I could let mine dry in one of the conference rooms!

In true Doubleclick extravaganza-fashion, Kevin Ryan (a president and CEO of Doubleclick) made a major splash with this event. No detail was spared for ShopWiki's launch. There were bamboo trees, plentiful tropical fruits served on sugar cane sticks, other delicious Hawaiian-themed foods all surrounding a real roasted pig (head, ears, feet, tail and all). Vegetarians need not apply to this luau!

Lantern lights strung across palm-frond and bamboo "huts" for the food. Staff was serving up those above-mentioned blue martinis like the waves keep comin' atcha on the beach.

While watching the Hawaiian Express dancers(, I enjoyed the sumptuous fare (except the pig). Afterwards, Tacoda's Ryan Mayward and I marvelled at the fluidity of their movements and Avenue A/Razorfish's Todd Portnoff tried to convince me he was a Jehovah's Witness. Hey, if it's good enough for Mickey Spillane, why not him?

Meanwhile, ShopWiki's managing editor Michelle Paolillo and Carlos Prio Odio (public relations) were making sure everyone was happy. I got a tour of the site from CTO and founder Eliot Horowitz. What makes Shopwiki so great are the customer reviews but also features like video and "sort by color" (my personal favorite).

The rain was coming down in droves, but that didn't drive away revelers. It was turning into a true Silicon Alley reunion--especially when I saw NYU's Center for Management director Howard Greenstein, and the former editors/publishers of @NY Tom Watson and Jason Chervokas. We're all looking a little older but it's great to see the ol' gang out again!