Friday, December 22, 2006

A Pulitzer.COMment ~ Adieu 2006

Greetings Cyber citizens! Some treats pour vous:

One of my new favorite new thing! L'essence. Frozen fitness fuel created by Robert Guida himself! Low calorie, low carb, low fat, 14 grams protein coated in "authentic" French dark chocolate. It's like a frozen milkyway bar but good for you!

Holiday shopping? Is this where your gifts will end up?

Have a hard time waking up?

And now, for your viewing pleasure! This week's videos and photo-essays of my personal "cyber scene" i.e. holiday parties de semaine!

Friday, December 15th, Rockefeller & Co.'s holiday party for their employees. Yes, I've worked here longer than anywhere else! (Except my own business)
food! glorious food! and people! (including David Rockefeller himself!)

Monday, December 18th was the "Cocktails with Courtney" holiday soiree. It was a small group, but we were in high spirits as ABC News Digital Media Group's Bernard Gershon entertained us (check out both videos).
my food review... and pictures! and
the Juggling Master! and locks of jokes!

As if I didn't have enough fine foods on Friday at the Rainbow Room, the chairman of Meriwether Capital treated our office to another delicious lunch in the spectacular dining room.

I'm off to sunny Tucson, Arizona for a week, so Happy New Year to one and all and to all a good night! :)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Raining Reindeer!

A little Hanukkah gift to my devoted readers, who've lasted this long in the newsletter, me and some Reindeer! Okay, okay, I know. The reindeer don't come on Hannukah, but I couldn't resist sending this now. Heralding back to December 10, 1999 at the Holiday Party. Yee-gads, it brings one back, doesn't it?

Design to Better Relationships (and thus the World)

And now, in the spirit of togetherness and bettering the world and all those good things, web and graphic designer extraordinaire Alyona Makeeva has unleashed her creativity into real space with innovative industrial design. The highlights are her sleeping-bag for two with a built-in journal, couple-mittens and a play-dish for sharing desserts and maintaining eye contact. A future project is a long-distance relationship clock.

Her thesis at Pratt Design School, "50/50: Designing for a Better Marriage," explores the notion of marriage in today's America, as it's affected by social changes and cultural tradition, and how design can bring back the affinity and genuine communication into a family. In the fast-moving world, where values shift and attitudes change, while some old customs and traditions become neglected, she's created products that bring harmony, encourage playfulness and foster communication. She believes stronger bonds can be developed in families through design, creativity and exploration.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Alyona was raised amid Classical and Baroque architecture, the brooding wisdom of Dostoyevsky, the elegance of the Kirov ballet and ubiquitous Soviet Propaganda. This rich tableau suffused her from her earliest days with an enduring love of art, which she's carried with her to New York. After getting a degree in Media and Communication at Hunter, she worked in graphic design and has now turned to industrial design. She envisions a range of functional creations which are emotionally evocative while stimulating the imagination.

And now...presenting...the duo-sleeping bag (and more)!
-- also check out:,

Brad Paley again!

Brad Paley "Did-it"(.com) again! He generously distributed a unique calendar option for 2007 ( There will soon be a forum allowing people to upload their own over-scribbled versions! For a little wordy-distraction, also check out

NextNY's Holiday Party

Breaking News! I made it to a NY tech-related Holiday Party! I know. Stunning. Things happen. So, I made my way on Wednesday, December 13th, in the Big Apple to Apple Restaurant for NextNY's Holiday FĂȘte. I happened onto one of the most enthusiastic groups of young gentlemen in a long time. They were friendly, outgoing and had very good social and networking skills! Hurrah! It made my job so much easier. No more concerted efforts at pulling out information like, "hello" and "what's your name." These things were readily offered. Wow.

The first gentleman who greeted me was the affable Mark Crofton (SAP) who not only introduced me to a few other people but told me about the recent Office 2.0 conference and some interesting companies like Intailo (a leader in Open Source BPMS). We then chatted with Ram Tantaloor ( and Anne-Marie Joss before stopping for a photo-op with Steve Eisenberg.'s founder & CEO Scott Cherkin proudly pronounced his upcoming article in the NY Daily News (12/14/06) before I launched into some extended conversation with the dapper-est young men there. Nate Westheimer ( told me off-the-record about his next on-the-record project. I'm fascinated and impressed with this bow-tie clad man's knowledge of women and the Internet. Let me assure you, it's more with Soccer Moms and Community and nothing to do with Jenny Garth. Equally engaging was's Michael Galpert who foretold of the future capabilities of his company.

Gathered round NextNY's founder Charlie O'Donnell at one long table was RadioTail's Gregory Galant,'s Juiette Powell and Pravda Marketing's Kfir Pravda.'s Jeff Pulver and his posse ("wartime consigliere" Jonathan Askin and Chris Brogan) were also enjoying some dinner.

This dynamic community is, of course, dynamic online as well and you can find more picture and wiki-blogs at ( //\\ My pictures...

Pulitzer.COMment ~ more mentoring and giving

Ho Ho Ha Ha Hoppy Hanukkah!

I am delighted to report that this reporter's spirits are considerably better this week. Oui, c'est vrai. J'ai contente cette semaine. Perhaps it's because I completed my French class? Perhaps. Si vous voulez me parler en Français, disez! (okay, if you can read French then you may be able to see mes erreurs aussi!)

Thank you for your concern (You know who you are!) about my biking in the big city. I'm fine and have been better this week. The big news is that the past two weeks I've been delving into my other passion--helping girls and woman as a mentor. While Brad Paley ( accurately mentioned that I'd been helping socially challenged people (in the tech field) for quite some time, this is a venue that fills my soul in a different way.

So two organizations I've been looking into are "Youth at Risk" and "iMentor." Youth at Risk is a great organization that helps at-risk youth move from their chaotic lives into one that is healthier where they can be effective citizens. The other one, iMentor, heralds from the early dot-com days, (founded in 1999, the tell-tale name beginning with "i"----, and the orange sofas, chairs, folder and pens)! iMentor is interesting, from a technological point-of-view, as it emphasizes email communication for busy mentors with its closed-intranet for emailing purposes.

If mentoring isn't your thing, you can honor a friend or loved one while delivering life-changing aid to families in need this holiday season with one of the 20 distinct Mercy Kits. ( There are kits for children and women and you can show your commitment to important global issues while sending something unforgettable and deeply meaningful.

For the "Think Global, Act Local" person. Come join me and some friends this weekend at one of these opportunities. On Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to about 1:00 p.m. a group of dedicated volunteers will be making sandwiches, washing and bagging fruits, and wrapping gifts for the homeless. Food and gifts will be distributed outdoors at the corner of 125th Street and Morningside between 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. [Call John for specific directions: 646 541 5830].

Here are two other ways to help out:
1. TWO-FOR-ONE GIFTS. Look carefully at your Christmas gift list. Ask yourself about each person on your list, "Does he/she absolutely need my gift in order to survive the next 8-10 weeks of cold winter?" If the answer is "no", please buy your gift anyway. Give your family member or friend a wrapped box with a note inside that says, "I bought you a fantastic sweater for Christmas . . . and gave it to a homeless man (woman)". Then, come to our street corner or send your gift to me to give it to someone from you. Add a note on the package if you like, such as "My brother and I hope this keeps you warm". Two Christmas presents for one.

2. DRESS YOURSELF IN A PAPER BAG. Take a clean large paper bag or bags. Buy new underwear. Fill the bag with one day's complete (gently worn) clothing -- from new undies right up to outer sweater or jacket. Tie the bag with red for men, green for women. (Tie multiple bags for one person together). Write an approximate height and weight range (or size) on the outside. Add a Christmas greeting if you like, such as "I hope this outfit will feel as good to you as it did to me". Then, come to our street corner or give your bag to me for someone your size.

DONATIONS OF MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES. If anyone wants to help in other ways, please offer the 1-gallon ziploc bags as a donation option. We need 3000 for sandwiches and fruit. Volunteers should bring Christmas gift wrap, red and green yarns and ribbons, scissors, marking pens, gift tags, handled shopping bags for carrying.

Friday, December 08, 2006

rudeness in shapes and forms

This week I seem to have been super aware of rudeness in many shapes and forms.

Is it just New York? Or am I just becoming increasingly aware of how dysfunctional our world is becoming? Are we so entrapped in our technical devices and communicating through a keyboard and monitor (whether at a desk or personal communicator/phone/etc.) that we've forgotten how to look someone in the eye? What ever happened to calling up someone just to say "hi!" or writing a letter just to let someone know you've been thinking of them? Perhaps I'm just hanging out in the wrong places? Or office?

It seems, especially at this time of the year, when the messages around us are about "gifts and celebrating," our emphasis is more skewed toward material objects or other types of consumables. To me, the real meaning of the holidays, whatever strain of religion you care to spend your money in, is about spending TIME with those we care about. It's not about the gift. It's about the effort we put into seeing the people in our lives.

My next gripe is this silly insistence that all the gifts must be given at the end of the year (and on birthdays). I'm a firm believer in gifts being given throughout the year. Expressing your love and appreciation for the people in your world shouldn't just be how many (and how big) are your gifts on one day (or eight) at the end of the Julian calendar.

Maybe I'm being a bit Scroogish, or maybe I'm just feeling poor this year, or perhaps it's a bit of weltschmerz (

So, yes, I'm saying: "please look me in the eye when you're speaking to me," "please call rather than email," "please give me cards and gifts all year round." To no one in particular, but since I have this platform I figured I'd (selfishly?) pronounce it.


Well I've certainly had a full-moon week! Bumping into things, being bumped into, all sorts of crashes intellectually and physically. I'll try to compose this newsletter without too many more calamities!

One thing that's been highlighted for me is bicycling. I have embarked on becoming a bicyclist. This is my preferred form of commuting and general transportation in the city. And, unlike many messengers or other bicyclists, I actually obey the traffic laws. I stay in the bike lane (if there is one) or on the left-hand side of the street. I stop at red lights. But I am just getting' plain ol' tired of having pedestrians walking in the bike lane, and then calling me names when I holler "bike lane" to them (i.e. "the sidewalks are for people, the roads are for wheeled-modes of transportation). Most annoying was the middle-aged man who threw water on me and the other (fatter) middle aged man who actually hit me! And then there are the people who just don't look when they open car doors. I got "doored" for a second time this week by a man getting out of the back door of an SUV (2nd row of seating). In an unusual gesture, he gave me $20 (I asked for $25) to cover costs of replacing my tire.

So, if this little rant can get one person to look before nonchalantly stepping out into the street and save them and a bicyclist from an accident then I'll be happy. If that bicyclist is me, I'll be even happier!

Speaking of friends... I've been on a kick of trying to get back in touch with long lost friends. As in most things, some are trickier than others. And I found this interesting little site a little helpful: So if you're looking for someone that google can't find (gasp!), try it and see what happens!

Now, a brief party report. Well, there are a-plenty but in a radical departure from years past, I actually didn't attend many (or for very long). I have been spending my time with various non-profits and turning my attentions towards perhaps transitioning into working more in the social (causes) sector as opposed to the social networking industry.

Among the many parties were:
Wired's store in Soho having a fete (12/7),
the 400+ NY Tech Meetup (you go, Scott Heiferman!),
Howard Greenstein's Social Media Club (11/27),
Webgrrls' Holiday party (12/6) at Gaetana,
The March of Dimes Chairman's Club Dinner, honoring Working Mother Media CEO and Founder Carol Evans,
The NYC Podcasting Meetup 2006 Holiday Event (12/4),
NYC ContentNext Mixer of and (12/5) at T New York,
SAJA Annual Members Meeting and Holiday party (12/6) at Cafe Vivaldi,
And tonight the Kevin Heaphy studio is offering a special "Art Attack" stress into creativity event at their studio in Soho.

Happy Birthday this week to... Gennadiy Borisov (MTV); Matt Heindl (; Jen Nash (Mangoes, Inc.)

One party I did get to last week (and where I have volunteered in the past) was Inmotion's fundraiser. Last Thursday, November 30, I stopped by the swanky studio of Brooklyn Brothers ( for their ( benefit. InMotion motivated the guests' spirit of giving (beyond the #20 suggested donation) with tempting jewelry (reasonably priced) by Kimmeron ( Many women, lawyers and other supporters, came into the hip studio to chat and shop while munching on chocolate covered strawberries. There were a few gentlemen--guests of the women--but they stepped up to the plate (so to speak) too and bought a few sparklies too!

You can see all 2 pictures I took!

Let's hope for a week of joy and happiness as we focus on the important people in our lives, amidst the December Frenzy. I will!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Upcoming "Cocktails with Courtney"'s

ANNOUNCING "Cocktails with Courtney" DECEMBER!
Cocktails With Courtney Holiday Soiree
December 18, 2006
6:00 - 7:30 PM
Triomphe Restaurant
(in the Iroquois Hotel but with a separate entrance)
49 West 44th Street
(212) 453-4233

"Cocktails with Courtney" ~ Tucson, AZ! Thursday, December 28, 2006. Tucson, AZ. More details coming soon!


The Clio Awards were announced and celebrated at the 2006 CLIO WINNERS REEL SCREENING on November 29th at the Village East Cinema in New York, followed by the "official" screening after party at Cafe DeVille. For all the 411, check it out at:

Cocktails with Courtney ~ Post Thanksgiving

'Twas the night before the tree* was to be lit when all through the city, not a soul could sleep. Sugar plums were dancing in their bellies from the recent Thanksgiving feast and bristling with anticipation, the guests of Cocktails with Courtney at Pulse Restaurant had a perfect view of the darkened tree...guarded and gawked at.

The soiree was delightful. The guests were brimming with wit. Confetti was on the tables and glitter was on some cheeks, thanks to sparkly Rainbow Heart and his creative face painting! Janine Trusello of Hip Vintage, and who was an integral part of the Cocktails with Courtney business during 2002, looked stunning in her rose silk top and long black skirt. She mentioned that the vintage clothing business online is a hot market and she has been recently elected to the Vintage Fashion Guild's ( Board of Directors.

Doubleclick's director of Research and Industry Relations Rick Bruner and Research Manager Heath Row ( stopped in to schmooze. Rick came to my first CWC in San Francisco, when it was hosted at the stunning home of Bill Ryan, one of my business advisors. Singers and otherwise vocal extraordinaires Laaraji and Elizabeth Soychak ( met and mingled while Rainbow Heart painted a flourish on Elizabeth's left eye.

No eye-flourishes but exciting nonetheless, the Hudson River Museum's Special Events & Individual Giving Manager Allison Martin and her friend Marie-Louise Seelig chatted with Avenue-e Health Strategies' EVP Managing Director Anthony Manson. Anthony and I also tried to see if we knew where other former Young & Rubicam interactive people (from 1997-1998) had landed and what they were up to (If you're reading this and remember Y&R before it was even Brand Dialogue, drop us a line!)

Robert Weintraub of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP and Dean Gamanos who does marketing and Grape Getaways (one-day trips for wine aficionados) also got to meet up and chat with some CWC regulars like Richard Allen Charles Leider (who's going to be launching a new site in January), NBC's Jim Andrews and attorney Havona Madama.

Anthony Citrano was regaling Lisa Latter (up from New Orleans) and I about his 7-weeks of international travel and what he'd do differently (fewer trains). Anthony had this luxurious time off after he sold his business and plans on more travel soon. John Bachir and Timothy Appnel geeked out later in the night talking about how they each were easing the blogging world with their programming finesse.

It was yet another lovely, low-key cocktails, a pleasant change from the massive mash-ups during the earlier boom! Check out the PICTURES:

Writing on the Right

Based in LA, WriteGirl has been helping girls find their voices through a variety of programs since December 2001. They bring the skills and energy of professional women writers to teenage girls who do not otherwise have access to creative writing or mentoring programs through one-on-one mentoring and monthly workshops. The organization has grown and there are several publications out already as a result of all the creative juices and hard work from both the women and girls. Now, to celebrate their five-year anniversary, they are holding an official launch party for their fifth anthology: Untangled. Keren Taylor, Executive Director, told me in this collection of poetry, fiction, songs, memories, scenes and creative non-fiction, girls and women work through the knots and give shape to deeply personal thoughts and feelings on family, friendship, society, school and love. So, if you're going to be on the left coast on Tuesday, December 5th, celebrate the writers and this organization at The Grill at Universal Studios (3900 Lankershim Blvd., Universal City, CA) from 7 - 9 p.m. RSVP is required so email TODAY!!!! or call 323.363.1287.

Why Wouldn't We Love Our Children?

Love Our Children USA is a remarkable organization focused on helping keep our children safe and to raise awareness to prevent violence against children. Their recent newsletter provided tips on holiday toy safety and calls to action via donations or buying their Swarovski Crystal Awareness Bracelet, which they're asking everyone to wear for the over 3 million children whose voices are small, ignored and unheard. Wear the bracelet as a promise to America 's children and help raise the volume so that everyone hears their message. For each donation of $49.99 they'll send you a bracelet, which includes shipping and handling. Love Our Children USA was founded as a promise to America 's children to break the cycle of violence against children. Check out their website to read much more information about this great organization, the celebrities that help them and how to help.

A Better View

Chat the Planet is a television show that connects groups of young people around the world, via satellite, for frank, no-holds-barred discussions about politics, relationships, prejudices and life in general. They put young people into direct dialogue, so they can talk to each other and learn about each other from each other. It's uncensored, unscripted, and unlike anything else in the mainstream media. Move over Barbara Walters, this is a better "View." Our goal is to build bonds, to confront biases, to tackle cultural misunderstandings, and to get young people all fired up and ready to act for social change. Currently, they are working on three broadcast projects focused on bridging cultural understanding in the Middle East with Iran, Israel, Palestine and Iraq. They have raised a substantial portion of the funding for these projects, but are still looking for completion funds. For more information, check us out at

Barbie's Not Just For Girls

Many readers and card-carrying netizens know Tiffany Shlain from The Webby Awards. This talented woman has significant credits in filmmaking as well. And, her film, The Tribe, is making a round here on the East Coast in a special showing at the 92nd St Y on February 22nd. If you can't wait till February, and I recommend that you don't, you can now also order a fabulous kitsch, er, kit, at for a mere $40. That won't set you back too many sheckles and will be a unique and entertaining (and informative) gift your friends and family won't forget. If you like bargains like I do then you'll be thrilled to know that if you buy a home screening kit now, you'll get a second DVD of The Tribe for free! Order your kit by Dec. 5th, to ensure delivery in time for Hanukkah. [The kit includes: The Tribe DVD: The Tribe: An unorthodox, unauthorized history of the Barbie Doll and the Jewish People around 15 minutes; The Guide from the Perplexed film guide; Conversation Cards to spark the discussion.] Such a deal!

Socially Conscious Business Gifts

With the holidays quickly approaching, give upscale business gifts while being socially conscious! Whether you are looking for new ideas this year or you know what you want to give, Andi Jompole of The Perfect Present offers exceptional personal attention and custom services for your business gifts that will leave a memorable impression on your clients. In addition to saving you time and money, she will donate, 10% of the net proceeds from your project to a charity of your choice. In the spirit of the season, your gifts will give twice. Personal shopping services and gift selection advice are also available. Just contact and she will deliver both ideas and products that will be a perfect reflection of you. The Perfect Present specializes in helping you make the impact you want on your clients and guests by providing unique, creative and traditional solutions for classic promotional, marketing and incentive items to V.I.P., upscale gift, favor and decoration solutions for all types of corporate, non-profit, public relations, social events and projects you may be planning. Client references graciously provided upon request.

Praying Gets Personal

Nick Hall of Possibility Productions has been blessed with the birth of two children, but has been challenged because his new children, and wife Jenn, have had a struggle since then. He has posted a more descriptive update along with a poem he wrote for all the babies in the NICU on his blog. The quick update is that both Reece and Graham had their important Day-4 brain scan and they came back negative (which is a good thing). They are on a minute-to-minute journey and sending him your love, support, prayers and energy makes a profound difference. Email:

Open Your Wings...And Fly!

Stunning and artful spray-paint/stencil portraits on old vinyl records or adorable and warm knit creations can be found at My friends Jillian and Emily, two amazing women whose fun, creative and joyful spirits come through in their art deserve at least a "look-sie" online. They do their own designs and every piece is handmade. They will also be hosting other local artists' whose work they admire and feel are underrepresented, on the web or otherwise. Also, if you are interested in email updates, you'll know when they add such work: The website was created by their friend Evan. So come on, support some women who give the term "Williamsburg Artist" a good name! PS. You'll see a picture of my pup, Teddy, there too!

Greetings Gentlefolk

I trust you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving and were able to give thanks for all the blessings in your lives. Mine was quite pleasant, spent in DC with my mother and stepfather and it was quite mellow, for a change.

This week we're continuing our focus of giving thanks, giving back and in the spirit of helping others there are many links to wonderful organizations that need your support--along with some gift ideas (like donations to said organizations).

And, after all the goodness, the party updates!