After the Webby After Party, Day 98
Vitamins, a great dinner at Josie’s, and the stellar company of friend and soprano Mari Moriya must have me hyped up enough to not have collapsed – yet. Last night’s final Internet Week events definitely gave my already exhausted body and mind an unexpected workout, and my head cannot wait much longer to reunite with my beloved Tempurpedic pillow.
After an interesting seminar with a good friend (tomorrow’s topic), my evening continued at a standard meetup party, the official Internet Week closing party. Located at Matsuri, complete with nametags and an open bar that ended just before I arrived the closing party had some familiar and all friendly faces, and I had a brief but nice time catching up and meeting a couple of interesting new contacts. Of course, intrigue lingered from the moment I arrived and received a text from Matt Hensrud as he entered the after party for the Webby Awards right around the corner at the Hiro Ballroom. Now that I see Metromix’s full endorsement of “hacking” the sold out after party, I feel far less remorse for the events which followed. Oh wait, I really don’t feel any remorse.
At first attempting to circumvent the line entirely by finding other entrances to the Maritime Hotel, I and three adventurous counterparts met with inoperable elevators and confused and unhelpful staff at every corner. Still, I had funny flashbacks of climbing the air conditioners in fourth grade to reach the roof of my elementary school and other times in my life when I found my way around barricades and other barriers to appease my somewhat mischievous demeanor. Triumphantly, everyone I knew (who persisted) prevailed in attending the packed and exclusive party, and I happily reunited with several friends inside the doors to the Hiro Ballroom – a great space I plan to revisit again soon for some more dancing!
Whomever said or thought that nerds can’t dance or party never met the New York Technology crowd. First of all, I adore the idea behind the HP sponsored photo booth (repeated in several events this week). What a fun way to capture the party in a playful environment, with keepsakes for everyone. I have already temporarily displayed mine in my living room. Of course, it definitely trumped the AOL Music armbands and headbands thrown around the dance floor as swag; although, I likely will use my pink headband at the gym for laughs.
After a comparably unfunny but brief moment of personal tension with someone at the party, I decided to head downstairs for some distraction and dancing, despite the obvious fact that I as of yet knew absolutely nobody there. Luckily running into a recently introduced acquaintance, I had another drink at the completely open bar and forgot my troubles with a fun crew of personalities from Digitas and some Webby Award winners who had flown in from the Silicon Valley and Mint.com. Furthermore my consequently close view of the fearless and dazzling performance of Ne-Yo, who has amazing performance chops and dancing moves, did not hurt me one bit.
Biz Markie as a DJ entertained me slightly less than his hilariously ridiculous “Just a Friend” from the late eighties, but he did keep me and the rest of the crowd dancing and happy (perhaps except when he added Coldplay to an otherwise upbeat mix). Thanks to Jason from Mint, photographer Bea Lamar, and Nick Barrios from Digitas, three fantastic people and new acquaintances who completed a night already made legend – wait for it – ary by my friends Nick McGlynn, Pab Quinteros, Paul Crupi, Matt Hensrud, Kyle Cameron, and Aparna Mukherjee. A minor risk well worth taking.