Minyanville Festivus, Hill Country, New York
December 4, 2008
And ribs. And mac and cheese. And ribs. And greens. And ribs. Did I mention ribs? OK, just checking. Last night -- despite the misting rain and my non-umbrella -- was the night of my meat dreams. Hill Country was the place and the giving folks at Minyanville, a media company focusing on educating even the youngest consumer on financial security and freedom (and ACK, planning) in a tangible nightmare-dispersing way, were the gracious hosts. Would you believe I didn't have one rib?
I flopped up my hood, ducking under the meaningless tinkle of the unnaturally warm rain and teetered off to Hill Country, which is around the corner (literally, not figuratively) from MediaPost's office space. My belly was grumbling as I closed in on the rural red glow and the call of the meat counter. It was only 7:15 and already there was a line out the door. I had no idea they had the entire place to themselves. It was packed! A choir of young, talented singers greeted guests with carols and I felt my humbugs hit the floor. Youth choirs always make my eyes sting with emotion. I hate that!
You know what else makes my eyes sting with emotion? When people TRULY give and want others, even in a down economy, to look outside their own "ah, crud, we have to sell that yacht now" mentality and realize that there are others in much more dire straits. The Minyanville Festivus was half family love fest, half fund-raiser for the Children's Aid Society. With the help of The Ruby Peck Foundation and Grandstand Sports auctioning off everything from, gulp, a Hanna Montana framed and autographed photo collage, to spa packages, to the highly coveted Bon Jovi plaque, as well as the sale of lovely cards created by the lovely Carole Peck Designs, piles of helpful cash were gathered last evening, I'm sure.
Jared Gladstone was running the silent auction for Grandstand. He joked "Well, I retired the fist pump," when I easily discovered -- through his love of Bon Jovi and knowledge of Springsteen's whereabouts -- that he indeed was a Jersey boy. I was happy to see that people really did bid starting at $750, a price entirely too steep for me, always. Around the corner from Jared was Adam Katz, Professor at Minyanville and West Coaster, and a group of hill people.
The place was loaded with current and potential investors. One of Minyanville's first investors was one of the first people I talked to - Mark Majka, Senior Research Anaylst at Fortis. Not that I know anything about investing (so please, get that Morton's out), but it seems worthwhile to get behind something... well, worthwhile. And guess what? The writers for Minyanville's animated and livestock-fueled news show, "Hoofy & Boo's World in Review," just won an Emmy in the New Approaches to Business and Financial Reporting category. Guess what else? Kevin Wassong, President of Minyanville Publishing and Multimedia, let me hold the Emmy. He obviously has no idea how klutzy I am.
I held an Emmy, just sayin'. Justin Rohrlich, senior writer, should be very proud of himself and his crew. Two of his crew from the sound side (every winner has a team) were Tom Rodriguez and Norm Felker (this may be misspelled since my slippery pen smudged on the business card. No, I haven't gotten that MP3 recorder yet. Be quiet.)
While peering around for photo ops, I FINALLY saw Laurie Peterson! I heard her yodeling my name from a table covered in all kinds of meat and fixin's (you HAVE to drop the g). Joining Laurie was Guillermo Suarez, Vice President of Sales and a bunch of hungry others, all with Minyanville. You know, not only did every Minyanvillager feel like they considered each other family, but the place was packed with people's REAL family - like Minyanville Chief Operating Officer Tom Eggers. I met his sons as I headed up the stairs. Luke and Kyle Eggers are two incredibly well-spoken dudes. Both are really in tune with following your passions and not necessarily the traditional education path. Kyle is attending SVA and it sounds like Luke is not far behind him - sharing the same fever for film/video/photography . All I have to say is, when I was 18 I don't think I could form complete sentences. To this day, I still question that.
Believe it or not, I was so busy talking to everyone, running around taking photos, and hiding from the sloshed finance guy who gushed "so what are you thinking long term, with that nose ring" followed by other potentially embarrassing utterances, that I did not once chew on normal-sized meat products. I did have a delicious slice of sausage on a stick, but other than that, nada. Oh, before I forget! The bands were hilarious. They were fun, hat-wearing, feel-good musicians. Loved it.
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