DigitalDUMBO One Year Anniversary, Galapagos Art Space, DUMBO
January 28, 2010
I left the MediaPost office starving, which is a bad idea, especially since I know that Digital DUMBO won't have food. This is not a big deal, it just means adult Kelly needs to step it up and plan ahead. You know who plans ahead? Rob Blatt, web and podcast producer fresh from the Blattcave, and his wife Amber. I ran into them on the street in DUMBO as they were heading to grab sandwiches. As Jenean Chapman, recent Agent 16 defector, strolled by oblivious, I stuck my leg out, scared her, and off we went to the Galapagos Art Space, a place the constantly smells like the YMCA pool.
I liked the Halloween mood of the night, the gnarled arms of DUMBO trees all emaciated in the cold, their shadows scraping long up the road, trying to snag the scalps of bundled-up walkers-by. Everyone was on a slant, the wind given more power with the river so close. AND it was dark enough to see into the windows of the subway as it became an aboveway on the Manhattan Bridge.
I FINALLY met the bowtie-supporting Colin Murphy, Rookie of Something at Carrot Creative. He was lurking nearby Matt Caldecutt of Trylon SMR, who was manning the name badge table -- or just confusing me about it. Entertaining Caldecutt was Jeni Gridley of SinglePoint, which was great for me - freed my face up to inhale the tiny carrot-cake cupcake I was gripping in desperate hunger. Usually the tiger in my belly is placated by meats and cheeses, not these frou-frou cupcake things. But holy mother of prissy desserts, Kumquat Bakery knows what they're doing.
I headed to the bar and, being the 7-year-old kid I am, immediately reached into the pint glass full of what I thought were stuffed plastic carrot things, maybe pocket décor as a giveaway. You know how when you bite into something and recoil because what you thought was going to taste like pepperoni tastes more like a pecan sandie? That's what happened to me. What I felt wasn't stiff thick plastic, it was pliable, soft, and rubbery -- even a little sticky.
"Yeah," nodded the ole barkeep, "them're gummies."
Ok, he was a bartender, not a barkeep, and he was fluent in the Queen's English. Either way, my hand was weirded-out. And then I was weirded-out because I'd just fondled a bunch of gummy carrots that others would be stuffing into their mouths (after they sucked down the signature cocktail of the night) So, hey, sorry people.
I got my nerd on after I recognized ponytail guy, AKA David Polinchock from the AR panel. He was talking with Doug Meacham, who turned out to be an IBMer. Polinchock invited me on a tour of the AR lab at Columbia and I plan to go, which means you'll hear about it. It sounds like the future. After giving my nerdy duo some conference ideas they'll probably use, I ran back to the back to see who else was hanging around.
Mike Germano took the stage and I'll break it down for you the way I broke it down for drop.io's Sam Lessin, who arrived after spending an hour in the bathroom on the phone. It went like this: "Digital district, DUMBO, f*ck, f*cking awesome, creative people, digital is growing, f*ck, f*cking do it, rent is cheap, who's from Manhattan, bring your business here, thanks drop.io, f*ck, Silicon Alley is dead, talented mother f*ckers!"
Germano successfully appears to be proud of the work coming out of DUMBO and dedicated to firming up its permanence. Whether or not that's enough to inspire Manhattan's startups to ford the river, time will tell. That makes me think of the Oregon Trail. Will they float their wagons across the river or try to make it around? Let's just hope no one ends up eating little Billy, who was looking a little green around the gills. Break dancer Jason Lewis followed the Carrot presentation, and flipped, flopped, and froze his way into my little heart and made me excited for the new season of "America's Best Dance Crew." Shut up, I love that show.
I also ran into Billy Linker, Manager of Community at Magnify.net; Attention PR's Kristin Maverick and her sister Carly; the Andy Capped Andrew Shults of himself, Devin Brown of McKinsey & Company; Tim Nolan, leader of the HUSH gang; and Katie Morse, former Marketing Manager of Ripple6 and starting Monday, Community Manager at Radian 6. Ernesto Tagwerker, Regional Director at Aycron, was there and later tweeted something about this being his last DigitalDUMBO with friends. Does that mean next one he plans on bringing enemies?
While inching toward the coat check I yapped with Invoke Media's David Tedman; Caty Marzi, Sports Marketing gal; Olu Green, Marketing dude at ESPN; and Dario Meli of Invoke Media (you may know Invoke through Hootsuite); Biana Bakman, social media and business smartypants; and Josh Sternberg of Sternberg Strategic Communications, who has been landing lots of great contributing writer spots. I keep encouraging him to get paid for it.
Karen Ram of 360i flitted in and out of my socializing radar, having gotten a little lost on the way to Galapagos. And of course, I was able to talk a little music with Andrew Zarick of the JAR Group, whose name later came up in the bathroom. That's right, as I used the bathroom for what it's really for, four of five other women were holding an adhoc meeting and one subject that made an appearance, "You know, AZ," was Andrew Zarick. We'll leave it at that...
Note: "Silicon Alley is Dead !" was first reported by AgencySpy
Hey! Check out my coverage schedule for Social Media Week which strikes with great vengeance next week!
Pictures are up on Flickr. More coming.