Digital DUMBO #16, The Dumbo Loft, Brooklyn
May 27, 2010
Why haven't I gone to Digital DUMBO for the past four or so events? I'd like to say it's the nature of event and party coverage -- too many things to choose from in one night -- but truthfully, sometimes it's pure island laziness. Symptoms include the annoying wail-bark of "But I don't want to go all the way to Brooklyn!" All the... shutchyoormouth. As I waited for the L, which I take to the F, which plops me on York Street, I felt that tickle in my belly, a feeling similar to the anticipation of reuniting with long-lost friends.
Did anyone look at the sky last night? It was awesome! As I turned on Front Street, I looked up into the DUMBO sky and saw thick, ominous, purple-grey clouds. They were squatting over Manhattan, bloated and ready, the perfect backdrop to the NECKFACE contribution on the building behind Pedro's. I used to call my intern at IBM NECKFACE and we'd melt into dorky piles of giggles every time. Anyway.
I love Dumbo Loft! Its bare wood floors bounced around the sunflower glow of the light ropes winding up support beams and around windows. It's like a bare-boned roller rink for nerds. Immediately my mind raced with different events you could throw, all including shoes with wheels. Right off the bat I ran into the sleep-deprived Tim Nolan of Hush Studios. The man works his neckface off, what can you say. I later found him with a dude whose nametag read "Wah Wah Wee Wah." Oh that's right, when you checked in, you could put your name into one of them classy computer pads and out would pop a clever nickname. I didn't like mine, so I made one up. I also didn't like anyone else's because you couldn't tell what their real names were... UNLESS YOU ASKED THEM! Tricky tricky.
I met an installation artist named Jake Lee-High, whose medium is sound. Obviously, the 14-year-old boy in me asked if he had every utilized the brown noise. You'll have to Google that, I just can't put it here. Jake was with Definition 6's Randi Brant and JAR Group's Sanjay Papinazath. Randi Brant hit me with an invitation to the Defintion 6 Internet Week party, which I will definitely (6) cover if I'm not already split into 80 pieces. I turned around to mess with my camera settings and came face to face with the evening's hairiest guest.
He was short, stout if you will, black, with one of those faces that's borderline ugly, but so ugly it's cute. No no, I'm not talking about Carrot Creative's Mike Germano, I'm talking about Jonas, his friggin' adorable puppy. Jonas' ears were angling every which way with the overload of echoing voices and grabby hands. Oddly, the little guy kept dragging Victoria AKA @angrygirlfriend to the bar. Jonas must love Brooklyn Summer Ale!
Attention PR sent their loft-party-going best, in the form of Kristin Maverick and Yuna Park, both of whom were pimping eco-friendly notebooks carved with Tumblr hard (or was it Foursquare?). I listened to Carrot's Kaitlin Villanova, JAR's Andrew Zarick, and Dara Lehon offer appreciation for support and ask for philanthropic hearts to open up and give to the residents of Brooklyn who live below poverty level. Brooklyn is home to 2.5 million people and about 25% live below poverty level and 50k of Brooklyn's youth are out of school and out of work. You can find more donation inspiring stats on the Brooklyn Community Foundation site. So, you know, maybe donate that cash instead of heading to the Swiss Alps again?
As I was shooting, I heard a voice say "are you @socialmedium?" It was Mitch Kapler, a recent L.A. transplant that I've only known on Twitter. He's here on the East Coast, scoping out the tech/media scene with Canoe Ventures. From the sound of it, he fell victim to the New York seduction. He could go all the way. He was chatting with Electric Artists' Reema Mitra. I also briefly ran into Kenji Summers sporting his glow-in-the-dark "Nooka." We raced around trying to find a dark corner to photog it in. We failed, but at least he led me to Tiffany Edwards, Education Director & Adversity Manager at The One Club.
Lingering on the outskirts was the vivacious yet camera-shy Charlie Oliver of Artoftalk.tv and her pal F.J. Rudy, a screenwriter who also works in advertising. Ryan Matzner, Communications Specialist, was also enjoying the Dumbo scene and chatting with the dapper Rameet Chawala, an iPhone app developer. The entire Carrot Creative crew was there in their bow ties, celebrating the full-time status of Ohio transplant Colin Murphy. I also met Bryan Roman of McGarryBowen, a company I had never heard of. But now I know.
Still quite a few people are out there job hunting, including Anna Roe, who has a good seven years experience in pimping (aka PR type) and Jeff Greenblatt, who was keeping a window sill warm with Akamai's Dan Scheier. Both Jeff and Dan used to work at Joost. I wonder if they know Sabrina Scatena. Also roaming the loft were Buddy Media's Jenean Chapman, my date from last night, and Matt Knell and the Café Mom crew.
Last night's Digital DUMBO was everything a laid-back night of networking should be. I mean, if you're going to attend a networking event, it shouldn't be painful, right? Laid-back, quirky, with local beers, local do-gooding, and a French bulldog. A recipe for success.
Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!
*edited at 11:49a.m. EST for clarity and name corrections.