BUZZMEDIA and Ustream PopEverything Party, PopBurger, New York
June 9, 2010
I left the IDGTechNetwork party at 230 Fifth, leaping over stupid puddles, but excited to cram at least 40 burgers into my mouth. I was already nervous, having volunteered to play their Ustream live-piped pop culture trivia game because I'm pretty confident in my knowledge of embarrassing tidbits. The idea of being on camera at my palest and plumpest was giving me stomach squirrels. Little did I know, my adversary would be my name twin, a lover of jelly beans and satchels of gold...and that I would lose.
The first thing I noticed when walking into the uptown PopBurger was that the standing bar area had been converted into a paparazzi line. I knew that one of the Real Housewives of New York City would be attending, but I never expected such a glitzy entrance to a burger joint!
Up to the 3rd floor we went, escorted by the champagne-sipping, clipboard-toting, headset coiffed Katie Smith-Adair of Morris+King. As we ascended past the crowded second floor we passed the satiny tangerine dream of Jennifer Moses, also of Morris + King. I passed up the first tray of burgers, opting to make a beer line for some nerve-easing beer, but getting to the bar was impossible. Not nearly, not next to, it was impossible. See now, at events like these, you have to grab your beer and walk away. But no, there was a line of people belly up, chewing away, sipping comfortably while the rest of us saw visions of violent chainsaw decapitations. Or maybe that was just me.
I perched atop a settee and surveyed the scene. To my left the trivia game was already full steam ahead, hosted by Alex Blagg, executive editor of Celebuzz, and Christian Lander, founder of Stuff White People Like. Katie Smith-Adair informed me she'd be back to get me when it was my turn. I stayed put and found 360i's Danielle Nuzzo with her dude Jason by the pool table. We were joined by Matt Biscuiti, Senior Vice President at The Lippin Group, who I NEVER see at these things any more. Soon Jenean Chapman wandered over, shying away from the blinding flash of my trusty Canon.
Suddenly a wave of cellphones popped out, cameras open. I looked in the direction of their tiny lenses and saw the tall, slender, tan form of Kelly Bensimon of "The Real Housewives of New York City. Jen, the other one who isn't officially a Real Housewife, was also there. I know this because a fellow, Adam Matthew Weiss, approached my date saying he was Jen's date and that he couldn't find her. My +1, Gail, gestured towards Bensimon, saying Jen was over there. Weiss was appreciative and then invited Gail to a party he's throwing for Sean Lennon. Ahem, Gail's +1 is attending as well, hope that's OK, Adam!
I saw Katie Smith-Adair approach.
She informed me that I would be competing against Kelly Bensimon and Scott Lapatine, Founder of Stereogum. Oh, hold on, let me edit that list of competitors to include Natasha Zeller who whispered the answers into Bensimon's ear throughout the competition -- which yes, led to her win.
That's right, you heard it here (and if you know AttentionPR's Karen Ram, you probably heard her yelling about it all night before reading it here), I lost a game of pop culture knowledge to someone whose TV character at least won't be winning any Mensa challenges. But neither will I. Rigging aside, Kelly Bensimon was sweet and gregarious, grabbing my hands excitedly throughout the competition, her face expanded in an unstoppable smile. Granted, I didn't piss her off or channel the devil. If you're missing my references you need to brush up on your Real Housewives trivia. Scott Lapatine was a decent fellow as well. Twice he asked to sit between Kelly and me, and twice I said no. I was not about to give up a seat next to my guilty pleasure. At one point he also mentioned that the questions weren't indie enough. I'm sure he was joking. Please be joking.
If you can believe it, I didn't eat one burger while there. Perhaps it was the trivia tummy tangle or activity driven forgetfulness, but not one PopBurger popped into my mouth. On the way out, I ran into "Rev." Dave Ciancio of Burger Conquest. He was sporting some sort of burger bling around his neck. Ryan Matzner of Blue Fountain Media was lurking nearby, which reminds me, lately whenever I see Ryan, I also see Mae Karwowski of 360i. Coincidence...?
Brain-bruised from my stolen trivia win (torture yourself and me at the 53 minute mark), I headed back out into the night with a gaggle of people to hit up the Thrillist Loft party. When we arrived, there was a line out the door, a line for the bathroom, and a line to get into waiting in lines. I found SailThru's Neil Capel outside waiting for the "Squat On The Spot." He informed me that sponsors of the event weren't even being let in.
My hunger and my line-waiting patience won and we headed to Half King for an overpriced burger. And that's where I left a bag containing my shoes and adorable Ustream T-shirt. But don't you worry! My valuables are safe, I'll just have to grab them on the way to the dumbdumb launch party at the IAC tonight!