Vitrue Society Cocktails, Buddakan, New York
September 29. 2010
Next year, I'm just not going to plan out my week. So far nothing has worked out the way I meticulously to the minute planned my Advertising Week nightlife coverage. I had departure times, arrival times, Hopstop directions, a flow chart, special tattoos, random lightshows, and Kit from Nightrider all lined up, yet nothing happened the way it was supposed to. At least last night started successfully.
I've never been to Buddakan. It's one of those places I've heard about, read about, passed by, but I just can't afford. This column allows me brief glimpses into unreachable venues and restaurants and I'm always grateful for that. When I opened the dark heavy door into Buddakan, I was struck first by the amber glow that gently lit the black-tabled darkness. It was gorgeous. The host/receptionist area was intimidating -- designed like a hotel check-in. But the hosts themselves didn't exude chill, they were warm and friendly. As my host walked me to the private room for The Vitrue Society party, she gave me a quick rundown on the place.
We had to descend nearly invisible stairs due to the darkness into a massive room with a long barbarian buffet table lit by wigwam-sized chandeliers I half expected to see jesters dangling from. The whole room was basking in the orangey-yellow glow.
The Vitrue Society occupied a secret library complete with glowing books and a large black leather center settee. Botticelli-esque nudies flanked one wall where a comfy couch pressed against it. The minute I walked in, I found Gretchen Miller of Virtrue, who offered me a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. "It's grapefruity," was all she had to say. It was like spring in my mouth.
We wandered around and she introduced me to Reggie Bradford, the CEO of Vitrue: David Rollo, SVP at 22Squared; Erika Brookes, VP of Marketing for Vitrue; and Neil Glassman, Principal at WhizBangPowWow.
After snatching up a few tuna tartare spring rolls (which I eventually turned into from consuming so many) I found Max Clark, who runs sales and biz dev for Vitrue, talking with JackBamberger, EVP of Catalyst. Jack was one of those great party finds. He's also a Midwesterner at heart, hailing from St. Louis, and because of his past as a journalism student, we had fun talking about the evolution of the "journalist" and what it means to recent grads. Jack had to run off to the charity:water party and I would have joined him had I seen into the future, but we'll get to that.
General Tso's soup dumplings made their rounds, singing in Thought Equity Motion's Gail Hilton's mouth. They traveled with some edamae dumpling bringing up the rear through Joe Wasco of Vitrue, Jacob Luft, Editor at si.com, and Ben Kaplan, Social Media Manager at si.com. I also met Alan Krinsky, a search consultant ("look over there! Now look over there!") and Jane Matthews of 22Squared.
I couldn't figure out how I knew Lindsey Pearl, a marketing manager at HBO, but through the location/event/networking 20 questions game with Lindsey, HBO's Jim Marsh, and HBO's Sabrina Calouri, we deduced it must have been The Shorty Awards.
I looked over on the couch to make sure my striped Brooklyn Industries bag was still visible and spotted MTV's Tom Fishman, who was dressed in the exact color scheme of my bag. Fishman manages social media and community over at the channel that used to play music videos, which to date means he's managing over 10 Twitter accounts and over 75 Facebook pages. He must rage like Suge Knight when Facebook takes a midday siesta. Tom was talking with Bryan Pocius of Vitrue.
Before heading out the door, I met Dan Coughlin, East Coast Sales, Twitter, who was chatting with Samantha Willems, online marketing, Gap, Inc. Behind them I found Trevor Guthrie of OMD's Ignition Factory talking with Gail about innovation and corporate buzzwords.
And then I headed out, destination Angel Orensanz Foundation for the LCD Soundsystem show. On the way there, I called 911 on a poor drunk who had to be escorted out of Nice Guy Eddie's due to his overly inebriated state. I experienced layers of emotion ranging from concern, embarrassment for this poor dude, anger that he had been over-served to get to that point, and sadness because the man was illing and he could have been someone's dad or husband. I didn't want to be the person who assumes someone else will call and then tomorrow find out he had choked on his own hork and died. So I called.
Upon arrival to the LCD Soundsystem venue, I discovered there was no list (a list I was assured I was on) and no one knew what I was talking about when I said that I was supposed to be there. After being herded around like a bovine escapee, I left. I'm not one of those people who shows up where I am not supposed to be. If I'm in, I'm in. I don't like the hastle, the "I'm a writer" BS, so obviously, being treated like I'm a crasher isn't fun. The thing that sucks is, I had two other parties that no doubt were awesome that I skipped to attend the LCD show, and by the time I was on my way it was too late.
Tonight, the last evening for Advertising Week nightlife, will be better. It's all about beer and food pairings, and the Facebook Wrap party. Think positive thoughts for me, will you?