Getting A Drink Wasn't Easy Tuesday Night At ad:tech Chicago
For some reason, finding Chicago's Delacosta restaurant on 466 East Illinois is a challenge. While in town for the ad:tech show, I walked by it two times before realizing it was right in front of me. Adrants Co-Editor Angela Natividad had trouble finding it as well. And it's right there on East Illinois exactly where it should be. Perhaps it was the ultra-humid heat messing with our minds. Perhaps, at least for me, it was the mini-skirted, high-heeled, belly-shirted, stunningly beautiful woman I'd passed by on that very same sidewalk earlier in the day still clouding my mind. Perhaps I'm just dumb. Likely, it's the latter.
Anyway, I found the Wunderman/TDI-sponsored party at Delacosta. Angela found it. And so did buddy and UnSubCentral VP of Sales John Engler along with UnSub Central's Brian Ambrose and Rick. It was a small party with about 150 people but it was one of those parties where you could actually talk to people and the people you wanted to talk to where there. And, the food was very good. Far above the usual ad:tech-related party fare.
Wunderman/TDI , as I understand it, are forming a new office in Chicago and the event was partly to bring in local talent for recruitment. Actual interviews were held during the party which, for me, seems far better than sitting across from a desk in some office where only mindlessly self-important business babble is spoken. At least at a party, people are more themselves. At least until they have too many glasses of wine. At the party, you could also enter to win the prize du jour, an iPhone, which UnSubCentral's John Engler already owned and was more than happy to show off it's amazing features to those drooling for the device.
From Delacosta, we all moved on to the CIMA/Leapfrog party over at Fulsom's on the River which, predictably, was packed, hot and uniquely challenging. Let me explain. As we all walked down the stairs to the lower level of the place, I went to the bar and asked for a Dewars on the rocks knowing full well the drink ticket I was given at the door wouldn't cover it which was just fine. The bartender tells me I have to step to the other end of the bar. I do. After the other bartender realizes I've been standing in front of him for five minutes, I ask for a Dewars on the rocks. He tells me I can't get that with my drink tickets and I say fine, I'll pay. He says no, you have to go to the other bar in the other room. I do. When I get to that bar and ask for a Dewars on the rocks I'm told again I can't get it with my drink ticket to which, again, I say I'm happy to pay. Oh but no. That doesn't work either.
Then I'm told I have to step over to a drink ticket table at which I could by a ticket that would then allow me to get that Dewars on the rocks I'd been so desperately - and now comically - trying to obtain. Still with me? After ten minutes of this bullshit, I say fuck it and ask the bartender for a beer. Apparently, some fuckhead sued which resulted in this drink ticket disaster.
Now that I've wasted two entire paragraphs boring you with the details of obtaining a drink which never materialized, I can bore you even further with the people watching we did from a centrally located table. We watched one woman, apparently alone, pass us by at least five times as if searching for someone who didn't exist. We watched a crowd of woman, one of which was wearing a floral-printed, tight-at-the-top, loose-at-the-bottom, short dress fluttering precariously high up her legs as if at any moment, it would flutter a bit too much exposing her ass for all to see, flit about from table to table. We listened to endlessly boring company descriptions given by people who've never realized how stupid they sound using descriptive business blather which, simply by changing out the name, could apply to any other company and sound just as stupid.
After an hour or so of this, we moved on to the seemingly unavoidable penultimate Chicago ad:tech party location, Rock Bottom, where well drinks, humidity and clumsy wine drinkers prevailed. Nothing but well drinks you've never heard of where available. Oh sure, there was plenty of free beer and wine but when you want Maker's Mark, you want Maker's Mark. So it was down to the "real" bar on the first floor to get one. After all, I never did get my Dewars on the rock. OK, so I'm a snob. Whatever.
So it was back to the roof for mystery dip (which was actually quite good after Angela told me I should try some), chips and mingling. We ran into Premium Network's Ken Margolis, Syntryx VP of Sales Christopher Graham, Datran Director of Sales Josh Kelison, MrSkin.com's Derek Meklir, a former Monster.com client from eons ago and party host, Silver Carrot President Dorothy Young, who was kind enough to pose for a picture with UnSubCentral's John Engler.
After talking with Angela for a while near the edge of the roof, I looked over to see if my jacket, which I had taken off because of the heat, was still on the table where I left it. Nope. But there was a giant red stain on the white table cloth which didn't give me a very good feeling. Luckily Premium Networks' Ken Margolis rescued it as the wine spilled leaving only a bit of it on my jacket. Many thanks, Ken. Oh well. It's not like an ad:tech party is like having dinner at the Ritz...or whatever it's called now. After that, it was time for a cab ride home. See you in New York.