Rehashing the Blur: ad:tech's Monday Party Scene
ad:tech NY is packed. Is every New Yorker in advertising?
I'm not going into huge detail about last night's shenanigans since Steve already bared our souls (curse you, AIM!). This is more like a moody play-by-play of stuff worth noting.
For reasons not worth discussing, listening to Like a Prayer always puts me in a state of religious ecstasy and self-loathing. These aren't feelings you want to have over breakfast while hung over. Which leads to the question: who buys the Muzak for hotel dining halls?
Flash back to Monday evening, the reason for said hangover. As Audrey said in Breakfast at Tiffany's, "Quelle night!"
Last night I checked in at the Paramount. My room is matchstick-size and features a gigantic tapestry of a man sitting over my bed. I'm scared of it. Paramount is otherwise cool if you don't mind the Eastern European Alice in Wonderland aesthetic which, when you're slightly tipsy, is kind of nice.
First stop of the night: Soho House for the Old Timer's party, where I found a couple of members of our OG ad:tech party crew: Adrants co-editor Steve Hall, and John Engler.
I felt disoriented by the musical selection (The Train by Quad City DJs?) and decor -- wallpaper with bookshelves printed on it. (Titles included Stupid White Men, a Roget's Thesaurus, and a book about orchids.)
While snapping shots of the wallpaper I met Peter Shankman of Geek Factory. We shared complementary views about vice, ad people that double as porn stars, and pogs (the best marketing platform that never happened), then debated what books were worthy of converting into wallpaper. He chose The Art of War. I picked the complete Oxford English Dictionary.
Perceiving the growing sense of lameness in our midst, Steve and John whisked us to the Datran party, where Brian Ambrose and I did a pseudo-twist to Dancing Queen.
Then the crew hit Pascha, where we all lost each other. In my blind quest for the loo, a security guard asked if I was Asian and said we should get married.
Affirmative action in action.
Later another security guard took my arm and asked if I wanted to party with some dudes in a VIP lounge. I said okay and he introduced me to the CEO of a start-up I've never heard of but that is apparently "very forward-thinking," someone said. The CEO had a big bouffant and kept throwing cigarettes and drinks and glasses over his shoulder. I guess that's how you roll in the VIP.
He kissed the back of my hand and said if I wanted to hang out there I should be "very sweet to everyone," then he kissed the serveuse's face. (The VIP lounge had its own bartender.) I said, "Awesome." Later he and I put our arms around each other and sang "We will, we will ROCK YOU" into one another's faces.
A Senior VP of Microsoft was there too, apparently because the up-and-coming startup wanted to recruit him. He was kind of like Patrick Bateman except maybe not as tall, and he appeared to be in the world's worst mood. I avoided him after he failed to laugh at any of my Super Awesome Jokes.
I half-heartedly danced with the serveuse and got to talking with a few media guys who told me the internet is where it's at and mobile is the future: out-of-the-box thinking. I suggested we look further out of the box and try bringing digital video technology to gravestones, which was dismissed as "possible, but not in the next five years."
They did, however, like my idea that people should make nostalgia montages of old ads at clubs and raves, which was validating.
The intellectual parrying lasted until 2 AM, then inhibitions dissolved and we brought back dances from the '80s until 2:30 in the morning.
Nothing fills you with both religious ecstasy and self-loathing like a string of ad parties will. With the exception of Like a Prayer.