Friday, April 27, 2007

Ad:Tech San Francisco

My trip to San Francisco was an interesting one made memorable by late nights out followed by early mornings, the Seattle Mariners with their love of Cristal and Booth babes giving away lots and lots of SchWAG! Which as Michael Scott so eloquently put it, stands for "Stuff We All Get."

When my colleagues and I stepped off the Bart we arrived in the middle of downtown San Fran bustling with business men and cable cars.

Our hotel the Palace is located just around the corner from the Moscone Center where Ad:tech was being held which made it very convienant to travel to and from in between sessions.

After drinks and dinner and drinks with the iMedia team at Two --whose only redeeming feature was the nice gay bartender (the food was tiny and unoriginal)--we went back to the hotel for an early night before a crazy Ad:tech filled morning.

We arrived at the Moscone center at 8am which gave me an entire 8 hours until the first session I had to cover, so I decided to have lunch off site on Maiden Lane near Union Square. I had to meet with some gentlemen from Kiptronics at 2pm, so I had to eat somewhat locally. I called my friend Nikki who recommended a place called "Mocca."

It was a quiet little street, blocked off from traffic. The weather was ideal and I was surrounded by couture shops filled with beautiful things.

A juicy tri-tip sandwich, bean salad and big latte served well for my lunch and spent the rest of my time moseying around union square back towards Moscone.

After the last session, the iMedia team met up for drinks at the Big SF party which was overcrowded, stuffy and felt like a frat mixer gone terribly wrong.

We managed to escape and had dinner at the Tadich Grill--which happens to be the oldest business in California. I had a 14oz steak just to get some more cow into my system then met up with my friends Nikki and Ausra, and Aus's friend Jimena.

We spent some time there until four guys decided they wanted to buy us drinks--which turned out to be Cristal. Imagine my surprise later when I found out they were members of the Seattle Mariners...I probably shouldn't have said I had no respect for Baseball because it wasn't an Olympic sport. Let's continue.

They invited Jimena and Ausra to the game which they attended and I went back to my room to prepare for the next day of Ad:tech.

Ad:tech on wednesday was filled with excitement with the opening of the exhibition hall. Glories of bags and balls and water bottles abound as I cautiously approached booths to steal pieces of schwag, narrowly escaping and feeling guilty after taking what was obviously up for grabs.

That night was the Ad:Tech awards. A total mess of people congregating around the open bar waiting for food to come out and Cirque du Soleil performers to take the stage. It was there I bumped into my friend Stephanie completely by coincidence and we made plans to go out later.

Friends Nikki and Natalie met me at the Palace hotel and we headed up to Union Square to have some drinks at a bar called Sugar. It had a very fun ambience, complete with fireplace and blue tinted bar. Above the window you see behind Nikki, they projected the movie Legend with Tom Cruise--which of course scores bonus points with me. They also projected it outside on the facade of the building facing the street. We probably should have stayed here and enjoyed ourselves, instead we got into Milo's cab and headed over to the Marina to meet up with Ausra and some of her friends at a bar named Matrix. Milo was quite interesting. He was from Slovakia, and his wife was half korean half white. He said she looked like a chinese refugee.

After that we went to yet another club near Union Square. It was as if a Discotheque circa 1990 had gotten lost in the space time continuum and was transported into the future 17 years. The music was so loud I thought I was going to get radiation poisoning.

We left there as soon as we could and I went to go get some chinese food in Chinatown before making it back to my hotel at 3am. It's a good thing I didn't have to get up until 8:30 the next day for more sessions and to check out of my hotel. I headed back to Moscone for the last time and after lunch with Nikki and Michael at Chipotle we headed to the airport and came back to Los Angeles.

As I got into my car to head home I thought about my exhausting trip, all the people I met. It was a time filled with lots of excitement, chance meetings and lots and lots of alcohol. So thank you Palace Hotel, Moscone Center, Ad:tech, iMedia team, Nikki, Ausra, Jimena, Dave, Seattle Mariners, Milo the Taxi Driver, Stephanie and Mocca Cafe for a great trip. Thank you Boyan for bringing me flowers at the airport and thank you Jurgen for picking me up. I had a great time in SF, but gosh it's good to be home.