Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Facebook Etiquette. Such a thing?

Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with owning a venue, so it really has no place here. But, seeing how Facebook is a large part of our branding & promotion at Saint Rocke, and seeing how I actually "facebook" a lot more than (100%) than I used to, this blog shall be the home of this story. If you're not alright with that, stop reading.

Im 33. I had no cellphone until 26, and I had no email account until 20. I was raised with two brothers, and we were basically outside all the time. I played the occasional Super Mario or River Raid, but computers and TVscreens were not a big part of my adolescence. These days, my group of friends do very little social networking, so most of my time logged on Stalkerbook is business, and building the Rocke brand. Okay, enough background. Lets get to my little story...

Was on the other night, and on my wall read "Keep your soul, I don't want a soulmate", written by a girl that is my 'friend'. Now, of course we don't actually know eachother; she is building her brand as a TV personality, and I mine with the restaurants. But, I happened to be intrigued by that comment --which I won't digress on, but which actually doesn't make logical sense to me -- and so I wrote a quick note : "a second level comment, interesting." The point was, I like it. Right on. Somebody said something that had just a tad bit of thought behind it rather than quoting the Bible, their favorite Billboard hit song, or some over-quoted cliche writer. Right?

Wrong. Later that day, I log in, and I get this : "hey dude, scientology? it's a song. Chill Out." What? really? First of all, I was chilled out until you wrote a rude response. Secondly, what does scientology have to do with anything?  And thirdly, damn. I take back my comment above, where someone wrote something original & interesting. So of course, I wrote back, apologizing for butting in and basically saying sorry, to which I get another reply, this time pretty much scathing (without quoting, basically saying my comments were a cheap attempt at intelligence and I lost the game...game over). Whats the acronym Im looking for? WTF?

Is there no etiquette on this social behemoth? Can you not have some friendly lively debate on this? Did I miss something? Someone please clue me in. Or, is it: write comment = making a pass. The awesome part is that she expected an intelligent remark on Facebook which seems similar to telling someone you love them on facebook, or telling your wall to 'carpe diem'. Only in America do people eat cliches for breakfast.  The last part of the story is me getting riled up, and writing back, as I am an easy sucker to get pulled into matches of wit, or debate. It's like chess, the more the lose, the better you get. So I guess since I wrote last, I lost? That how it works? Or does anybody even care...

And then it happened. I was deleted. Just like that. Oh, the horror. No explanation, no letter, no phone call. Just a delete button, and poof, out in the cold. I wonder if kids have support networks for this these days.

Whats the moral of the story? Can't find one. I've failed the "cool" test on Facebook, and Im washed up.
Thank God.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NYC with a plan : Find a new Restaurant Name

Even the cab ride is exciting to me, my flip cam recording each swerve and swear word with high def accuracy. Walking the streets with thousands of people, seeing Al Pacino opening night on Broadway, walking through Soho and feeling the culture drip down off of the graffiti-laden buildings. I love this town. I love NYC. If I didn't surf, I'd be there...

No wonder the New Yorker is so adamant about the town. No wonder all the Yankees fans love their team even if the players are mercenaries. No wonder JayZ sings about the town (er, raps). I even caught myself blasting that tune as I rolled down 7th Ave & W 23rd. It's an energy, a brother and sisterhood of strangers. It's fuckin cool.

Don't get me wrong LA - you've got alot to offer. Beach, desert, mountains, city, entertainment...all a stones throw away. And the weather, always nice. But when you talk culture, art, food, spirit....NYC is so clearly above the grade that as I went to the 20 restaurants I went to in 4 days, and ate and drank like Bacchus (thats the Greek God of wine, no need for Wikipedia), I felt like a novice. Oxymoron? a 12-year experienced novice?

I went to NYC with a purpose: to find a new name for a restaurant I start building in January. I wanted to find some inspiration & creative outlet, or more precisely: see their food, see their plates, see their walls, how the light their room, how they layout their occupant loads, how they wire their speakers, and what they play. If you ever go to a restaurant with me, you'll notice that the first 10 minutes of our conversation, my head is swallowing as much information about the space as it can handle, down to doorknobs and floor tiles. But, above all, I wanted a name.

And when I got there, I got an idea. Why not let the people of NYC name it? After all, they are here all the time...so I got my video camera, told my friend (Im camera shy as you'll see), and we walked the city for four days asking people to name the restaurant. Im almost finished editing the video, and I'll post it for all to see, because it's actually pretty funny - security guards, landlords, actresses, bartenders - they all took a shot at the crown.

Did it work? Do I have a name? Lets just say that next week, my camera will be out in LA doing the same thing. But it was the creative process that was born out of that city - the ability to make someone creative in a non-creative endeavor. So thank you NYC. And by the way, if you've got a cool name for an American Gastropub serving breakfast lunch dinner, throw a comment here. Or better yet, throw a video here. You'll eat there for free if we pick your name....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Life. Try it Out. Stop being a $&*($#...

13 months, 6 days, 2nd hour.

That's how long I've been writing this blog. I was going to count the number of words I've written, but that might be overcooking the meat. I'm a personal guy by nature, and for those that know me, it's almost laughable that I've started this blog. As it was conceived, I thought it'd be a great business marketing machine - give the venue a face, personalize it, and provide a glimpse into the other side of Oz, behind the lights and curtains. But as I've continued to illustrate my experiences in this digital journal, I've begun to move towards personal issues rather than venue issues, unknowingly and without motivation. I guess I'm a reader of my own blog, as well as the author.

The single most memorable life moments I've had is connecting real life with the words - meeting people that read this, hearing their feedback, hearing their comments, and knowing that we are pretty much all in this together.  I'm humble enough to know that my path has been walked on, but idealistic enough to realize that my footprints are unique. And I've grown to enjoy sharing my thoughts - partly because there are no faces to disapprove of them, and partly because I find it rare that honesty without filter finds it's way into the world.

So this post, I'm turning it around. I'd love for anyone who wants to try it out - to write me a post, and I'll put it up. Think about it - you can be anonymous if you'd like - and throw out an idea you have of the world, of music, of love - and see if people feel you. Whether you're a dentist in San Fran, a lawyer in Newport, or a bartender in Vegas, you all have those secret ideas that you keep within the vault. Here's your chance to let them out...without any social consequence. Trust me, it's a social experiment, and it's fun.

I had dinner a few weeks ago with someone, and I told her that I go out to dinner pretty often by myself, to restaurants, and bring the newspaper, and I love it. I love it. And for the first five minutes, she made fun of the fact that I did that, and that she would feel like a loser. But by the end, she was determined to try it (did you?). I have a tattoo. Only reason I got one is that I always told myself I would never get one. Make sense?

I challenge you to act outside of your confines today. or tomorrow. or the next day. And here is an easy opportunity. You can either post below this, or if you want to post officially, send to my email at asanfy@aol.com.

And I promise, I don't judge.