On the Town

On the Town

Chilled-Out Mayor Bloomberg Throws a Party for the Tech Crowd That’s Really More of a Send Off

All the gang's here!

Last night at Gracie Mansion (or out in the yard, to be more specific), Mayor Bloomberg looked about as relaxed as this reporter has ever seen him. The occasion was We are Made in NY, billed as “a celebration of New York City’s tech community.” He laughed, he cracked wise, at one point he propped an elbow on the stage’s railing and leaned like a Guys and Dolls extra.

Guess a mere 92 days left on the clock will chill a guy out–not to mention this audience of techies was about as friendly a crowd as he’ll find these days. Read More

On the Town

Campers Geek Out with Google at a Science-and-Tech-Themed Chelsea Street Fair


“Have you ever watched Star Wars?” A volunteer in a Maker Camp t-shirt asked a kid walking through this afternoon’s Geek Street Fair at 14th Street Park. When she paused, he whipped out a slinky, connected it to some sort of noise distortion machine, and suddenly there were the familiar laser sounds. For his efforts, he got a shy brace-faced smile.

Google hosted several geeky groups for the event this afternoon, including Maker Camp, the New York Hall of Science and the American Museum of Natural History. (The latter brought skulls!) For good measure the company invited various summer programs from around the city, so the small public space was packed with kids milling around in identifying t-shirts–the Jamaica YMCA, Medgar Evers College, ASPIRA. Read More

On the Town

Mayor Bloomberg Stops By Yext, Picks Up a Hoodie

That's a lot of lanyards.

“Mr. Mayor, I know you’re wearing a suit on the outside. But this industry is all about hoodies, and I know based on who you are you’re a hoodie on the inside,” CEO Howard Lerman told Mike Bloomberg, presenting the mayor with his very own honorary pullover–Yext branded, of course.

As he took it, Mayor Bloomberg informed the shaggy entrepreneur that, “My mother would have said you needed a haircut.” A room full of techies held up their smartphones for a digital souvenir of the moment. Read More

On the Town

Microsoft Badly Wants to Rock Your Face off With Its New Times Square Store

The store in all her glory. (Photo: Joe Zaga on Instagram)

Does employee training at Microsoft now just consist of watching CEO Steve Ballmer flipping his shit on loop? After attending the opening of the company’s new store in Times Square, we can’t help but wonder.

Microsoft is opening 34 temporary stores in preparation for the holidays, and this was the first. The popup was well-executed, but it seemed a little small for Times Square’s massive foot traffic. Inside we found a crowd heavy on photographers, store staffers and dudes in sharp suits–as well as lots of very excited people buying Surface tablets. (Not that they could walk out with them. Nothing could leave the premises until midnight, so early buyers had to come back.) Read More

On the Town

An Evening of Diversions at the Launch Party for Experiences by GroupMe

There's a skeleton just outside the frame, btw.

When Betabeat arrived downtown at a hulking brownstone bathed in red light with a double-digit Fifth Avenue address, there was already a line out the door. We were promptly assigned a pink wristband and told to head downstairs, where we discovered we’d be attending three classes over the course of the evening: Poker, music, and arts and crafts. So educational!

We’d arrived for the launch party of Experiences by GroupMe.* The company got its start with a group messaging service (which it parlayed into an $80 million acquisition by Skype) but recently expanded into the new group purchasing service, which allows numerous people to sign up for suggested events simultaneously and still split the bill.

The venue: the Salmagundi, an arts club founded in the mid-nineteenth century. GroupMe had conspired with event designer Adam Aleksander to send the service into the world in grand style. The suggested dress code was “elegant cocktail attire,” but budget Kardashian would have to do for this reporter. Read More

On the Town

In Which We Went Golfing with Silicon Alley’s Ad-Tech Elite

Carboloading before the sports. (Photo: Darren Herman)

Bright and early yesterday morning, Betabeat boarded a bus outside of the Buzzfeed offices and headed north to Rockland County for a day at the Silicon Alley Golf Invitational. The guest list included the city’s ad-tech elite. In other words, the CEOs of unsexy business-to-business platforms laughing all the way to the bank. It was a disgustingly perfect day for such an event, with the sun shining and even the heat easing off a bit.

We arrived at the Manhattan Woods Golf Club to find our host, Media Kitchen chief digital media officer Darren Herman, greeting guests in an eye-singeing neon yellow shirt. Cheery assistants in SAGI polos checked in players and handed out extra balls. Read More