This first blog entry was actually written a few days ago but I have had so much going on at work that this is the first moment I have had to actually clean it up and post. Forgive me if I missed any typos.
Fresh off the BazaarVoice Social Summit bus, I’m on the plane home to NY from Austin and dreading the change in weather back to the crisp chilly northeast air. Last night while listening to the Spazmatics at the Cedar Street bar on 4th street I was inspired to start writing. My stepmother has been urging me to take up the proverbial pen for a long time in an effort to bring back my former glory days as an academic. I am sure she will be bubbling over with enthusiasm though a blog is probably not quite what she had in mind.
My last night in Austin has proven to be the best so far in the short relationship I have had with the city (two business trips in a six month span). Our motley crue consisted of a database chick (me), a manager from a company that makes products that boast keeping your lips soft, a young sales guy I’ll call him Matthew as in McConaughey from an integration company and a recently promoted professional services guy now manager from same integration company. Our waiter approaches to explain the Uchiko experience and how it is more like a tapas eatery then a typical sushi adventure. We had three suggested options – ala carte ordering by person, the chef’s tasting menu, or he exclaimed we could go to Vegas. Eyes all around the table lit up like children on Easter morning feasting on all that wonderful candy goodness. What is going to Vegas you might be wondering. Exactly what you might surmise going on a completely unsettling, out of the comfort zone adventure. We dove in with only a few guidelines as to our group dislikes. It was course after course of unadulterated flavor. Starting slow with the training wheels freshly off with some sashimi in lemon and salt, moving to some heavier cooked dishes like the tiger cry roll with grilled Waygu beef and the Jar Jar duck consisting of duck prepared four ways and served in a mason jar infused with rosemary (be prepared the scent of this is quite aromatic), we ended the progression with beef tongue and pork belly both of which we jumped in feet first and were pleasantly surprised. The artisan who crafted these dishes the executive chef whom we caught brief glimpses of is Tyson Cole who has been on Food Network’s Iron chef. This was a fabulous experience and great choice from Matthew who knew I had experienced Iron Chef Morimoto’s creations when I was in Japan a few years back. We rounded out the dinner with three desserts a coffee chocolate concoction, a chocolate, whiskey and tobacco infused delight and fried milk. To our surprise our waiter Tim brought us a fourth dessert made of different corn preparations compliments of the house. We walked out full, ready to continue the night and completed astounded by the experience.
The whole reason for this little jaunt to Austin was a summit put together by BazaarVoice a fast growing Austin based company that provides companies like mine with the ability to engage our customers through Ratings & Reviews and other social media oriented products. Speakers like Clay Shirky, Dan Rose of Facebook, and top marketing execs from companies like Best Buy, LL Bean, and 3M. New products were announced by BazaarVoice and a Facebook partnership was announced by Dan Rose. To read the full twitter feed search #scs11 or watch the recorded event which was streamed live at: http://socialcommercesummit.com/watch Summit entertainment included bowling and karaoke at the Highball a 50’s style diner and an evening at Austin Music Hall with two time Grammy Latin Funk band Grupo Fantasma and a Digital Photo booth which displayed it’s images on the huge screen behind the performing band. The summit ended with my head swollen with ideas that I immediately typed up before my dinner at Uchiko and a case of laryngitis.
This is apparently a local take on other yummy things like fried cheese or jalapenos. At Roaring Fork it consists of a whole avocado sliced in four, coated with breading and fried then served with a spicy remoulade and topped with fresh crab salad. You can assure I will be turning over every stone so to speak to find a copy cat recipe. While at Roaring Fork which I went to for dinner and then lunch the next day I also enjoyed the 22 oz cowboy rib eye which defeated me, green chile macaroni and cheese and slow cooked pork stew.
Back to the last night, our motley cru now minus one promoted professional services guy now manager headed over to Cedar street for a few drinks and some music. Matthew thought being that I am almost 10 years older, into bands like the Cure and Depeche Mode and an all around Geek I might appreciate the unique styling of the Spazmatics an 80s new wave tribute band. I was not disappointed though I admit I did leave at intermission but only because the flight which I am currently on was leaving at first light. They played Rick Springfield, Gary Newman, Devo, Prince, Dead or Alive, the Cure and more. The crowd was diverse to say the least with a group of 60 some things hanging out on the balcony above (fresh from a conference complete with shiny name tag still donned on there suits), singles of all ages, an old guy with a broken arm who wouldn’t stay in one place bumping me like 15 times with his cast, a girl with a cowboy hat doing her own rendition of Eddie Murphy’s white person dance made famous in his stand up comedy, a man observing eerily in a room above from a window and a mother/daughter duo fresh off a plane. The venue was unique with the stage outdoors and visible from the street, shockingly clean bathrooms and an overall interesting atmosphere. I was quite sad to have to leave to pack my bags but I have started a campaign to get the Spazmatics at #scs12 next year.
I figure I would do this last because you might not really care who I am but still felt the need to include it. I am known in some circles as just Rhianna. I’m a geek, a mom, a wife, philosopher wanna-be and believer in free information. I have a BA in philosophy with a minor in mathematics and am working on an MBA in Computer Technology Management. My mentors include Peter Ludlow a former professor of mine and proponent of digital democracy, Edward Bleser a now departed physicist and dear family friend, and Todd and Rich from BNL you know who you are. I started out as a student writing code and putting up web pages at BNL when blink tags, Perl and Netscape were innovative. I have no idea what direction this blog will take and do not plan on putting constraints on it instead allowing it to evolve organically on its own or by your suggestions. See you round the net, twitter or the you tubes my fellow geeks!