And here's the full-court-press Good experience at last. The philanthropically minded mag venture celebrated its birth last night at Chelsea's Emergency Arts, and Gawker was there, and there. But wherever there is an open bar and tragically vulnerable boldface names, you can surely find Intern in Perpetuity Neel Shah. After the jump, enjoy one of Neel's trademark productions of fearless investigatory reportage, coupled with the cheerfully impolitic photography of Jennifer Snow. You got more Al Gore, more Matthew Modine, and even a few cupsful of Amanda Congdon, plus a gaggle of other well-meaning New York media mandarins.
Ian Wilhelm of The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Later he got in a drunken shoving match with some loser from The Annals of Generosity.
[Warning: The following write-up, often devoid of the s-word — hint: it ends in "k" — and, towards the end, rather kind-hearted and non-judgmental, in no way, shape, or form reflects the views and opinions of the rest of the Gawker editorial staff, nor is it indicative of any change in said staff's sensibility. Send all complaints to Jessica Coen. Thank you.]
So, Good: Gawker's callous dismissal of one young man's quest to pull an anti-Hilton and do his family legacy proud. Putting aside snips about the magazine's content (which content we actually enjoyed) and concerns about the seeming absence of a viable business plan (more on that later), the staff of Good took some time away from saving the world on recycled stock paper to throw an official launch party in Chelsea. And you know what? It was Good! (That's the first and only time we'll use that joke. Promise.)
Gary Shteyngart, shocked and pleased that he actually got into print.
Why, who's this attractive couple? Don't you know this is a media party? It's designer spawn David Lauren and model Lauren Bush. Yes, his name is her name, too.
Despite the unintended irony of bartenders dolling out drinks in little plastic cups, thereby creating Lord knows how many pounds of trash (c'mon guys! Practice what you preach!)*, the party was exactly what it claimed it would be: an open bar till 2 a.m., with DJ sets that people actually danced to. Not well, mind you — the types of people who subscribe to Good are not the types of people you'd expect to move with any semblance of grace and fluidity—but they danced nonetheless.
A certain individual reacts ambivalently to a bicep squeeze from HuffPo's Rachel Sklar.
Matthew Modine needs a shave. Al Gore needs a pulse.
Except Al Gore. We'd always thought that the guy was just sort of misunderstood — someone who is probably engaging and charismatic in person, but who happens to get unfortunately tense on camera, and thus comes off as wooden. Nope! He's just as droll in the flesh. We badgered him for a solid two minutes in a fruitless attempt to get him to say something entertaining, to no avail. To our standard, open-ended question of the evening, "What do you think is Good?," the best we got was, "Sustainability." Trade in the glass of icewater for a vodka tonic, Al. No one will know the difference.
Albert Gore, son of Al, hangs with his junior Secret Service detail.
Michael Calderone (New York Observer) and David Hirschman (Editor & Publisher), strapped in with messenger bags and ready to dominate.
You want to front with the manpurse, yo? Radar's Jeff Bercovici is strapped.
David Greenbaum (Miramax) and Demetri Martin. Apparently Greenbaum is the youngest executive at Miramax. He just turned 30. One of these boys is hot. The other's shirt is open far too much.
Comedian and The Daily Show correspondent Demetri Martin was, not surprisingly, funnier: "It's God with an extra 'o.'" Vice contributor Terry Richardson, less so: "Not bad." We didn't get around to Google boys Larry Page and Sergi Brin, Matthew Modine, or Elizabeth Berkeley, though we're really only disappointed by Berkeley. Our quest to figure out what exactly she was thinking during the epic waterfall sex scene d nouement in Showgirls will have to wait.
Dodgeball mogul Dennis Crowley. And Friend.
Amanda Congdon with FishBowlNY's Dylan Stableford, explaining her appeal.
To Amanda Congdon! Oh hello, how's the cross-country road trip going, cool, excellent, TV gigs lined up, swell, nice to hear you're moving beyond your feud with Rocketboom dude, so what do you think is good, oh, "living your life responsibly, spontaneously responsibly," great, yada yada yada, let's get to the good stuff: your tits: "I'm comfortable with my own sexuality but that's not what I'm all about," Congdon says. "I'm not going to deny that my looks have helped me, but it's not what I'm all about."
"Oh, wait, you know, I just realized that, uh, I have to go put my ferret to bed, so I gotta go, nice talking with you, buh-bye."
But Amanda, what about all the critics who dismiss you as nothing more than a set of mammaries? "I would say that you need two things to be successful — looks and talent. There are a lot of pretty girls who are unsuccessful." Yes, Amanda. We certainly agree you have two things going for you.
Good managing editor Zach Frechette, who wears this color quite well, so you don't have to. As if you could.
On to the men of the hour, Ben Goldhirsh and the rest of Good staff, all enthusiastic and funny and charming and, yes, earnest, but in a way that actually makes you want to see them succeed if for no reason other than that they're putting a lot of hard work and effort and soul into something they're passionate about, which admittedly sounds cheesy and trite but which is nonetheless true (exhale). "When it comes down to it, this isn't some philanthropic endeavor — we're doing this as a business, to make money, and we're serious about it," says managing editor Zach Frechette, adding that they've already doubled ad pages in their second issue (granted, there weren't many in the first, but baby steps). "We just really want to do something that speaks to the sensibilities of our generation, which we don't really see elsewhere." Amen, brotha, can't hate on that.
Neel yuks it up with Zach Frechette and Good associate editor Morgan Clendaniel. So jovial!
So, what's good to you, men of Good? "It's like the Earth swallowed Radar and heaven shat out Good," says Associate Editor Morgan Clendaniel. Huh? Does that even make sense? Who knows. Everyone was drunk. Wish 'em well. As for us, a couple final bonus shots, and we're out. Good night!
Neel and Rachel Sklar suddenly realize they can actually feel DJ Grandmaster Flash inside their brains. And he feels very, very good.
Amanda Congdon not apparently fooled by Neel's ruse of always glancing down at his notepad while speaking with her.
* Re: the cups, Associate Editor Morgan Clendaniel, the next morning: "I am going to go out on a limb and say that right now, people from that building are carefully washing each little plastic cup, to be used again at their next event. Or maybe they're going to make another installation with them." Phew!