We couldn't persuade Orkut Büyükkökten to invite us to his opulent birthday-and-housewarmingparty Saturday, but we won't hold it against him. After all, Google's ambassador to the gay party scene had to fit several billionaires between his new dance poles.
Orkut, in case you've forgotten, is by far the most interesting person to work for the Mountain View, California internet company, where technical skills are valued over all else, resulting in a (mostly) boring army of engineer droids. Orkut's the fun exception.
Sure, the Turkish programmer built Google's also-ran social network, Orkut, a.k.a. "The Facebook of Brazil." But more importantly, the San Francisco partyboy also hired strippers for his previous too-hot-for-the-Web birthday party; been gay-married by his Vogue-errific best friend Marissa Mayer; attended the opening of the local Prada; wore a fabulous sheening suit to the ballet; and is good at making everyone get dressed up and disco.
The Silicon Valley tech scene needs more of this sort of acting out, and the Valley scenesters would seem to agree: We hear Orkut's Saturday party was packed with what techies (inaccurately) call "A Listers," including billionaire Google founder Sergey Brin and very very rich person Mayer (who threw a party of her own the following day, of the Superbowl sort). Here's how one attendee put it:
According to public records of Orkut's holdings, that ten-story-high apartment building would be a posh renovated warehouse at 410 Jessie Street, on San Francisco's newly-remade Mint Plaza. That's directly across the street from the San Francisco Chronicle, the newspaper whose misfortunes some have blamed on none other than... Google.
But Orkut's guests didn't come to dance on graves. The disco-lover installed a raised dance floor, complete with poles and special lights, in his two-level penthouse, according to a source with knowledge of the place. There's also some sort of indoor waterfall, we hear. (Orkut declined to discuss his apartment or party on the phone and never sent a promised email reply.)
Pictures from the latest shindig are, alas, few and far between. Despite his direct financial interest in social networking and the free flow of information online, Orkut banned any network distribution of images from his party. we're told. Irony, that. Anyway, in the photo gallery we've mixed in pictures from an apparent pre-party in January as well as of a similar party at a different location last year. Do send us more pics if you have them. We're happy to disseminate the information Googlers refuse to spread themselves.
Apparently from Saturday's event, via friend Jen Liu's Facebook album "house warming & birthday party," uploaded 16 hours ago.
One of the dance poles going up, from a January picture of "orkut's party," again via Liu.
The dance floor again? Again from Liu's "orkut's party" album, January.
Liu and Orkut, ibid.
Orkut at a party in Jan. 2009. Via Facebook.
Orkut, center, with boyfriend Derek Holbrook, right, at a Jan. 2009 party.
Orkut at a Jan. 2009 party.
Quick trip to Brazil via private jet, anyone?