Surrounded by babes!

I am extraordinarily lucky to be almost permanently surrounded by babes here in New York.

Is that because this is the most exciting city in the world and I’m totally irresistible? Is it my playboy lifestyle that attracts gorgeous women like moths to a flame?

Or is it that, my best pals Matt McGowan and Kevin Ryan both have totally gorgeous women in their lives and I get to hang with them all the time?

Yes, scratching your head over that one, weren’t you? Let me help out a little. I think you’ll find it’s most definitely the latter. But hey, it’s good for me. I get to squeeze in the back of a limo with them which is enormously good for my image (and ego) being the shy, retiring type that I am.

I get to walk them into a fancy French restaurant, where I immediately deposit them with their respective partners. Who, in turn, pay for their dinner.

Mission accomplished! I look like international playboy to all in view… Wallet stays intact 🙂

Ahhhh… The little perks in my life!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bianca and Rhian for doing wonders for my image (and never letting on to anyone that I’m actually older than a Dodo and probably just about as interesting!)

She made me cry!

On Sunday night, I escorted the deliciously…er…delicious Kendall Allen, to Madison Square Garden to see the diva herself, Sarah Brightman.

I have been passionately in love with Sarah Brightman since she “Lost her heart to a starship trooper.” But this was the first time I’d ever seen her live.

And this was the first time I remember crying in public. She was so wonderful. That most beautiful voice moved me so much, a couple of times I just lost it and a little tear rolled down my cheek.

Of course, it is totally against the house rules at Madison Square Garden to use a camera… So here are some wonderful shots that “Kendal” sneakily took without a flash 🙂

And this is my absolute favourite.

Sarah Brightman… I love you!

Mikey does New York City – big style – this time…

So, I’m very happy and settled in New York. I love the west village with a consummate passion. I simply adore the people I work with at Acronym Media (every single one of them) it’s such a great place. My new office on the 55th floor of the Empire State Building is my cosy little haven where I can work and write to my heart’s content. And for this, I thank the extraordinarily kind and considerate (and smart) CEO I work with – the one and only Anton Konikoff.

Life is good right now. Very good! (Could only be bettered if Tatiana was with me).

So being here, and being the adventurous little tinker I am, there’s always something different happening in my social life. I have made so many new friends and acquaintances, on top of those I already had in NYC, there’s never a dull moment.

In fact my social life is so good… It’s rapidly becoming a health hazard!

So what else could I get up to in the big city that I hadn’t already done before?

Cue the always sophisticated, debonair, totally connected man-about-town… Mr Matt McGowan!

I write this blog for my family and friends. And so many of them commented on how kind it was of Matt to invite me to his parents’ beach house for the 4 July weekend.

It was that weekend I met one of the most interesting people you’d ever wish to meet – Mr McGowan senior! (And his gorgeous wife, Brenda).

So where on earth is this blog post going, Grehan? Other than the fact that you seem to have great affection for every living person and creature on the planet and would like to have them all round your place for cocktails…

Well, last weekend, Matt and I were hanging out drinking whisky, smoking cigars and sharing the beautiful Bianca between us like a doobie at a party. Steady on… Read – Bianca never makes me feel like a gooseberry when the three of us are out together, so I get my own fair share of hugs 🙂

It was then, that Matt suggested to Bianca… We should have Grehan join us for breakfast with the Mayor of New York on Tuesday.

Well, I ask you…

How the fuck could I refuse?

So, last Tuesday morning, along with Matt and Bianca and Mr and Mrs McGowan Snr., I casually dropped into the Mayor of New York’s official residence, Gracie Mansion, for breakfast.

Yup, that’s Matt and Bianca looking as though they have breakfast with the Mayor every day. Y’see, Vince McGowan, Matt’s pop, happens to be President of the United War Veterans Council of New York and last Tuesday was… Veterans Day 2008.

So there I am with Matt, hanging out on the Mayor’s porch at Gracie Mansion, thinking… Fuck, this is unreal (not the first time these words will cross my mind on this day 🙂

No more unreal than the moment I found myself standing next to Michael Bloomberg (Mayor of New York City) having my picture taken by the official photographer (that one comes in the post, so you’ll have to wait).

Okay – time to crank it up…

Next thing I know, I’m on a bus heading to the newly opened Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum where the, ever stylish and sophisticated Brenda (Matt’s mom) manages to find all of us seats in the VIP area for President Bush’s speech.

But really…

Did you know that the Concorde is now resident at Intrepid?

As we were waiting for dubyah to arrive, we were entertained by a bizarre bunch of misfits. The theme was Texan (of course) and some big country singer and TV host by the name of John Rich, was doing a reality type country thing live on stage. How bizarre?

Anyone remember the Godfather of Funk, George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic fame? Can you belive he came out to give us a rendition of The Gambler????

He was then followed by…. Wait for this… Micky Dolenz, former drummer with 60s band The Monkees???

And then, former Miss… Er… Something or other murdering and burying another country classic.

After this totally unnecessary assault on our ears, the real show began… Cue Hilary Rodham Clinton.

Then the president arrives…

He gives his speech.

Now… Get prepared to get totally unreal… Next thing I know… Matt’s pop (Vince) is up there giving a speech with Mr President standing to attention!

And then, even more unreal… Vince and Bush sharing a little joke together!!!

By now, I’m looking at Bianca, both of us saying over and over… Is this fucking unreal, or what?

It couldn’t get any more unreal – right?


Next, I’m walking up 42nd Street to Fifth Avenue next to Vince, who’s casually talking to a four star general. There are 2,500 people marching behind us. I look at Bianca. She looks at me. Is this fucking unreal or what?

Meanwhile, Matt and Brenda stroll alongside each other as if they were going shopping. Just another day for them… I guess 🙂

It can’t get anymore unreal… Yes it can.

Next thing I know, I’m at the head of this parade, Fifth Avenue is closed. Look.

And now, the incomparable Vince McGowan is directing the traffic and the parade as if he owned 5th Ave!

Meanwhile… Bianca and I look at each other and say… Yeah, you guessed…

I have to tell you. I love Matt McGowan (and Bianca). But I am completely awestruck with Vince McGowan. I’ve met some people in my life. And I can tell you honestly… This guy is one of a kind!

I think, in my new office, instead of a picture of Obama, I’m going to hang a picture of Vince!

Wait a minute… Are you nuts, Grehan?

Make that a picture of Brenda 🙂

Go Matt McGowan!!!

Last Sunday, my great friend Matt McGowan, beautiful Bianca and you-know-who, had brunch together. We were secretly celebrating Matt’s promotion to Vice President/Publisher of ClickZ network/Search Engine Watch/Search Engine Strategies Conference series (Yikes! I think that makes him my boss, kind of… 🙂

Because we knew the announcement wouldn’t be made until Tuesday, we had a celebration brunch at my local bar in the west village, where we secretly told Matt the barman, about Matt’s promotion. He in turn told everyone in the pub! Later, we moved on to my favourite Thai restaurant on Christopher Street, where we drank gallons of Strawberry Mojitos… And secretly told the barman we were celebrating Matt’s promotion. He in turn told everyone in the restaurant.

And as if that wasn’t enough celebrating, we then went on to Hudson Bar and Books. A quaint little smokers bar hidden away on a corner of Hudson Street. Here, we drank gallons of very old and very expensive whisky, smoked big cigars… And secretly told the barmaid we were celebrating Matt’s promotion. She in turn told everyone else in the bar.

After that, we went back to my apartment, where I think I drunkenly called everyone we know and secretly told them about Matt’s promotion.

When I came downstairs the following morning, the doorman at my apartment mentioned Matt’s promotion. The girl in the laundry mentioned it. In fact… I think the driver on the subway train made a special fucking announcement about it when he saw me getting on!

Moral of the story? Get out of your head on Guinness, wine, Mojitos and rare whisky… after the press release goes out 🙂

Up (and down) my street…

As the weather was so nice at the weekend, I took a walk to the river to sit on the pier and watch the sun go down. It seemed like a good time to take some pictures (I always have family asking about where I live in the city).

It really was so pleasant. And I’ve really come to love this part of the city. I mean the upper west side was great. But the village has… er… character! Actually, let’s call that characters 🙂

I live very close to the river, so if you look to the bottom of the street you can just see it in this pic.

And this is a shot with my back to the river looking up my street.

I like to walk along the pier. I’m so lucky (there are two piers, actually) as it’s only a few hundred yards away. On Sunday afternoon, the place is very busy with people just sitting around talking and, snacking and drinking (don’t let the police see you!!!). Oh, and some people are running around in shorts trying to lose weight, or something 🙂

At the end of the pier I have these great views of New Jersey. I don’t know New Jersey at all. Not a bit. But it sure looks nice in the sunset in this shot.

And looking back in the opposite direction, my street sure looks nice from here too!

At the weekend, I love to walk along Bleecker Street into the village. When I was a kid I remember a song that Simon and Garfunkel used to sing called Bleecker Street (I think they used to live there). I never imagined then I’d ever live so close to it! I love this kind of Doo-Wop/Soul band who sing lots of classics right there on the street at weekends.

God bless my dear friend and colleague (the very talented New York artist) Julian Lesser for suggesting I should live here!

Rand Fishkin: Industry mastermind!

There was a lot of excitement around our office last Thursday. I happened to mention that industry superstar Rand Fishkin was popping in for lunch with his scrumptious wife, Geraldine.

Were it not that I’m a totally fair gentleman, I may have considered selling tickets for a seat in the board room 😉

Rand unveiled his newest tool, Linkscape, at SMX, East and what a seriously fun tool this is! Now Google won’t let me drop in and mess around with their connectivity server… But Rand will! So, I’m really excited about the opportunities to do some serious link analysis and research for the upcoming tome.

So, Rand is a serious technology guy… But he can’t help himself when he sees a whiteboard. I think maybe crayons played a big part in his life. Because you have no idea how quickly he picked up the marker pens in the boardroom and started to explain Andre Broder’s bow tie theory to the assembled group.

What I thought was a bit of a mystery, was the, hangman from the scrotum, little graphic, he doodled for us 🙂

Anyway, after a swift visit, half a sandwich for Rand and half a lettuce leaf for Geraldine, they swooped up to the top of the building. And no doubt, after their Sleepless in Seattle moment at the top of the Empire State Building… they swooped into the nearest bar a for much needed hair of the dog.

Rand, thanks so much for dropping by. Great to see you. And Geraldine, you simply light up any room. I hope you and Rand are very happy together, forever.

SMX East, New York City!

October 6 – 8 Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman roll into town with the all star SMX conference and expo. Woohoo!

And for this show, instead of having to travel three thousand miles, I have to travel… three!

This is the inaugural show, so be there… or… suck!

Seriously it looks like a fab line up And I’ll be teaming up with my pals Todd Friesen, Bruce Clay, Jill Whalen and for the first time, also with Rae ‘Sugerrae’ Hoffman. And I’m taking bets she’ll have used the eff word at least three times in the first five minutes of the session 🙂

So what you waiting for? Register now!

And I’ll see you there.

Back from the dead brunch…

To quote Mark Twain, rumours of my death are greatly exaggerated 🙂

Yes, it’s true. Due to the fact I’ve had a few problems with the old ticker lately. And the episode in Spain (which was not a heart related thing, although nobody knew in the early stages) some folk started to assume that I had popped my clogs!

Sooooo, upon my return to New York last weekend I was joined ny my dear friends for a back from the dead brunch. We met at the Tribeca Grand Hotel which does a splendid brunch buffet.

In the pic, (from the left): Larry Chase, Rebecca Lieb, Kevin Ryan, Rhian Aidala, Kat Bernstam and you-know-who!

And now? It’s time for brunch again!

The Algarve, Spain, hospital…

So, having not seen my wife for months, we thought it may be a good idea to get together somewhere and see if we recognize each other. Long story short, with her schedule and mine – New York/Geneva – it was easiest for us to take a break same place as last year, in the Algarve.

So everything was booked very much at the last minute a few weeks back. We found some really nice apartments to stay in as we’re both fed up with living in hotels. The apartment had a really nice sea view and was just 200 yards from the beach.

The Algarve has so many nice beaches to choose from.

And just a little further up the coast from where we were staying is a little fishing village called Alvor.

At night it’s very pretty around the harbour.

There are lots of great little restaurants serving the freshest catch of the day. Straight from the sea, to the grill, to the plate.

Tatiana loves the traditional blue ceramic tiles you see everywhere in Portugal. So I had to take this shot.

It’s not often I take a picture of my dinner. But I had to take a pic of this one. I couldn’t resist ordering it. It’s a filet mignon, with a…what sort of crust? Believe it or not… Corn Flakes!

It was a wonderful time. But on the way back, I became ill on the plane. So ill, the plane had to make an emergency landing in Spain. So there I was in the back of an ambulance being rushed to the local hospital. Not quite the way I would have wanted to end the holiday. But without going into gory details… I’m here to tell the tale.

Algarve, what a wonderful place!

And now… It’s back to New York for me.