Beth Mann's Blog

Beth's Urban Tales of Wonder and Decay

Beth Mann

Beth Mann
Long Beach Island, New Jersey, USA
November 11
Hot Buttered Media
I'm a writer and creative consultant. I have years of experimental comedy and strange theater under my belt. I surf. I cook. I love wine, men and song. And puppies. I effin' love puppies.

NOVEMBER 13, 2011 12:59PM

Open Salon Meet-up and Beth's Power Birthday - THE PHOTOS!

Rate: 37 Flag

 Ruby Lawrence, one of my closest friends and co-host to 11/11/11 party.


I met Open Salon's Cartouche last year. It was as natural as the breeze. We hugged and proceeded to spend a glorious weekend in Florida together, as if I'd known her my whole life.

So strange, isn't it? The bonds we've formed here on OS. I don't know about you, but I've never experienced anything like it. There are few online communities that could compare with us. We are strangely and deeply familiar with one another. Our work together has created this wonderous ripple effect. It's profound and touching. 

When Nikki Stern walked into the restaurant before Friday night's NYC's OS meet-up party, I hugged her and experienced that instant sense of intimacy and familiarity. She's beautiful and radiates as much as I imagined she would. 

The rest of the night was full of that same OS magic. I couldn't help but think that we need to come together like this, especially now. Maybe a new friendship connection or a great business opportunity or an idea moved closer to fruition - or whatever! - the sky is the limit, isn't it? This night will have long-term, positive implications, I hope. 

I'll let Les Stone's photos (please check out his website and see the serious work this guy does) do the rest of the talking, but it was a magical night, with energy streaking across the room, as you'll see in these photos.

Actors, writers, business owners, photographers, graphic designers, directors, reporters - super sharp, smart, creative people - together at an Australian Bar called Eight Mile Creek in Soho, exchanging ideas, connections, jokes, play, hugs, kisses (some really great kisses, beer, New Zealand wine...doing our thing.


We're creative and grew our powers together on a special day: 11/11/11



(Click on photos for the "big picture.")
Group shot - Open Salon friends and other dear friends.
Neil Paul, Cranky Cuss, Beth Mann, Nikki Stern, Frank Apisa and Designanator. Love this shot.
Nikki Stern and Joe Nation, looking like a superhero unveiled.
JohannaLG and Cranky Cuss. Cranky Cuss is the sweetest, warmest man who gave me a lovely mug (photo at end of post).
Neil Paul, Cranky Cuss, Beth Mann, Nikki Stern, Frank Apisa and Designanator, a kind, gentle man with a busy camera.
Frank, Beth Mann, Neil Paul. God, what's there to say about Neil Paul? He's a genius, I'm guessing. He's so smart, you have to be sharp to follow him. He thinks on 3 levels at once and you just need to keep up with him.
The strikingly beautiful Autumn Whitefield-Madrano and Frank Apisa. Frank is accessible and relaxed and a chill dude with substantial "cool" cache. He's good at living, I think.
The shining Nikki Stern, dear friend Ruby Lawrence, Beth Mann - rock trio in formation. Or maybe a pop trio...I'd prefer that, I think. It's sillier with better costumes.
JohannaLG and Frank Apisa. Johanna thinks I'm a little weird because I wanted to take photos of her and hugged her maybe a little too much. That's because she's beautiful and smart with these intense, laser-focused eyes and you just want to stand close to her.
See? Neil Paul, Beth Mann, JohannaLG.
Friend Peter Herbst - one of my wittiest friends - and Nikki. These two just naturally got along, I think.
Wall Street Journal writer Jon and Beth Mann. Total stranger at beginning of night, friends by end of it. Just a sweetie.
Long Beach Island friends who came to NYC for this event! This is my family at the Jersey shore. The uber-smart and sweet Peter and Danielle Morris.
Me and Jon, who gave me his coat when it got cold.
One of my dearest old friends, actor/director Kevin Augustine. One of the most deeply creative people I know whom I've known him a long, long time. I told him before he left, "I love you from the bottom of my heart." I don't know if I've ever uttered those exact words to anyone before.
It's a shame that cigarettes look so cool.
Frank and Kevin Augustine
Peter Herbst, Ruby Lawrence and myself. This is what fun looks like. 
Me with the inimitable actress Toni Silver. Toni Silver is a fiery, fiesty and fierce woman. She's a creative powerhouse and makes me proud to be a woman.
Dear friend actor/director Joseph Shahadi with the Autumn Whitefield-Madrano, whom I want to be my best friend. I will pay her, if necessary. (With a face like this, she should use a photo for her avatar, if I may be so bold.)
Joe Shahadi and I know each other very well and for years and years. We've done absurdist theater together - that bonds people like nothing else, trust me!  Also a ridiculously creative and smart man.

Good friends actor and comedian Anthony Devito and business owner/bon vivant of NYC Ruby Lawrence.
Anthony has that old school, shimmery movie star charm. And funny as HELL. Next to him Ruby Lawrence, as FUNNY AS HELL, and one of my closest friends. I've often dreamt that these two take over the world with their cleverness. 
Hugging my dear friend Peter Herbst. One of my fave photos of the night. Just makes me cry. I miss my friends. I live at the often-isolating Jersey shore and I miss being around sharp, witty people who love me.
When I came back home, I walked on the beach and looked at the ocean. I said, wagging my finger at it, "It's for you, I come back. It's for you!" So the "after party" was had with a large body of water that often shapes my decisions. I sighed a lot, wondering about the bigger trade-offs we make in life.
Cranky Cuss's gift filled with chai, while I write this.
Filled with hot chai as I write this.

To keep the ball rolling, check out a few links in the post above, friend people on Facebook, read their blogs, follow them on Twitter, fall in love with them, whatever. Join the party a few days after the fact.

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Beth, it was wonderful to meet you and the other wonderful people on Friday night! I thought you might be staying around the city for a few days cause once they've been to the big city it's hard to keep down on the ranch--I mean beach!

Les has a great group of photos here with a lot of dynamism to each composition.

Regarding "I love you from the bottom of my heart."--I could have sworn you said that to me as I was leaving to catch the subway! Haha!!
What a birthday, so glad it worked out so well, everyone looks suave and cool. Thanks for posting this Beth!
What a birthday, so glad it worked out so well, everyone looks suave and cool. Thanks for posting this Beth!
Love that so many Osers got together! Great photos and great energy! Happy Birthday to you Beth and thanks for sharing!
Always auspicious to ring in your personal New Year among good vibes. Good for you guys for all getting together and sharing the energy. Looks like a great time!
Incredibly attractive bunch. Seems heavenly-- all those brains, that creativity, and those good looks. I keep meeting the homely and the dimwitted.

So, I'm guessing you met this wall street journal writer(Jon) and started some ... something? Spill, please.
Great presentation of this special evening, Beth. You are one groovy chick.
What a great post and the photos are fantastic. One of these days I will make an open salon meet and greet. I think I'm missing out on some fantastic people.
Looks like a fabulous time to remember. Genuine smiles all around.
Great photos Beth. Every time I see one of these posts I feel more and more like I seriously mismanaged my commitments in not attending. Sure looks like a splendid time was had by all.
Happy elevenses birthday, Beth. Looks like it was a memorable one - what an interesting, fun-looking group of people to spend an evening with!
Crank looks exactly like his avatar. Who'd a thunk?

Sounds like you all had a swell time.
Looks like you had a fine birthday, Ms. Personality! You just jump off the page, Beth.

Had a great time, and realized your avatar is a perfect representation of your personality. Great to see old new OS friends and meet new ones (I always feel ten years younger after spending time with Nikki). Your friend Peter is indeed witty and charming and I think Autumn would make a great friend.
What a wonderful, wonderful post. I agree, meeting up with OSers is like no other experience there is. I loved the photos and am going to take your advice and am off to check out the links.
Beth + Autumn = BFF 4-eva, and I stand by it, and I think you give wonderful hugs to boot. A true treat to meet you, and the rest of the team as well--I think I entered it thinking it would be a networky-type thing, which is fine and all but blaaargh, and exited thinking it was just a damned fun evening with damn fine people. Everyone I met was fantastic--OSers and your entourage alike--and I'm just sorry I didn't have a chance to talk with more people more in depth.
This post just radiates the warmth, smarts and honesty that I associate with you Beth. So sorry I missed being there, but I have another ocean that keeps me isolated.
What Lezlie said. Now I know why I lurched back in my chair a couple of times. I thought Beth was about to jump out of the screen and I wanted to make a lap for her. My envy doth burgeon by the minute, with each of these party posts. Glad you all had fun, tho, even without me.
*so* glad you had a terrific birthday party, beth, and just as sad that i couldn't make it. a few of us who had calendar conflicts are plotting a back-channel repeat sometime next year minus the birthday part. you'll be the first to know, surfer girl. mwah.
What an evening I know everyone had a great time...We get a sense of that from the great photos. Happy Birthday Beth!
Happy Birthday, Beth. That get together looks like such sweet fun, perhaps another time (or this coast). I often get the sense on OS of a lot of people singing to the choir. Even if that's the case, there's something to be said about the power of harmony and the potential of friendship, as you say, especially now. Thanks for the warm sharing.
Nice--avatars come alive!
Serious fun appears to have been had by all! I'm completely jealous but in complete agreement of how much fun it is to meet other OSers.
Happy Birthday!
What wonderful photographs of everyone! You just radiate *aliveness* if that is a word.
I too have found such deep connections with OS'ers, meeting them and feeling I have known them my whole life.
Have a great year, Beth. ~r
Great pix...great party.

QUESTION: How come when you click on one of your pictures, it enlarges...but when I click on one of my pix (in my blog) nothing happens. What did you do to get this to happen?

(signed) The technologically challenged Frank.
Looks like you all had a fabulous time! I know I did when I was lucky enough to have you all to myself last year! I hope we can do it again soon! Happy (belated) Birthday! xoxo
Aw, Beth. thanks for saying such awesome things about me. And for the great excuse to take a road trip. (Also, i didn't think you were weird; i thought you were tipsy -- and i was CORRECT.) ;)
Beth - So glad I made it - had an awesome time. It was terrific to get together with you and the other OS'ers and your friends. Great photos. Here's to making it an annual event!
What a wonderful party and a great turn out for your special day. Memories in the making for sure.

Thanks for sharing with those of us too far away to attend. I loved NJ when we visited last May. Hoping there'll be more opportunities for meet ups like this.
Frank, re: photos: post them somewhere else, like on Blogger or Wordpress. It's good to do that as a rule anyway. "House" your posts somewhere else (with a much stronger platform), then cut and paste.

So I did my draft of this (and all of my posts) on Blogger, then moved it. The photos are enlargeable (again, because Blogger has more capacities than OS) and if anything goes wrong (which it often does here), I don't lose anything because Blogger has an autosave feature that runs every minute. Always house posts elsewhere - big rule of mine.

JohannaLG, I barely had my 2nd glass of wine when I suggested the photos (not by choice, kept putting it down and losing it), so I must have just been plain weird at that point! seriously. I love taking photos of people. I take tons of myself because I'm always available for photo shoots all by my lonesome at the Jersey shore. If someone is striking, then its fun to see if I can take a really good shot of them. Next time, we will. I'd take awesome shots of you.

Gerri, it was great meeting you as well! I forget to include your link above, so will do it shortly. Please forgive me, but this post was a bear to put together, remember links, go through photos, etc.

To the rest of you, let us meet one fine day. Its really worth it.

Designator, it could easily have been you I said that to!

And yes, the funny part of meeting Cranky Cuss was recognizing him based on his avatar. Too funny...and great work on avatar.

Autumn, I felt the same thing: I missed people. I guess there's no easy way to get around that. Its just not that easy navigating that kind of social situation. But since we're BFF, we'll have TONS of time to catch up. Be over in an hour!
How fun! That Jon guy looks like he has the eyes for you Beth. Are you still wearing his coat? :-)

I like how you guilt trip the ocean.
An impressive turnout of impressive people. And a load of fun.
We left-coasters really missed out on a good time. Time for you to come out and have an LA or SF do-over party!
What a cool gathering! Happy birthday, a little late. Feeling jealous out here on the tree-lined left coast.
Party, Party, Party!!! Wish I could have been there.
Happy Birthday, Beth!
So fabulous and so bummed I live far away! It looks like a wonderful birthday party and meet up Beth!
Thank you so much for posting these pictures! I love putting faces to the names I read, and it looks like such an amazing time was had by all. I'm filled with envy!
wonderful photos, beautiful people you all. thanks for the window to all the fun of a good birthday had.
It took me until now to open this because of the slowness of OS...thanks for sharing, looks like an awesome time was had by all!
OH my your folks had a really good time. Cheers and more...
Just catching up Beth -- I've had similar wonderful OS experiences with Kansas City OS buds and some of the FL folks and you are sooo right about 'we need this'. Hope the holidays bring more cheer like this!