Being in PlayChristopher | April 24, 2010
The crazy adventures in life do not entirely happen by accident. While growing up my father would often tell me, “If you want good things to happen, you have to be in play.” To extend the sports metaphor a little further, you’re never going to win a trophy unless you try out for the team.
Last week I had an adventure that started when my friend invited me to attend the reopening celebration of a bar called MatrixFillmore.
For those of you outside of San Francisco, let me quickly explain. This bar is a trendy night spot in the Marina district whose patronage consists primarily of Fraternity Boys who grew up to be Investment Bankers, yet retain some of their… shall we say… youthful exuberance. Such people are the natural enemies of the Art Students turned Hipsters who frequent bars such as Delirium in Mission district and listen to bands that no one has ever heard of.
I had the privilege to have interesting conversations with a number of people that evening, including a socialite who confessed that he often out of touch with his own calendar and attended events only knowing what he should wear: casual, suit, or tuxedo. I also met a dandy gentleman who was very excited about the new jacket he picked up earlier that day.
While at the new bar adjoined to the back room, a man who seemed intimately familiar with the bar recommended a tequila drink made with fresh jalapeno. Although I was suspicious, the sincere tone of his voice convinced me to give the drink a try. Turns out the spice was balanced out to create a complex and thoroughly enjoyable drink.
As it turns out, the man recommending the drink was the executive in charge of operations at the company that owns the Matrix. He proudly told us of the rather impressive feat of remodeling. Rather than closing the bar for months to remodel, contractors did much of the behind the scenes work and preparation during the day. They meticulously planned and staged the redesign. With the swiftness usually reserved for Hollywood set construction crews, they managed to tear out the old furnishings and install the new in a mere four working days.
Then we met an editor from a local music magazine who offered to take us to a party where the musician BT was going to be DJ’ing. When we arrived, it turned out he wasn’t on the guest list. He picked up his phone and said he was going to call BT’s manager. Half way through the conversation, he tried to hand the phone to the girl working the desk as a form of proof that we should be given entry. She gave him the “are you kidding me?” look and said there was nothing she could do to get us in if we weren’t on the list. There was a moment of doubt that our new editor friend was really on the level. After a few minutes of awkward waiting, a couple of guys walked up. One of them warmly greeted the editor. He took a step back and I realized it was, in fact, BT. I tried to be cool and make casual conversation, although I suspect my inner fan boy poked out a little bit.
What we didn’t know ahead of time was that BT was followed by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. We really didn’t know what to expect. I must admit that I was blown away by his incredible skills to keep the dance floor moving. What really put a great cap on the night was that I was introduced to a couple other entrepreneurs with whom I might have cause to work with in the future.
And all of this happened in one night where we took the plunge. I was honestly thinking of staying home that night. I thought of my father’s words about being in play and decided to see where the night would take us.