A Night of Culturazzi in New York

The Marriott and WIRED Culturazzi Series held its final event of 2012 last night in New York City. It was a special night to celebrate art, music and innovation at the WIRED pop-up store in Soho. It was another fabulous evening in a series of events by two cutting edge brands that really get it.

The Culturazzi Series is aimed to inspire, inform and entertain the next generation of travelers who blend work and play. Last night’s theme, Collective ReMix, marks the conclusion of the 2012 Culturazzi series in which; Marriott Hotels & Resorts and WIRED have successfully hosted three other events at Marriott hotels in Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively. The series has been a great success and as I said, last night was no exception!

The WIRED pop-up store in New York’s Soho neighborhood is a cavernous store that was a perfect venue for a large event. The store itself is two floors with high ceilings, hard wood floors and a long, skinny, loft style appearance, in typical Soho fashion.

The store closed its doors at 6pm for the event and I got a private tour of the store and all its features. The pop-up store is only open for about a month around the holidays. It features some of the coolest products, gadgets and art going today. The WIRED store is just that-cool. The store itself even makes ordinary products like toilets, tubs, socks and showers cool. Well having a television screen that you can conduct conference calls from in the shower doesn’t hurt either!

Although I have to say that perhaps my personal favorite gadget featured in the store was a rotary phone (remember those?) photo booth that texts you four pictures of yourself. Such a great idea for a party! The store also featured some really cool gadgets and technology and is well worth a look if you’re in New York this holiday season.

As for the event itself, it was simply cool-to keep the theme of the evening going. The store transformed into a showcase of brand innovation with several interactive exhibits like the Marriott aura cam and the Buick “dancing windshield wiper bug killer”…I’ll leave that one to your imagination!

The Culturazzi event also featured some really cool and innovative art from a Canadian artist named Todd McLellan. Todd’s art focuses on machines and gadgets and taking them apart-yes he was that curious kid who liked to disassemble and reassemble things as a kid! I, on the other hand, was the kid who simply liked to break stuff! I had the pleasure to chat with Todd for a few minutes and aside from being a really nice and personable guy, he was also extremely smart and interesting.

Perhaps the highlight of the night’s entertainment was a set by the lovely DJ Kiss. She spun the last hour or so and hit all the perfect beats to create an awesome mood inside the store. I can see why she is so popular.

DJ Kiss, whose real name is actually JaKissa-hence the moniker, is pretty well known to celebrities and plays a lot of private parties for the likes of P. Diddy, Madonna and Naomi Campbell. Aside from spinning she also has a passion for style and was actually named one of 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers by Us Weekly Magazine-I was #26 and just missed the cut, DOH! She also appears frequently on Good Morning America and has a popular fashion blog.

As the event came and went, I had a great time. I continue to be impressed by Marriott and WIRED and their unique partnership. As I said in my opening paragraph, they are two brands that really get it. The new traveler and/or consumer isn’t looking for one thing in where they stay or what they buy or how they behave. Young professionals are looking to associate themselves with brands that reach beyond their own niche and into people’s lifestyles.

I like cutting edge brands that can relate to me, to my age group and what I am looking for. I want to be in a place that is cool and relaxed but where I can have some fun if I want. That is why I am happy to be associated with Marriott and their reimagination of the guest experience. That is why I am happy to be a part of the new Culturazzi.

Disclaimer: I was compensated by Marriott for attending the event in this article. However, the views expressed are completely my own.

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  1. Looks like a great event!!

  2. That lego dude is pretty freaky looking but seems like an awesome event.

  3. I’m sorry but how can I get invited to events like these?! My life is so boring! Aaaaahhhhhh

  4. After reading this I looked up the culturazzi and what Marriott is doing and it sounds very cool…it’s also very cool that you’re lined up with that brand…good for you and good luck with it Lee

    What’s next travelwise?

    • Thanks William, yes I am very fortunate to work with them and I love the event series and what they are trying to do and in fact doing with the revamp of the brand. It’s a great product!

      Next for me is just staying home for the holidays and then heading to visit some friends in California in January then I’ll be back on the road, well skies! I will do a post on my schedule soon, once I’ve finalized everything.

  5. I do love Marriott, stay in them all the time but mainly because of my work and the points. Nice to see them doing fun things for a younger client. I hope they do more in the hotels so everyday clients like myself can experience the changes i keep hearing about! Some of the rooms and especially the carpets can be pretty stale and smell like my grandmothers house! LOL!

    • Haha…what’s wrong with your grandmothers house’s smell?! Marriott Rewards is a great program I agree and yes they are focusing on younger clients such as you, so if you haven’t seen the changes yet-they are coming!

  6. Looks like a really great event, I’ll have to check out the store when I’m in NY in a next week. Interesting thing for Marriot to be involved with.

  7. I was literally in the wired store yesterday, and I agree it was really cool. Wish I knew about the event-sounds like fun. Plus I’ve seen DJ Kiss before, she’s excellent!

    • Hi Alexandra, that’s awesome you were there…it was a really cool store. I had never heard of her before but I did think she was really good obviously…I am hardly an expert on DJ’s but I know what I like

  8. Is culturazzi a real word? Or is that a marketing ploy kind of thing?

    • You’re the first person whose ever asked me that question, so I looked it up! Here is the definition I found online:
      A lover of one or many aspects of culture, mainly but not limited to cinema, literature, music, theater, photography, and fine arts. A Culturazzo is an active member of Culturazzi, and his/her activities include:
      – Being an active reviewer or writer for any aspect of culture (as defined above).
      – Proactively promoting the concept of Culturazzi and its ideals to anyone who is inclined to be a part of it.
      – Exploring new avenues to promote Culturazzi all over the world.

  9. Lee looks like a great time. Why is Marriott partnered up with Wired and why does Wired have a store open in Soho for only 1 month?

    • Hi Steven, they partnered in a partnership to co-promote their brands in a hip and cool way in a series of awesome events around the country in major cities. It has been a great success and I hope it continues into next year and beyond!

      The store opens up each year for 4-5 weeks and it is simply to get some publicity for WIRED. Apparently the company takes a big financial loss on the venture but gain a large amount of publicity and notoriety with their presence and events that they host. Plus, as I said it’s just a cool store

  10. I work in hotel marketing (Accor) and I think the Culturazzi program is a brilliant move for Marriott to align themselves with Wired. Are they going to continue the program next year?

  11. Do you like Marriott better than Hyatt? Could you even say Hyatt if you thought that? I’ve been staying with Hyatt for years but recently have fallen out with them and was thinking of switching my allegiance to Marriott.

    • HI Phil and yes I could say it. I’ll be honest I rarely stay at Hyatt’s, maybe 1 or 2 in last 5-6 years. Never been really impressed overall so in limited experience I would say Marriott for sure. Sounds like you know what you want to do!

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