Cleveland.com Turns 15, TweetUp Celebrates Shandy, Indians and Harry Potter

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CLEVELAND –

Google+ wasn’t “invited” last night.

Instead, the back patio of Lincoln Park Pub in Tremont was abuzz with topics of Denny’s, er — Hafner’s walk off grand slam, favorite local spots and the premiere (or early/advanced screenings for the geeks of the group) of JK Rowling’s purported final installment of the iconoclastic Harry Potter series.

Notice my intentional curtail of the word epic, which author of I am Better than Your Kids Maddox refers to as one of the most abused filler words in the English language (Not Everything is Epic, Sh*theads).

Okay, Google+ was briefly discussed — but some of us clearly just haven’t had the time to jump into yet another platform and begin the peculiar task of clumping our personal and professional lives into circles (Larry Page, take note: perhaps it would be more fun to have an X option, for those that fit that category?…).

Cleveland Tremont Lincoln Park Pub Byron Fernandez Ray ban Wayfarer Rare Print Special Series #2 NYC Metro subway

Photo courtesy of Alana Munro, Cleveland.com

Upon perching near the fire pit with a few Leinenkugel’s summer shandys, appetizers and tweets, friends from Junta42 Pam, Joe and I discussed vacation spots and the value/need for “unplugging” from work and tech.

Pam dished about her love for Cancun (having friends/family throughout Mexico helps, but that’s one spot I have yet to visit), while Joe and I waxed poetic over the outdoors, Canada and just getting lost in nature.

No cell phones. No computers. For a week or more. Ah, the Bill Bryson set.

Good stuff.

Tremont Lincoln Park Pub Cleveland tweetup

Photo Courtesy of Alana Munro, Cleveland.com

Reminiscing about unplugging brought to mind Paul Roetzer’s challenge to us a few months ago: The UnPlugged Experiment (and recent Matrix convos I’ve had with tweeps in Jordan) all over again.

Needless to say, it was good to reflect (and jibe) with Pam and Joe about the importance of finding balance in our personal and professional lives.

Locals in attendance other than Cleveland.com, WEWS5 and Tribetalk included folks from Junta42, PR 20/20, CLE Social Media Club and the Ohio Blogging Association:

Alana Munro @dawgpndgirl

Byron Fernandez @byron_fernandez (You are here…)

Frank Zupan @FrankZupan

Jen Gardner @whyCLE

Jessica Donlon @jessicadonlon

Joe Kalinowski @ringo66

Keith Moehring @keithmoehring

Laurel Miltner @laurelmackenzie

Pam Kozelka @pamkozelka

Paul Roetzer @paulroetzer

Tammy Colson @TLColson

Lincoln Park Pub Tremont Cleveland Indians tweetup

Photo courtesy of Alana Munro, Cleveland.com

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Twitter Users Gather for Cleveland TweetUp Event 

Cleveland.com photos

Tweet Gig at Marc Jacobs

CLEVELAND – A few of you have been wondering if the recent funnel with Marc Jacobs is real. The answer is yes. A friend in the industry referred the gig to me, and for that I’m indebted.

The opportunity is unusual because the interview process begins online — through the company’s Twitter account. The guy heading their Twitter and social media is parting ways with the fashion icon, and they’re committed to hiring their next “Tweeter” via witty and entertaining tweets submitted by qualified candidates.

Pursuing individuals privy to the brand and vision of the label (referring to its “DNA” and how they are all a tight-knit family), the international fashion house is currently flying select tweeters from near and far to New York City for an interview. Jacobs, currently Creative Director of the French design house Louis Vuitton, will also pick up the relocation tab for whomever lands the coveted position. The designer is even holding TweetUps (an event where you meet, network and/or interview with connections in your Twitterverse pipeline) in Miami and select locations.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first, since I had originally gotten wind of the news before its validity was confirmed during the recent impromptu Vegas/Santa Barbara trip. Now I’m caught up in a new machine, another movement where, as my high school music theory teacher called it, I can revel in the process of becoming.

For More about Marc Jacobs, Click On One of the Elephants

I feel like I’m 18 again, when I was traveling and auditioning for music schools/conservatories, and preparing the debut of Mozart’s 23rd Concerto during my final concert in high school. Man, I wish someone had captured video of it (a framed portrait from the museum in Salzburg and white roses from the conductor, a Vinyl copy of the night and standing ovation later more than sufficed though. No right to complain lol). There’s no other way to explain the anticipation you  get before a performance other than sheer adrenaline, like this euphoric tonic of nerves and gumption. And then the lights come on, and the trance begins.


It’s the feeling I had the day leading up to the blog debut, that feeling where you’re hanging over a cliff or bridge (growing up I used to base-jump with friends/family where we vacationed in Combermere, Ontario) by an infinitesimal thread –and it finally snaps. It’s the momentary stomach lurch before stepping onto the ice at North Atlantic Regionals — where I placed 3rd in my division that night (after being the only one to remain vertical), or the biennial Empire State Games in Lake Placid as a young boy, training for the Olympics and thinking I’d be the next Scott Hamilton.

Or staring down that fast break darting across the lacrosse field, unfazed by the Goliath defender in my wake. I’m no longer thinking or doing, I’m just lost in the moment. Nothing else matters, eyes opened; closed — time and space becomes superfluous. For once, I’m in a place where there’s no pain, just wide open space. It’s surrreal…cathartic.

Lake Placid, NY >> Click for alternate view

So where am I going with this, you might ask. I’m talking about doing what you love, and having the courage and nerve to chase your dreams, in spite of others’ (and especially your own) pessimism. As mentioned in my first article, it’s about Going Where Others Are Not and transcending the things or people that will inevitably try to limit your potential. About asking, why not? when others ask why, about rising to the occasion and delivering when others underestimate you.

And yet, it’s still not about silencing critics. The journey to self-fulfillment and enlightenment is yours, and yours alone. No one else can or will do it for you, nor should they. The question is, what are you willing to sacrifice? A relationship? Friends? Pride? Family’s religion; expectations? Financial security? And after that, how committed are you to making it a reality?

Olympic Center

Though I grew up in upstate New York, I’ve never been to “the City.” Most people don’t believe me when I say that, but I kid you not: It’s one of the few places I’ve yet to go, and I know I’d love it. Vegas is fun to visit, but living there wasn’t so much.

I have a feeling I’ll love the sights, sounds and smells of creativity that permeate the culture in NYC, and know it’d also be a bittersweet reunion with friends and family in the area. My heart is with New York, California and Cleveland –it’s simply a matter of who launches my career first. Only time will tell.

To check out the fashion house’s and my Tweets, you can follow the history at http://twitter.com/#!/byron_fernandez/favorites or simply stay in touch with me on Twitter, either through my Gravatar or the Twitter widget on the blog Home page.

Till next time! …