SOMETHING FOR THE KIDSAmy Dunkin
Back in the fat days, in the late 90s when the magazine was so thick with ads the staples could barely hold it together, management used to throw one wingding of a holiday party for the children of the staff.
There was a magician, a clown who made balloon animals and swords, a roving photographer, hotdogs and hamburgers, a popcorn cart, create your own ice cream sundaes, and all the M&Ms and pretzels you could eat. They'd use a large meeting room on another floor, and more than 100 people would attend. The day after the event, dozens of pictures of beautiful, happy children and their families would appear on the bulletin board in the pantry. The photos would stay on display a week, then people could take theirs home. (Credit for organizing this wonderful party goes to our former office manager, Roz Kopit. It was a true labor of love.)
But the tech bubble burst, the ad market collapsed, the Internet changed the media business, and the BusinessWeek holiday kids' party became a distant memory, preserved by those photos that now reside in albums or sometimes still turn up in the back of a desk drawer.
A memory until yesterday, when it was revived on a much smaller scale. The 2006 holiday kids' party was also a labor of love, of a group of parents who work here, but especially one parent, fellow blogger Lauren Young.
In a small conference room on the 43rd floor, about 20 children sat around the table where the magazine gets thrashed out, doing crafts projects, eating pizza, and listening to the father of one little girl sing and play his guitar. It was simple, sweet, and even paid for by the magazine, our editor-in-chief's gift for a strong finish to the year.