Wednesday, July 09, 2008

summing jenny 8 lee up in one word (one number would have been too easy)

New American Media aims to "expand the news lens through ethnic media" -- and now I've played a small part in the lens expansion.

My friend Jenny 8 Lee has a delicious book, the Fortune Cookie Chronicles, which I've been lucky enough to see since it was a humble proposal on her laptop. It's come a long way and brought her quite a bit of success and attention on what's already been a remarkable career. She's shared the fun with plenty of her friends, including at an event she had in New York, which I attended a little while back.

There, plump with dim sum and Tsingtao, I got the chance to sum Jenny up with one word:

But even if her nom de plume were bereft of that lucky number, chances are that Lee would be no less memorable. “Effervescent” is how Alexis Ohanian, designer of the book's blog and co-founder of a news sharing site, describes her. Occasional appearances in gossip columns and multiple mentions on meta-media website paint her as a social butterfly with the uncanny ability to charm anyone who crosses her path. This assertion is more true than not. She constantly invites people into her home, even if they are near-strangers, and even though it's New York City, where it's possible to befriend someone for years without ever stepping foot into his or her residence.
Many years ago, then just a wide-eyed startup founder looking making Chinatown bus trips into New York from Boston, I was one of those folks she graciously invited into her home. I'm not ashamed to say that I spent more than a few nights on her sofa; New York is a great city to couchsurf through, especially when you're a salary-less startup founder.