There was almost a full-on press melee in Philadelphia this weekend at the Alternative Newsweeklies Convention. According to Gustavo Arellano, The OC Weekly‘s "Ask a Mexican" columnist, he and Village Voice editor-in-chief Tony Ortega, New York Times culture editor Sam Sifton and Times media critic David Carr were called "nerds" by a "big mook" on their walk back to the Downtown Marriot after an evening of boozing at a local press hangout.
"All of us were in various stages of inebriation (from nothing to Jim Beam-ing), all of us were living life," Mr. Arellano later wrote. "If the guy said it to my face, I’da kick[ed] his ass! … Carr, Sifton, and Ortega made similar threats. We headed to the Marriot’s bar for a nightcapper and laughed with the knowledge our nerdish ways have rewarded us with lives of leisure, while that assaulting asshole could only look forward to trimming his precious goatee."
Awards were announced on Saturday during the convention’s annual AltWeekly Awards Lunch. (Full disclosure: this reporter worked at the event, helping put together its daily newsletter.) Winners included Village Voice music editor Rob Harvilla for music criticism and Nikki Finke, the LA Weekly staff writer and Deadline Hollywood Daily blogger. Convention attendees included The New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh and New York Press managing editor Jerry Portwood.