Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:45:51 GMT
Call it timing, call it coincidence, but the LBB team has arrived in New York just days before the next and final series of Mad Men hits the airwaves and, err, Internet. For two gloriously Big Apple-shaped weeks LBB founder Matt Cooper and myself will be swapping the pubs, pints and production companies of central London for a taste of Adland NY.
From Don Draper’s Madison Avenue heartland to the production hub of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg’s hipster heartland, we’re going to be hunting out exciting creativity, meeting old friends and making new ones.
It’s been an eye-opening experience so far for me, a bona fide Noo Yoik Noob. Aside from a new-found appreciation for London’s much-maligned transport system (New York’s Metropolitan Transport Authority could learn a thing or two about signage, lighting and the wonders of RFiD technology from TFL), one of the biggest revelations has been the sheer energy of the place. Well that, and the revelations that the cool kids of NYC are all about knocking back whisky shots and pickle juice chasers (yes, really). Maybe it’s the jet-lagged hypothalamic craziness talking but the constant, unselfconscious forward-motion of the city is almost tangible. I can feel it in the streets (I’ve genuinely lost count of the number of people who have asked me if I need directions) and I can feel it in the creative spaces I’ve visited so far. And it feels good.
Case in point, today’s ‘5 Minutes With…’ interview with Big Spaceship founder and CEO Mike Lebowitz. Here’s a guy who founded a digital agency in the dark days before the iPod and Wikipedia were even a thing, before people really knew what a digital agency could really be, and just ploughed on anyway, listening to his gut and embracing the unknown. Or there’s the hustle and buzz as the Blacklist team put the final touches to Thursday night’s exhibition for WIZZ directing collective CRCR. I came out fizzed up with the feeling that this is a city where something creative is always going on.
Imagine a bottle of Coke. Now shake it, vigorously. That. That’s the New York feeling.
Accustomed as I am to the London diffidence – there’s a reason pubs feature more prominently in the advertising landscape back home – I’m not sure what my threshold for high energy living is like. Ask me again in a fortnight. I’ll either be a new woman or a broken one.