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I ♥ New York

Marketing Doris  I love New York

I made that declaration in a meeting recently, I can’t remember why I publicly made that announcement to people I didn’t know well, but believe me when I said it was in context.

Many people nodded in agreement, having experienced this amazing city for themselves and others wishfully said that a trip to the Big Apple was on their list. Only one person looked horrified by my statement and wanted to know why I loved New York so much.

I didn’t get the chance to answer her question in that meeting, we had other stuff to discuss and I didn’t have a succinct answer to give, but it’s been on my mind since and here’s my condensed version.. though I am sure I’ve missed off many reasons including many that I don’t even know yet*

  1. It feels like home – I’m a very proud Mancunian and even when I have travelled and have enjoyed exploring new countries and cities, I love coming home to Manchester. New York is the first place I have wanted to live outside of the North West of England, and in my heart will always be my second home city, and who knows maybe one day I will get the chance to stay longer.
  2. It’s like being on a film set – at almost every turn you see an iconic building or something synonymous with New York; Central Park, the yellow taxis, pretzels, hot dogs and steamy streets that you recognise from a TV series or film.
  3. The pockets of calm – in a city that doesn’t sleep and is always on the go there are plenty of places to take time out. Two of my favourites (so far) are Bryant Park and The Highline. The former for the lush green grass flanked by the beautifully gothic Bryant Park Hotel with its black and gold brickwork. On my first visit to New York we discovered Bryant Park by accident and were delighted to find a free performance of Taming of Shrew taking place. The Highline is just genius, just over a mile of park created on an elevated section of a disused railway line, with fabulous views over the city and the Hudson River and at the end the incredible Chelsea Market which reminded me of an in-door Covent Garden with quirky shops, eating places and great artwork.
  4. The architecture – I spent most of my first visit to New York looking up at the buildings. I’m not familiar with the names of the differing styles and age periods, but I know what I like and I can safely I was in a Gothic and Art Deco heaven. I wanted to lie down in the middle of Grand Central Station to fully appreciate those windows and the ceiling. Testing out the Whispering Arch by the Oyster Bar in the bowels of Grand Central Station and trying to persuade a young lad to use it to propose to his girlfriend as she waited in the opposite corner.
  5. That skyline – there are so many ways to view the New York skyline, from one of the city buildings; Rockefeller, Empire State Building (at night), Freedom Tower, from across the Hudson River in New Jersey (at night - and all I could hear was the Friends theme tune in my head), Ellis or Liberty Island (slightly slanted from the Lady’s crown) or even from the water on the Manhattan Island boat trip, the Staten Island Ferry or from Brooklyn Bridge.
  6. Times Square – it’s so over the top and just fabulous. The bright lights, the hordes of people, the huge advertising boards (that’s the marketing geek in me!) and the myriad of theatre options and being able to say you’ve been on Broadway! With so many shows available I felt like a kid in a sweet shop and could hardly decide which ones to choose and they couldn’t have been more different with Les Misérables and Mathilda.
  7. The food & Drink – New York Food Bingo included Italian food family style (Tony’s near Times Square), Cocktails (roof top bar with views of the Empire State Building), Pretzels (on the Staten Island Ferry), Hot dogs (from a street food vendor), New York Cheesecake (from Juniors), Pancakes (Ellen’s Stardust Diner), Nacho’s and cheese (Manhattan Island boat), Pastrami on Rye (somewhere on 5th) and a slice of Pizza (somewhere on 6th).
  8. New Yorkers – I didn’t get the chance to speak to many, but those interactions I did have were memorable; from the commuter who took the time to stop and point out sections of the Grand Central Station astrological ceiling artwork and pass on snippets of interesting trivia to the assistant in Barney’s who wore a designer green parka and offered me water when he realised I’d just walked The Highline in the heat. He couldn’t believe I was from Manchester and the home of Take That and The Haçienda. For the first time in my life I almost felt cool when I confirmed that I had seen his hero Robbie Williams play live both solo and with Gary, Mark, Howard and Jason, and that I had been to the nightclub… the moment was short-lived as I just wanted to check if Barney’s was where Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel in Friends worked and of course I didn’t have the heart to tell him there were just apartments now where the club had been.
  9. The Hidden gems – I was attending a marketing conference during my last visit to New York but managed to find time to venture out and found myself down in the Battery Park area and discovered by chance South Street Seaport and was officially my favourite place of the trip with a combination of the architecture, renovated mercantile buildings, Titanic memorial lighthouse, numerous food and shopping outlets including the most amazing Bowne Print Shops & Maritime Craft Centre, and of course the view of Brooklyn Bridge.
  10. The Branding – of course I had to finish on a marketing related point and the I Love New York slogan and logo is one of the best #goodmarketing campaigns. It was created for an advertising campaign in the 1980’s. The infamous trademarked logo is owned by the New York State Department of Economic Development and appears everywhere, particularly in the many souvenir shops. I was given an umbrella to use by our hotel’s bell boy one morning when the rain was lashing down Mancunian style, but this Manchester girl hadn’t been better prepared and hadn’t brought one with her (the shame!). I was secretly delighted stepping outside to find that the umbrella was not only one of those clear plastic dome versions that I had as a child, but also was blazoned with the I ♥ New York logo - perfect in every way!

*to address this, I’ve got a list on the go of things to do and places to see the next time I am lucky enough to find myself in New York. I’d love to hear your recommendations – drop me an email helen@marketingdoris.co.uk

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FDR Law
Tim Jordan, Partner
"We engaged Helen about 5 years ago to work one day a month with my firm in coordinating the marketing for the launch of our new brand. We previously had a number of in-house marketing executives working"
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