R\Westies Coast 2 Coast

Where we dwell (and where we work) impacts the work that we produce. Working with R\Westies on both coasts, as well as working in the two creative hubs that R\West calls home – Portland and New York City – has been a creative and cultural retreat. Growing up and working in Portland, Oregon provided me with access to a certain kind of creativity that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. When the opportunity  to visit R\West’s sister office in New York City came up, I wanted to dive into all that the city has to offer as well as the history of how the East Coast office came to be.

First Impressions

Once I touched down in the city that never sleeps I thought I would be well-rested from my red-eye and ready to jump into the hustle of the weekend – I was wrong. Who actually sleeps on red-eyes?

Luckily, I was greeted with a trip to a bagel shop on the Upper East Side complete with the snappy ordering process that Seinfeld taught me to expect. “No soup for you!”

Getting to bite into that doughy bagel with a crisp outside, pillowy inside, with what seemed like an equal ratio of bagel to smear, I was revived. The coffee also helped.

Sufficiently loaded up on carbs and caffeine, I joined friends on a boat ride around the city. This was the best way to start my trip and get the lay of the land. The trip around Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty quickly filled my to-visit list and illustrated the five distinct boroughs that make up the city. I was ready to dive into all that the city had to offer.

My fellow R\Westies suggested that I visit immersive art galleries, eat at Time Out Market, and take it to new heights, literally, during my time in New York. In doing so I discovered the city, culture, and that I’m not a fan of heights. One of my biggest takeaways is that the city is a steady source of inspiration for creativity and knowledge. There’s never a dull moment in New York. It was impossible to idle in a city that is brimming with opportunities to immerse yourself in art. The Artechouse is a perfect example of innovative creation that swallows up its audience for an unforgettable experience.

In addition to diving into mesmerizing art exhibits, New York also offers other one-of-a-kind experiences such as, The Edge. To be honest, I didn’t look up what this outing entailed and instead of diving in, I rose above and traveled up 100 stories at Hudson Yards to visit the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. This excursion proved quite the bonding experience as I held the hand of my fellow R\Westie and we shuffled our feet across the clear glass floor of the platform,gazing down at the city below. Eventually, I was forced to unlock my hand from hers and she pointed out the iconic buildings that make up the New York skyline. From that vantage point, we could see the old R\West office in the Meatpacking District as well as R\West New York’s new home in Chelsea.

History

Entering the New York office, I was happy to  see some familiar faces and meet several  Zoom profile pictures in real life. Everyone was welcoming and had even more recommendations to add to my must-visit list.

When the New York office concept first came together, CEO Sean Blixseth, tapped New York-based PR expert Chandni Patel to begin building the roots of the office. Initially, Chandni was named the Director of Public Relations and Brand Strategy. As the East Coast client list grew, she became President of the New York office. Chandni mentioned that being part of the beginning of the New York office was an opportunity to build the reputation and best in class work on the East Coast. The beginning felt like the start of an agency but with the backing of “great creative and people from the get go.”

Chandni’s expertise nurtured R\West New York from a shared work space on Gansevoort Street, to the bigger, bolder office it is now. I was surprised to learn that there was a specific room chilled to perfection to house the wine and spirits clients, which also served as a cool-down space after coming in from the sweltering New York summer.

Since learning about the growth of the New York office I was excited to be welcomed by the now-president who was part of our office’s beginnings.

Rituals

One tradition that has stood the test of time is NYC R\Westies gathering and coming together over  “desk-aritas”. In the Portland office, we have “Bar West” but the sentiment is the same – . pause work, pour a glass of your favorite drink, and connect.

No matter what coast you’re on, coming together and connecting with colleagues is always fun. Plus, one great perk of representing food and wine clients is that we get to test their products! Even throughout the pandemic, teams across R\West make it a point to keep the tradition alive and connect via Zoom whether it is over a “desk-arita” or a virtual game.

Wrap Up

After my adventures throughout the city, my body ached but each experience left me grateful for those who hosted me and R\West for welcoming me into the New York fold.

Give to Get

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