"Okay, how about this," Mike turned from his computer screen to look at me. "A young man and woman walk into what appears to be a ticket booth, as if going to buy movie tickets. They get to the booth and say 'two adults for the three o'clock meeting with the finance manager please.' and then they get ushered straight through into a meeting room and sit down with some pop corn and a hot dog. Then the slogan comes up saying 'Klein Hewitt Finances, discussing your investments can be as easy as going to the movies." He paused. "Well, what do you think?"
"I think it doesn't make any sense. I mean, it's a good concept but does it really meet the brief? It would be hard to take that idea from a TV spot to a national print campaign wouldn't it. I think we are on the right track though." I looked back down at my blank pad of paper.
"Well I reckon theres potential in the slogan, it's catchy. I am going to jot it down and keep it for a rainy day." Mike put pen to paper and then looked back up. "Whats wrong with you today anyway? I have come up with all sorts of ideas and you have thrown them all into the trash, wheres your vision Mr Big Shot Art Director?" Mike snorted.
"My vision is staring straight up your hairy ass today Mike, I'm too distracted by all the shit your throwing at me!." I just wasn't in the mood today.
Mike didn't reply, he just stood up and made for the coffee machine. We made a great team, he acted as the copy writer and I the art director, that is usually how creative teams stack up these days. We had a strong friendship that went deeper than just work which allowed us to argue until the sun comes up but never fall out, almost like a pair of bickering brothers. But it had made us the success we were today, with four awarding winning campaigns behind us back in England. One of the reasons why we came to New York was to seek out a new challenge and change the face of advertising in the states. We had not managed this yet, but it was early days.
"Mike, I can't think straight in the office anymore, I'm going to head out and get some fresh air, back in an hour or so. Tell Jones I have gone out to do some market research if he asks, cheers." I picked up my jacket and headed for the door.
"No!" Mike shouted after me. "If he asks I will tell him you have gone to an appointment with your penis doctor!"
"Do they even exist?" I asked.
"They do now!" Mike laughed.
I jumped into the elevator and pushed the button for the ground floor. Within a minute I was down and pacing across the large open plan lobby to our building. The floors were marble and the walls tall and white. In the center was a large circular desk. As I passed I waved a hello to the security guard. Within a few more steps I was working my way round the revolving door and out onto West 59th Street. I made for the edge of the side walk and signalled a cab. Finally one pulled up, I got in and asked for The Empire State Building.
The sky was clear and the sun was out. If I ever felt a lack of ideas I would go over to the Empire State and pay the twenty odd dollars it cost to take the ride up to the top to look out of the city. It was a cold way of getting some thinking time but it was worth it, and I would always come back to earth feeling refreshed and ready to get to work.
As the foreign cab driver steered us through the mid-afternoon traffic in downtown Manhattan he muttered away to himself. I looked out of the window and gazed at the sights and listened to the sounds of Fifth Avenue. You could easily spot the tourists amongst the fashionistas and bureaucrats popping in and out of the designer boutiques. It was quite a sight to behold, even after seeing it so many hundreds of times.
The cab dropped me off on Fifth Avenue outside the Empire State and I payed him, with a healthy tip. Mike still refused to give cab drivers any tip at all as he didn't think half of them deserved it. It was even a struggle to get him to tip in the restaurants. This would always be embarrassing when we would dine out with clients, I would usually end up tipping extra to compensate. I don't think Mike has quite adjusted to living in the states yet, certainly not used to tipping ten percent.
I made may way into the Empire State ready to stand queing for 30minutes to get to the first elevator. I was astonished to find the lobby almost empty as I got ushered through quickly. They had obviously changed the rope barrier pattern around a bit as the journey to the ticket desk was a lot shorter than I remembered. As I reached the booth there were only four other visitors paying to visit the top of the tower, I had never seen it so quiet. I payed, got my ticket and made my way to the elevator.
As I reached the first set of double doors I noticed a petite looking girl standing waiting to be let on, I quickly made for that elevator and climbed in beside her. The doors closed and I adjusted my short brown hair and sorted out my glasses. Under my jacket I was wearing a snug fitting black combat shirt and dark blue jeans, I was feeling good, and confident. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the girl next to me was pretty, very pretty actually. She had long wavy dark brown hair, pale skin and big blue eyes with long eye lashes. Her lips were plump and her cheeks seemed to have a small dimple. She wore a short bomber jacket with a t-shirt underneath and skinny black jeans, with small black pumps on her feet. In her hair was a dark coloured head band. Just my type. Her hands looked cold and she kept rubbing them while she watched the floors disappear beneath us. These elevators moved so quickly, I barely had a moment.
"Hi!" I said, nonchalantly.
"Hey." She replied, looking straight ahead.
All of a sudden there was a loud ding and the elevator reached the top of it's trip. The doors opened and the girl began walking forwards straight away. "Shit!" I thought as I began to follow her. "I cannot let this one get away from me. Go for it Jack, catch her up!" I began to jog across the marble floor, trying not to draw too much attention to myself. I managed to catch up with her in time to embark the second lift to the viewing floor. Again we found ourselves alone.
"Hi!" I said again, with a stupid grin appearing on my face. "We meet again, you a native New Yorker?" I asked hopefully.
"No, I moved over from Phillidelphia in the fall. Your a first time tourist I'm guessing?" She asked, obviously not impressed.
"Me? No, no I moved over from England in January. I thought I would have lost that tourist vibe by now!" I laughed nervously.
"Nope, still got it. Maybe it is the accent? I don't know." She said, she still hadn't moved her gaze from straight ahead.
The elevator dinged and the doors began to open, unfortunately they did not magically start closing again to give me more time. The girl once again began to move forward and I had to think quickly to get a word in before she vanished.
I managed to catch up to her. "Do you come up here often then?" I asked.
"Sometimes, usually when I need to find a bit of inspiration." She said casually, looking over towards the window and out across the city.
"I think I just found my inspiration." I said under my breath.
The girl finally looked at me. "Oh, nice line." She picked up her pace and made for the door.
"Shit, did I just say that out loud?" I asked myself.
"Hey, watch your language buddy!" An old man demanded as he walked past me.
"Shit, I did it again." Finally thinking and not speaking I looked over to the girl. "What is your name?" I shouted over to her.
"Stephanie." The girl shouted back as the door closed behind her.