All posts tagged NYC

Shedding Light on a Century-Old Craft: Neon Lighting

New signage in the Squeaky Loft.

New signage in the Squeaky Loft.

Living in a digital, connected world means we all have near-instant access to almost anything. Want to plan a trip? There’s a site for that. Want to order a pizza? There’s an app for that. All of this “connectedness” can sometimes make life feel as if it’s speeding by – causing us to forget to stop and admire the craft and perfection that goes into everything that surrounds us, especially art.

That’s why when we recently commissioned our friends at Manhattan Neon for a new neon sign for our office, we decided to take the time to find out more about their historic craft. These guys have been in the neon lighting business for 30 years and are known for iconic  installations like the Coca-Cola sign in Times Square and the Macy’s ‘Believe’ sign.

For our sign, we chose the phrase, “Always Be Nice,” as it closely parallels our ethos and is at the core of our agency culture. We chose to hang it above the conference room so that it can act as a centerpiece of the office as well as a way to inform everyone when meetings and conference calls are in session.

DSC_2055When it was nearly complete, we went to check it out and sat down with the artist who crafted it (a strapping Irish fellow named Steve) to learn more about the history of neon lighting, the industry and his craft.

Neon signage is all done by hand

Neon signage is all done by hand

Q: When did neon lighting first come about?

A: Neon lighting was first created for the purpose of illumination. Europe was competing with the likes of Edison and others for a practical form of lighting and neon lighting was unveiled at the Paris Expo in 1910. In 1923, Georges Claude introduced neon signs to the U.S. with the sale of two signs to a Packard automobile dealership in LA. Upon displaying these new signs near the highway, drivers were intrigued and slowed down to check them out—causing a traffic jam for hours.

Q: How does Neon lighting work exactly? It’s basically running electricity through neon gas and because it’s in glass it allows the light to escape right?

A: Exactly. Primarily you use two gases to create neon signing: Neon (Ne) which produces red and Argon (Ar) which produces blue but variations of gases produce different colors.

Q: Being around for over 100 years now, neon signage is seemingly archaic in the digital age, but surprisingly there is still a demand for it. Why do you think that is?

A: With the rise of technology, modern signage became almost too accessible thus, inadvertently catapulting neon signage into more of an art form.

This sign was used in the film, "The Departed"

This sign was used in the film, “The Departed”

Q:What is the most popular or well-known sign you’ve created at Manhattan Neon?

A: Signs in Times Square such as the Coca-Cola bottle are probably amongst the most well-known signs we’ve produced.

Q: What is the strangest request for a sign you’ve had?

A: Neon signs became popular amongst peep shows and strip clubs and the old 42nd street used to be teeming with them. (Manahattan Neon actually has a bunch of vintage signs from this era)

Q: Is it dangerous if these gas-filled glass tubes drop and break?

A: No that wouldn’t be dangerous but like any job there are dangers in neon sign crafting. I’ve accidentally burned and electrocuted myself in the past. DSC_2159Q: What is your favorite part about the neon lighting business?

A: What’s not to like? I come in, wear what I want and get to do what I love.

We had a great time getting to know Steve and learning more about our talented neighbors at Manhattan Neon.  Next time you stop by Squeaky, be sure to check out our new signage and let us know what you think.

 

 

Winter Fun in the City

Puffy jackets, beanies, gloves, and snow can only mean one thing – winter has officially hit NYC. Even with Winter Storm Hercules upon us, there is no reason we should feel crippled by the face-numbing chill. New York City boasts numerous activities that can be enjoyed inside and outside. So instead of hibernating at home until Easter, why not get out and embrace the winter and all that NYC has to offer?

For the Night Life

NYC is home to some of the best music venues and artists in the world. Why not bowl a few frames, sip some whiskey, and catch a live show at Brooklyn’s very own Brooklyn Bowl?

Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn Bowl

For the Outdoorsy

Feel like getting some exercise? Head over to Central Park’s Wollman Rink and show off those skills we all know you have.

Central Park Ice Skating

Wollman Rink in Central Park

For the Relaxed

Curl up by the fireplace, play Jenga with friends, and eat soft pretzels at Greenpoint’s Spritzenhaus.

Greenpoint’s Spritzenhaus

Greenpoint’s Spritzenhaus

For the Curious

The hardest part about going to a museum in the city is picking which one to visit! With world famous museums like the MOMA, The Met, the New Museum, the Guggenheim, and the American Museum of Natural History, it can be a challenge picking just one. So why not spend a day hitting them all?

Chris Burden's Extreme Measures exhibit at the New Museum on the LES

Chris Burden’s Extreme Measures exhibit at the New Museum on the LES

These really only scratch the surface of what NYC has to offer. What are your favorite things to do in NYC during these cold winter months?

Women You Need to Know NYC

Women You Need to Know NYC #WomenInComm

At Squeaky, we are fortunate to work with and be influenced by smart women on a daily basis. These women (including our co-founder Mailet Lopez) are entrepreneurs, thought leaders and business owners…and never run out of energy or insight when they’re in a room together.  However, unfortunately, it appears to us that this doesn’t happen often enough. While there are plenty of conferences, seminars and networking events in New York City, there aren’t many events specifically catered to successful women.

So, as an agency with a majority of female employees, we decided to do something about it. We ideated an event that would break the mold of the typical networking event filled with entry-level women looking for jobs. Instead, ours would be built around quality connections and encourage a free flow of ideas among exceptional women.

As we began planning, we knew that we couldn’t be the only people out there who wanted to bring women together like this, so we searched for another agency to partner with. As soon as we approached J Public Relations, a female-owned and operated travel public relations agency, it was clear that they were just as excited and eager to make this event happen as we were. Together, we pooled our resources to plan the first-ever ‘Women You Need To Know’ event.

After months of planning, the night we were all waiting for finally happened on Wednesday, July 10th and it’s safe to say that we have never been in the presence of so many talented women at one time. As soon as they started arriving, the conversation (and drinks) started flowing. It was clear that these women didn’t need any panels, presentations or nametags – after all, they’ve built careers on their ability to make connections and share ideas.

With the help of Tequila Avión, Brooklyn Winery, Suja Juices and Uber, we were able to provide delicious drinks and easy transportation to and from the Squeaky loft, and even had DJ Oui Oui (a Squeaky project manager by day) on the 1′s and 2′s to set the mood.

The event was a great success and we have plans to continue the ‘Women You Need to Know’ series, so be sure to stay tuned! Check out photos from the event on our Facebook page.

WalkAbout NYC Agency Edition

WalkAboutNYC

WalkaboutNYC is a behind-the-scenes look at the people and places fueling our creative, technological, and entrepreneurial culture in New York City. As a company which prides ourselves on our diversity, culture and unique work space, we jumped at the opportunity to be part of this open-house event.

It all takes place October 19th but in order to visit us, you must RSVP for either 4pm or 5pm here. Come visit Squeaky HQ, enjoy great conversation, whiskey, beer and get an inside look at how our creative cogs turn. For more information check out WalkAboutNYC.com

Squeaky Launches Bowlmor.com!

We are proud to announce the launch of Bowlmor.com—Bowlmor Lanes offers the ultimate experience in bowling and entertainment and their Union Square location is actually the longest, continuously running bowling alley on the East Coast. It has been great working with the Bowlmor team and we’d like to thank everyone for all their hard work. Explore the site and plan your next party or event with Bowlmor Lanes!

Bowlmor Lanes