Distilled NYC Update

I’m Noah Lemas. We actually met briefly the other day; I’m the VP of the Distilled NYC Office. I’m a west coast native, who’s moved east with childhood notions of New York quickly changing as I settle in.

I’ve been in New York all of about three months now, just long enough to have seen a few interesting things but not quite long enough to, say, know where to catch trains or know which ones go where. I still take as much time determining which train I should be on as I do orienting myself when I’m back above ground, which is to say more time than I’ve admitted to previously.

The Distilled NYC office is the center of my universe, strangely; I made sure to know where work was first, which strongly influenced my mental map thereafter. I found a good burrito rather quickly, and a favorite sushi lunch, but I’ve also been flummoxed by the simplest of things. So long as I can catch a glimpse of the city’s newest landmark, though, I can usually find my way back to the office.

Okay, so maybe I’m still learning about New York, and I’m sure I have plenty of lessons ahead, but I’m loving it so far. I’m surrounded by a great team filled with smart people, with the full support and resources of our London and Seattle offices. We are working with a variety of great clients and big brands, making an impact as a smallish agency of relatively big renown.

As I’m meeting or reconnecting with people, I’m noticing some themes in regard to questions about the New York office:

Where can I meet you so that you can buy me a beer?

We’ve organized a meetup for February 10, 2016. Scheduled at the Made in NY Media Center across the river in Brooklyn, the event will be all about digital content. I’ve got a few tickets to give away (with drinks included), so hit me up in the comments below.

What have you done with Tom Critchlow?

Tom’s here in New York, living in Brooklyn, curating art, and working alongside the Distilled NYC team for key clients and projects. Having founded the New York office, Tom provides great perspective and support to me and to our New York team, and his role allows for an excellent opportunity for younger members of our team to learn directly from him.

Are you still in the same NYC office space?

We are...for now. You can still find us in the TechSpace building at 41 East 11th St., but not for much longer. We’re in negotiations on a new office location and things are looking very promising. Stay tuned!

So you must be growing?

Rather quickly at the moment, actually. We could probably continue to grow in our smaller digs, but the Distilled NYC team wants to put our stamp on a location so that it reflects our team and what we’re building here in New York. Distilled NYC has been here for five years now. The TechSpace building is a great place to establish a company and to have a turnkey office space to start but our growth is going to be better served by having a space to accommodate our video game room with a big TV short and longer-term needs.

So you’re growing again, then you must be…

We are hiring! With our client list and team growing, we are seeking a senior SEO consultant in addition to more general consulting team opportunities. If you are looking to work with an exciting team, for notable clients and on significant projects, let’s talk. I’m tasked with growing a rewarding and exciting place to work, to take the New York office to the next level. Come join us and help us build something memorable! Or maybe you know just the right senior consultant. Please, do let me know.

Do you folks still do team drinks on Fridays?

Every Friday at 4 PM, drinks of choice are on the house.

What about the London and Seattle offices?

I’m just the new guy here in New York. Craig Bradford still runs the London office and Rob Ousbey the Seattle office. They are hiring, too, actually, but you know you’d rather be here with us in New York, working alongside me and this team. In fact, maybe we should start a comparison; I have an idea for my next blog post: “Top 10 Reasons You’d Rather Be At Distilled NYC.”

Do you guys still do the SearchLove conferences?

Of course. The first of 2016 is coming up shortly, in Boston. You’ll find most of our team there, even Will Critchlow.  I’ll be there, too, of course, so it’s another place to claim that beer. Why don’t you join us?

SearchLove Boston is back in May


What is this I hear about Distilled’s R&D team?

It’s true; Distilled’s R&D team is killing it behind the scenes. In addition to our internal tool-suite named simply “Ops”, we’ve also unveiled our Optimization Delivery Network. Both are products of Tom Anthony and Duncan Morris and the brilliant folks toiling away on our proprietary tools.

Everyone says the people at Distilled are smart. Pound for pound, who is the smartest person at Distilled?

I’m not sure the question makes sense entirely, but the answer has to be either Tom Capper, who I’m assuming stays aground in the wind due primarily to the density of his IQ, or “Chief”. Determining the comparative weights and IQs seems like an idea HR might want to review, though; we may need an alternate format for determining a winner. Also, of course, if I meet a team of tiny little geniuses in London, I will revisit this answer.

And Who is “Chief?”

Working as the quiet giant, that would be Niralee Thanki. Niralee has until recently served in the role of “Head of Finance.” She’s been promoted to Chief Operating Officer now, so “Chief” is the nickname that I thought I might be able to help make stick if I wrote it here. Congratulations, Niralee Chief!

Great, congratulations to Chief, but seriously, will you give us some skinny on New York City now that you’ve marketed at us for awhile?

You mean, as in, what has surprised me about the city but I wouldn’t normally mention? Well, I’ve learned about:

  • Public Restrooms

    • If you are wondering where the public restrooms are, you’re not ready for New York City yet. To use the local vernacular, “yeah, heh.”
  • Landmarks

  • Car Horns

    • Growing up in Southern California, I took offense to the car horn because, dude, mellow out already, I’m looking at the ocean. So, at first, New York City car horns had me a bit jumpy. Then I realized, though, the absurdity of one guy, honking his useless horn from twenty cars back. The car horn in New York City is like the car alarm in Los Angeles; nobody is listening or cares. Uh, yeah, heh?
  • Dogs
    • New York City is home to an entire bizarro canine world, in which little tiny dogs dressed up in sweaters and boots, with fancy hairstyles and bejeweled collars, walk human beings around the city on leashes. Yeah, heh.

Are you planning on being at the Comedy Cellar?

Not without more than 30 seconds of bad material, no. But I highly recommend taking in some jazz and/or blues at The Village Vanguard, just around the corner from our current office. Seeing and hearing the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra has been one of the highlights of my “real” New York experience so far. Another was dinner with a few Bend-based colleagues at The Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station (h/t Julianne Staino, who always has a great restaurant recommendation at the ready). 

Maybe you, too, have a few things to share about this incredible city, a few notable tips, hacks, tricks, etc. C’mon, seriously, bring them to the Meetup on February 10. You know, because yeah, heh!

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About the author

Noah Lemas

Noah is an SEO nerd and digital marketing veteran. Before joining the Distilled team, Noah spent years in agency and in-house roles creating digital strategy and content. He breaks down digital concepts and strategies into relatable, understandable...   read more