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Posts Tagged ‘washington heights’

starbucks

 

This was a short, but super fun holiday moment for the blog.

Day 4 in my quest to find something celebratory about the holiday season brought the fun to me…

As I waited at the Starbucks bar for my Grande Americano (one of many for the day!), the holiday music was playing overhead. So I…. yup… started humming and then singing softly and then realized that I was not alone. The barista making my drink was singing. So we smiled and got a little louder at which point other customers and other baristas joined in and soon we were all singing “Winter Wonderland” together.

When it was over, we all cheered, giggled, hi-fived and went on drinking our coffee!

Love my neighborhood.

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This morning in my journal writing I got this clear “hit”. Time to celebrate the holidays in a new way. You see I love the holiday time- especially December and the lead into Christmas. So much sparkle and song! But during many holiday seasons past the days fly by and before I know it, it is New Years Day. Very disappointing. It is just not the same finally being in the mood to celebrate in January.

Therefore, I decided to do one “holiday activity” each day for the first 25 days of December and blog about it. Share about it. Celebrate it!

Today’s kick-off was the tree lighting in my neighborhood. Courtesy of the Washington Heights Business Development Council, Fort Washington Collegiate Church and many local businesses.

In August, I moved to Washington Heights and immediately fell in love with the diversity and energy of this magical part of NYC. My best friend calls it “secret NY”.  Today marks the beginning of the holiday season for me in this new neighborhood.  New traditions. New experiences.

The tree lighting ceremony was simple. Children running everywhere- meeting Santa, decorating cookies, singing songs- and then we all gathered around a crooked tree in the front of the churchyard and counted down to the lighting. I stood with some new friends and felt a part of everything. Cheers from the hundreds of neighbors as the tree glowed in colored lights and then we all sang carols.

My idea of a holiday kick-off.

2012-12-01 12.56.20Washington Heights tree lighting

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As I continue to share the stories of my recent move from one neighborhood in Manhattan to another, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a little brand loyalty.

Bottom-line is that I am a brand loyalist.

A brand ambassador.

A brand enthusiast.

A brand evangelist.

Choose your phase, but whether you have spent an hour or a decade in my world, you know that I have “my brands” and I am fiercely loyal. Just try start up a conversation with me about Starbucks, Target, Muppets, Twitter, Post-it, Sharpie, JJ Virgin, or Taryn Rose- I am clear as to why each of these brands rocks my world on a daily basis!

Honestly, I love a great “brand story”. It was one of the favorite things about my role at Monster and MetLife during my corporate days. My career progressed until I was honored to truly be an internal and external brand ambassador and got to tell the story of the brand evolution of both those companies day in and day out. Thrilling for me. (Plus you know how I love to tell a story)

Well, another brand that I really adore and have been heralding for 10 years is Fresh Direct, the NYC on-line grocer. When they hit the NYC scene in 2002, I was one of their very first customers and have been loyal for A DECADE! The fabulous men and women who deliver heavy boxes and cases of seltzer water to my house always do it with a smile.

I have watched the retailer change their operational plan to include handheld technology for the delivery team and expand their offerings in partnership with top restaurants and personal favorites (Dinosaur BBQ originating in Rochester and Syracuse). Plus many years ago they began offering their local, farm-raised and organic produce (including Red Jacket Orchards fruit as seen in this picture- right down the road from my house at home outside of Rochester).

Okay- so you are thinking I love them because they carry all kinds of Rochester products, but that’s not it. (Although, that is awesome)

  • I love their customer service model where an actual person calls when the delivery will be late, quickly refunds my account for quality issues, and takes the request for new products very seriously.
  • I love their bonus programs, specials and long-time customer loyalty discounts.
  • I love that I order my groceries on my iPhone on a business trip and they are delivered when I arrive home in NYC.
  • I love that over the years they have evolved their warehouse packing process and therefore reduced their packaging footprint on the earth.
  • I love their variety, diversity of product, catering to NYC markets and cultures, quality of produce, and their Fresh Direct in-house made products.
  • I love that I moved with over 70 boxes to my new apartment and never bought a single box because everyone in my building loved Fresh Direct so much too that I just used all of their boxes to pack (see a sample of my packing) It made me happy to have their logo all over my move.
  • And I love that I have still not sent out a “change of address” note to any friends or family but Fresh Direct was the very first (and immediate) notification I made!

When I love my brands, I love my brands.

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