First, let me introduce myself. I'm Chiclet, a black cat and longtime resident of the Mary A. Whalen, a 1938 oil tanker anchored in Red Hook, Brooklyn. I was invited to talk about how the new advertising agency Atlantic New York set up their first office in my home.
Here's how everything unfolded.
I remember it being a beautiful summer day. I was chilling on the deck of the ship when two guys came by and started asking for my mom, Carolina Salguero, who's the founder and director of NGO PortSide NewYork, which connects New Yorkers to the benefits of our harbor. I couldn't be bothered saying hello so I hid inside the ship's engine.
My mom was a little hesitant to let the two strangers inside, but a massive summer storm came out of nowhere and she had no option but to let them in. I might have let them soak, but apparently it was their lucky day (Mom is much nicer than I). Once inside, João Coutinho and Marco Pupo introduced themselves as two advertising veterans who were launching their own agency. The guys were completely amazed by the ship. They couldn't hold their excitement and kept whispering to one another, "This is it, this is it!"
I remained in the shadows as they carefully explained why they were looking for a boat to be their office space. First, it was because of their name "Atlantic." Second, because they wanted something to live up to their countercurrent philosophy, where they always try to navigate against the currents with everything they do—from how they filter their work, to how they build their teams, to how they collaborate with brands. I personally don't speak very advanced human, but it seemed cool enough.
Since they made a deal, some interesting things have happened here. First, Atlantic helped renovate the original wheelhouse, which has the best views and a really nice breeze. A lot of people from our community in Red Hook came in to help with the extensive work, which was pretty fun. The Atlantic team even painted a ring buoy with their name on it, and I thought it looked like a fun place to sleep.
We've also been getting a lot of visitors, which they call "clients." I do like the extra pets I get from these people. Those visits are supposed to be quick, but every time the clients come, they ask to stay longer, sometimes even the whole day. They say it's because of the amazing views of Lady Liberty and Manhattan … but then they keep staring at their computers all day. Humans are funny.
I've also been hearing a lot of different languages around here. English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, German, and more. It's because Atlantic is part of a global network of independent companies, and sometimes they do their calls from here. I'm even learning some new words. I learned that my name, in Portuguese, is Chiclete.
I can't forget to mention a few concerts, parties, art exhibits, and even an event called "Free Books and Ice Cream For Kids," done in partnership between Atlantic and the NGO PortSide NewYork. A lot of kids showed up that day and had lots of ice cream. It was a very fun way to end the summer. I licked so much ice cream off the deck, I got a bellyache.
Everyone who comes here says that this is the coolest office they've ever seen. It makes me wonder if one day I should go out and see what a normal advertising agency looks like. Maybe ad people aren't as hip as they think they are. I don't know. To me, this is just my home.