Ed Stein is VP/Proofreading Manager for every account and potential account at SaatchiNY. He is, not coincidentally, extremely cranky and nearsighted.
WHAT DO YOU DO AT SAATCHI & SAATCHI?
Usually 20 or 30 minutes of cardio, followed by some light weights and lots of stretching. I’m also the proofreading manager, which means I proofread and manage.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
Dishwasher at a summer camp for underprivileged kids. The dishwashing wasn’t all that enlightening, but the chef who ran the kitchen, Johnny Acey, was also a blues artist who’d occasionally pull out his guitar and play with me or show me some piano licks – that more than made up for dishpan hands.
WHAT LED YOU ON THE PATH YOU’RE ON TODAY?
I had an account exec girlfriend many years ago who, while she appreciated the fact that I was a starving musician and got to stay up late and hang around in bars with other semi-talented slackers, thought helping out with the rent occasionally might be nice too. So she hooked me up with the proofreader at Compton Advertising, and a part-time freelance gig became a 20-plus-year career.
WHAT ARE YOUR LOVEMARKS?
Nudel, a great little restaurant in Lenox, Massachusetts. The chef/owner, Bjorn Somlo, is passionate, driven, and wildly inventive. It’s a privilege to sit there and watch him and his team work. Unfortunately other people have now figured that out, so forget about getting in there over a summer weekend.
Shobac, in Upper Kingsburg, Nova Scotia. Four rentable modernist-rustic cabins on the architect Brian MacKay-Lyons’s farm overlooking the Atlantic and the entrance to the LaHave River. I can’t think of anyplace I’ve been happier doing nothing.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AD (ALL TIME OR CURRENTLY)?
LBJ’s daisy/atom bomb spot from 1964. Subtle it ain’t.
IF YOU NEVER HAD TO WORK AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO DO?
Have a big farm with lots of rescue dogs, close to beaches and skiing. And drink better wine.
FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE BEEN TO?
WHAT’S YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?
My grandmother’s piano.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE YOUTUBE VIDEO?
No. The best video I ever saw was an installation in a Barcelona museum by an artist named Peter Friedl, mashing Daniel Johnston’s “King Kong” with footage shot in a park in South Africa. Alas, it’s not on YouTube (or anywhere else I’ve looked). You can still listen to Daniel Johnston, though.
WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU MAKE REALLY WELL?
Sunday-morning eggs and onions poached in butter and heavy cream, topped with cayenne, bread crumbs and Maldon salt and served over lightly toasted farmer’s bread. It’s a high-caloric heart attack ready to happen.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WARM-WEATHER NYC ACTIVITY?
Playing tennis at dawn down by the Hudson.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHTIME SPOT NEAR THE OFFICE?
I wish you’d asked me back when Alidoro (Thompson between Spring and Prince) was Melampo. Walter makes a good sandwich, but Alessandro was a genius. After work it’s a toss-up between Salt on MacDougal just south of Houston and Shorty’s .32 on Prince.
WHAT’S YOUR GO TO KARAOKE SONG? (COME ON, WE KNOW YOU HAVE ONE).
You know wrong. I have on rare occasion been drunk enough to croon Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire.”
WHAT’S THE BEST MEAL YOU’VE EVER HAD?
Hamburger, fries and a milkshake at an Albany, New York Howard Johnson’s – after an awful day of hitchhiking it was perhaps the one time in my life I was desperately hungry.
IF YOU COULD BE THE WORLD RECORD HOLDER OF ANYTHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I’m already a two-time world-record holder: Most New-Business Pitches Proofread in One Week, and Most Re-Reads of the Same New Business Pitch – I’m just waiting for the Guinness folks to confirm it.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CREATIVE PURSUIT?
A tie between avoiding work and playing piano.
WHAT BLOGS/MAGAZINES/BOOKS/PAPERS/WEBSITES CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
The usual: Hudson/Houston, The Times, The New Yorker, Atlantic, Hudson/Houston, Salon, Slate, Berkshireeagle.com, Yelp, Menu Pages, Hudson/Houston …
WHAT’S THE LAST GREAT EVENT YOU WENT TO?
Danza Contemporanea de Cuba at the Joyce.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Three pieces, actually, courtesy of chef Josh Eden’s grandfather (Josh is “Shorty” of Shorty’s .32): Do every job as well as you can; Never ask anyone to do something you’re unwilling to do yourself; and the really important one: If there’s no work to be done, don’t go looking to make any.
WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE STORY?
I did mention I work on New Business, no? Every deadline is impossible, and so far (fingers crossed) we haven’t missed one.