Memories of Pittsburgh
h, how I miss Pittsburgh. A few years ago, NEXT Pittsburgh was kind enough to run a little feature on me, and I'm re-reading it (and posting it here) out of nostalgia. Big thanks to Jennifer Baron for conducting the interview and Tracy Certo for putting it all together!
Entrepreneur Kash Dhanda, founder and CEO of the digital marketing agency, Ezra Digital, is a self-described “media/culture addict.” We’ve met with him a few times and found him to be quite forward-thinking, uber-techy, and into really cool things. All that and he’s a good guy and fun to hang with. Keep up with Kash this week, from website redesigns to how he decompresses to what he’s putting in his coffee. (It ain’t cream.)
Let’s just say we’ll have whatever he’s having.
Monday, December 5
I’ll start the week by taking a 30-second walk to the 61C Cafe in Squirrel Hill for a croissant and coffee. To supercharge the caffeine, I’ll also take 200mg of L-Theanine, a green tea extract proven to improve the potency (and reduce the jittery side effects) of caffeine. If you’re drinking coffee without L-Theanine, you’re seriously missing out.
This morning boost will be essential, as Mondays are dedicated to meetings with my team. We’ll formulate plans of attack for projects ranging from website redesigns to Facebook ad campaigns to search engine optimization. This week, we’re also working on developing a new nonprofit social media management service, so there’s much work to be done.
After the day of meetings, I’ll head over to Levity Float for a session in the sensory deprivation tank. It’s like a massage for my mind, allowing me to decompress completely and charge up for the week ahead. Highly recommended for anyone with a busy schedule.
Tuesday, December 6
There are few parts of my week I enjoy as much as strategy meetings with clients. Today will include a lengthy digital strategy session for a startup client of ours, crowdAmerica. We’re wrapping up the final elements of a marketing plan to promote their eREIT product, which allows anyone to invest in local real estate projects.
This afternoon, I set aside time for creative work while listening to podcasts. Two Pittsburgh-produced favorites include Brian Bronaugh’s “Corps340,” where I’ll hear insightful stories from Pittsburghers in a variety of industries, and Aaron Watson’s “Going Deep with Aaron Watson,” which focuses on interviews with innovators and creatives. I’m a fan of Going Deep episode #111 in particular, but then again, I’m a bit biased.
At night, I’ll head to Squirrel Hill’s best bar, Hidden Harbor, for tropical drinks with friends in a cozy but energetic setting. Pro tip: get the pork sliders and a Krakatoa for two.
Wednesday, December 7
Kash Dhanda with his fiancée Sanah Sabharwal
First meeting of the day is with Brian Magee, CEO of the impactful Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project, an organization for which I’m on the board of directors. We’ll be discussing how to further engage and grow our audience of more than 25,000 young professionals in Pittsburgh using digital marketing.
After work, I’ll head to East Liberty for drinks at the Whitfield with friends. While drinking, we’ll play a few games of ping-pong in the gym and bet on the winners. I almost always lose, so these nights get expensive for me.
We’ll then grab a late dinner at Noodlehead in Shadyside. They take no reservations, no credit cards, have no telephone, and the staff can be surly, but it’s my favorite Thai restaurant in spite of (or possibly due to?) these peculiarities.
Thursday, December 8
Whenever possible, I try to meditate in the morning to get my day off to the right start. I use the Headspace meditation app, which includes a ten-day free trial (great for those new to meditation).
After a client call with Dr. Vonda Wright, a top surgeon and health futurist, I’ll head downtown to meet with Pete Maher, co-founder of the LUMA Institute. Their work around human-centered design has been tremendously influential to my agency. We’ll be discussing their LUMA workplace platform, which helps teams solve problems faster.
At night, I’m finally getting to try out Bricolage’s Enter the Imaginarium, an escape room experience which I’ve heard people rave about for months.
Friday, December 9
After a morning client call with the always-effervescent Pete Strobl, CEO of The Scoring Factory, I’ll dedicate the rest of the day to creative strategy and phone calls.
The night will be low-key, with dinner at Silk Elephant and a movie at the Manor Theatre, both in Squirrel Hill. I’ll be joined by my brother, Brij Dhanda, a newly minted McKinsey consultant, and my beautiful fiancée, Sanah Sabharwal, an MBA student at Tepper.
Saturday, December 10
My new Oculus Touch controllers will arrive by Saturday, so I’m planning to dive into new Virtual Reality experiences. The Touch controllers bring your hands into VR, which should increase the degree of immersion (and fun) by an order of magnitude. I doubt I’ll leave the apartment for the duration of the day.
In the evening, I’ll accompany Sanah over to Tepper’s Winter Formal, where we’ll drink and dance the night away.
Sunday, December 11
Following a morning cup of tea at the singular Dobra Tea House in Squirrel Hill, I’ll spend the afternoon catching up on emails and working on client projects. At night, Sanah and I will have an early dinner at the Spanish restaurant Morcilla, one of our new favorites in the city.
Afterward, we’ll be joined by a few friends for a night of scotch and poker, the perfect cap to what should be another fantastic week in Pittsburgh.
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