Intro: Lately I have been attempting to move towards a new routine of being more gentlemanly. From using my time more wisely to my recent purchase of a safety razor (to be discussed in depth later pending my survival) I have been trying to finally make the move from “guy” to man. It is a concept that I have previously discussed that originates from a college room mate of mine who professed that the period of maturity that we were currently lingering in was the “guy” stage where our life choices were important but ultimately still just practice for real life, we were not quite men yet. As it turns out I think that my ‘guy’ phase began at 19 coinciding with my first apartment in Arizona, traveled through some majorly self defining times such as 21 and the influence of alcohol, as well as 24 leaving home without knowing when you may be back, and ultimately ending with the beginning of the middle, 25. As 25 approaches I can see the ‘man’ phase slowly dawning on the horizon; it is a gradual thing the transition of guy to man, and something to be mourned as much as celebrated. To the point: in order to tackle this new age I am implementing a better routine of gentlemanness. I have already drafted an extremely long, overly worded declaration of what exactly that means and how I am going to follow through with it but here are the essentials: be more dapper, be more motivated, appreciate your surroundings, and do cool things. Which leads me to my main point:
The Pen. Addie, Shannon, and I were discussing the merits of penmanship and the lost art of handwriting when I decided that it would be cool to start posting on the blog with actual writing. There is a weight and quality to words being handwritten that you can’t achieve by with typing. I can too easily revise, erase, rethink, and alter anything I scribble down digitally, not so with a pen and paper. So I hunkered down at the coffee shop across the street with a glass of wine and some candle light, whipped open my leather bound journal, unsheathed my pen and wrote into battle. After about a page I realized the obvious disadvantage of ink: the lack of censorship. There is no way for me to erase the hundreds of random generally unintelligent, mostly misspelled, and awfully bland thoughts. There are other reasons why writing doesn’t work as well anymore: it’s mostly illegible, hand fatigue, and how slow it is, but mainly it is was embarrassing what made it onto the page that then couldn’t be removed. That being said, I have included it here for you to attempt to decipher.
It has been so very cold here the last few days with highs ranging from 18-22 degrees and lows too low to recount. It makes for an amazing excuse to stay in, get delivery, and drink hot cocktails! As it turns out bourbon goes great with a little lemon, some honey, and a cup of hot chamomile tea, I suggest settling down by the fire with a mug of that, although you may not get up again for the night. Money saving tip: The more bourbon you drink, the lower you can keep the thermostat!
After quite the wait we finally have un-casked the second round of bourbon at the distillery. Having bottled a new batch of hand picked barrels we now have something to actually gauge our progress as all of us at Kings County learn our way to the ultimate bourbon. We knew that the last round of bourbon we put out, our first ever, was going to be something that we had no control over. Although it came out incredibly successful for having no idea what we were producing, there were obviously things about it that we needed to tame i.e. the intense and somewhat over bearing pine scent and flavor or the the cloying sweetness that was way too rounded and overwhelmed any of the sharp bite. Being so young, and frankly so ignorant, as a distillery we are learning to tackle problems and improve our work in order to better our bourbon. It boils down to a few different sets of ideas that we are constantly evolving the first being efficiency: trying to make sure we are doing every process the best and most efficient way, and the second: trying to actually influence the flavor of the end result. Making things run more efficient is by far the easier task, it is easy to recognize what we need to do to improve a certain system or how to cut back on waste, and easy to quantify results as they are so visible. Taste… Taste on the other hand is so hard to wrap your mind around. Not only do we have to establish what we are going for, which has become very apparent is very different for every single person involved, but also how to get to that different taste. How do we make a better tasting bourbon? It ranges from the consistency of how everyone works to the cooper that produces our barrels; some things we have control over and somethings we can’t avoid. Keeping all of this in mind, this week we handpicked from all of our aging casks the set of barrels that we balance each other out to achieve the results we wanted. Each barrel we fill ages completely different then the next all showing different qualities, one being sweeter and another showing strong cinnamon flavors. It is our job to select the barrels that will come together to make a whole and complete palette. So after cracking open the 10 barrels that were aged to maturity, we hand selected 3 to bottle this week, and I think the results show. It was unanimously agreed upon that this bourbon was leagues ahead of the last, and I can only hope that we continue to see it progress from here.
After being in New York for 13 months it has come time to look for a new place to live. Shannon and I are both extremely excited to find something that we love and dreading the tasks of house hunting and moving. So far it has been a love hate hunting trip as we get to learn our way around Brooklyn, and I find myself stumbling through new neighborhoods and discovering corners of the borough that I may or may not ever want to visit again. Although we love the apartment we have right now, and the convenience, energy, and beauty of the East Village, our apartment is just slightly our of our price range for our current living situation. Luckily in the time we have spent out here looking at other peoples abodes, and wandering around lost in random places, we have somewhat figured out what we actually want in an apartment. There are so many factors to take into account that we are now having trouble reconciling everything we want so that we could find just one single place, as it is now we would need to rent 3-4 different apartments in 5-85 different neighborhoods. So do we want a large open artist loft in a gutted out warehouse deep in the heart of a bleak but kind of hip neighborhood? Yep. Do we want a cozy little 1 bedroom apartment lodged in between 8 bars, 4 bodegas, a pet store, and a cafe? Yep. Park Slope, Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint? So many places, so much to offer, and so much to watch out for. Anyways, it has been quite the struggle to find a place so far, there is just so much walking and train travel coupled with that excitement and anticipation…
What it comes down to so far is living in a really amazing loft: 1100 sq/ft 20ft ceilings, all windows, beautiful kitchen…etc. In a dumpy, uninteresting part of town that requires us to get on a train if we need to do anything. Or finding a tiny apartment in the heart of it all. We thought we were prepared to move into one of the amazing loft spaces, but every time we think about it we begin to get uneasy. I think we probably just need to win the lottery so that we can merge the two together, awesome loft in the bustling city.
There are three frames sitting in our hall closet waiting to be filled, and finally they will be sated. The fine gentlemen from Restoration Hardware dropped off a new drafting table for the house today which I am extremely excited about. Finally Shannon has a legitimate place in the house to sit and draw. Hopefully over the next few weeks I will begin to our walls fill up with beautiful graphite renderings!
After sitting at home for the last 4 days… wooo…… I have created a new Tumblr blog in order to catalog all of the cool things I stumble across on the internet. Nothing overly exciting, just a catalog of randomness to keep me interested throughout the day. You can find it here: http://twilley.tumblr.com – or – by clicking the link on the right side of the page under the links section.
Now I am off to retire to the couch to watch more ridiculous movies on Netflix and sip on a fusion of bourbon, honey, and hot chamomile tea!