Quick Update; Running

Wow, I have been absolutely terrible at keeping up with the blog over the last few months.  In order to show the world that we are in fact still alive, I thought I would type out a quick hello!  Shannon is going 7 days a week between work and school, but is very close to graduating from FCI.  I am distilling constantly, tending bar in between, and trying to get fit for our ultimate challenge.  In order to further my cause of not being stuck on the couch watching hulu/netflix and eating a constant stream of fine pastries I have made the executive decision of seeking out some fellow runners and enrolling myself in a running group again.  Hopefully with a group of people to run with again it won’t be so odd running through all of the concrete warehouses and abandoned streets of industrial Brooklyn alone.  Come August I should definitely be Warrior Dash ready.

Feel like going for a run?  Come find me.

More to come very very soon with actual content, but to cap off this brief update let me leave you with yet another subway musical performance:


Life’s Soundtrack, Episode 1

Now that I am living in Brooklyn I find myself using the trains quite a bit more.  From the gym, to the bars, to see Shannon, and anywhere and everywhere within the city the ‘L’ train is our life life to the city.  As my sister and I have often conversed about, it would be amazing to have an ambient omnipresent soundtrack that accurately depicted the mood and scene we were experiencing, and now we finally have a source for in the moment musical narration.  Most of the time when I take the train into the city I encounter some form of “performer” serenading me from the platform, and often in close quarters on the train itself, and most of the time they are… what you would expect.  Occasionally you will find yourself in a situation… mood… mind set… that lets you stumble upon a subterranean talent that ignites the scene.  I don’t know if it stems from actual musical talent or that it just happened to be just the right moment, but it all comes together to form a soundtrack for the New York Subway Life… which can be very… well it can be a very lot of things.   So I am going to start cataloging the good, bad, and otherwise indeifferent musical (and other) performances that I encounter on my journey between my island (Long Island) and the isle of Manhattan.  Here now for you are a few I have stored up on my phone over the past couple of months.

Awesome kind of country funk band… just a refreshing mix of kind of normal guitar and fun music:

Here is a crazy… Russian… eerie… kind of great… performance.  Happened to be a very dreary winter day, and as I sat very late at night down in this very dingy subway stop this guy was droning intense music through the whole subway station.  I was convinced some insane action flick was going to roll through the platform in slow motion… Think ‘In Bruges” (phenomenal movie if you haven’t seen it)

This guy had a keyboard and synthesizer, and man… was going to town.  My sister and I stumbled across him one night, and while we didn’t actually get a very good clip this gentleman actually sounded pretty amazingly good.  It may have been just how passionate he was, but I actually think this guy sounded pretty talented.  I wish we had recorder some better video of it.

Stay tuned for more Subway adventures… this was just a very very small taste of what emanates from down below… and now that I am on the prowl, I will hopefully be able to capture better and higher quality footage.  Signing Off, TW.

Ultimate Challenge 2011: The Adventure Begins

Originally created in winter of 2008 by Addie, Shannon, and I to get ourselves back in shape and then somewhat half-halfheartedly re-enacted over the course of the last few years, the Ultimate Challenge is back.  It is time to pick some goals and push our limits.  Everything out there says that if you want to better stick to your fitness goals then you tell other people about them, well folks we are gonna get fit.  Originally our goals started with the ability to do a certain number of pull ups, but this year we have an actual event in sight: The Warrior Dash.  3.2 miles of running, jumping, climbing, mud, water, and fire.  So stay tuned as we hit the gym, hit the streets, and maybe do a little yoga, because the challenge has begun!  To help you grasp our overly dramatic ultimateness please click here:  ULTIMATE!

Here is a little insight into what to expect, a view from UC 2008:

I’m also going to start assembling the ultimate Adventure Racing Team… Considering our group of friends is centered around olympic caliber athletes who are finally ready to approach something fun rather than their own very specific events, I think we should create an adventure racing team to meet once or twice a year and dominate a 3-4 day race!  Orienteering, paddling, running, climbing, camping, beautiful places, and it will keep us in shape!  So be ready at any point to gather up and take on a mountain.  You have been warned… I will provide a ton of booze as incentive.

Moral of the story today: Time to get back in shape, or if you are already in shape then let’s ramp it up! I will be doing yoga in our living room this evening will drinking beer if anyone wants to join.



Moonshine and Mousse

It is hard to remind yourself that sometimes when there is nothing particularly spectacular going on it doesn’t mean that you are being stagnant.  After a whirlwind year of constant adventure the slower times can seem a little unproductive and often leave me very restless at the end of a day focusing on what I am not doing rather than what I am headed towards.  Luckily both Shannon and I have the luxury of working  in the industry we want to end up in allowing us to gain experience while working on other projects on the side.  Every now and then it is nice to get little reminders that things are moving forward.  Last night my sister and I headed down to SoHo for a dessert sitting at the French Culinary Institute featuring our very own Chef Shannon Tebay and her pastry class peers!  Over the past few months it has become all too obvious that Shannon has a knack for pastry.  She has translated a talent for art, a precise hand, and seemingly limitless creativity into edible delights which constantly fill our fridge.  Night after night I get to indulge in tarts, trifles, and truffles and I have yet to stop being impressed, but to go and see Shannon in her element at the helm of a professional kitchen serving fine dining quality plates is another level of awe all together.  Shannon’s Creme Yvette Mousse dessert was supremely decadent, and an awesome reminder of what she has accomplished in such a short time.

Producing something physical, whether it is a beautiful dessert or a barrel of bourbon, is a nice way to remember that you are actually working towards a goal.  When I am not sure what it is I am actually doing in New York I find that wandering through the room where our bourbon barrels are stacked at the distillery reminds me of results that you can’t actually see come to fruition.  The reason I originally sought out work in a distillery was an infatuation with the lore and legend of every single bottle of single malt I have ever tasted, seen, or know of.  Every single bottle of spirit was tended to with great care by some one for years just so that I could enjoy it for a moment.  4… 10… 12… 21 YEARS of work went into a small bottle of alcohol.  You can’t help but admit that the knowledge of someone watching over that very drop of liquid in your glass somewhere across the planet over a decade ago doesn’t make it infinitely more precious.  It’s the thought that someone might scrutinize or romanticize an unknown random bottle of the bourbon that I make at the distillery that makes me care about every single step of everyday of work.  Hopefully I can imbue as much history and care into my bottles I as get from the spirit I myself enjoy.

Lately we have been getting quite a lot of attention from local, national, and international media.  It is flattering to find our bottle popping up in places I would have never thought to find them, thank you J. Crew.  Most recently we had a TV crew from Tokyo do a story about us for the local news:  I thought you might enjoy the clip, so here is our distillery from a different sounding point of view:  Click Here To Watch!

For everyone back home here is a real look into the distillery and our products, just click each link to take a look:

Video Tour!

Cool Pictures


Here are some pics from the new (yet to be named) place, unfortunately I was unable to hold the camera still… not sure what was going on there.  Hopefully I will be able to dig up some good pictures of Shannon’s supreme dessert work in the next couple of days!

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The Adventure Continues: Year Two

Welcome to the 2nd year of the Wandering Willey!  February 26th marked the 1 year point for the blog.  There were 103 posts over the 365 day span, not too bad for year 1!  I am going to attempt to improve upon consistency again now that we have have settled into our new apartment, and hopefully stay in better touch with the world.  So here is to another year of good events to write about and to you the reader for sticking with us.  Cheers!

And on that note, let’s start this new blogging year with a bang:

"You can Sarran Wrap anything," Shannon Tebay.

We have officially moved!  We have set out the last of the moving boxes and bubble wrap at the curb, hung everything on walls, and stocked the pantry.  Our journey from the East Village to East Williamsburg was fairly uneventful, with careful planning and packing we were able to hire movers (the only way to go when 5 flights of stairs are involved) to get the job down in under 6 hours.  After saying goodbye to the old apartment last Sunday there is no looking back.  It is truly amazing the amount adventure contained in that silly little apartment perched above Avenue A.  Shannon, Dan, Addie, and all of the friends we had come and go have used that place as a launching pad for more excitement than anyone has a right to experience in just 14 months.  Time to start all over again in Brooklyn!

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC, NY.  We now live on the 4th floor of a red brick building above a jewelry shop.  During the process of moving out to the new borough it quickly became obvious that it was going to be a little different scene.  Not only are simple things quite different, as in the temperature is considerable colder when you are unprotected by the towering city, but also the architecture is radically different, the noise level is drastically reduced, and most blatantly and almost oppressively the blue sky returns!  It actually stratles me every time I look out of the window and see nothing but blue sky, I hadn’t realized how much I missed it.  We now get to see a real sunset every night!  Already the transition has been a little bitter-sweet, I have found that while Brooklyn has welcomed us with arms wide open I do already miss some things about the East Village.  When moving out of an old place it seems that it is hard to remember why it is we were moving, and only after settling into the new place did I come to understand the charm and unique beauty of our old neighborhood.  Moving forward from the city, there are tons of benefits to our new neighborhood!  Already we have located the plethora of great bars, restaurants, and cafes.  We have a grocery store right across the street!  Anyways, I can’t wait for the weather to let up so that we can actually figure out our new spot.

The Apartment: Small.  About 650 sq. ft. 1 Bedroom sitting atop of a large brick building (tallest on the block) with a view of the Manhattan skyline and the Williamsburg bridge!  It is no small thing being back in an apartment where things actually work, i.e. the sink works, cabinets have handles, the counters are marble and not porous stained vinyl, and there aren’t nails coming through the floor!  One thing has really made our new place a good place for me: sunlight.  We actually get bright morning sunlight in the kitchen and warm afternoon light in the living room.  Pair the sun with some blue skies and finally I can relax a little after escaping the concrete sidewalks and towering buildings.  Here are some pictures of the move and the new place slowly being assembled.

Much more to come this afternoon and over the next couple of days.  Check back in on updates about work, school, and new adventures.  We hope all of you guys are doing well.  Much love from Brooklyn/