Distilling Change

Welcome back to the Willey all!  It has obviously been quite a while since the last post, but fear not, this blog still yet has a beating heart!  Shannon and I have been working our ourselves to the bone with real life lately.  As it turns out at some point after moving to a new place you do actually have to settle down into somewhat of a routine of work, eat, and sleep.  While this is not the most fun routine in the world to find yourself wrapped up in, it is not entirely awful either.  Over the last month we have had some visitors come out and finally experience what we have going out here.  David L. Willey actually came to New York City to visit us!  I am fairly confident we sent him back exhausted, whether it was from all the excitement or simply from sleeping on our couch bed for a week, exhausted none the less.  He was joined by our good friend Emily Freyer who is now able to report back to Phyllis about the whole scene we have created here in the east.  Shannon has continuously fed into the house a stream of delicious treats from school, and is doing great at her most stellar of bars.  Addie is working away at Pure still, but spends most of her time being famous with her uber guitar playing boyfriend Mike.  There is a cool scene here that she has been starting to tap into that revolves around guitars, in particular Gibson, which I will have to delve more deeply into at some point.

Distilling is something that I have always wanted to explore.  It is the fascination with process and tradition that lead me to seek out one of the three artisan distilleries in Brooklyn to learn the trade.  I approached Kings County Distillery’s owner David Haskell with a proposition of getting into the distillery to learn how to craft Whiskeys and Bourbons either as a volunteer or just a visitor, but little did I know at the time that they were actually looking for someone to come in part time to take some shifts distilling.  So in 2 long shifts, the first of which extremely eye opening, I was trained on how to run their very small distillery by myself, and then one late Friday night I was set loose and told to create a batch of bourbon.  So it begins!  I am now in a full rotation of distillers, 5 people including the owners, making small batch alcohol in a small warehouse in the middle of Brooklyn.  It is an extremely cool process, surprisingly simple, that I will do a full write up on once I have it down and fully understand all of its small intricacies.   So far so good.

On a different note… I was walking through the East Village on my way down to Soho the other day and was caught by this odd orange construction tape installation.  At first you hardly notice that it is something, but after stopping to stare a little the whole scene pops out at you.  Thought you guys might enjoy it.

Much more to come on the blog, possibly tonight.  Until then, be well!

The Most Precious Commodity: Time

Bahahahahaha!  Insanity!  There is no time to sleep around here right now.  New guests, new things to do, work, cooking… etc.  Shannon, Addie, Dan, and I are constantly continuing the adventure that is New York.

Not much has really changed around here too much.  I am in and out of work constantly, as is Shannon, but it is a good thing for both us as we work in really cool places.  The more I

PDT: In Action

get to know our staff at Crif Dogs and PDT the more I love the place, I am lucky enough to work with some really good employees.  Shannon is absolutely ROCKING cocktail knowledge.  She is so on top of everything she has to learn, and to see her so curious and excited about it all is really fun.  Our bodies have yet to adjust to very weird schedules, and as of right now we both seem to be zombies all the time, but I am sure that our systems will adapt soon enough.

My sister seems to be fitting in like Manhattan was made for her.  It is great to see her in her element, now we just have to hunt her down a job!

Dan is taking his wine passion to all new heights and I have yet to catch him without a piece of wine literature in his hands.  It is a blast to be out with some one who doesn’t just dabble in wines, but knows wines.

Had the good pleasure to head out to Brooklyn a couple of nights ago to catch Tanner’s concert.  There is nothing quite as cool as when your get to appreciate your friends in their element.  Being able to see Tanner and Mike up on stage totally and completely into their music is absolutely amazing!  It is a good night when you get all of your friends together for a beer and some live great live music, and an even better night when the music is being played by your friends!  I am still trying to figure out the best way to include video on the blog, but I have some short clips of the concert.  My little cannon point and shoot cam takes great video, but the sound gets a little distorted so I have chosen some really random clips…

Dan and I have been trying to keep ourselves well immersed in the world around us and there is not a better way to do that then to just go for a long walk.  Recently we hit all of China Town, Little Italy, Financial District, World Trade Center, Tribeca, Meat Packing District, and West Village in an epically long walk.  I finally came to understand just how enormous the buildings really are that make up the NY skyline.  Seeing all of the wall street buildings and court houses… etc, in downtown is… humbling.  Amazing that such a small island holds all of these crazy neighborhoods and huge buildings, and it is so cool that you can walk in and out of all of these culture soaked places at a whim.  It can be kind of shocking to the senses.

Anyways, there is much much more to write about when I get a chance, and a lot of really big things coming up!  But here is the last week in photos:

Hold On to Your Seats!

Just a quick update… Things are pretty chaotic here.  Between negotiations with Gary Muhrcke, to finding Shan a cool job, to looking forwards to new, better, and bigger options, it has really been an intense week.  Shannon and I are both  seeking out a lot of new school options, and have found ourselves both questioning what are chosen paths should be.  Luckily we are 24, and in a city built upon opportunities.  I guess this is the time and place to nail down where we are headed.  We have in fact secured one goal in our minds: To live in room pictured below.  Go Brontosaurus!    Anyways, this summer is going to be a time for growth for both Shannon and I in NYC.  Luckily we will have Dan living out here with us, and possibly (hopefully) my sister as well, which can only mean good things to come!  Here are some more pictures from our jaunts around town:

Bronto Building!

The room where Shannon and I have decided would be ultimate!

What is left when a building dies....

Intriguing Lives of Others…

So everything is marching along swimmingly out here.  We have been exploring the city, meeting up with old friends, and indulging  in what the East Villages has to offer: Bars & Restaurants.  Included in some of the pictures below:  Looking out the window to find our future wives/husbands, watching out for Jason Schwartzman (Yes we did actually end up spotting him) Sitting on the fire escape having a beer and enjoying my rarely used old man pipe which I got for my birthday, and much much more.  Our adventures continue today with the arrival of Dan!

One of our favorite things to do from our apartment is to sit in the living room or on the fire escape and take in the sights happening across the street in everyones apartments.  Most people leave their blinds and curtains open all day and night, letting us view into their little worlds.  As voyeuristic as this seems, and is, you can not tear yourself away from the simple tasks that these people are doing all through their houses.  Like bad sitcoms, this is so intriguing.  We haven’t seen anything scandalous, just run of the mill daily household activities, but something is always happening across from us.  It is like our own human fish tank…

Enjoy Some Pictures:


It has been a hard few days here in NYC.  Weird happenings going on throughout all of the little pieces of our lives.  Nothing overly bad, and nothing great, just changes.  Shannon and I are both finding ourselves in situations which require us to rethink our plans, adjust our lives, and head new directions.  While none of it is negative, it does require us to really question where we want to head, and the real reasons about why we are where we are.  Both of us are in love with city life, and the hustle and bustle of things around us, but now is our chance to either continue to own our situation, or to put ourselves into a new one.  Luckily we have a taste of home headed our way tomorrow in the form of Alex and Marg, and then Dan on wednesday, which will be a huge breath of fresh air.  I truly believe that after we get to spend some time with our favorite people that we will have much more insight and clarity about the decisions that stand in front of us.  So until it comes down to game time out here I will leave you with some more pictures of my walking tour of the city.  As I travel in between many stores here on our little island I continue to snap off photos of interesting sights around me.  Here are some sights in between Time Square and Grand Central Station.

This is the chaos of Time Square: This is what the outside world thinks NYC is.

Super Runners Shop, Time Square

Cathedral in the middle of town.

Grand Central, Hallway Next to the Main Terminal, Enormous.

Main Terminal. Insanity.