A Quick Chat with Helen Hollyman

Here is a quick chat with Helen on her radio show, U Look Hungry.  For whatever reason I can chat up a bar all night long but aim a microphone or camera at me and like kryptonite, frozen.  Luckily Helen is a wonderful host and kept me from tripping up too much, also the bourbon helped.


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:


Physical Fitness – Going Presidential.

It has been extremely challenging to get in the runs that I have wanted to lately.  When you are on call for work all the time, and work 7 days a week, you don’t really have a good schedule for getting into a rhythm in order to get back into shape.  Lately I have been experiencing that guilt you feel when you know you should be out running/going to the gym, but just can’t summon the energy to remove yourself from your living room.  Couple the lack of motivation with working in a hot dog/cocktail place and having a girlfriend who is in culinary school for pastry, and you have a generally soft to the touch guy.  I don’t weigh anymore than I ever have, but the whole “not quite firm” thing is discomforting.  I may still be skinny, but my fitness is pathetic.

So in-spite of my unruly schedule and extremely odd sleep patterns I am going to try and carve out a ritual of routine fitness.  In the city this is a little more challenging than it was in ABQ, due to (this sounds absurd) I can’t drive to the gym, and I always have to run from home.  While the running isn’t awful, it is also not diverse.  There are not 100’s of miles of accessible and radically different trails beckoning me to run them everyday, there are only streets.  There is something to be said for the foot pounding repetitiveness of concrete block after concrete block in the way it is great to check off a day on your training schedule.  It is that sense of daily accomplishment.  I do miss actually being somewhat mentally engaged on a run through the mountains.  Odd how when I had the mountains and rivers at my disposal back home I was only focused on how I didn’t want to run at all. On the same note, I really miss working at the running store… I am actually, and I never ever thought I would ever say this, going to have to purchase some new running shoes and running gear.  I think at some point over the next month I may actually burn through the pile of running shoes I have crammed under my bed, and I am down to my last few pair of ragged short shorts.  Who would have ever thought that this day might come.

So here is goes one more time, a push to gain the routine and discipline to actually establish a real fitness regimen.   So watch out for me in my neon green safety vest flying through the streets.


The Answer – I wandered out to the local running path on the East River with the cam the other day.

Eclectic Selection

Working, Running, Blogging, and Bathing.  Unabashedly, I love taking baths, it always allows me to clear my head, relax my muscles, and spend some good time thinking about what needs to be tackled next.  Whoever created the stigma that bathing was either feminine or sissy needs to take a bath, maybe it will let them spend a little bit more time thinking about the words that are coming out of their mouth.  Here are a sampling of thoughts that were pondered during my most recent bath.

It is not a rare occurrence that I come across an article about Crif or PDT in some New York publication highlighting our cocktails and hot dogs.  Lately, even more fun than finding my place of employment highlighted in a magazine, is finding it highlighted in a magazine right next to Shannon’s bar.  I can’t help but crack up when I pick up Manhattan Magazine and side by side in the ‘best of’ section are both of our places nicely written up and applauded.

I’m slowly and painstakingly getting back into running shape.  10 Days: The amount of days it takes for it to not be agony to tie up your shoes and step outside.  To be honest the running is more challenging these first few days than during the rest of your current stint, but the truly hard part is just mustering up the will to get yourself out the door.  Once you hit the pavement everything else works itself out.  Running the streets of New York you always have someone watching you, egging you on, and as great as a motivator as that can be it ultimately turns out every run to be stitch in my side.  With an audience you can never just jog, you always have to at least attempt to look fresh and quick.  You can’t let an onlooker who you are seeing for all of 12 seconds think you could possibly be tired from running 3 miles in 90 degree heat, and the fact that you live amongst 1.6 million people and will probably never ever again see this random sweaty person again is impossible to fathom at the time.  For some reason bravado and style are the only thing you care to exude while on the run, whether you outwardly pull it of or not is… debatable.  Transports me straight back to my first cross country race in high school, not having any training under my belt and not quite understanding anything about the sport of running, I preceded to run like hell out in front of the gathered crowd and as soon as I was hidden behind a hill  come to a grinding halt and gather myself for the next sprint in order to impress the onlookers.  I can only imagine how absurd it must have been to see a sweating, sprinting, and smiling boy whip by you on the course and head out to the next small hill only to reappear again 25 places behind and 5 minutes later.  Although I have only been out for a few runs now it has already offered me a real escape from the city.  Being able to run along the river into a cool ocean breeze Brooklyn’s factories in the distance, and Manhattans skyline reflecting off the water, it makes it seem as if no one else gets to see what you are seeing.  Somehow running makes you feel like you have earned the sight you are soaking in, making it more yours than even the random tourists gazing in the same direction.  If anything, the sights alone get me out the door when I am tired after work.  Hopefully as these days get busier and busier with the imminent opening of the new restaurant I will continue to have time to run, because I certainly need it with all of the pastries in my fridge.

What Is Happening!?

Not much.  Life in the East Village continues to trek forward with a very steady march.  We have ousted all of the visitors and returned to a normal routine of work and relaxation.  Shannon is starting to find a good rhythm with her very full schedule, and we are still indulging in new pastry delights every other night.

I have initiated the get back into shape sequence by attempting to run everyday.  Even now after just 4 days I can feel the spring entering back into my step.  Being in shape and remaining active creates so much energy in your day to day living.  Running in the city is not ideal, and is by no means anything like running in Albuquerque.  I do miss the mountains and the forests; I don’t miss the altitude.  Urban training is an interesting task, between dodging people, cars, and bikes as well as attempting to time out street lights… it makes for an inconsistent outing.  What I lose in steadiness when running I do gain in interesting sites, sounds, and events.  People watching is premium.  Things you find lying around are intriguing.  Places you stumble across are endless.  There is something about running up the river at night, feeling the cool air breeze off the water, the briney smell is refreshing versus stifling, and then you come around a turn and see the Manhattan skyline pour out in front of you, it can be quite humbling.  Even if the I’m not running on beautiful trails, running is showing me the city like no other method can.  Who knows, maybe I will end up in a race now and again.

At home we are hosting a different kind of house guest now a days.  In order to pad our rent costs enough so that we can all live here happily, and to bring in a little extra income on top of it, we have put our living room on airBnB.com.  It is a cool site akin to couch surfing, but not free, that allows people to stay in houses and apartments across the world for much less than hotel prices.  Shannon and I first came to New York by using AirBnB, and had such great success with it that we have thought to give a try ourselves.  Simply put we have a house guests for weekends.  People book our lovely living room in which we have a pull out couch and air mattress and stay with us for a couple of nights here and there for $75 a night.  So far so good!  We have had a couple come to stay with us who are extremely nice.  Coming up we have a couple from Sweden coming to stay with us for a few nights.  It is actually really interesting to meet all of these people, and luckily we get to screen everyone ahead of time.  Here is the link to our specific post on the site:


Here are some pictures of Shannon newest creations: