Routinely Smooth

It now takes me about 10-15 minutes to shave, but in return I have gained the right to move one space closer to “manhood” in the game of life.  Like most things in life the tasks that you take the time to do right seem to reward you the best, and this seemingly small part of my routine (especially since I don’t actually grow facial hair) has forced me to slow down and actually pay attention to something I have often over looked.  There is something about ritualizing a simple task that can elevate it from mundane inconvenience to something that uplifts the spirits.  I never thought that shaving would actually brighten my day, but when you slow down and do it right without skipping any steps you feel better and fresher by the end of it.  So go out and get yourself a badger hair brush, some pre-shave oil, a good cream, and a safety razor (not a mach 1000, but something that holds real blades) and go to town.   On that same note, keep your Scotch in a decanter with its own tumblers, it makes pouring and enjoying your drink special.  It can be a $10 dollar bottle or a $1000 dollar bottle, but it elevates them both to something they couldn’t be without the ritual of pouring them out of a beautiful decanter.

I was cruising around NYC the other day in Moonshine Metro (the distilleries trusty little Geo-Metro) delivering moonshine to the masses when it hit me like a hammer, Ive been trapped in the East Village.  Driving through the mountain range of buildings in the financial district, cruising across the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge, down the tree lined streets of Park Slope, by Prospect Park, along the banks of the East River, outside of the sea-port, and the list goes on and on… in only 5 square miles it was made completely apparent to me that I had fenced myself in.  Matthew who was making the rounds with me made comment to how that was a real problem for all New Yorkers, that everything is so accessible within your own neighborhood that you never have to leave a 4 block radius.  We are constantly surprised to find places we never knew existed within a stones throw of our front door, and to think about how much there is to discover just a 10 minute walk away is almost frustrating.  As we have settled into our normal routine of work and school here in the city it has been too easy to push aside exploring for the comfort of our couch and the promise of an easy day.  With so much available to us, and none at almost no cost, I hope to find the motivation to get out into the world again during our very limited free time.  Fortunately moving day is coming up and once we have relocated into Brooklyn we will have already taken a new step to exploring a new area.

Shannon and I are officially making the move to the new place next Tuesday.  So after that time, please find us at our new apartment in Williamsburg.  I haven’t decided how I feel about posting our address on the internet, I am not sure it matters at all, but if you guys need our new mailing address please let me know and I will either put it up or send it to you.

Finally, our good friend Tanner Walle is working on his next album and is preparing for some studio time.  As you know he has been amazing here during our first year of living in New York, and has made numerous appearances on this very blog.  You can find some video from his concerts in previous posts: click here.  We met Tanner bar tending at our favorite wine bar, aka our second home, where he makes a living, but while Tanner can poor a mean bottle of Bordeaux his true talent lies in his music.  In order to get our good friend into the studio to produce his album he is making use of a funding website called kickstarter.  Check it out, check him out, and if it perks your interests, help him out!  See it all here: Tanner Walle’s Kickstarter Project.

Snowy Weather, Story of Our Lives


Worrying About Winter

New York City Declares Weather Emergency.  You can read all about it here in the NY Times article, that was released earlier this afternoon.  Now I know it hasn’t snowed yet… and it is winter… and we live on the north east coast where bad weather almost never happens… but we have a storm headed our way!  Being fairly new to the area having only lived in New York for 13 months I should probably be following suit and panicking, possibly stocking up on canned items and flare guns, but I am going to follow my initial instincts and have a beer.  Might I remind everyone here in the city that we don’t actually own cars, and therefore will still be able to commute the long distances to a local store even if  .05 miles is daunting task with 12 inches of snow on the ground.  Lately I have found myself gazing out of the window at the remaining snow left melting from the last storm that crippled our city for a day, and yet everything already seems like it has resumed like nothing has happened…

I’m sorry about being cynical, I know there are consequences to the winter storms we have out here.  I worry about the response of emergency teams, and messed up travel schedules.  I worry about everyone having heat and electricity.  These things are concerns that are brought to the forefront whenever something like a snow storm is looking in the distance, although they probably should be looked at without the prompting of something as routine as snow in winter.

Unfortunately as I brace myself for the second coming of Snowpocalypse, as the city has fondly titled our repeated assaults from mother nature, I find only excitement at the prospect of a change of scenery from our apartment window.  Currently I am locked up at home instructed to lay low in order to not spread or excite my current condition, Chickenpocalypse v2.0.  Yes, I ended up with Shingles!  Although as far as I can discern I may have the mildest case ever recorded limited to some unsightly blotches on my arm, sniffles, and an ear ache.  Fortunately the doctor did prescribe staying very much under cover for a few days in order to not spread it and also not excite it.  So I am hunkering down with my laptop and chinese delivery, which if I had to guess would still have delivered in spite of 8-12 inches of snow, and have began to catch up on all of reading that should have been down over the last year.  If I have not already said so: Kindle = Awesome.  I adore books, and I mean physically, I love the feel of a heavy book and I was immediately concerned about betraying books across the world by purchasing a Kindle, but time after time it continues to prove its worth.  Today’s case for the eBook that could: I can finish all of the books I have on hand, and then without leaving the couch dive into 10 more.

So here I am in my apartment with the radiators on, new books downloaded, and a stack of netflix envelopes waiting for the meds to kick in and the snow to fall.  With any luck this time tomorrow I will at least have a wonderful white world to watch.  There is something so peaceful about being wrapped up inside with hot cider while everything is hushed outside by cold weather.

Welcome to the New Year!

Hello all!  After an extremely hectic, but awesome, holiday season we are back in action here at The Wandering Willey!  We are going to revamping everything in our life over the beginning of the year from our apartment to our jobs, and hopefully our schedules!  First in a line of changes is the addition of the Scotch Library page which can be accessed at the top of this page.  I am going to start chronicling my travels through single malts as I start to work my way through the world of distilling.  So follow along, and please offer insight and suggestions about anything that I have tried or should try!

Booze Booze Booze!  It is all about the nation changing water of life around here!  Sometimes I worry we live to alcohol centered… but then I have a drink.

Work at the distillery is heading full steam ahead, as I can not turn a corner with out seeing Kings County Distillery mentioned.  Hopefully we will be able to keep up with production, I can’t wait for the day when we make the jump to a larger space and larger stills.  I just received 75 lbs of peated malted barley from the UK which we are going to start experimenting with, so watch out for an original T Willey Single Malt (yet to be named, maybe the Big Willey Malt???)  In case you guys have missed it, here is some info on us and what we do:  Our Web Site, NY Times Article, AMNY, Newsweek, Facebook.

Dad and I started brewing a batch of English Ale at his house while I was back in New Mexico for the holiday season which has really kicked up my desire to begin brewing.  This has always been something that I wanted to dive into but for some reason never actually followed through with.  After going through the process of brewing up the batch at my dad’s house and walking through all of the fairly simple steps it has confirmed my love for creating things from scratch.  Soon enough our apartment will be a field of glass carboys and 5 gallon buckets all bubbling away creating what could be the seeds of a micro brewery.  Once the bottling begins feel free to swing by to be seduced with enchanting (possibly horrendous) elixirs. T-Minus 5-8 weeks.

What a wonderful thing it was to be back in New Mexico for awhile.  Upon arriving in ABQ it was immediately noticeable how crisp and clean the air was, and who would have thought that it would feel like an escape returning to altitude, like the air was a normal thickness again!  Blue skies, quiet nights, driving… it was an incredible vacation from the insanity of the city.  It was so radically different that on returning to the city was equally exciting.  Fortunately the giant buildings, and busy streets was almost as welcome of site… who would have thought.  Entering back into the city was also a new experience due to the 4 feet of snow that had closed down all of the businesses and brought travel to a screeching halt, fortunately we made it home, and everything is always better when you get to hunker down with a good book and a bottle of single malt.  All in all my travels between NM and NY were extremely reassuring, they answered my critical question, I love both of them.

Shannon and I ushered in the New Years with a wonderful party at her bar.  Death & Co closed its doors to the outside world for a night inviting only ticket holders to enter through their fortress like doors.  Luckily I know someone who knows someone.  It was an amazing night of debauchery with the staff of D & Co with cocktails flowing and empty champagne bottles gathering in piles like it’s their duty.  Unfortunately when you add up everything that was going on it could lead to no other result than an early night and a rough next day, but considering our current occupations I wouldn’t have wanted to start out our new year with anything less.

So we reach a starting point.  From here it is only up!  We have a lot of things to look forwards to as we breach our second year in the big city: Shannon graduating from FCI, big plans for the distillery, school decisions, trips to see friends, new business opportunities???  Who knows what could be coming just around the bend of each week!  I hope you all will continue to follow the blog and stay in touch.  There is much more to come.

A Wander About Town

So I was checking in on a few stores on the Upper East Side, and finished up to find myself with a free afternoon.  Rather than get back on the train and head home I decided to meander around town and cross the park.  Here are a few random photos shot with my phone (woohoo) of the park and surrounding area.  Turns out central park has some pretty amazing little nooks, and even a castle!