When we want to elevate our cheese plate game the first thing we do is get out our Brooklyn Slate board. From cheddar to brie to rounds of goat cheese, everything looks beautiful, and seems to taste even more delicious on a simple slate board--sourced from a quarry in upstate New York and finished in a workshop in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Slate co-founder Sean Tice also lives in the neighborhood, and we asked him to describe a perfect fall day in Brooklyn. Turns out, he likes to keep it just as simple and excellent as his slate designs.
An early riser
I usually wake up pretty early, like 6am. I do that because it is the quietest time of the day and I get a solid hour or two to respond to emails and catch up on projects that fall by the wayside during the day. So that starts off with a very strong cup of coffee [from] Driftaway Coffee. They're roasting in Red Hook. So I'll start with probably about two cups and get warmed up.
Then I'll go for a run. During the week it's usually like two to three miles, on the weekends it will be longer. Typically I'll run around the neighborhood, on the weekend it could be to DUMBO or even going over the Manhattan Bridge and going into Chinatown. In Red Hook you can kind of snake your way along some of the piers, I was thinking how many people live in New York today as I was running, because I didn't see anyone this morning.
Some Red Hook Food Vendors in action. Photo: Red Hook Food Vendors
On a Saturday I may end a run stopping at the Red Hook food vendors, it's a bunch of food trucks that are there all summer every Saturday and Sunday, and in the fall it's particularly bittersweet because they're going to leave soon, so you've got to get in those last few weekends for an awesome pupusa, which is my go to.
There are no days off when you own a small business. Photo: Brooklyn Slate
Small business life
Next I may head over to the warehouse to take care of some odds and ends and check in on inventory. It's in the neighborhood where I live so I can stop in whenever. The space also kind of doubles as a super amateur woodworking studio, so on a Saturday I would spend potentially the afternoon trying to build a planter, with some success. There are a couple saws and I just try to make it work.
Time to relax
At that point I will go with my girlfriend, ideally to a bar like the Ice House, and read the paper while she does the crossword puzzle. This time of year that involves a Bloody Mary, sitting in the backyard. My favorite section is the Metropolitan section which is just an awesome assemblage of random stories about the city.
Folksbier has a tasting room with season beers and food. Photo: @fbbrewery
I'm a big beer person and I'm really loving Folksbier. It's a really odd location, it's super residential by the BQE a few blocks from Frankie's and Prime Meats, and there's a warehouse there and they just opened up. I walked in one day around the time they were opening and the beer was just absolutely awesome. I know they're really focused on sour, which I'm not the biggest fan of, but they have some very, very excellent beers and the hops are being grown by the owner's dad, I think, in Michigan. If it's not Ice House it will be Folksbier for a couple beers and they also have some German-themed food, like pretzels, to get into that fall Oktoberfest feeling. Just down the block from them is Other Half, and on a Saturday the line goes down the block.
The golden hour
As the sun starts to set earlier and earlier I'm trying to get more photos of the sunset, particularly in Red Hook. There are a lot of really interesting vantage points where you can squeeze in the sun and the Statue of Liberty and maybe a skyscraper or two. So just going out to shoot in the late afternoon I love.
Valentino Pier is always a go-to. There's a crew of guys who are out there every day. I think they take stock photos or something. Erie Basin Park, which is behind Ikea, is this park that is completely underutilized and you have nice views of the basin with all the tug boats and again the sun setting makes it look really cool. The light starts to feel a little bit warmer in the fall, it doesn't have that direct heat look to it, you get a lot more of those deep rich reds, oranges, yellows and sometimes, if there's a storm coming in, the color starts to mix in with blues and grays. So you never know what you're going to get, that's the coolest thing about it.
The backyard at Popina. Photo: @PopinaNYC
There's this really awesome place that just opened on Columbia Street called Popina. That's an Italian place, really small, just a few tables with a backyard and the food is just incredible.
For more ideas on exploring Sean Tice's neck of Brooklyn, check out our neighborhood guide to Red Hook here.