It was time for T to get to work, or more specifically, it was time for the business part of the trip to begin. While there was a theoretical itinerary, it became quickly apparent that things were a bit free-form. We met for coffee and then walked to a couple of places around Bryant Park. I wasn’t sure what a “design inspiration” trip would involve, and after attending one, I can say it involves going to various places and having lengthy discussions about decor, lighting, shelving, etc. I was happy to wander around and look at things.
Then we got on the subway to Brooklyn to see the big new flagship store. (Taking a group of this size on the subway was quite the adventure… ) The Brooklyn store was amazing. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that this is the Gowanus canal:
Those little black structures are actually wind turbines. And there are solar panels in the parking lot:
Is this really the same place where they would put EVERYTHING in plastic bags and piled garbage everywhere? Most impressive was the rooftop greenhouse. It’s run by a company called Gotham Greens. They grow enough fresh greens hydroponically to supply all of the NYC stores. If I found myself in Brooklyn during the zombie apocalypse, this is where I would head:
Everything is controlled electronically so that it’s always a perfect 70 degrees.
They start the plants in these little cubes:
And then they grow into these healthy plants:
While the group wandered around the store, another wife and I chilled out on the rooftop seating area. They had these cute sinks full of succulents:
Afterward, we grabbed some lunch. Then I chauffeured the other wife to the correct subway to get to the airport. (I needed a little break from the group. Plus, I’m a really nice person!) On the way back to meet up with everyone, I passed this awesome mural:
After a little more coffee, the group split into two smaller groups and we wandered around the neighborhood to look at other inspiration things. We happened upon an olive oil shop that told us about a mayonnaise shop, so of course we HAD to check that out.
I loved their cute little logo:
It was a teeny tiny place, but the proprietress let us taste all of the flavors. T tried the ghost pepper, because he’s special like that. We bought some of the lime pickle. It was really delicious and interesting.
Then we rejoined the group at this weird Turkish wine bar to chill out before dinner. We were the only people in the place and all four staff members were very attentive and appreciated our being there. Then we went to dinner at a local Mediterranean place that looked good and had decent Yelp reviews. (And most importantly, would let us make a reservation for 11 people at a reasonable dinner hour.) It was a beautiful spot:
The food and wine flowed freely (maybe a little too freely… ) and we had great conversations. I got to know a lot of T’s co-workers and their significant others VERY well. 😉
Afterward, we headed back into the city. A group of us (unsuccessfully) attempted to see the 9/11 memorial. (It was closed.) Then we cabbed it back to the hotel. T really wanted to check out this cool little bar he’d read about and only yours truly and one of his co-workers was up for it. It was called Raines Law Room and it’s a really fun little space. You basically go to this hotel bar and ask about the Law Room. The hostess then takes you to this quiet, secret-feeling little bar. You push a button to summon a waitress. It was the best.
The drinks were fantastic. Two of them probably wasn’t the best life decision, but sometimes you just have to go for it. Luckily, I didn’t have to get up early and work the next day. Poor T…