Days Five - Six: New York, New York
We might have been a little “soggy” getting back on the Northeast Regional to go from Baltimore to New York City. I knew that at the tail end of this leg, we had to figure out how to take the Long Island Railroad to find Sadowsky Guitars, without much time to spare, and it weighed on my mind a bit. It was something we’d get more comfortable with over time, but for the time being, we knew we had to move swiftly in a major urban train station and navigate a commuter train, which we came to realize had less obvious signage, since their normal daily customers don’t need much instruction.
We transferred successfully, and caught a lift straight to Sadowsky guitars, before checking in to our AirBnB, since that was across town in Eastern Brooklyn. We lumbered all of our gear through the rain, into the nondescript building and loaded into it’s freight elevator, which would bring us to our only interview of the day.
After a personally intriguing interview with Roger, we’d catch another Lyft to our neighborhood. We were starting to notice fatigue in a new, yet very real way. After a couple of hearty Barrel Gin Old Fashioners, We opted for walking around our Brownsville neighborhood, which was certainly “underdeveloped.” Our air of curiosity helped us set aside judgement or disappointment, and we just took it in, and let our minds wander to what made neighborhoods what they were.
We dropped into a Jamaican joint - a three table shop, where we ordered off the menu sign above the counter. We picked up six pack of Red Stripes from the bottle-shop next door, and we headed back to our apartment, saving photos and audio to our hard drives and working on the next few days schedules. It was great to have a shared space, versus hotel rooms, and it was also nice to have a night to relax. We let out some collective sighs, as we we had just finished Day 5 - and our tenth interview.
Roger Sadowsky, Founder & Guitar Maker, Sadowsky Guitars
Roger Sadowsky's story reveals an amazing time and place in music history. He came up as a guitar and bass guitar maker in a golden age of jazz and rock and roll, in a city that seemed to breed musical luminaries and guitar heros. He’s humble and generous with his time and knowledge, while also keenly aware of the quality his skill produces. His pursuit of quality instruments has taken him on wild explorations into wood, acoustics, electronics and his discoveries and innovations have had an enormous impact on the music scene. A dedicated artisan of the hand-made guitars, Roger has also carefully explored how to make quality instruments more affordable for the up and coming musician with a lean budget. It’s been no small feat for him to find ways to expand, while still honoring his integrity and fierce respect for quality.
Photo Gallery - Sadowsky Guitars
On Day Six, we’d explore more of our neighborhood, including recognizing that getting any type of car servicein our neighborhood was as challenging as getting food delivered. As we traveled West and North, towards the more developed neighborhoods, things started getting easier, which brought real thoughts about gentrification, development and access. Eventually we made it to Brooklyn for lunch, and took our scheduled call with NPR’s Stateside, while standing on the curb, after unsuccessfully trying to find a quiet place in the short time period we had. We continued on to Manhattan, including the Tuck Room for an interview, with Adam and Dale, and finished the night, drinking in history, via old fashioned, and gin and tonics adorned with black pepper, with our friend Chelsey at Fraunces, the oldest bar going and a previous haunt of George Washington’s.
EPISODE 14: KING COCKTAIL
TCN14 is from day six of our trip, featuring Dale Degroff and Adam Seger. We’d been adapting to the pace of New York City, which had us hustling through public transportation and urban navigation. We arrived to the IPic theater, and followed the signs up the escalators to The Tuck Room. Adam pulled a book, pivoting it from its bottom corner, and the entire bookshelf revealed itself to be a door, opening to an expansive, magical “green room.”
Dale DeGroff, Master Mixologist
Dale is considered “King Cocktail” for a reason. He has inspired thousands to bring back the art and esteem to bartending. His passion draws from more than five decades of experience, and harkens back to pre-prohibition, when the lead bartenders, including his mentors were regarded as Chefs behind the stick.
Adam Seger, Master Bartender, Advanced Sommelier
Adam is a longtime friend and collaborator who is an innovator, showman and educator. He embodies all of the warmth you could ask for in a host, while also creatively brings high-quality cocktails into contexts where may not expect them. At iPic Theaters for instance, where you can take in a movie and get an Old Fashioned with hand-cut ice.