Why would a native New Yorker like myself sign up for a walking tour in her home city? Because there's always a new discovery to be made in one of the five boroughs. Recently, I did a walking tour of Williamsburg with Dom Gervasi of Made in Brooklyn Tours. And over the course of three-some hours, Dom introduced our small group to what he called the "maker" movement: innovative locals crafting beer, chocolates, other food items, wooden furniture, textiles and much more.
At the Brooklyn Art Library - it's an art house co-op - I found a unique collection of sketch books lining the walls and stacked on tables - there's some 22,000 of these created by individuals around the world. Yes, it's risky putting your vision out there for all to see. The way it works with this Sketchbook Project: You buy one of the blank books with a given theme, and then go all out expressing your self, as the author above did.
Of the four Brooklyn-based manufacturers making chocolate bars from the beans, Mast Brothers Chocolates is the largest. Owners Michael and Rick Mast are all about dispelling the mystery of chocolate. A chalk board displays the processing of chocolate from seed (yes, cacao is a seed not a bean) and you can watch chocolate production, including the use of the winnower machine. But most importantly, there's always chocolates to taste.
I've never found bagels to be all that surprising. That is, until I walked into The Bagel Store, considered to be the best in Brooklyn. French toast bagel. Bacon/egg/cheese where each is impregnated into the dough itself. Sundried tomato. And, I'm saving the most curious for last: Twinkie bagel. They are each served hot and, by far, the two that are my new faves are the sundried tomato and bacon, egg and cheese. The flavors were subtle but tempting.