While I was up in New York, I didn’t get a chance to do much woodworking. There is a world of difference between not doing much woodworking and not doing any woodworking. In fact, I had a pretty darned good woodworking trip – I came back having taken the Ultimate Penultimate Woodshop tour!
That’s right – my good friend and one of my co-hosts of the Modern Woodworkers Association podcast – Dyami Plotke, lives about an hour east of New York City on Lawn Gisland (Long Island, as it is incorrectly printed on maps) and offered me the opportunity to play hookey for a day from the New York City Logistics Center. Nah, I couldn’t do that, but when they did change us from 12 hour days to 8 hour days, that provided me the opportunity to give Dyami and me a chance to meet up after work one day.
He pulled up to where the warehouse was located – a shady industrial looking area of Brooklyn – and offered to drive me immediately to Tools for Working Wood, legendary woodworking store over at the docks and the home of Gramercy tools. So, we braved the uber-congested city streets and shot as quickly as possible to the site of the store. Well, we got there just a little too late. Bummer. But, we did have a TON of fun schlepping up the five flights of stairs in the scary looking building that I fully expected to see in some creepy zombie movie.
After escaping the dock district, Dyami offered me a choice – go do something generic in Manhattan, or head out to his home to check out his workshop and have a meal with him and his family. How long do you think it took me to accept his generous offer to head to his house?
It took some time to navigate the dark, crowded streets (why does the Sun never shine on Lawn Gisland?) out to the highway to his house. And, what a nice place it is! I mean, I had a chance to see the Penultimate Woodshop!
I got to visit his wife’s basement craft room where he podcasts for the Modern Woodworkers Association.
Heck, I even got a tour of the Penultimate Tree House, still under construction.
You can tell I’m a little excitable, can’t you?
In addition to the woodworking tour, we were also able to sit down for some very good Lawn Gisland barbecue (it was the southern shore of the island.. it counts), a bottle of a sweet Malbec and a lot of stories. Most importantly, I was able to get out of the madhouse that is the city, unwind for a little bit and enjoy myself.
All good things must come to an end, and that was the case with my visit to Dyami’s house. But, we had to make one last stop when we got back to the city – at Tim Hortons. A tribute to our Canadian friends Ian MacKay and Adam Van Sickle who we teased mercilessly during our trip to Woodworking in America just a few LONG weeks ago.
Today, I go back to my normal routine, and I will be getting some woodworking done for sure. But, I will always fondly remember my time visiting Dyami’s place. It pays to take that side trip.