Jay Street starts in DUMBO, runs up the hill and into downtown Brooklyn. There it becomes Smith Street, home to a steady stream of new restaurants and bars. Smith Street was my home over a decade ago, when my daughter, Natalie, was born. I brought her home to a tiny apartment above a liquor store where purchases were made by pushing cash under bullet-proof glass. Old men played checkers outside the bodega on the corner, drinking malt liquor in tall boy cans. Now that same liquor store features imported wines and there’s a Free People where the bodega used to be. The neighborhood has changed a lot, but it will always be about starting out for me.
So there’s a lot of symmetry in the fact that the workshop where I will make my chairs is at the other end of that same street: on Jay Street, just before it descends to the water. That’s got to be a good omen, right? After all, the last thing I started on this street turned out really well. Wish me luck!