Intrigue's Aaron and Karl spent 3 exciting days in NYC this week! The Brooklyn-Queens Connector project sponsored us to share our Seattle street car experience. Aaron served on a panel with other small business owners from Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Portland. We represented Seattle well, we learned about how serious Brooklyn takes their chocolate, and we were inspired by all the culture, art, and history.
The panel was relatively easy considering it was a local government event. Sometimes those scenes can get heated. Where our experience was mostly around mitigating construction impact to storefront, these communities were more concerned with what neighborhoods will be served, loss of parking, and cost. We also fielded a lot of questions about the impact of Amazon on Seattle, which is still a hot topic there.
Aaron spoke with confidence and did his best to inspire the crowd. There are so many benefits the street car brings to Seattle, but how construction is planned must take small business voice into account from the beginning, like they are doing with the BQC. Aaron had some tips about what construction / timing pitfalls to watch out for, and how to handle certain problematic situations.
This was the fun part of the trip. We were put up in the posh Reynard Hotel, previously a barrel making factory. The walls were rough brick, the ceilings huge planks of old wood, and the floors were heated, smoothed concrete. There was a two way mirror in the shower and funky wallpaper. It was delightful, weird, and outside was cold, and windy.
We went to Mast Brothers chocolate. Mast bars were part of our hotel mini bar, and everyone in the neighborhood knew of the brand. Brooklyn treats their chocolate makers like an integral part of the neighborhood vitality and charm, even though Mast had a troublesome PR issue that hurt the whole craft chocolate industry.
Chocolate is a thing in Brooklyn. The hot cocoas and mochas we had were made with fine chocolate. It was so inspiring to know that we do the same for Seattle, even if we are still figuring out how to communicate the beauty and cultural significance of craft chocolate here. We came back with ideas.
Speaking of great mochas, a special shout out to a small café called Bakeri. It was so charming, delicious, female-run, and authentic. Please include this spot on your list of sites the next time you go.