Love and Chocolate on the Hello, Again Tour of Brooklyn

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Dear Brooklyn,

When we set out to reimagine the neighborhoods that inspire us in cities across the country, we knew you would have some surprising unknown secrets up your (tattooed) sleeves. The Hello, Again Tour is meant for exploration and the unearthing of hidden gems, a task that could never end on your always-evolving avenues.

Longtime New Yorkers Amar and Rachel had driven your streets many times before, but you had more to show them. A new favorite artist, a never-tasted chocolate, or their new coffee table could be right around a corner they pass every day. We wanted to inspire them and other explorers to rediscover and reimagine the borough they already knew and loved.

We set up our headquarters on the cobbled streets of DUMBO – a moniker that shares little else with the pachyderm of the same name – and prepared to rediscover your past, present, and future. Throughout the weeks we were there, we invited the best explorers we knew – including a flock of Instagram photographers with a keen eye for detail and craftsmanship – and formed caravans of Lincoln MKZ, MKS and MKX motorcars to see for ourselves what has been going on beyond the fire escapes and brick walls of Brooklyn.

DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, showed us your past. Wood-carver and craftsman Mark Jupiter opened the doors of his studio to invite us to see the furniture, sculptures, and surfboards he has created with reclaimed boards from NYC’s ancient water towers and pieces of wood washed up from last year’s Hurricane Sandy.

In Red Hook, we tasted chocolate from the brass vats of Cacao Prieto and learned about the complex properties of the cacao seed from the factory’s owner Daniel Preston. His chocolate is enlightening and his work is inspiring, as he delves into the properties of the cacao seed in search of cancer-fighting agents; there might be some discoveries by him in your future.

Behind the gates of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we saw proof of your emerging arts scene in the works of Steve Westerval in an exclusive drive-through gallery. The gallery filled a warehouse on the East River, where we stopped to watch Manhattan and Queens glittering in the short distance at sunset. That view itself is art!

At the end of their date, Amar and Rachel stood silent at the water’s edge. Behind them, the warehouses of the Navy Yard were turning off their lights. The two took one last look at the skyline and got back into their MKZ and drove back to the borough they vowed to keep rediscovering. Later in the week, a group of photographers would be standing at the same water’s edge capturing moments, angles, and parts of the city we did not know we would find. We like to think the explorers did get to know you better, but we know there is quite a bit more to know.

Until next time, Brooklyn. It was a pleasure saying #HelloAgain.

Catch the Hello, Again Tour in your city from now until late November:


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