Last year I paid a visit to the Artisan's Row of South Street Seaport.
This lane of shops is maintained by the Seaport Museum and features a wood carving and letterpress studio. I always love dropping by Bowne & Co. Stationers to see what letterpress resident Ali Osborn is working on, churning out new posters and cards on the antique letterpresses. The scent of ink and wood shavings from the adjoining woodworking studio are heavy in the air. Stepping across the threshold from the tidy Bowne space and into the clutter of the wood shop is crossing into a magical wonderland. Half finished busts and mastheads peer up from tables and tucked in corners, while intricate model ships sail on a calm sea of sawdust. Sal Polisi carves away at a giant eagle head and other whimsical creatures destined for historic ship replicas and nautical themed bars. The Seaport was closed for months after Hurricane Sandy destroyed the area, and Sal was displaced from his former shop down on the pier. Thankfully he's been able to set up residence here, and it's great to see everything back up and running again.
*Update: RIP Sal Polisi 01/27/2015