It’s a tale as old as time: Valentine’s Day, and once again you’ve forgotten to make the requisite dinner reservation. Now you’re locked out of every eatery in town tonight, and it’s so bad the hostess answering the phone at the restaurant audibly snickers at your lack of planning. Bah! Stupid made-up holiday! But hold your surl – are you ready for the save? You’re cooking dinner, buddy, and The Meat Hook in Williamsburg is going to set you up for success. I know this because they sent me an email blast for Valentine’s Day with the header, “GET LAID.” That’s a call to action if ever there was one, and so it was with great haste that I went there, and you should, too.If you’re unfamiliar with the Meat Hook, just know that these are people who are very, very serious about meat. It is butcher-as-rock-star, and deservedly so because they have incredible knowledge and passion for the product. Total and unabashed meat geeks, they’ll do everything for you right then to order. And not only is there an astonishing selection of locally sourced and sustainable meats (from semi-boneless quail to a whole pig and everything in between) but they have a superbly curated shop filled with local groceries and delicious dry goods. In one fell swoop, you can pick up three dozen Matanuk Oysters from Gabe the Fish Babe, a couple of thick juicy “Te Quiero Steaks”(they’re cut in the shape of a heart, natch), and a 2lb. bar of Mast Brothers dark chocolate with Sea Salt for dessert. And while you’re there, how about some free-range eggs, a rasher of thick-cut lamb bacon and a fresh hunk of Roberta’s bread for tomorrow morning? She can’t accuse of you of not thinking ahead THIS year, Romeo. So go ahead and prepare a proper feast for your sweetheart tonight. In the world of On The Real, it’s hard to imagine a better way to say “I love you.”
Quite a few months ago, we scouted the Brooklyn Army Terminal (or BAT) for a possible new On The Real episode. We were amazed at the hulking immensity of this Cass Gilbert designed fortress and intrigued at what a critical role it played in our nation’s military past. Just an incredibly cool building with a million stories to tell, sitting quietly and without fanfare today on the Brooklyn waterfront. We loved that the BAT has evolved from serving the military industrial complex and today hosts thriving private sector businesses in dozens of different industries.
The cherry on top was that the life story of the Brooklyn Army Terminal dovetails into one of our favorite assertions: that the most consistent narrative of the Big Apple is the one of change. There’s no other place we have seen like the BAT, and it was a real privilege and lots of fun to have an all-access pass to shoot there. We hope you enjoy the results.