September 7th is often credited with being the date, in 1813, that the United States received its moniker Uncle Sam. It’s said that upstate New York butcher Samuel Wilson was the real-life inspiration behind the unofficial “human face” of the U.S. Government. The Troy, NY butcher supposedly stamped cuts of meat he delivered to American troops during the War of 1812 with the initials “U.S.” But the NY Times tells us that a Nebraska professor who has been tracing the origin of the top-hatted elder statesman has turned up an earlier reference. History professor and War of 1812 expert Donald R. Hickey from Wayne State College brings the origin of Uncle Sam back to New York City–the nation’s first capital–and a young midshipman’s use of the Navy slang of the day.
Brooklyn Navy Yard
Colin Spoelman moved to New York for post-grad job opportunities, but it was his home state of Kentucky that ended up giving him direction. On trips back home, he developed a deep appreciation for moonshine and distilling, and now his interest has gone from hobby to profession. Six years ago, Colin combined his Kentucky roots, his life in Brooklyn, and his love of distilling whiskey through Kings County Distillery, where he is one of the founders (along with David Haskell) and the head distiller.
Founded in 2010, Kings County Distillery is making a name for itself with the whiskey and bourbon it distills at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, making it New York City’s oldest operating whiskey distillery, the first since prohibition. The company started with eight five-gallon stills, and were at the time the smallest commercial distillery in America. But they now have a 250-gallon and a 180-gallon still and are beginning to distribute out west and internationally. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up and lots of whiskey drinking to be had, 6sqft spoke with Colin to find out what’s distilling in Brooklyn and why it makes perfect sense to make whiskey in this borough.
After announcing two weeks ago that they’d be launching a free shuttle service to connect with 13 subway lines, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has now released additional details about the shuttle, as well as new renderings of Building 77’s $185 million renovation, reports Brownstoner. The 1,000,000-square-foot structure, a former ammunition depot, is the largest on the site, and when it reopens in 2017 it will offer luxury commercial space, a 16,000-square-foot rooftop, and its hotly anticipated food hall to be anchored by Lower East Side mainstay Russ & Daughters. The shuttle will have WiFi and will also connect to the LIRR. Additionally, the Navy Yard will get seven Citi Bike kiosks and 1,600 parking spaces.
Rendering: Beyer Blinder Belle
Everyone rejoice! East Coast foodie favorite Wegmans is finally coming our way, inking a deal to open its first ever NYC location in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The New York Times reports that the supermarket giant will take up a whopping 74,000 square feet, anchoring the new shopping complex slated to replace Admiral’s Row. Wegmans beat out three other proposals vying to enter the scene but was ultimately chosen because of the lack of affordable grocers in the area, and the store’s commitment to bring 600 jobs to the area, 200 of which will be full-time—double what other proposals promised to deliver.
Over the years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has become a modern manufacturing pole, and it has grown to host spaces for everyone from furniture makers to photographers to even financial services companies. Demand for space has grown tremendously, and in response, the Navy Yard has announced plans to create another 1.8 million square feet of space for both future and current tenants looking to grow their businesses.