Events — 02 May 2011
EscapeMaker.com’s Getaways, Local Food & Travel Expo

EscapeMaker.com’s Getaways, Local Food & Travel Expo
Skylight One Hanson, Brooklyn – Saturday April 30th

Blog: EscapeMaker

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We all need some R&R away from our stressful lives. That is why taking a vacation is so important for both your health and well being. Living here in New York City is exciting but it can become too much after a while. The great people at EscapeMaker.com are here to help. They specialize in guiding you toward a perfect trip within a 500 mile radius to spots like Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. The best part of all is their online guide, which performs all of the legwork for you, featuring personal reviews of spotlighted towns. It goes even further to suggest activities and points of interest to make the most of your trip and your budget.

On Saturday, April 30th EscapeMaker.com held their first of its kind ”Green Getaways, Local Food & Travel Expo” – a carbon free event featuring 60+ exhibitors, samplings of local wines, cheeses, fudge, chocolates, jams, apple juice, and other regional farm-fresh foods. The expo was held at Skylight One Hanson, or The Williamsburg Bank Building, as it was originally called.  It is a large and classy venue to hold an event such as this and with its lavish and ornate main hall, its no surprise that everyone from the Brooklyn Flea to local government representatives choose this space to hold their functions.

At 10:30am members of the press assembled in the former bank vault of the building for the awarding of  2011′s “Greenest New Yorker.” The award for the greenest New Yorker goes to a person who demonstrates a committed effort to living an eco-friendly, low carbon footprint life. This year’s award went to urban environmentalist, Mr. Erik Baardi. He left his job at Dow Jones in 1999 to focus on starting green business, volunteer projects, and community gardens. When not working on bettering the earth, Baardi is an avid kayaker. After the award presentation, members of EscapeMaker, including Caylin Sanders – President & Founder of the site,  and the I Love NY campaign cut the Green ribbon, made of garland to kick start the expo. Nice touch!

As New Yorkers it is our duty to support local businesses within the state, especially ones whose practices fit into a green, sustainable lifestyle. The people behind the expo hand picked businesses both local to NYC, and New York State as a whole, who demonstrate this ever important factor. The great states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont represented as well, showing us how other regions in the country are working to better their economies through small business, while keeping low carbon footprints.  Although these hot topics are serious, the expo itself was a festive affair where both vendor and patrons alike had a smile on their faces throughout.

Every square foot of the hall was filled with either a great NY travel destination on display, or a tasty food or beverage purveyor who was more than happy to give you a sample. Whenever I attend an event such as this, I make it a point to hit every table and try to chat with the vendors. It is a great way to both meet new people in your area, but also a way to gain some insight about a product and or place you might not have known about before. The first table I hit was Acme Smoked Fish. I was surprised to see them at the event, as I have been eating and enjoying their smoked fish, and whitefish spreads since I was a little kid. I amazed to find that they are based locally, out of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I felt a sense of pride that this well known, and excellent product has been made local since it’s inception. Needless to say, I had quite a few samples of some delicious smoked delights.

In keeping with a NYC state of mind,  the next table I hit was A. Bauer’s Mustard. There are literally hundreds of brands of Mustards out there, all with distinctly different flavor- no mustard is created equal. I was able to taste both the original, and horseradish infused version and I have to say, I was blown away by both. A. Bauer’s makes the real deal. It was spicy and flavorful. This is the way to make a mustard. They make a product that would compliment any kind of sandwich, or just as a dip for pretzels.

I was happy to spot the great people at SlantShack Beef Jerky, who are no stranger to us here at LocalBozo. We are huge jerky lovers and SlantShack makes a dried meat snack that rivals any name brand competitors. They cut them into bite sized pieces and store them in a sturdy bag which is perfect for camping and hiking trips. Brotherhood Winery is America’s oldest winery, having formed in 1839. After speaking to the proprietor and the staff, I could tell why this Washingtonville, NY company has been in business for well over a hundred years. Unlike other wineries who feel that they need to change with the times, Brotherhood takes a more classic approach to their wine making. This both extends to the bold flavors of both types of rieslings I sampled, and even down to the bottle labels.  These labels were stunning, with a high level of  ornate detail bringing one back in time. These bottles make a great gift, and are very reasonably priced.

Trust me when I say this, I wish I could name every excellent table we stopped at during our time at the Expo. We sampled so many great foods and beverages leaving us happy to have attended the event.  So, thank you all! Please head over to EscapeMaker.com. They are working hard every day to provide people with a service to get us out of our houses and apartments, and to experience some great travel destinations. And at the same time helping us all lead an eco-friendly, low carbon lifestyle. We certainly hope they decide to hold another expo like this quite soon, and we urge you to go. You will definitely see us there.

- Alan Smithee

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