First New York Credit Union

As the first gusts of winter bit red-button noses on Tuesday, Nov. 18, most New Yorkers piled into coffee fronts for a warm sip. But some would take their Chestnut Praline Lattés outside—tucked in a tent and on a table—as they braved the cold to prepare for the Union Holiday Market. A vendor popped out paint, gently glossing over his camel-colored booth. Another had already redecorated, her children’s apparel overlapping like a patchwork quilt.

James Wolfe from Actual Film Votive lunged over a piece of wood, saw in hand. “Don’t make him look up!” his brother Gregory exclaimed with a dimply grin. The younger Wolfe did indeed look up, but his cut was still straight and smooth.

Union’s iconic benches and pigeons stood lonely. The south side of the park hosted all of the action.

4.9 miles and a 20-minute delay on the R train away, an earthy, steamy hot chocolate and a suspended guitar replaced gloves and jackets at Nunu’s new location in Park Slope. Justine Pringle chatted with strangers who seemed the best of friends. Her baby lounged on the café’s long bench, taking a siesta before venturing out into the cold. Behind the counter, baristas filled glasses with happy, heart-shaped foam. They were the sort of Brooklynites who could joke about New York’s sky-high prices with a smile and a laugh. Their boss teased along with them; her lack of pretentiousness and adorable South African accent made her immediately likable.

She and her husband, Andy Laird, began their chocolate business as a sideshow to the main event: the latter’s musical performances.

“We both thought at the same time, ‘chocolate. Let’s try to figure out chocolate. Everyone likes chocolate, ’” Ms. Pringle said.

In 2007, they made their treats in Sheep Station’s kitchen until the wee hours. Seven years later, they own two properties devoted exclusively to their product. But since those mornings mixing beans with sugar and vanilla until 3 a.m., every Christmastime, they’ve scooped hot cocoa servings out of a huge vat while customers crowd into Union Square for holiday shopping. They don’t plan to leave the market anytime soon.

“I think it’s something that New York people feel loyal to, ” Ms. Pringle said. “Even though we have an online shop and we have actual brick and mortar shops, they wait all year to come there, and you see the same people every year. It’s just not worth giving that up.”

In contrast, the Wolfe siblings and their business partner, Gregory Sherman, are first-timers at Union, and as veterans suffer post-polar vortex stress disorder, perhaps their ignorance is bliss.

You might also like:

Lola Berry New York - Episode 1
Lola Berry New York - Episode 1
New York Police Parade, June 1st, 1899
New York Police Parade, June 1st, 1899
All Gold Bricks in New York (The Overworld)‪ - L…
All Gold Bricks in New York (The Overworld)‪ - L…
CSI New York Season 9 Opening Credits
CSI New York Season 9 Opening Credits
"Let It Roll" New York Rangers 2013 First Half […
"Let It Roll" New York Rangers 2013 First Half […

Related posts: