Crown Heights changes by the minute. Thank God, its grande-dame apartment buildings and brick-faced repair garages still sport their ancient bones. But among these hard corners, a girl can't help but wish for air, for the spread of an open ocean or a mountain's reach. It seems that Tom McCauley and Justine Lynch had the same longing, and after years spent dreaming of an escape to a mountaintop in some remote and restorative corner of the world, they decided to bring the Mountain to Brooklyn. Theirs is a generous, unprecedented project. A fusion of Chinese herbal pharmacy, yoga studio, art venue, and a seasonal creative eatery they call their Apothecary Kitchen. The project revolves around an idea that is at once ancient and cutting-edge: food is medicine; food can heal; food is joy. More to the point, healing must happen beyond and before shots, pills, or surgeries. It must be a practice of self-care, a practice of the meals we prepare and eat, of mindful movement and communal connection and energetic ideas. So you'll find a cabinet of herbal potions to bolster their locally sourced vegetable concoctions and grass-fed lamb meatballs. In an inviting corner, a mysterious beaded curtain hides a bright, spare space for yoga, tai-chi, and reiki practices. Healing food in Brooklyn, and a venture that reimagines what it means to feed a neighborhood. If you're hungry for ancient wisdom and a taste of the wild, you need not head for the hills. Especially since they deliver.
I am a hedonist when it comes to fitness, food, and my city. I work out because I love the feeling: power, endorphins, productive pain. I see movement as celebration and therapy, and food as art and love. New York City chants along generously to this kind of hedonism. There’s an energy on this island that unites body, mind, and spirit at a brilliant pulse. Here are some stories from that rhythm.