I grew up surrounded by old seaside Victorian homes on the South Shore of Long Island. My love of "old cool stuff" was first evidenced by weekly bike pilgrimages to garages sales, and later, researching old maps in my hometown library to locate historical dumpsites. Armed with spades and shovels, my friends and I would unearth bottles and fragments of china that felt like treasure.
My early passion for "cool old stuff" developed into an appreciation of antiques. However, this fascination stemmed far beyond mere "collecting" - I had an insatiable curiosity to learn how things were made, who made them, and why. Often I would study the furniture in the homes of my friends, and think, "how did they make this?" which was likely not typical concern of most thirteen-year-old-boys staring at a dining room chair.
Later, I began taking woodworking classes that resulted in the creation of a 22-foot-long tong boat that housed the summers of my teenage years on the Great South Bay as a clammer. Upon graduating from high school, I moved to New Orleans where I was trained as a journeyman pattern maker. I lived in a city with a vibrant history and I was fascinated by its old homes, wrought iron gates, and endless stocks of furniture made by master cabinetmakers of the 1700 and 1800s. I drifted away from pattern making and began dabbling in antiques, and eventually, became fully-immersed within the field of authentic antique restoration and conservation.
I never thought my love of digging up old bottles was anything more than the 'grooviest' way to spend a weekday afternoon. As founder and Chief Arts Conservator of Manhattan Restorations, I've been fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living and dedicate my life to where my heart has always been.
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