Since it’s Valentine’s Day, we are featuring two power couple in our series. First up – Flannery Foster and Ray Gonzales of goodyoga, an excellent place to flex some yoga muscle on Greenpoint Avenue.
GP: How did you two meet?
Flannery: We met through a mutual friend who had extra tickets to a concert at Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve 2008, which we both claimed. In actuality, I was tricked into a set-up. She had told me about Ray a month before, but I was over being set up with friends of friends. It’s true what they say, though – only one needs to work out!
Ray: This is true.
GP: How long have you been together?
Flannery: 5 years and 29 days at the time of answering these questions.
Ray: This is also true.
GP: When/why did you move to Greenpoint?
Flannery: Ray was living in the building that eventually became goodyoga’s original location. We repurposed it for our particular talents and interests. Though we’re letting go of the bed and breakfast in April, and the yoga has moved to 114 Greenpoint Avenue, that space allowed us to explore in ways that would have been impossible in a traditional storefront. Greenpoint was very different 5 years ago.
GP: What do you love about each other and about living/working together in Greenpoint?
Flannery: At our best, we have tremendous amounts of fun. When we’re not obsessing over our business or subjected to the stresses that every entrepreneur faces, we can amuse ourselves very easily. Ray is adventurous, hilarious, modest to a fault, incredibly talented across a wide range of disciplines. His work ethic is legendary. We both value experiences more than money and objects, which has led to incredible opportunities, like our businesses and travel. He’s the perfect foil to my more frenetic, outgoing energy. He grounds me. He’s also tall and handsome, which helps. Of course, it’s not all roses and lollipops. Our relationship is a spiritual discipline. I trust that he has my best interest at heart and I hope he feels the same, but our minds play tricks on us sometimes. Yoga helps. We are constantly applying the philosophy to our interactions on a daily basis.
Ray: It is true that I love lollipops. I love Flannery’s sense of humor. She’s always making me laugh with her array of character voices – my favorite is a mouse who drinks tequila shots and has an unusual relationship with cats. If it were not for her initiative and bravery in the face of adversity, we would not be where we are today. I would probably be working in a belt buckle factory in Northern California and she would be a Broadway star. Thankfully, Greenpoint is our home. We love walking around, noting all the new restaurants and bars.
GP: Where are your favorite date nights or romantic spots in the neighborhood?
Flannery: For special occasions, we love Zenkichi in Williamsburg. Great food, of course, but the we love the privacy screens for the corner booths for two. You ring a bell for the server and they knock before they lift the screen to serve you. We also love Nitehawk for dinner and a movie. We always get seated 30 minutes before showtime to watch the special footage they compile for each film. Best part! We love having breakfast at Le Gamin with our favorite server, Alex. Jimmy’s co-owner, Chuck, is super friendly. One our teachers, Elizabeth, is also a server there. The Diamond, of course, is a neighborhood staple. We love brunching at Reynard after our goodyoga class at the Wythe Hotel on Sundays. Great barista there who can do crazy latte art. The Bounty is always excellent, as well. Aurora in Williamsburg has an incredible prix fixe lunch on weekdays. We had our first brunch there 5 years ago on New Year’s Day!
Ray: At Zenkichi we love to order the omakase tasting menu – the chef’s choice of 8-10 courses. And yes, we love The Diamond; I’ve known Dave, the owner, since it opened.
Thank you very much, Flannery and Ray!