Formula B

How Brooklyn Became NYC’s Most Forward-Thinking Borough On Formula E, space-age motorcycles and donuts from the future

By Kunal
June 14, 2017 9:00 am

POP QUIZ: What goes 0-60 in three seconds flat, has 250 ponies under the hood and runs on … batteries?

That’d be a Formula E car, good sir.

And come July 15th, a whole slew of these high-voltage speed buggies will be making their NYC debut, screaming around a Brooklyn street circuit at 140 mph for the inaugural Brooklyn ePrix.

To mark the occasion, we teamed up with Formula E sponsor TAG Heuer to check in on some of Kings County’s other hubs of next-gen innovation.

From space-age motorcycles to motorized skateboards to the donuts of the future, trees aren’t the only thing growing in Brooklyn in 2017.



Featured Watch:  The TAG Heuer Indy 500 Heuer 01

One of the great ironies of today’s world is that we are surrounded by gadgetry that would cause previous generations to cry witchcraft, and they fill us with exactly zero sense of awe or wonder whatsoever. We expect them to work. We are technologically jaded.

Which is why witnessing the reaction to Patten Studios’ Lift lighting feature was so wonderful. On its face it doesn’t seem so revolutionary: a light that moves when you move. But damned if an entire team in possession of smartphones able to conjure the world’s collective knowledge at a moment’s notice didn’t leave them firmly in pocket in favor of staring with childlike fascination at Lift’s subtle, playful reactions to our collective locomotion. Interactivity at its best.


Featured Watch: The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45

Not that we’ve got anything against the concepts of heritage and nostalgia, but there’s something to be said for forward-thinkin’ folks who come through and smash the mold to create something truly new and unique.

Such a gent is Vanguard co-founder and head of design/engineering Edward Jacobs, who eschewed traditional motorcycle language and instead brought an architecture and industrial design background to bear in creating the Vanguard Roadster — a modularly-constructed beast that combines typical motorcycle functions thanks to clever innovation and aerospace materials, also boasting tech-forward touches like a tablet-sized dashboard running Android software.



Admittedly, there are levels of pressure. But whether he is racing around a Formula E track or merely racing to get his Saturday morning coffee fix, a truly savvy gent knows how to mind the clock in style. And there’s no better aid for that than a handsome timepiece from Swiss powerhouse TAG Heuer, who’ve got you covered on everything from showstopping, racing-inspired chronographs to a tech-forward smartwatch that’ll give you directions to the coffee shop in record time.


Featured Watch: The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45

Your correspondent has been an avid snowboarder and skateboarder all his life, so imagine my joy upon hearing that someone had found a way to deftly combine these two pursuits via a slick electricity-powered contraption that does damn near all of the work for you.

What sets Leif apart from other electric boards: power is generated via two rotating “caster” wheels (think fancy shopping cart wheels) running down the center of the deck, with the four standard outer skateboard wheels providing stabilization. The result is the ability to carve, slide and spin in a remarkably snowboard-like fashion, with a bluetooth remote-controlled motor stepping in for gravity. And trust, even a fraction of Leif’s top speed of 23 mph feels like a lot when you’re flying over concrete — it may not be a Formula E car, but a helmet is most definitely advisable.


Featured Watch: The TAG Heuer Carrera

Famed chef and molecular gastronomist Wylie Dufresne has never been one to shy away from innovation — his legendary Lower East Side restaurant WD~50 was one of the few places on earth where quizzical delicacies like aerated foie gras and deconstructed eggs benedict were considered pretty much par for the course.

For his newest effort, however, Dufresne elected to take it back to his roots — with fond memories of running around his great-grandfather’s Rhode Island diner and donut shop, Dufresne decided to lend his brand of culinary tomfoolery to America’s favorite torus-shaped pastry. The result: off-the-wall concepts like freeze-dried strawberries ground up to create “strawberry sugar” or glazes in flavors like peanut butter yuzu that are scientifically-engineered to stay on the donut and off your fingers. Fun, innovative and different. The coffee though, you’ll be glad to hear, still comes in liquid form.


Timepiece imagery courtesy of TAG Heuer