Culture

A Greenpoint Landmark Keeps on Ticking

Greenpoint_Landmark_Clock
Photo: Megan Penmann

As Greenpoint changes it becomes increasingly important to maintain our links to the past. One of the iconic features of Greenpoint is a permanent piece of street furniture: the large mounted cast iron clock on Manhattan Avenue between Meserole and Norman. The clock is called “The Bomelstein Clock” and it is the last street clock in Brooklyn and one of only four that survive in the city. The clock is not going anywhere—in 1981 it was designated a landmark. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Studio Visit with Leon Reid IV

Leon Reed IV with Load Paintings, Tech-Art: Soul For Technology
Leon Reid IV with Load Paintings, Tech-Art: Soul For Technology

You may know Leon Reid IV through his street art or public art and now he has a new body of work conceived and developed in his Greenpoint studio over the last five years. Recently, I caught up with Leon at his studio to talk art, technology, and what it means to combine the two. Continue reading

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Weekend Art Roundup: May 20-22

 

 Work by Karen Marston exhibited in Demeter's Wrath

Work by Karen Marston exhibited in Demeter’s Wrath

Karen Marston – Demeter’s Wrath
at Owen James Gallery

Karen Marston is a painter focused on the fundamental contradiction of natural phenomena, the pairing of powerful terror with majestic beauty. Her large-scale oil paintings portray this strength at its extremes: tornadoes, forest fires, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions. While many of these events have occurred naturally throughout the history of the Earth, they have also been exacerbated by the influence humans have on the environment.

Opening Reception: Friday May 20th, 6-8 PM
at Owen James Gallery
61 Greenpoint Ave, #315 Continue reading

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Weekend Music: Day Job, Night Vision (5/20 – 5/23)

Why do you work all day at a job that is not your true calling?

For cash, of course. Or maybe stock options.

My day job pays the bills, but I also get to go to fun places sometimes for it too. Got to go to Alabama once.

It was great. “Where’s the best bar in this town?” I asked someone in Eufala, AL.

“Airport Lounge. They got shacks in the back.” In case you are not up on your South, that means ladies of the night are available.

Not my thing, but heading for Japan on Sunday, bizness class. Before my next brush with the picaresque, here’s the weekend music calendar, with a bonus entry for Monday night to help transition you back to the work week. Continue reading

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Greenpoint’s WWII Prisoner of War Camp and a Forbidden Love

Screen shot 2016-04-29 at 7.00.17 AM

One of the things I did while researching my local history book Greenpoint Brooklyn’s Forgotten Past was talking to as many Greenpoint seniors as I could. They have repeatedly told me a story I cannot document, but must be true—Greenpoint hosted an Italian prisoner of war camp during the second World War.

Other Greenpoint amateur historians doubt the existence of the camp and say simply, “Prove it.” I can’t, although I have searched extensively. If, on the one hand I cannot document the existence of the camp, then, on the other hand we cannot dismiss the memories of a dozen older Greenpointers either.

The camp was at Dupont Street and Franklin where the Greenpoint Playground is today. Old timers recall guards, a wire fence and barges where the hundreds of Italians lived. One of the seniors commented to me, “They may have been prisoners, but they had a million dollar view of the New York skyline.” Continue reading

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Films on the Green Returns to Transmitter Park This Summer

Crowd watching a film in Transmitter Park, last summer.
Crowd watching a film in Transmitter Park, last summer.

One of the area’s brightest summer events, Films on the Green will be returning to Greenpoint’s WNYC Transmitter Park to project two films ‘en plein air’.

An initiative of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, the FACE Foundation and the City of New York Parks & Recreation, Films on the Green Films is unique among the myriad of free movie screenings attracting cineastes to NY green spaces every summer, as each year the series presents a free and fresh sampling of French films around a given theme.

This year, as part of the Tandem Paris-New York, a cultural partnership between the cities of New York and Paris including a music festival, film, art, and other events, running between June and October 2016, Films on the Green presents classic and contemporary films that, “present the diversity of Paris, its inhabitants, landscapes, and cultures”.

Greenpointers can view two classic French films projected alongside an unmatched East River view of Manhattan, when Luc Besson’s ‘Subway’ screens June 24th and François Truffaut’s ‘400 Blows’ on July 1st. Continue reading

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Tommy James: DJ & Live Music Curator for Good Room

Screen shot 2016-04-30 at 7.31.40 PMAt first Tommy James, DJ and live music curator at Good Room on Meserole Avenue, comes off as just another humble British expat living in Greenpoint. Only upon researching this piece did I discover his many musical accomplishments. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that in some circles Tommy James is even something of a legend, but one thing is certain: success has not jaded him, nor dimmed his passion for music. And it’s this passion for music that has helped make Good Room an epic venue for live music.

Continue reading

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A History of Greenpoint in 25 Buildings: Greenpoint’s Haunted House?

Screen shot 2016-05-09 at 7.22.12 PM
If I had to pick one house in Greenpoint to set a horror movie in it would be the big old house set back off the street at the corner of Oak and Guernsey. The red brick facade, spooky wooden double doors, cast iron railings at the building’s entrance, as well as the iron fence and gate at lawn’s edge all are original, dating to the house’s construction in 1887. Continue reading

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Introducing Dobbin St. – A New Events Venue in Greenpoint

The new events venue, Dobbin St.
New events venue, Dobbin St.

Have you noticed the new bright blue building on Dobbin Street? It used to be an auto garage, but that former identity is now completely unrecognizable at the newly renovated 64 Dobbin Street. After 18 months of intense demolition and reconstruction – not to mention a new coat of paint – the 8,500 sq. wedding venue and events space Dobbin St. will open this summer. Continue reading

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Let’s Get Erotic with Frugging Parties, Blue Movies, Go-Go’s, and Filthy Tracks this May

Back in my single days I had no problem getting attention from women.

Didn’t even have to try, wearing pants that were two sizes too big, in order to feel comfortable after a large meal. Or a suede jacket in the pouring rain.

Women would stop and linger on me with their eyes. For some reason, it never turned into a date.

If you have the same problem, maybe what you need is to meet people in a sexually charged atmosphere. But sexy, not skeevy. Skeevy just feels predatory.

Avoiding skeevy this month, and leaving other seduction advice to the experts, here are some hot tips on the local scene. I’ll give you DJ’s playing vintage vinyl to accompany vintage X-rated movies. I’ve also got a lead on a local club with drag cabaret and less innocent offerings on tap in a same-sex friendly setting. Continue reading

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