Assemblyman Joe Lentol is one of my favorite Greenpointers, not only because he is supportive of the arts community, the local food movement and an animal lover, but because the first time I met Joe he attended a water balloon fight fundraiser for Greenpoint Open Studios. (I know you want it back! We do, too!)
This week’s portrait revived my love for photography. I do it everyday, like a copying machine, product after product. I am happy as long as my eye is in the viewfinder, but when I take a great portrait, an honest and beautiful portrait, something happens, a new connection is made, it’s a breakthrough. Happy brain hormones flow. That said, it has all to do with my subject.
It wasn’t hard with Jessica Wertz, who is unapologetically badass, drinking a pint of Guinness, rocking a gold tooth, has a German shepherd side-kick, and is drop-dead gorgeous. And she owns on of the coolest bars in Greenpoint – No Name Bar. Enough said. But I have more…
I know you’re asking- what happened to the food at No Name Bar? I know this because I get emails and tweets about this all the time! Good thing I have been stalking the bar weekly asking the same question.
Cat’s out of the bag – a home-style Korean menu, inspired by Jessica’s mother’s cooking will debut on April 1st. That’s this Monday! This isn’t a joke.
This week, the most appropriate Greenpointer for the weekly portrait series is my love Jon Pywell, who is a “ghost contributor” to the website. We met as neighbors on Kingsland Ave and I fell in love with Jon while I was editing his tree video (below) that I made for the website.
At the market on Saturday someone asked him how he is connected with the website and he said, “I’m Greenpointers’ boyfriend.” He is also hilarious.
Jon is endlessly supportive of everything I do and lends his skill of problem solving and his man strength to all our events. His pick-up truck is the official vehicle of Greenpointers, too. And his patience for this full-time “project” is unwavering, whether I’m up at 3am scheduling an email blast or when tote bags and market decorations are crowding our living room.
Jon also likes trees and cats (and squirrels – see video), so he instantly gained my Mom’s approval.
He is a great man and I love him!
Paulie Gee and Mary Ann (Mrs. Gee) and Jon and I do brunch double dates every so often. It’s a great time! I shot this portrait of Mr. Gee at M. Shanghai. If you go there, get the eggplant salad. If you go with Paulie, make sure to order two. He died over it.
This is Yana. This bitch crazy. And sadly she is moving to Red Hook, but will always be a Greenpointer. We will miss you Yana Banana!
If you follow me on Instagram (@greenpointers) you know that I have NOT been in Greenpoint. For the past two weeks, Jon and I went on a fantastic birding trip to sunny Florida and visited the southern most Greenpointer: “Cowboy Mark” Straiton. I don’t need to give Mark an introduction since he is a legendary Greenpointer, a renowned DJ, an antique genius, a brilliant chef and an all around awesome friend. I will tell you he is already the most popular dude in Key West! Not surprising.
If you want to see more photos from our trip, use hashtag #jenjonfl2013 on Instagram. (Warning: lots of birds AND awesome vintage and antique finds!)
When I met with Warsaw’s general manager Mark Chroscielewski to talk about hosting Greenpointers events at Warsaw, I met the nicest guy and discovered the most amazing space. I had to take his portrait. I learned that Mark’s father was on the board of Polish National Home for over 40 years and Mark actually founded the Warsaw, turning what many think to be a private club into a venue for some amazing rock concerts. (I saw Gogol Bordello there and the Dead Milkmen are coming in March…)
Make sure to come to our Escape The Doldrums Dance Party on 2/1!
I decided to include Dishan in the weekly portrait series, first because she is gorgeous and a real character, but also because she is part of my weekly butt kicking series at her business Human@Ease, where she trains me. I asked Dishan a few questions:
I fell in love with GP about 5 years ago and I knew I wanted to open my business here. There is such an awesome sense of community. You have this amazing blend of people that gives GP that trendy feel but still with some original NY attitude.
Where do you get your daily coffee?
I usually make my own in my french press … but if I don’t, I usually order from 5 Leaves or Lokal. They are the close by.
I am a sucker for anything with almond paste.
What is your favorite exercise?
That would have to be the deadlift using a trap bar. Sometimes my workout consists of just that one exercise and I am fried! I understand many of your readers don’t know what this exercise is, but believe me when I tell you, you can get an amazing full body workout in under 7 minutes with just this ONE exercise!! No joke.
Favorite place in GP?
Hmmm, this is a tough one! There are so many great places in GP and all the local businesses take such pride in their establishments and do their best to make you feel so welcome! I really couldn’t pick just one. But if I was forced to choose, I love being here at my own business in GP because it’s such a stress-free environment and I get to make others feel welcome.
Originally from Puerto Rico, living and raising her family in Greenpoint since 1978, Mrs. Garcia, by far one of my favorite Greenpointers, holds down Kingsland Ave. She invited us into her apartment on New Year’s Eve, shared with us her amazing yellow rice and chicken and showed us photos of her 11 grandchildren.