Community

Can Small Businesses Survive in North Brooklyn? Not Without Our Help

Lost our Lease

In the past year covering Greenpoint happenings, I have written about more local businesses closing than I care to remember. A simple peek on Manhattan Avenue shows a smattering of empty store fronts–some shuttered for more than a year—waiting to be taken over by some business with deep enough pockets able to afford a new tier of astronomical rents. Out you go mom and pop. Adios working artists. Sayonara small fry.

Each MONTH an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 NYC small businesses lose their leases due to profiteering rent increases.  And as we’ve bared witness, the only ones who can truly afford to occupy these newly priced spaces usually come strapped with shareholders, millions of dollars in equity, and a black bottom line.

In fact, the crisis is so dire, under the Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure 83,211 commercial tenants received eviction notices, an estimated 240,000 small businesses closed, and NYC saw more than 2 million jobs lost.

Real estate speculation is nothing new, but when it finally swoops in like that long lost relative no one ever wanted to deal with, the affect can be devastating as it takes over our lives.

So you might ask: Is there any real way to stop this? The answer is yes, but you have to keep reading to find out how.

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Anyone Missing A Cat?

A good samaritan working on Java Street wrote in to let us know she has found the “friendliest lost cat”who is looking to get back home.  According to the vet, the little kitty is about 1-2 years of age, is not micro-chipped, and appears to be domesticated as she is very trusting of humans.

If you believe this is your cat, please contact email: katelbolger@gmail.com

Missing kitty

Category: Community, News | 5 Comments

Greenpointers’ Guide to the 2015 Northside Festival!

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It’s time again for North Brooklyn to dedicate a week to celebrating some of the things we love best: film, innovation and of course, music!

The seventh annual Northside Festival is just one week away, and over the coming week we’ll be providing preview coverage of the line-ups as well as additional information about North Brooklyn’s biggest festival. Whether you plan on spending all of next week at the Festival or were just going to take in a show or two, you’re going to want to bookmark this page, as it will be updated with all of our coverage of the Festival, and we’ll make sure that you know everything you need to know to get the most out of this great week. Continue reading

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Wanted: Volunteers for Northside Art @ Williamsburg Walks

Art + Outside + Williamsburg c/o Northside Media

Remember the block parties with the BBQ and the inflatable pools? The band that would play until the sun went down and your parents dragged you home? And eating cotton candy in the street and then “washing” your hands in said inflatable pool? Just kidding about that last one…

Luckily, the summertime Brooklyn tradition of throwing a block party comes to Williamsburg in two weeks—June 13 and 14—when Bedford Avenue gets completely shut down from Metropolitan Avenue to North 12th for the Northside Art @ Williamsburg Walks. There will be fun times, local artists creating art live, hanging with friends, tons of food, and bands playing until the sun goes down. I hope that there’s an inflatable pool…

Find out how you can volunteer (which gets you hooked up a Northside Festival Badge)! Continue reading

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Gay Pride Festival Coming to Williamsburg!

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If the landslide victory in Ireland is any indication the movement for gay rights is finally getting the respect it deserves, North Brooklyn will continue to carry that torch this June by hosting a gay pride festival in Williamsburg. While a gay pride event is nothing new for Chelsea or Jackson Heights, hosts of some of the most fabulicious gay pride celebrations in the city, North Brooklyn business owners and the LGBT community felt it was high time the area had its own celebration.

And anyone who knows Williamsburg, knows this is going to be one affair to remember.

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Adios BK Night Bazaar. Willkommen BMW.

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Well, well, the tide of gentrification is officially churning over in our little pocket of Brooklyn. Less than two years after its launch, our very own fun house The Brooklyn Night Bazaar, is leaving the neighborhood. What was once supposed to be a permanent space to play minigolf in a black lit room, pick up that wooden iphone cover you’ve had your eye one, sample some tasty food, or simply grab a brew while enjoying the bands playing in the back room–the Brooklyn Night Bazaar’s 23,000 sq foot space was apparently too much fun for its own good.

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Block Party this Saturday! Save Bushwick Inlet Park Before CitiStorage is Sold to Developers!

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Ok Greenpointers, we really need to step up our game. In the months since CitiStorage mysteriously went up in flames,we were warned that our promised 28 acre park was in jeopardy of getting turned into more luxury towers.  Sadly, that day of reckoning is near.

According to a recent Crain’s article, CitiStorage owner Norman Brodsky , (the man seen twirling his pinky ring in the photo below) is optioning off his 11 acre land to not one but TWO developers so they can built more luxury apartments and a whole lot of equally pricey commercial space.

Precious, my precious. Norman Brodsky contemplates how to spend his multimillion dollar payday. Photo credit: Buck Ennis via Crain's
Precious, my precious. Norman Brodsky contemplates how to spend his multimillion dollar payday. Photo credit: Buck Ennis via Crain’s

According to Mr. Brodsky, his phone has been ringing off the hook these days with offers as high as $250 million dollars despite the 11 acre property’s current zoning restrictions. If that number weren’t enough to make your eyes bleed, this $250 million dollar price tag is only half of it according to Brodsky, who just a few weeks ago touted the value of his land to be worth a mere half a BILLION dollars.

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Sad Trombone: The One Well to Close in June + Closing Party

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It’s with a sad heart that I report The One Well is closing on June 14th. The sprightly little shop on Greenpoint Avenue sells ceramics, housewares, candles, vintage finds, handbags, original art, and even treats like honey and chocolate.

It’s always a bummer to see a local business shutter, though this has a silver lining. Kerry Jones, owner of The One Well, is relocating to Atlanta to pursue new adventures. The website will still be in business, so you can keep on loving the shop!

Read more for an interview with the lovely Kerry and information on the closing party later in June. Continue reading

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Celebrate Independent Bookstores this Saturday (5/2)

Greenpoint's own WORD
Greenpoint’s own WORD (126 Franklin St.)

Record Store Day was two weeks ago, and by all accounts a great success. The event serves as a wonderful reminder to us to support the small independent businesses that give our neighborhood a place in the community to appreciate our passions. As a kid I used to dread the inevitable shift of conversation to music. The fact is, the cool kids knew all the cool records to talk about, and I spent far too much time with my nose in a book to keep abreast of current trends. Now, as an adult, I appreciate the little utopia I have found myself in where both records and books are considered extremely cool. And this Saturday it’s the books’ turn to be celebrated at the first ever, nationwide Indie Bookstore Day, and you better believe that North Brooklyn’s book stores will be in attendance, ready to party. Continue reading

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Northside Art @ Williamsburg Walks: Deadline Extended to May 8th

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Northside Art @ Williamsburg Walks ©

Artists! Community groups! Businesses! Northside Art @ Williamsburg Walks just extended their application deadline to next Friday, May 8th. If you missed it in previous years, Northside Art is part of the city-wide initiative where public streets are shut down to traffic and opened up to art, interaction and community—bringing your neighborhood sculptures, workshops, pop-up parks, live painting performances, musicians, joy & more.

Northside Art is seeking proposals for:
1. Live painting/graffiti/collage
2. Interactive installations
3. Sculpture/stand alone installations
4. Performance artists
5. Activities and Workshops

Find out how to apply. Continue reading

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