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FREE SOD!! Available for Pick-Up Tomorrow!! (Sat, 6/11, 5:30PM)

FreeSod

Williamsburg Walks is back and will be giving away FREE SOD again this year! It will be ready for pick up on Saturday, June 11th on Bedford Ave along the following blocks:

N.9-N.10th – 2 pallets available!
N.8-N.9th – 1 available!
N.6-N.7th – 1 pallet available!
N.6-N.5th – 4 pallets available!

Anyone who wants it should arrive around 5:30pm to start packing it up. There will be no thru traffic on Bedford so you will need to park at one of the cross streets.

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Thursday Spotlight: Caroline Z. Hurley Finds a Home Away from Home in Greenpoint

Caroline is a painter and traveler; Caroline Z Hurley is a home-ware company based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Caroline is a painter and traveler; Caroline Z Hurley is a home-ware company based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Caroline Z. Hurley is an artist who is deeply inspired by place, so it makes sense that she chose to set up shop in Greenpoint, where she now mingles the energy of the neighborhood with impressions of far flung locations.

A visit to her new shop/studio, tucked into a small storefront at 155 Freeman Street, reveals a bright and calming space that neatly displays contemporary wares and Hurley’s chic textiles. Drenched in white, the shop feels like a calm haven. Not only does the zen-like space showcase Hurley’s beautiful textiles, but also her skillful, artistic eye for design. Continue reading

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Say Hello to Dobbin St. – Opening Tonight! (6/7)

Dobbin St. Events Space
Dobbin St. Events Space

Have you notice the new bright blue building on Dobbin Street? Now is your chance to see the inside!

Dobbin St. Events Space
Dobbin St. Events Space

Tonight they’re opening their doors for their premiere event, an open house for friends and neighbors to visit this new 8,500 sq.ft. events space. From 6:30pm-8:30pm they’ll be serving wine while projecting the live stream of nearby DJ collective and cafe The Lot Radio. Continue reading

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Massage Williamsburg is Expanding to Greenpoint

Rachel Beider, Owner of Massage Williamsburg and Massage Greenpoint
Rachel Beider, Owner of Massage Williamsburg and Massage Greenpoint

The owner of Massage Williamsburg, Rachel Beider, 32, takes a therapeutic approach to massage, specializing in pain relief and prenatal care. “New York City is stressful,” she says. “There’s an energy and you can thrive on that, but it can be exhausting as well. We aim to be a sanctuary where people can relax.”

Eight years after opening Massage Williamsburg, having served over 14,000 unique customers and clients, Rachel Beider will be expanding her business and opening a second location on Greenpoint Avenue aptly titled Massage Greenpoint. Continue reading

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Cartoon History, Park Drama & Hank the Dog — The Hook-Up 6/3

Via Julia Wertz
Via Julia Wertz

The more you know: now you can learn about Greenpoint’s pastry, vaudeville, and industrial history in comic book fashion thanks to cartoonist Julia Wertz.

Is McCarren Park the new hotspot for attempted abductions? This Reddit forum suggests it might pay to be extra careful when you’re leaving Matchless at 3 a.m.

In the next potential round of Cuomo v. de Blasio: the state might strongarm the city into giving the Williamsburg waterfront its long-awaited park. However, some people would rather it turn into an Industry City-esque Maker Park. 

If “Combined Sewage Overflow” didn’t mean much to you before, you’re about to get a very visceral idea of why people think Newtown Creek is so shitty. However, the Newtown Creek Alliance has news about how local residents can do their part by using less water when it rains.
 
The Calyer Building is getting a makeover. Not to worry, though — the more iconic-looking Green Point Savings Bank will remain intact.
 

Few are thrilled about the prospect of an L Train shutdown, but it seems as though the overwhelming consensus is “get the damn thing over with.” However, “getting the damn thing over with” might actually entail closing 14th Street to car traffic, giving buses and bikes their own dedicated space. 

They say 90% of success is showing up. Or is it 80%? Either way, Greenpoint Democratic district leader Linda Minucci is being taken to task by people who admittedly have a vested interest in seeing her challenger best her.
 
Grub Street is wading into contentious territory here, but here’s its definitive ranking of the best Polish food in Greenpoint.
 
Is this you? Some of your neighbors really wish you’d pick up after your dog. #dogpoopshaming
 
Hank. Hank is Greenpoint’s most popular dog name. #dognameshaming
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Go Green! Brooklyn Festival at McCarren Park (Sat, 6/4)!

GoGreenBrooklyn2016_525px

This Saturday, June 4th (1-5PM) Go Green! Brooklyn Festival is taking over McCarren Park with a FREE celebration of the North Brooklyn Community and local environmental programs.  Park-goers can engage with and learn about sustainability initiatives while sampling local food, participating in live-action art projects, music performances, and more!

Fun Activities will include: Continue reading

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A Conversation on Reducing Food Waste: “Just Eat It!” Screening at the Park Church Co-Op

©Peg Leg Films – Scene from Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story
©Peg Leg Films – Scene from Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story

Attending a screening of a food documentary may feel unnecessary because America’s poor diet and over-reliance on processed foods is now a big loud national conversation. Words like local, organic, sustainable, farm to table, fresh, whole, raw, and clean are ubiquitous descriptors for how we aspire to eat. But rather then fetishizing a carefully curated diet, The Park Church Co-op and Down to Earth Farmers Markets recently partnered to host a different kind of food discussion. Both groups share an interest in examining the ethically questionable practices surrounding food distribution. On Sunday May 22nd they chose to screen “Just Eat It!” The documentary’s call-to-arms statistic: Americans waste 40% of our food. Continue reading

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Goodbye, Old Neighborhood Store. Hello, Increased Population Density!

Screen shot 2016-05-28 at 11.24.35 AMScreen shot 2016-05-28 at 11.26.45 AM

For generations, J. Joseph & Sons was a local business that occupied the entire block on Manhattan Avenue between Eagle and Freeman Streets.

Three generations ago, when Greenpointers could only afford furniture and electrical appliances in installments, the business thrived by trusting people with store credit. With its iconic orange and blue neon sign, the store became part of the fabric of local life. Though it changed hands, it did so within the family, and the owners kept the business alive even as Greenpointers began to buy more and more of their furniture and appliances elsewhere. In the back of the store, you can still see where the owner hung a portrait of his great-grandfather, the original founder.

But consider the basic math: the store was doing less business as the value of the land it stood on skyrocketed.

Recently, the owners finally cashed in their chips, reportedly selling the store for $18.5 million last November. Goodbye old neighborhood store; hello, new studios and one-bedroom apartments.

The plan is to build 90 apartments in a seven-story structure and to create more than 12,000 square feet of commercial space.

The new building is part of the boom that is transforming North Greeenpoint. Soon, the area will have several thousand new residents, which will add to the existing burden on the transportation, sewage, and water infrastructure. The sleepy North end of the area will see a spike in traffic and more riders on the already overburdened G Train.

The familiar old family store that helped its customers buy the furniture and appliances they needed will soon be just a memory.

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Everything You Need to Know As Development Prepares to Go Full-Throttle in Greenpoint

A rendering of a high-rise coming to Greenpoint Landing (via Brookfield Property Partners and Park Tower Group)
A rendering of a high-rise coming to Greenpoint Landing (via Brookfield Property Partners and Park Tower Group)

If the trucks, dust, and noise of recent months haven’t been self-evident enough, the Northwest corner of Greenpoint is now bracing itself for more of the above.

In a meeting held Tuesday between developers, city officials, and community representatives, Council Member Stephen Levin attested to the notion that we’re more or less exiting the warmup phase of the current development cycle and heading for the main event.

“The reality is that the pace of development has sped up over the last six months to a year,” he said. “Even since we first start meeting, the pace of development has really accelerated. That’s because the economy’s doing well, banks are lending, developers are getting in the ground, and things are moving.”

Organized by Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG), the meeting gave residents an opportunity to ask some tough questions and hear a slightly more unscripted perspective from developers.

Hot topics included Greenpoint Landing, the West Street project (what’s the deal with all those missing trees?), environmental remediation at NuHart, and the not-so-promising future of Greenpoint’s parking situation. The aftermath of the infamous Halloween rave also received some airtime (for those curious, fines will be levied, but the amount is still undetermined).

nuhartThat construction is inevitable (and that it’s inevitably a nuisance) is hardly breaking news, but it seems as though residents still have a window of opportunity to air their concerns and perhaps influence the direction some of this taking. The public comment period for the Nuhart State Superfund remediation, for example, is still coming up.

In the meantime, here are a few of the latest updates from the land of jackhammers drilling into toxic soil. Continue reading

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A New Jail for Greenpoint?

Not very likely. However, there has been talk in recent weeks of a new satellite jail being built in Greenpoint to compensate for a proposed closure of Rikers Island.  The idea to close the city’s main jail complex is nothing new – it was first presented a decade ago by the then-commissioner of the New York City Correction Department, Martin F. Horn. Horn envisioned closing down the troubled Rikers facility and rehousing thousands of inmates in new state-of-the-art facilities built in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Recently, the former Brooklyn Union Gas Company location at 287 Maspeth Avenue has been scouted as a possible location for a new jail.

Photo via the New York Times
Photo via the New York Times

The New York Times has been following this story for years and has several articles documenting the struggle that is Rikers Island. The dilapidated jails, built on a landfill, are not structurally stable and are prone to flooding and other issues. In addition to the environmental concerns, Rikers has a pretty serious culture of violence (one that goes both ways). An investigation by the Times reported several cases of brutality against mentally ill inmates, which currently make up nearly 40 percent of the Rikers population. These incidents included gang assaults by officers that resulted in serious injuries.

Continue reading

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