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Neighbors Allied for Good Growth Community Map Fair

NAG's ToxiCity Map
NAG’s ToxiCity Map

This Wednesday, July 27th at the McCarren Pool Community Room (776 Lorimer Street) from 6:30pm–8:30pm, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth are hosting a science fair-style event with justice-driven maps on display and open for public questions and commentary. The event coincides with the unveiling of NAG’s ToxiCity Map, which shows environmental conditions and hazardous activity in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Continue reading

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Volunteer In The Transmitter Park Butterfly Garden This Saturday July 23

Transmitter Park volunteer day

This Saturday, July 23rd, join the GCEF-funded Greenpoint Parks Community Stewardship Program for fun and exploration in Transmitter Park’s garden, home to many bird- and butterfly-friendly plants! Learn how to identify these species, and discover the benefits they provide – all while hanging out with your Greenpoint neighbors! Afterwards, volunteers will tend to Transmitter Park by weeding and watering the garden together. Continue reading

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Firm and Funny: Iron Man at Pete’s Candy Store

Iron ManLast night I decided to swing by Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street) in Williamsburg to check out performance artist Iron Man. On every Tuesday evening in July, James Hook is ironing your finest, and his own, in a display that encourages participants to pit the patriarchy against the matriarchy and even examine feelings about slavery and servitude. The one-man show is literally a dude standing in a bar steam ironing clothes under a tabletop spotlight while folks sit around drinking PBR’s, eating grilled cheese sandwiches and paying little attention. But with the steam rising through the single light source, the result is actually somewhat dramatic, and affecting. Continue reading

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100 Years Ago: Greenpoint’s Greatest Art Exhibit Ever?

John Mulvany - Custer's Last Rally - 11'x20'
John Mulvany – Custer’s Last Rally – 11’x20′

A fascinating story in the December 12, 1917 Brooklyn Daily Eagle explained that almost a century ago our local library hosted a blockbuster art show of Greenpoint artists. It is too bad that the article did not go into more depth about the show, but it did mention the three stars of the show: Ralph Blakelock, George Inness and John Mulvany. If you are not familiar with the artists in the show you should be, because they were not only locals, but they were also greats. Continue reading

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The ABC’s of Greenpoint Street Names: How Your Street Got Its Name

Screen shot 2016-05-21 at 10.21.25 AMYou might wonder about the origins of the name of the street you live on. Neziah Bliss, the patriarch of Greenpoint, had the streets surveyed in the 1840’s. He named the streets starting at the Northern end in Greenpoint after the letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, etc. People didn’t love this naming system and ended up giving full names to those streets, but the alphabetical order stuck.

Ash Street was named after the ash trees that once grew here, as was Oak Street. Box street was named after the box factories, which were once an important local industry. Clay Street could be named for Henry Clay who was an important Senator who kept the union together by working out the Compromise of 1850 or it could be named after a local 17th century pirate (yes, pirate!) called Humphrey Clay who settled down to run an early local ferry and was an associate of Captain Kidd. DuPont Street is named for Admiral Samuel DuPont, a hero of the Mexican War who commanded the first ever ironclad armada during the Cvil War. Why no L street? Well there was once a Lincoln Street that later became Greenpoint Avenue. Rumor is that local Democrats did not like the name of a Republican President and changed it.  Continue reading

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Greenpoint Solo Dining: Fill Up on Productivity

Editors’ Note: This is our second post in a series about solo dining. Here’s our first post.

Perhaps the most obvious spot that comes to mind when one thinks of restaurants most suitable to the individual is a cafe. Dotted with open chairs opposite a single patron hunched in front of a laptop or over a book, the scene of predominantly lopsided tables is a familiar one in North Brooklyn any day of the week. Here’s my guide for where to go to get your work done by day, and in some cases even linger into the night.

A favorite spot to get work done: counter seat at Eagle Trading Company
A favorite spot to get work done: counter seat at Eagle Trading Company

For the same reasons I think a seat at the bar is the best seat in the house, I frequently find myself at the counter of Eagle Trading Company (258 Franklin Street) where the sweet server knows I’ll be having the Coronation Chicken (mango chutney, raita, arugula $7 as sandwich; or as salad over spinach and arugula $8) as I get work or “life admin” done while enjoying refills of iced green tea and a breeze from the Franklin Street-facing windows. If I’m there for breakfast (served until 4pm daily), it’s the B11 breakfast sandwich (eggs, jack cheese, avocado, jalapeños, tomato, onion, cilantro $7) with lots of hot sauce as I launch into productivity. Continue reading

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Top 10 Summer Reads About Greenpoint

Want some Summer reading about our neighborhood? Here’s a list of books related to Greenpoint. People ask me how I researched my account of local history Greenpoint Brooklyn’s Forgotten Past. The answer partially is that I read the books in the list below.

Screen shot 2016-06-05 at 2.13.53 PM1) Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia, Joe Pistone
The amazing story of how an Italian American F.B.I agent got into the Greenpoint Mafia, risking his life, but also taking down more than a hundred mobsters.

2) Historic Greenpoint, William Felter
The first book on local history, Felter published his remarkable book about a century ago. It tells the area’s history, but omits the dark chapters of Greenpoint’s Past—well worth a read though. And since it’s out of copyright, it’s free to download. Continue reading

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