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Going Home For Brunch at The Four Horsemen

The bar at The Four Horsemen, via their Instagram.
The bar at The Four Horsemen, via their Instagram.

Admittedly, when I first had dinner at The Four Horsemen in Williamsburg several months ago, I went there because I’d heard about a certain lead singer of a well-known New York band being part owner. I also might have a borderline unhealthy obsession with said band and their recent resurrection, which is why I’m devoting this first paragraph to it. But even though that guy and his legendary music originally attracted me to The Four Horsemen, that’s not why I keep coming back.

The space is small and den-like, and the natural wood ceiling planks make you feel like you’re in the hull of a modest yet stylish houseboat, sailing on magical waters from Stockholm to Tokyo. And that worldly yet right-at-home feel is intentional—the owners were inspired by their own international travels, drawing from “attention to detail and unparalleled service via Japan, casual excellence via Paris, happy evangelism for wine and understanding of coziness via Copenhagen and the come-for-one-glass-and-stay-til-closing of London.” The vibe is on point. Continue reading

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East River Eyes: Jeffrey Gamblero

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View from India St./Greenpoint Ave Ferry Landing

If you ride the East River Ferry you’ve likely seen the 20-foot-tall letters that spell out JEFFREY GAMBLERO on the dock of the India Street stop. They are outlined in black and filled in with a vivid aqua green. It is the color of surgical scrubs, of Winterfresh gum and cartoon characters, and a fitting hue for what has become an unofficial landmark of the Greenpoint waterfront.

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Korn Eyes

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A Greenpoint Landmark Keeps on Ticking

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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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The Brothers Buoy and The Brooklyn Label

Jackson Cook and Graham Burns, also known as The Brothers Buoy. photo: Lizzie Shipley.
Jackson Cook and Graham Burns, also known as The Brothers Buoy. Photo: Lizzie Shipley.

“Cheese is a state of mind,” Graham Burns and Jackson Cook muse over a rich lunch of croque monsieur, steak frites and avocado toast with pickled spicy mango at The Brooklyn Label (180 Franklin St.). The food-obsessed Greenpoint duo, who go by The Brothers Buoy*, tell me they originally met filming an episode of Nickelodeon’s Legends of The Hidden Temple. Sadly, they weren’t dexterous enough under pressure to assemble the Shrine of the Silver Monkey, and lost the game. Later they admit the tale is fictional, funnier and more captivating than how they actually met—working at Apple. And no, they’re not actual brothers.

But the fake backstory, and their mutual love of all things cheese reveals how often their tongues are planted firmly in their cheeks while simultaneously tasting delicious foods. If you’ve never seen their Instagram account, it’s a food blog—beautifully-shot photography paired with unapologetic writing. To them, food is a sexy beast waiting to be conquered, and they’ve got a voracious appetite that shows through their images and words. Continue reading

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

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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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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.

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Goodyoga Flips Teacher Payment Structure On Its Head

Goodyoga's Greenpoint Avenue Studio
Goodyoga’s Greenpoint Avenue Studio

If you’ve been to Goodyoga, you know they’re doing something right. Their app makes class sign-up easy, their down-to-earth teachers blend alignment with humor, and their prices beat everywhere else. What you may not know is that Goodyoga is promoting physical and emotional health for instructors by changing their business model.

As of the first of the year, they’re offering full-time employment with benefits to their yoga teachers. This may signal a new direction for the yoga industry, with concerned teachers and studio owners who see the current industry standard of employing teachers as Independent Contractors as broken. Meanwhile, more than one yoga studio has been audited by the Department of Labor over the practice. Continue reading

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

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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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Solfire: A Shop to Set Your Soul Ablaze

Solfire interior
via Solfire

I’ve lived in Greenpoint for eight years and have always felt a void in wellness offerings.  Thankfully, that’s begun to change as juice bars, gyms, and yoga studios started blooming on almost every corner. The emergence of establishments like Lucent Yoga, Botica Apothecary, and Help Your Self is exciting. Until recently, the one thing still lacking was somewhere to buy workout gear. Not just sneakers or a jump rope, but truly functional, cutting-edge activewear. As a former apparel buyer turned full-time yoga teacher, I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a well-made pair of leggings or running shorts. What you wear when you workout can totally change your experience, as anyone who’s suffered from inner thigh chafing or bleeding nipples can attest!

On a recent morning jog, I was intrigued by a sleek silver sign that read: “Solfire.”  The storefront was a beacon of light on the once desolate stretch of Driggs Avenue from the south tip of McCarren Park to the Bedford L Train. I peeked in and saw a plethora of colorful capri pants and made a mental note to pop by during store hours. When I revisited the shop later that week, I was surprised to discover that Solfire (483 Driggs Ave.) was so much more than a clothing shop. Continue reading

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A History of Greenpoint in Twenty-Five Buildings: The Union Baptist Church

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One of the oldest buildings in Greenpoint and a landmark is struggling for survival. These days the 160 year-old Union Baptist Chruch at 151 Noble Street is closed and surrounded by a fence. It’s fighting demolition, but it has a champion. Pastor Mike Newberger is fighting to raise the money to save the church and its amazing historic legacy. Continue reading

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