Greenpoint’s General Store For The Spirit: Help Your Self

Catherine Foley behind the counter at Help Your Self.
Catherine Foley behind the counter at Help Your Self.

Two years ago Catherine Foley had a sudden vision in the middle of an acupuncture session: to open a “general store for the spirit” and call it Help Your Self. Today her vision is fully realized in her Greenpoint storefront of that name.

It’s no longer a secret that Greenpoint is experiencing a wellness revolution, with an authentic throwback vibe akin to a collective awakening. We’ve got a number of new age-y spaces and groups that have cropped up over the last few years—Maha Rose, Awakening, Narayana Integrative Center, Golden Drum, The Babe Collective, and New Love City, among others. And now, there’s Help Your Self.

Catherine Foley
via Help Your Self.

Foley, a resident of Greenpoint for six years, was seeking to craft “a space that’s not tacky or esoteric,” and “not culty.” She felt like some holistic healing centers push the new age enlightenment vibes so hard that they become unapproachable. But she wanted to create a soulful and nurturing space where everyone in the community would feel welcome. An inviting space that resonates with many instead of one that’s attractive to few. And she’s succeeded—a wave of calmness hits you as soon as you enter Help Your Self. Foley’s fondly christened it a “beacon of light”; the space is light-filled, honest and accessible. Every morning she ritually blesses and cleanses the space, and sets out white carnations to call in good spirits in preparation for the day’s visitors. Continue reading

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GAMBAZine: An Island of Literary Independence

GambaZine_Chris_Carr“What happens to all of the pages that people put under the bed?”

That is a question that artists Melissa Hunter Gurney and Chris Carr asked themselves during the months before they birthed GAMBAZine, an international publication rooted in Greenpoint and Bushwick.

From the beginning, Gurney says that GAMBA had an activist slant. The duo wanted to create a literary magazine free of the politics and favoritism rampant in mainstream publications.

“Sometimes it feels like your bio has to look a certain way,” Gurney says. But she explained that she and Carr didn’t want to choose work based on writers’ previous publications, literary accolades, or university degrees.

In the spring of 2014, they founded GAMBAZine. The name came from Gambazini, a mythical island that Gurney had dreamt about months earlier. Continue reading

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One of the Most Successful Greenpointers Ever is Dead

Screen shot 2016-04-10 at 2.28.58 PMRobert MacCrate, who was born in 1921 on Milton Street passed away in the beginning of April 2016. He was ninety-four. MacCrate was one of the most brilliant people ever born in the area. He was not only a Harvard Law School graduate and President of the American Bar Association, but his legal work has had a profound effect on America in a number of ways. Its current president commented on MacCarate’s passing, “Among his lasting accomplishments is the work of the ABA Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession, which he chaired. Its 1992 landmark MacCrate Report set the current course for legal education. Bob was a visionary who not only was keenly interested in legal education but made a substantial contribution to the learning of skills and values as well as knowledge offered through legal education programs nationwide.” Continue reading

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Greenpoint’s Traveling Boutique Will Now Open Shop in June!

Clotilde-WalkTheWest-GreenpointLike an old friend you might see once in a blue moon, Walk the West is Greenpoint’s traveling boutique that comes bearing goods and stories, often unexpected and unannounced. Continue reading

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Italian Pizza & Paninis Just Around The Corner

Owner Luca Arrigoni manning the pizza oven at Sottocasa.
Owner Luca Arrigoni manning the pizza oven at Sottocasa.

“Sotto casa” is an Italian idiom that translates roughly to something like, “below the house” or “on your doorstep”; in English the closest phrase we have might be something like “just around the corner.” Italians Laura and Luca Arrigoni opened their first Sottocasa pizza restaurant in Boerum Hill quite literally “below the house”—it’s situated on the ground floor of an old residential building. But the pair were in love with more than the literal meaning of the name. They wanted Sottocasa to become a neighborhood joint just around the corner: an inclusive, homey space where everyone feels welcome. Continue reading

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An Inside-Out Pickup Joint: Soccer At The Pitch

The-Pitch_Williamsburg_02Ughhhh, is it iced coffee weather yet? It’s no secret that we New Yorkers aren’t blessed with a great climate. Winter = grey snow piles for days. Spring = rain, like we’ve had all week. Summer = sweat, gross smells, and sometimes you can fry an egg on the sidewalk. So what are outdoor sport-loving folks to do when NYC weather is THE WORST? Hit up The Pitch, NYC’s only indoor soccer-focused space, which just opened a few months ago in Williamsburg. Continue reading

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Greenpointers Can Get More Details On The L Train Shutdown At Tomorrow’s Community Meeting

L Train Shutdown Illustration via @brooklyncartoons
Illustration by Emmet Truxes, @brooklyncartoons

On May 5 at 6 p.m. at the Marcy Avenue Armory, city officials will be hashing out the details for the impending L Train Carnasie tunnel repair work that has Greenpointers and New York City residents alike worried about future transportation options in and out of Brooklyn. Continue reading

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Through the Looking Glass: Behind Greenpoint’s Insta-Famous Window

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 1.41.14 PM
Hello from the other siiiiiiide. Photo by Rebecca Stevens.

You may have seen @greenpointglass’ recent takeover of Greenpointers’ Instagram account, or passed by the white house on the corner of Norman and Lorimer inviting passersby to take selfies in front of its mirrored windows. Those behind the iconic Greenpoint attraction recently invited Greenpointers in for an exclusive interview.

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A History of Greenpoint in Twenty-Five buildings: The Mansion House

Screen shot 2016-03-24 at 7.26.30 PM

The Mansion House is not just part of Greenpoint history, but also of baseball history. The colonial era house, near today’s Engert Street, was the home of the fabled Greenpoint baseball club, the Eckford Club. Many baseball historians claim that the Mansion House was first ever clubhouse in baseball history! Certainly the Eckfords, who played for many years on the grounds of the mansion etched their names into baseball history, but first, here’s a little bit about the house.

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Pizza Box Made of Pizza, Pulaski Bike Path & Greenpoint Comics — The Hook Up 4/27

Vinnie's epic pizza box made of pizza.
Vinnie’s epic pizza box made of pizza.

Our favorite Williamsburg/Greenpoint pizzeria Vinnie’s has gone viral again with their no-waste pizza box made of pizza. So meta.

OMG! The Pulaski Bridge bike path finally opened today, and people are freaking excited.

Greenpoint of View, by Tony Wolfness
Greenpoint of View, by Tony Wolfness

Check out Greenpointer Tony Wolf’s comic about Greenpoint. He’s been a hardcore Greenpoint resident since ’96, so he knows what’s up.

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