Weekend Music: Day Job, Night Vision (5/20 – 5/23)

Why do you work all day at a job that is not your true calling?

For cash, of course. Or maybe stock options.

My day job pays the bills, but I also get to go to fun places sometimes for it too. Got to go to Alabama once.

It was great. “Where’s the best bar in this town?” I asked someone in Eufala, AL.

“Airport Lounge. They got shacks in the back.” In case you are not up on your South, that means ladies of the night are available.

Not my thing, but heading for Japan on Sunday, bizness class. Before my next brush with the picaresque, here’s the weekend music calendar, with a bonus entry for Monday night to help transition you back to the work week. 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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Films on the Green Returns to Transmitter Park This Summer

Crowd watching a film in Transmitter Park, last summer.
Crowd watching a film in Transmitter Park, last summer.

One of the area’s brightest summer events, Films on the Green will be returning to Greenpoint’s WNYC Transmitter Park to project two films ‘en plein air’.

An initiative of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, the FACE Foundation and the City of New York Parks & Recreation, Films on the Green Films is unique among the myriad of free movie screenings attracting cineastes to NY green spaces every summer, as each year the series presents a free and fresh sampling of French films around a given theme.

This year, as part of the Tandem Paris-New York, a cultural partnership between the cities of New York and Paris including a music festival, film, art, and other events, running between June and October 2016, Films on the Green presents classic and contemporary films that, “present the diversity of Paris, its inhabitants, landscapes, and cultures”.

Greenpointers can view two classic French films projected alongside an unmatched East River view of Manhattan, when Luc Besson’s ‘Subway’ screens June 24th and François Truffaut’s ‘400 Blows’ on July 1st. 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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Renegade Craft Fair, Real Cool Times, Triskelion Gala – What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (5/18–5/24)

There are more events in our weekly calendarSubmit Greenpoint events, too!

13254290_1037112079716342_8570134165112949629_nWEDNESDAY 5/18
^ Book Launch: Shrill @ Word (126 Franklin St) 7pm, FREE, Celebrate the launch of Seattle-based writer, editor, and performer Lindy West’s memoir, More info
 Real Cool Times @ Troost (1011 Manhattan Ave) 9pm, FREE, Musician, artist, and longtime Greenpoint resident Dylan Ewing spins an eclectic mix of musical delights, More info

main_fit_300THURSDAY 5/19
# Tracing North Brooklyn’s Polish Food Heritage @ MoFAD Lab (62 Bayard St) 6:30pm, $16, A panel discussion moderated by educator Annie Hauck-Lawson and featuring urban anthropologist Filip Stabrowski and local business owner Andrew Konopka, More info
* Performancy Forum @ Panoply Performance Lab (104 Meserole St) 8pm, FREE, With Michael Reinsch, Jennifer Williams, Florence Nasar, and Uniska Wahala Kano, RSVP

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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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Introducing Dobbin St. – A New Events Venue in Greenpoint

The new events venue, Dobbin St.
New events venue, Dobbin St.

Have you noticed the new bright blue building on Dobbin Street? It used to be an auto garage, but that former identity is now completely unrecognizable at the newly renovated 64 Dobbin Street. After 18 months of intense demolition and reconstruction – not to mention a new coat of paint – the 8,500 sq. wedding venue and events space Dobbin St. will open this summer. Continue reading

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Healthy Vegan Eats at Acai Berry

We’ve had some dismal weather recently but we all know that summer is just around the corner. Pretty soon we’ll be ditching our sweaters and rain gear to bare our arms, legs, midriffs, and in some cases a little too much more. While there’s nothing like hunkering down in the New York winter to slurp bowl after bowl of steaming ramen, come summertime it often is too hot and sticky to stomach more than a salad or smoothie. And if you’re after some lighter fare, Greenpoint’s recent addition, Acai Berry, could be your go-to stopping place on your way to McCarren Park this summer.

Choco lava acai bowl via Yelp user Danielle B.
Choco lava acai bowl via Yelp user Danielle B.

Opened in March 2016 at 650 Manhattan Avenue, Acai Berry offers a lot more than the name implies. Of course you can get the popular and refreshing acai bowl, but the vegan restaurant also offers a host of other snacks, juices and light meals. The acai bowl comes in four different 16-ounce options, all for a reasonable $10. You can opt for the traditional “Aronia Bite” bowl that comes topped with fruit, hemp granola and chia seeds, the ever present healthy green option with spinach, kale and avocado blended into the base or go all out for the “Choco Lava” bowl which incorporates raw cocoa and chocolate hemp protein into the mix.

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