Righteous Tacos at the Holy Smoke BBQ Pop-Up

Holy Smoke 7_greenpointers_swallace
Look for the sign, be rewarded with tacos!

If you’ve wandered by the San Damiano Mission (85 N 15th Street, formerly Holy Family Slovak Catholic Church) over the past two weekends, you’ve definitely seen some goings-on in their courtyard. That would be their summer outdoor taco pop-up, Holy Smoke NYC. Run by neighborhood restaurateur Josh Cohen and his Extra Fancy co-owner Mark Rancourt, Holy Smoke was created to raise money for the Greenpoint Community Organ Collective, the organ inside of San Damiano that is in desperate need of restoration. Every weekend this summer they’ll be hosting the pop-up with tacos, beer, rosé in a can, and even a little water feature to help keep you cool.
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Call for Artists!! Greenpoint Gallery Annual Drawing Salon Show

Show your best works in pencil, charcoal, pastel...
Show your best works in pencil, charcoal, pastel…

The Greenpoint Gallery has bounced back from the devastating fire back in February and has been actively up and running with some cool exhibits and art shows! At this time, it is now accepting submissions for the Annual Drawing Salon Show: Deadline is tomorrow! (Thursday, June 23rd at 11pm), and “Best in Show” wins $200 cash and a solo exhibition!

Drawings in pencil, charcoal, pastel, etc, will be considered within 36″ x 48″.

As always, submission is free, just email jpegs or a link to your work to greenpointgallery@gmail.com. Continue reading

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Last Night’s Wye Oak Show At Warsaw

Wye Oak, photo by Erik Keithley.
Wye Oak, photo by Erik Keithley.

It could be easy to dismiss Wye Oak as another band for the denim shirt crowd—mellow, buttery dream-folk churned to the point of blandness. But the Baltimore duo, who played at Warsaw in Greenpoint Tuesday night, have some seriously un-bland musical chops—they’re kind of a reverse White Stripes, and that’s a good thing. Where The White Stripes had grit and a lack of polish, Wye Oak sound and look totally put together, as if they’ve walked out of a J Crew catalogue, if J Crew was trying to lean into the indie musician angle this season.

Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner have been making music together for 10 years, so their on stage collaboration is truly comfortable. Musically, they finish each others’ sentences. Andy keeps the rhythm rolling, simultaneously playing synths with one hand and drumming with the other, while Jenn is the mouthpiece for the band (Andy isn’t even mic’d) and shreds on the guitar. The pair are truly making gender-balanced rock: even though the vocals are female, their music isn’t feminine. Most of the time Jenn’s voice is melting into the back of the soundscape, creating a lush, oceany resonance. And when her voice isn’t buried back there, she sounds like a nymph-like ghost. It’s haunting, romantic and powerful music. Continue reading

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Summer Solstice Party, Pride Ball, Zombie Crawl – What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (6/22–6/28)

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

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.53.56 AMWEDNESDAY 6/22
* Himapan: Lotus Leaf Painting @ Brooklyn Art Library (28 Frost St) 3pm, $95, Flex your creative muscle and paint a lotus masterpiece; get 30% off with code PAINT, More info
 James Brown vs. Prince @ The Hall at MP (470 Driggs Ave) 8pm, $18, Featuring members of the  Trey Anastasio Band, Lettuce, Turkuaz, Kung Fu, Rubblebucket, Jazz Is PHSH, and more, Buy tix

737760-250THURSDAY 6/23
* Craft Party @ Brooklyn Craft Co (61 Greenpoint Ave) 7pm, $55, Make five different DIY projects, from macrame to mini-bookbinding to glass etching, More info
 The Wild Honey Pie Presents @ Rough Trade (64 North 9th St) 8pm, $15, With Soak and Overcoats, Buy tix
* Puppet Playlist #21: Dolly Parton @ Triskelion Arts (106 Calyer St) 8:30pm, $13, A group of puppeteers and musicians create original works of puppetry and music based on a musical theme, Buy tix

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A-List Celebs Dropping Into Greenpoint Bar

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Mick Jagger at Brooklyn Safehouse.

Mike Whalen, a regular customer in the usually low-key Brooklyn Safehouse at 120 Franklin Street, went away for a weeklong fishing trip, never imaging anything exciting would happen in the bar while he was away. How wrong he was! When he returned he discovered to his dismay that he had missed the most exciting week in the bar’s history. At the beginning of June, celebrities descended on the once serene local watering hole and shook things up.

It seemed just like any other mellow night at the bar until the actor Steve Buscemi walked in and retired to a booth in the back. Buscemi had all the patrons asking,”Is that who I think it is?” and twisting their necks to see him.

For many bars the visit of one celebrity would be enough excitement for the whole year, but an even bigger shock was in store for patrons the very next night. Mick Jagger of Rolling Stones fame strutted into the Safehouse and sat at the very same booth, escorted by his granddaughter. Buscemi’s visit was quickly forgotten. Mick had a quiet drink and left, but apparently this was one time when he actually did get some satisfaction. The seat that held up those two very famous butts has been renamed the Buscemi/Jagger booth, and Stones groupies and Buscemi fans have started planning Greenpoint visits just to sit in the now legendary spot. Continue reading

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Jump Rope For PRIDE Tomorrow Night!

PRIDE Punk Rope

If you’ve never done a Punk Rope class before, this is your chance to break a sweat and check out this fun, fast and LOUD way to burn off more than 600 calories—and then balance it out with a few beers afterward. Join Punk Rope’s salute to NYC Pride and the LGBTQ community tomorrow night—jump and play to 14 queer-themed songs with gorgeous views of the sunset and Manhattan. Ropes will be provided.

Newtown Barge Playground | 37 Commercial Street
(weather permitting)

Wednesday 6/22 | 7:30pm-8:30pm

Free for members of the Greenpoint Y.
$15 suggested donation for non-members.

The Diamond | 43 Franklin Street

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Fire at Chase Bank Takes Down Sign and is Temporarily Closed

The sign at Chase Bank (798 Manhattan Ave) caught fire this morning by Julia Moak
Chase Bank (798 Manhattan Ave) this morning (6/21)

Chase Bank (798 Manhattan Ave) caught on fire this morning (June 21) and is temporarily closed. It should be back up and running tomorrow, according to a Chase employee who was at the scene. In the meantime, the ATM outside is still working.

It looks like the fire was contained to the area around the Chase sign and no one was hurt.

Thanks once again to the amazing work of the FDNY! Continue reading

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A History of Greenpoint in 25 Buildings: The Leviton Building

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The company is long gone, but the building remains. The Leviton Building just off McGuinnness Boulevard on Greenpoint Avenue has an interesting history. The Leviton Company was founded in 1906 by Evser Leviton and his son Isidor. They began by manufacturing brass mantle tips for the natural gas lights in Manhattan, and sold their goods on a pushcart on the Bowery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Then, Isidor designed a screw-in lampholder for Thomas Edison’s Electric Lamp in 1910 and within ten years the lampholders were being used in apartments all over New York, making the faimily rich! They started to make other electrical devices, especially light switches. By 1922 business was so booming that they didn’t have the capacity to assemble their more than six hundred products solely in Manhattan, so Leviton moved to Greenpoint. In 1936 they built the present day factory that occupied the whole block between Newell and Jewel streets. Continue reading

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Greenpointer Braves African Wild – Viewing Party Tonight!

Jens Rasmussen, before and after.
Jens Rasmussen, before and after.

As Greenpointers we’re quite fortunate to have so many sweet amenities at our doorstep—a bounty of delicious restaurants and artisanal food sources, more than enough bars where we can sling back a drink or two, and swimming pools to cool off in if we’re trying to survive the summer without A/C. As rough as NYC life can be sometimes, we’re pretty gifted with a life of lesiure. But one local Greenpoint resident, Jens Rasmussen, endured totally different harsh elements—the savage expanse of Africa—to star in the new NatGeo reality series Mygrations. The show follows 20 tough women and men as they track a wildebeest migration through the rough savannah in Kenya, unarmed and without map or compass. Their journey from the southern Serengeti to the Mara River lasted six weeks, and Rasmussen tells us he lost 20% of his body weight on the perilous journey. It’s tough enough surviving in modern day Brooklyn, so we can’t imagine how he persevered through this epic trek.

Check out Mygration’s trailer here.

And tonight (Monday June 20), our friends at Greenpoint Beer and Ale (7 N 15th Street) are hosting a show watch party at 9pm. It’s the second-to-last episode, so the stakes are high and a perfect time to tune in.

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Greenpoint’s Original Female Boxing Badass

Gussie Freeman, female Greenpoint boxer.
Gussie Freeman, female Greenpoint boxer.

Gussie Freeman is one of the most unique characters in North Brooklyn History. Years after her death people recalled her amazing strength and a night she achieved glory in an 1891 local boxing match against another female pugilist.

Gussie was born in 1864 to a poor German family that never allowed her the luxury of schooling. She grew into a big and powerful young lady who felt more at home in the company of men than other females. She found a job as a teenager in a local rope factory on Newtown Creek. One of the male employees, a bully, terrorized the females in the plant until Gussie learned of his misbehavior. She stood up to the bully and administered a sound beating to him that made her the hero of all the ladies in the plant. Continue reading

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