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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Bike Raves, Secret Seders & Even More Secret Puddles — The Hook-Up 5/13

Photo by Sunny Jhooty Photography via Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
Photo by Sunny Jhooty Photography via Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
A state study is claiming that there’s no obvious connection between pollution and the increased incidence of health issues in people living near Newtown Creek. But said residents are calling bullshit.
 
It’s no naked bike ride, but there are glowsticks involved. The Brooklyn Bike Rave is happening this Saturday night.
 
There’s a new 90-unit mixed-use residential development going up where seven buildings have been sitting (up til now) at 1050-1066 Manhattan Avenue and 154 Eagle Street. Of course, you can’t make an omelette without demolishing a few existing apartments (and tearing down that iconic J. Josephs & Sons Co. signage), but demolition permits haven’t been filed yet.
 
Passover might be pretty passé at this point in May, but this was too cool not to share. It seems as though the Sunview Luncheonette was home to a secret, alternative Passover Seder.
 
It’s been a while since Greenpoint first caught the attention of the New York Times trend watch, but now it looks like The Wall Street Journal has caught on.
 
It’s happening: the old Polonaise Terrace building is bringing in some new, well-known tenants. The Brooklyn Night Bazaar is moving in and creating a space that’s “much weirder than its predecessor.
 
There’s no place like home, and there’s no place where per-foot condominium sales prices are rising faster.
 
Have you seen this shirtless cyclist who attacked a driver with a bike lock?
 
 

There’s been a debate happening re: how viable that Brooklyn-Queens Connector streetcar is. A commissioned study seems to say it’s pretty viable.

A group of second graders at P.S. 31 Samuel F. Dupont won a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando. Just look at those faces!
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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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Thursday Spotlight: Artist Dan Sabau

Dan Sabau Greenpointers

Dan Sabau comes from several walks of life. Originally born in Romania and growing up in Cleveland Ohio, he eventually made it to Greenpoint, Brooklyn and calls this local neighborhood home. His story is interesting—formerly in a band called Slak he toured and played in New York venues. After seeing what New York had to offer, he knew he wanted to live here as an artist. During his fourth year of art school in Cleveland, he did a semester in New York through Parsons and ended up moving here three months after 9/11.  You can witness his life’s movement in his work; there’s a true story behind the portraits and faces. Continue reading

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Construction to Begin on New Greenpoint Library Later this Year

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Those of you who have ever laid eyes on the public library in Greenpoint know that it is a bit of an eyesore in an otherwise picturesque neighborhood. But not for long. The Greenpoint Library is about to enter a new incarnation to bring residents the modern, sustainable facility that’s increasingly necessary in an age that’s threatening to make books obsolete.

The original Greenpoint Library was constructed in 1906 and only replaced once in the 1970s due to deterioration. The current building will be replaced by a larger, more modern green building with an added environmental education center that’s due to open in the spring of 2018.

The project is being funded by a $5 million grant from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund and a $6,030,300 matching contribution from the Brooklyn Public Library. GCEF is a $19.5 million grant program established with the settlement funds from the ExxonMobil oil spill in Newtown Creek.

Continue reading

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Secret Spring, Prose Bowl, Record Fair – What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (5/11–5/17)

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

ScottIanWEDNESDAY 5/11
 Sacred Song Study @ The Ark (107 Green St) 7pm, FREE, An intentional gathering promoting the development and deeper learning of traditional sacred songs from around the world, More info
^ Scott Ian in Conversation @ Saint Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave) 7pm, $20, Word presents Scott Ian discussing his memoir I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy from Anthrax with Keith Buckley, vocalist of Every Time I Die and debut author of the novel Scale, More info

707678-250THURSDAY 5/12
^ Book Launch: Spontaneous Urban Plants @ Word (126 Franklin St) 7pm, FREE, Spontaneous Urban Plants investigates the role of weeds in the urban ecosystem by profiling a cross section of weeds, More info
☺ Detention @ Annoyance Theater (367 Bedford Ave) 8pm, $5, Watch the Annoyance NY’s improv instructors screw up everything they teach, More info
* We Know Edie LaMinx Had a Gun @ Standard Toykraft (722 Metropolitan Ave) 8pm, $15, A play exploring the sensationalism surrounding the life and death of a fabulous drag queen, Buy tix

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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Cocktails And The Beauty of Botanicals

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My job is so hard.

My day has just gotten better, because I’m in a light-filled white suite on the top floor of the Wythe Hotel, and two long tables are filled with herbs in glass terrariums, unique spirits, decanters with citrus and ginger, and small bowls of red and pink salts. The room is composed of people adjacent to the food and beverage industry: food studies grad students at NYU, sommeliers, food writers, photographers, and chefs. We’re at the Food Book Fair, and we’re about to get our drink on in only the most elegant of ways. Continue reading

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Trading Waste For Abundance with Stevie Van Horn

Stevie Van Horn, Conflict Palm Oil free/Trash free/Plastic free
Stevie Van Horn, Conflict Palm Oil free/Trash free/Plastic free at Homecoming

“I love the trees in Greenpoint!” says Stevie Han Horn, 28, who moved to Brooklyn from Colorado in 2012. “Part of it makes me feel as though I’m in a small town. There are a few roads in Greenpoint that make me feel so smitten because the trees funnel the street making it extra dreamy.”

Nature lover? Sure. But when I learned that Stevie lived “trash free”, that seemed a little too hippy dippy for me. Yes, even by my standards! At first I didn’t believe her, like, is it even possible to live trash free? What does that even mean? 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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