Brooklyn

Celebrating the Future Environmental Stewards of Greenpoint

What was there to celebrate on a freezing cold evening in the heart of winter in Greenpoint? The kickoff of the Greenpoint Eco Schools program, which was recently awarded funding from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund.

To celebrate the funding and the beginning of the program, the National Wildlife Federation invited community members to Cafe Edna’s on Nassau Avenue for drinks and delicious snacks. Assemblymember Joseph Lentol, principals from participating schools, local environmental groups, representatives from City Councilmember Stephen’s Levin’s office, and the GCEF were all on hand to join the night’s festivities. Continue reading

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In conversation with: Loving You (Tuesday show @Trash Bar)

Chris Lancaster & Alison Clancy of Loving You ©All images courtesy of Loving You

Starting March 1st, Trash Bar will be no more. “We can’t afford to stay in Williamsburg,” the bar’s booking agent, Walter Stack, has said. “Our rent is going to quadruple and that’s out the question.” One of the last bands to play at the legendary venue this month is extraordinary duo Loving You, comprised of composer-cellist Chris Lancaster and dancer-vocalist Alison Clancy. Greenpointers caught up with both in their Williamsburg apartment this weekend as they fried bacon for lunch… Continue reading

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The Gross World of Food Warehouses

In the back of my mind I kind of know restaurants are disgusting, I just choose not to think about it because I need to eat. Even a fancy “A” rated restaurant has some seriously gross stuff going on. Restaurant grades are dolled out based on health code violations; an A restaurant can have no more than 13 points in their most recent inspection. For example, if a restaurant is found to have an ill employee in the kitchen they receive 10 points for the violation. So, an inspector can go to a restaurant, witness a sick person handling your food and that restaurant can still earn a top health rating. If you were eating while reading this article, go ahead and stop right now.

An opossum recently spotted in Greenpoint that I assume is freely allowed in our food storage facilities.

As gross as some aspects of eating out can be, a lot happens to your food before it even gets to your favorite restaurant. But don’t worry, Senator Chuck Schumer has added better food regulation to his plate.

Senator Schumer is asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review its policies and increase the amount of inspections to food distributors after discovering nasty stuff going on at a food distribution company based in Greenpoint. As reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the New Yung Wah Trading Co. headquarters, located at 311 Richardson Street, has big vermin control and storage problems at some of its warehouses. Continue reading

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Spotlight On: The Java Project

The Java Project, a new gallery and project space, will open this February. © The Java Project

Long in the shadow of neighboring Bushwick and Williamsburg, Greenpoint’s artistic community is getting a lift thanks to a new gallery and project space set to open in February. Boasting a new 250 square foot gallery plus 400 square feet of outdoor space, The Java Project will feature 12 exhibitions a year and additional programming. Last week, I sat down with The Java Project’s founder and director, Dakota Sica, to learn more. Continue reading

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On view now at Figureworks Gallery: “Without/Color,” Part 1

"Without/Color," Part 1 at Figureworks Gallery ©All images courtesy of Figureworks

There is a gem of a gallery tucked away on the second floor of a quiet, four-story brownstone on 168 North 6th Street in Williamsburg, just off busy Bedford Avenue: Figureworks. And, inside this gallery right now, there is an exhibition of watercolors, drawings, and sculptures that is entirely “void of color.” The effect is transporting in such a way that the gallery seems like a separate world entirely, removed from the cityscape outside and, thus, a perfect respite for those in pursuit of silence and inspiration. Greenpointers recently caught up with gallery Director Randall Harris to discuss this exhibition, “Without/Color” (Part 1). Continue reading

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“Save the Palestine” Water Tower is Now Just Grey

The iconic water tower, now grey ©Ona Abelis

First, 5 Pointz was shut down to make way for a new complex of gleaming residential high-rises. Then, Domino Sugar factory was salvaged for “industrial artifacts” ahead of developers’ plans to raze the buildings and create a “mini-neighborhood of apartments, offices and parks.” Now, this past weekend, another Brooklyn icon went silently in the night—Greenpoint’s famous steel water tower, inscribed with the Polish flag on one side and “Save the Palestine” on the other, was painted over with a coat of grey. Continue reading

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Greenpoint is in the World’s First Instagram Photobook

"This just happened," Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Taken on 10 January 2014 by @benlowy. © Benjamin Lowy/Out Of The Phone

Yes, Greenpoint! The world’s first book of Instagram photographs, Out of the Phone, includes a snap taken in our neighborhood earlier this year by American photojournalist Benjamin Lowy.

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The Blue Bikes Are Coming

Greenpointers, get your helmets ready. The bicycle share company, Citi Bike, is doubling in size and Greenpoint is one of the first places on the list to receive the new bikes.

6,000 bikes will be added at 375 new locations by 2017. The expansion will begin in 2015 with station installations happening in northern Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Long Island City, and Bedford-Stuyvesant. 1,000 new bikes are expected to be in service next year.

Blue bikes coming to the greenest of points.

While popular, Citi Bike hasn’t been without it’s share of problems since it’s inception in May 2013. The initial rollout was delayed a year because of software issues and damage to bikes after Hurricane Sandy. There have also been complaints of broken docks and kiosks as well as cracked seats. A lawsuit has even been filed about the bike designs. But none of this stopped 100,000 people from signing up for the ride-share program and riding 14.7 million miles in it’s first year.

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New Homeless Shelter Could be Coming to Greenpoint

66 Clay Street - possible site of new homeless shelter.

New York City just hit a milestone you might not have heard about. The amount of homeless people living in shelters is 57,665 people – a new record. According to a report released in October, New York’s homeless population grew last year, with almost 68,000 people without a permanent residence–all this while the number of luxury apartments for sale in Manhattan doubled in the last year. Meanwhile, homelessness is down across the country.

In the wake of this new reality, New York City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) announced a new homeless shelter will open in Greenpoint at 58-66 Clay Street. The shelter will be operated by Home Life Services, Inc. and will shelter 91 homeless adult families. A timeline for opening has not been set.

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What’s inside the Brooklyn Art Library? The Sketchbook Project

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The Sketchbook Project is waiting for you to browse its shelves on 103A North 3rd Street & Berry in Williamsburg. This crowd-sourced library houses 31,515 sketchbooks contributed by people from over 135 countries, and runs a mobile art library that roams the continental United States with a portion of that collection (most recently seen in Detroit). Each book is barcoded and cataloged with searchable details, like where the book is from, the materials used, the artist’s name, and tag words, making it super easy to explore. Interested in contributing a sketchbook? Step 1: Buy a blank sketchbook here to get started.

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