In 1978 a US Coast Guard helicopter on a routine check spotted oil spilling into Newtown Creek. An estimated 30 million gallons leaked into the soil and water, causing health and environmental problems to the residents of Greenpoint – human and otherwise – ever since.
This week, 36 years after the spill was first noticed, the government will receive more money to clean up the site from the people responsible for turning the creek into a polluted waterway. On Tuesday, the US government reached a settlement with Getty Petroleum which will pump an additional $16 million into the clean up of the designated Superfund site. As reported in the New York Post, Getty filed for bankruptcy back in 2011 and the federal government will receive the $16 million as part of that process.
Grumpy by name, awesome by nature, Café Grumpy has been one of Greenpoint’s most beloved coffee shops for almost a decade and now, with the addition of a new roastery, there’s even more to love.
Founded on the corner of Meserole Avenue and Diamond Street in 2005, Grumpy has since spread to five other locations including their most recent opening at Grand Central Station, where they triumphantly replaced a Starbucks. The cafe also brushed with fame during its starring role in HBO’s Girls.
In 2009 Grumpy started roasting their own beans in the back room of the Greenpoint cafe, but this year’s increased production demands led them to seek out a larger roasting space. Fortunately an ex-floristry warehouse just a few buildings down became available and their coffee-roasting palace was born. I met up with head bean buyer and ‘coffee educator’ Cheryl Kingan who gave me a grand tour of the roastery and the low down on the entire process of bean to brew. Continue reading →
How long have you been here? And, how has the neighborhood changed since then? We all have our stories about the undulating Greenpoint streetscape—people moving in, people moving out, condos and developments covering up the sky, and coffee shops springing up faster than organic dry cleaners. Is it good? Is it bad? Tony Wolf chimes into the discussion with his labor of love: the Greenpoint of View comic. Continue reading →
It all started with an idea, and a few years later, new restaurant Slick Willie (179 Meserole Avenue) is a dream come true for three friends, Jeremy, Josh, and Benjamin. It took quite a while to construct and design the space, as they signed the lease on the property just before Sandy hit New York, and then everything was delayed as construction priorities changed post-storm. However, the restaurant finally opened a few weeks ago and the trio are now ready for business!
While some might think Slick Willie was named after Bill Clinton, it’s actually named after one of Greenpoint’s famous residents, Willie Sutton. He was a legendary bank robber, a “gentleman bank robber,” so called because he never killed anyone. He robbed banks because “that’s where the money is,” and the FBI gave him the name “Slick Willie” in reference to how many times he’d eluded them Continue reading →
Few things unite New Yorkers quicker than transportation. Whether complaining about the MTA, giving someone directions, or debating the best possible route to get where you’re going, New Yorkers love talking about how we get around the city. For those of us in Greenpoint, who only have access to one subway, transportation can be an especially touchy subject.
Now you have the opportunity to share your thoughts on your transit situation with someone who can actually do something about. The Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) are working on their first advocacy campaign centered on transportation. They are conducting a survey on transportation issues in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The results will be shared with representatives and city officials next week.
Late in his life, Henri Matisse would turn to creating cutouts, which eventually covered the walls of his lofty studios from floor to ceiling inside the Hotel Excelsior Regina Palace at Cimiez in France. Matisse would direct his numerous assistants and his Russian mistress, Lydia Delektorskaya, with a 12-foot long bamboo cane from his bed, and they would all rush to adjust his colored paper compositions. Echoing Matisse in his own way, and paying homage to the beauty of industrial America, multimedia artist Michael Hambouz has created a series of 18 large-scale, cut-paper collage works called Factory Made using paper stock from the mill located in his hometown of Niles, Michigan. We met in front of The Richardson, and walked to his studio a few doors down, where his cat, Pickles, was waiting. Continue reading →
In a neighborhood largely under occupation by the Haslegrave brothers, we walked into new bar and restaurant Le Fanfare to the pleasant surprise that it wasn’t another one of theirs. The design of the space is comfortable and coherent, from the sharply-painted facade to the sequin-lined stage. Attention to detail pervades everything; the printing on each page of the menu lines up perfectly with the stenciled text on the board holding it, for example. This careful attention to detail appears throughout the restaurant: ingredients, furnishing, music, and even the staff have been chosen and integrated carefully by people who realize that it only takes one cut corner to cheapen the whole experience.
Our night at Le Fanfare (1103 Manhattan Ave) began at the small round bar up front, where we were warmly welcomed by an easygoing and friendly staff. The cocktail list is short and classic, with drinks around $11, and the bar is comfortable and pleasantly backlit by a clouded mirror studded with star-like lights. I sometimes find that I mentally rank spaces like these by how badly they make me wish I could still spend long nights smoking inside at them, and this bar gets pretty high marks there. Continue reading →
Sandwich shop No. 7 Sub on Manhattan Avenue was closed over the summer for renovations. When it re-opened a few weeks ago, not only had the interior undergone a major facelift, but the place even had a slightly different name: No 7. North.
The new name is reflective of their their updated menu as, even though they still have some kick-ass sandwiches, there is now an expanded selection of bar food and, excitingly, booze. Continue reading →
Mega congrats are in order for Luksus who received their first Michelin Star on Tuesday, after being open for only a year. Not only is it the first place in Greenpoint to ever receive this honor, but it’s the first beer-only restaurant in THE WORLD to be awarded a star. The Scandinavian-influenced restaurant, situated behind Tørst (615 Manhattan Avenue) offers only a tasting menu and focuses on beer pairings instead of wine and liquor.
“We are cooking seasonal food that celebrates the ingredients. To be recognized in this way by the Michelin Guide is simply outstanding and I am incredibly happy,” says chef and owner Daniel Burns. Continue reading →
Do we really need another pizza place in Greenpoint? Well, probably not, but Ria Bella (1049 Manhattan Avenue) is pretty good and I am more than happy to add it to my rotation of options.
The pizzas are baked in a ceramic oven, with either a thin or traditional Sicilian crust. Some of the pizzas are pretty creative – one that they especially recommend is the Sfincione – a square pie that has tomato basil sauce, sautéed onions, anchovies, caciocavallo cheese, topped with roasted bread crumbs (Bread crumbs on pizza? Oh yes.), and extra virgin olive oil. Continue reading →