Everyone goes nuts about the Cherry Blossoms, but the true stunners are the Magnolia Trees, which make the most glorious giant pink and white flowers that only last a week. My last apartment in Greenpoint had a huge Magnolia in the yard and when it bloomed last spring we had a punch party to celebrate. These photos are dedicated to my Mom and Dad who took me to Brooklyn Botanic Gardens an infinite amount of times as a kid.
This article made possible by a donation to our Writer’s Fund by Anonymous.
Internet trends come and go and if you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss out on some interesting social science that happens right before your eyes. If we had this amazing communication tool one hundred years ago, those 20 year art movements like Cubism, Futurism and Constructivism would have happened much faster. Every few weeks, I will try to break down the micro-trends and world wide fads that sometimes make surfing the net more fun than interacting with actual people.
Photo-taking trends come and go on the Internet. There was Horsemanning, Owling and eventually, the longer lived Planking, but that was last year. This year comes a whole new breed of micro-trends, often coming from the original land of absurdity, Japan, such as Dragonballing: schoolgirls have been staging fake energy sphere attacks (known as the “Kamehameha“) made popular in the manga and anime series, Dragon Ball.
And also a photo trend that features teens appearing to play Quidditch, a fictional sport from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe played on broomsticks.
And finally, originating from this side of the Pacific: Vadering, where users appear to show an individual using Darth Vader’s signature Force Choke to raise another person off the ground.
But speaking of Japan, some other choice nuggets to be found this week includes making wasp shouchuu, an alcohol like Vodka with fermented giant wasps. The whole process takes three years and it’s maker says that its properties create “beautiful skin, recovery from fatigue, and the prevention of ‘lifestyle disease’”. Uh huh. And have we mentioned Japan’s love for Ray Charles in animatronic form? Continue reading →
Assemblyman Joe Lentol is one of my favorite Greenpointers, not only because he is supportive of the arts community, the local food movement and an animal lover, but because the first time I met Joe he attended a water balloon fight fundraiser for Greenpoint Open Studios. (I know you want it back! We do, too!)
His office is pretty rad with 70s wood paneling galore and his office cat Brook (short for Brooklyn) is the friendliest office greeter, ready to sit on your lap for major cuddling sessions.
It seems like everywhere I go I run into a Greenpointer – even in Hawley, Pennsylvania. We stopped into a “sub” shop called Fluff’s, (what a name!) and enjoyed a mean grilled cheese. Shop owner Warren chatted us up. He was a cop in the Rockaways until he retired to rural PA, and he grew up in Greenpoint. He remembers when McGuinnes Blvd was called Oakland St. He said a lot of people eventually moved from Greenpoint to Pennsylvania for work after the rope factories were closing in the neighborhood.
I remember having a conservation with a architectural historian about Greenpoint. He remarked at how beautiful our landmarked blocks are and I said, “how about landmarking the siding? That is quintessential Greenpoint!” And Connie O’s, of course.
Paulie Gee and Mary Ann (Mrs. Gee) and Jon and I do brunch double dates every so often. It’s a great time! I shot this portrait of Mr. Gee at M. Shanghai. If you go there, get the eggplant salad. If you go with Paulie, make sure to order two. He died over it.
If you follow me on Instagram (@greenpointers) you know that I have NOT been in Greenpoint. For the past two weeks, Jon and I went on a fantastic birding trip to sunny Florida and visited the southern most Greenpointer: “Cowboy Mark” Straiton. I don’t need to give Mark an introduction since he is a legendary Greenpointer, a renowned DJ, an antique genius, a brilliant chef and an all around awesome friend. I will tell you he is already the most popular dude in Key West! Not surprising.
If you want to see more photos from our trip, use hashtag #jenjonfl2013 on Instagram. (Warning: lots of birds AND awesome vintage and antique finds!)
I decided to include Dishan in the weekly portrait series, first because she is gorgeous and a real character, but also because she is part of my weekly butt kicking series at her business Human@Ease, where she trains me. I asked Dishan a few questions:
I fell in love with GP about 5 years ago and I knew I wanted to open my business here. There is such an awesome sense of community. You have this amazing blend of people that gives GP that trendy feel but still with some original NY attitude.
Where do you get your daily coffee?
I usually make my own in my french press … but if I don’t, I usually order from 5 Leaves or Lokal. They are the close by.
I am a sucker for anything with almond paste.
What is your favorite exercise?
That would have to be the deadlift using a trap bar. Sometimes my workout consists of just that one exercise and I am fried! I understand many of your readers don’t know what this exercise is, but believe me when I tell you, you can get an amazing full body workout in under 7 minutes with just this ONE exercise!! No joke.
Favorite place in GP?
Hmmm, this is a tough one! There are so many great places in GP and all the local businesses take such pride in their establishments and do their best to make you feel so welcome! I really couldn’t pick just one. But if I was forced to choose, I love being here at my own business in GP because it’s such a stress-free environment and I get to make others feel welcome.