Raccoons Invade Greenpoint


Last week my pleasant stroll down Franklin Street was interrupted by a horrible sight—a dead raccoon lay just in front of me on the sidewalk. The raccoon, who measured about a foot in length, was certainly not alone in Greenpoint. Area residents have reported a slew of the critters in every part of Greenpoint.

Raccoons are not just in Greenpoint. They are all over New York, but especially prevalent in Brooklyn (police chased a raccoon for hours last week in Ditmas Park). The NY Times on January 1st did a story on the creatures, reporting that there is a spike in residents paying for removal services. City law requires that captured raccoons be euthanized because they are potential rabies carriers, but they are so cute that few people have the heart to follow the law. Once released the animals often make it back to the area of their capture. Continue reading

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Carmine’s Pizzeria Sign Comes Down

IMG_7810It’s the end of an era on Norman Avenue. Yesterday, the original Carmine’s Pizza sign came down and the new one went up. What are your memories of Carmine’s from the last 35 years?

Carmine: the man, the pizza legend (via Facebook).
Carmine: the man, the pizza legend (via Facebook).

Carmine closed up shop last year after deciding to retire. In a Facebook post, he wrote:

“After 35 years of serving pizza in the great neighborhood of Greenpoint, I have decided that it is finally time to retire. I thank every person who ever walked into Carmine’s Original Pizza for your business, your conversation and your friendship. I will remember and miss you all. Each day was truly a pleasure because of you!”

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Do You Love Karaoke? Brooklyn Bazaar is Hiring A Karaoke Manager

Image credit BK Bazaar

New/revamped Greenpoint venue Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Avenue) is opening up inside former event hall Polonaise Terrace in just a couple weeks, kicking off on September 9th with a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show. We’ve been lucky enough to see the space ahead of time, and it’s quite impressive. They plan to keep as much of the original vintage decor as possible for a classy retro vibe. The top floor boasts a large concert space, and the ground floor has a restaurant (which will be catered by delicious Brooklyn Star) and another stage area where they’ll host film screenings, speakers and comedy shows. The basement level is where it’s at, though. They’ve got four private karaoke rooms, an arcade with mini golf and ping pong, and a DJ dance party room. They’re currently hiring for a Karaoke Manager, so if you’ve got a bubbly people-friendly personality, this may be the gig for you. Contact info@bkbazaar.com to throw your mic in the ring.

Also, we should note that they’re currently taking karaoke reservations online, so book now ’cause that’s gonna get filled up fast.

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A History of Greenpoint in 25 Buildings: The Capri Social Club

Capri Social Club
Capri Social Club, illustration by Kenzie Kline

No one is sure when the bar that is now called the Capri Social Club (156 Calyer Street) actually opened, but it was sometime in the 1880’s. When you walk into the bar it’s not hard to imagine that you are back in the 1890’s because little has changed. The gorgeous dark woodwork, elegant old bar, the broken clock, dusty nicknacks and turn-of the-century large mirrors recall the Bowery of the late 19th century far more than the gentrifying area outside the bar.

The crowd is mixed. Hipsters love it because it is a cheap place to drink and oozes charm. They fill the place on the weekends, but old-school Greenpointers rule the other nights of the week. They love it because they not only drank there as kids, but their fathers and grandfathers drank there too. These old school “pernters” don’t call it The Capri; they call it Murphy’s because for years Murphy’s was the best Irish bar in Greenpoint. There is an amazing oak back bar that once served local Irish working men their meals. So little has changed that it is not hard to imagine these old Irishmen entering the side door in their work clothes and coming over for a meal. Continue reading

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(Un)Church DJ show Tonight in Williamsburg/Greenpoint

San Damiano concert
A previous show at San Damiano Mission. Photo via The Lot Radio

If you’ve grabbed a coffee at The Lot Radio (17 Nassau Avenue), or have ever wandered the streets behind the High School next to McCarren Park, you may have seen the Franciscan church San Damiano Mission (85 N 15th Street). If you didn’t, then you should take note. The church and local independent streaming DJ radio station The Lot Radio have been teaming up to put on benefit shows inside the church, with viewers in the pews and musicians at the pulpit. Praise. All performances are free with a suggested donation (usually $10), and always feature an interesting musical artist or three; a few months back, I attended a show with an experimental French electronic DJ who played objects as instruments.

Friars manning the bar at San Damiano Mission
Friars manning the bar at San Damiano Mission. Photo via The Lot Radio

So, it’s a church—but there’s beer, wine and a full liquor bar for donation—and the super cool friars Nick and Raphael are serving up the drinks. Seriously, they’re the most awesome bartenders you’ll ever meet, and will gladly give you a hug if you smile and even just slightly befriend them. Hugs are great! And the venue is truly beautiful. All of the money raised benefits the church and the repair of their massive pipe organ (we will cover that in a future feature story), which was originally installed in 1912. Continue reading

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Free Soil Testing Saturday At McCarren Park

Free Soil TestingThis Saturday, August 27th from 10am-2pm, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth is hosting a totally free Lead in Garden Soil workshop with free soil testing. NAG is working with Brooklyn Colleges Analytical Center on the project and workshops. The workshop will take place at McCarren Park Farmers Market. Soil testing will start at 10AM and processed into the workshop at 10:30. The soil test will screen for heavy metals including zinc, copper, arsenic and lead.

There’s a lot to understand about our soil, especially here in North Brooklyn where there’s so much toxicity. Because of our neighborhood’s industrial past we have one of the worst rates for lead poisoning in children citywide—over three times higher than the NYC average, according to an NYCDOH report from 2010. Lead poisoning is no joke; in children, symptoms include developmental delays, learning difficulties and abdominal pain. Unfortunately, often symptoms don’t appear until lead has accumulated to a dangerously high level.

Workshop attendees will learn the science behind urban soil and how our North Brooklyn soil became toxic from a historical perspective. This is a hands-on workshop with visuals and examples to learn with. This event will be free, family friendly, and open to the public.

If you want to get your soil tested, arrive promptly at 10am and bring a handful of soil in a ziplock baggie. Do it for the kids!

Facebook Event

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Thursday Spotlight: Eric Morrell, Art Director at Project Runway

Eric Morrell, Art Director
Eric Morrell, Art Director

Eric Morrell is a Production Designer and Art Director for TV and film living in Greenpoint. He has art directed numerous feature films, commercials, reality shows, and music videos while working for four seasons as Art Director for the reality competition show Project Runway.

I recently caught up with him at his Greenpoint apartment to chat about the hyper-local film industry of Greenpoint, the value of art school, and the impending L train closure…

Greenpointers: What is you favorite thing about Greenpoint/Williamsburg?  What’s a typical day for you in the neighborhood?

Eric Morrell: My favorite thing about Greenpoint how each street feels a little different and it really feels like a cohesive neighborhood even though it has a warehouse district and a commercial district and the area around McGolrick feels completely different then Franklin Avenue. Its got a lot of variety and changes a lot every few months. I really don’t need the rest of the city.

A typical day off is going out to eat somewhere for one meal, I try to go to new spots. If it’s a nice day I walk around or bike around the neighborhood and then go see a movie or go home and watch a movie. I like that we have movie theaters in Williamsburg but it’s still not close enough. With all the movie studios around I feel like they should build a big one somewhere East of McGuinness.

Eric Morrell, Art Director, on set at Project Runway stage in Long Island City
Eric Morrell, Art Director, on set at Project Runway stage in Long Island City

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Brooklyn Comedy Fest, Mezcal BBQ, The Loaded Canon – What’s happening, Greenpoint? (8/24–8/30)

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

13988136_1102866186460185_81533974910017538_oWEDNESDAY 8/24
* Wednesday With Westerns @ City Reliquary (370 Metropolitan Ave) 7pm, $7, An interactive art experience that will make you feel like kicking saloon doors and spitting a mouthful of tobacco on the floor, RSVP
* Breaking a Monster @ Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave) 7:30pm, $16, A documentary about teenage metal band Unlocking the Truth, plus a Q&A with the director and band members, More info

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 1.49.37 PMTHURSDAY 8/25
^ The Loaded Canon @ Brooklyn Oenology (209 Wythe Ave) 7pm, FREE, Local literature meets wine and cocktail pairings in this revamp of the classic reading series, More info
* We’ve Come So Far @ Rough Trade (64 North 9th St) 7pm, FREE, A panel discussion on the last days of Death By Audio, RSVP

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Taculito: Little Ass Tacos

All photos via Taculito

Taculito (little ass tacos) is a Mexico City-style taco popup on Friday nights at Brooklyn Safehouse (120 Franklin Street). The chefs, Giovanni Cervantes and Maria Romero, both have creative day jobs and thought it would be fun to fill the taco void in Greenpoint by sharing their kitchen skills and love of traditional Mexican street food. Giovanni is a portrait photographer with a Greenpoint studio and Maria is a textile and fashion designer. Giovanni grew up in Mexico City and lived there until he moved to New York in 2011. Maria was born in Mexico City, raised in Spain and returned to Mexico for college, arriving in New York after a stint living in Italy. Because of their backgrounds, they share a deep affection for authentic Mexican food, which can be difficult to find in New York City. Continue reading

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