Anella’s Triumphant Reopening Was a Communal Effort

Anella’s new interior

After Anella (222 Franklin St.) closed following a fire last summer, owner Blair Papagni made sure that her staff would land new jobs while the chaos of the situation settled.”The fire happened on a Saturday, the day after the fire, me, my two managers and my chef, we all went out to brunch, and we first and foremost made a list of every person that worked for us and where we thought we could employ them,” Papgani said. “And then we had a staff meeting a few days later and it was sorta like a job fair.” Anella reopened with much of its original staff in November following months of rebuilding.

Anella, after the fire. Photo: Megan Penmann
Anella, after the fire. Photo: Megan Penmann

Papagni signed a lease for Anella in December 2008, and attributes the restaurants’ staying power in part to her landlord. “I think that the experience of a lot of people, unfortunately, is that they have terrible landlords, and I actually have a really good relationship with my landlord and he’s made it possible that Anella will be able to be there for a really long time,” she said.

When it came to redesigning the fire-damaged restaurant, Papagni found a rare opportunity to reflect on what Anella’s strong points were. “I think that our mantra with reopening was to use the fire as an opportunity to fix things that maybe weren’t working so well for us and embrace the things that were,” she said.

Anella’s new interior

In a city where the restaurant industry is especially competitive, many dining establishments operate as turnover machines while treating their employees as disposable. Papagni takes great pride in the fact that Anella employees tend to stick with the business on a more longterm basis: “Our two managers that are on right now have been with me for seven years. My Chef, Mayo is his name, he started at Anella as the dishwasher when we opened in 2009, and he’s worked every position in the kitchen, and he worked his way up to chef,” she said Continue reading

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North Brooklyn Snubbed From Amazon Community Advisory Committee

(Image courtesy of Tony Webster)

Governor Andrew Amazon Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio Bezos announced on Tuesday a community advisory committee “to share information and solicit ongoing community input about Amazon’s planned headquarters project in Long Island City.” North Brooklyn is not represented on the committee despite the effects that the neighboring area will face with housing and infrastructure.

“Amazon’s new headquarters will bring more than 25,000 jobs benefitting all New Yorkers from NYCHA residents to CUNY students,” the Mayor said in a statement. “The Community Advisory Committee will bring together stakeholders of all backgrounds to help shape this important plan.”

After signing non-disclosure agreements with Amazon, brokering a $3 billion tax subsidy in private, along with a promises for eminent domain, the Mayor and Governor have now graced their lowly constituents with “three subcommittees to develop plans for the headquarters and onsite public amenities, investments in neighborhood infrastructure to benefit the surrounding communities, and training and hiring programs to ensure that homegrown talent fills the 25,000 to 40,000 new jobs at the headquarters.”

Greenpoint, which is walking distance to the Anable Basin Amazon HQ2 site, and the greater North Brooklyn community are unrepresented on the committee, according to the committee member list on the press statement:

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OUTPUT Dance Club Closing January 2019

OUTPUT (74 Wythe Ave.) via Google Maps

After opening in 2013, Williamsburg’s OUTPUT (74 Wythe Ave.) is closing its doors on Jan. 1, 2019, the popular dance club confirmed today. In a statement posted on Facebook, OUTPUT staff explained that the ever-changing nightlife scene and financial burdens posed “multiple existential challenges” to the business model:

This sudden turn of events may seem shocking to many, but for those of us watching from the inside, we have seen the writing on the wall for some time. A confluence of factors contributed to the club’s misfortune; rapidly shifting social trends, unfavorable market conditions and weakening financial outlooks coincided with the simultaneous emergence of multiple existential challenges unique to the club’s circumstances. The mounting situation led to one unfortunate yet unavoidable conclusion; for OUTPUT to continue as a viable enterprise, the business model and mode of operation would need to change drastically, in ways that would likely betray the mission on which the brand was founded. Facing the prospect of taking great risks on uncertain outcomes just to keep the club open in some diminished capacity, the day-to-day operators who founded the club and have been at the helm throughout, made the painstaking decision to reject compromise and instead close OUTPUT with the club’s hard-earned reputation intact.

CCM purchassed the 74th Wythe Ave building that houses OUTPUT for $1.6 million in 2012 and sold the building for $7.4 million in 2014, according to the Commercial Observer. Continue reading

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All The Holiday Cheer At Our Polar Vortex Photo Booth


No snow seems to be on the way, but you can still revisit the wintry landscape of our Polar Vortex market with these seasonal pics! See a smattering of the photos below — with the superlatives each photo won — and click on over here to see the full album.  Special thanks to Outsnapped for this market’s photo booth!

To recap, children, parents, and (of course) dogs all got together to celebrate our amazing local vendors, pose in our photo booth, and share holiday cheer. Mano-a-Mano designed an ice castle while scents of mulling spices wafted in the air and Success Academy led ornament-making workshops upstairs. But for more winter fun, join us on February 10th for our Valentine’s Market! More info to come but until then, potential vendors can apply here!

Have a very happy holiday season, Greenpointers — thanks for making our recent market such a snowy success.

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Unvaccinated Students Banned Following Measles Outbreak in Williamsburg

Following a measles outbreak of 39 confirmed cases in Williamsburg and Borough Park since October, the New York City Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene has banned unvaccinated schoolchildren from attending Orthodox Jewish schools in Brooklyn.

The highly contagious virus can infect people of all ages who lack a vaccination. The measles outbreak in Williamsburg stems from children who traveled to Israel, where the country’s Ministry of Health counted over 1,300 measles patients in November of this year. NYC health officials released a statement warning travelers to take caution.

As of December 5, there have been 39 confirmed cases of measles in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn since October. The initial child with measles was unvaccinated and acquired measles on a visit to Israel, where a large outbreak of the disease is occurring. Since then, there have been additional children from Brooklyn who were unvaccinated and acquired measles while in Israel.

If you plan to travel to Israel, protect yourself and your family against measles and get vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at least two weeks in advance of your trip. If you have traveled to Israel and you have a fever, cough, red eyes, runny nose and body rash, contact your doctor. You should call your doctor before going to their office to prevent exposing other people to measles.

As of Friday, Dec. 7, yeshiva students can only attend school if they are vaccinated, even if the student has an approved exemption and/or the yeshiva has no reported measles cases. Unvaccinated students can return to school after receiving the proper shots.

According to the Dept. of Health, pre-k and daycare attending children must have at least one measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and kindergarten through 12th-grade students must have two MMR shots.

Approximately 2 percent of children in the Orthodox community remain unvaccinated for either religious or medical purposes, NBC New York reports.

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Learn about NYC Holiday History in Archive on Parade’s Hometown Holiday History Series!

Hey Greenpointers! Are you ready to deck the halls…with History?

Holiday History runs deep in this town, since Santa is a Native New Yorker. It’s true! Saint Nick is the Patron Saint of New York City, and New York’s writers and artists were the first to describe and depict Santa as we know him. He even got his sleigh in Chelsea! Add to this the fact that New York retailers invented holiday window displays, the original yule log footage was filmed here, and we’ve even got the original manuscript of “A Christmas Carol,” and it’s clear New York is a veritable holiday hot spot.

If you’d like to hear more about New York’s holiday history, please join me around town this month for my Hometown Holiday History event series!

Saturday 12/15

New York’s Holiday History from George Washington to Andy Warhol @ QED Astoria (27-16 23rd Avenue), 3pm, $10, Buy Tix

Saturday 12/22

Santa’s from West 23rd Street and other Secret Histories of New York Holidays @ Caveat (21A Clinton St.), 7pm, $15, I’m so thrilled to be joined by two incredible storytellers who will add to the historic holiday fun with tales of the ancient roots of the Winter Solstice, and the origins of Santa’s reindeer! Buy Tix

Thursday 12/ 27

TRIVIA Night: Deck the hall, drop the ball! @ Archestratus (160 Huron St.), 8pm, FREE, you know the drill for this one, Greenpoint! This month’s Trivia will be Holiday/New Year’s themed. Feel free to swing by solo, or with a team of up to four, to strut your stuff, win wonderful food and drink, and claim the title of Greenpoint Trivia Champ! RSVP

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Greenpoint Is Third Most Expensive Brookyln Neighborhood to Buy an Apartment

The Playground on Noble Street. Photo by Ian Hartsoe

Greenpoint is now the third most expensive Brooklyn neighborhood to purchase a home in with a median sale price of $1,225,000, up 37 percent from last year’s $890,969 median sale price, according to Property Sharks’ year-end report. The study’s ranking lists Greenpoint as the 14th most expensive neighborhood citywide.

For the study Property Shark calculated sale prices on single-family homes, condos, and co-ops from January to November 2018.


By this measure, Greenpoint is currently the third most expensive neighborhood in Brooklyn behind DUMBO (fifth most expensive in NYC) and Boerum Hill (seventh most expensive in NYC). The report explains that 14 units at 886 Lorimer St. sold for a median of $2.2 million, helping to bump Greenpoint’s average upward.

Rendering of 886 Lorimer St.

Greenpoint ranks 28th out of 50 for most transactions this year, far behind the Upper East Side, which had the largest number of deals this year with 2,150 transactions. Park Slope and Williamsburg take fourth and fifth place in the number of transactions citywide with 434 and 433 respectively.

The largest price drops this year for median sales prices in Brooklyn happened in the neighborhoods of Manhattan Beach (-24 percent) and Brooklyn Heights (-19 percent).

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This Sunday! Shop Great Gifts at the Sugar x Spice Holiday Market: 12/16 at Brooklyn Bazaar

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Looking for the perfect gift this season? Shop handmade and DIY gifts by 30+ local vendors at the Sugar x Spice Holiday Markers Market. It’s happening Sunday, December 16th from 1-6pm at Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave). Festive wares run the full gifting gamut, including apothecary, home goods, jewelry, comics & zines, handmade clothes, tarot & spiritual goods, enamel pins, greeting cards, artisanal miniatures, and much more.

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The market will feature a free DIY card-making station, a full bar for festive cocktail-sipping, and a fun wintry photo booth. If you’re one of the first shoppers, you can score a special gift bag with exclusive products, samples, and holiday treats—and you don’t even have to be on the “nice” list!

If you’re also a creative maker, you can bring unwanted DIY, crafting, and art supplies with you. There will be a donation box to benefit Friends of Materials for the Arts, a non-profit that supports NYC’s Materials for the Arts program. MFTA provides free art supplies to thousands of creative and educational activities across the five boroughs, diverting over 1 million pounds of materials from the landfill each year.

Excited yet? We are too! RSVP at the Facebook event here. View the official press release and vendor list.

Sugar x Spice Holiday Makers Market
at Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave.)
Dec 16th, 2018, 1:00—6:00pm

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Williamsburgs’ Enchanted Fillmore Place and the Author Who Immortalized the Street

 

The Henry miller House at 662 Driggs Avenue (Google Maps)

Thanks in large part to the writings of celebrated author Henry Miller and the stately Italianate houses on the street, Fillmore Place were landmarked in 2009 and will forever preserve the charm that enthralled the young Miller, who first saw it as a child in the late 1890s. The atmosphere of late 19th century Williamsburg is rtetained on the street in an area that rapidly gentrified over the past decade and lost much of its history: Fillmore Place is a gem and a throwback to an earlier era of local history. Gazing upon the austere brick facades of the old row houses on the south side of Fillmore Place, it is easy to imagine Williamsburg before the bridge and why Miller loved the neighborhood so strongly.

In the 1840s two merchant tailors could see that Williamsburg was prime real estate ripe for development. In 1846, Connecticut-born businessmen Alfred Clock and Ephraim Miller began acquiring parcels of land on the block bounded by Grand Street, Roebling Street, N. 2nd Street (renamed Metropolitan Avenue), and 5th Street ( Now Driggs Avenue). They purchased 12 lots from one owner and Clock and Miller also acquired three more lots from another landowner in 1847. Finally, they added a small strip of the David Van Cott farmstead in 1848. Now owning a contiguous parcel of developable land, Clock and Miller then hired a surveyor in 1850 to lay out a new, more regularized set of city lots on the property. The cumbersome dimensions of the block—each frontage was over 300 feet in length—also lead the pair to cut a narrow road through the middle of their development, which they named Fillmore Street (soon renamed Fillmore Place), after the president of the United States at the time Millard Fillmore.

Photo courtesy of New York City Landmarks Preservation Report.

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Eckford Street Studio Hosts Community Open Studio on December 21

Stressed about the holidays? Draw about it!

Eckford Street Studio, the Greenpoint gem with Drink and Draw Tuesdays, is opening up its doors at 70 Eckford Street to host a Community Open Studio on December 21 from 7 to 10 PM. Have access to studio materials, enjoy free beer and snacks, and take classes in zine-making. Professional artists will be on site to consult, and the community-building event will be taking a suggested donation of $5–25 to support our Scholarship Fund for kids from local Title I schools. “More than anything,” Education Manager Stefanie Lewin says, “we are just excited to welcome community members into the studio for a fun, creative evening.”

Before heading off for the holidays, bring a project you’ve been meaning to complete before the new year and meet local artists!

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