Headrush Barbershop (164 Huron St.) is offering furloughed government workers free haircuts every Tuesday and Wednesday until the federal shutdown, which is now the longest in U.S. history, has passed. They’re open Mon. to Thur. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Fri./Sat. 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Government employees should bring identification.
The cast iron timepiece towering over Manhattan Avenue is a Greenpoint landmark, but it might not have survived at all. The only surviving cast iron street clock in the borough of Brooklyn, and one of only four street clocks that remain in the whole city today, the Manhattan Avenue clock is ticking again thanks in large part to the generosity of the Polizzi family who has acted as patrons of the clock for decades. In fact, were it not for pledges of support from the Polizzi family, the clock, like so many other pieces of local history, might have faded into oblivion
The distinctive Manhattan Avenue landmark has told time since the 19th century, but it did not always stand at 733 Manhattan Ave. where it does today. Previously, the clock told time in front of Bommelstein’s Jewelers at 753 Manhattan Ave. The clock was made by the E. Howard Clock Company of Boston, and was a type of street-level commercial, advertising the jewelry store.
Bommelstein’s went out of business and the clock fell into disrepair. There was even talk of dismantling the timepiece in the late 1970s. Dr. Sebastian Polizzi stepped up and saved the clock. The Landmarks Conservancy was looking for someone who would maintain the clock and Polizzi volunteered. In 1981, the city designated the clock a landmark at its old location, but the clock was moved in 2001 down the street from 753 to its present location in front of Greenpoint Vision Care at 733 Manhattan Ave.
In 2002 the clock was nearly destroyed when a truck slammed into it, but the family had the head of the clock repaired and the timepiece survived. In the meantime, Dr. Polizzi passed away and his daughter Dr. Christina Polizzi inherited the business and stewardship of the clock.
The Lot Radio (17 Nassau Ave.) is celebrating three years in Greenpoint with a party at the Brooklyn Bazaar on Sat. Feb. 9, starting at 7 p.m.; tickets are on sale. The Lot Radio also took up residence in a former Times Square currency exchange kiosk last month in a project with Times Square Arts. Check out the video for more:
The residential high-rise construction along the contentious Greenpoint and Williamsburg waterfront is moving forward during the frigid winter months with towers advancing toward completion.
On the South Williamsburg waterfront, the rising towers at 1 S. 1st St. are being structurally connected, as YIMBY reports. When completed, the conjoined building will have 330 apartments (66 will be affordable) spanning 462,000 square feet directly next to Domino Park. The completion date for 1 S. 1st St. hasn’t been announced but the incongruent tower will count as the second residential building at the former Domino Sugar Factory, where two more towers are planned at the southern end of the site.
1.2 miles north of S. 1st St. along the waterfront, “The Greenpoint,” is “awaiting imminent completion” according to YIMBY, and the 392-f00t-tall shiny glass tower is currently open for leasing/selling with 500 condos and rentals. A one bedroom rental at the namesake 39-story tower is going to set you back as much as $4,020 per month.
The NYPD is seeking help identifying two suspects following a fatal shooting at the Cooper Park Houses (280 Frost St.) on Saturday night at around 10:18 p.m. that claimed the life of 28-year-old Bed-Stuy resident Daryl Eleam.
The victim was shot once in the chest and was rushed to Woodhull Hospital where he succumbed to the gunshot wound, according to the NY Daily News.
If you have any info in regards to the incident or their identities pls call the 94 Pct Detective Sqd at 718-383-8545 or 800-577-TIPS to remain anonymous.
Sister Francis Gerard Kress who Greenpointers profiled last year in its series on important local women passed away on January 17th in Brentwood, Long Island. She was 104 years old and was a nun for an amazing 87 years. Sister Francis, a beloved local figure, taught for many years at the Saint Anthony of Padua school (862 Manhattan Ave.), but it was her work as one of the first local environmentalists that is perhaps her greatest local legacy.
The future activist was born in Hells Kitchen in 1914 and by age ten she had already organized her first protest, a pot and pan demonstration of local children in favor of the first Catholic presidential candidate. She joined the Sisters of Saint Joseph in 1932 and became an elementary school educator. In the 1960s, she arrived in Greenpoint, teaching local children who loved her charisma and energy in the classroom. In those days, Greenpoint was severely polluted with local residents at the time enduring a shockingly high cancer rate, but few locals knew the extent of the environmental damage.
In 1977, a plume appeared in Newtown Creek, the first evidence of a 15 million gallon oil slick that poisoned the surrounding earth. That same year Sister Francis, learning from a city bus driver about the spill, began to make inquiries among local residents. Discovering that almost everyone had a story about the black mayonnaise that oozed in Newtown Creek, she also learned about the spiking local cancer rate. She recalled that toxic fumes stained people’s clothes drying on the line outside and that it gave them headaches and made their children agitated, but locals simply lived with these dangers, but she was determined to take action. Continue reading →
The changes on and around Manhattan Avenue for shopping and dining continue with recent openings and closings.
As announced on their Instagram, streetwear outlet and skateshop Coat of Arms (674 Manhattan Avenue) is closing after this Sunday, Jan. 20. The business originally opened in the Lower East Side in 2006 and relocated to its current Greenpoint location in 2014.
COA owner Aaron Hansen is preparing to move out west to sunny California and the lease is up at the Manhattan Avenue building, he’s also getting married in the spring and is ready for the next chapter. “Right now there is no plan to open a new location in CA but never say never,” Hansen said. He was also planning on keeping COA open through Sunday with the ongoing clearance sale, but the store’s stock is nearly sold out and the winter weather might impact foot traffic this weekend. “We’re almost sold out of everything, it’s looking pretty lonely in here now. Depending on today’s foot traffic and looking at the weather I think we may close Saturday night since Sunday looks pretty nasty,” Hansen said. Stop in on Saturday and wish him farewell.
Just a few steps off of Manhattan Avenue, Norman Cafe (93 Norman Ave.) opened three weeks ago serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a 100 percent vegetarian menu and many vegan and gluten-free options. The owner Jamal, who has lived in Greenpoint for 22 years, opened Greenburg Deli (236 N. 12th St.) near Mccarren Park (at Urban Rustics’ former space) in 2018, but decided to relocate to Norman Ave. by the G train after seeing slower than expected foot traffic in the winter.
With the location change, Jamal saw an opportunity to serve the neighborhood’s growing veggie food scene: “Most of our sales were vegetarian options at Greenburg,” Jamal said, adding that the vegan burrito with scrambled turmeric tofu, brown rice, black beans, and pico de gallo is one of the most popular menu items so far.
Norman Cafe is open Mon. – Fri. from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and weekends from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Continuing the plant-based trend in Greenpoint, the wonderful Polish women of Happy Zoe Vegan Bakery (102 Nassau Ave.) also relocated from their original Williamsburg location, in part due to the anticipation of the former l train shutdown, and are serving freshly baked vegan and gluten-free sweets. The cafe is run by a team of sisters and their mother who in addition to the baked goods also make delicious crepes for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. Happy Zoe Bakery is open Tues. – Thur. 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
I had often walked by the inconspicuous former church at 104 Powers St. near the border of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, yet I never noticed the sole sign that this was a Muslim house of worship. Then last week, I suddenly noticed the crescent moon protruding above the roof and I realized that the building was a mosque, hiding in plain sight. Growing curious, I did some digging and discovered that the building was not only a mosque, but also the first mosque founded in the United States. The Mosque’s faithful, though, are so unobtrusive and the services so infrequent that even longtime local residents are shocked to learn that 104 Powers St. has been a local Muslim house of worship for four generations.
The structure at 104 Powers St. shows that it was once a church. In the 188os Methodists built a house of worship, but like many Christian denominations, the congregation dwindled and the Methodists were forced to merge congregations, abandoning the Powers Street building. The building served as a Democratic Party clubhouse for a few years, but in 1931, the American Mohammedan Society, Inc., a group of Tatar immigrants from Lithuania, Poland and Belarus— bought the property from the 13th Assembly District Realty Company, for the purposes of converting the property into a mosque.
The non-profit UnionDocs brings together a diverse community of activist artists, experimental media-makers, dedicated journalists, big thinkers, and local partners on a search for urgent expressions of the human experience, practical perspectives on the world today, and compelling visions for the future. The Williamsburg stronghold, located at 322 Union Avenue, has a number of educational (and affordable!) upcoming events.
Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased online or at the door. Many of the events will be followed by discussions with the artists or subjects involved, and tend to last until 10:30PM. See below to get a sense of what intriguing events are happening this winter!
Thursday, Jan 24 at 7:30 pm THERE IS A GAZE THRUST UPON ME Presentation by Joiri Minaya with conversation to follow with Mathilde Walker-Billaud What You Get Is What You See is back for 2019 featuring artist and performer Joiri Minaya. In this installment of the series, Minaya will present her research on tropical pattern design and its roots in exploration, exploitation and labor, and how this history continues through rampant capitalist tourism in the tropics.
Sunday, Jan 27 at 7:30 pm ORGANIZED ACTIVITIES With Nellie Kluz & LJ Frezza We’re thrilled to welcome filmmaker Nellie Kluz all the way from the Windy City to present ORGANIZED ACTIVITIES, a program comprised almost entirely of NYC Premieres of her short documentary works. Vadim Rizov praised her documentary style in Filmmaker Magazine with the observation that ” Kluz’s inquisitive eye captures glimpses of often kitschy or strange events without abandoning well-meaning curiosity.”
Friday, Feb 1 at 7:30 pm CHARACTER LIMIT With Sable Elyse Smith, Brett Story, and Travis Wilkerson & Dr. Alexandra Juhasz This evening focuses in on an article from World Records Volume 2 Ways of Organizing. We’ll gather artists Sable Elyse Smith, Brett Story, and Travis Wilkerson to screen and discuss excerpts from their recent work to examine how and why their practices subvert the formal and political logics of character-driven storytelling.
Here’s your chance to have some input on the future of the Motiva site at Bushwick Inlet Park at the waterfront border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. The meeting will take place at the Bushwick Inlet Park Building at 86 Kent Ave. (building at Kent Avenue/N. 9th Street) on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 6 p.m., more details here.