Vendor Call!! Greenpointers Indie Makers Market!! (Sept 16)

On Sunday, September 16th, 2018 alongside TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint, we are taking over BIBA of Williamsburg (110 Kent Ave) to feature 20-25 talented independent makers, artists, and crafters!

Formerly a rubber factory, BIBA is now home to an original beer hall that leads out into an outdoor patio that borders the East River State Park. With vintage charm and spectacular views of the NYC skyline, we are expecting thousands of visitors to come celebrate the local community around creativity, food, and drink!

We are looking for beautifully designed, high quality, handcrafted goods of the recycled, upcycled, ethically produced, environmentally friendly variety. Sound like you? Apply here or down at the bottom of this post.

TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint 2017

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Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop Will Finally Open August 29th!

Paulie Gee's slice
Paulie Gee’s slice, via Instagram

The wait is finally over. Starting at the end of this month, you can get Paulie Gee’s famous ‘za by the slice at his new Slice Shop on Franklin (110 Franklin Street). Paulie formally announced the August 29th opening on Instagram this weekend, to thousands of thrilled fans, with many offering to taste test before the official opening.

Despite the hoards of psyched-as-hell foodies, the pizza shop originally faced neighborhood opposition from Noble Street neighbors when the plans for the shop began a few years back. Almost 300 residents signed a petition in an attempt to prevent the shop getting a liquor license, out of concerns about late night crowds and excessive noise.

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New Greenpoint Magic Show is Utterly Spellbinding

Skeptics, leave your doubts at the door — Siegfried Tieber is casting a spell on Greenpoint.

Yes, he’s an entertainer named Siegfried. No, he’s not that Siegfried. “My father was born and raised in Austria, which explains the name,” he tells his audience. “My mother was born and raised in Colombia, which explains the hair.”

Tieber dazzles in his one-man show See/Saw, a singular and spectacular event produced by Atlas Obscura now extended through September 9. Located at 122 Franklin Street, See/Saw inhabits a converted storefront where Tieber entertains a small audience with his sleight of hand artistry. Most of the tricks are card-based — though a dollar bill does make a splashy cameo — with each illusion ranging from mystifying to downright ludicrous. All 90 minutes are packed with unmissable moments. Continue reading

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Free Live Jazz in McGolrick Park Thursday 8/16

Musicians in McGolrick

There was a time not long ago when you had to travel to Manhattan jazz clubs and pay a cover just to listen to great jazz, but that is no longer true and great jazz has arrived locally in Greenpoint. Thursday, July 26th from 7pm-9pm in McGolrick Park some of the best local jazz musicians will show their virtuosity and their love of this unique art form, presented by OSA (The Open Space Alliance of North Brooklyn) at the location of the new Earth-shaped Ziemia sculpture in the middle of the park.

The driving force behind the emergence of local jazz is Jesse Lynch, a classical pianist who fell in love with jazz. He has amazing dexterity and a great left hand, suiting him to playing even the most demanding jazz melodies.

Lynch arrived in Greenpoint looking for a place to practice and play intimate local gigs with other highly talented musicians. These underground sessions evolved into what Lynch has named The Vortex, a monthly series in his private loft featuring rotating combinations of musicians playing jazz standards and original compositions in an intimate, casual setting. Though the musicians might change from session to session, the quality of the music does not and there is a unique vibe and energy to Lynch’s sessions that listeners will also hear in McGolrick Park on Thursday. Continue reading

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The Meat Hook’s Thursday Summer BBQ Series is Back!

meat hook bbq series 2018

The ‘hood’s whole animal butcher The Meat Hook (397 Graham Ave) has brought back their summer backyard BBQ series on Thursdays through mid-September. Each week they’re collaborating with a different restaurant and brewery to bring you some tasty grub and bevs. This week, Thursday, August 16th, they’ll be collaborating with Okonomi/Yuji Ramen (150 Ainslie St) and local KCBC beer. Continue reading

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LA Band Tiny Stills Comes to Gold Sounds August 29

Power pop band Tiny Stills is taking their sophomore album Laughing Into the Void on the road! The band comes to Gold Sounds (44 Wilson Ave) on August 29. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased here.
Tiny Stills is a power pop band from Los Angeles influenced by Courtney Barnett, That Dog, and 90s/00s rock. Their first album, Falling is like Flying, was released in 2014 and was a direct response to the isolation and anxiety that comes from life changing events after front-person and founding member Kailynn West was held up at gunpoint. It’s upbeat and pop-y melodies were born from a desire to make something that felt and sounded nothing like the she felt at the time — happy. Since then, West has been the nucleus of the project with a rotating cast of band members, but most recent lineup includes Harry Foster (bass), Zach Comtois (guitar), and Tony Thaxton (drums).
Tiny Stills released their sophomore album, Laughing Into the Void, on June 1. The record premiered in full on Music Connection. Full of brutal honesty, crunchy guitars, and catchy melodies, Laughing into the Void is here to help you remember that even the worst days have a silver lining: at least you’re not alone.
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Previewing, Pumping and Polluting – The Hook-up (8/10)

Happy Friday, Greenpoint!

There has been much in the news this week about L-pocalypse, what with this weekend’s L closure, and the city’s cap on ride-share vehicles, but that’s not all. On Monday, the MTA showed of it’s L-ternative bus routes to city officials, who rode public transit throughout the two-mile route.

While there are few things as dirty as the way the MTA has been handling the L-train closure, it turns out that one quarter of the city’s most polluted sites are in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.  Continue reading

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What You Need to Know about The Ride-Sharing Cap

Uber & Lyft via Unsplash
photo illustration via Unsplash

As the L-Pocalypse looms and the L train shuts down for 15 weekends starting this weekend, the City Council’s vote to put a cap on the number of ride-share cars is not welcome news to many in North Brooklyn. As local businesses already face the challenge of retaining customers over the course of the 15-month L Train Shutdown, we wonder how limiting the number of ride-share cars will affect local businesses and workers.

Over the years as the neighborhood’s population has exploded, North Brooklyn has seen a higher number of yellow cabs cruise through the neighborhood—and in fact, we house many of them here—but still nowhere near the number of yellow cabs you see on the streets of Manhattan. Before Uber and Lyft came to town, there were a handful of local car services like Northside, Java, or Metroline you’d call to get a ride somewhere, often paying a flat cash fee that included tip. And those drivers usually knew the best back streets to take to get you to JFK in about half an hour.

These days, getting a cab is as easy as pressing a few buttons on your phone without having to wait on hold or talk to anyone or give your credit card info—and in North Brooklyn, a 1-minute or less wait for an Uber or Lyft (or Juno, or Via) is common. But often, drivers of ride-share vehicles are not local to your neighborhood and are blindly following robotic-voiced directions on their phones. (Ed note: Northside and Metroline have their own apps, and you can book online with Java).

New York City currently has more than 100k ride-share vehicles on the streets, compared with less than 15k yellow cabs. Six yellow cab drivers have committed suicide in the last few years—depressed and traumatized about not being able to pay their bills—while Uber and Lyft drivers of all ages, races and backgrounds have raked in some extra side hustle cash.

The suicides, combined with general concern about traffic congestion and lack of regulation prompted the city to do something about this rapid explosion of vehicles on our streets that have very visibly threatened the livelihoods of thousands of Yellow Cab drivers—who are still iconic of New York City. Two months ago almost 150 taxi medallions hit the bankruptcy auction block. According to Curbed, “In 2013, a medallion was worth as much as $1.3 million, however, competition from ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft has driven medallion prices down to as low as $160,000.” According to the Post, earnings for Yellow Cab drivers have plummeted to $29k per year by some estimates.

The legislation passed on Wednesday will require ride-share companies to purchase a for-hire vehicle license (or face a $10k penalty) currently set at $275 per car, exempting wheelchair accessible vehicles from a fee, and requires the TLC to set a minimum wage for ride-share drivers. And, of course, the cap. The law also says that no new licenses (except for accessible vehicles) will be given out for one year, while the TLC conducts a transportation study. New York is the first major city to impose a limit on the number of ride-share vehicles. In response, Uber says it’s planning to recruit the tens of thousands of drivers who already own a valid for-hire-vehicle license. The company, currently the highest valued startup at $68 billion, was a staunch opponent of the bill, launching an ad campaign to drum up support against it.

A 2018 TLC study found that setting a minimum wage for ride-share drivers to $17.22 per hour would increase driver net pay by 22.5%. And by instituting a minimum wage for drivers, Uber and Lyft would take less of a cut. It would, “…substantially reduce growth in the number of new drivers and vehicles and provide some indirect benefits for medallion drivers.” According to Mashable, “Lyft said it supports a livable wage for its drivers and is already paying close to the $17.22 minimum hourly rate (after expenses) to its drivers.”

It’s a fact that more ride-hailing apps means more cars on the streets, which in turn creates more traffic and congestion. City bus routes are affected (if you ride the B62 you know this is true), and of course first responders and emergency service workers can be delayed too. Jon Orcutt, the director of communications and advocacy at TransitCenter, says we are currently in “our worst transportation crisis in decades.”

L Train Illustration via @brooklyncartoons Instagram
Illustration via @brooklyncartoons Instagram

Of course, all of this is happening above ground and that’s not the only way New Yorkers travel. In April of 2019 the L Train will shut down for repairs for 15 months, forcing thousands of Brooklynites to find a different way to get into Manhattan. The MTA’s plans have been heavily criticized, with many arguing that they have only accounted for a fraction of workers who will need to get into the city every day. The Village Voice calls it a “recipe for gridlock.” Some North Brooklyn lifers shrug their shoulders while they wait for rents to drop and café crowds to thin out.

The full magnitude of the L-pocalypse and the effect on our daily commutes to Manhattan remains to be seen. We do know, however, that it’s going to be epic. The shutdown will have its own documentary, already has a news series on Vice, and has been making national news. And there have been plenty of crazy-not-so-crazy alternatives to the subway proposed.

Local business owners are none too happy about the shutdown either, knowing that without the daily influx of tourists coming into the neighborhood and with some residents moving out of the neighborhood entirely, their business will drop. Maybe even to 2008 levels. With a ride-share cap in addition to the shutdown, many businesses who rely on people from outside the neighborhood—restaurants, entertainment venues, retail establishments—will certainly feel a pinch. But others ask, is the idea of less people coming into the neighborhood really a bad thing? Isn’t the neighborhood overcrowded as it is? It’s a complicated issue.

Greenpointers, we want to know how the ride-share cap and the shutdown will affect you. Are you a business owner or a Lyft driver? Let us know how you feel in the comments.

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Say Amen, Somebody: Movie Screening + Bake Sale at Park ChurchCo-Op

Park Church Co-Op Bake Sale

The Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell St) is celebrating gospel music and community building with a screening of the 1982 documentary Say Amen, Somebody! and a bake sale on Saturday, August 18th at 7pm. Tickets to the film are $5, and there will be homemade baked goods for sale, with the funds going towards the church.
If you want to donate a baked good, you can sign up on this form.
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Volunteers Needed: Greenpoint Tree Watering Day is This Saturday (8/11)

Greenpoint Tree Corps

Volunteer tree watering is happening this Saturday August 11th at 10am, meeting in Transmitter Park! In this brutal heat, the trees get dehydrated and need a little neighborly help to keep them growing—if you volunteer you’ll help water young trees along Kent and West Streets.

*Watch out for the park’s mockingbirds; we received a tip they are still actively defending their nests as of yesterday.

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L-Pocalypse Pre-Show Countdown: L to close for 15 weekends prior to “official” shutdown

How is this weekend like Christmas? No L!

In fact, the MTA announced on Saturday, The L train will not run between Manhattan and Brooklyn for 15 weekends between now and April, when the agency plans to usher in L-pocalypse.

While North Brooklyn has been aware of, and preparing for, April’s planed 15-month suspension of service through the Canarsie Tunnel with a litany of enterprising, madcap solutions, commuters were entirely unaware of the MTA’s pre-show closure countdown.

Now, purveyors of L-ternatives will have to fire up their tanks earlier than expected, because the first of the 15 weekend closures will take place this weekend (from 11:30pm Friday, August 10 – 5am Monday, August 13th). 

The other 14 weekend closures will take place throughout October, November, February, March and April.

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