When I started this blog just a few months ago it was 1) because I had just moved back to the neighborhood after spending my twenties in Staten Island between not one, but two, asshole ex-boyfriends and 2) it was a joint venture with my sister (hence the ‘s’ in Greenpointers).

Well, me and my sister had a falling out that as much as I would like to publicly decimate her for, I won’t. So it’s just down to me since pretty much a week after ‘we’ started.

A lot of the point behind this blog is the fact that I was born and raised here. My father was born and raised here and my Grandfather. I come from a long line of Greenpointers and yes, I am very proud to call myself a native among what is becoming less and less the norm in the nabe.

I feel that I have a different view to offer since I notice that a large majority (read: I didn’t say ALL) bloggers are transplants of some sort. Many of the blogs all around Brooklyn are of people who are new to their surroundings. Quite a few are based on “look at me in the big city” type of formats. Which is all well and good. Write what you know, more power to ya.

I do admit that I give shit to the ‘hipsters’ in some of my posts. To me, the word ‘hipster’ pretty much applies to most of the twenty and thirtysomethings that are simply not from here and in all likelihood will leave when the next new nabe shows up on the cover of some magazine. A lot of them are just doing the New York thing right now. In a couple of years they may find themselves out in Santa Fe or trying out Austin.


Then there’s the others who have been here five or ten years and feel that this is their neighborhood. And it is. But just as much as the people who’ve been here five or ten years want the acknowledgment and respect as being here before the newest influx, the people like me who’ve not just lived here but actually went to the schools here, grew up on the streets here and can usually name at least one person on virtually every block in the entire neighborhood that they know, we want it even more. Heck, we deserve it.

It’s not an elitist attitude, it’s just common pride. We’re losing a lot more than you. We’re losing friends and entire families that had been here for generations. All because someone, somewhere decided Greenpoint was the next big thing. So now our simple row houses are being torn down for new condos and everything about the neighborhood is being either changed or examined for change.

Greenpoint was never a hotbed of culture unless you wanted to see a Little Warsaw. If we wanted culture, we’d go to Manhattan. Everyone’s looking to ‘improve’ us. Nothing’s wrong with us. We like to walk up The Avenue, we like to sit on the stoop, we like to complain about the Poles. And now we’ve taken to complaining about the hipsters.

Greenpoint was pretty much one of the last white neighborhoods in Brooklyn that was untouched y gentrification. If Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst weren’t so far from the city those wouldn’t be the microcosms of Italian old school neighborhoods they are, either. But I imagine even their days are numbered as well.

And the new influx of people have the nerve to complain about us? That’s just fucking rude.

There are some natives who are on a kick to hate all the hipsters. I am not one of them. I’m not going to judge a specific person based on whether they were born here or not. But as a whole, yes, I guess I have to say I’d rather they were not here. Rents have gone up so much and so quickly that it’s just so fucked up that the blue collar folks who have lived here for so long have to get up and get out. In just the last three months I’ve had one friend move to North Carolina and two friends move to Virginia. There is nowhere left to live for the lower middle class in New York.

And it sucks.

Join the Conversation


  1. “If Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst weren’t so far from the city those wouldn’t be the microcosms of Italian old school neighborhoods they are, either. But I imagine even their days are numbered as well.”

    I was born and raised in Bay Ridge. My folks are still there. Bay Ridge was a predominantly Italian, Irish, and Norwegian neighborhood. I myself come from a Irish/Italian background. We had the same “stoops” that you like to sit on, we had 3 Italian-run family butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers on every block, and that was the Bay Ridge way life was for a long time. But, neighborhoods change. Now Bay Ridge is comprised of predominantly Russian, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern families who are gradually phasing out the older Italian, Irish and Norwegian residents and shops (Cangiano’s, the great Italian grocery on 3rd Ave, is now owned and run by wonderful Middle Eastern family).
    With the influx of different cultures came new homes and condos and, many times, these homes didn’t “fit in” to “old Bay Ridge,” but, they have just as much of a right to be there.
    People leave old homes and make new ones, they bring their cultures, their architecture, their culinary specialties…and they work (hard!) to fit into the already existing neightborhood fabric. And these new places ultimately change the fabric into something completely new and different.
    It’s the same thing with “hipsters” (and I do think you throw that word around a good deal without fully understanding it’s actual definition). It’s a new, foreign group. It’s a different. It’s change. And, sometimes we’d like things to stay the same, but, that’s not how life works.
    Do I miss the the old Italian lady who gave me free cookies as a child at the old, Italian Cangiano’s? Sure.
    But, change is good. And I’m just as happy to chat with the new cashier at Cangiano’s, even if she doesn’t remind me of my Granny.
    Sometimes things that you wish would stay the same evolve…but that’s life in the big city.
    And I got news for you, it ain’t the first time and it ain’t the last time this is going to happen, in Bay Ridge, Greenpoint, or anywhere in Brooklyn.

  2. and I do think you throw that word around a good deal without fully understanding it’s actual definition

    I throw that word around because I know *exactly* what it means. And because the influx of them here is enormous. The only people set on defining and redefining the word are actual hipsters. And yet every hipster claims they aren’t one! It’s laughable.

    I agree, change is good. Some good things have come from the new people in the neighborhood. But there is a real difference between comparing newer immigrants like “Russian, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern families” with 25 year old hipsters. I’m not trying to block change, but this isn’t change this is like a fucking genocide.

  3. My reference was this: The Italians, The Irish, and The Norwegians didn’t like the Russians, Eastern-Europeans, and Middle Easterns and that’s why a good percentage of them moved to Staten Island and New Jersey. They weren’t too pleased with their new neighbors and their “new” way of life.
    Tough shit.
    Just because your foe comes dressed in Vintage Boots and is equipt with Daddy’s wallet doesn’t mean you have more of a “right” to the neighborhood than anyone else.
    And, comparing an influx of Hipsters in Greenpoint to Genocide is insulting.

  4. “It’s not an elitist attitude”
    Are you sure about that? You compare the hipsters to the poles as the new people to complain about. But Polish people have been residing in Greenpoint since the time that your grandfather was growing up. To me this implies that you think you are somehow more ‘native’ then people whose family may have been here for over 100 years. And as far as gentrification goes. Yes it sucks that people have to move because they can no longer afford to live where they grew up, but that is how cities work & grow. Its a trend that has been going on forever and will continue as long as cities exist, But this isn’t a new thing in Greenpoint, yes a lot has changed recently, rents have gone up & there is way too much new construction. But you of all people should remember the early 80s when this cycle had its first go around Greenpoint. But somehow Greenpoint survived just as it will now(unless less the current trend is just a continuation of the early 80’s gentrification of Greenpoint).
    And as far as your friends moving out of town, they sound a lot like the ‘hipsters’ you described that “may find themselves out in Santa Fe or trying out Austin”, And since when did hipster become a dirty word, all these people you describe as hipsters should be called by their correct term; POSERS. Cause that is all that most of them are.

  5. Well I’m certainly not going to get into a nasty posting war about this, that’s not my bag.

    Brooklyn Bitch – I’m totally entitled to my opinion and this happens to be the shared opinion of my circle of friends, their friends and their parents, etc. I don’t really appreciate the attitude and ‘tough shit’ if you don’t like what you read. Don’t fucking read it. Move on.

    addROC – My friends who moved were born and raised here as were their parents. They simply couldn’t afford to live here anymore. There’s actually a pretty decent number of Greenpoint transplants living in North Carolina.

    And that’s the end of this unsolicited ‘discussion’.

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