I saw this on a Facebook board and thought it was really fascinating. I learned a couple of new things as well.

Greenpoint Hospital, on Skillman Avenue between Kingsland and Debevoise Avenues, was opened in 1914 and was in operation through the early 1980s. It is located well outside the currently accepted boundaries of Greenpoint.

Some scenes in the movie The Departed, including the scene where Jack Nicholson’s character first meets Matt Damon’s character, were shot in Greenpoint across from McCarren Park. The diner and grocery store scenes were both shot in the Park Luncheonette.

Several scenes in the movies Donnie Brasco (where Dominick Napolitano portrayed as “Sonny Black” by Michael Madsen was born), Sleepers, Dead Presidents, Romeo is Bleeding, In the Mix, and The Siege were also filmed in Greenpoint.

The television series Rescue Me and The Black Donnellys are also routinely filmed in Greenpoint, as are the television shows Third Watch and Lipstick Jungle.

The lead singer of Franz Ferdinand lived for a time in Greenpoint, and the neighborhood is mentioned in the song “Eleanor Put Your Boots On.”

The invasive Asian long-horned beetle was first identified in Greenpoint, and exterminated there but not before spreading.

The streets in Greenpoint are named alphabetically. Walking south along Manhattan Avenue, you will find Ash, Box, Clay, Dupont, Eagle, Freeman, Green, Huron, India, Java and Kent Streets. Then comes Greenpoint Avenue, formerly known as Lincoln Street. Further south one can find Milton, Noble and Oak Streets. All streets were originally designated by letters, not by name; A Street, B Street, etc. Calyer Street, coming after Oak Street, was formerly known as “P Street” and is followed by Quay Street.

Notable individuals born and/or raised in Greenpoint include actress Mae West, children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown, pop singer Pat Benatar and writer Henry Miller. Also, Members of the band “Kiss” were raised in Greenpoint, Mickey Rooney, Joe Torre, the original “Brooklyn Dodgers” Marching band were from Kingsland Ave, As well as Andrew W.K.

Comedy Central’s series Stella was filmed primarily in Greenpoint

What is now McGolrick Park was farmland owned by former mayor Ambrose Kingsland. Kingsland donated 8 acres of his farm to the city to be used as a park

The British Army had an encampment in Greenpoint during the Revolution

Greenpoint was originally divided into 5 farms, which were attacked frequently by the original settlers of greenpoint, the Keskachauge Indians.

Greenpoint is the home of the largest Sewage Treatment plant in the United States

Greenpoint is bordered by what is recorded as the most polluted waterway in the country, The Newtown Creek.

Greenpoint sits on top of what is said to be the worst oil spill in US history, 17-30 MILLION gallons of oil. ExxonMobile (where storage tanks used to sit just north of Norman Ave around N Henry St, going all the way to the Newtown Creek) had a leak in one of their facilities in the 1950’s, the leak ignited underground at Manhattan Ave and Huron St.

(This one is especially for the hipsters information, so they know what they’re paying their high rents for): Greenpoint, back in 2006, was named the most FLAMMABLE neighborhood in the city by the FDNY. Most of the row houses are wood-framed and have a open crawl space between the top floor and the roof that goes from building to building, which causes fires to take out nearly an entire block. As long as I’ve lived in Greenpoint, I’ve seen it happen twice, once on Monitor St (between Driggs and Engert), and once on Diamond St (between Norman and Meserole) … Some houses have been renovated and given “firewalls” in the crawl space, but most, have not.

Greenpoints original name was “Hout Hoek” which translates to Wood Point.

Woodpoint Rd (which now starts at Metropolitan & Bushwick Aves, running into Kingsland Ave and Frost St) was the first road built in Greenpoint, and for a long time, was the ONLY road in Greenpoint.

*As a sidebar, that fire on Monitor Street included several friends of mine homes. It was a horrible, horrible thing that happened.

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  1. I can’t even count how many times people mention the oil spill when I say I live in Greenpoint. People seem to assume it’s the entire ‘hood when it’s not. Also, Italy Pizza on Manhattan near Calyer has a really cool handmade map on their wall of Greenpoint History including the original locations of the Jacobus Calyer and Jacobus Meserole family farms, it’s really cool. 🙂

  2. AS soon as i saw the opening scene in the departed i wanted an egg cream. i knew exactly where that was.
    And Justine, im shocked you didnt know most of these things.. I think only maybe two or 3 i didnt know..

  3. MMMmmm egg creams! lol

    Oh no, I knew *most* of them but there were a couple I didn’t know like:

    Greenpoint was originally divided into 5 farms, which were attacked frequently by the original settlers of greenpoint, the Keskachauge Indians.

    I definitely didn’t know THAT!

  4. Today I ordered a Sicilian slice in Italy pizza and checked out the old Greenpoint map that I saw mentioned in this comment thread. The map advertises five cent trolley tours of the neighborhood and at the bottom it reads, “Dedicated to the good people who have lived and worked in Green Point.” Amazing.

  5. Geez, doesn't anybody bother with facts anymore?!? Joe Torre never lived in Greenpoint. He was born and raised in Marine Park. He attended St. Francis Prep H.S. (Class of '58), which was formerly located at 586 Driggs Avenue, between N. 5th and N. 6th Streets. The old school building presently houses Boriqua College. That's his only connection to Greenpoint.

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