On Friday, this little meet-and-greet was published in the Times about our dear neighborhood. Titled, “Polish Is Still Spoken, but Industry Is History,” I found the headline misleading as the article largely detailed our Greenpoint’s current real estate situation and the intricacies of a typical Greenpointer commute (but because it was the real estate section – forgiven).
Despite this, I enjoyed the piece and found certain parts very interesting putting to words phenomenons I too have witnessed:
“Recent arrivals of another sort — young people spilling over from Williamsburg — have made their own mark on the neighborhood. Franklin Street, which runs parallel to Manhattan Avenue, has developed its own commercial district — albeit smaller — with bars and restaurants, a wine store, coffee shops and clothing boutiques.
Not so long ago, Mr. Dennis said, most of those storefronts “were either vacant and boarded up, or they were being used for residential.” He added that with the two shopping avenues, “now you almost have these two parallel retail universes going on that, hopefully, are playing off each other.”
This is so true! Franklin with its leisurely sidewalk brunchers and its eclectic boutiques is a universe away from the frenzied, utilitarian Manhattan Avenue. Walking from one street to the other often feels like time travel.
Also of interest was the description of the commute:
“The G train runs under Manhattan Avenue, stopping at Nassau and Greenpoint Avenues. Service cuts in recent years have led to the formation of an advocacy group called Save the G.
To reach Manhattan, riders take the G north or south to a transfer point. Many residents of the southern end walk to Williamsburg, catching the L at Bedford Avenue and North Seventh Street.
Drivers can reach Midtown via the Queensboro Bridge, or downtown Manhattan using the Williamsburg, Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridges.”
I was surprised the ubiquitous cyclist was not mentioned here especially because of the eternal warring over Kent Avenue.
Our community gets good marks in the article complete with a multimedia slide show but to some degree pieces like this give me the chills – I worry that such rave reviews will ruin one of what I consider to be Brooklyn’s better kept secrets.