The following email came to me from a fellow Greenpointer and he asked me to post it as an open letter to the community.

Hello Fellow Greenpointers

I am writing this letter for those of us lifelong residents and some new ones who are wondering why once again this year we are one of the only neighborhoods WITHOUT Holiday lights on our main street Manhattan Avenue.

Simply put: Our not so wonderful store owners on that street decided to once again NOT to contribute. Some of the reasons are “It’s NOT MY holiday!”, “I have to call corporate” or just plain “NO” and the best one – “Why should I?”. And there are plenty of other reasons.

TO BE FAIR some were as ALWAYS willing to contribute, but the majority WILL AND DO NOT.

We are fully aware that money is tight this year, but even last year the people running it had to scramble at the last minute to get some small lights wrapped around the pole just to show something, however yet again most stores did not pay. It is really bad when you travel to various areas – even low income ones – and see beautiful lights hanging. But not here.

It’s a shame and disgusting how all these stores have NO problem accepting mine and your hard earned money but cannot hand back a small amount to help show Holiday sprit.

We are not going to name the stores who did not contribute because that would most likely not get printed, but I felt we had to put this out so that our life long and new fellow Greenpointers could see what Scrooges we are dealing with. My recommendation is we DO NOT Shop in our local stores and give them a taste of their own medicine. I am sure fellow Greenpointers can figure out who is willing to contribute without putting it out there. Just walk in and ask “Did you contribute to the lights?” most will say NO, especially the big name stores.

Lifetime Greenpointer

It’s so disappointing that the stores on the avenue no longer want to bother contributing to the holiday AND community spirit. I would actually really like to know which stores did not contribute and decided not to support the community and I’ll gladly print a list.

Join the Conversation


  1. Forget the lights. Not many people remember this but we actually used to have a Christmas parade up Manhattan Avenue when I was a kid. I will have to find pics to prove it. The Spirit has long been lost here in Greenpoint. It is not what is was when I was growing up. To all my Greenpoint brothers and sisters, we can always take a quick ride to Sunnyside. Greenpoint Ave over there looks great this year.

  2. If you told me they refused to help a person in need, or donate to the interfaith soup kitchen at the Greenpoint Reformed church, or the YMCA, then I'd care.

    Come on, some lights in December??! is that really important when people are starving? I don't think they're giving the $$ to charity (too bad ) but I don't really give a Sh$t if they don't give $$ to have lights wasting electricity strung over the avenue.

  3. Yes. It IS that important. Things like lights on the Avenue lift people's spirits. It has more of an effect than you think.

    And the fact is if every one of those stores were instead giving money to things like the YMCA it'd be easy to understand. But the fact is they're not.

    They have no connection to the community. And it shows in ways like this.

  4. A retort to Brooklynvans comment. Just because you could care less about the lights doesn't mean they should not be there. It has long been tradition in many New York neighborhoods that lights were put up for the holidays. Not only do these lights strengthen the holiday spirit, but they also strengthen the giving spirit for the holidays. I am sure you will notice a difference in people giving to the needy because are spirits are stronger. I am going to go out on a limb and say you are just a transplant to Brooklyn like many and don't understand the tradition we had for years. Just because you don't want to understand what this neighborhood once was and want to make it just another cold place to live, don't tell the rest of us we shouldn't care. Fact is, when the holiday spirit is stronger so it giving.

  5. Regarding the idea proposed not to shop in the local stores. While I agree it is annoying that stores don't contribute, since there has not been a list printed here it is very dangerous to take this attitude. How can you tell what stores will contribute to the light project? Local stores depend on us shopping there, and not shopping at the local stores could hurt many of our stores that DO want to contribute to the lights.

    So let's post the list up here, then you can decide if you want to boycott those specific stores, but I think its a terrible idea to boycott the local stores you THINK may not want to participate.

  6. Maybe Brooklynvan is one of the store owners who says no.. Just to clarify they give to NOBODY I posted the original post and there is not a list because this year only 4 stores agreed to pay ,But I can tell you 100% Rite aids t mobile Radio shack verizon all said NO the donut shop said yes catos army navy said yes I will try for a list but not many were asked after being told NO for so many years

  7. I'm not surprised that the places that said NO are corporate chains that the managers probably don't even want to bother putting a little effort into contacting corporate to ask.

    And I'm also not surprised that the people who said YES are the local mom and pop shops that are probably struggling the most.

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