Zombie shoppers trampling one another for crappy mass produced products is not the kind of day I imagine many Greenpointers participate in, but it’s important to stand up as a nation of mass consumers and make a statement about our spending and our values for one day. What will you be doing on Black Friday or what many are now calling Don’t Buy Day? Walmart employees will be going on strike in order to demand better treatment, will you strike shopping or your retail job?

10 Things to Do On “Don’t Buy Day” (Black Friday) 

1. Donate to Greenpoint Soup Kitchen & Food Pantry / Volunteer for Hurricane Sandy Relief

You just ate fifty seven pounds of turkey. In Greenpoint many of our neighbors rely on the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen for groceries and perhaps their only hot meal of the week. Support the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen, especially during Thanksgiving. Instead of running up your credit card, donate. People need to eat more than we need stuff.

To volunteer for Hurricane Sandy Relief, visit New York Cares or Occupy Sandy.

2. Pay of your credit card or bail someone else out of debt


A brilliant project led by the Occupy movement called Rolling Jubilee, buys debt for pennies on the dollar with donations and instead of collecting it, then they forgive it! They have already raised $375,033 to forgive $7.5 million in debt. Their mission is to “create a world based on the common good, not wall street profits.” AWESOME.

3. Watch “What Would Jesus Buy?” – (Streaming on Netflix)

Don’t be turned off by the cheesy Disney script and the bleach blond preacher, this movie is hilarious and informative. The off the walls, Reverend Billy and his choir go on a road trip across the US and balls out make a ruckus in Walmart and other big stores along the way while documenting the devastation these stores have on small towns and what irresponsible spending has done to our wallets.

4. Watch Live Music From All Over the Map

Nothing is more American/New York than listening to a performance by a “half Welsh, half Italian, half American and half British” musician – Jessica Welsh followed by a set from a Norwegian/US Indie Folk Band – Racing Heart – followed by good old fashion country music – Western Sea, all at Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St) starting at 8pm.

© Amanda Browder

5. See Local Art

Visit Moma PS1 (22-25 Jackson Ave., LIC). The current exhibition New Pictures of Common Objects, explores how “artists today have a very different relationship to mass consumption and images …”

Calico Brooklyn (67 West St #206) in Greenpoint will be open from 12-5pm. Meet the artist Amanda Browder whose amazing work is on display along with the work of Martin Esteves.

6. Get Fancy With Those Leftovers or Just Juice 

Thanksgiving leftovers are the reason we even bother, right? Get creative: make turkey quesadillas, a cranberry sauce cocktailfried stuffing fritters… Get weird!

But if you just can’t look at food, give your system a rest and juice! Grab great juice and smoothies at Cafe Royal (195 Nassau Ave), Urban Rustic (236 N 12th St), Lokal (905 Lorimer St) and Lunchbox (120 Norman Ave).

Red-bellied Woodpecker

7. Go Birdwatching & Hawking in Brooklyn

Many people don’t realize that our local parks and waterways are great places to watch migratory birds. During out Winter Bird Walk last year, we learned that the East River and The Hudson are visual guides for these traveling flocks. From Transmitter Park – look out for Cormorants, Black Ducks, Gadwalls, Red Breasted Merganser and Brants.  It’s easy to spot birds in our parks because if you imagine what the birds see while they are flying above – big ugly building, big ugly building, big ugly building then a big square of green. The Red Tail and Cooper Hawks have been spotted recently in McCarren and McGolrick. Look out for Dark Eyed Juncos, Cardinals, Swamp Sparrows, Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers & Mockingbirds.

8. Make/Fix Something With Your Own Two Hands

Handmade gifts and DIY cards are more special than anything you can buy. Make a terrarium, a living gift!

There are probably a lot of projects you can take care of around the house. Fix something or solve an organizational problem you’ve been putting off for a while. Take out the air conditioner, organize your record collection, change the light bulb in the hallway, sort that jewelry mess, creatively. Build your girlfriend those shelves she’s been nagging you about. You can do it! Use your own hands!

9. Exercise

After all that sitting and eating, the best thing to do is to move around, take a walk, a jog a bike ride, or take a class at one of the many wellness centers we have in the area. Exercise makes you feel better than shopping therapy any day!

Goodyoga (73 Calyer St), Human@Ease (31 Nassau Ave), Awakening NY (607 Manhattan Ave), and Greenpoint Yoga and Usha Veda Yoga (1104 Manhattan Ave) have classes you can take to relax and burn some calorees.

10. Have a Cup Of Coffee, a Beer, a Cupcake, a Call With Someone You Love

CALL YOUR MOM! Instead of waiting on line for a gift a loved one won’t like or can’t use, have a nice chat with her over a tasty meal, a cup of tea, or over the telephone. Eat a cupcake while you do it! Cupcakes make everything sweet!

Great places for a face to face: Coffee – Van Leeuwen or Cafe Grumpy. Beer – One Stop Beer Shop & Diamond Bar. Cocktails – Black Rabbit & Beloved. Wine – Milk and Roses & Adelina’s, Cupcakes & Sweets – OvenlyCookie Road

Clyde @ Slowfax

This article isn’t meant to harm local business but to join an important national movement and make a statement about the way we consume, too much with little regard for the environment and others. If we change the way we shop, we will strengthen small business and local makers.

If You Do Shop – Buy Local Handmade Goods, Vintage Items & Support Local Shops

There is a difference between camping out overnight to “save” and supporting local makers, buying second hand and supporting Mom & Pop Shops in Greenpoint. If you can’t put down your wallet for one day, spend your money on goods produced close to home and put money back into our local community. 

EAT (124 Meserole Ave) sells gorgeous handmade pottery and delicious farm to table food, SlowFax (455 Graham Ave) has great and well priced Vintage clothing on Graham Ave and you can give Clyde a pat on the head. Kill Devil Hill (170 Franklin St) is selling their signature handmade wax candles with delicious scents that will warm your home for the holidays. Alter (109 Franklin St) has a new line of TM1985+Alter bags designed and handmade in USA. the one well (165 Greenpoint Ave) sells eco-friendly, locally made goods and art.

Join the Conversation


  1. I want to second Milk and Roses, but for tea! Tea should be a category up there. There are so few places in this city that sell a decent cup of tea!

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