New Greenpoint Illustrated Map Is Local Artist’s Passion Project
A creation that was years in the making, a new illustrated map of Greenpoint’s Historic District shows many of its businesses and landmarks.
Alex Russell started drawing the map of Greenpoint in his apartment when he moved to the neighborhood 10 years ago.
Living on a high-floor within the Historic District helped Russell get acquainted with the neighborhood’s landscape from a bird’s eye view.
The vantage point inspired him to start drawing Greenpoint’s streets, buildings, and distinctive landmarks, like the film set of “Boardwalk Empire” along Newtown Creek and the water tower on West Street.
As a waiter in North Brooklyn restaurants in recent years Russell got sidetracked from art, he says.
Working at Le Gamin (108 Franklin St.) he started a partnership with the French restaurant’s owner to re-open Brooklyn Label (180 Franklin St.).
A portrait of Charles Pratt was drawn by Russell in the Brooklyn Label dining room as an ode to the former Astral Oil Works magnate who built the Astral Apartments (where the restaurant is located) to house his employees.
When Russell revisited an earlier draft of the map this year he got the inspiration once again to complete the project updating the map with current businesses.
Not every single business that is currently open in the Historic District is included due to space constraints, but Russell says that he would like to create a yearly map and include more businesses while documenting the neighborhood’s changes.
For those interested in picking up a 24″ x 36″ print, he has been hand-delivering maps in the neighborhood. Email Russell at [email protected] for inquiries.
We’re also working on having some prints available at the Greenpointers “The Nutcracker” Holiday Market on December 8th, so stay tuned.