With gentrification and rent prices on the rise, signs of Greenpoint’s Polish footprint have been dwindling as of late, and the latest local Polish business to reach out for assistance from neighbors is Polonia Bookstore (882 Manhattan Ave).
For over 20 years, Polonia has been offering authentic Polish literature, folk art, gifts, toys and more to the Greenpoint community. But on July 6, the store put out a call for support on Facebook, most likely due to a mix of dwindling Polish speaking neighbors, the pandemic’s impact on small brick-and-mortar businesses, and the rising cost of commercial rent.
While Polonia does not have a website to shop from, they do offer nationwide shipping and prior customers have praised their customer service (including the ability to call and order over the phone) and a vast selection of titles.
Earlier this year, Polish beauty store Stokrotka closed its doors after 17 years, citing slowed business and complications from COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. Other closures of Polish businesses over the years include Krolewskie Jadlo, The Garden, Sikorski Meat Market, Polonaise Terrace, and Green Farms Supermarket, to name a few.
The Greenpoint community is steeped in rich Polish heritage dating back to the 19th century, including earning the nickname “Little Poland” due to an influx of Polish immigrants flocking to the area and contributing largely to New York City’s status as one of the cities with the highest Polish population in the US.