Lofty Goals features interesting, eclectic apartments located in our neighborhood. Check out more from this series here.
Having lived in Greenpoint for six years, Emily and Jordan have seen the neighborhood far outgrow its “up-and-coming” label and evolve fully into the bustling, vibrant community it is today — one where many people want to live but just can’t seem to snag an apartment. According to Emily, the change is most visible through an unexpected source: the dogs.
“The types of dogs really help you see what’s happening in the neighborhood,” Emily told me. “If you’re in the dog park or around McGolrick people tend to have rescue dogs and they’re mixed breeds. You’d never ask someone what type of dog they have. They probably don’t know or it’s like 20 parts different dogs. But as soon as you are in Soho or the Upper East Side you see poodles and Frenchies…or now if you walk over to the One Blue Slip area you start to see more designer dogs.”
While the “One Blue Slip” area at the northern tip of Greenpoint and several streets near the waterfront have certainly seen an influx of high rises over the past few years, Emily and Jordan have stayed loyal to their older four-story building, located near McGolrick Park.
Holding on to their unique home seems like a smart move to me. Emily and Jordan’s two-bedroom apartment boasts enormous living room windows that most New Yorkers can only dream of and exceptionally high ceilings — supposedly the result of a construction mishap that led the space to be double-heighted. A wooden stairwell on one side of the living room leads up to a loft that the couple uses as an area for working, Emily as a photographer and Jordan as an industrial designer.
While much of the décor was “really just cobbled together” over time, the space feels warm, homey, and pleasingly eclectic. Emily and Jordan moved to New York together from New Zealand — where they are both originally from — with just their suitcases and little money, first to Bed-Stuy and then Bushwick before settling in Greenpoint. They decorated and furnished with resourcefulness top of mind, starting with the plants. The perhaps eight-foot-tall fig tree in the corner of the living room was their first plant — only a tiny guy when they bought it — and now, greenery lines many of the surfaces.
The open-layout kitchen, sitting underneath the lofted workspace, is separated from the living room by an island countertop and four Ikea stools. The setup lends itself well to hosting guests in their home — “a real Kiwi thing,” according to Emily. They’ll often plan dinner parties with seasonal ingredients from the McCarren or McGolrick farmers’ markets or casual gatherings where friends can spend time with the couple’s 10-month-old daughter, Goldie. (In case you’re wondering, she is not named after the popular Greenpoint haunt.) Off to the side of the kitchen is a bathroom and two bedrooms, one facing out to the street and the other on the side of the building.
Given Jordan and Emily’s artistic bent, the apartment is home to a few of their own creations. Emily’s elegant pink-hued photo of flowers behind diffused glass hangs alongside the stairwell; a crafty wooden bench built by the couple, housing a record player and record collection, sits under the stairwell.
Near the end of my visit, Emily, Jordan, and I got into a conversation about some of the worst and best parts of New York; some of the cons being the lack of access to nature (although the Greenpoint parks sure help), and the sometimes exhausting “go-go-go energy” of the city. But when it comes down to it, Greenpoint’s community charm, vibrancy, and constant change really ropes you in.
“That’s the thing about New York — there’s always one new thing that hooks you,” Emily said. That somehow feels even more true in Greenpoint.
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