The nature of cities is growth and change. Sometimes, that change can be for the better (amazing new restaurants! Having an urgent care nearby!) and sometimes it means a painful reorganization of what living in our neighborhood means (do we really need this many smoke shops?)

History-loving Brooklynites hit the jackpot this past week with two different looks at the Greenpoint and Williamsburg of yesteryear. 

First, the New York Times kicked things off with more recent history in the form of an article entitled “Williamsburg. What Happened?” (ok Hillary Clinton!) and in the process, set off that classic recurring debate over when exactly Williamsburg reached peak gentrification. The article traces Williamsburg’s development from 1988 to the current day. We don’t have rights to these photos, but you can see them in the article here. Reminisce over spots like Oznot’s Dish, Kokie’s, and Domsey’s Warehouse Outlet. 

Local author and “The Lady in Greenpoint” mastermind Rick Paulas also shared a series of Greenpoint before and after pictures on Twitter, though these are way further back in time than the Williamsburg article. While undated in the thread, the photos, taken from Brooklyn’s Historic Greenpoint by Brian Merlis and Riccardo Gomes depict a very early 20th century Greenpoint. This was a Greenpoint full of movie theaters, trolleys, and luncheonettes.

RIP to the player piano and live poultry industries here in Greenpoint.


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  1. The Times article does not mention the intense local activism that transpired to help kill the illegal waste transfer stations and the proposed power plant for the waterfront, and save Bushwick Inlet Park and Marsha P Johnson State Park.

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