By Danielle McReynolds

About Danielle McReynolds

Danielle is a former 9-5er turned professional baker. She loves traveling, hunting for used books and records around Brooklyn and eating cake for breakfast.

Alkemy Brewlab Debuts in Greenpoint

Lattes lined up at Alkemy Brewlab

There’s a new chai in town here in Greenpoint and it comes from the owner of local favorite Crema coffee shop. Alkemy Brewlab opened its doors in October 2017 at 290 Nassau Ave, at the corner of Hausman Street. It may seem a little off the beaten path but it’s only four blocks from McGolrick Park and well worth a visit.

The Nassau location is a compact but fully functioning coffee shop complete with requisite treats from fellow Greenpointers at Ovenly (31 Greenpoint Ave). Alkemy focuses on doing two products really well: cold brew and chai. Most notable is the innovative and highly functional cold brew kit which allows you to create your own high-quality brew at home or on the go. This is a game changer for campers and other outdoorsy types but also for all of you traveling coffee snobs out there.

Alkemy’s innovative cold brew kit

If you are a chai drinker, chances are you’ve already had Alkemy’s blend as it’s served at dozens of locations across the city. For a list of stockists, check their website where you can also purchase the chai concentrate and cold brew kit directly.

Last week Greenpointers caught up with owner Jin to find out about their process thus far, plans for the future and what it’s been like opening up a second shop in Greenpoint. Continue reading

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A New Jail for Greenpoint?

Not very likely. However, there has been talk in recent weeks of a new satellite jail being built in Greenpoint to compensate for a proposed closure of Rikers Island.  The idea to close the city’s main jail complex is nothing new – it was first presented a decade ago by the then-commissioner of the New York City Correction Department, Martin F. Horn. Horn envisioned closing down the troubled Rikers facility and rehousing thousands of inmates in new state-of-the-art facilities built in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Recently, the former Brooklyn Union Gas Company location at 287 Maspeth Avenue has been scouted as a possible location for a new jail.

Photo via the New York Times
Photo via the New York Times

The New York Times has been following this story for years and has several articles documenting the struggle that is Rikers Island. The dilapidated jails, built on a landfill, are not structurally stable and are prone to flooding and other issues. In addition to the environmental concerns, Rikers has a pretty serious culture of violence (one that goes both ways). An investigation by the Times reported several cases of brutality against mentally ill inmates, which currently make up nearly 40 percent of the Rikers population. These incidents included gang assaults by officers that resulted in serious injuries.

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Healthy Vegan Eats at Acai Berry

We’ve had some dismal weather recently but we all know that summer is just around the corner. Pretty soon we’ll be ditching our sweaters and rain gear to bare our arms, legs, midriffs, and in some cases a little too much more. While there’s nothing like hunkering down in the New York winter to slurp bowl after bowl of steaming ramen, come summertime it often is too hot and sticky to stomach more than a salad or smoothie. And if you’re after some lighter fare, Greenpoint’s recent addition, Acai Berry (650 Manhattan Ave), could be your go-to stopping place on your way to McCarren Park this summer.

Choco lava acai bowl via Yelp user Danielle B.
Choco lava acai bowl via Yelp user Danielle B.

Opened in March 2016 at 650 Manhattan Avenue, Acai Berry offers a lot more than the name implies. Of course you can get the popular and refreshing acai bowl, but the vegan restaurant also offers a host of other snacks, juices and light meals. The acai bowl comes in four different 16-ounce options, all for a reasonable $10. You can opt for the traditional “Aronia Bite” bowl that comes topped with fruit, hemp granola and chia seeds, the ever present healthy green option with spinach, kale and avocado blended into the base or go all out for the “Choco Lava” bowl which incorporates raw cocoa and chocolate hemp protein into the mix.

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Construction to Begin on New Greenpoint Library Later this Year

gplibrary
Those of you who have ever laid eyes on the public library in Greenpoint know that it is a bit of an eyesore in an otherwise picturesque neighborhood. But not for long. The Greenpoint Library is about to enter a new incarnation to bring residents the modern, sustainable facility that’s increasingly necessary in an age that’s threatening to make books obsolete.

The original Greenpoint Library was constructed in 1906 and only replaced once in the 1970s due to deterioration. The current building will be replaced by a larger, more modern green building with an added environmental education center that’s due to open in the spring of 2018.

The project is being funded by a $5 million grant from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund and a $6,030,300 matching contribution from the Brooklyn Public Library. GCEF is a $19.5 million grant program established with the settlement funds from the ExxonMobil oil spill in Newtown Creek.

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Get ready for summer at JUS by Julie

According to a pretty credible source, sober is the new drunk. And fresh juices are the new craft cocktails. A new generation of New Yorkers is opting for juice crawls rather than bar crawls to get their social kicks. So, are you ready to swap your Brooklyn Lager for a doctor Earth? Your Ragtime Rye for a ginger turmeric booster? Me neither. But I will definitely head straight for the green stuff in the morning after having a little too much fun at the bar (and I don’t mean the juice bar). That’s where JUS by Julie, with its new location at 629 Manhattan Avenue, comes to save the hungover morning.

Photo via JUS by Julie
Photo via JUS by Julie

Though not a registered stop on the crawl, JUS by Julie is a great place to go if you want a healthy boost before summer hits. We have our very own recently opened Jus by Julie nestled on Manhattan Avenue between Bedford and Nassau. Julie’s juices are blended rather than cold pressed so they might be a little thicker than what you are used to. By blending the whole fruit or vegetable, all of the fiber (read pulp) remains in the juice which will leave you feeling fuller and more satisfied. It might take a little getting used to if you usually go for cold pressed but founder and certified health coach, Julie Maleh, asserts that the fiber left in the juice helps the body to remove toxins and stabilize blood sugar. I haven’t tried it but I imagine this would make a cleanse quite a bit easier to do. And it is prime time for juice cleanses with summer right around the corner. Continue reading

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Long-Awaited Pulaski Bridge Bike Path to be Unveiled This Week

After a lot of complaints, plenty of false starts, and a two-and-a-half-year wait, it looks like we are finally getting that Pulaski Bridge bike path. The path will connect the increasingly popular waterfront neighborhoods of Long Island City in Queens and Greenpoint in Brooklyn.

Photo via NYC DOT
Photo via NYC Department of Transportation

The project, backed by Assembly member Joe Lentol, was initiated in response to community complaints about the shared pedestrian and bike path on the six-lane bridge over Newton Creek.

In 2013, when the project was first approved, the NYC Department of Transportation released a report, which revealed that there had been a 106% increase in cyclists over the Pulaski Bridge in the previous four years, versus a 47% increase in pedestrians. As traffic increased over the bridge, the width became a cause for concern. The addition of a separate bike path will improve safety for bikers and pedestrians alike. Continue reading

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Partial Building Collapse on Freeman and McGuinness

Photo via nyc.gov
Photo via nyc.gov

On April 19, a residential building at 210 Freeman Street in Greenpoint underwent a partial collapse, leaving several residents without access to their homes. The Red Cross, Fire Department, and other emergency management organizations were called to the scene in response to complaints about the building shaking and vibrating. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.

Ten people were evacuated from 210 Freeman Street and neighboring 208 Freeman Street, and at least 15 feet of foundation has been destroyed. According to the FDNY report, the collapse was due to a structural issue in the building, but they have not released the definitive cause of the damage yet. The NYC Department of Buildings has several complaints and violations listed for the buildings, and it seems that illegal construction taking place in the basement at 208 Freeman caused the collapse to occur. Continue reading

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Trend Alert! Two Whole-Grain Bread Pop-ups in North Brooklyn

It seems that bakers everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief as some pressure has eased up from the gluten-free fad and turn to a much more filling trend in bread—the locally sourced, freshly milled, whole grain loaf.

Rugbrød from Meyers Bageri, photo via Grubstreet Instagram
Rugbrød from Meyers Bageri. Photo via Grubstreet Instagram

Luckily, Brooklyn has a lot of great bread options but recently we’ve been gifted with two more exciting projects within reach of Greenpoint. Although only available on the weekends, pop-ups from Meyers Bageri and Brooklyn Bread Lab are slinging rockin’ loaves of naturally leavened, whole grain breads that are worth waiting for.

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Meatball Nirvana: Where to Celebrate National Meatball Day

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack
Photo by stu_spivack via Flickr Creative Commons. CC BY-SA 2

Whether you know it or not, the meatball plays an iconic role in history — especially kid history. Perhaps you were obsessed with “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” when you were a kid. Or maybe the other camp kids couldn’t get you to stop singing “On Top of Spaghetti,” the song about the sad fate of the once-delicious meatball that was sneezed upon and rolled off the table, turning into mush. Maybe you were so obsessed with meatballs that just like Adam Sandler, you named your dog Meatball (perhaps he was inspired by the meatball-doling grandma in “The Wedding Singer”). Or maybe you were just the one in the family who always cleaned his plate of every single meatball from the local Italian deli.

Well, bully for you, because tomorrow March 9 is National Meatball Day. What better way to celebrate than with a mountain of spaghetti topped with a couple of tomato drenched meatballs? When someone mentions meatballs this traditional childhood Italian rendition is usually what comes to mind, but meatballs are all grown up these days, and come in so many shapes, sizes and flavors. If you’re looking for a place to celebrate in North Brooklyn, we’ve got you covered. Continue reading

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