By Erik Keithley

About Erik Keithley

Originally from just north of Baltimore, Erik became enchanted with the country-tinged outlaw folk of Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, and Guy Clark while studying journalism in North Carolina. As a direct result, he moved to Austin as soon as he could, where he saw a lot of music, recorded a little of his own, and honed a strong appreciation for brisket, New Orleans, and a generally slower and more inquisitive approach to life. Having just moved to Greenpoint from Austin, Erik aims to explore the mellow charms of his beloved new neighborhood with the same quietly searching eyes.

Sunday Snaps – Vinyl Decisions

Here in Greenpoint, we’re pretty lucky to have some seriously great record shops around. For this Sunday Snaps, I decided to drop by four of my favorites and ask employees and owners what recent items had come in that they were especially excited about. The shops I visited included Record Grouch (986 Manhattan Ave.), Academy Records Annex (85 Oak St.), Captured Tracks (195 Calyer St.), and Co-op 87 Records (87 Guernsey St.) Here are some of the albums they showed me, complete with a few pictures of these excellent local record stores!

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“One side is live and the other side is the studio versions of all the same songs. I love the great Bauhaus-y cover; there’s rhythm, perspective, movement, a landscape. My favorite song on this album is called ‘Rubber Miro’.” – Ron at Academy Records Annex

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Sunday Snaps – Favorite Place for a Cup of Joe?

As the weather gets cooler, a warm cup of joe in the morning becomes even more delightful. Luckily, us Greenpointers have plenty of choices when it comes to quality coffee. I stopped by ten neighborhood spots recently and spoke to patrons, baristas, and even a few coffee-obsessed (and surprisingly well spoken) pups about why they like their favorite coffee shops!

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“I come here every morning and have a soy flat white. I work in SoHo and I think this is better than anything they’ve got over there. For my money, it’s the best in the city.” – Steve, at Propeller Coffee (984 Manhattan Ave.)

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Million Dollar Mold, Brooklyn-Queens Streetcar Plans, and Drug Woes on Manhattan Avenue – The Hook-up 11/04

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Filming this week on the corner of Nassau and Manhattan.

Thought you found a good deal on an apartment? According to this piece from Curbed, a new batch of apartments at 5 Blue Slip (part of the Greenpoint Landing project) will have options as low as $393 a month for low-income renters.

According to this story from DNAinfo, four shelter residents have had bad reactions to heroin they purchased near the intersection of Manhattan Avenue and Clay Street. According to one shelter manager, easy access to the drug on the northern end of Manhattan Avenue is causing serious problems in the area. Continue reading

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Sunday Snaps – Happy Halloween!

The Jack-o’-Lanterns are out along Java, ghouls are floating up Guernsey and Manhattan and it’s looking quite macabre. It’s Halloween and there’s no better place to be than Greenpoint!

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Pals Jen and Andrew went as Vincent Adultman and Princess Carolyn from the animated comedy series BoJack Horseman.

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Newtown Creek Clean by 2035!, BQE Weekend Woes, and Greenpoint is the New Home Design Capital of the World! – The Hook-up 10/28

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Enjoying a beautiful sunset in McCarren Park.

A green cab driver was shot in the leg early last Friday morning when he tried to speed away from two armed assailants attempting to rob him and his passenger. The incident happened at the intersection of North Eighth and Berry streets at 3:15am. Check out this article from DNAinfo for more details.

Newtown Creek will be swimmable by 2035! Actually, don’t quote me on that swimmable thing, but according to this piece from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, at last week’s Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG) meeting, the EPA announced plans for the remediation of Newtown Creek. Unfortunately, the plans wouldn’t even begin to show results until 2025 at the earliest.

According to this article from the Wall Street Journal, sculptor Barry X Ball will be moving his studio from Williamsburg to Greenpoint in the Spring. The space, at 193 Banker St., is currently being renovated specifically for him, and according to Mr. Ball, once it’s finished will be “the only comprehensive stone fabrication facility in the world.”

Local Greenpointer Kim Brown, who is the owner of Greenpoint Hill (100 Freeman St.) got some press this week in this lovely piece from Bedford + Bowery. Brown is a ceramicist herself and her gallery features work from mostly Greenpoint-based artists.

Greenpoint has been dubbed “the new home design capital of the world” according to this recent article from Vogue.

Some of last weekend’s Greenpoint Halloween festivities, including the Town Square Spooktacular and P.S. 110’s annual fall festival, were captured in this piece from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Some of the photos are especially great!

Guys dressed up as construction workers for Halloween will be preventing anyone from passing under the BQE this weekend. Actually, they are real construction workers, but seriously, traveling from one side of the BQE to the other will be difficult this weekend. Three out of six avenues that travel under the highway in Greenpoint will be closed. Check out this piece from The Williamsburg Patch for more info.

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Sunday Snaps – Minstrels of Greenpoint

There are a few things that just make you stop dead in your tracks and smile. Maybe you’re even in a hurry, rushing along down the street, and then that wondrous sound comes to your ears – a voice and some sweet strums of an instrument playing a favorite song of yours. I’ve always thought musicians are to a neighborhood what fish are to a stream – an indicator of health and liveliness. If you can walk around for a whole day and not see anyone walking down the sidewalk carrying an instrument or sharing a song, you might want to think twice about what that says about the creative vitality of the place. Luckily for us, Greenpoint is full of musicians, and so today’s photo essay honors these minstrels and everyday suppliers of soul.

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I found Jack Simchak breaking in a new guitar of his in McCarren Park. He was playing some beautiful classical guitar arpeggiations, which fit the feeling of a gorgeous late October day perfectly. Check out Jack’s project, Resident Electric.

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Greenpoint gets a Tower, Newtown Creek Hoax?, and Halloween Fun – The Hook-up 10/21

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Teacher Maura Flanagan of P.S. 373 (185 Ellery St.) brought students up to visit the McCarren Park Greenmarket. Students at P.S. 373 have their own gardens and were seeing how a real farmer’s market organizes and operates.

Been wondering what the massive building is going up between India and Huron Street along West Street? It’s “The Greenpoint”, a 40-story condo building, the details of which have been spilled in this article from Curbed.

For further proof that the G-entrification train now stops in Greenpoint, check out this piece from the New York Times.

A LaGuardia Community College assistant professor has reportedly contacted Progress Queens claiming that recent allegations made by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection regarding Newtown Creek are “a hoax” in line with “the strategy of corporations that are allegedly responsible for the pollution of Newtown Creek”.

The Better With Pets Expo, hosted this week at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint, got some press on News 12 this week (disclaimer: “exclusive content for Optimum, Time Warner Comcast customers”.)

The Newtown Creek Alliance hosted their latest Superfund Community Advisory Group meeting last night at the McCarren Park Pool Community Room. There was a presentation by the EPA, including an open discussion with the community.

Last Saturday’s Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund Open House event got some press in this article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

PS 110, The Monitor School will be hosting their Fall Carnival on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 2-6pm at the PS 110 school playground (corner of Driggs and Monitor). Among other fun Halloween activities, the event will feature a haunted house, pumpkin painting, and carnival games. All proceeds will benefit the school.

Music Off McGolrick and the Tarot Society will be hosting “All of Them Witches” tonight at 8pm at the Park Church Co-op (129 Russell St.) The event will feature music, tarot readings and all sorts of spooky entertainment.

Vert Gardens (193 Banker St.) will be hosting their final plant sale before moving on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10am-4pm. Check out this Greenpointers post with more information on Vert’s moving.

The Participatory Budgeting process for District 33 has moved from the idea collection phase to the project development phase. Over 20 budget delegates have started reviewing over 100 ideas that have made it this far. There is still time to be a budget delegate. Click here for more information.

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The Fascinating “King of Greenpoint” at Shayz Lounge

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Author Geoff Cobb reads colorful tales of legendary Greenpoint politician, Peter McGuinness on Tuesday night at Shayz Lounge.

Last night, local historian, teacher, and author Geoffrey Cobb delighted a full house at Shayz Lounge (130 Franklin Street) with a selection of readings from his latest book, The King of Greenpoint. The book is about Peter J. McGuinness, the man for whom McGuinness Boulevard is named.

McGuinness was born on Eagle Street in 1888, and despite having no high school eduction and being a 300-pound lumber handler and blue collar laborer, managed to become one of the most influential politicians Greenpoint has ever seen.

Through pure charisma, lots of street smarts, and an ardent dedication to his everyday, working class constituents, McGuinness was able to get elected as an alderman in 1919, thus beginning a long and rich political career.  Continue reading

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Sunday Snaps – Pups of Greenpoint

With dog parks in both McGolrick and McCarren Park, lots of canine-conscious businesses that leave water bowls out for pups, and many great dog owners, Greenpoint is a pretty sweet place to be a dog. In celebration of man’s best friend, this week’s photo story is on our noble four-legged friends, because without them, our days would definitely be a little longer!

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Snow is a female Westie mix. She loves the McGolrick dog park and is very playful!
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Meet Huey Lewis, who loves Transmitter Park and the power of love.
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Chewy is a mix. He can be a little bit of a grumpy old man, but he loves walks in McGolrick.
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Nina is a female rescue pup all the way from Georgia. She can entertain herself for hours chasing a ball.
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Haru is a year-old Pomeranian. Her name in Japanese means “little bit of sunshine”.
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Ari is a husky! She is sweet, strong willed and loves the outdoors. Transmitter Park is her favorite!
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Meet Olive. She’s a French Bulldog and she is definitely aware of how cute she is.
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Bazie is a Beagle. She LOVES smelling things.
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Lily is a seven year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She loves the McGolrick dog park.
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Eloise is a nine year old French Bulldog. She likes to sing along when her owner plays harmonica!

 

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Snitches is a seven year old rescue pup. According to his owner, he is “part deer, part squirrel, part everything.” He always walks in Transmitter Park as part of his routine!

 

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