By Libby V

About Libby V

Libby VanderPloeg lives and makes work in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She grew up in Michigan on the edge of the Great Lakes dunes, and has lived in Chicago, New York, and Stockholm. Her work comes out of her deep affinity for storytelling, music, letterforms, printed ephemera, and wildlife. None of these works could have been made without the world's finest brioche and several good, strong cups of coffee.

Opening Tonight: Matt Coats at Brouwerij Lane

Stop by Brouwerij Lane (78 Greenpoint Ave.) tonight for the opening of Self-Distributed: a new photo series by Matt Coats, local photographer and beer consumer, who spent his summer vacation tracking down and photographing craft brewers in NYC that self distribute their wares. For many small breweries, self distribution is a critical business move. While extremely physical and time consuming, small breweries can gain an extra 25-30% income that they would otherwise be yielding to distributors. On top of the percentage cut, self-distribution methods harken back to an old-timey era of business, when manufacturers and retailers connected on a more neighborly level.

Check out the opening tonight, Sept. 18, 7 pm-close, at Brouwerij Lane, and try some of the beers made by the makers in Matt’s work! The show will be up all month long. Some of the breweries on tap tonight include: Singlecut Beersmiths, Gun Hill Brewing Company, Finback Brewery, Transmitter Brewing, Dirck the Norseman(aka Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co.), Rockaway Brewing Co., and Other Half Brewing Company.

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Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Makers: Meet Ben Flanner of Brooklyn Grange

Do you know where to find the world’s largest rooftop soil farms? Believe it or not, they’re right here in Brooklyn! This week I asked Ben Flanner of Brooklyn Grange to tell me more about the two farms he operates–a 1.5 acre rooftop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and a 1-acre rooftop in Long Island City– and what he’s been cultivating (and selling every Sunday at McGolrick’s Farmers Market).  The farms grow over 50,000 lbs of organically-cultivated produce per year. In addition to growing and distributing fresh local vegetables and herbs, Brooklyn Grange also sells local honey from New York City’s first commercial apiary, provides urban farming and green roof consulting and installation services to clients worldwide, and partner with numerous non-profit organizations throughout New York to promote healthy and strong local communities. Continue reading

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Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Makers: Meet Eli Kaplan of Mom and Popsicles

Orange Souchong, Black Sesame and Raspberry, Honeydew Lemongrass, Salted Caramel. These are just some of the flavors that Greenpoint’s local popsicle company, Mom & Pospsicles, has been sharing in their Instagram feed (and at Sunday’s McGolrick Farmer’s Market) lately.  As a self-proclaimed popsicle aficionado, I needed to know more about the person behind this pop-up, so I hunted down the little company’s founder, Eli Kaplan, and asked him to share a little about his relationship to Greenpoint and his experience owning a real mom-and-POP shop. Continue reading

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Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Makers: Meet Scott Bridi of Brooklyn Cured

Brooklyn Cured is this week’s featured vendor at Greenpoint’s McGolrick Park Down-to-Earth Market, (open Sundays, 11 am- 4pm). This week, I caught up with BK Cured’s top dog, Scott Bridi, to learn more about his local roots and culinary experience in some of the city’s most notable food spots, and to hear his perspective on being a small-scale food producer. My advice is get over to McGolrick this Sunday to stock up on dogs for Fourth of July grilling! Brooklyn Cured’s products include sausages, hot dogs, bacon, smoked meats, classic charcuterie and more, using meat raised with no antibiotics from farms within the region.  Continue reading

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Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Makers: Meet Stone and Thistle

Happy Friday, neighbors! This post is the first in a new summer series highlighting the growers and food producers that come to Greenpoint’s McGolrick Park Down-to-Earth Market each Sunday (11 am- 4pm). This week, I chatted with Tom and Denise Warren from Stone and Thistle, based in East Meredith, New York. On their farm, tucked into the foothills of the Catskills, they pasture-raise a variety of animals, such as sheep, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, goats, ducks, pigs, and a herd of about 30 cattle!  I asked them to share what they enjoy about Greenpoint and what it’s like to be a small-scale farmer. Continue reading

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Abridged Greenpointer’s Father’s Day Gift Guide

Need some father’s day gift inspiration? There’s plenty of cool stuff to give right here in your own backyard!  Here’s a short list of ideas (which is admittedly in no way comprehensive, as there are so many more awesome small businesses here in north Brooklyn, so feel free to add to the list of ideas in the comments section).

1. Tacos, La Norteña / Vamos Al Tequila  2. Fine craft beers, Brouwerij Lane  3. Engraved biz card case, In God We Trust  4. Nice new comb, Chopin Chemists  5. Vintage VHS, The Thing  6. Slice of pizza, Vinnie’s / Franklin Pizza  7. Fine colognes, Old Hollywood  8. Coveralls, Pop’s Popular Clothing  9. Succulants (a.k.a. plants that require minimal care), Homecoming (formerly known as Spina)  10. Donut, Peter Pan  11. Delicious cheeses and Keta candy, Eastern District  12. Sweet shades, Alter  13. A funny old tshirt, People of 2Morrow  14. Fancy and rare spirits, Duke’s Liquor Box  15. Beach tote, M. Carter  16. Pour over coffee maker, Budin  17. A nice rosé, Dandelion Wine  18. Polish chocolates, Slodycze Wedel  19. A whole, fresh fish, Pura Vida Stand at McCarren Park Greenmarket  20. Stool for sitting and pondering, Bklyn Curated  21. Basketball, BQ Sports  22. Cool kicks, Wolves Within  23. Vintage vinyl, Permanent Records / Academy Records / Co-op 87 / Records Grouch  24. Portable bike pump and other biking accessories, Silk Road Cycles / B’s Bikes / Greenpoint Bikes  25. Bobbers and other fishing accessories, Dream Fishing Tackle  26. Polish sausages, smoked meats, and pickles, Nassau Meat Market / Mazur Meak Market (and so many more!)  27. A good book, like this one about the Pogues, Word. 

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg

Category: Culture, Greenpoint Gift Guide, Reading, Style/Shopping, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

Recipes Gone Wild: Dan Valen’s Risotto with Asparagus, Leeks, and Shell Peas

Rainy days and Mondays…sigh… Let us consider today’s weather as an answer to yesterday’s summer-y heat and a reminder that it’s still spring, friends. I only wish I liked my raincoat more. In other news, Recipes Gone Wild is about to go on summer vacation! But in case you still want a little cooking inspiration, worry not. We at Greenpointers will still be putting up lots of recipes in the coming months! So anyway… I attended my first BBQ of the year the other weekend, where I ran into my neighbor and friend Dan. He’s been promising for weeks to send me his risotto recipe, and surprise, surprise– he came through! Loaded with fresh green veg (I’ve been watching Jamie Oliver lately and that’s what he calls vegetables), this recipe is insanely delicious and will knock the socks off of you and whoever is lucky enough to dine with you!  And if you run into Dan (perhaps at one of the local beer shops), I’m sure he can give you some great ideas on what beverage to pair with this dish.  Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Awakening’s Spring Energy Smoothie

 

Feeling like a bit of a sloth this morning? Suffering perhaps from a case of the Mondays? I concur. It’s more than a little tough to feel energized knowing that you’ve got a solid work week ahead of you. Memories of leisurely bicycling, beers with buddies, ice cream in the park, strolling in the sunshine, and other weekend-ish whims linger as you fill up your “world’s best” (fill in title here) mug. No time for daydreaming now. Time now to focus, to work, to make the donuts. How can one muster the energy and positivity in a healthy way? Thanks to Karolina Gumpert of Awakening Café (on Manhattan Avenue), I’ve found a lovely way to get that healthy boost. A bit of background about Awakening if you haven’t popped into this little spa and café yet, they’ve got a wonderful fresh juice and smoothie bar as well as an extensive menu of wellness services such as craniosacral therapy, Reiki, sound therapy, and yoga. I recently ran into Karolina from the café, and she recommended this lovely recipe to me as an energizing way to start the day, so I whipped it up in the blender and gave it a go. Delicious and clean-tasting, this nutty, vegetal, sweet treat was supremely satiating as well. A nice, clean, and simple start to the week! Now, I beseech you. Go forth and blend! Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Kate Coats’ Toad In the Hole, Brit-Style

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and perhaps you’re looking for something fun and brunchy to make for that special lady in your life. Waffles topped with caramelized bananas?  That’s been done. And she already knows you can poach an egg. So how about Toad in the Hole! No, no, no… I am NOT talking about one of those predictable (but tasty none-the-less) pieces of toast with an egg-filled hole in the middle. The recipe I’m in fact referring to is the BRITISH version, which is essentially a family-sized Yorkshire pudding topped with little breakfast sausages. And if you really want to say I love you with breakfast, top that toad with onion gravy and add a side of beans. It’s quite simple, really , I say with an unconvincing British accent. This week I went to Kate Coats, lovely Brit and mother of the ridiculously entertaining Avery and Oliver, to find out what her brood’s been eating these days. Thank god the word “nuggets” was not uttered. With a smile, she answered that Avery’s favorite dish is Toad in the Hole. Says Kate, “Avery normally makes the batter for me. It’s his favorite meal to make AND to eat. Plus we pretend that it’s real toads that we’re eating.“ You know what? Eatin’ toads with some cool kids sounds pretty fun. So grab your whisks, you Yankees, and ready yourself for a British breakfast invasion. Continue reading

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We wanted to know: What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever eaten?

not safe for vegans

On behalf of Greenpointers Recipes Gone Wild, I spent last Saturday at the Food Book Fair Foodieodicals asking attendees to share with me the wildest thing they had ever eaten. Some of the answers were not too shocking, but most people’s wildest food stories were actually pretty incredible! I did a little photo documentation of the answers, which you can see on our facebook page, and I’ve kept anonymous the identities of those who participated (by way of some hand-painted animal masks, naturally). Special thanks to Rose D for helping me with the photography!

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