By Aaron Simon

Greenpoint Oil Vapor Meeting Prompted by Multiple Complaints

(courtesy of Timothy Krause/Flickr)

A group of Greenpoint residents have reported smelling oil and petroleum vapors recently in their apartments and will hold a meeting this week with local elected officials and concerned neighbors to “work toward a solution.”

If you live in the vicinity of Freeman, Green, and Huron streets and would like to learn more or share your story a meeting hosted by the North Brooklyn Neighbors will take place at the Dupont Street Senior Housing Center (80 Dupont St.) on Tuesday, May 7th, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Both the city Department of Environmental Protection and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have been investigating the potential source of the alleged vapors and conducted sewer inspections in Greenpoint last week, according to Benjamin Solotaire of Council Member Stephen Levin’s office.

The agencies sampled the air at six manholes and found one manhole on Freeman Street that has evidence of petroleum product. Here are the full details: Continue reading

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Williamsburg Starbucks Whistleblower: “Mice poop was everywhere”

Starbucks at 154 N 7th St.

Following our post yesterday that highlights the closure of Starbucks at 154 N 7th St. by the Health Dept., a former employee contacted us with disturbing details on the extent of the vermin infestation that she alleges plagued her three-month tenure at the cafe this year, causing up to six employees to quit.

The woman seeks to remain anonymous as she is afraid that publishing her name will negatively affect her future employment prospects.

“I’ve been working in the restaurant industry for years and Starbucks was really awful…When I walked in for an interview, food and bananas, almonds and snack packs were on the floor, nobody cleaned,” she said.

Looking past the uncleanliness during her job interview she took the gig, and right away she was disturbed by the negligence from management that allowed for dead vermin to sit in the food-prep area for days on end.

“A week after I started my job I saw a mouse on a sticky trap, and I told my manager that there is a dead mouse on the floor so you have to get rid of it, and he didn’t,” she said.

“It was in the kitchen area where we prep mocha sauce or caramel sauce, dry berries and powders and stuff,” she said.

“Then, day three, another dead mouse on the same sticky trap; so there were two dead mice on the sticky trap and no one would get rid of it,” she said.

“A week after, my coworker was holding a black plastic trash bag and she was like ‘don’t touch it, don’t touch it.’ I just walked in and said ‘what is that food?’ And she goes, ‘no, no, no live mice are in the bag don’t touch it,'” she said. Continue reading

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Williamsburg Starbucks Closed by NYC Health Department

N 7th Street Starbucks (via Google Maps)

In North Brooklyn, a region overflowing with stellar independently owned coffee shops where the drip coffee doesn’t taste characteristically burned, it can be perplexing to see a packed Starbucks (we get it, your cousin is visiting from Connecticut and needs a white chocolate mocha frappuccino).

Now, there’s one more reason to skip the ubiquitous corporate coffee house when in Williamsburg’s main retail stretch: Vermin.

The 154 N 7th St. Starbucks was shut down by the Health Dept. for a number of concerning reasons following an inspection on April 30th (see below).

 

On the most recent inspection city health inspectors found:

1) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
2) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
3) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.

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New Greenpoint Library Expected to Open This Fall

(courtesy of Marble Fairbanks)

The Greenpoint Library (107 Norman Ave.) closed in July 2017 for demolition, and construction on the new library was estimated to finish in the winter of 2018, but the discovery and removal of asbestos in the former foundation and related delays has pushed the expected completion to this September or October. Earlier this week, the Friends of Greenpoint Library hosted a community forum in Greenpoint to help answer questions on the new library.

(courtesy of Marble Fairbanks)

As far as the construction progress, work is far along: the structure of the new library is in place and steel beams, concrete floors, decking, and roofs have all been installed; electrical, plumbing and HVAC work is in progress.

(courtesy of Marble Fairbanks)

“We’re about doubling the interior size of the old library, and that’s not even counting the garden space…The outdoor plaza will be really nice, instead of having a fence around the library like we did before,” said Ames O’Neil, project manager for the Greenpoint Library. The new library is approximately 15,000 square feet.

(courtesy of Marble Fairbanks)

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The Lot Radio’s Kiosk Will Return May 1st

(courtesy of the Lot Radio)

The Lot Radio (17 Nassau Ave.), an independently owned and operated internet radio station across from McCarren Park, can resume selling drinks and snacks from its neighboring kiosk after the Dept. of Health shut it down last January.

Beer, wine, espresso drinks, and snacks will once again be available at the Lot Radio (with a few new items like sake) starting May 1st. “The kiosk is there to support the radio, so we’re excited to welcome people back,” owner Francios Vexelaire said.

The Lot Radio (kiosk on the right)

“Since the shutdown, we had [a] constructive and positive conversation with the Department of Health to get some code modification approved by them,” Vexelaire said, adding that the Office of Nightlife was a major help during the process.

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FOA Collective Brings Local Artists Together at New Home Goods Shop on Franklin Street

Have you noticed the stunning restored stained glass at The Greenpoint Palace (206 Nassau Ave.) or the beautiful light fixtures at Anella (222 Franklin St.)? They’re the creations of Friend of All Glass founder Flannery Cronin who helped to recently open FOA Collective, an artist-run home good collective at 89 Freeman St.


The new shop quietly opened last December, but the official grand opening is May 3rd to coincide with the completion of the custom-designed glass wall in the rear of the shop and the launch of a first Friday initiative where neaby business will extend their hours to 9 p.m. for the summer months.

The stained glass wall at FOA Collective

FOA Collective currently hosts 13 designers, artists, and creators who contribute a monthly membership fee along with a commitment to work two days per month at the shop.

Artist members in the collective receive 100% of the proceeds from sales helping customers to directly support the FOA Collective’s artists and designers:

Able Ground @able_ground
Erin Louise Clancy @erinlouisdeclancy
Goldie’s Natural Beauty @goldiesnaturalbeauty
Good Connection @good_connection
Interesting Editions @interestingeditions
Lesley Gold @lesley.gold
Trish Andersen @trishandersenart
Neile Cooper @neilecooper
Pore @123pore
Quiet Town @quiettownhomeShira

Entis / Immodest Cotton @fleabg
Two Tree Studios @allisonsamuels

With the growing retail and food scene at the northernmost stretch of Franklin St. a first Friday series for the summer will help to bring more foot traffic and customers to the area. “We’ll have events and feature specific artists eventually,” said FOA Collective founding artist Flannery Cronin. Continue reading

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‘Provisions by Sunday’ Opens Monday (4/22) Inside A/D/O

Inside the dining space at A/D/O (courtesy of A/D/O)

Opening on Monday (4/22) inside of A/D/O (29 Norman Ave.), Sunday in Brooklyn (348 Wythe Ave.) will introduce their new food and bar program at the space where Norman previously operated.

The new restaurant “Provisions by Sunday” will be open every day 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and will feature an abbreviated menu of their signature brunch menu items and cocktails. The space and restaurant will be available to host private events of up to 600 guests as well.

The “Provisions by Sunday” residency will run through early summer, and the Sunday in Brooklyn team said that a brand new restaurant at A/D/O is to follow in a statement, .

Ultimately, the Sunday Hospitality team (Todd Enany, Adam Landsman, Jaime Young) will reimagine the food and beverage experience at A/D/O, launching a brand new restaurant with partners JT Vuong and George Padilla (formerly of Williamsburg favorites, Okonomi and YUJI Ramen). Together, they are excited to build a new home in this burgeoning neighborhood and to share their community-minded philosophies and guest-focused experiences.

A new feature of the service at Provisions by Sunday gives customers the ability to place orders from their phones. “There will be people in the space helping to sort of take orders…instead of trying to flag someone down to order food or drinks, you’ll be able to order from your phone whenever you want something,” said Adam Landsman from Sunday in Brooklyn.

While the popular live jazz brunch from the Norman-era is not expected to make a return, Landsman said that the interactivity of art, design and food in one space was a major draw and that art installations by A/D/O are planned.

Provisions by Sunday hours will be 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. every day.

Egg & Cheese Sandwich with gochujang aioli, cheddar, crispy potatoes, brioche
Avocado Toast with ricotta, roasted nuts and seeds, chili, Sunflower sprouts
Rice Bowl with kale, six-minute egg, seasonal veg, seeds, sprouts, kale

 

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Greenpoint’s First Alchohol-Free Bar “Getaway” Opens

The interior of Getaway

Greenpoint’s first-ever alcohol-free bar Getaway (158 Green St.) opened Tuesday night as an alternative social space for people who may not be keen on consuming alcohol while having a night out on the town.

Similar alcohol-free bars have opened across the U.S. from Maine to Illinois recently including the NYC pop-up Listen Bar, which had a successful pop-up in Williamsburg last year and is currently crowdfunding for its first ‘booze-free’ permanent location with nearly $23,000 raised so far out of its $25,000 goal.

The bar at Getaway

Getaway co-owner Sam Thonis was a bit ahead of the trend when the inspiration for Getaway’s concept came to him while he witnessed a relative of his go sober a couple of years ago. Thonis’s entrepreneurial gears were already turning at the time as he sought to open a business in Greenpoint where he’s lived for nine years. He and co-owner Regina Dellea cite a visit to ABC Kitchen in Manhattan as further inspiration as they took an interest in the restaurant’s homemade soda menu.

The paper train: Lemon juice, tobacco syrup, vanilla and San Pellegrino chinotto

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Collapsed Scaffolding on Wythe Avenue Crushes Parked Cars

Three cars were crushed by the partially collapsed wall and construction scaffolding on Wythe Avenue and N. 13 Street.

A partial wall and scaffolding collapse crushed three cars parked at the corner of Wythe Avenue and N. 13th Street in Williamsburg at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

The partial collapse was caused by a backhoe vehicle that backed into the wall at the demolition site, according to FDNY. No injuries were reported. Continue reading

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Sama Street Brings Asian-Inspired Cocktails and Small Plates to Manhattan Avenue

Sama Street (988 Manhattan Ave.)

A new Asian-inspired cocktail bar featuring sharable street food dishes named Sama Street (988 Manhattan Ave.) opened last Monday and is the project of childhood friends and Brooklyn residents Avi Singh and Rishi Rajpal, who met at the age of four while growing up in New Delhi, India.

“We spent the majority of our childhood living in Asia and traveling around Asia, so we really wanted to bring that experience to this cocktail bar in Brooklyn,” Singh said.

“We both happened to be in New York, we wanted to get into this industry for a while and finally took a leap and decided to work together,” he said.

When looking for a restaurant space, Singh and Rajpal considered many Brooklyn neighborhoods.

“Initially we were looking all over Brooklyn; Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and a couple of places in East Williamsburg too, but the Greenpoint neighborhood just kept drawing us back,” Singh said. “The neighborhood is awesome, the people here are really nice; we’ve gone to meet with other business owners on Manhattan Avenue and everyone is very welcoming and very friendly, so this is a great place to be.”

the spicy beef salad: Nam Tom Neua, marinated beef, raw cacao, toasted rice, and herbs.

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