By Siobhan Wallace

About Siobhan Wallace

Siobhan Wallace is a freelance writer & editor. She co-founded the food blog Blondie & Brownie in 2008 and co-authored "New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks" (Running Press, 2013).

Five Leaves’ Debuts Their Late Summer Menu

One of the late summer dishes, Sweet Corn Flan  All images: Five Leave/Instagram

Back in 2008, an Australian-American restaurant/bar opened on Bedford with its primary claim to fame being that Heath Ledger (RIP) had been involved in its conception. Now, Five Leaves is closing in on nine years in the neighborhood and is still one of the most popular spots around. It’s burger and pancakes are institutions on the New York dining scene and that weekend brunch wait hasn’t gotten any shorter. This doesn’t mean that they want to rest on their laurels though. If you’ve stopped by this year, you may have noticed both the food and cocktail menus changing ever so slightly towards a little more seasonality. They’re definitely giving the locals a good reason to stop by for dinner.

Five Leaves did always have a seasonal and organic angle to their menu, but when Chef Warren Baird took the helm in the kitchen towards the end of 2015, he knew it was time to step up their game a little bit. The local and sustainable movement has grown a lot in the past few years. Now, producers and consumers are more aware of our food systems’ environmental impact. But, luckily, consumers are also more willing to trust a chef when presented with unique dishes, like blue catfish done up Szechuan-style. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Ice Cream News You Can Use

Ample Hills is Here!  Image: Ample Hills/Instagram

New York City is in a great spot in ice cream history. Neighborhood favorite Van Leeuwen might dominate the North Brooklyn scene, but things are getting a little bit sweeter for all of us. Not only do we have a new pop-up in Brooklyn Bazaar, the Davey’s ice cream headquarters on Meserole Avenue is scheduled to be open in time for after school sundaes! Continue reading

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Woops! Brings Colorful Macarons to Norman Ave

Woops! comes to Greenpoint  Image: Woops Greenpoint/Instagram

A few years ago, a group of friends began serving up coffee shop treats at the whimsical Woops! Bakeshop over on Driggs Avenue and North 7th Street. Little did they know, they were starting what is now the nation’s largest macaron chain. And finally, one of their franchises is coming to Greenpoint with the opening of Woops! Greenpoint on Sunday in the former Lunchbox space at 120 Norman Avenue. The new spot will be helmed by Michelle and Monserrate Irizarry, two longtime Brooklynites (Monserrate is a born and bred Williamsburger) who are fulfilling their lifelong dream of opening a cafe, and Greenpointers readers can get a special treat when they stop by Sunday or Monday.

Image: Julia Moak

The path towards this new location all began when Michelle decided to be a stay-at-home mom after having their first daughter. She developed the frequent habit of stopping into that Driggs Avenue store for an afternoon coffee and a treat, and it was there that she noticed a flyer regarding franchising with Woops!. Her and her husband reached out to the owners and ultimately spent a year working side-by-side with their team for training. Already living in and loving Greenpoint, they couldn’t help but want to open their location in the neighborhood. “Giving back to our community in any way is what we pride ourselves in, and we are very grateful and blessed to have this opportunity,” says Michelle. If you’ve ever visited the Driggs Ave shop, the offerings will be about the same, with everything made on-site. In addition to those delicate French macarons, they’ll be serving sandwiches, select pastries, and a regular coffee shop menu. And once their permit is passed in the coming weeks, they’ll be the first Woops! location to have beer and wine.

Woops! was originally scheduled to open this weekend, but they’ve hit a couple of delays. When they do open, stop by, mention “Greenpointers” and you will get a free macaron with any purchase. Welcome to the neighborhood!

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Have Your Voice Heard With Participatory Budgeting

Real Money, Real Power: Participatory Budgeting from PBP on Vimeo.

Cycle 7 of NYC’s Participatory Budgeting initiative has begun! And Council Member Stephen Levin is riding high after Cycle 6’s success in District 33. “Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.” That is, you directly decide which of the proposed projects you feel should be funded and the popular vote wins. Projects are funded until the available money runs out. That funding comes directly from our district’s “discretionary funds” budget. Council Member Levin put aside $1.5 million for us last cycle and he’s doing it again this time.

Community members meet with District 33 Participatory Budgeting Coordinator Benjamin Solotaire last year.

Earlier this year, 3,789 people voted on which projects submitted by the community they would like funded. The winning projects include bus clocks with live, up-to-date arrival times at 12 stops along the B62/B32 bus routes; a STEAM Lab for Samuel Dupont Elementary School/P.S. 31 (75 Meserole St); and upgraded electrical wiring at Monitor School/P.S. 110 (124 Monitor St). With Cycle 7 ready to begin, there are a few ways to get involved. One is to submit your project idea–here are some winning ideas from other districts (26, 34, 35, 36, and 39). It’s an opportunity to get creative and really think outside of the box. What would make our community better for everyone? To begin that process, you can email District 33’s Participatory Budgeting Director Benjamin Solotaire ([email protected]). Or you can show up at 6:30pm tonight for the first Participatory Budgeting meeting at our district office, 410 Atlantic Avenue. Later on this year there will be opportunities to present your project to the Participatory Budgeting Committee with the top projects being voted on next spring. Here’s your chance to make a difference in the District 33 community.

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Eat Your Way Around the Neighborhood This Weekend

The Australians are coming to North Brooklyn Farms Sunday night

It’s shaping up to be a great weekend to hang around the neighborhood, finding a new summer outfit from one of our new shops, picking up lunch at the farmers market, taking in some outdoor yoga, and/or hitting up a few food events. From the new feature at MOFAD to dinner at North Brooklyn Farms, we’ve got a few things worth checking out in between the raindrops. Continue reading

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Flowers, Peppers & Pizza Herbs at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm

The serene Eagle Street Rooftop Farm  Image: Rooftop Farmer/Instagram

A lot has changed since Broadway Stages decided to “green” the roof of their sound stage at 44 Eagle Street. The owners were in talks with Goode Green when they approached by Annie Novak and Ben Flanner to do something a little bit more than just a green roof. This is how Eagle Street Rooftop Farm was born in 2009. Since then, Broadway Stages has also gone on to create Kingsland Wildflowers while Annie had shepherded the 6,000-square-foot rooftop farm through multiple changes.

Chicago-native Annie didn’t know this is where she’d end up. Upon graduating college, she originally wanted to enter the Peace Corps and work on cacao agriculture in West Africa. Instead, she found herself with an internship at the New York Botanical Garden. She helped oversee the two-acre Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden and is now the manager of their Edible Academy in addition to her role here. Continue reading

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Friday Night’s Tragic Hit-and-Run Accident

The sign asking for tips at Franklin & Noble

At about 12:30 am Saturday morning, NYPD responded to a call of a cyclist hit by a driver on Franklin Street at Noble Street. The 27-year-old male cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene and the accident has been labeled a hit-and-run. According to Gothamist, “An initial investigation by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad determined that the cyclist was biking on Franklin Street when he was struck by the garbage truck driver who was moving south on Franklin. The garbage truck driver then left the scene after striking the cyclist.” The police are still looking for the truck which is described as a green and white sanitation truck with yellow writing.

By Saturday, neighbors had learned that the deceased was a member of the community. Neftaly Ramirez was a beloved employee at Paulie Gee’s and had been biking to his home in Alphabet City after a shift at the restaurant. Paulie Gee’s was closed in mourning Saturday. 110 Franklin Street is the future home of Paulie Gee’s slice shop.

Neftaly is the 11th cyclist fatality this year in New York City, and his death brings renewed calls to make our city streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. The 94th precinct alone has had 43 cyclist accident so far this year, the same number as last year. The NYPD is asking anyone who has information about the accident to reach out (800-577-TIPS) as the investigation is ongoing.

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The Best Frozen Drinks in North Brooklyn

Got our daily fruit last weekend with Northern Territory’s Pimm’s Cup  Image: Northern Territory/Instagram

A year ago, we were at the beginning of a five-day intolerable heat wave. Luckily, it seems we’ll only get a handful of 90°+ days this year which means more time outside drinking frozen cocktails! Boozy slushies are a bit of a trend right now and the neighborhood is full of them. It just so happens that they’re perfect for that cooling afternoon drink or to pretend you’re actually on a tropical vacation. Here are the spots happy to put a tiny umbrella in your drink. Continue reading

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It’s 90° Out! Get Thee to The Beach!

Rockaway Beach  Image: Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

The past few weeks have been very “hot town, summer in the city” and most of us have felt the overwhelming urge to blow off work to head to the beach. If you can’t play hooky during this week’s 90° days, we’ve got at least another month and a half of chances for good beach weather. The issue is getting to there from North Brooklyn is no easy feat. But luckily, it is getting easier as the years go on. Well, at least, the city is trying to make it easier. Here’s are the best ways to get to our area beaches without a car. Continue reading

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There’s Tastings & A Cafe at the New Bedford Cheese Shop

Mmmmmmmm, cheese

Back in 2003, Bedford Cheese Shop opened its doors in the small mini mall in Williamsburg. The tiny shop was one of the first in the neighborhood to offer specialty cheeses, charcuterie, and packaged foodstuffs. In 2006, the owner Charlotte Kamin moved all the beautiful cheeses to the corner space on Bedford Avenue and North 4th Street. But the space was small, and you often felt a little cramped if more than a handful of customers were in the store. When it came time to renew their lease, she began looking around for a bigger space. Luckily, a larger space opened up just down the avenue at 265 Bedford and the whole shop moved three blocks to its new home last August.

And with everything all settled in, it’s time to really invite the neighbors in for drinks and nibbles. Starting last week, the new Bedford Cheese began weekly themed tastings, and this week, they’ll begin serving their cafe menu. Continue reading

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