A Collaborative Sculpture In McGolrick Park, and a Meadow-phor for All of Us

Conceptual artist Martynka Wawrzyniak will create Ziemia, a public art project created in collaboration with all Greenpointers.

Martynka Wawrzyniak has always been a conceptual artist. She thinks deeply about her relationship to the world and comes up with self-portraits that are inimitable and brilliantly unique. These ideas often utilize unusual substances and require her to collaborate with specialists in an eclectic range of fields.

For example, in her 2012 project, Smell Me, she spent two years working with Hunter College Professor Donna McGregor and a team of chemistry research students to create an olfactory-based self-portrait utilizing the extracted essence of her sweat, tears and hair.

In another project, Feed, she collected a year’s worth of her used cloth dinner napkins in order to create a suspended double spiral where viewers walked through her life in the self-described “stains of my existence”.

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Weekend Music, or Body Painting in the Associated

It’s not too often that our very own neighborhood Associated supermarket gets featured in both Harper’s Bazaar and the New York Post.

And it wasn’t even because of their super-fresh Grade AA eggs, their reasonably priced bone-in chuck steaks (great on the grill), or the cases of Zywiec available in large, hefty glass bottles.

In case you’ve been accidentally locked inside a gas station bathroom for a few days, Gwyneth Paltrow shot some glamour shots at the Associated. In response, Greenpoint residents did mock sexy poses of their own in the aisles then posted them on social media.

Personally I’ll be posing for my own boudoir photos in a pickler’s fortnight among the Polish hams at the Busy Bee on Nassau, but to each his own. Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Textile Artist Julia Brandao

Textile art by Julia Brandao

By way of São Paulo, Julia Brandao has come to grace New York with knowledge of the finest cultural relics and wisdom from what seems like the world’s edges. As a textile and sculpture artist having traveled all over the world (though she calls Brazil her home), Julia’s love for collage canvases a mix of experiences and thoughts from the people and places she encounters. Her work largely prefacing the influence of memory, she glues together the thoughtful impressions that evoke feelings of familiarity through colors, shapes, and textures.


To see more of her work, you can can catch her at the Greenpointers Fall Market on October 30th, at The Greenpoint Loft (67 West Street), and visit her website/Instagram. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Diaries: “My Job At The Greenpoint Weekly Star”

Editor’s note: We’ve paired up a true story from Sara Jane Burman, an 80-year-old former resident of Greenpoint who grew up here, with local illustrator Aubrey Nolan.

Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
When I was a fourteen year old girl, I lived at 460 Graham Avenue, near what we used to called ” The Boulevard”. Now it is Meeker-Morgan.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
I loved to walk to the Greenpoint Public Library on Norman Avenue. I was another Francie Nolan, even before I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I spent hours in that magical place, and could not quite believe I could borrow those lovely books.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
I also liked to write.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
One day, I passed the Offices of the now defunct Greenpoint Weekly Star. We purchased it every week, and my mother liked to submit notices of school activities.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
She began when my tow headed twin brothers began First Grade in St. Cecilia’s School. There were three sets of twins who were in the First Grade, and Mom thought that was a newsworthy piece. So it was.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
I walked up to the Editor who was standing behind the front desk in their storefront office. My memory is hazy about what I said to him at first, but I remember clearly that he offered me a job writing for The Star. He told me I would be paid ten cents an inch for my writing.
I wrote a few pieces on local events. After I had submitted a few, the Editor asked if I would like to cover some evening meetings in Greenpoint. I knew my mother wouldn’t allow me to do this, so I politely declined, and offered my resignation. I asked for my salary. I was very surprised at how little it was.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
“You told me I would get ten cents an inch,” I complained.
“Yeah, Girlie. That’s right. Vertically, not horizontally!”
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Sunday Snaps 10/09 – “Been Here a While”

Halina, of Sky Flowers (164 Driggs Ave.), is originally from Warsaw, but has lived in Greenpoint and provided beautiful flowers at her store for almost twenty years. Of the Polish penchant for flowers, she says: “If you go to Poland, you will see beautiful gardens everywhere, it is part of the tradition.”

This week’s photo essay focuses on people that have been in Greenpoint a while and have stories to tell about it. Whether they remember movies at The Chopin Theater or when McGuinness Boulevard was still cobblestone, these folks are everyday guardians of the neighborhood’s history and traditions. If you are lucky enough to see them walking down the street, say hello, politely ask them about their memories of the neighborhood, and get ready for the best history lesson of your life… Continue reading

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Greenpoint’s Original Wave of Home Brewing and Distilling

Officials seizing booze during prohibition.

It’s great to see distillers like the Greenhook Ginsmiths on Dupont Street distilling high quality gin. It’s equally gratifying to know that Greenpoint is teeming with home brewing aficionados who make their own great beers, but this is actually nothing new to Greenpoint. During the era of Prohibition from 1920 to 1933, there was no place in the city that violated the anti-alcohol laws more often than the thirsty citizens of Greenpoint. Continue reading

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Weekend Music: Always On Time

A three-day weekend is ahead for most of us so it’s the perfect time to catch music in the city.

Starting tonight (10/6) with the Tumbao party at Yayo’s, Arepa Disco at the Black Flamingo, and a bring-your-own-vinyl event at Lot 45.

Also, legendary rock lunatic Ian Hunter. 

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Vert Gardens Is Moving + Plant Sale This Weekend + Fall Gardening Tips!

Plant Sale via Vert Gardens Instagram
via Vert Gardens Instagram

After 10 years in the neighborhood, local landscape design and plant shop Vert Gardens (193 Banker Street) is in the process of moving to the Navy Yards. Before they officially close, they’ll be having two more plant sales, one this weekend on Saturday October 8th (10am-4pm) and the last on October 22 (10am-4pm). From Vert: “We’re definitely going to miss Greenpoint, and if you’re in the area, come see us at our new location.” Their new spot is at 72 Flushing Ave.

Read on for Autum gardening tips from Vert. Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Christine Gedeon my mother speaks, Site-Specific Installation, Textil Museum, Bocholt, Germany, 2014, photo by: Robert Vogel
Syria…as my mother speaks, Christine Gedeon, site-specific installation at Textil Museum, Bocholt, Germany, 2014. Photo by: Robert Vogel

I was first introduced to multi-media artist Christine Gedeon through her site-specific installation at the new Greenpoint events space Dobbin St. and soon learned her wealth of work includes complex sound installations referencing her Syrian heritage and family, stitched cartography, and celebrity “blueprint drawings.”

We recently discussed her process and approach when working in these various mediums, specifically her relationship to Syria and her family there during this now 5-year civil war. We also talk about Greenpoint, naturally, and how it reminds Gedeon of mid-90s Prague.

Greenpointers: What is you favorite thing about Greenpoint?

Christine Gedeon: What I love, especially about Greenpoint are the low buildings, the light, and the mix of cultures. The Polish community that was of course more present in the 90s and earlier, also for me had it’s charm, as I was living in Prague in 1996-97 and felt immediately comfortable in Greenpoint. If there had been a better connection to public transportation, I probably would’ve stayed there, but then again, so would many others, and that would’ve made it lose it’s character…

Christine Gedeon
Christine Gedeon

You were born in Aleppo, Syria, and raised in New Jersey… Can you tell us about the inception and process to create your work my mother speaks… The 5-year civil war there is just devastating… can you give us some insight to the country and culture and how that fits into your work and everyday identity?

Yes, well, seeing what was happening as the war started, and how affected I was by it, I felt compelled to do a piece that had a more personal story, than what one was just hearing on the news… We left Aleppo in the 1970s when I was three years old, and moved to the U.S, for no other reason than my parents getting divorced, and there were more opportunities [in the U.S.] for my newly divorced mother. It was quite easy to move to the U.S. as Jimmy Carter was president, and my uncle sponsored us, so we obtained our green card right away, and became citizens some years later.

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Fall in Love with This Bad Ass Beast or God Embroidery

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

When you want to feel a little magical but totally bad ass, you need to turn to Beast or God. This Greenpoint-based creator, Robert Pappadeas, is inspired by the mystical. His pieces have a dark quality but they’re also not afraid of a little humor like the quirky but spooky little ghost pins.

Read on for more complex and punchy pins, patches, and embroidery fit for any witch or aesthete.


GP: How did you get inspired to start Beast or God? Continue reading

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