Greenpoint This Week: Williamsburg Rent Waived, ‘Essential’ Construction Map Revealed, Beloved Shop Owners Pass Away, and More!

A desolate Manhattan Avenue last Sunday morning

Happy weekend Greenpointers!

We are one week into the non-essential construction ban, and if you live near an active site then check out the Dept. of Buildings’ new map of “essential” construction, and remember to call 311 with any reports.

Governor Cuomo closed the playgrounds this week but parks remain open if you must go out to for solo exercise.

Greenpoint’s farmers markets are both open this weekend at McCarren Park (Saturday 8am to 2pm) and at McGolrick Park (Sunday from 10am to 4pm ), but remember to keep a six foot distance from others to maintain social distancing.

Following CDC recommendations, Mayor de Deblasio is now asking that everyone wear face masks when out in public. The precautionary measure helps to stop the spread of coronavirus by people who are asymptomatic.

“We’re advising New Yorkers to wear a face covering when you go outside and near others. It can be a scarf, a bandana or one you make at home. But PLEASE: save medical masks for our health care workers & first responders who truly need them,” de Basio said in a statement.

For all of the butter-milk fried chicken and beer fans out there, Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co. is offering a takeout feast this weekend complete with house made mac and cheese and cole slaw; call ahead to place your order.

Stay safe and healthy, and in the meantime catch up on this week’s headlines from around the neighborhood: Continue reading

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“Essential” Construction Map Shows Greenpoint’s Building Surge Will Continue Through Pandemic

Construction will continue at 77 Commercial St. as “essential”

Last Friday, Governor Cuomo ordered all non-essential construction to cease to help stop the spread of coronavirus, but allowed for developments that include affordable housing to move forward.

Greenpoint’s coastal highrise construction sites will mostly continue through the pandemic according to a map released by the city on Friday.

The “Essential Active Construction Sites” map shows that work can proceed at 30 Kent St., 144 West St., 19 India St., 10 Huron St., 77 Commercial St., 1056 Manhattan Ave., 211 McGuinness Blvd. and Greenpoint Landing.

The map released by the city on Friday shows where construction is considered essential.

Concerned Greenpoint residents submitted photos and video over the past week of construction sites on the waterfront at Huron Street and at Greenpoint Landing, both of which appear to permitted to continue under the new guidelines. Continue reading

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Carmine Notaro, Owner of Carmine’s Original Pizza Passes Away

The former Carmine’s Original Pizza in Greenpoint

A Greenpoint pizzeria owner of more than three decades who retired in 2015 passed away last night.

Carmine Notaro owned and operated Carmine’s Original Pizza on Norman Avenue where he fed a dedicated customer base for 35 years.

A note posted on Thursday night by Notaro’s family explains that he was battling dementia at the time of his passing:

It is with deep sorrow that the family of Carmine Notaro share with you that he passed away peacefully this evening after a long battle with dementia. Carmine loved his customers. He was proud to serve you and always wanted to make the best food for you to enjoy. Sharing his food and sharing his stories with each of you brought him great joy. After this crisis has passed, we will celebrate his life!

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Voters to Decide Fate of MTA Development Site at Bushwick Inlet Park

40 Quay St. (courtesy of MTA)

A contested MTA-owned warehouse abutting the future Bushwick Inlet Park could be purchased by the state and preserved as park space instead of being developed into condos, New York Assembly Member Joe Lentol announced on Thursday.

Voters in November will decide on the Restore Mother Nature Environmental Bond Act that would provide the state with $200 million in funding for land acquisitions.

The one-story, 72,600 square-foot building known as the mobile wash unit site at 40 Quay St. was explored as a possible development site as the MTA released a Request for Proposals for Development in the summer of 2019.

Rendering via Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park

Over the past year, local leaders and activists called on the MTA to suspend development plans at 40 Quay St. to prevent another high rise apartment building and to extend the future Bushwick Inlet Park. Continue reading

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ACME’s Fish Fridays Continue With Online Ordering and Curbside Pickup

The good ol’ days when you could go inside the Acme Smoked Fish factory.

ACME Smoked Fish will continue to hold the popular Fish Friday sale out of their Greenpoint factory with a new process that requires ordering online and scheduling a pickup time to minimize person-to-person contact during the pandemic.

Customers can place an order on the ACME Smoked Fish website by 12:30 p.m. on Friday (4/3) and schedule a pickup time between 9 a.m. – 1 p.m..

Orders are only available for curbside pickup at the 30 Gem St. factory.

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Beloved Shop Owner and Holocaust Survivor Howard Kiffel Passes Away From Covid-19 Complications

A longtime Greenpoint business owner and Holocaust survivor, Howard Kiffel, passed away last weekend.

Mr. Kiffel was 95 years old and passed away on Sunday, March 29th after complications from the Covid-19 virus.

He owned and operated Howard Machine Shop at 34 Norman Ave. since around 1968, and was known to have an open door for all of the artists and makers in the neighborhood. Mr.Kiffel continued to service the neighborhood until his death.

As a young boy Mr. Kiffel lost his parents during the Holocaust, but managed to escaped Poland before settling on the East Coast in the U.S..

Artist Gabrielle Shelton operated a metal shop down the street from Mr. Kiffel and says that his guidance helped her start her own business. “He was always honest, polite and patient and an absolute gem of a human,” she said.

“When I started getting into the finer lines of metal fabrication he welcomed me in, gave me business advice, told me that 1/32” tolerance was like the Grand Canyon and I had to start thinking in thousandths. He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather and neighbor. “

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Census Day 2020: It’s Time to Help Brooklyn Get Counted

April 1st is Census Day

Today is officially Census Day, “the nation’s once-per-decade, constitutionally-mandated count of every American, regardless of their citizenship status,” and it has never been more important to get counted as Kings County the lowest response rate for a county of its size in 2010.

The Census helps to determine how much federal funding localities will receive for infrastructure, public schools and housing and many other important programs.

You have likely received a Census 2020 form in the mail by now, but the Census can also be completed at: Remember to count everyone who is living in your house or apartment (except for temporary guests who should be counted at their primary residence).
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Vinnie’s Pizzeria Delivers Free Pies to Essential Workers

Vinnie’s Pizza is accepting donations to deliver free pizza to essential workers.

Vinnie’s Pizzeria (148 Bedford Ave.) is delivering free pizzas to essential workers during the coronavirus crisis and you can now donate a pie through their website.

The Williamsburg Pizzeria (we miss Vinnie’s Greenpoint) announced last week with an Instagram post that donations can be made through ChowNow for pies to be delivered to the people who are considered “essential” such as the workers at grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals

Lots of wonderful people have reached out to us asking how they can help essential workers in NYC during this crisis.  Think we figured out a way and this is how! Go to our website and order through ChowNow for pick up.  In the special instructions write DONATE  and every couple of days we will tally up the pies and bring them to a different group of essential workers and volunteers.  First up are the firefighters up the block.  Tomorrow we will bring them donations from you and us. If anyone has any suggestions of other Essential Workers (Doctors, nurses, people out in the trenches, volunteers etc) or people in need in the neighborhood that we can help out, please contact us! Appreciate everyone’s love and support in these crazy times.

So far Vinnie’s has delivered pies to: Continue reading

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Williamsburg Landlord Mario Salerno Waives Rent for Hundreds of Tenants Due to Coronavirus

Williamsburg landlord Mario Salerno is waiving rent for all of his tenants for April 2020.

Lifelong Williamsburg resident and landlord to hundreds of tenants, Mario Salerno announced on Monday that he will waive April’s rent for all of his residential and commercial tenants.

Salerno’s gas station and auto body shop at 451 Lormimer St.

Salerno who is 59-years-old was born on Metropolitan Avenue and his father started a gas station at 451 Lorimer St. in 1959, which his family still operates as Salerno Auto Body ShopContinue reading

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Greenpoint’s Construction Sites Are Still Bustling

Greenpoint Landing construction continued on Monday morning

New York hit the “pause” button on all non-essential business last week to slow the spread of coronavirus, and on Friday the directive from Governor Cuomo was extended to construction sites.

The temporary measure to halt all non-essential construction in NY follows similar measures taken in Washington state and in cities such as Boston.

Exemptions for the construction ban include the building of hospitals, homeless shelters, infrastructure and transit projects, emergency repairs, and perhaps most consequently for Greenpoint, affordable housing.

Local residents once-again reached out to Greenpointers on Monday morning with photos and videos of construction workers in close proximity at Greenpoint Landing and at 53 Huron St.

A man who lives near Greenpoint Landing called the police this morning as he watched construction workers on site: “They (the NYPD) claim they went there and it is essential work. I told them that they are not working on the affordable building yet. They are working on the tower,” he said, adding that the police must witness unsafe working conditions to enforce the order.

“They are working in close proximity and they don’t have masks. The police told me they don’t have to. It’s hypocritical from the city. It is absolutely does not help the situation,” he said.

The Greenpoint Landing construction site was active on Monday morning.

Cuomo’s official “guidance for determining whether a business enterprise is subject to a workforce reduction under recent executive orders” lists the following rules for construction sites: Continue reading

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