News

All Bacon Everything, Greenpoint Burglaries, and $$$ Condos—The Hook-Up 7/21

Greenpoint Ave & Franklin St - Megan Penmann
Greenpoint Ave & Franklin St. Photo by Megan Penmann

The condos that are replacing the old New Warsaw Bakery on Lorimer Street have gone on the market, for upwards of $1.5 million per unit.

A guy broke into two Greenpoint businesses in less than one hour, and robbed them. Baoburg (614 Manhattan Ave) and a nearby laundromat were both hit.

Predictably, there’s a new all-bacon tasting menu in Williamsburg at a restaurant called Belly. Continue reading

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Cat-Calling All Feline Friends: The Greenpoint Cat Club Meets Tomorrow!

stray catDo you want to help every stray cat you see? Does the sight of whiskers make you go “awww?” Well, you’re not alone! The Greenpoint Cat Club meets once a month at Archestratus (160 Huron Street) to discuss issues and solve problems on behalf of the feral cats of our ‘hood. You already know that many local residents try to help the outdoor kitties. Bowls of cat food are tucked away in corners all around our neighborhood waiting to feed the hungry masses. We’re a sympathetic bunch!

There are over 50,000 stray cats in New York and hundreds in Greenpoint, presumably subsisting on kielbasa scraps and other fallen Polish delicacies. One of the major problems facing our community is that when people move, they sometimes sadly leave their house cats behind to fend for themselves. This is cruel behavior, as domesticated cats are not equipped to care for themselves in the wild. The streets are very dangerous for feral cats, and the best you can do if you find yourself in the sad situation of having to give up an animal is to find them a new home. Muddy Paws (447 Graham Ave) pet store has adoption events every Sunday from 2pm-5pm and you can find someone there who will help you find the resources you need. Continue reading

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Meet Ann Kansfield, Greenpoint’s Coolest Pastor

Pastor Ann Kansfield. Photo via Greenpoint Reformed Church
Rev. Ann Kansfield. Photo via Greenpoint Reformed Church

If you think that all pastors are uptight, judgmental, straight laced, bores, that only shows you never met Reverend Ann Kansfield. I spoke with Ann for an hour and a half and the time seemed to whiz by. She is a great conversationalist with a disarming sense of humor, most of it self-deprecating.

I took careful notes on our conversation, but experienced writer’s block when trying to write about her. Suddenly, I had an aha moment, and realized why. Ann very rarely speaks in first person. She avoids the pronoun I, and invariably shifts from saying I to we. I realized that Ann is one of the least egotistical people I have ever met. Even though she was chosen as the New York Times person of the year in 2016, Ann is the personification of humility. As the old saying goes, “There is no I in team,” and Ann is the consummate team builder. Continue reading

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Superhero Figure Drawing, 3D VHS Festival, Brooklyn Bike Rave, Synthwave Party — What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (7/19–7/25)

WEDNESDAY 7/19

♦ SummerScreen: Donnie Darko @ McCarren Park, 6pm, FREE, 16th anniversary celebration of Donnie Darko. Gates open at 6pm, grunge-infused rockers Sharkmuffin plays the TIDAL Rising Stage at 7:30pm, and the film starts at sundown, More info
# Banned Countries Dinner Series: Sudan Edition @ Franklin Guesthouse (214 Franklin St), 6:30pm, $125, Celebrate Sudanese food and culture by enjoying a family-style feast inspired by Omer Eltigani, author of the forthcoming cookbook The Sudanese Kitchen. Multiple courses, unlimited house wine and vegetarian options are available, Buy tix
♫ WHAT NOW? Sessions: The Sifer, Sakinah Iman, Paco G Train Bandit @ Terra Firma (119 Ingraham St), 8pm, $5, Fusion of the Hip Hop cypher and the Jazz jam session. Emcees bring your bars. Singers bring your melodies. Musicians bring your instruments. Everyone bring your vibe and let’s rock out, RSVP
* Microdosing Workshop: Sacred Plants to Enhance Mind-Body-Spirit @ Narayana Integrative Center (191 Nassau Ave), 8:15pm, $20, Learn how you can feel better, increase energy, improve focus, inspire creativity, balance mood, relax, sleep well, and expand awareness with sacred plant microdosing, More info


THURSDAY 7/20

# American Food and Immigration Policy @ MOFAD (62 Bayard St), 6:30pm, $20, An evening of thought-provoking discussion, followed by an informal reception featuring light refreshments from Brooklyn Brewery and Sonia Perez, a street cart vendor and member of Street Vendor Project’s Leadership Council, More info
♦ Superhero Figure Drawing
@ Brooklyn Art Library (28 Frost St), 7pm, $10, Practice your cape drawing skills, with everything from pen to graphite — but leave your kryptonite at home, Buy tix
* 3D VHS Festival @ The City Reliquary (370 Metropolitan Ave), 7pm, $10, In the garden, the Museum of Interesting Things takes us back to a future that the past never saw coming! See excerpts from movies–not just on VHS, but 3D VHS, More info
♦ Jonathas de Andrade Presents Bodanzky and Senna’s Iracema @ Light Industry (155 Freeman St), 7:30pm, $8, Inspired by neorealism as well as the films of John Cassavetes and Jean Rouch, the directors constructed Iracema by enacting a road-movie scenario inside everyday settings, combining artifice and documentary to yield a richly atmospheric parable whose lessons still maintain a grim relevance, More info
♫ DJ Questlove Presents: Bowl Train @ Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave), 11:30pm, $10, Buy tix
Continue reading

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Poolin’ So Hard: From Free to Fancy, Where You Can Dive In This Summer

mccarren pool
Photo via NYC Parks Department

McCarren Park Pool | 776 Lorimer Street
Pro tips: Now open through Labor Day. Get ready to mix and mingle with your neighbors of all backgrounds and ages. The semi-recently restored pool is perfect to take a dip on the hottest days of the year. It’s FREE, but there are rules. You need to bring your own lock, a towel, wear all white (if you plan to don a t-shirt or coverup) and should leave your cellphone at home. We recommend getting an ice cream bar from a park vendor post-plunge (there are no food vendors inside the pool). See what we said last year for the full lowdown on how best to prepare yo’self.

Metropolitan Swimming Pool | Bedford & Metropolitan Ave.
Pro tips: Annual membership costs $150 for adults, and $25 for seniors (ages 62 and older), $25 for young adults (ages 18-24). Membership is free for under-18’s. There are designated community swim hours.

Greenpoint YMCA pool
Greenpoint YMCA pool, photo via their site

Greenpoint YMCA | 99 Meserole Ave.
Pro tips: $175 for a Summer Fun Pass for pool access from now through August 31st. The fun pass also includes access to the gym and sauna/steam rooms. Seems like a good deal. Note, you should bring a bathing cap to swim.

Brooklyn Athletic Club, photo via their site
Brooklyn Athletic Club, photo via their site

Brooklyn Athletic Club | 8 Berry Street
Pro tips: This gym has private training pools, which you can book 30-minute sessions in even if you’re not a member. A pool package of 10 sessions is available for $239.

McCarren Hotel & Pool_VIP Day Bed
McCarren Hotel & Pool, photo via McCarren Hotel

The McCarren Hotel | 160 N 12th Street
Pro tips: Leave your screaming mini-me’s at home: children are not allowed at the McCarren Hotel’s ground floor pool (unless you are a guest of the hotel). If you don’t book a room at the hotel, the lowest price access is $55 for an individual day pass (weekday per person price is $55; weekend is $65), up to $200 per person for VIP service for a group of 10 (weekend group price is $2000 for group of 10; weekday group price is $1750). FYI: “No topless tanning,” and you can only book up to 48 hours in advance, unless you’re booking a Day Bed ($150 per person weekday; $175 per person weekend; slightly cheaper if you book a daybed for 2) or package, in which case you have 2 weeks advance to book.

Pool @ The William Vale | 111 N 12th St
Pro tips: Book a room (currently listed at $259) for a staycation and unrestricted access to the pool, or book a day pass. Day passes include reserved seating in a pergola, daybed or cabana, but will run you at minimum $67 per person (weekday, with 6 people), up to $90 (weekend, with 2 people). The Vale pool is a “60-foot outdoor pool with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Snacks, light fare, and cocktails are served poolside under the direction of award-winning Chef Andrew Carmellini.”

Honorable Mention—Playgrounds with kid-friendly water features:
McCarren Park (Manhattan between Driggs & Engert), McGolrick Park (Nassau & Russell), American Playground (Franklin between Milton & Noble), Greenpoint Playground (Franklin between Commercial & Dupont), Transmitter Park (Greenpoint Ave @ the water), Cooper Park (Maspeth & Morgan),  Jamie Campiz Playground (Marcy & Metropolitan)

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Alligator Lounge Assault, Filth Flies at Blue Bottle, OY/YO and The Giglio! –The Hook Up 7/14

Sunset from The Brooklyn Barge. Photo: Megan Penmann
NYC sunset from The Brooklyn Barge. Photo: Megan Penmann

What happened this week besides the weather being steamier than a dirty monkey’s crotch and more stifling than a sweat lodge? Here’s the rude, sad and the fugly.

A woman tried to eat a man’s arm at legendary Peter Luger Steakhouse (178 Broadway), and the incident was provoked by Venezuelan politics, and there’s a video.

A woman was punched in the face at Alligator Lounge, and it sounds like the 90th Precinct had a predictable reaction.

Third wave coffee, or zero wave? Mice and filth flies shut down Williamsburg’s Blue Bottle Coffee on North 5th Street.

The first death on the new Kosciuszko Bridge happened this week. Continue reading

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Park Deli, Greedy Landlord or Normal Neighborhood Changes?

Exterior of Park Deli 209 Nassau - Photo Julia Moak
Outside Park Deli  Image: Julia Moak

As New York City, and North Brooklyn in particular, go through massive socioeconomic changes, it’s become very common to hear cries of outrage about gentrification. Since the infamous rezoning in the mid-aughts, Greenpoint/Williamsburg has seen ever-rising rents and an influx of residents (myself included, I arrived here in 2009 from my family home of northeast Queens). This trickles down into situations like the one occurring with the Park Deli (209 Nassau Ave). But sometimes, the story isn’t a “greedy landlord” or “gentrification,” but rather a situation much more complex and completely normal.

Hildegard and Rudolph Daempfle receiving the Borough of Brooklyn Award in 1987  Image: Thomas Handschiegel

There’s no doubt that Park Deli is a Greenpoint institution. Opened in 1931 by German-American William Mullenbrock, the deli has served reasonably priced German-style food ever since. What was Mullenbrock Deli changed hands in the 1950s, and at some point, acquired the name “Park Deli.” Continue reading

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Poets, Screenwriters, Fiction & Non-Fiction Writers: Summer Writers Workshops In Greenpoint!

Write Brooklyn
988 Manhattan Ave

Charles Bukowski once said, “writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.” For the writerly types, writers block is no joke, but chances are you’d like to tell the world about something more compelling than writers block. If you often put pen to paper or hands to keyboard to hone your craft but could use a little guidance and structure to help complete a project, this workshop series might be for you. Local writers group WriteBrooklyn is launching workshops in Greenpoint next month, at 988 Manhattan Ave—an elegantly designed creative space. The 8-week workshops are taught by experienced filmmakers, writers and poets, range from Screenplays to Nonfiction, Poetry and Fiction, and meet on designated evenings. Each of the workshops will set you back $450, but they’ve made room for two scholarships per workshop (which means the lucky recipients attend for free). Check out the list of workshops and instructors here. Continue reading

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Manny Franquinha, 89, Founder of Crest Hardware Passes; Services This Week

Manny Franquinha founder of Crest Hardware

We are sad to learn of Manny Franquinha’s passing via the Crest Hardware (558 Metropolitan Ave) Facebook Page. Crest has been open since 1962, and as a mom and pop harware store, they’ve been able to truly bring the community together over the years. Crest has an annual art show, and is also known for Franklin the potbelly pig, who often makes an appearance in their back garden. Crest is more than a neighborhood hardware store, and whenever you go in there to buy anything at all you feel personally attended to—something that was important to Manny when he founded the shop many years ago. Funeral service details from Crest’s Facebook page: Continue reading

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Greenpoint’s Notorious Sonny Franseze Released from Prison at Age 100

NY Daily News photo

The reputed local crime boss, John “Sonny” Franzese was recently released from the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts. The hundred-year-old reputed member of the Colombo crime family had been serving a fifty year sentence for bank robbery that dated back to 1966. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed that the Greenpoint native had been the oldest prisoner in Federal custody until his release. He had been paroled at least six times since his 1967 conviction, but always violated his parole, ending up repeatedly back in prison.

Franseze lived for many years locally on Engert Avenue. Mob aficionados credit Franseze with introducing the kiss into mafia family culture. It all started when “Sonny” Franzese and Joey Brancato, both alleged members of the Colombo crime family, bumped into each other on the corner of Lorimer Street and Metropolitan Avenue. As a gesture of peace, they kissed each other on the cheeks. The only thing anybody on Metropolitan Avenue knew was that they had never seen it done before. After the men kissed, it quickly became a mafia trademark. Continue reading

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