Community

Three Participatory Budgeting Meetings This Week Offer Greenpointers Opportunities to Enhance Community

pb-meetingCitizens of North Brooklyn looking to ameliorate their community have three opportunities this week to directly affect some change through New York City Council’s Participatory Budgeting program. As described on the City Council’s website, Participatory Budgeting is “a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.” Each year, NYC council members decide whether they want their districts to participate in the PB process, and then spend a year organizing public meetings, speaking to members of their communities and getting an idea of what sorts of projects citizens need and want most.

Thanks to City Council Member Stephen Levin, the opportunity is being afforded to District 33, which includes Greenpoint and Williamsburg. This year, there’s $1.5 million dollars allocated. You’ve got three opportunities this week to go pitch your own ideas and hear ideas of fellow community members. The schedule for the remaining meetings is as follows:

  • Monday, Sep. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Spanish Church (161 South 3rd St.)
  • Tuesday, Sep. 20 at 6:00 p.m. at The Greenpoint Library (107 Norman St.)
  • Thursday, Sep. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at The Actor’s Fund (160 Schermerhorn St.)
  • Tuesday, Sep. 27 at 6:30 p.m. at WeWork Brooklyn Heights Office (195 Montague St.)
  • Wednesday, Sep. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Independence Towers Community Center (114 Taylor St.)

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Sh*t’s Going Down In Bushwick: Chicken Sh*t Bingo!

chickenshit bingo
via Bushwick City Farm

Volunteer-run farm and gathering space Bushwick City Farm (354 Stockton St. @ Lewis Ave) is hosting their second annual fundraiser this Sunday afternoon, September 18th.
“Come enjoy a delightful day of music, drinks, and Chicken Sh*t Bingo—win cash prizes and gift certificates from local businesses! Plus: face painting, Cargo Bike hay rides, a piñata, and more – fun for the whole family! How does Chicken Sh*t Bingo work? We feed our chickens a sumptuous meal and let them loose on a life-size game board. Attendees buy squares (two for $5!), and wait for the birds to do their business. If your square is deemed defecation-worthy, you win an awesome prize!”

See the Facebook invite here.

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Weekend Art Roundup: Sept 16 – 20

Bill Murray inquiring about lemonade out front of Paulie Gee's.
Bill Murray inquiring about lemonade outside of Paulie Gee’s.

Hey guys,

There are exactly 10 cool things happening and around Greenpoint this weekend. Eleven if you count Bill Murray bartending at 21 Greenpoint, but that doesn’t count, does it? There are at least 10 cool things happening this weekend.

I double dog dare you to get to more than three of these events. Choose wisely!

See you in the streets,

Andy

 

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SAT & SUN: Brooklyn Craft Company Grand Opening Party!

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Brooklyn Craft Company (165 Greenpoint Avenue), formerly situated in the Pencil Factory, has moved to a brand new home! To celebrate, they are throwing a grand opening party this weekend, September 10 & 11 with free DIY activities! We caught up with co-founder/owner Brett Bara about how they started, where they’re going, and plans for the new shop. Continue reading

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Emily Gallagher’s Campaign: Echoes of Another Greenpoint Female Reformer?

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Emily Gallagher

Some friends and I were sitting out on the grass in Transmitter Park one warm June evening watching a film when we were approached by a young woman campaigning for Emily Gallagher, who was running for the position of Female District Leader of the Democratic Party. Most people, even people who follow politics closely, would not know there was even a Female District Leader, let alone what the job entailed. But I was familiar with the position because Peter McGuinness, the legendary Greenpoint Democratic Boss and the namesake for McGuinness Boulevard, owed his rise to power to his Female co- leader, Margaret Conlon.

A District Leader is an unpaid position in the local Democratic Party, representing the neighborhoods of Greenpoint, North and South Williamsburg on issues regarding judicial nominations and elections. At the end of World War I, McGuinness, had grown fed up with the inertia of local Democratic politicians, but he had never gone to high school and needed someone’s help to write letters to the editor criticizing the party establishment. He turned to Conlon, a poet as well as a skilled prose writer, who helped McGuinness write a series of highly provocative attacks on the corruption and inertia of the local political machine and the letters hit home. Thanks in large part to Conlon, she and McGuinness in a shocker were elected as local Democratic Party leaders and they served effectively for years, bringing a number of positive changes to our area and making history.
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Adopt a Cat Sundays at Muddy Paws!


Muddy Paws hosts cat and kitten adoptions every Sunday!
Muddy Paws, a holistic pet supply store, hosts cat and kitten adoptions every Sunday from 2pm-6pm!

I should really get a pet. Surely the thought has crossed your mind. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to cuddle up and be lazy with? The dating scene in New York isn’t getting you anywhere. You’re tired of watching Stranger Things alone on the couch, curled up with a pint of Van Leeuwen. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone soft and furry to watch with you? Someone who returns your calls (meows)? Someone who doesn’t cancel dinner plans (the food dish is expected to be filled by 6pm sharp, or else)? Well, it’s time to give in to your urges and do some good. Consider adopting a kitty, many of whom have had rough starts in life and are all-too-ready to have a place to call home. Every Sunday from 2pm-6pm holistic pet store Muddy Paws (447 Graham Avenue) hosts a cat (and kitten!) adoption event.

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Open Space Alliance Sweeps Up Around McGolrick Park

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Located in the heart of Greenpoint is a park named for longtime neighborhood advocate Monsignor McGolrick, an Irish pastor who became a major community figure in the late 1800s. These days, the Greenpoint area has a new community leader. Her name is Konstancja Maleszyńska.

She works for the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, a non-profit that partners with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to help “fill the gaps” that result from underfunding and understaffing within the city department. One of her current projects is organizing monthly “Saturday Sweeps” of McGolrick Park, where neighbors can come meet one another and work together to pick up litter. Continue reading

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Then and Now: The Monitor School Gets Historical

That's one way to examine the past.
That’s one way to examine the past.

What’s more adorable than kids being kids…next to cardboard cutouts of kids whose heyday was more than a century ago?

In celebration of the 120th anniversary school year of The Monitor School (PS110), the neighborhood kids recently observed Historical Photo Day.

For this occasion, each class posed with a cardboard cutout of a class photo from 120 years ago. But it was a thoughtful pose, because the kids spent a week leading up to the photo shoot analyzing the historical photo and talking about the things they have in common with the kids of yesteryear (not to mention what sets them apart). Continue reading

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Paulie Gee & The Brotherhood of Pizza Entrepreneurs – Part V: Franchise Expansion

Paulie Gee's North Short in Columbus, Ohio
Paulie Gee’s North Short in Columbus, Ohio

This is the final installment of a five-part series. Read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.

Part V: Franchise Expansion

“If you talk to a lawyer,” Paulie informs me, “and you talk to the F.T.C., they’ll tell ya that they’re franchises… but my intention is to build a brotherhood of pizza entrepreneurs, ok? I told the lawyers what I wanted to do. They told me I had to form a franchise company. They told me what it would cost to do that. So I decided to ask another lawyer. I told em what I wanted to do, they told me that I had to form a franchise company. So I asked a third lawyer. Third lawyer? Franchise company. So, I bit the bullet and I did that. But really I build personal relationships with these people. They come in, ya know, when they can, they work with me… Derrick, who is gonna open up with me in Chicago, he contacted me for advice and I was itching to do something in Chicago, I had read about Wicker Park which is a great neighborhood… and when I talked with him, I said, where ya thinking about opening and he said ya know, Naperville, or something… he had a mobile business already making pizza out that way, Za Pie… he thinks it was a nice name. Hopefully he’s not reading this. In any case, I said, that’s too bad because I was hoping to maybe do something with somebody in Wicker Park. And about five minutes later we were on our way.”

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What’s Next For Bushwick Inlet Park As $100 Mill Offer Expires

The North Brooklyn Community and Elected Officials at the steps of City Hall
The North Brooklyn Community and Elected Officials at the steps of City Hall

“The city can’t just rest on its laurels and say it made an offer,” said State Assemblyman Joe Lentol on the steps of City Hall, where the North Brooklyn community alongside elected officials turned up the heat on an already sweltering summer day for Bushwick Inlet Park. It’s because the $100 million offer that the city made to acquire the last remaining parcel of prospective park land expired yesterday, Monday, August 8.

This puts the future of all 28 acres of open space in a precarious position and Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park is not taking it lying down. With impassioned chants of “Where’s our park?” and a series of speeches by community leaders and elected officials, they demanded that Mayor de Blasio does what it takes to deliver the waterfront park that was promised 11 years ago. Continue reading

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