Brooklyn Community Board 1 Meets Tuesday (1/8) For Monthly Public Hearing

Brooklyn Community Board 1’s monthly board meeting and public hearing will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., at the Swinging 60s Senior Center (211 Ainslie St.).

Heres the meeting agenda, which is also available in PDF format:

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Attempted Rape in South Williamsburg on New Year’s Morning

The suspect that the NYPD are seeking in regards to the attempted sexual assault.

An attempted rape occurred in a South Williamsburg apartment building at S. 2nd and Havemeyer streets on Tuesday (New Year’s Day) around 5:30 a.m., and a ‘person-of-interest’ is now in police custody”ABC7NY reports.

The suspect is described by police as a male in his mid-20s, 5’8″ tall will facial hair. The suspect approached the 26-year-old victim in the first-floor of the apartment building, punched the back of her head and attempted to sexually assault her.

A video of the suspect was posted by Gothamist. 

UPDATE: The suspect turned himself into the 90th Precint on this morning around 8 a.m. and is being questioned, the NY Daily News reports.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

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McGuinness Boulevard Gains Specialty Coffee Roaster and Cafe

Spare Moments Coffee Roasters

The industrial area of McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint near the Pulaski Bridge has limited food and drink options, so when a new specialty coffee bean wholesaler named Spare Moment (368 McGuinness Blvd.) began roasting beans in 2017, they noticed a demand after people kept dropping in and asking for a caffeine fix. “We had some of our neighbors walking by asking if they can buy coffee, so we were like why not open it up,” said general manager Patrick Yim.

“We had the bar already made because it was a training facility for our wholesale accounts, so everything was here, we just had to open,” he said.  The 2,000 square foot roasting facility ended up being cut in half to create a cafe space for customers to order espresso drinks.  Continue reading

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Delicious Eats for Under $10 in Greenpoint

Dining out doesn’t always mean shelling out exuberant amounts of money in Greenpoint. While the many newer high-end food destinations get most of the headlines and accolades, the dependable and affordable food options in Greenpoint deserve a shout out from time to time. We asked Greenpointers readers earlier this week what their favorite food options are for under $10, here are the recommendations:

Acapulco (1116 Manhattan Ave.): This Mexican restaurant on the far northern end of Manhattan Avenue was by far the most recommended by Greenpointers readers. The burritos and breakfast options at Acapulco are local picks for cheap eats: Chicken, chorizo and steak burritos are $7.25 (veggie burrito is $6) and breakfast omelet platters cost $5.50. Hours: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sat. and Sun. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.


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Peter Pan (727 Manhattan Ave.) turns out classic donuts and the line is often out the door on weekends, but many people opt for breakfast sandwiches, specifically bacon egg and cheese on either a bagel or roll, which costs under $5. Hours:  Mon. – Fri. 4:30 a.m. – 8pm; Sat. 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sun. 5:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Bacon egg and cheese on a poppy seed roll at Peter Pan (Robert V. yelp)

Frankel’s Delicatessen (631 Manhattan Ave.) is a throwback Jewish-style deli that is packed with the brunch crowd on weekend mornings.  The pastrami, egg and cheese sandwich is a Greenpoint favorite and costs $9. Hours: Mon. to Sun. from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Egg, cheese and pastrami on a roll at Frankel’s ( Ron C., Yelp)

Karczma (136 Greenpoint Ave.) is a bonified Polish food destination, and the menu offers delicious dishes at relatively affordable price points ( a lunch plate with stuffed cabbage, pierogis and soup costs $11.50). Greenpointers readers recommend the white borscht served in a bread bowl that is accompanied by mashed potatoes garnished with bacon for $5.75. Hours: Mon. to Thur. from 12 p.m to 10:30 p.m.; Fri. and Sat. from 12 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Sun. 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

White borscht served in a bread bowl at Karczma (Beril E., Yelp)

God Bless Deli (818 Manhattan Ave.) is a bodega with a strong local following that has Middle Eastern and American food options 24 hours/day. Everything on the bodega menu is under $10, but readers cite the falafel sandwich ($3.49) and chicken over rice ($5) as their favorites. Continue reading

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How You Can Learn About Homeowner’s Rights (12/10)

North Brooklyn neighborhoods have experienced redevelopment over the past decade with demolitions and new construction a common sight. Living directly next to an active construction site can also be a headache, to say the least, and when serious issues arise that may require legal action homeowners can be flummoxed when considering which steps to take.

To help educate the public, a North Brooklyn homeowners’ rights meeting is taking place on Monday, Dec. 10, at the Polish Slavic Center (176 Java St.) at 6 p.m., where reps from the Dept. of Buildings and the offices of Council Member Stephen Levin, State Senator Brian Kavanaugh and Assemblyman Joe Lentol will be in attendance to answer questions. Event organizer and Greenpoint resident Victoria Cambranes worked to put the meeting together over the past few months:

“The idea occurred to me back in October because I had been speaking to quite a few of my neighbors and I’ve been hearing stories for quite some time now about people experiencing cracks, and issues with foundations and getting into litigation with developers, and it seemed like people were only discussing these things once it was too late.

It also occurred to me that many of my neighbors, because they’re older, a lot of them purchased houses in Greenpoint in the 60s and 70s and they don’t really have the wherewithal to go and do their own research and educate themselves, that they were missing a lot of information that could help them prevent a lot of these issues.

I’ve been given a bit of an education just in the last couple of months with DOB procedures, and insurance policies, creating party wall agreements and essentially what your rights are as an adjacent homeowner. And this was all new to me so I’m sure it would be new to a lot more people…I also got involved with a homeowners group down in Crown Heights because I was alerted that State Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright were working on legislation to help protect homeowners, so I’ve been in contact with them and hoping that they could come to educate us in North Brooklyn a little bit about what their work has been and what kind of legislation they hope to pass.”

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Wegmans Announces Hiring Sessions for Navy Yard Expansion

Wegmans rendering at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (via S9 Architecture)

Only a 20-minute bike ride away on the waterfront from Greenpoint, the Rochester, NY-based grocery store Wegmans is scheduled to open at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2019, and is holding information sessions for potential employees starting this week.

The grocery store has locations throughout the Northeast U.S. and the Brooklyn Navy Yard marks Wegmans’ first expansion into NYC. Wegmans is held in high regard by upstate New Yorkers for its typically easy to navigate layout and stellar prepared foods. Not to mention, the store isn’t owned by Jeff Bezos.

Assemblyman Joe Lentol posted a reminder on the upcoming Wegmans information sessions where resume workshops will also help applicants who might need assistance.

The upcoming info sessions are scheduled Nov. 26 – Dec. 6:

Employment center building, 92 Flushing Ave.:

11/26, 11/28 and 11/30 at 11 a.m.

11/29 at 6:30 p.m.

12/1 and 12/2 at 2 p.m.

Ingersoll Community Center, 77 Myrtle Ave.

11/27 and 11/29 at 1 p.m.

12/1 at 11 a.m.

Madison Square Boy+ Girls Club, 240 Nassau St.

11/26 and 11/29 at 10 a.m.

11/28 at 7 p.m.

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The Greenpointer Who Hiked The World’s Longest Footpath


Trekker Laurent Empereur

Many people fantasize about quitting their job to leave on some amazing, life-changing journey, but few actually do. Laurent Empereur though is one of those rare people who didn’t just imagine making an epic journey, he actually did it. Last Spring, fed up with the daily grind, Emperuer quit his job in the restaurant industry, giving up his Greenpoint apartment of eight years and setting off to trek the Appalachian Trail from Northern Georgia over many mountains to Maine. At over 2, 200 miles, the Appalachian Trail is not only the longest hiking trail in the world, but it is also such a mental and physical challenge that only about a quarter of the hikers who set off reach the end of the trail.

Empereur, 41, decided on the trek after celebrating his 40th birthday. After 18 years of working in the grueling world of New York restaurants, Empereur, a French immigrant, was burned out and longed for a chance to reconnect with nature and himself.

Saving his money for a year, he prepared for the trip. Part of Emperuer’s plan was to eat well on his journey. He dehydrated many delicious dishes, which friends mailed to him at P.O. boxes along the route. Whereas other trekkers carried only a few ounces in cooking tools, Empereur shocked other trekkers by bringing over four pounds of serious cooking equipment. Many hikers who ate poorly on the trek were amazed by Empereur’s gourmet dishes, served deep in the woods. Once, he slow cooked a pork shoulder with bacon that was so delicious that it became the envy of all the other hikers on the trail. Although other trekkers have finished the trail faster, few on the trail have equaled Empereur’s culinary feats Although he ate well, the demanding daily routine of hours of hiking still helped him shed twenty-five pounds.

Courtesy of Laurent Empereur

The French Greenpointer set off from Northern Georgia on his journey on April 27th. Although Empereur had prepared well for the culinary aspects of the hike, he had done little to prepare his feet and legs for the grueling multi-month marathon, a mistake he would pay for. By the time he reached Southern Virginia on June 7th, he was suffering from a toe infection called paronychia and from shin splints. Each step became such agony that he considered abandoning his journey. Fortunately though, a fellow hiker was able to treat his paronychia and after a short rest, Empereur was back on the trail. Continue reading

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Greenpoint’s Last Colonial Building: The Duryea House

Meeker Ave Duryea House (Brooklyn Public Library archives)

The Duryea House, a 240-year-old Greenpoint landmark, was sadly destroyed in the days before New York awakened to its own history. The original colonial structure stood on the banks of Newtown Creek until 1921, before it was demolished, an unpardonable offense to local history. No building in local history survived for as long as this piece of early colonial history.

The farmhouse at 418 Meeker Ave was built about 1681; the lower part was constructed of stone with defensive features that allowed the residents to shoot at their Native American enemies who were still a feared presence locally at the time of its construction.

Humphrey Clay, for whom some believe our Clay street is named, operated a ferry across Newtown Creek near the building as early as 1670 and Clay probably erected the Duryea house. In later times a primitive bridge crossed the creek and after 1812, the Newtown and Bushwick Road Company, which was incorporated in 1814, built a bridge on piles. In 1836 the Newtown Road Company Bridge and Turnpike Company was incorporated and built a toll upon stone piers and constructed a shell road through Bushwick. This road was once known as the North Road, but now is Meeker Avenue. The charge to cross the bridge was a penny, hence it was dubbed “The Penny Bridge.” Continue reading

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The Legend of Brooklyn’s Long Defunct Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thomas H. Cullen

The Thanksgiving tale involving Thomas H. Cullen has been repeated in Brooklyn for generations and amazingly, it’s a true story from the 1890s that was retold at numerous political functions for generations. 130 years ago Brooklyn celebrated Thanksgiving far differently. The highlight of the public celebration was a parade that went through much of the City of Brooklyn, heading along Bedford Avenue through Bedford Stuyvesant and Williamsburg. Thousands of spectators turned out for the event and it was a natural draw for aspiring politicians.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives: Feb. 17, 1933

The surest way to present oneself to the voters as a candidate for elected was by riding in the Thanksgiving Parade mounted on a noble horse. Tom Cullen was a young Irish-American longshoreman who dreamt of leaving the sweaty docks of Red Hook by entering local politics, but as a humble dockworker living in an overcrowded tenement, he was too poor to own his own horse. Cullen longed for a horse, but his ambition was not just to ride any horse. Cullen dreamt of riding in the parade atop a noble white steed and nothing would stop Cullen from procuring the white horse of his dreams. The inconvenient truth that Cullen had never actually ridden a horse before in his life seemed unimportant, such was the ambition of this naive aspiring politician. Continue reading

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Here Comes Amazon HQ2-Inspired Real Estate Prospectors


Dutch Kills, connected to the Newtown Creek Superfund site is the next “It Zone” (MTA)

Amazon’s plan to build half of its HQ2 at Anabel Basin in Long Island City,  just a brisk walk from Greenpoint over the Pulaski Bridge, is proving to be a Rorschch test. The homeownership rate in Brooklyn is around 30 percent, leaving the majority of residents in the area feeling the stress of a potential for increased rent, similar to Seatle where rent has risen 39.8 percent over the past fives years.

On the other hand, real estate speculators are salivating at the HQ2 news and see an opportunity for a quick return on investment; online searches for LIC real estate have jumped 300 percent since the HQ2 announcement less than a week ago.

To “help capitalize on local growth,” NYC-based Compound Asset Management, Inc. has launched an “NYC HQ2 Fund” offering an investment opportunity with a “diversified portfolio of properties in neighborhoods such as Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria, Greenpoint, Maspeth, and Long Island City itself.”

Yes, the speculators are coming (in even greater numbers) and are setting their fiesty eyes on the few neighborhoods with remaining charm in NYC. The highest accolades, according to Compound, are reserved for Dutch Kills, the next “It Zone,” a small waterway where raw sewage often overflows connected to the Newtown Creek Superfund. Compound cites in the fact that four luxury buildings are going up at Dutch Kills already. Continue reading

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