Diving In: The Greatest Greenpoint Dives

Armed with $20, a healthy sense of adventure, and a tattered old Tom Waits t-shirt, Greenpointers writer Erik Keithley sets out on a weeklong tour of Greenpoint’s grungiest gems. Note that for the benefit of your billfold, Erik has made note of the cheapest and best beer available at each of these establishments at the time of his visit. You can have a beer at every one of these watering holes over the course of a week for a grand total of $14.75! 


R-Bar |451 Meeker Avenue | 718-486-6116
Best beer deal: Founders All Day IPA for $3

I noticed this bar shortly after moving to Greenpoint and was very intrigued because it shares a name with one of my favorite spots in New Orleans. Thankfully, it is remarkably similar to its barebones Crescent City counterpart. The bar features an austere but friendly interior with red walls, some scattered old trophies, a pool table, and a few booths up front by the electronic jukebox. I went in on a Tuesday night and was the only one there except for the owner Greg and his 12-year old son. The family-run business aspect of the place was quite obvious, as every time I went to pay for a beer the owner would have his son take my money and give me change in order to work on his math skills. Greg seemed like a really great guy and told me he even grills free food for customers on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter (he said he will be hosting a free Labor Day BBQ on Sunday, September 4). R-Bar’s happy hour deal is amazing, as almost every draft is $3 until 9 p.m every day of the week. The only beer that was excluded was a high-end German IPA (BraufactuM Progusta), but that still leaves you with eight other tap selections, including such winners as Founders All Day IPA, Gaffel Kölsch, and Brooklyn Lager. I shot some free pool and ended up getting in a conversation with the 12-year old kid about his favorite heavy metal drummers (Lars Ulrich) and vintage Mario Kart courses (Rainbow Road). This is a basic but friendly neighborhood bar where you can enjoy free pool on Tuesdays, a free jukebox on Wednesday nights, and quality $3 pints every day of the week. Considering you’re just over half a mile from the heart of Williamsburg, that is truly incredible. Continue reading

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Lake Street Owners Grace Us With New Bar Goldie’s

Goldie's Horseshoe Bar
Goldie’s golden bar. Photo by Graham Burns

If Elvis had a favorite Greenpoint bar it would be Goldie’s (195 Nassau Ave.). Tufted leather booths, opulent touches and a dark interior lit by candlelight before sunset, the bar is reminiscent of a 1960’s Vegas lounge. Portraits of Sammy Davis Jr. and Dolly Parton adorn charcoal walls in gold framed paintings imported from Tijuana. In a space that once occupied long standing Cafe Royal turned Cafe Edna, the black and white tiled floors remain, the owners faced the challenge of a layout that’s bisected by a residential staircase. The intrusion creates two separate spaces, creating a pool room near the front window, comfy booths along the entrance and standing room to casually lean into a nifty drink ledge along a wall. In the center of it all is a golden horseshoe bar that’s as enticing as Lady Luck. Continue reading

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Trying Out Reiki at Maha Rose

Maha Rose on Green Street - Photo © T. Joseph
Maha Rose on Green Street – Photo © T. Joseph

The giver of reiki doesn’t push on the receiver’s muscles or pull dirt from their pores, but if they hover close enough they could. They might touch the receiver lightly, but sometimes don’t touch them at all. A healing form developed in the East, reiki is supposed to bring physical and emotional energies into balance through an exchange between the giver and receiver.

I tried reiki for the first time at a donation-driven community event at Maha Rose (97 Green Street). The event listing described reiki as “a high vibration energy that transmutes lower frequency vibrations helping the body to come into balance…” This doesn’t mean much to me. Then again, if someone described the way my phone functions I probably wouldn’t understand it right away. Continue reading

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Carmine’s Pizzeria Sign Comes Down

IMG_7810It’s the end of an era on Norman Avenue. Yesterday, the original Carmine’s Pizza sign came down and the new one went up. What are your memories of Carmine’s from the last 35 years?

Carmine: the man, the pizza legend (via Facebook).
Carmine: the man, the pizza legend (via Facebook).

Carmine closed up shop last year after deciding to retire. In a Facebook post, he wrote:

“After 35 years of serving pizza in the great neighborhood of Greenpoint, I have decided that it is finally time to retire. I thank every person who ever walked into Carmine’s Original Pizza for your business, your conversation and your friendship. I will remember and miss you all. Each day was truly a pleasure because of you!”

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Do You Love Karaoke? Brooklyn Bazaar is Hiring A Karaoke Manager

Image credit BK Bazaar

New/revamped Greenpoint venue Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Avenue) is opening up inside former event hall Polonaise Terrace in just a couple weeks, kicking off on September 9th with a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show. We’ve been lucky enough to see the space ahead of time, and it’s quite impressive. They plan to keep as much of the original vintage decor as possible for a classy retro vibe. The top floor boasts a large concert space, and the ground floor has a restaurant (which will be catered by delicious Brooklyn Star) and another stage area where they’ll host film screenings, speakers and comedy shows. The basement level is where it’s at, though. They’ve got four private karaoke rooms, an arcade with mini golf and ping pong, and a DJ dance party room. They’re currently hiring for a Karaoke Manager, so if you’ve got a bubbly people-friendly personality, this may be the gig for you. Contact info@bkbazaar.com to throw your mic in the ring.

Also, we should note that they’re currently taking karaoke reservations online, so book now ’cause that’s gonna get filled up fast.

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A History of Greenpoint in 25 Buildings: The Capri Social Club

Capri Social Club
Capri Social Club, illustration by Kenzie Kline

No one is sure when the bar that is now called the Capri Social Club (156 Calyer Street) actually opened, but it was sometime in the 1880’s. When you walk into the bar it’s not hard to imagine that you are back in the 1890’s because little has changed. The gorgeous dark woodwork, elegant old bar, the broken clock, dusty nicknacks and turn-of the-century large mirrors recall the Bowery of the late 19th century far more than the gentrifying area outside the bar.

The crowd is mixed. Hipsters love it because it is a cheap place to drink and oozes charm. They fill the place on the weekends, but old-school Greenpointers rule the other nights of the week. They love it because they not only drank there as kids, but their fathers and grandfathers drank there too. These old school “pernters” don’t call it The Capri; they call it Murphy’s because for years Murphy’s was the best Irish bar in Greenpoint. There is an amazing oak back bar that once served local Irish working men their meals. So little has changed that it is not hard to imagine these old Irishmen entering the side door in their work clothes and coming over for a meal. Continue reading

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Free Soil Testing Saturday At McCarren Park

Free Soil TestingThis Saturday, August 27th from 10am-2pm, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth is hosting a totally free Lead in Garden Soil workshop with free soil testing. NAG is working with Brooklyn Colleges Analytical Center on the project and workshops. The workshop will take place at McCarren Park Farmers Market. Soil testing will start at 10AM and processed into the workshop at 10:30. The soil test will screen for heavy metals including zinc, copper, arsenic and lead.

There’s a lot to understand about our soil, especially here in North Brooklyn where there’s so much toxicity. Because of our neighborhood’s industrial past we have one of the worst rates for lead poisoning in children citywide—over three times higher than the NYC average, according to an NYCDOH report from 2010. Lead poisoning is no joke; in children, symptoms include developmental delays, learning difficulties and abdominal pain. Unfortunately, often symptoms don’t appear until lead has accumulated to a dangerously high level.

Workshop attendees will learn the science behind urban soil and how our North Brooklyn soil became toxic from a historical perspective. This is a hands-on workshop with visuals and examples to learn with. This event will be free, family friendly, and open to the public.

If you want to get your soil tested, arrive promptly at 10am and bring a handful of soil in a ziplock baggie. Do it for the kids!

Facebook Event

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Taculito: Little Ass Tacos

All photos via Taculito

Taculito (little ass tacos) is a Mexico City-style taco popup on Friday nights at Brooklyn Safehouse (120 Franklin Street). The chefs, Giovanni Cervantes and Maria Romero, both have creative day jobs and thought it would be fun to fill the taco void in Greenpoint by sharing their kitchen skills and love of traditional Mexican street food. Giovanni is a portrait photographer with a Greenpoint studio and Maria is a textile and fashion designer. Giovanni grew up in Mexico City and lived there until he moved to New York in 2011. Maria was born in Mexico City, raised in Spain and returned to Mexico for college, arriving in New York after a stint living in Italy. Because of their backgrounds, they share a deep affection for authentic Mexican food, which can be difficult to find in New York City. Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

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