When Greenpoint Won the World Series (Well, Sort Of)

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-4-53-13-pmIt’s late October and all the baseball fans will be glued to the World Series. Homer Murray and other Cubs fans will go nuts if the Cubs finally win the world Series, but even many of the most passionate Greenpoint baseball fans are aware that a local team, the Eckford Club was the best team in America before the organization of professional baseball.

Organized in 1855, the Eckford Club won the national championship in 1862 and 1863 in the days when baseball was still an amateur sport. The players were shipwrights who worked in the shipyard of Eckford Webb, at the foot of Milton Street. Although they had little time to practice on account of the sixty-hour weeks they worked, the Eckford players succeeded nevertheless because shipbuilding made them incredibly fit and strong. Continue reading

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Sunday Snaps – Minstrels of Greenpoint

There are a few things that just make you stop dead in your tracks and smile. Maybe you’re even in a hurry, rushing along down the street, and then that wondrous sound comes to your ears – a voice and some sweet strums of an instrument playing a favorite song of yours. I’ve always thought musicians are to a neighborhood what fish are to a stream – an indicator of health and liveliness. If you can walk around for a whole day and not see anyone walking down the sidewalk carrying an instrument or sharing a song, you might want to think twice about what that says about the creative vitality of the place. Luckily for us, Greenpoint is full of musicians, and so today’s photo essay honors these minstrels and everyday suppliers of soul.

I found Jack Simchak breaking in a new guitar of his in McCarren Park. He was playing some beautiful classical guitar arpeggiations, which fit the feeling of a gorgeous late October day perfectly. Check out Jack’s project, Resident Electric.

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Greenpoint gets a Tower, Newtown Creek Hoax?, and Halloween Fun – The Hook-up 10/21

Teacher Maura Flanagan of P.S. 373 (185 Ellery St.) brought students up to visit the McCarren Park Greenmarket. Students at P.S. 373 have their own gardens and were seeing how a real farmer’s market organizes and operates.

Been wondering what the massive building is going up between India and Huron Street along West Street? It’s “The Greenpoint”, a 40-story condo building, the details of which have been spilled in this article from Curbed.

For further proof that the G-entrification train now stops in Greenpoint, check out this piece from the New York Times.

A LaGuardia Community College assistant professor has reportedly contacted Progress Queens claiming that recent allegations made by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection regarding Newtown Creek are “a hoax” in line with “the strategy of corporations that are allegedly responsible for the pollution of Newtown Creek”.

The Better With Pets Expo, hosted this week at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint, got some press on News 12 this week (disclaimer: “exclusive content for Optimum, Time Warner Comcast customers”.)

The Newtown Creek Alliance hosted their latest Superfund Community Advisory Group meeting last night at the McCarren Park Pool Community Room. There was a presentation by the EPA, including an open discussion with the community.

Last Saturday’s Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund Open House event got some press in this article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

PS 110, The Monitor School will be hosting their Fall Carnival on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 2-6pm at the PS 110 school playground (corner of Driggs and Monitor). Among other fun Halloween activities, the event will feature a haunted house, pumpkin painting, and carnival games. All proceeds will benefit the school.

Music Off McGolrick and the Tarot Society will be hosting “All of Them Witches” tonight at 8pm at the Park Church Co-op (129 Russell St.) The event will feature music, tarot readings and all sorts of spooky entertainment.

Vert Gardens (193 Banker St.) will be hosting their final plant sale before moving on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10am-4pm. Check out this Greenpointers post with more information on Vert’s moving.

The Participatory Budgeting process for District 33 has moved from the idea collection phase to the project development phase. Over 20 budget delegates have started reviewing over 100 ideas that have made it this far. There is still time to be a budget delegate. Click here for more information.

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Weekend Music, or a Sensual Evening with Billy Dee Williams

How many of our cultural milestones now seem creepy after Trump and Cosby.

Today my Guide to the Good Life gives you two legendary musicians playing locally and a classical concert at Greenpoint’s iconic Polish church.

Plus, there’s an eight-band pileup at Don Pedro, the best combination drag/cumbia/goth/dive bar on Manhattan Avenue since 2001.

You can also find a lovely velvet painting of Billy Dee Williams at Don Pedro.
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Sunday Fundays at the Brooklyn Bazaar now has Southern Comfort Brunch!

Photo © TimeOut NY
Photo © TimeOut NY

Greenpoint funhouse and art Deco digs of Brooklyn Bazaar’s (150 Greenpoint Ave) newest incarnation is proud to host Chef Quino Baca’s Brooklyn Star outpost – turning out hangover-friendly takes on Southern comfort staples, with desserts by local bakers. Aprés brunch activities include blacklight minigolf, arcade, ping-pong, karaoke, local merchant market, and shows in the music venue room, making it a Sunday funday for all ages.

bkbazaar_brunch_525pxThe playful menu from The Brooklyn Star showcases clever takes on Southern and Southwest-inspired favorites (Chicken and Waffles get a drizzle of “hot honey;” French Toast Sticks are a luscious version of street-hawker churros) and gives a new reason for New Yorkers of all ages “to come out and stay” on a Sunday: to eat, shop and play! 

After brunch, patrons can find themselves upstairs catching a show or other scheduled program in the historically reimagined Music Venue, already lauded as the best room of its size in Brooklyn.  Dinner service resumes at 6PM, with Sunday game specials on the flat screen TV’s in the Dining Hall. Dinner service hours weekly are from 6PM – 10PM Tuesday through Sunday. Continue reading

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Introducing: Greenpoint Hill

Kim Fowler, Greenpoint Hill
Kim Brown, Greenpoint Hill. Photo: Andy P. Smith

Launching Greenpoint Hill feels like kismet for Kim Brown. Previously a studio and storage annex for Pentatonic Guitars, the space is now renovated and feels cozy and warm with brick walls painted white and light, wooden shelves. She’d had her eye on the space at 100 Freeman Street for a while and the time has come to open as an art gallery and retail shop.

For the opening, the inventory is very ceramic heavy, which is where Brown’s sensibilities are now, but she’s open to housing other types of sculpture and handmade objects as well. She’s in discussion with wood workers and hoping to get a few furniture pieces.

Brown aims to curate a collection for people who just appreciate art or jewelry or the functional work to use in their everyday lives, rather than collectors.

“I’m really honored to have all the participating artists,” says Brown. “I’m feeling optimistic about the space, thinking it’ll be fun!”

Brown also plans to host events and workshops and is currently exhibiting a a series of gouache paintings by Libby VanderPloeg titled “Ladies Who Lead”. The exhibition opening reception is tonight, Thursday, Oct 20th, 7-10pm.

Works by Lenny
“Ladies Who Lead” by Libby VanderPloeg

Featuring portraits of inspirational women paired with quotes, the series is part one of two, and opens tonight, supporting Brown’s mission for Greenpoint Hill, which is to act as a “place where people can buy art, rather than a fixed exhibition space.”

Brown and I agreed: the paintings would make great holiday gifts.

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Iron Man Returns Next Week To House of Yes!

Iron ManWe last caught up with champion shirt-presser Iron Man at his Pete’s Candy Store residency back in July. Now the pro-ironer is pressing on with a new event next week, attempting “synchronized ironing” during a screening of the movie Carrie. (We think A Wrinkle In Time would have been more appropriate.) Bring any clothes you want ironed, prom clothes preferred, but any will be accepted for pressing.

James Hook with Sarah Lapinski
Little Cinema @ House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Ave., Bushwick)
October 25 & 26th
7pm-10pm, $10 | Tickets available here

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Thursday Spotlight: Jay Buim aka Beard Wizard

Jay Buim, aka Beard Wizard
Jay Buim, aka Beard Wizard

If you’ve seen the music video for “Seasons” by Future Islands, or caught the Creative Time preview video of the Kara Walker installation at Domino Sugar factory, you’ve seen the work of Jay Buim, aka Beard Wizard.

We recently caught up to talk about “going pro”, VHS dork cliches, and podcasts.

Greenpointers: You’ve shot music videos for musicians like Motez and Future Islands but also shot commercials for Lean Cuisine and J. Crew… personally, I really like both categories of your work. But I wonder if it feels differently for you?  I imagine the budgets are much different for independent bands versus corporate clients but does it feel differently to you, like, is one work and one passion or are you making films and videos, professionally, and is that all that really matters?

Jay Buim: Regardless of what the project is, I can’t commit myself to it if there isn’t an aspect that hooks me in. I seem to completely throw myself into whatever project I am working on, and all that focus and stress and work wouldn’t be worth it if there wasn’t something about it that made me feel like I had to make this, this story needs to be told and I think I am the person to do that. There is so much constant conflict and self doubt to get things made that the only thing to power through it is enthusiasm. If you don’t have that, you are just wasting time. An added bonus of doing commercial work is that it allows you to take on projects where lack of budget isn’t a roadblock.

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The Fascinating “King of Greenpoint” at Shayz Lounge

Author Geoff Cobb reads colorful tales of legendary Greenpoint politician, Peter McGuinness on Tuesday night at Shayz Lounge.

Last night, local historian, teacher, and author Geoffrey Cobb delighted a full house at Shayz Lounge (130 Franklin Street) with a selection of readings from his latest book, The King of Greenpoint. The book is about Peter J. McGuinness, the man for whom McGuinness Boulevard is named.

McGuinness was born on Eagle Street in 1888, and despite having no high school eduction and being a 300-pound lumber handler and blue collar laborer, managed to become one of the most influential politicians Greenpoint has ever seen.

Through pure charisma, lots of street smarts, and an ardent dedication to his everyday, working class constituents, McGuinness was able to get elected as an alderman in 1919, thus beginning a long and rich political career.  Continue reading

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Spirits Circus Cabaret, Halloween Flea Market, Pumpkin Carving Contest – What’s happening, Greenpoint? (10/19–10/25)

There are more events in our weekly calendarSubmit Greenpoint events, too!

14522913_725221424296056_2199036423498173546_nWEDNESDAY 10/19
☺ Stir Crazy Wednesdays @ Slick Willie (179 Meserole Ave) 8pm, FREE, A weekly comedy show hosted by Aldo Marachilian, More info
* Final Presidential Debate @ The Diamond (43 Franklin St) 9pm, FREE, With free popcorn both to eat and to throw at the screen, More info

14707850_10154586974802052_3893117622560484351_oTHURSDAY 10/20
* Damn Good 
@ Triskelion Arts (106 Calyer St) 8pm, $16, A performance art series that brings together artists whose work resists categorization and invites experimentation, Buy tix
* Pat October 
@ Union Pool (484 Union Ave) 10pm, FREE, With Ani Klang / Adam Radakovich / Volvox / JD Samson / OLIVE T / Amber Valentine, RSVP
* Dragnet Halloween @ The Metropolitan (559 Lorimer St) 11pm, FREE, With Maddelynn Hatter / Crystal Mesh / Zenobia / Merrie Cherry / Francesca, More info

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