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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Thursday Spotlight: Ever Present With George Underwood, Photographer

Self portrait, George Underwood
Self portrait, George Underwood

Many artists’ studios feel like a cluttered curation, and sometimes they can be intimidatingly bohemian, but George Underwood’s creative haven in Greenpoint is surprisingly tidy and welcoming. The large prints on the walls and huge projector screen above, accompanied by a few audience seated chairs below compliments the fact that he is a devoted and driven photographer who is passionate about his work. Underwood, 30, views photography as more than just a hobby, but as a way to document modern day interactions in a fast-paced society. Being an only child of a single mother, he spent his alone time quietly observing places and people in his town, which sparked a love of photography through stilling those moments in time as an outside observer. From George’s own lens, literally and figuratively speaking, he captures how people interact with a space and with each other, surrounded by the technology ever so present in their lives. 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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Food Sex Lit, Electroacoustic Music, Dirty Book Fair, MTA Love Poems, Hip Hop Karaoke — What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (7/12–7/18)

WEDNESDAY 7/12

♦ New Paintings by Self-Indulgence @ South 4th Bar (90 South 4th St), 6pm, FREE, All new paintings by Self-Indulgence featuring the writing styles of lengendary graffiti artist OUI, More info
# Sex on Stage: Creative Activism Dinner @ New Women Space (188 Woodpoint Rd), 7pm, by Donation, Community potluck discussion with feminist activists who are using the performing arts to educate the public about sexuality, Buy tix
* Royal Headache @ House of Vans (25 Franklin St), 7pm, FREE, Hell yeah good times and rad new memories with Sheer Mag, Downtown Boys, RSVP


THURSDAY 7/13

♫ Spain-Brooklyn Music Series @ Nowadays (56-06 Cooper Ave), 6pm, $15, A celebration of the best independent music from Spain and Brooklyn with El Guincho, Extraperlo, Noia and Turnbull Green (DJ set), Buy tix
# Pizza Night
@ Archestratus (160 Huron St), 7pm, $2, Pick up to ten of twenty available toppings to create the personal pizza of your dreams! $18 per pie day-of ($2 to RSVP). We have gluten-free crusts, too! RSVP
* Resist: Learning from the Young Lords at [email protected] @UnionDocs (322 Union Ave), 7:30pm, $10, Approaching questions of how the Young Lords fight for economic, racial and social justice has changed in the present day. Discuss how the community based in the Southside of Williamsburg views and continues their work today, Buy tix
^ Lips, Teeth, Tongue: An Evening of Food Sex Lit @ The William Vale Hotel (111 North 12th St), 8pm, by Donation, Salacious evening of readings to tickle your tongue, your brain and your funny bone. From New York’s seductive burlesque performers to its hungry food editors, our readers are experts in the sensory pleasures of taste, More info
♫ Panorama x Working Women @ Black Flamingo (168 Borinquen Pl), 10pm, FREE, With Gene Tellem b2b Lis Dalton and Barbie Bertisch. Chance to win a pair of 3-Day VIP passes to Panorama with RSVP plus a pair of passes will be given out at the show, RSVP
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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Beat The Heat With FREE Ice Cream This Weekend at MOFAD!

Haagen Dazs

On a hot summer day, there’s not much better than treating yourself to some ice cold creamy goodness. The Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD, 62 Bayard St) is teaming up with Häagen-Dazs to give away free ice cream at the museum this weekend, Saturday July 15th and Sunday July 16th from 12-5pm.

Visitors to the museum will receive a free individual cup to enjoy, with no purchase required.

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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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Lit + Libidos at the Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair This Weekend (7/15-16)!

Gabriel Sacco
Art by Gabriel Sacco

It’s mid-July and hopefully by now you’ve had the chance to get some proper summer lovin’. If not, then Greenpoint’s first ever erotic book fair and sexy afterparty this weekend might be the perfect place for you to get your summertime jollies. MATTE Magazine is presenting the Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair Saturday and Sunday July 15th and 16th, from 12pm-9pm at Point Green Studio (260 Java Street). You can find out more details and RSVP on Facebook.

From the organizers:

Crushed, the first annual Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair, is a platform for independent publishers of erotic and pornographic material and artists working with sex. Curated by former VICE Photo Editor Matthew Leifheit, the fair will feature two small-scale exhibitions, a selection of publications and prints for sale, a program of performances and readings, live nude classical and jazz musicians, smutty film screenings, and an orgy afterparty.

Continue reading

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