Who’s on the Ballot in North Brooklyn for the June 23rd Primary?

2020 is the year of the pandemic, but before we were sequestered inside our homes it was another fairly typical election year. New York will still hold Democratic primaries on June 23rd, and arguably the most consequential contests of the year are in North Brooklyn where a number upstart candidates seek to unseat longtime incumbents.

Reminder: The Board of Elections began mailing absentee ballot applications this week, but If you’re already a registered NYC voter then you can complete the online absentee ballot application right now. The deadline to apply is June 16th.

With only a month away from a primary with national, state and local implications, who’s on the ballot in North Brooklyn? Continue reading

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Emergency Pantry Seeks Volunteers to Prepare Food Packages for Holocaust Survivors

Volunteers in action at the food pantry fulfillment center in Greenpoint.

An emergency food pantry processing center has set up shop in Greenpoint and is in need of volunteers to help prepare aid packages.

A partnership between the non-profit organization Met Council and Yeshiva University is behind the effort to deliver groceries Holocaust survivors and homebound senior citizens who are especially vulnerable during the current pandemic.

With the new fulfillment center at 21 India St. processing between 500 – 2,000 food packages per day, volunteers are needed for morning, lunchtime and afternoon two-hour shifts; personal protective equipment will be provided for safety.

Other local pantries have also introduced delivery in response to the challenges caused by the pandemic, including the Greenpoint Hunger Program and the upstart pantry Food For Brooklyn.

The Met Council initiative utilizes volunteer UberEats vehicles to deliver to the groceries packaged at the fulfillment center.

 

 

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Greenpoint Met Foods Employees Receive Mutual Aid Bonus for Work During Coronavirus

Thank you cards are delivered to Met Foods employees. (Image courtesy of Will Rahilly)

A fundraiser for Greenpoint grocery store employees raised over $6,000 as a thank you for their work during the cornoavirus crisis.

Members of the co-operative arts space Sunview Luncheonette launched the campaign in April to compensate the 19 Met Foods (131 Driggs Ave.) workers with bonus pay, raising $6,240.

Lead organizer Dylan Gauthier says that the owner of the grocery store is happy for his employees to be recognized and matched the donation. The campaign’s co-organizers are Birgit Rathsmann and Rick Karr. Continue reading

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Greenpoint This Week: Open Streets in North Brooklyn, Closed Circles in the Park, Dance Parties on the Street, and More!

Domino Park debuts social distancing circles. (Image via Amanda Dombrowski)

Happy weekend Greenpointers! New York’s PAUSE is officially extended through May 28th and five Upstate regions have been cleared to reopen in stages, while NYC can look forward to more “open streets.”

In a sign that balance is returning to the neighborhood, both Acapulco (1116 Manhattan Ave.) and Oxomoco (128 Greenpoint Ave.) reopened this week. The restaurant and business landscape is constantly changing and the revamped “Essentially Open” map from North Brooklyn Neighbors and co. now lists over 600 Greenpoint and Williamsburg businesses and services operating during the coronavirus crisis.

An entry to be added to the map: The new Williamsburg location of Colombian roasters PQ Coffee which will open on Saturday at 34 N. 6th St. following months of delays.

This Sunday’s McGolrick Park Farmers Market will be the first where a pre-order and pickutp option is available via phone app, although the weekly deadline to place a pre-order is Thursday.

If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity then the Met Council has a job for you at their new emergency food pantry in Greenpoint.

Remember to wear a mask, and In the meantime catch up on this week’s headlines from around the neighborhood: Continue reading

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Social Distancing Circles Added to Domino Park Lawn

Domino Park on Friday (Image via Amanda Dombrowski)

Painted circles were added to the Domino Park lawn on Friday to help park-goers stick to social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. The NYPD stepped-up enforcement at the Williamsburg park one week ago when Mayor de Blasio said he would be limiting the amount of people allowed to enter certain NYC Parks at once.

 

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New social distancing circles on the grass @dominopark 📷: @amanda.dombrowski

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Crowds have regularly gathered at North Brooklyn parks since the start of the pandemic as measures to deter visitors have included the removal of basketball rims, and the closure of tennis courts and fitness equipment at McCarren Park. Continue reading

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Nacho Showdown to Raise Money for Restaurant Employees Relief Fund

Homer and Bill Murray (Image via 21 Greenpoint)

21 Greenpoint (21 Greenpoint Ave.) chef and owner Homer Murray and his father are scheduled to team up in a nach0 making contest on Friday to raise money for laid off restaurant workers.

In an livestreamed event hosted by the Food Network, the Murrays will compete against Guy Fieri and his son to see who can whip up the best nachos. Fans of the nachos from the River Styx days know that the competition will be tough. Continue reading

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Find What’s Open in North Brooklyn With This Crowdsourced Map

Essentially Open map from North Brooklyn Neighbors, North Brooklyn Mutual Aid and BetaNYC.

The new map from North Brooklyn Neighbors showing business hours and the currently available services in the neighborhood has received an upgrade in a partnership with local organizations BetaNYC and North Brooklyn Mutual Aid.

An initial version of the Essentially Open map launched at the end of April in response to the coronavirus crisis and now lists more than 600 businesses and service providers in Greenpoint and Williamsburg including pharmacies, laundromats, grocery stores, and restaurants along with delivery and takeout details when available.

A team from all three organizations will keep the map updated as business hours change and there’s a link for anyone to submit edits and add listings.

 

 

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Greenpoint and Williamsburg Will Have “Open Streets” Starting Thursday

Select streets near McCarren Park will be closed to traffic starting on Thursday. (Image via Google Maps)

12 miles of additional streets that will be temporarily closed to vehicles were introduced on Wednesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio as part of NYC’s Open Streets initiative to provide more space away from overcrowded parks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Greenpoint and Williamsburg streets that will be “open” starting Thursday morning include: Continue reading

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Assembly Member Joe Lentol Calls For Open Streets in Greenpoint and Williamsburg

The intersection of Greenpoint and Manhattan Avenue.

New York Assembly Member Joe Lentol is calling for the open streets plan announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio to include areas in Greenpoint and Williamsburg in order to ease overcrowding in parks.

Mayor de Blasio announced last Friday that the NYPD will enforce stricter social distancing measures on crowds in NYC parks, including limiting the number of visitors to Williamsburg’s popular getaway Domino Park.

On Tuesday, Lentol requested in a letter to de Blasio that the Department of Transportation identify local streets to reserve for pedestrian use as part of his plan:

“I am writing to request an expansion of the Open Streets program to my North Brooklyn Assembly District. The intent of this program is to provide the public with more open space at a time when it is desperately needed. The communities of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have seen large crowds in our parks over the past few weekends as the spring weather sets in. This is especially true at Domino Park, McCarren Park, McGolrick Park, Fort Greene Park and Transmitter Park.

In the interest of public health and in keeping with the spirit of social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis, I call on you and the Department of Transportation to identify streets in North Brooklyn that can be temporarily converted for open space and pedestrian use in order to ease the burden on overcrowded parks in this community.”

Continue reading

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Restaurant Delivery App Fees to Be Regulated in NYC

Adelina’s (159 Greenpoint Ave.) (Image courtesy of Adelina’s)

Restaurant owners have for years pushed back against third-party food delivery app fees, and now the NYC Council is poised vote on legislation on Wednesday to limit such apps in response to the financial strain put on small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday Mayor de Blasio said that he supports a proposed NYC Council bill regualting delivery app fees, which will likely be capped at 20%, the NY Post reports.

Owner of Italian restaurant Adelina’s (159 Greenpoint Ave.) Toby Buggiani says that certain apps can charge restaurants over 30% per order. “There have been some partners of restaurants that have lowered their fees, and some restaurants have lowered their prices to survive and make it through this. We’re all operating on a different scale then we used to be,” Buggiani said.

“The problem with platforms like Seamless is that they have not lowered their fees,” he said. “Right now my margin for Grubhub is 32% and if I’m marking up a bottle of wine for 30%, then I’m loosing on the sale.” Continue reading

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