Greenpoint This Week: Post Office Audit Results, Manhattan Ave Rat Funeral, Ria Bella Closes, and More!

A sunny afternoon this week in Greenpoint commenced the New Year.

Happy New Year Greenpointers! Will 2020 mark a new start for local mail delivery?

The U.S. Postal Service Inspector General released audit results on Greenpoint and Williamsburg post offices initiated by Assemblyman Joe Lentol, finding lots of room for improvement.

Speaking of improvements, the DOT will close part of the Pulaski Bridge on Saturday for maintenance with no access for Brooklyn-bound traffic from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m., and on Monday, the DOT will begin installing a new style of a protected bike lane on the south side of Grand Street.

A Solidarity March with NYC’s Jewish Community is taking place on Sunday morning in response to a sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes, many of which have been perpetrated in North Brooklyn.

For other local news, catch-up on this week’s headlines from around the neighborhood: Continue reading

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Former Tomcats Employees Open Cut Shop on Nassau Avenue

Tomcats Barber Shop (135 India St.) closed abruptly in October.

Tomcats Barber Shop (135 India St.) closed abruptly last October after 13 years leaving the staff with only two days notice to come up with a plan: “We are certainly sticking together and opening a shop together,” Manny Zee, a Tomcats employee of nine years, told Greenpointers. Continue reading

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Solidarity March in Support of NYC Jewish Community Happening Sunday (1/5)

A solidarity march in support of the NYC Jewish community is happening this Sunday

A solidarity march with the New York Jewish community is taking place this Sunday for people of all backgrounds to stand in unity following a spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes over the past year. The march will begin at Foley Square in Manhattan on Sunday at 11 a.m. and will end at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn after a procession over the Brooklyn Bridge. Continue reading

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Openings and Closings to Start the New Year

Ria Bella Pizza has been closed since early December.

It’s now a new year, but the changes in the neighborhood continued during the holiday season with the closure of both a Greenpoint pizzeria and a longtime neighborhood shop in Williamsburg, along a few business openings.


Greenpoint appears to be down one spectacular pizza spot as the Paul Giamatti approved Ria Bella (1049 Manhattan Ave.), which opened in 2014, has been closed since early December.

The Sicilian style pies were reason enough to venture to the northernmost stretch of Manhattan Avenue, and concerned customers have contacted Greenpointers asking if the business is reopening as no official closing announcement was made. We reached out to the owners and are waiting to hear back, but Ria Bella’s Yelp page lists the business as closed.

Fuego 718 Store in Williamsburg is now closed

Over in Williamsburg, Fuego 718 Store (249 Grand St.), a neighborhood shop with colorful handmade goods from Mexico and around the world opened in 2004 and closed last week after 16 years of business.

Alex Aldama (Courtesy of Fuego 718 Store)

The business was profiled by the NY Times in 2015, and owner Alex Aldama posted a thank you note to the community announcing the closure last September:

My gratitude to you is huge and indescribable!
What a great pleasure to have walked with you and the hand of so many artisans, artists, women and men whose creations and art have pulled a smile from our lips, they have brought us happiness to our lives and the lives of those we love so much!


Over the past decade, luxury development has proliferated around East River State Park, but dive bar prices can now be found on the corner of N. 8th Street and Kent Avenue at Dolly’s Swing and Dive (101 Kent Ave.), the newest Williamsburg watering hole complete with a jukebox and a throwback vibe to the 1930s – 1970s.

To complement the reasonably-priced drinks, the menu features pub classics like house-baked pretzels and smaller bites like vegetarian taquitos. Winter hours (Nov. 1st – April 1st) are Mon. – Fri. from 3 p.m. – 4 a.m., and Sat. – Sun. from 12 p.m. – 4 a.m.


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Just a quick walk up Kent Avenue to the corner of Grand Street, Two Hands (262 Kent Ave.), also celebrated its grand opening last week. The Australian-inspired restaurant has a clean, Instagram-friendly aesthetic likely to draw a brunch crowd seeking out avocado toast and açaí bowls.


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Other locations of Two Hands are in NoLita, NoHo, and TriBeCa, and an Austin, TX location is also in the works.

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Greenpoint This Week: Pulaski Bridge Mayhem, Safe Way Home Act Passes, Missing Young Fruit Manager, and More!

A sunrise on Manhattan Avenue this week.

Happy Holidays Greenpointers! A new neighborhood bar, Dolly’s Swing & Dive, opens tonight with a “coming out party” at 101 Kent Ave. featuring drink and food specials. An Australian-inspired cafe, Two Hands. also opened today down the street from Dolly’s at 262 Kent Ave.

If you’re celebrating Hannukah or want to join in the festivities, The Chabad of Greenpoint will host an outdoor menorah lighting at the corner of Greenpoint Avenue and Franklin Street on Saturday night at 8 p.m.

On a sad and serious development this holiday week, Kong Chae Choi, manager of the recently closed Young Fruit (192 Nassau Ave.) for over 30 years, has been missing since Monday, December 23rd when he was last seen leaving his former workplace.

Have a safe weekend and catch up on this week’s headlines:

New York’s Safe Way Home Act is now officially law thanks to Greenpoint resident Deborah Spiroff and local politicians. (Greenpointers)

In search of New Year’s Eve events? Here are some local spots to ring in the new year. (Greenpointers)

A driver abandoned his car after getting stuck on the Pulaski Bridge’s pedestrian lane.  (ABC7)

The NYPD is increasing police presence in Williamsburg and five other Brooklyn neighborhoods to combat an increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes. (Gothamist)

Leonard Library’s Lauren Comito was named Librarian of the Year. (Library Journal)

NYC’s “affordable housing” lottery lists new Greenpoint apartments on Freeman Street to apply for. (6sqft)

35-year-old Emily Gallagher is the second person to challenge Assemblymember Joe Lentol in a primary and the first since 2010. (The City)

Here’s a new glimpse of 292 North 8th St., a forthcoming student housing development from The Collective. (NY YIMBY)

A 26-year-old man was shot and wounded in the subway in Williamsburg on Christmas morning. (NY Daily News)

Why do so many stores have coffee shops? (NY Times)

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Greenpointers’ Crowdfunding Effort Inspires New York State Law

NY State Senate chamber (courtesy of Flickr/JVL)

New York’s Safe Way Home Act, which started from Greenpoint resident Deborah Spiroff’s crowdfunding campaign to provide sexual assault victims free transportation home from the hospital following treatment, is now officially law.

Governor Cuomo signed the act into law this week and Senate Bill S3966A, as it’s known, goes into effect in three months, NBC reports.

The Governor’s 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda passed legislation this year including criminalizing revenge porn and strengthening workplace harassment protections, but the Safe Way Home Act uniquely has Greenpoint roots.

Concerns were raised by Spiroff for sexual assault survivors who have to walk home alone after being discharged from Wyckoff Heights Medical Center where she has volunteered in the Violence Intervention Treatment Program for three years.

“I’ve had more than one case where after the person has been treated they’re just released, and they literally were walking home from Wycoff Hospital at 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock in the morning,” Spiroff told Greenpointers last winter when the bill was first introduced. Continue reading

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Menorah Lighting and Hanukkah Celebration This Saturday (12/28) Hosted by Chabad of Greenpoint

The Chabad of Greenpoint will celebrate Hanukkah with an outdoor menorah lighting this weekend in Greenpoint.

Everyone is invited and the lighting is open to the public with latkes, candles, and dreidels supplied; the menorah lighting takes place at the corner of Greenpoint Avenue and Franklin Street (next to the Pencil Factory building) on Saturday, December 28th, at 8 p.m. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Fruit Market Manager Missing Since Monday (12/23)

Kong Chae Choi has been missing since Monday 12/23.

Kong Chae Choi, who managed the recently closed Young Fruit (192 Nassau Ave.) for over 30 years, has been missing since Monday, December 23rd.

Choi was last seen on Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the closed Young Fruit in Greenpoint at 192 Nassau Ave. His daughter Grace has contacted the NYPD and is looking for any information: “It is with great sadness (and anxiety) I write this, in hopes that the community may help with our family’s search…He is a loving father and family man and we wish for nothing more than his safe return.”

If you have any information please call 917-575-7976 :

Name: Kong Chae Choi
Height: 5’5
Age: 67
Car: White 2009 Ford Econoline
Plates: JDZ7412

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Greenpoint Activist Vies to Unseat 47-Year Incumbent Lentol

Greenpoint resident Emily Gallagher is running for state Assembly. (Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY)

This story was originally published on 12/23/19 by THE CITY. (By: Claudia Irizarry Aponte)

Emily Gallagher is no stranger to being a squeaky wheel.

The 35-year-old Greenpoint activist has tackled hyper-local issues like bike safety and the 94th Precinct’s response to sexual violence. She ran for district leader in 2016, losing by 344 votes.

Earlier this year Gallagher, a member of Brooklyn Community Board 1, suggested that the board use special City Council funds for a service that tracks constituent issues. The board revealed it bought an SUV instead.

“I try to choose battles that are activist battles,” she said.

Now, she’s taking on a longshot primary campaign to unseat Democratic Assemblymember Joe Lentol, a third-generation lawmaker who has represented Greenpoint and nearby areas for the last 47 years.

Gallagher is only the second person to challenge Lentol in a primary — and the first since 2010.

Lentol handily won that primary with 81% of the vote. Continue reading

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Driver Gets Car Stuck on Pulaski Bridge Pedestrian Lane

A protected pedestrian lane of the Pulaski Bridge. (Image courtesy of Taylor Bingham)

A driver of a Honda Accord abandoned his car after getting the car stuck in the protected pedestrian lane of the Pulaski Bridge early Thursday morning.

The NYPD responded to the scene at around 3 a.m. and it took hours for the Emergency Service Unit to remove the car via partial demolition and the use of a tow truck, ABC7 reports. Continue reading

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