Despite the news of each new piece of horrendous legislation, it’s been helping me to remember that reading and writing are a form of social justice. April is National Poetry Month, and as celebrated poet Mary Oliver wrote in her new book of essays, Upstream, “…The poem was made not just to exist, but to speak—to be company.”
This spring, let your community be your company. Greenpoint is brimming with writers and artists who are using their voices to build spaces where you can share, listen, learn, and make a plan for moving forward; keep reading for three places you can join in the conversation.
Come by the library on Saturday, March 25th from 10:30am-11:30am to learn how to join Friends of Greenpoint Library. Meet your neighbors, plan special events, and brainstorm ways to support the Greenpoint Library and its community. A branch library can have a greater impact when it has an active and vibrant friends group. If you love your local library and want to be more involved then this is the place for you!
Donna Siafakas, the owner of Peter Pan Donuts & Pastry Shop (727 Manhattan Ave.) and Nick Giannios, owner of The Greenpoint Floral Company (703 Manhattan Ave.) are two long-time local residents and successful Manhattan Avenue merchants who are trying to give back the community at holiday time, but they’re learning that things ain’t the way they used to be.
Siafakas loved the holiday lights that used to signal the start of every holiday season on Manhattan Avenue. She related to me how local merchants used to all chip in and collect money for the lights as a thank you to customers who supported local businesses. In those days, Manhattan Avenue business owners were locals with families and had deep ties to the community. Years ago a civic minded local Jewish merchant used to organize the lighting drive and collected the money, which most local store owners were only to happy to contribute.
Giannos and Siafakos have tried to keep the tradition alive, but times have changed and so has the willingness of merchants to fund the holiday lights. Siafakas said that she was shocked by the resistance to contributing for the avenue lights. She does not want local shoppers to chip in, and feels that it’s a way for store owners to show their love for the community; but fewer than half the businesses have contributed so far, and some shop owners told her outright that they would not contribute because they did not celebrate the holiday season. Continue reading →
New Women Space (188 Woodpoint Road, 1A) is an amazing new event space in Williamsburg created for women to connect with other women and build community. Founded by two women intrigued by collaboration and community—Melissa Wong of Up Speak, and Sandra Hong of Girl Party—New Women Space currently has a variety of offerings, and will be evolving to include even more.
“New Women Space is a response to the idea that women are asking for things. Women are amplifying their voices in the workplace and at their dinner tables,” says co-founder Melissa. Continue reading →
This week’s photo essay focuses on people that have been in Greenpoint a while and have stories to tell about it. Whether they remember movies at The Chopin Theater or when McGuinness Boulevard was still cobblestone, these folks are everyday guardians of the neighborhood’s history and traditions. If you are lucky enough to see them walking down the street, say hello, politely ask them about their memories of the neighborhood, and get ready for the best history lesson of your life… Continue reading →
The meeting description reads: “A number of violent and harassing incidents have happened recently around our community. This is a meeting to discuss how to proceed in creating a safer neighborhood, sharing concerns and brainstorming impactful solutions. We will not solve this problem overnight, but solidarity will help us to move forward.”
According to Gothamist, the details of the incidents are still “thin and preliminary” and DNAInfo reported that no rape has been reported as of Monday according to Pete Rose of the 94th precinct. That said, we as Greenpoint residents are incredibly alarmed by these assaults.
“hello to my nyc community – I just ran into an old friend who had a beyond horrible thing happen to her a few days ago and I must spread the word. She was walking to the deli on Sutton street bt driggs and nassau, near mcgolrick park, and was attacked and raped by a group of teenagers who stabbed the side of her neck with a knife. She is beyond lucky to be alive. I haven’t heard anything or seen any signs around the neighborhood about this, so I am using facebook to spread the word. I know a lot of you live in that area, and you should be aware of this! Please be careful out there! And if anyone has any information that may be useful in this – if you have heard other stories like this in the past few months – anything! just let me know and I will pass it along to her so she can get it to the police.”
The NYPD has an interactive crime map of the city you can view here. Again, it bears repeating that if you or someone you know has been the victim of rape or sexual assault, you can call the Safe Horizon Rape and Sexual Assault hotline 24/7 at (212) 227-3000. If you have information related to the incident, reach out to the 94th Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 383-8495 or the main line at (718) 383-3879.
Volunteer-run farm and gathering space Bushwick City Farm (354 Stockton St. @ Lewis Ave) is hosting their second annual fundraiser this Sunday afternoon, September 18th.
“Come enjoy a delightful day of music, drinks, and Chicken Sh*t Bingo—win cash prizes and gift certificates from local businesses! Plus: face painting, Cargo Bike hay rides, a piñata, and more – fun for the whole family! How does Chicken Sh*t Bingo work? We feed our chickens a sumptuous meal and let them loose on a life-size game board. Attendees buy squares (two for $5!), and wait for the birds to do their business. If your square is deemed defecation-worthy, you win an awesome prize!”
In this second installment of the Gastronaut series, we go behind the scenes of Acme Smoked Fish to demystify Fish Fridays.
In the heart of industrial Greenpoint, on an unremarkable street, behind an unmarked door, lies the largest smoked fish processor in the country: Acme Smoked Fish (30 Gem Street). And every Friday, and only Friday, from 8am until 1pm, you can take advantage of one of the neighborhood’s best (and worst kept) secrets when Acme opens its doors to the public for “Fish Friday.” Continue reading →
If you’ve noticed a treacherous traffic signal or wished for the addition of a particular crosswalk on the streets of Greenpoint or North Williamsburg, now’s your chance to speak up. In the ongoing North Williamsburg Transportation Study, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is surveying the portion of Brooklyn Community District #1 that stretches north of Broadway and Flushing Avenue between Newtown Creek and the East River to boost both safety and convenience for commuters. The initiative is a response to complaints and transportation hitches as the hot neighborhood grows increasingly crowded with architectural developments and thronged with both inhabitants and visitors.
It’s really easy to get all your veggies this spring and summer in North Brooklyn with the vast variety of CSAs. CSAs (which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and CSAs are also sometimes called farm shares) are a great way for people to have access to local, fresh vegetables, fruit, and other food directly from the farms. Participants purchase a “share” for a season—shares are based on items, delivery regularity, or size—paying in winter or spring for a box of locally delivered goods. By providing financial support to the farmer early on, you support the farmer no matter what the weather—and you get to be treated to the bounty of whatever the weather provides. Best of all, you don’t have to deal with worrying about oversleeping and missing the good stuff at the farmers’ market!
Because you generally don’t get to pick which kinds of vegetables and fruit, and you are often exposed to new kinds of fruit and vegetables, it’s a great chance to learn how to cook new veggies. Many of the CSAs also provide a website or Facebook group with recipes; be sure to inquire.
If you’re interested in signing up for a CSA, you should get a move on. Some have already closed for the season, and many are nearing capacity.