While hanging out at a bar sipping cocktails seems like a distant memory, our cocktail present and future is hopefully not too far off. For now, several local bars are serving their cocktail menus for takeout, either via walk-up window, service or pre-order. Open container laws seem to be quite lax (though legally, nothing’s changed), so take that cocktail for a socially distant walk or on a bar crawl through the neighborhood to these spots serving excellent to-go drinks:
Magazine (130 Franklin St.) If there were an award for Most Creative Pandemic Pivot, Magazine would win. After a long closure, the quirky bar is back with lanky neon souvenir cups and a man in a chicken costume, known as the ‘social distancing chicken,’ dancing in the bar’s window. The menu includes frozen hurricanes and pre-batched classic cocktails. Spicy popcorn is still free, and a new food menu includes gumbo, po’ boys and watermelon.
Vamos Al Tequila (162 Franklin St.) The local Mexican restaurant is back with takeout cocktails, a full food menu, plus daily specials. Starting at 11 a.m., order frozen margaritas and piña coladas, palomas, mojitos and more to go. Call 718-383-0808 to order in advance. Continue reading →
The number of coronavirus hospitalizations in New York may be on the decline for now, but the face mask is here to stay to help stop the spread of the highly transmissible virus. Many local businesses and independent creators in Greenpoint and Williamsburg are now designing and selling their own masks. Consider buying local and shopping from any of these sellers while keeping your neighborhood safe:
Line and Label (568 Manhattan Ave.) is offering handmade mask in sizes, kids, regular and large. Order online to have a product shipped to you or opt for contactless pick up at their store.
Small Home (100 Freeman St.) – Small Home is a independent artist-run shop that has recently started crafting their own face masks in large and small sizes in a bandit-style for layer comfort, including pockets for filters; direct message on Instagram to order.
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.
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 →
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.
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.
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.”
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 →
North Brooklyn Mutual Aid formed in March as a community network of volunteers to help find and provide solutions to the many problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Spread out in 36 geographic “pods,” over 500 volunteers have signed up to help since March 12th, according to lead organizer and Greenpointer Kevin LaCherra.
“Populating the volunteer sheet is really is ‘A, number one,’ he said. “The larger the volunteer list we have, the better we’ll be able to respond to the different needs that come our way.” With immunocompromised people stuck inside during the pandemic, the group receives many requests for home deliveries.
“Most of those requests have been for groceries, cleaning supplies, somebody that needs someone to run errands” LaCherra said. A volunteer signup sheet on the mutual aid website asks for cross streets and the type of support volunteers can offer.
A new food pantry and delivery service, Food for Brooklyn, was launched by married Greenpoint couple Blake and Laura Beth Comer just a few weeks ago and the number of families on their delivery route is already growing. “Yesterday I delivered a week’s worth of groceries to six families, and we’ve already picked up anther family for next week,” Mr. Comer said.
He began delivering groceries to families in North Brooklyn after coordinating with a friend volunteering with the Park Slope coffee shop-turned-food-bank Roots Cafe.
Food for Brooklyn will hold its first pantry distribution this Saturday at 55 Sutton St. from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Continue reading →