greenpoint brooklyn

Freeman Street Evacuated Over Gas Leak

A fire truck blocked traffic from entering Freeman Street from Franklin Street.

Evacuations from Freeman Street between Franklin and West Streets followed the report of a gas leak at approximately 2 p.m. on Tuesday, FDNY said.

The corner of Franklin and Freeman Streets where access is currently restricted.

A gas leak at 77 Freeman St. was initially reported and five buildings in total were evacuated: 74, 77, 79 81 and 89 Freeman St., NBC reports.

Crowds gathered on the sidewalk on Franklin Street across from where emergency responders investigate the source, which is suspected to be related to a gas service connection being installed at a residential building. Continue reading

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The First Professional Baseball Player Began in Williamsburg

Al Reach ( A.G. Spalding Baseball Collection)

Today Al Reach is largely a forgotten figure here in North Brooklyn where he began his baseball career, But Reach not only became the first openly professional baseball player in 1864, but he also went on to co-found the Philadelphia Phillies and become a millionaire – not bad for an immigrant kid who began life working twelve hour days in a Greenpoint shipyard.

The Union Grounds, the First Enclosed Baseball Stadium in Williamsburg where Reach Played.

Reach was born in 1840 in London, England, but he followed his father to America and lived in Williamsburg. When Reach was a teenager in the 1850’s, the East River was lined with shipyards and Reach got a job doing the grueling work of a shipwright, working ten to twelve hours a day in the days before power tools.

Baseball was also exploding on the scene in America, but nowhere was the sport more popular than here in Brooklyn. Most of the teams were composed of the sons of well-to-do families who could allow their sons the leisure to play the game. Greenpoint also formed a team, but it was not composed of rich kids sons. Its team, the Eckford Club, was made up of shipwrights like Reach who worked 60 to 72 hours per week. Though they had little time to practice, the grueling nature of their work left them very strong and fit and it is little wonder that the team proved successful.

Reach was never a great power hitter, but he was a great fielder. Many sources give him credit for being the first baseman who for the first time played off the bag allowing him to turn balls hit through the infield into outs.

Baseball was evolving in the 1850s and there is a lot of conjecture about the rules of the game. Pitching was underhand and many of the modern pitches had yet to be born. The game was still amateur and players played simply for love of the game. The Civil War interrupted baseball for many players, but the Eckford Club still played on and in 1862 and 1863 the Greenpoint club won the National title, making them the best club in America, but money would soon destroy the proud local baseball team.

Union Grounds in Williamsburg (courtesy of Brooklynballparks.com)

The 1862 and 1863 championships were held at the Union Grounds in Williamsburg, the first fully enclosed baseball stadium. The Eckford Club’s victory on its home grounds was the cause for jubilant celebrations. The thousands of fans who showed up for the championship showed observers there was the potential for ticket money in baseball. Teams began to charge and offer players money under the table to join their squads. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Soil Safety Workshop Teaches How to Test for Lead

(Image courtesy of GCEF)

As a result of Greenpoint’s rich industrial and manufacturing history, significant contamination of the local soil with toxins such as lead remains a problem.

A soil safety workshop from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund will help you learn “what lead (and other contaminants) in soils – and their soil test results – mean” on Saturday, April 20th, at Kingsland Wildflowers (520 Kingsland Ave.) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Experts on soil contaminants will answer your questions and help interpret soil test results; a 40-pound bag of compost will be available to take home for free.

Attendees should be at least 18 years old and must have completed the GCEF Soil Safety Basics workshop in advance. Contact workshop organizer, Lael Goodman ([email protected]), for permission to enroll if you have not taken the Soil Safety Basics workshop.

 

 

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Local Parents File Lawsuit Over NYC Measles Vaccine Requirement

A public health emergency was declared by Mayor Bill de Blasio last week in Williamsburg over the growing number of confirmed cases of the highly contagious measles virus in New York City.

Parents now face a $1,000 fine if their child remains unvaccinated in zip codes 11205, 11206, 11211, and 11249, and a lawsuit from Brooklyn parents claims that the new measure is overreaching.

There have been over 280 confirmed measles cases in Brooklyn and Queens this year as of April 8th and “most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community,” the NYC Health Department claims. Across the U.S., 90 new measles cases were reported last week, bringing the total number to 555, “the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000,” according to the Center for Disease Control.

Some Williamsburg parents disagree with the legality of the measure mandating vaccines in New York City and filed a lawsuit against the city on Monday citing “insufficient evidence of a measles outbreak or dangerous epidemic,” the NY Times reports.

The lawsuit claims that the vaccine can put people at risk of health complications and side effects, amNew York reports: Continue reading

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$2,544 for One-Bedroom Apartment in Greenpoint Affordable Housing Lottery

196 Freeman St. (Via NYC Housing Connect)

A handful of new “affordable” apartments have hit the market via the NYC Housing Connect lottery. The former three-story mixed-use building at 196 Freeman St. between Manhattan Avenue and Mcguinness Boulevard was demolished to make way for the construction of the new four-story building with 10 apartments; apply by May 6th.

At 196 Freeman St. a one-bedroom unit is available for $2,544 per month for one to two occupants with an annual household income between $87,223 – $108,550. Market rate one-bedroom units at the building are listed for $2,850 per month.

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Record Store Day Returns Saturday (4/13) With Special Releases, Performances and Signings

(courtesy of Will Fisher/Fllickr)

Record Store Day returns this Saturday, April 13th and the many record stores in Greenpoint and Williamsburg will be participating by offering limited releases and holding special performances and signings.

Rough Trade (64 N. 9th St.) will open at 9 a.m and is carrying the full roster of RSD releases and will host the following in-store performances and signings:

Performances by:
Steve Gunn, Cochemea (The Dap Kings), TEEN, Elijah Wolf, Pearl Charles, and Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed
DJ Sets by (Presented by Talkhouse):
Charly Bliss, Chris Cohen, Sad 13 (Speedy Ortiz), Madison McFerrin, Ian Williams (Battles), The Range, Blake Schwarzenbach (Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil)
Plus, Elia Einhorn (Talhouse Podcast Host and Producer, Pitchfork Radio) presents Elia’s Indiepop Student Disco
Signings with:
Wayne Coyne, T Bone Burnett, David J
PLUS
Rediscovering Ecstacy: Recording with Lou Reed | Panel Moderated by Richard Barone
AND
The Flaming Lips present
The King’s Mouth: An Immersive Installation
Kevin Morby and Dead Oceans present
‘Oh My God’ The Film: The Room
NOT TO MENTION
Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Bel Air Sour and Brooklyn Summer Ale beer tasting from 4pm-7pm
Giveaways from Bowery Presents, The Heatonist, and more…
Set Times
12:00 | Steve Gunn

12:45 | Charly Bliss DJ Set

1:30 | Eli Paperboy Reed

2:15 | Madison McFerrin DJ Set

3:00 | Elijah Wolf

3:45 | DJ Sad13 (Speedy Ortiz)

4:30 | TEEN

5:15 | Chris Cohen DJ Set

6:00 | Richard Barone presents Rediscovering Ecstasy: Recording with Lou Reed

7:00 | Elia’s Indiepop Student Disco

7:45 | Cochemea

8:30 | Ian Williams (Battles) DJ Set

9:15 | Pearl Charles

10 | Blake Schwarzenback (Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil)

10:45 – end | The Range DJ Set

Signings

10am | T Bone Burnett

4pm | Wayne Coyne

5pm | David J

Brooklyn Brewery Beer Tasting 4-7pm

Academy Records (85 Oak St.) opens at 10 a.m. and in addition to RSD titles are promising to have a fresh selection of recently acquired used records.

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Greenpoint Library Community Forum to Provide Construction Updates (4/23)

Rendering of the Greenpoint Library (courtesy of Friends of Greenpoint Library)

A public forum on the construction progress of the new Greenpoint Library (107 Norman Ave.) will take place later this month.

The neighborhood’s only public library closed in July 2017 and construction was originally expected to finish in the winter of 2018, but the discovery and removal of asbestos in the former foundation and related delays have pushed the expected completion to this fall.

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Greenpoint’s First Alchohol-Free Bar “Getaway” Opens

The interior of Getaway

Greenpoint’s first-ever alcohol-free bar Getaway (158 Green St.) opened Tuesday night as an alternative social space for people who may not be keen on consuming alcohol while having a night out on the town.

Similar alcohol-free bars have opened across the U.S. from Maine to Illinois recently including the NYC pop-up Listen Bar, which had a successful pop-up in Williamsburg last year and is currently crowdfunding for its first ‘booze-free’ permanent location with nearly $23,000 raised so far out of its $25,000 goal.

The bar at Getaway

Getaway co-owner Sam Thonis was a bit ahead of the trend when the inspiration for Getaway’s concept came to him while he witnessed a relative of his go sober a couple of years ago. Thonis’s entrepreneurial gears were already turning at the time as he sought to open a business in Greenpoint where he’s lived for nine years. He and co-owner Regina Dellea cite a visit to ABC Kitchen in Manhattan as further inspiration as they took an interest in the restaurant’s homemade soda menu.

The paper train: Lemon juice, tobacco syrup, vanilla and San Pellegrino chinotto

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Help to Green Greenpoint at Lentol Garden Workday (4/13)

Join your neighbors and help to bring more nature to Greenpoint at a community-managed greenspace this weekend.

The Lentol Garden Workday is happening this Saturday, April 13th, at 11 a.m. at 178 Bayard St, and new volunteers are welcome. Continue reading

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Wrong Side of the River Opens in Greenpoint with ‘Wonderland’

Wrong Side of the River, a new gallery space in Greenpoint, will open this week with, ‘Wonderland,’ a show featuring the work of painters Buket Savci and Jacob Hicks on Friday, April 12th, at 67 West St. Suite 312 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

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Wonderland, this Friday, 6pm

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