Things have changed a lot over the years on Norman Avenue, but Scandinavian influence remains. It is highly ironic that two Scandinavian cutting edge entrepreneurs have just opened their modern, ultra trendy, design center-restaurant Norman (29 Norman Ave) on a street named for the first Greenpointer, fellow Scandinavian, Dirck Volckertszen, the Norwegian immigrant who built the area’s first house nearby in 1645, more than three hundred and fifty years ago. Recently opened by Danish restaurateur Claus Meyer and Swedish chef, Fredrick Berselius, Norman is another chapter in Greenpoint’s long Nordic heritage. Volckertszen is too hard a name to pronounce, so the Dutch called him Dirck the Norseman, Dutch for Norwegian, which got shortened to Norman, hence the name of the street.
Norman Avenue was not always called by its present name. It was once Third Street and then Union Street. Volckert Dircksen, the oldest son of Dirck Volckertszen, built his house near Bushwick Creek on Norman Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Lorimer Street about 1700. The house is long gone, but near where it once stood is one of the prettiest houses in Greenpoint, 61 Norman Avenue, a cute wood- frame house set off the street with a gorgeous garden in its front yard. Before the street was created Norman Avenue was part of the beautiful Meserole Orchard, and the trees remind me of the ancient orchard. Continue reading →
Summer cocktail season is a highly-anticipated time of the year, and for good reason. Sangria, frozen margs, tiki drinks, magnums of rosé…it’s a pretty unbeatable scene. But once cooler temperatures head this way, Brooklyn’s bartenders take full advantage of fall flavors, adding beverages to their lists that incorporate pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple. Plus, the return of 35-degree temperatures means that hot cocktails are acceptable orders once again (and for this, we’re very grateful). Now that the holidays are looming in the not-at-all-distant future, we owe it to ourselves to enjoy 2017’s fall cocktails before this magical and all-too-brief season comes to an end. In that spirit, we’ve got a few recommendations for excellent autumn libations in North Brooklyn. Yeah, you’re welcome. Continue reading →
I was looking at a list of films made in Brooklyn, which listed 146 films shot in Brooklyn. When I looked at the list I noticed that many of the films, which were shot at least in part in Greenpoint, were not on the list. This is an incomplete list of films with Greenpoint locations. If you know of films not mentioned on this list, let us know by emailing [email protected] or commenting on this post.
First on the list are two of the most iconic films made about Brooklyn: 1) Serpico (1973) with Al Pacino, which was shot on Driggs Avenue and 2) Donnie Brasco (1997), based on the real life Greenpointer Sonny Black Napolitano, was shot on West and Manhattan Avenue.
3) The Siege (1998) with Denzel Washington was shot on Manhattan Avenue.
Jingle your bells and wish your neighbors a Merry Christmas by joining the Park Church Co-Op’s Holiday Caroling this weekend, Saturday Dec 2nd at 9am!
“Join us for some singing at Park Church Co-op! We’ll start our morning with hot chocolate and breakfast at 129 Russell Street where we’ll practice kid-friendly holiday tunes. Then we will walk over to St. John Lutheran’s Church (155 Milton St) to sing for those attending their community meal! Meet us promptly at 9am. Get a head start with practicing our song book, available at this link.”
The first-annual Greenpoint Fall Shopping Crawl is happening this Saturday, November 25th, all day.
Going all day and through the evening, shoppers will enjoy a full day of holiday shopping discounts— 10% to 20% off in each participating shop—free drinks, music, and light bites. The event coincides with Small Business Saturdayand will showcase 20+ Greenpoint businesses, including: Continue reading →
November 11th is always a day to celebrate, and Greenpoint’s PS 31 (75 Meserole Avenue) marked the day with a Fall Festival to benefit the PTA. The school is a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, and the Festival helped PS 31’s PTA raise funds to support excellent enrichment opportunities for students, including arts and chess.
Parents, teachers, alumni and community businesses all contributed to the festivities, which included pony rides, crafts, cotton candy, balloons, face painting, a Bounce House and a bake sale. Local merchants like the Meatball Shop (170 Bedford Avenue) donated raffle prizes. All proceeds from the event went directly to the PTA. In a press release Sarah Sanders, PTA Co-President, thanked the Greenpoint community for an excellent turnout and a fabulous Festival.“This was a very successful community event that brought people together on a freezing day to help our school,” she said. “It couldn’t have been done without the wonderful volunteers, who included teachers, parents, and alumni.”
The Drift (579 Meeker Ave) is your neighborhood local bar if you happen to be in this far northeast corner of Greenpoint on the edge of Brooklyn. If you haven’t visited in its first year of business, now is the time. The new fall menu and ski lodge vibe of this place is perfect for hiding away from cold weather. Influences from the bar owners’ other establishments, The Commodore and El Cortez are present as well as their namesake cocktails. Continue reading →
The 94th Precinct is hosting a coffee talk session this afternoon (11/16) at Sunset Diner (593 Meeker Ave) from 2-pm to 4pm. You’ll have a chance to sit down with Captain Peter Rose and Captain Victoria Perry, along with other 94 Precinct Personnel, for a cup of coffee and a chat about your neighborhood questions or concerns.
Franklin Guesthouse’s restaurant space was finally occupied when Bar Glory opened in August under the stewardship of restauranteur Sara Conklin (of Greenpoint’s beloved Glasserie). The restaurant forges its own identity through an inventive and inspired combination of culinary influences. Chef Jeff Kouba’s eclectic menu takes risks in the mashup of flavors and textures with delightful and surprising results. The food is largely influenced by Central Asian and Far Eastern flavors but takes liberties with Uzbek, Thai, and Korean flavors. Its environs can be described as refined rustic-chic decor and cozy ambiance that feels slightly more casual then Glasserie. Continue reading →
As we mentioned last month, the regular CB1 meetings are a great opportunity to support our local community (or at least know what the hell’s going on around here) from the comfort of your own couch—so make some popcorn, throw back a few beers and throw on the livestream. Between committed neighborhood busy-bodies, awkward and often inane comments from the peanut gallery, and Dealice Fuller’s formidable facial expressions, the CB1 meetings are thoroughly entertaining. You can watch last night’s meeting (11/14) in full, here on YouTube. The agenda can be viewed as a PDF here. The next CB1 meeting will be held on December 5th at the Swingin’ 60s Senior Center (211 Ainslie Street) at 6pm, and will also be livestreamed via Thirteen.
Here are the highlights:
Neighbors are concerned that the crowds from Painting Lounge (309 Roebling Street) could be a boon for “drug peddling and mayhem,” and that perhaps applying for a liquor license is a clever way for the humble-seeming business to disguise its true motive of actually operating as a bar. Others brought up that there are already two liquor stores nearby, and, citing prohibition, questioned whether the community is being too harsh: “Is this 2017 or is this 1917?” And:“Am I in some lala land where this quiet little place where women come and paint is the thing that’s gonna wreck a whole community?” A motion was passed to recommend denial on the lounge’s application for a beer and wine license.
The question was brought up and not resolved… Should CB1 be recommending name changes to businesses with potentially offensive names?Xixa (241 S 4th St) is Yiddish for a non-Jewish woman, Traif (229 S 4th St) refers to non-Kosher food, and now there’s Greenpoint newcomer Ramen Mafia (opening at 208 Franklin Street).