Greenpoint

The Illicit Affair That Brought Greenpoint’s own Mae West to Hollywood

Mae West

In a previous piece I described how Mae West funded her scandalous 1927 play sex through her romance with the rich, handsome, but very dangerous gangster Owney Madden. However, it was the poor, but handsome bag man of the gangster who made West an American icon.

In 1927 the Acting Mayor of New York Joe McKee, scandalized by the drama’s frank sexual portrayals, had West and the rest of the cast arrested. The arrest was a publicity gold mine and sex and West were the words on the lips of all New Yorkers. When the cops jailed Mae the gangster’s connections with Blackwell’s Island warden earned Mae a private cell and silk underwear. She even dined with the warden every night and left after six days being let out early for good behavior. Upon her release she quipped, “It was the first time I ever got anything for good behavior.” Continue reading

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Humboldt & Jackson Has a New Dinner Menu, But First Let’s Talk About Humboldt & Jackson

Spaghetti and Mama’s Meatballs. Photo by Molly Tavoletti.

Echoes of the Cozy Royale catering hall can still be heard in the warm dining room in the back of the bar at Humboldt & Jackson (434 Humboldt Street). The Royale’s former owner, Joanne Perrotta, had turned down many other offers when she was looking to retire. For years, families and neighbors gathered for dinners there, and Perrotta wished to pass on that sense of community along with the space. Perrotta cared more about who was going to take the place over rather than what it was going to be.

The first time I set foot in Humboldt & Jackson was the very day it opened. I followed the renovation of the Cozy Royale into this place, a newly-titled “American Tasting Room,” step-by-step on my daily walk to the Graham Avenue L train and was thrilled to have a prospective place to call my own—my Cheers, if you will. I would cement my status by getting in right at the beginning. Over the three years since their opening I realized that the feeling of ownership and comfort that I felt is exactly what Bill Reed, the bar’s charismatic owner, wants for all his guests. Continue reading

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An Unquiet Night: Reel Orchestrette Live Scores Faust at Film Noir Cinema

Film Noir Cinema at night © Julie Congo
Film Noir Cinema at night © Julie Congo

When Will Malitek, the owner of Film Noir Cinema (122 Meserole Ave), turned an old Greenpoint funeral home into his gorgeous new 54-seat movie theater, he remodeled with very specific plans in mind. There’s a sizeable gap between the screen and the first row, where Will says he could have added more seats, but he wanted space to present live music.

This summer, Film Noir Cinema has launched a new series presenting silent films with live music by Reel Orchestrette, a collaboration between musicians Bradford Reed and Geoff Gersh.

Faust Film Noir Cinema July 22 2017After a sold-out screening of Nosferatu in June, Reel Orchestrette is returning to Film Noir Cinema on Saturday, July 22 at 9pm with a live score for Faust, a 1926 German silent film directed by F. W. Murnau.

These two events are only the beginning. Malitek hopes to continue the series with screenings of all the major German silent films: Metropolis, Waxworks, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and more. And in October, he says we can expect to see a full lineup of silent horror films.

Tickets for Faust are $15 and on sale now at Film Noir Cinema (where you should also take a moment to flip through their incredible collection of films available to rent).

To find out more about the performance, we spoke with Reel Orchestrette’s Bradford Reed and Geoff Gersh. Continue reading

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Patrick Keely, The Prolific Architect of Saint Anthony of Padua Church

Saint Anthony of Padua Church - image via Historic Districts Council
Saint Anthony of Padua Church. Photo via Historic Districts Council

For years I passed the graceful façade of Saint Anthony of Padua church (862 Manhattan Avenue) and admired its beauty, but never really thought much about the man who built it. Recently I researched the life of the amazing man who built this Greenpoint landmark and his story is every bit as amazing as the church he built.

Patrick Keely (1816-1896) was the most prolific church builder in American history, constructing, by some estimates, seven hundred churches stretching from Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico and from New England to Iowa. He built St. Anthony’s in 1876. It is like many of his churches built in the neo-gothic style. Keely’s prolific career is all the more shocking when we consider that he never received any formal training as an architect. Continue reading

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Hot off the Press: Pics From The Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair

Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair - photo by Kate Truisi
Peeping on Lindsay Dye’s cake sitting performance

This weekend, Greenpoint played host to the first ever Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair. The event, presented by MATTE Magazine, lasted all day Saturday and Sunday at Point Green Studio (260 Java St), and featured not only titillating books, zines and gifts for sale, but also cheeky performance art (including a cake sitting performance by Lindsay Dye), music and more.

All photos by Kate Truisi. Continue reading

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Poolin’ So Hard: From Free to Fancy, Where You Can Dive In This Summer

mccarren pool
Photo via NYC Parks Department

McCarren Park Pool | 776 Lorimer Street
Pro tips: Now open through Labor Day. Get ready to mix and mingle with your neighbors of all backgrounds and ages. The semi-recently restored pool is perfect to take a dip on the hottest days of the year. It’s FREE, but there are rules. You need to bring your own lock, a towel, wear all white (if you plan to don a t-shirt or coverup) and should leave your cellphone at home. We recommend getting an ice cream bar from a park vendor post-plunge (there are no food vendors inside the pool). See what we said last year for the full lowdown on how best to prepare yo’self.

Metropolitan Swimming Pool | Bedford & Metropolitan Ave.
Pro tips: Annual membership costs $150 for adults, and $25 for seniors (ages 62 and older), $25 for young adults (ages 18-24). Membership is free for under-18’s. There are designated community swim hours.

Greenpoint YMCA pool
Greenpoint YMCA pool, photo via their site

Greenpoint YMCA | 99 Meserole Ave.
Pro tips: $175 for a Summer Fun Pass for pool access from now through August 31st. The fun pass also includes access to the gym and sauna/steam rooms. Seems like a good deal. Note, you should bring a bathing cap to swim.

Brooklyn Athletic Club, photo via their site
Brooklyn Athletic Club, photo via their site

Brooklyn Athletic Club | 8 Berry Street
Pro tips: This gym has private training pools, which you can book 30-minute sessions in even if you’re not a member. A pool package of 10 sessions is available for $239.

McCarren Hotel & Pool_VIP Day Bed
McCarren Hotel & Pool, photo via McCarren Hotel

The McCarren Hotel | 160 N 12th Street
Pro tips: Leave your screaming mini-me’s at home: children are not allowed at the McCarren Hotel’s ground floor pool (unless you are a guest of the hotel). If you don’t book a room at the hotel, the lowest price access is $55 for an individual day pass (weekday per person price is $55; weekend is $65), up to $200 per person for VIP service for a group of 10 (weekend group price is $2000 for group of 10; weekday group price is $1750). FYI: “No topless tanning,” and you can only book up to 48 hours in advance, unless you’re booking a Day Bed ($150 per person weekday; $175 per person weekend; slightly cheaper if you book a daybed for 2) or package, in which case you have 2 weeks advance to book.

Pool @ The William Vale | 111 N 12th St
Pro tips: Book a room (currently listed at $259) for a staycation and unrestricted access to the pool, or book a day pass. Day passes include reserved seating in a pergola, daybed or cabana, but will run you at minimum $67 per person (weekday, with 6 people), up to $90 (weekend, with 2 people). The Vale pool is a “60-foot outdoor pool with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Snacks, light fare, and cocktails are served poolside under the direction of award-winning Chef Andrew Carmellini.”

Honorable Mention—Playgrounds with kid-friendly water features:
McCarren Park (Manhattan between Driggs & Engert), McGolrick Park (Nassau & Russell), American Playground (Franklin between Milton & Noble), Greenpoint Playground (Franklin between Commercial & Dupont), Transmitter Park (Greenpoint Ave @ the water), Cooper Park (Maspeth & Morgan),  Jamie Campiz Playground (Marcy & Metropolitan)

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Thursday Spotlight: Ever Present With George Underwood, Photographer

Self portrait, George Underwood
Self portrait, George Underwood

Many artists’ studios feel like a cluttered curation, and sometimes they can be intimidatingly bohemian, but George Underwood’s creative haven in Greenpoint is surprisingly tidy and welcoming. The large prints on the walls and huge projector screen above, accompanied by a few audience seated chairs below compliments the fact that he is a devoted and driven photographer who is passionate about his work. Underwood, 30, views photography as more than just a hobby, but as a way to document modern day interactions in a fast-paced society. Being an only child of a single mother, he spent his alone time quietly observing places and people in his town, which sparked a love of photography through stilling those moments in time as an outside observer. From George’s own lens, literally and figuratively speaking, he captures how people interact with a space and with each other, surrounded by the technology ever so present in their lives. Continue reading

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Park Deli, Greedy Landlord or Normal Neighborhood Changes?

Exterior of Park Deli 209 Nassau - Photo Julia Moak
Outside Park Deli  Image: Julia Moak

As New York City, and North Brooklyn in particular, go through massive socioeconomic changes, it’s become very common to hear cries of outrage about gentrification. Since the infamous rezoning in the mid-aughts, Greenpoint/Williamsburg has seen ever-rising rents and an influx of residents (myself included, I arrived here in 2009 from my family home of northeast Queens). This trickles down into situations like the one occurring with the Park Deli (209 Nassau Ave). But sometimes, the story isn’t a “greedy landlord” or “gentrification,” but rather a situation much more complex and completely normal.

Hildegard and Rudolph Daempfle receiving the Borough of Brooklyn Award in 1987  Image: Thomas Handschiegel

There’s no doubt that Park Deli is a Greenpoint institution. Opened in 1931 by German-American William Mullenbrock, the deli has served reasonably priced German-style food ever since. What was Mullenbrock Deli changed hands in the 1950s, and at some point, acquired the name “Park Deli.” Continue reading

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Poets, Screenwriters, Fiction & Non-Fiction Writers: Summer Writers Workshops In Greenpoint!

Write Brooklyn
988 Manhattan Ave

Charles Bukowski once said, “writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.” For the writerly types, writers block is no joke, but chances are you’d like to tell the world about something more compelling than writers block. If you often put pen to paper or hands to keyboard to hone your craft but could use a little guidance and structure to help complete a project, this workshop series might be for you. Local writers group WriteBrooklyn is launching workshops in Greenpoint next month, at 988 Manhattan Ave—an elegantly designed creative space. The 8-week workshops are taught by experienced filmmakers, writers and poets, range from Screenplays to Nonfiction, Poetry and Fiction, and meet on designated evenings. Each of the workshops will set you back $450, but they’ve made room for two scholarships per workshop (which means the lucky recipients attend for free). Check out the list of workshops and instructors here. Continue reading

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Food Sex Lit, Electroacoustic Music, Dirty Book Fair, MTA Love Poems, Hip Hop Karaoke — What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (7/12–7/18)

WEDNESDAY 7/12

♦ New Paintings by Self-Indulgence @ South 4th Bar (90 South 4th St), 6pm, FREE, All new paintings by Self-Indulgence featuring the writing styles of lengendary graffiti artist OUI, More info
# Sex on Stage: Creative Activism Dinner @ New Women Space (188 Woodpoint Rd), 7pm, by Donation, Community potluck discussion with feminist activists who are using the performing arts to educate the public about sexuality, Buy tix
* Royal Headache @ House of Vans (25 Franklin St), 7pm, FREE, Hell yeah good times and rad new memories with Sheer Mag, Downtown Boys, RSVP


THURSDAY 7/13

♫ Spain-Brooklyn Music Series @ Nowadays (56-06 Cooper Ave), 6pm, $15, A celebration of the best independent music from Spain and Brooklyn with El Guincho, Extraperlo, Noia and Turnbull Green (DJ set), Buy tix
# Pizza Night
@ Archestratus (160 Huron St), 7pm, $2, Pick up to ten of twenty available toppings to create the personal pizza of your dreams! $18 per pie day-of ($2 to RSVP). We have gluten-free crusts, too! RSVP
* Resist: Learning from the Young Lords at [email protected] @UnionDocs (322 Union Ave), 7:30pm, $10, Approaching questions of how the Young Lords fight for economic, racial and social justice has changed in the present day. Discuss how the community based in the Southside of Williamsburg views and continues their work today, Buy tix
^ Lips, Teeth, Tongue: An Evening of Food Sex Lit @ The William Vale Hotel (111 North 12th St), 8pm, by Donation, Salacious evening of readings to tickle your tongue, your brain and your funny bone. From New York’s seductive burlesque performers to its hungry food editors, our readers are experts in the sensory pleasures of taste, More info
♫ Panorama x Working Women @ Black Flamingo (168 Borinquen Pl), 10pm, FREE, With Gene Tellem b2b Lis Dalton and Barbie Bertisch. Chance to win a pair of 3-Day VIP passes to Panorama with RSVP plus a pair of passes will be given out at the show, RSVP
Continue reading

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