A Collaborative Sculpture In McGolrick Park, and a Meadow-phor for All of Us

Conceptual artist Martynka Wawrzyniak will create Ziemia, a public art project created in collaboration with all Greenpointers.

Martynka Wawrzyniak has always been a conceptual artist. She thinks deeply about her relationship to the world and comes up with self-portraits that are inimitable and brilliantly unique. These ideas often utilize unusual substances and require her to collaborate with specialists in an eclectic range of fields.

For example, in her 2012 project, Smell Me, she spent two years working with Hunter College Professor Donna McGregor and a team of chemistry research students to create an olfactory-based self-portrait utilizing the extracted essence of her sweat, tears and hair.

In another project, Feed, she collected a year’s worth of her used cloth dinner napkins in order to create a suspended double spiral where viewers walked through her life in the self-described “stains of my existence”.

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Greenpoint Diaries: “My Job At The Greenpoint Weekly Star”

Editor’s note: We’ve paired up a true story from Sara Jane Burman, an 80-year-old former resident of Greenpoint who grew up here, with local illustrator Aubrey Nolan.

Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
When I was a fourteen year old girl, I lived at 460 Graham Avenue, near what we used to called ” The Boulevard”. Now it is Meeker-Morgan.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
I loved to walk to the Greenpoint Public Library on Norman Avenue. I was another Francie Nolan, even before I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I spent hours in that magical place, and could not quite believe I could borrow those lovely books.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
I also liked to write.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
One day, I passed the Offices of the now defunct Greenpoint Weekly Star. We purchased it every week, and my mother liked to submit notices of school activities.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
She began when my tow headed twin brothers began First Grade in St. Cecilia’s School. There were three sets of twins who were in the First Grade, and Mom thought that was a newsworthy piece. So it was.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
I walked up to the Editor who was standing behind the front desk in their storefront office. My memory is hazy about what I said to him at first, but I remember clearly that he offered me a job writing for The Star. He told me I would be paid ten cents an inch for my writing.
I wrote a few pieces on local events. After I had submitted a few, the Editor asked if I would like to cover some evening meetings in Greenpoint. I knew my mother wouldn’t allow me to do this, so I politely declined, and offered my resignation. I asked for my salary. I was very surprised at how little it was.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
“You told me I would get ten cents an inch,” I complained.
“Yeah, Girlie. That’s right. Vertically, not horizontally!”
Category: (Not)Forgotten Greenpoint, Community, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

94th Precinct Nabs Suspect Possibly Connected to Burglary, Search Continues for Men Wanted in Mugging Spree

Police have released images of two of the men wanted in connection with the Sept. 25 robbery spree.

Greenpoint has recently had a wave of robberies and a burglary that have disturbed neighborhood residents. Early in the morning on Sunday, Sept. 25, four separate robberies occurred within 90 minutes of each other.

The first robbery took place around 3:15am at the corner of Jackson Street and Meeker Avenue when four men approached a 26 year-old victim, attacked him, and took his backpack, iPhone, camera, and books.

The second incident took place around 4am at Jewel Street and Meserole Avenue when a 34-year old man was attacked by three men and robbed of his iPhone, $300 in cash, and wallet. The victim was struck in the face during the robbery and required stitches to close a laceration he received.

The third incident occurred shortly after at 4:30am at Leonard Street and Driggs Avenue when two men robbed a 33-year old man at knifepoint of his iPhone and credit cards. This victim was unharmed.

The final robbery took place at Meserole Avenue and Diamond Street and involved two men attacking a 32-year old man and stealing his phone and wallet.

Police have strong video and photo evidence in the robberies and are looking for a group of four men in connection with all of the incidents.

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Show me your Cheese: Fromage in North Brooklyn

The amazing and ever-changing selection of cheese at the Bedford Cheese Shop.

Autumn has arrived, my friends, and as the crisp, chilled air overtakes our fair city, there is nothing I look forward to more than a cheese night at home. We are undeniably fortunate here in North Brooklyn to have access to some seriously special cheese shops.  This time of year, I begin favoring bolder, heartier cheeses over the more delicate varieties. I visited our three cheese shops and worked with the cheesemongers to discover some fun and funky cheeses that either just came into stock or are just exceptionally well suited to our autumnal cravings. Continue reading

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Sunday Snaps 10/09 – “Been Here a While”

Halina, of Sky Flowers (164 Driggs Ave.), is originally from Warsaw, but has lived in Greenpoint and provided beautiful flowers at her store for almost twenty years. Of the Polish penchant for flowers, she says: “If you go to Poland, you will see beautiful gardens everywhere, it is part of the tradition.”

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

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Greenpoint’s Original Wave of Home Brewing and Distilling

Officials seizing booze during prohibition.

It’s great to see distillers like the Greenhook Ginsmiths on Dupont Street distilling high quality gin. It’s equally gratifying to know that Greenpoint is teeming with home brewing aficionados who make their own great beers, but this is actually nothing new to Greenpoint. During the era of Prohibition from 1920 to 1933, there was no place in the city that violated the anti-alcohol laws more often than the thirsty citizens of Greenpoint. Continue reading

Category: (Not)Forgotten Greenpoint, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lager Legislation, An Airbnb Nightmare, and The King of Greenpoint – The Hook-Up 10/07

Firefighters responded to calls from multiple people who reported smelling gas near Franklin and Noble Wednesday night. After checking it out, firefighters determined that nothing was wrong.

After a string of recent robberies in Greenpoint, police are looking for four men. Images have been released of two of these men. Stay vigilant and be careful if walking late at night.

Ever wonder where McGuinness Boulevard got its name? It’s because of a man named Peter J. McGuinness, an influential character in the neighborhood’s history who, despite having never graduated high school, helped get such projects as the Meeker Avenue Bridge and McCarren Park Pool completed. Local historian and frequent Greenpointers writer Geoff Cobb has a new book coming out about him called King of Greenpoint, which is getting some attention!

After being forced out of their apartment of 23 years by nefarious landlords and forced to live in shelters and temporary housing for three years, a Greenpoint family has finally returned to their longtime home at 300 Nassau Avenue.

Ever wonder what an Airbnb nightmare looks like? Check out this story, on a Williamsburg family who rented out their duplex only to have $7k in damage occur.

Tired of feeling like your paycheck disappears faster than free pizza at Paulie Gee’s? Well, you may be on to something, according to this study from a real estate data company, which calls Brooklyn the most “unaffordable place to live in America”.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that North Brooklyn Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol originally introduced providing tax credits for brewers in New York City. Greenpoint Beer and Ale, Keg & Lantern, and Brooklyn Brewery all got shout outs from Lentol in the press release!

Greening Greenpoint hosted the Greenpoint Community Tree Summit on Monday at the McCarren Park Play Center.

The 94th Precinct hosted their monthly Community Council meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

t.b.d. (224 Franklin St.) hosted a fundraising event on Wednesday in support of Hillary Clinton.

Town Square is hosting Go Green Day, a volunteer afternoon on Friday, October 7 from 2-5pm in McCarren Park.

Category: Community, News, The Hook-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vert Gardens Is Moving + Plant Sale This Weekend + Fall Gardening Tips!

Plant Sale via Vert Gardens Instagram
via Vert Gardens Instagram

After 10 years in the neighborhood, local landscape design and plant shop Vert Gardens (193 Banker Street) is in the process of moving to the Navy Yards. Before they officially close, they’ll be having two more plant sales, one this weekend on Saturday October 8th (10am-4pm) and the last on October 22 (10am-4pm). From Vert: “We’re definitely going to miss Greenpoint, and if you’re in the area, come see us at our new location.” Their new spot is at 72 Flushing Ave.

Read on for Autum gardening tips from Vert. Continue reading

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The Fate of Bushwick Inlet: “Where’s Our Park?” Meeting Tonight!

#wheresourparkWhat’s been going on with the negotiations between the city and the owner of the CitiStorage site? Come join Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park tonight at Greenpoint Beer & Ale to chat about the park’s future. While there’s currently nothing specific to report, FBIP has been told that the parties have begun negotiating, so they’re cautiously optimistic. But that said, they believe that time is of the essence and hope the parties will come to a settlement soon. However, if negotiations fall apart and no deal is made then potentially the only remaining course of action would be for the city proceed to eminent domain and condemn the CitiStorage site for the public good, fulfilling the 2005 rezoning agreement to the benefit of all New Yorkers.

Join FBIP tonight and engage with fellow open space advocates!

Greenpoint Beer and Ale | 7 N15th St @ Franklin St.
Wednesday October 5th
Meet Up at 7:00pm
Updates + Q&A at 7:30-8:00pm
Craft Beer & Conversation thereafter

Related stories:
What’s Next For Bushwick Inlet Park As $100 Mill Offer Expires
Where’s our park? In the hands of another developer if CitiStorage owner has his way.
At CitiStorage Rally, Various Words that Amounted to ‘Where’s Our Park?’
Watch Out CitiStorage. Eminent Domain Wants to Head Your Way!

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A History of Greenpoint in 25 Buildings: The Church of the Ascension

Church of The Ascension on Kent St. In Greenpoint. Illustration: Aubrey Nolan
Illustration: Aubrey Nolan

One of Greenpoint’s oldest buildings, the Episcopal Church of the Ascension (127 Kent St.), although beautiful, does not feel as if it belongs in Greenpoint. It feels more like a church from North London transported across the Atlantic and placed on Kent Street. It is also not hard to imagine the structure in some quaint English country town.

The British feel to the building is not an accident, as it was designed by Englishman Henry C. Dudley just at the end of the Civil War and dedicated in 1866. Dudley, a major American ecclesiastical architect who built in the English Gothic Revival style, designed a few churches so lovely that they were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although Dudley built a number of American churches, Ascension is one of only four remaining Dudley churches in New York City and the only one in Brooklyn. Dudley is most famous for his buildings in Nashville, Tennessee, where he and his partner Frank Wills designed the elegant Church of the Holy Trinity, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Category: (Not)Forgotten Greenpoint, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments