Williamsburg’s Cocaine Bar of the 90’s, Kokies is Back—and it’s Fitting

photo via Kokie's
photo via Kokie’s on Bigcartel

Depending how long you’ve lived in North Brooklyn, you may have heard tale of the legendary bar Kokie’s, which, about 20 years ago sat on the corner of Berry and North 3rd Street. In a true twist of hipster irony, the name Kokie’s really said it all—for $20 you could actually buy small baggies of cocaine out of a closet tucked away at the back of the bar. A longtime Williamsburg resident who wishes to remain anonymous says, “I heard about Kokie’s from friends. They filled me in on the protocol and a few times I was asked to tag along. I was kinda young and pretty intimidated by the place. So, I declined, preferring to rely on the bravery of friends. By the time I finally got up the nerve, it was gone.” The bar closed in 2001 after being raided by the cops, and then turned into a short-lived bar called Antique Lounge, and then the space became The Levee (212 Berry Street). Our anonymous source says, “A frito pie doesn’t compare to Kokie’s special. I heard a rumor that Luxx on Grand [where Trash Bar used to be and where Overthrow boxing gym is now] sorta picked up Kokie’s mantle. But that’s all heresay.” Continue reading

Category: Eat & Drink, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Night of Experimental Jazz & Lydia Lunch at the Park Church Co-Op

Lydia Lunch performs, speaking about misogyny and today’s pessimistic world. Photo: Angelica Hill

Last Thursday, artist Martynka Wawrzyniak hosted “A Night of Experimental Jazz & Lydia Lunch” at the Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell Street) to support her McGolrick Park community art installation, Ziemia.  Ziemia, when finished, will consist of a large ceramic orb made from soil from across the globe and placed in a carefully cultivated meadow in McGolrick Park, adjacent to Russell Street between Nassau Ave and Driggs Ave.

The Park Church Co-Op was dimly lit, the stage awash with red and blue light. Meditative electronic new-age music played as the image of Jesus on the crucifix centered on the back wall looked over the scene. It may not seem like the most likely venue for a night of experimental jazz, but Pastor Amy Kienzle remarked that this event was part of the church’s larger event series that supports community art. And with Wawrzyniak being such an enthusiastic member of the church she felt it was important to support. She added that the church “believes in art and it being spiritually beneficial.” Continue reading

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McCarren Park’s Insta-Famous Hipster Hawk

The McCarren Park hawk, photo by McCarren Hawk
The McCarren Park hawk, image via McCarren Hawk’s Instagram, photo by keenkenzie

If you’re like many of us, you’ve probably seen a hip-looking hawk roaming about McCarren Park. Whether he’s sunbathing on a Pendleton blanket with a Turkey’s Nest Margarita or simply strutting around the farmers’ market sporting his newest pair of Raybans, this hawk is LIT. And how he has an Instagram account. Check it.

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Category: Community, Environmental | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

Craft Epidemic, Hipster Vet, Levin Loves Girls, $300 Difference, 106 New Bars, Homeless Stabbing – The Hook-Up 9/16

Artwork by Tamara Garvey


We all know how crafty Greenpointers are, well, now we have a new 1500 square foot classroom in the Pencil Factory studios that will be teaching classes beginning in October. (BB)

What’s young, bearded and likes to ride bikes in Greenpoint? Hipsters? Try Afghan Vets. (Brokelyn)

Steve Levin won by a landslide, but he may not win the hearts of Greenpointers when it comes to bringing TV show tourists to our “calm, humble” neighborhood. (Greenpoint Gazette)

Recent reports from real estate insiders now say the difference in cost of an apartment in Greenpoint versus downtown Manhattan is only $300. (NY DailyNews)

Homeless people are stabbing each other with ice picks at Greenpoint’s least favorite place ever.

And you thought that our neighbors to the south already had enough bars, over 100 Williamsburg businesses are applying for liquor licenses this month alone. (DNA Info)



Category: Culture, What's Happening? | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Presumed Inevitability of Gentrification” in Greenpoint: Not The End Of The Story

Two new articles about gentrification and environmental activism in Greenpoint, appearing in The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, argue that the neighborhood is challenging the typical narrative that gentrifying neighborhoods will inevitably force out all long-term residents to make way for a gold coast of newly arriving gentrifiers.

The articles, by Winifred Curran (Department of Geography, DePaul University) and Trina Hamilton (Department of Geography, SUNY University at Buffalo) advocates a “just green enough” idea that “makes room for continued industrial use and blue-collar work, where cleanup does not automatically or exclusively lead to the ‘parks, cafes, and a riverwalk’ model of a green city.”

“Just green enough” coincides with “just clean enough,” wherein “as much of the environmental hazard as possible is removed in order to assure community health while still allowing for industrial uses on the waterfront for the explicit purpose of maintaining the area’s working-class population.” Continue reading

Category: Community, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Greenpointers Exclusive: The DieHipster Interview

Meet Jaime Kimpo, the true identity of the notorious Die Hipster.

After months of sleuthing, we have finally tracked down the king of the anti-hipster movement, only to have found a queen, a hipster queen at that. I met up with the Die Hipster at her favorite cafe on 17th Avenue in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.


GP: So, wow, I’m a little bit in shock here. You appear to me as a young, creative, Brooklyn type. What many may call a hipster, is that a fair assessment?

Die Hipster: I’m not a f—ing hipster, I’m from New York.

GP: So only hipsters come from outside of New York?

DH: (smirk; eye roll)

GP: Ok, so you started writing the Die Hipster blog over six years ago. You must have been like 12 years old, how did you even know about hipsters and this lifestyle that you wrote so much against?

DH: I have four older brothers, one in IT, who helped me start it out. It really was started by my middle brother, Jimmy, but he didn’t enjoy the attention like I did. It was never about writing quality journalism anyways.

GP: I guess you’re right, now that I think about it, it was quite juvenile writing, but you really touched on some emotional issues and certainly hit some serious nerves with people. In September 2010, you wrote a post making fun of a “hipster” girl who got killed on her bike. You even went as far as saying that you looked forward to seeing her sister and mother also run over by a bus.

DH: That’s not a question.

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Category: Community | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Rawpothecary: Hipster Juice or Hipster Cure?

While trying to figure out the point of this “hipsters deserve to die” ad on the G train (Is Die Hipster campaigning?), my Mom asked in a very concerned voice, “Jen are you a hipster?”

“What does that even mean?” I said.

It was like she was asking me if I murdered my father. She was scared of the truth and I didn’t know how to answer.

My Mom is the least nosiest mother in the world. When it came out that I have a (platonic) wife during a very short spell of being single and my Uncle George (the only person who reads my other blog) emailed to ask her if I am gay, my Mom replied, “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know if I’m gay?” I said. She would after all be the first person who I would tell.

“It’s your life, Jen, you can do whatever you want.” She thought I was gay.

She is the Mom who never interferes and let’s me “live my own life,” while she “minds [her] own business” and now she was was straight up calling me out – not for being gay – for being a hipster.

This hipster thing is really hitting a nerve in outer borough Mom’s everywhere and I think the media has something to do with it.

When my Mom asked me that it made me realize that being a hipster is more being The Other, it is what other people think about you in relationship to how you are different from them. I don’t know what inspired the question from her, but that “otherness” isn’t always a good thing.

I like art and good food and I consume both with all of the money I make at my “creative job,” (human photocopy machine of expensive clothes made in China mostly) – but I have no style, my ass is way to huge for skinny jeans and I wish I had one of those God damn trust fund everyone talks about.

We’ve already gone down this treacherous road before. I am not trying to start a war here, but the buzz word hipster is really everywhere.

When I see it used, I wonder, don’t these companies know what a bad connotation the word has? Don’t they know the accusatory nature of it? The defensive mode it puts people in? The anger and bitterness it stirs up? The concern it raises in non-pushy Moms?

When I was waiting online at The Garden, I saw this juice in the refrigerator called “The Hipster.” I wondered, do they want hipsters to buy this? Or is it a cure for being a hipster? Or is it for people who want to become hipsters? Like people who buy Smooth Move Tea; clearly things are not moving smoothly. We can all dream.

Maybe it would help me figure out if I am a hipster or not, once and for all, or at least to give my Mom a straight answer.

“The Hipster” is a raw juice is made up of hemp seeds, date, coconut water and purified water and costs $6.49! The back asks “Allergic to nuts?” (Definitely not, Mom!) But, if you are, fear not, it is a seed milk, not a nut milk. Sigh.

The “Hipster” blend contains “all 20 amino acids including the 8 our body cannot make on its own,” which made me think of this juice as some sort of transformative super hero concoction, giving me powers (or amino acids) that I don’t normally have.

My hipster superpower would be “The Magic Trust Fund,” everything I look at would turn into money and more money and more money!

Sick as a dog, I gave it a shot. The first flavor that immediately hit my palate was corn husk. You know when you’re munching on an ear of corn and you suck at the juiciness under the corn kernels? It tasted like corn husk juice. Not bad, but a little weird.

After a minute, I tasted the hemp flavor. What I like about seed and nut milks is that they really resemble milk but aren’t nasty like cows milk, which I have a natural aversion to since childhood when my Mom would make me hold my nose and swallow it down because everyone in the mid-80s was concerned about protein.

“You’re not getting enough protein!”

After I finished it (it was tasty enough to finish) I still had a cold and I didn’t grow a beard and I still can’t fit into skinny jeans. My bank account still has just enough to cover rent and pay for some dinners out, so I have not made the full transformation into Brooklyn Hipster Superhero Magic Trust Fund Genie yet. If not now then when???

Once I do, I will formally make an announcement.

In the meantime, if you hate cow milk and are allergic to nuts, don’t get turned off by the name if the price doesn’t scare you. Rawpothecary’s “Hipster” blend will get you all the vegan, dairy and nut free protein you need.

Am I hipster? I think other people care more about the answer to that than I do.

Does the buzz word hipster work for selling stuff and getting reviews on awesome blogs? Hell yeah!

What would your hipster superpower be?

Category: Culture, Eat & Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hipster Bashing Is Getting Old

I write this fully aware of the flak I’m going to get. But here it goes.

I read an article in Brooklyn Magazine the other day discussing whether hipsters and gentrification are ruining Brooklyn. I stand on both sides of the argument here. I’m not labeling myself a hipster. There’s more than enough evidence in my life to suggest that I certainly am not, but I do nevertheless fall under that umbrella of intellectual and creatively minded young people who enjoy a good artisinal roast every once in a while. And I’m definitely one of those more liberal arts types saddled with an enormous student debt sticker on my forehead.

Thus I moved to Brooklyn to cut my losses the best I could. But I moved to North Williamsburg, so I’m not exactly sure what good that did in the end. And having recently been the unsuspecting target of a hatefully anti-hipster website (over some pictures I took of a glow-in-the-dark kickball game…like really? Get over it.), I naturally began feeling pretty guilty whenever I walked down my street or whenever I worked my beat because of course I look nothing like the original culture of the neighborhood.

But now I wonder: Why am I guilty? I pay my rent. I take out my trash. I’m respectful to my neighbors and to members of my community. I have a great relationship with my landlords, who are among the first generations of Italian immigrants in Williamsburg. Why should I feel poorly for how I dress and for the things I like? Why is that at all marginalizing? Continue reading

Category: Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments