It seems that Greenpoint is in the midst of an oyster invasion. The Bounty (131 Greenpoint Ave.) and other places now offer dollar oysters during happy hours. Northern Territory (12 Franklin St.) hosted an Oysterfest about a week ago. And The Brooklyn Barge (3 Milton St.) and Transmitter Pier is home to the Billion Oyster Project in the East River. But actually oysters are nothing new to New York or Greeenpoint. If you want the best history of this tasty mollusk read Mark Kurlansky’s book The Big Oyster. It seems before we polluted our New York waterways there were massive oyster beds. In 1860, 12 million oysters were sold in New York markets; by 1880, our oyster beds were producing a mind boggling 700 million mollusks a year!
Recently I wrote a piece for Greenpointers about Bamonte’s Restaurant on Withers Street. A number of people reprimanded me and posted that the famous eatery was not in Greenpoint, but was really in Williamsburg. The argument over the location of the iconic Italian restaurant raises a larger,very controversial question: What is the exact borderline between Williamsburg and Greenpoint?
Ask ten people in North Brooklyn and you will get at least eleven different answers. Some borders are not in dispute. Newtown Creek separates us from Queens to the north and from Maspeth to the East. The East River clearly forms our western border. Now, when we talk about the southern boundary, the border disputes begin. Continue reading
One of the oldest buildings in Greenpoint and a landmark is struggling for survival. These days the 160 year-old Union Baptist Chruch at 151 Noble Street is closed and surrounded by a fence. It’s fighting demolition, but it has a champion. Pastor Mike Newberger is fighting to raise the money to save the church and its amazing historic legacy. Continue reading
The Historic Districts Council (HDC), New York’s city-wide advocate for historic buildings and neighborhoods, has just selected Greenpoint as one of the six neighborhoods to celebrate in 2013!
Preservation Greenpoint–a newly-formed organization dedicated to protecting the historic architecture and character of our lovely neighborhood–submitted Greenpoint for participation in this program. Throughout 2013, HDC will work with Preservation Greenpoint to set and reach preservation goals through strategic planning, advocacy, outreach, programs, walking tours, and publicity.
As insightfully put by Simeon Bankoff, executive director of HDC: “Neighborhoods throughout New York are fighting an unseen struggle to determine their own futures. By bringing these locally-driven neighborhood preservation efforts into the spotlight, HDC hopes to focus New Yorkers’ attention on the very real threats that historic communities throughout the city are facing from indiscriminate and inappropriate development.”
Fellow Greenpointer Nathaniel Ziering tipped me off that Kickstarter is moving their headquarters from Manhattan to Greenpoint! The fast growing company provides crowd-sourced funding for creative projects, many of which have come from Greenpoint. In March, plans were approved for Kickstarter to renovate 58 Kent Street, a Landmarked, vacant building located between Franking & West streets. As you can see from the picture, this one could really use a tune-up! Kickstarter’s move to Greenpoint is a big vote of confidence for the neighborhood, will be great for the local economy and continue the momentum of businesses choosing Brooklyn as their new home. Continue reading
Have you stopped by the one well on Greenpoint Ave, yet? It’s an amazingly curated shopping experience. Kerry, the owner, has an great eye not only for picking out unique vintage finds and the wares of local makers, but she also puts on great art exhibitions.
Tonight, Friday June 8th, is the Opening Reception for Where They Swam/Other Relics, a photographic exhibition by Gina Pollack that documents the pre-construction of the soon to be re-opened McCarren Park Pool in 2009.
Would you believe a bag is what brought Kerry & Gina together? Gina loved a bag in the one well, which she found on a KRRB, an online flea market for locals. (Think Craigslist has a baby with Pinterest.) “On a whim,” Gina sent Kerry her website, and now Gina is for the first time is having “my own show, my own work.”
Like all multitasking creative Greenpointers, Gina has a pretty cool day job, designing a book for street artist JRs, Inside Out Project, who is known for his outstanding gigantic portraits on the landscapes of flavellas in Brazil and the South Bronx.
For Where They Swam, Gina operated like a street artist in order to get shots inside the pool by climbing over construction zone barricades.