A Greenpoint “Love” Story: Two Business Owners Create a Book Together


Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg - herself on the right, and Adina Grigore on the left


Greenpointers is excited to present a joint interview with two Greenpoint residents and business owners who recently collaborated on, and published, a book – a partnership they told us originated from this very website. We had to find out more.

The book is called Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin. Adina Grigore, founder of skincare brand S.W. Basics, wrote it, and asked local illustrator Libby VanderPloeg to illustrate it. It was published last week, just ahead of S.W. Basics’ March 1st launch in 500 Target locations nationwide – a huge accomplishment for a small business with a commitment to natural ingredients.

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Famous Greenpointers: Mickey Rooney

MIckey Rooney – Greenpointer
A portrait of Greenpointer Mickey Rooney - illustrated by Rebecca Clarke

What a mug on that guy, eh? Micky Rooney began his long career as a child star, but unlike modern child stars, he continued working into his 90s. He was born in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in the 20s and began acting as a toddler with his parents in vaudeville acts. He appeared in over 20 films and worked with Judy Garland. He played Audrey Hepburn’s bucktoothed Japanese neighbor in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) and was criticized for portraying a racial stereotype, but assured he was just playing the role for fun and never wanted to offend anyone. He even had his own television show and won an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor in The Black Stallion (1979). More on Micky Rooney at

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Hit Me With Your Best Shot! Famous Greenpointer Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar – Greenpointer
A portrait of Greenpointer Pat Benatar - Illustrated by Rebecca Clarke

What do you think of our new illustrated series of famous Greenpointers?

Our first is the one and only Pat Benatar! This Greenpointer’s real name is Patricia Mae Andrzejewski. Born in Greenpoint on January 10, 1953, she married young, took her husband’s last name, moved to Virginia, then ditched him and moved back to NYC for the glory of rock stardom after domestic life down south was too … domestic. The iconic 80s pop-star has 10 platinum albums, eight No. 1 singles, and four Grammy awards. According to Wiki, she was the first woman to play on MTV, performing “You Better Run.” Pat Benatar is a major badass and we are proud to have her as a “native” Greenpointer!

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Interview With Richard Borge, Illustrator and Motion Designer

© Richard Borge

Greenpointers recently had a homemade cappuccino with Brooklyn based illustrator and motion designer Richard Borge. Richard has done work for everyone from The New York Times to The Village Voice. He has a show, Objects Found and Claimed, opening May 16th at Rourke Art Museum in Moorehead, Minnesota. And yes, he makes a tasty cappuccino. Continue reading

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Our Lady Libby V! Fish Eye Series

Libby VanderPloeg in her Greenpoint Apartment

I was super honored that Libby V asked me to take her portrait for a post about her on Design Sponge. Aside from being a super talented illustrator (she does our market posters) and a wonderful human, Libby has the most adorable and cozy apartment I have ever seen. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and also take her portrait as part of our new Fish Eye Series, in which we take you into the apartment of one of our talented contributors! Talk about an eye for design. You really can get to know a person by looking at what they put on their walls.

Read Design Sponge’s article about Libby V here. And check out her website for more of her design work.

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Recipes Gone Wild: Julia Turshen’s Sweet Potatoes with Red Onions and Pancetta

What’s more warming and comforting than a pup snoozing beside you on the couch? Trick question…nothing!  But I can tell you what comes close. A big bowl of roasted sweet potatoes fresh out of the oven. This week’s recipe comes from local food writer and cook, Julia Turshen, who shares with us one of her favorite ways to prepare this tasty orange tuber—with pancetta and soft, melty red onions. Continue reading

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Comic Arts Brooklyn Comes to Williamsburg Saturday (11/9)

Courtesy of CAB


I just found out that Comic Arts Brooklyn is happening tomorrow (11/9) and I felt morally and ethically obligated to let you know about it. Because it looks awesome–I would even venture to say, epic. The reason this is really new news (the newest of the news), is that this is the first annual event of its kind to grace our little neighborhood…and best of all, it’s free for everyone.

The fest is hosted by local indie comics shop, Desert Island and will take place from 11am-7pm at both Mt. Carmel Church (275 N 8th St) and the Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan) in Williamsburg. There are also some events at nearby stores, galleries, and theaters, as well as an after party at Union Pool. Consult the schedule for all the details.

Now, I’m not a huge comic aficionado, but even I recognize a lot of the brilliant authors, artists, and graphic novelists that will be making an appearance tomorrow.  I have great admiration for the graphic novel as a medium, and if you haven’t gotten into this genre yet, I heartily suggest you dive in, especially as these winter months set in and you have more time to sit inside and get lost in some expertly crafted illustrations.

Adrian Tomine

Most notably, the fest will feature appearances by Paul Auster, famed absurdist crime novelist (of my personal pick, The New York Trilogy) and City of Glass, as well as cartoonist/self-publishing superstar, Jeff Smith.  Art Spiegelman, comic artist and Adrian Tomine (I am in awe of him), graphic novel author (Shortcomings & Summer Blonde) and frequent contributor to The New Yorker, will also be in attendance. There are more featured special guests here that I haven’t heard of (please don’t judge me), but I’m sure they are fantastic.

The fest will also feature a variety of exhibitors, who I am assuming, will be selling indie books, illustrations, and comics, as well as most likely signing some of these items.

Comic nerds (you’re so much cooler than the rest of us): this is your moment.



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Featured Vendor: Tamara Garvey

Greenpointers is no stranger to the talents of local illustrator, Tamara Garvey. In fact, she is a regular contributor to our weekly Hook Up, providing visual depictions of everything from celebrity christmas trees to sophisticated nail art .

Tamara’s whimsical drawings of nature, wild creatures, and adorably fiendish burglars will emerge from her Etsy page to make a special appearance at our Fall Market on 10/12. 

The artist herself gave us some details about her experiences with freelancing, card-making, and burglar-drawing.

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Recipes Gone Wild: Quick Ginger Carrot Pickles

Illustrations by Libby VanderPloeg

Growing up, I lived a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan.  Nearly every day during the summer I’d go to the beach, but on the hottest afternoons, I stayed indoors. On these lazy days, I’d grab a fistful of freshly peeled carrots (this was before the ubiquity of packaged “baby carrots”) and a stack of picture books, and disappear for a while to my hiding spot— above a floor vent, under a sunny window, behind a big, blue chair.

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