McCarren Park

A Stroll Down Historic Guernsey Street

Guernsey Street in Greenpoint

Perhaps other blocks in Greenpoint have more elegant houses or more imposing churches, but no block has more beautiful trees than Guernsey Street, which runs parallel to the river between McCarren Park, on its southern end, and Oak Street at its northern tip. The block between Meserole and Norman Avenues has the most dramatic tree canopy in our area. The street is towered over by forest-scaled locust trees that create a leafy roof – a delightful respite from the blazing sun on steamy summer days.

The area was once home to the Meserole orchard, where fruit trees thrived in the rich wet soil that has also allowed these atmospheric locusts to create a tunnel of leaves, whose shade makes entering the block feel like stepping indoors from outdoors. The green ceiling of the locusts alters the light and tricks you into believing that you have stepped indoors. The west side of the street in particular, with its high flat brick buildings, creates the perfect backdrop for the magic of the subdued light, which gives the block its surreal, indoor quality.

In March of 2003, a New York Times reporter filed a story on the residents of the street and perfectly captured the block’s unique verdant beauty:

“In a landscape of warehouses and factories, this block of Brooklyn seems to appear out of nowhere like a magical wood in a fairytale. Graceful 19th-century apartment buildings, some with bay windows are guarded by towering honey locust trees that in a few weeks will form a lush green canopy.”

The trees are so atmospheric that it is hard to imagine that they were not always there, but people who grew up in the 1960s on the block and returned decades later are often shocked by the change the locusts have made. Artist Tim Doyle perfectly captured the feel of the green shade trees in the painting below:

(Tim Doyle)

The Times correspondent also called Guernsey Street “the archetypical American block,” but I disagree because there is nothing else locally quite like it and the street also has a unique history. The Southside of the street was a for many years open land, known to locals as “Paddy Floods lots.” The Eckford baseball team practiced there for a time before the Civil War, but the area’s development forced them out. When Grover Cleveland ran for president, his likeness was outlined in fireworks and ignited, much to the delight of local Democrats. A trestle once ran from these lots to the Southside, but it was long ago demolished. Around the 1920s, tawdry clapboard wood-frame four-story apartments were built, their flimsiness standing in marked contrast to the solid brick structures just across the street.

Image from Corcoran.com

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Category: (Not)Forgotten Greenpoint, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Former Greenpointers Address NYC Homelessness With ‘Backpacks For The Street’

Jeffrey Newman and Jayson Conner, founders of Backpacks For The Street

Amidst a citywide housing crisis and rampant gentrification, the time is now to address homelessness in our community. Former Greenpointers and longtime couple, Jeffrey Newman and Jayson Conner, launched the Backpacks For The Street (BFTS) initiative in February 2018 as part of Together Helping Others, their full-service non-profit for the homeless.

BFTS distributes backpacks to the homeless full of essentials many of us take for granted, such as food, toiletries, clothing, and water bottles, as well as information about food pantries, health services, shelters, and other resources.

Jeffrey and Jayson, along with their team of volunteers, will bring the program to Greenpoint, starting in McCarren Park, on Friday, Nov. 16, from 7-11 p.m. During the planning process, the Euro Chemist Pharmacy (669 Manhattan Ave.) has been instrumental in providing storage space, driving to pick up supplies, and donating money to BFTS. Continue reading

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The Time Has Come: Renovating The McCarren Ballfields

McCarren ballfield. Photo via Open Space Alliance
McCarren ballfield. Photo via Open Space Alliance

WHAT: Visioning Session for Renovating McCarren Ballfields
Join NYC Parks to share and discuss your ideas for the future of McCarren Ballfields 1, 2 & 3!
WHEN: Thursday, September 6 | 6pm
Where: McCarren Play Center | 776 Lorimer Street, between Bayard Street and Driggs Avenue

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Choose the Final Summerscreen Flick and Enjoy Kombrewcha at Wednesday’s Screening!

Kombrewcha will be served at Wednesday’s final Summerscreen

You know summer’s wrapping up when there’s just one Summerscreen flick left. This Wednesday, the free series presented by Northside Media Group rounds out the summer with a movie chosen by the audience. Summerscreen has yet to announce the final film, so take advantage of the time that remains to cast your vote!

The options for the August 29 screening are Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, Bad Boys, You Got Served, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and High FidelityTo further spice up the event, Kombrewcha will be the (complimentary!) beverage sponsor during the screening.

Movies start close to sundown, but there’s plenty to enjoy beforehand including food trucks, opening bands, and (of course) the boozy and fizzy Kombrewcha. Bring a blanket to sit on (snacks and dogs welcome!) and say farewell to summer this Wednesday.

 

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Cast Your Vote for Next Week’s Movie at McCarren (Weds, 8/29)

summerscreen_williamsburg_greenpointers_jerasmus

The movie they show at next week’s Summerscreen (Weds, 8/29) is up to YOU! Cast your vote here for which movie you’d like to watch! Pick from:

Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion
Bad Boys
You Got Served
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
High Fidelity

The film will screen on Wednesday, August 29th beginning at sundown. Doors are at 6, music starts at 7pm. Bring blankets and chairs and snacks. There will also be food and drinks sold from local vendors. And, it’s FREE!

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Endless Summer: Free (or cheap) North Brooklyn Must-Dos

Movie in Transmitter Park. Photo: Megan Penmann

August is like the Sunday of summer, so why not get the most of out this month? There’s still so much fun to be had, even as summer winds down to a slow and humid crawl.

Here are some ideas to have a great and wallet-friendly summer right here in North Brooklyn: Continue reading

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Dr. Strangelove, Lane Kim, Rubulad and CounterCulture — What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (8/8-8/14)

Cruel Summer: 80s + 90s Dance Party @ The Bell House (149 7th Street), Friday 8pm
Get Into The Groove at an All Night Long dance party set to the soundtracks of the 80s and 90s with 80s anthems performed by kick-ass 10-piece cover band The Engagements, 90s hits spun by Party Like It’s 1999’s DJ Steve Reynolds, music video sing-alongs by SecretFormula, and 80s + 90s music videos from Music Video Time Machine. Just $5 in advance with promo code “Bananarama” or $10 at the door, Buy tix  [Sponsored]

WEDNESDAY 8/8

♫ Rodes Rollins, No Swoon @ Elsewhere Rooftop (599 Johnson Ave.), 5pm, FREE, RSVP 
* Evening Cha Dao Tea Ceremony
@ Anima Mundi Apothecary (35 Noble St.), 6pm, $25, buy tix
♦ Dr. Strangelove @Bushwick Inlet Park (50 Kent Ave.) 8pm, FREE, pop up movie in the park includes free popcorn! More Info
♫ Balún Record Release Party w/ Mons Vi & Tigue @ Baby’s Alright (146 Broadway), 8pm, $10-12, Buy Tix

THURSDAY 8/9

♫ Risky Business Presents: Special Guest: Tom & Collins/Risky Crew @ The Roof (74 Wythe Ave.) 5pm, FREE, More Info
^ Aliza Kelly’s The Mixology of Astrology Book Launch @ Space Ninety 8 (98 N 6th St.) 6:30pm, FREE, astrology and cosmic cocktails, RSVP
# Beyond Bagels: Jewish Food and Jewish Eating @ MOFAD (62 Bayard St.), 6:30pm, $25-30, Buy Tix
♫ Starina @ Troost (1011 Manhattan Avenue), 8pm, FREE, More Info
Acid Mama @ Black Flamingo (168 Borinquen Pl.), 10om, FREE, More Info

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Greenpoint Open Studios, Free Moscow Mules, Go Green! Brooklyn, War Witch and Wrestling for Lovers — What’s Happening, Greenpoint! (5/30 – 6/5)

Greenpoint Open Studios 2017

GREEENPOINT OPEN STUDIOS | JUNE 2nd + 3rd, 12-6pm

Greenpoint Open Studios (GOS) returns with more than 400 local artists, who will open up their studios to the public to showcase their works. Free and open to everyone! Visitors will have the opportunity to engage directly with artists in their own spaces, including painters, sculptors, video and installation artists, photographers, printmakers, ceramicists, designers, architects and more. This year GOS is offering several guided tours, workshops and additional fun art events all over the neighborhood.
Full schedule of events (including a Launch Party at Java Studios Friday night, Wrap Party at Northern Territory Sunday night) and tour registrations can be found here.
A map of all the artists’ studios can be found here.

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WEDNESDAY 5/30

* Extreme Cities: On Water Contamination and Urban Adaptation @ A/D/O (29 Norman Ave.), 6:30pm, FREE, The future of cities and their role in mitigating climate change. RSVP
^ Evergreen Review @ Bizarre Bar (12 Jefferson St.), 7pm, FREE, readings, prizes and more, More Info
* War Witch: The Art of the Curse @ Catland (987 Flushing Ave.), 7pm, $20, jinxes, hexes, curses and challenging the ethics of witchcraft, Buy Tix
♫ Menjuje, Rose Cologne, Purracuda @ Tender Trap (66 Greenpoint Avenue.), 8:00pm, $7, More Info

THURSDAY 5/31

☺Physically Bold Comedy Show @ Pine Box Rock Shop (12 Grattan St.), 7pm, FREE, More Info Buy Tix
♫ TEST/Bandit/Organ Dealer/Chepang/Bea$ters @ St. Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave.), 8pm, $10, Buy Tix
♫ Starina and I Am The Polish Army @ Troost (1011 Manhattan Ave.), 9pm, FREE, More Info
♫ 3 Year Anniversary: Friends b2b Family ~up and down~@ Black Flamingo (168 Borinquen Pl.), 10pm, FREE, Black Flamingo’s celebrating its 3 year anniversary, RSVP
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FREE Summer Movies in Transmitter, McGolrick & McCarren Park!

summerscreen_williamsburg_greenpointers_jerasmus

Outdoor movie season is upon us, and here’s a roundup of the listings! No word yet on the lineup for Summerscreen this year, which usually kicks off in July, but we will definitely keep our neighbors posted.

Movies Under The Stars @ McCarren Park
Lady Bird
Friday, May 11, 2018 | 8pm–9:45 pm
More info *screening on the lawn at Lorimer & Driggs Continue reading

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Hot News for the Summer: McCarren Park Getting Grills and Food Trucks!

rilling in McCarren Park, via Brooklyn Paper
Grilling in McCarren Park, via Brooklyn Paper

We know McCarren Park is a great spot for chilling, but come May, it will be a great spot for grilling! In previous years, would-be Brooklyn grill masters have had to keep their grilling on the DL or risk getting a ticket. Not anymore! The parks department in kicking $50,000 our way for nine double-wide grills, 18 picnic tables, 3 charcoal-disposal bins and two additional trash cans. All this new equipment will be stationed around the park in 3 separate locations.

For park-goes who don’t want to do their own grilling, but would still like to chow down, the Parks Department will be soliciting bids for on-site food vendors. Of the applicants, the department will choose 3. Two will operate trucks in the park, and the third will set up shop in the field house!

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