McCarren Park

Giraffes on Horseback Salad, the Future Is Female, Spring Fever and the Twilight Zone — What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (3/27- 4/2)

Spring into peace, love, and local business! Our sensational Flower Power Spring Market returns to the Greenpoint Loft (67 West Street, fifth floor) on Sunday, April 7 from 1 to 7pm.

WEDNESDAY 3/27

☺ The Nerds on The Wall. @ Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer St.), 7pm, FREE, Stand Up Comedy, RSVP
♫ Hereyouare Launch Party: Social Experiment 1 @ Good Room (98 Meserole St.), 7pm, $6-10, drink, dance, get a tattoo, do some Karaoke, Buy Tix
♫ Tank/ Sabine Holler/ Steph Chrysalis/ Breakaway @ Secret Project Robot (1186 Broadway), 8pm, FREE, RSVP
♫ Funk You: 2 Year Anniversary @ House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Ave.), 10pm, FREE, RSVP

THURSDAY 3/28

# Ovenly Studio ONE54: Intro to Cake Decorating @ Ovenly Studio One54 (154 Franklin St.), 6:45pm, $105, learn how to decorate Ovenly’s Brooklyn Blackout Cake, Buy Tix
♦ Neotenic Design – Closing Night Conversation & Panel Discussion @ A/D/O (29 Norman Ave.) 7pm, FREE, RSVP
^ Meet Josh Frank, author of Giraffes on Horseback Salad @ WORD (126 Franklin St.), 7:30pm, $5, A graphic novel about the true story of Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made! Buy Tix
♫ Alien Trilogy / 1980Special Twin / Mez Swimmers / 2uarm / Alex C @ Secret Project Robot (1186 Broadway), 8pm, $7, More Info Continue reading

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Greenpoint’s Hidden Waters Explored at A/D/O

Pratt’s Astral Oil Works on the East River at Bushwick Inlet (Scientific American 1872)

Walk alongside the western Greenpoint waterfront and you’ll eventually hit a jut of water bordered by a weathered fence, marsh plants, and a lingering stench of seawater. Unlike the mammoth Hudson or Superfund-famous Gowanus, Bushwick Inlet is easily lost in the hierarchy of remarkable city waters.

This humble inlet, however, joined the limelight this past Thursday, thanks to Sergey Kadinsky, an analyst at the New York City Parks Department and adjunct professor at Touro College. Speaking at A/D/O, a design hub and workspace on Norman Avenue, Kadinsky gave a wide-ranging talk exploring the “hidden waters” across the metropolitan area.

Kadinsky took the stage as the final speaker in a series on water and design. Once a tour guide on Gray Line double-decker buses, he channeled that same brio as he barreled through the five boroughs, pointing out disappeared bodies of water at a blistering pace.

Suffice to say, the city hasn’t been kind to its ponds, streams, creeks, or lakes. Take the now-defunct Collect Pond, which used to be Manhattan’s main source of freshwater. As the city grew, so did the surrounding industry. Contaminated wastewater from breweries, tanneries, and slaughterhouses seeped into the small lake, leading officials to fill it in.

1924 NYC Map aerial survey of Bushwick Inlet to McCarren Park (via Hidden Waters blog)

Bushwick Inlet had a similar history. Fed by the disappeared Bushwick Creek, it had an illustrious career, home to a notorious rumrunner during prohibition and was also the launch site for the first ironclad warship constructed in the United States.

City officials then filled in Bushwick Creek in the 19th century, which ran through north Williamsburg and present-day McCarren Park, leading to the contraction of the inlet.

While there’s little hope for the resurrection of Bushwick Creek (its path was projected to run through the location of A/D/O), Kadinsky argued that this doesn’t prevent us from “daylighting” previously forgotten waters.

View of Bayside Oil Tanks through the weeds at Bushwick Inlet Park. Photo by Megan Penmann
Bushwick Inlet Park. Photo by Megan Penmann

For example, Collect Pond is gone for good, but city officials named a park in the same location in lower Manhattan Collect Pond Park, connecting past geography to present.

Bushwick Inlet has fared better than Collect Pond, but by all accounts needs a facelift. Luckily, it projects to be part of the northern extension of what will eventually be a complete Bushwick Inlet Park, a move to put the inlet “back on the map.” 

Via Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park
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McCarren Park Track Reopens Following Improvements

McCarren Park Track (via @northbrooklynrunners)

Time to celebrate with a few laps! The quarter-mile McCarren Park track has reopened after almost a year of improvements by the parks department for a cost of $3,188,000.

 

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Track‘s back. Wheels up BK! #runbrooklyn #mccarrenpark

A post shared by Brooklyn Running Company (@brooklynrunningco) on


The soccer field was also closed last March and a new artificial-turf was installed. Other improvements include a misting station and adding trees to the surrounding green area.

McCarren Park Synthetic Turf Soccer Field Reconstruction (via NYC Parks)
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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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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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