As New York City, and North Brooklyn in particular, go through massive socioeconomic changes, it’s become very common to hear cries of outrage about gentrification. Since the infamous rezoning in the mid-aughts, Greenpoint/Williamsburg has seen ever-rising rents and an influx of residents (myself included, I arrived here in 2009 from my family home of northeast Queens). This trickles down into situations like the one occurring with the Park Deli (209 Nassau Ave). But sometimes, the story isn’t a “greedy landlord” or “gentrification,” but rather a situation much more complex and completely normal.
There’s no doubt that Park Deli is a Greenpoint institution. Opened in 1931 by German-American William Mullenbrock, the deli has served reasonably priced German-style food ever since. What was Mullenbrock Deli changed hands in the 1950s, and at some point, acquired the name “Park Deli.” Continue reading →
The playground at McGolrick Park will be closing later in the year year for improvements, which will include new equipment, surfaces and landscaping. The funding source for the repairs is our district’s Participatory Budgeting, as well as Mayoral and Borough President funds (in total, $1-3 million). Construction is expected to take 12-18 months, and you can follow the project’s progress on the NYC Parks site.
Last month marked the hundredth anniversary of America’s entry into World War I, a war which had many profound effects on Greenpoint. A hundred and fifty local men lost their lives in the war and many more were wounded. One of the fallen has always intrigued me. Frank Baliszewski, who lived in my house at two Clifford Place, died on October 4th, 1918 from wounds he suffered in battle in France. I know little else about him, but I have often wondered about him. His name still stands on a monument outside his parish church, St. Stanislaw Kostka on Driggs Avenue. There were also two brothers, the McVeighs from Hausman Street, who fell within a day of each other in different parts of France. Continue reading →
According to police, a man was slashed and robbed in McGolrick Park Saturday night around 9:30pm. He had seen someone in a group of people drop a pack of cigarettes and went to return them—only to get his head smashed on a metal bar, slashed on his cheek with a knife and robbed of his iPhone, $250 in cash and a bracelet.
A Paulie Gee’s server was seriously injured after a cyclist struck her on the corner of Manhattan and India. Without insurance, she’s now facing $10k in medical bills and $25k of bills and lost wages combined while she recovers. You can donate to her crowdfunding campaign to help her recover physically and financially. Continue reading →
Since the introduction of its first archetype, the modern “art gallery” continues to evolve into many different forms today—as artists can be found showcasing their work in more intimate settings outside the institutional format of endless rooms and luminous ceilings.
During Greenpoint Open Studios (June 3-4), one can easily come across several types of art in unusual places; like an ambient soundscape from The Lot Radio (17 Nassau Ave) at the San Damiano Mission, where you can expect to hear a range of midi sound loops through its historic 700-pipe organ. Since its opening a little over a year ago, The Lot Radio has held several events within the church to raise money towards the pipe organ’s renovation. The program during GOS will be performed by composer and DJ Noah Prebish, who plays in the band Psymon Spine when he’s not at The Lot.
“Throughout the day, we’ll have different sized loops playing that will work similarly to a Steve Reich tape loop, so no sound will repeat exactly the same,” explains Noah. “When you walk into the church, each loop is going to sound a bit different. This will kind of showcase the abilities of the organ, which can be played really fast or really slow, or with several different tempos at once.” Prebish will also be accompanied by local musicians like Bryan Ujueta of Mr. Twin Sister and others, who will improvise with instruments over the loops.
Be sure to catch Noah’s soundscape piece at the church (85 North 15th Street) and scope out some of the other types of unexpected art you can find in the neighborhood after the jump. Continue reading →
Martynka Wawrzyniak, a Polish-born local artist driven by a creative vision, recently learned that local history eerily repeats itself. Researching Greenpoint history for her local site-specific artwork, she learned she was following in the footsteps of another Greenpoint Polish woman whose quest to create a local monument decades ago amazingly mirrored her own efforts.
Martynka is currently working on a community-engaged public art project, celebrating the disparate cultures comprising North Brooklyn. Her work titled Ziemia (which means earth in Polish), created in collaboration with local residents, invites locals to contribute soil from personally meaningful locations that symbolize their identity. Ziemia will take the form of a three-foot diameter ceramic orb sitting atop of a native plant meadow in McGolrick Park. Grenpoint clay will serve as the materials for the orb and the mix of soil contributed by residents will be used for the glaze. The piece will function as a collective community portrait, embodying the many Greenpoint homeland and migration stories. You can follow along with the sculpture’s progress on Instagram. Continue reading →
It’s almost summer, y’all. May has finally hit, and the McGolrick Park Farmers Market is making its seasonal debut this Sunday (5/7) from 10am-4pm. This weekend about ten vendors will be selling lots of delicious veggies, fruit, herbs, and pantry staples, with more vendors joining the mix as we cruise into summer. Support your local farmers and foodmakers and hit up the market!
Local residents are concerned after a recent uptick in traffic accidents and injuries. A 14-year-old boy was struck by an out of control driver on Manhattan Avenue and seriously injured last week. Two weeks ago, an elderly man was killed on Grand Street following a hit and run. And there was a report a few weeks back of a four-year-old getting struck by a box truck near McGolrick Park—we’ve heard the boy is ok. According to the NYPD, in the 94th Precinct collisions are up by 27%, and collisions with injuries are up 122% over last year, and our year has just begun. Neighbors have decided to mobilize and are meeting tonight (Jan. 25) at Greenpoint Beer & Ale (7 N 15th St.) from 7-9pm to discuss traffic safety. Check out the Facebook event here.
As of last week, we started seeing trees pile up at McCarren Park, some with lights and stands still attached, which is a big no-no. Here’s what you need to do to get your tree ready for recycling!
The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the New York City Department of Sanitation , and GreeNYC are hosting the annual MulchFest this Saturday and Sunday January 7th and 8th, where trees are turned into mulch for the city’s parks and plantings. You can drop off your Christmas trees to recycle them into wood chips. These wood chips are used to nourish trees and plants on streets and gardens citywide. Or, take home your very own bag of mulch to use in your backyard or to make a winter bed for a street tree. More than 30,000 trees were recycled last year.
You can bring your tree to McCarren Park at Lorimer and Driggs on January 7 and 8 from 10am to 2pm. They’ll chip your tree, and give you your very own bag of mulch! McGolrick Park (at Monitor and Driggs) and Transmitter Park are both operating as tree drop-off sites, so you can bring your tree there but it won’t be chipped there (so no free bag of mulch). Please remember to remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel, stands and netting before bringing the tree to a MulchFest chipping or drop-off site. Bags will be provided if you wish to take some free mulch home. Continue reading →
There is a famous quote related to English architect Sir Christopher Wren: “If you seek his monument look around you.” The same could be said in Greenpoint of Peter J. McGuinness, the local ward boss who ran Greenpoint from 1923 to 1948. McGuinness profoundly altered Greenpoint and his many achievements are still visible everywhere.
How did you get to Greenpoint? If you arrived by subway it was McGuinness who secured the G train in 1933. The original route of the crosstown train did not go through Greenpoint, but McGuinness complained so loudly the route was changed. Did you drive over the bridge at Greenpoint Avenue? McGuinness also got that for our area in 1929 by being the firmest supporter of Mayor Jimmy Walker. Continue reading →