New York City is in a great spot in ice cream history. Neighborhood favorite Van Leeuwen might dominate the North Brooklyn scene, but things are getting a little bit sweeter for all of us. Not only do we have a new pop-up in Brooklyn Bazaar, the Davey’s ice cream headquarters on Meserole Avenue is scheduled to be open in time for after school sundaes! Continue reading
Until the 1960s, New York had very little sense of the importance of historic preservation. It allowed the majestic Pennsylvania Station to be demolished in a tragic act of architectural homicide. The same was true in Greenpoint. In 1919, a similar local crime against posterity was committed with the demolition of the sprawling colonial Meserole family mansion.
The old wood-frame house covered a few lots at 1000 Lorimer Street between Norman and Meserole, but the structure actually pre-dated any streets in Greenpoint. It was an imposing edifice, set back off the street and surrounded in later years by wide lawns. The first part of the house was built in 1790, but as the family amassed considerable wealth over generations, the house grew to 13 rooms.
The original building was three stories high with a piazza. Later, a two-story extension was built on the west side of the house, and a single-floor extension was added to that western wing. A sitting room at the center of the house had all the original colonial hand-hewn boards, but other parts of the house were remodeled far more comfortably and elegantly.
The house was constructed at a time when Greenpoint was an isolated farming hamlet. Peter Meserole not only built the structure himself, but he even had to manufacture his own wooden “nails” to join the sections of wood together.
If the house was impressive, then the grounds were even more so. Once the house was surrounded by the famed Meserole orchard, which in its heyday produced hundreds of boxes of apples and cherries that were exported to Europe. The orchard was also famed for the many songbirds, which rid it of insects that ate the valuable fruit. The orchard extended east to Leonard Street, west to the river, south to Norman Avenue, and north to Calyer Street. Manhattan Avenue was once even called Orchard Avenue, so famous were the Meserole groves. There was a kind of clearing in the orchard with a fine view of 23rd Street in Manhattan in the far distance.
Adrian Meserole, Peter’s son, born in 1822, was the last occupant of the house. He was lonely as a young boy, because there were only five families in all of Greenpoint and only one boy his age. There was no local church or school, so he had to walk to Bushwick, unlocking the gates of the farms he passed on his way to school.
Adrian and his nine siblings were raised tending the orchard and harvesting its abundant fruit. The orchard was such a beautiful spot that it was compared to the Garden of Eden, which is perhaps the reason why the area came to be known as “ The Garden Spot” of Brooklyn. Meserole was old enough to recall his parents’ stories of slaves who cleared lumber in Greenpoint before the revolution.
Adrian loved the orchard, but he loved money even more, and he began to sell parts of the orchard off for real estate development. To facilitate his property’s development, he cut a lane through his groves later called “Meserole Avenue.” It became Greenpoint’s first street. Selling off the land made him a rich man, and he died a millionaire. He died 91 years after his birth—only a few feet away from the very spot in the house where he was born.
There is something playful happening at Cafe Grumpy on 193 Meserole Avenue. It stops me when I’m looking for a seat in the recently renovated space—almost a dozen colorful and fun paintings made with brewed coffee, pen, ink, and watercolor line the walls in neat wooden frames. I want one, I think, and my best friend will want one, too. The barista confirms that he wants one as well, and so I look up the artist: Craig Peterson of Indiana, Pennsylvania. A day later, we discuss his “Coffee Art” series via telephone. Continue reading
Vintage Modern and Eat are teaming up to present an Art & Dinner event this Saturday evening to feature vintage prints by Betty Murtagh. It’s $40 prix fixe dinner, gratuity included and you must RSVP to [email protected]
John Reardon is opening the Greenpoint Tattoo Co! This Friday, July 15 from 7pm to 11pm will be the sneak preview / friends and family opening. And on Saturday July 16th for the official open for tattoos day. They’ll be taking walk-ins but just in case, you might want to call for an appointment first.
Greenpoint Tattoo Co.
131 Meserole Ave
Got a pic of Fred Flare’s latest window from my girly Shelly with a giant poster that they’re moving. The website just says to stay tuned and pickup orders at the warehouse location on Kingsland Avenue.
Update 5/4/11: Racked.com found out that the shop is actually looking to move more into pop-up shops and a Manhattan location.
BIG props to local shop Fanaberie for having their dress (so cute!) and necklace featured on the cover of the latest issue of Time Out New York! Fanaberie was also designated runner-up in the Best New Indie Shop category.
Check them out now for yourself and mention TONY to get 20% off until May 1st.
Update: Another local shop, Vintage Modern, also took honors as winner in the Best For Home Goods category! Plus, they’re offering a 15% off discount through next weekend if you mention their TONY win.
102A Nassau Ave between Eckford and Leonard Sts
File this under WTF?! But still pretty interesting… Myk, President of the Gotham City Beard Alliance (seriously) sent in this tip!
The 2010 NYC Beard and Moustache Competition happening at Club Europa on Saturday December 4th.
There will be live music from Brooklyn Musician (and judge) Corn Mo and The Intergalactic Fighters. We have prizes, on site trimmings and styling from our Sponsor Tomcats Barbershop, drink specials and oF course Moustache rides!
The categories include-
We are also being filmed for The Independent Film Channels newest show called Whisker Wars.
More info can be found at http://www.gothamcityba.net/
Saturday December 4th
98 Meserole Ave
Registration 5:30pm Doors 6:00pm
Got this email this morning from fred flare and I think these necklaces are a-freaking-dorable. Only 100 available and they are 50% off – just $19.99 – TODAY ONLY – and each one is totally unique. A perfect little gift! Buy it online only here.
Looks like Eat Records will be serving up dinner starting tomorrow and up until 10pm which is somewhat late for the ‘hood. Enjoy!
Starting this Thursday, January 24th, EAT will be serving dinner every night of the week. Dinner will be served from 5pm – 10pm and the menu will include risottos, pasta, polenta, and more. The dinner menu will be changing seasonally and will be based around ingredients from local farms in upstate New York. We are excited to have the opportunity to expand our food service and provide a unique and affordable dining experience. Hope you are able to come out for dinner and check out the new renovations. We will also be continuing our Friday night live music series which will coincide with dinner from 8-10pm every week.