Perhaps no local building defines Polish Greenpoint than St. Stanislaus Kostka Church at 607 Humboldt Street. St Stanislaus Kostka is home to the largest Polish Catholic congregation in Brooklyn. Each weekend nine masses are celebrated, five in Polish and four in English. This parish also has an elementary school with 300 students and another 300 who attend Sunday school. Each Sunday thousands of the faithful attend mass there. It is where many locals were christened, received their first communion and were married. When Pope John Paul II, the Polish Pope, visited New York he had to visit his people’s church. John Paul II, still as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, prayed in the parish during his 1969 visit when he spoke from the marble pulpit, prayed near the altar and received the heartfelt wishes of hundreds of local Catholics. There is a statue of John Paul II outside the church, which implores the faithful, “Nie Boj sie,” Don’t be afraid. Continue reading
Check out some 80’s sci-fi films presented by Polish Filmmakers NYC this Friday night at the Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell St.), at 8pm—there will be Polish food and vodka! The films will be presented in Polish with English subtitles. Bring your own pillow and blanket and get cozy. Facebook invite here. Tickets are $15. Continue reading
One of the most delicious dishes in Polish cuisine is Bigos, or as it is sometimes called in English, Hunter’s Stew. For many Polish Greenpointers it’s a staple, but many locals still do not know about this fantastic cold weather dish. Extremely hearty and filling, it’s a stew that is perfect for a cold day. No one is entirely sure how the word bigos entered the Polish language, but some say that it comes from German begossen, meaning “doused” or “basted.” Another explanation is that it comes from Italian bigutta, or “pot for cooking soup.” But wherever it comes from, bigos is a delicious stew that is worth the wait in cooking it.
WHAT: Greenpoint Walking Tour
WHEN: Saturday, October 22, 2:00-4:30 pm
Join veteran Brooklyn tour guide Norman Oder on a briskly-paced, wide-ranging introduction to the neighborhood, including historic blocks, converted historic buildings, commercial corridors, religious institutions, parks, and civic buildings. The tour will touch on industrial history, immigration (notably Greenpoint’s enduring Polish presence), and the current (and future) signs of gentrification.
Martynka Wawrzyniak has always been a conceptual artist. She thinks deeply about her relationship to the world and comes up with self-portraits that are inimitable and brilliantly unique. These ideas often utilize unusual substances and require her to collaborate with specialists in an eclectic range of fields.
For example, in her 2012 project, Smell Me, she spent two years working with Hunter College Professor Donna McGregor and a team of chemistry research students to create an olfactory-based self-portrait utilizing the extracted essence of her sweat, tears and hair.
In another project, Feed, she collected a year’s worth of her used cloth dinner napkins in order to create a suspended double spiral where viewers walked through her life in the self-described “stains of my existence”.
I suppose there are some Polish vegetarians, but not many. The Poles are largely a nation of carnivores and great butcher shops have defined Greenpoint for generations. No Polish butcher shop has been more popular than the West Nassau Meat Market located at 915 Manhattan Avenue, much more popularly known as Kiszka, but about three months ago it shut down without any explanation and no one seems to know much about its closure. The closure of the butcher has been a topic of intense speculation amongst the local Polish community. Continue reading
Beauty bloggers have consistently lauded the simple chicness of the beauty products found in the French pharmacy. They have praised the scientific brilliance of the 10-step Korean skincare routine. Consider this the long overdue ode to Polish beauty products, abundant, affordable, and yet perhaps still mysterious to many Greenpointers. The Polish beauty ethos—apparent in the products—is stick to what works, and to do it as naturally as possible. Here is a sampling of are some of the most popular products from around the neighborhood, no passport needed.
Biały Jeleń Natural Soap, $2
Find it at: Ziolko – 95 Nassau Ave #A
Summer in Brooklyn is a glorious time. Rooftop parties! Backyard barbecues! And lots and lots of sweat. Sometimes it feels like, scrub as you may, staying clean in the city in August is a fool’s errand. Before you resign yourself to a swampy, sticky month, might I suggest Bialy Jelen? This odorless, colorless bar soap makes no promises. It will not make you smell like rare flowers, nor will it magically reverse the aging process. It’s basic in the best way and does the only job you need a soap to do—get you really, really clean. You can use this unassuming bar to wash your face, your body, and even your lingerie according to one Polish model. Continue reading
Although Poland suffered a heartbreaking loss to Portugal yesterday in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Euro Cup, Polish pride was on full display around Greenpoint. Several soccer-friendly neighborhood bars were packed to capacity with red-and-white clad Poland fans, many of whom could be heard shouting passionately in Polish at every missed scoring opportunity.
Poland took the lead early with a goal from Robert Lewandowski, but were unable to strike again for the rest of regulation. Portugal tied it up with a goal from the 18-year-old phenom Renato Sanches, and with a 1-1 tie at the end of 90 minutes, the game went into overtime. Still, no one scored, so the match was decided by a shoot-out, which Portugal won 5-3. Continue reading
In their effort to educate us on all things food and drink, the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) in Williamsburg recently launched a new series of talks hoping to “preserve and promote” the culinary history and foodways surrounding specific New York City neighborhoods as a part of their MOFAD City project. Each panel takes place in that specific neighborhood with community leaders joining the discussion. After the first talk, which focused on Crown Heights, they came “back home” for “Tracing North Brooklyn’s Polish Food Heritage” Thursday May 19th in their MOFAD Lab exhibit design studio at 62 Bayard Street. The panel involved Gastropolis: Food and New York City author and Brooklyn Mompost founder, Annie Hauck-Lawson; Busy Bee Food Exchange owner, Andrew Konopka; and urban anthropologist, Filip Stabrowski.
Taste, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the new Greenpointers food series Gastronaut. Its continuing mission: to explore strange, new ingredients; to seek out new flavors and new techniques; to boldly go where no food has gone before.
Grilling season is upon us and, since Greenpoint is home to at least seven meat markets, it’s high time you upped your grilling game.
Walking into a Polish meat market can be a bit overwhelming. For starters, most, if not all, of the signage is in Polish and, at least in my experience, not everyone behind the counter speaks English. Don’t be discouraged. With a little patience and this decoder key, you’ll be the star of your summer bbq or picnic in the park. Continue reading