Historical Walking Tour of Greenpoint This Saturday!

greenpoint walking tourWHAT: 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.

You should RSVP to info@preservationgreenpoint.org to reserve your spot! Continue reading

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A Collaborative Sculpture In McGolrick Park, and a Meadow-phor for All of Us

Conceptual artist Martynka Wawrzyniak will create Ziemia, a public art project created in collaboration with all Greenpointers.

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”.

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The Mysterious Closure of the West Nassau Meat Market?

Screen shot 2016-08-31 at 1.31.31 PM

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

Category: (Not)Forgotten Greenpoint, Culture, Eat & Drink, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Five Awesome Polish Beauty Products

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.

Bialy Jelen Natural SoapBiały 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

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For Poland, Euro Cup 2016 Hopes Sadly Pass

Facepaint and flag
A Poland supporter walks down Nassau Avenue with facepaint and a Polish flag before the Poland-Portugal match Thursday afternoon.

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.

Walking down sidewalk
Three friends walk home down Nassau Avenue after watching Poland’s unfortunate loss to Portugal in the Euro Cup quarter-finals.

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

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Learning About Polish Food at MOFAD’s “Tracing North Brooklyn’s Polish Food Heritage”

MOFAD City North Brooklyn Polish Food Panel
L to R: Filip Stabrowski, Annie Hauck-Lawson and Andrew Konopka

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.

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Gastronaut: Kielbasa

various kielbasa
various kielbasa (from left to right): various kabanosy, weselna, mysliwska, wiejska, krajana, kiszka, parowki, parowki drobiowe, krakowska, jalowcowa; photo © Gordon Lingley

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

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40 Years of Service Means PSFCU Offers Great Benefits for its Members

Polish-Slavic-Union_40th-Anniversary-Blue_Logo_500With over 43,000 surcharge-free ATM’s in our network, competitive checking accounts, and a large offer of credit cards and personal loans, Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union (PSFCU) has been serving its community for 40 years in three states: New York, New Jersey and Illinois. In addition to sixteen branches, PSFCU also offers mortgage loans for properties in Florida and Pennsylvania. With over 1.7 billion dollars in assets, PSFCU is currently the largest ethnic credit union in the United States.

PSFCU provides its Members with free 24/7 Online and Mobile Banking access to their accounts and loans. Continue reading

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Motorcycle and Church Thieves, Plus Meredith Graves About Town — The Hook-Up 9/26

Photo: Driely Schwartz via Racked
Photo: Driely Schwartz via Racked

As Pope Francis alights upon our city, the New York Times turns its attention to Greenpoint’s own St. Anthony Church, where graffiti, theft, and abuse of holy water bely the sometimes less savory side of embracing the destitute.

Progress for Newtown Creek’s new Kosciuszko Bridge are right on track. Where public development projects are concerned, no news is certainly newsworthy.

New York’s first Polish Dual Language Program has landed at PS34. On the agenda: preserving the neighborhood’s cultural heritage, preparing kids to succeed in English, and raising a class of high-achieving wunderkind. Continue reading

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‘Brooklyn 664 Wine & Dine’ Replaces CinaMoon on Manhattan Avenue

wine_dine_greenpointNot long ago there was a restaurant at 664 Manhattan Avenue called CinaMoon. Polish Ambassador Witold Sobków once cited it as one of the best places for traditional Polish food in NYC and although I’d meant to visit I had never actually gotten around to it.

Recently I walked past and saw that CinaMoon had closed and the signage had changed to an eighties-tastic ‘Wine & Dine’. The new restaurant was yet to open but as I peered through the window a guy came out and introduced himself as Alex. I asked him what kind of food it was going to be. “Modern American” he said,  adding “we’re going to have the best food in Greenpoint”. Continue reading

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