It seems like everywhere I go I run into a Greenpointer – even in Hawley, Pennsylvania. We stopped into a “sub” shop called Fluff’s, (what a name!) and enjoyed a mean grilled cheese. Shop owner Warren chatted us up. He was a cop in the Rockaways until he retired to rural PA, and he grew up in Greenpoint. He remembers when McGuinnes Blvd was called Oakland St. He said a lot of people eventually moved from Greenpoint to Pennsylvania for work after the rope factories were closing in the neighborhood.
This week’s portrait revived my love for photography. I do it everyday, like a copying machine, product after product. I am happy as long as my eye is in the viewfinder, but when I take a great portrait, an honest and beautiful portrait, something happens, a new connection is made, it’s a breakthrough. Happy brain hormones flow. That said, it has all to do with my subject.
It wasn’t hard with Jessica Wertz, who is unapologetically badass, drinking a pint of Guinness, rocking a gold tooth, has a German shepherd side-kick, and is drop-dead gorgeous. And she owns on of the coolest bars in Greenpoint – No Name Bar. Enough said. But I have more…
I know you’re asking- what happened to the food at No Name Bar? I know this because I get emails and tweets about this all the time! Good thing I have been stalking the bar weekly asking the same question.
Cat’s out of the bag – a home-style Korean menu, inspired by Jessica’s mother’s cooking will debut on April 1st. That’s this Monday! This isn’t a joke.
Paulie Gee and Mary Ann (Mrs. Gee) and Jon and I do brunch double dates every so often. It’s a great time! I shot this portrait of Mr. Gee at M. Shanghai. If you go there, get the eggplant salad. If you go with Paulie, make sure to order two. He died over it.
If you follow me on Instagram (@greenpointers) you know that I have NOT been in Greenpoint. For the past two weeks, Jon and I went on a fantastic birding trip to sunny Florida and visited the southern most Greenpointer: “Cowboy Mark” Straiton. I don’t need to give Mark an introduction since he is a legendary Greenpointer, a renowned DJ, an antique genius, a brilliant chef and an all around awesome friend. I will tell you he is already the most popular dude in Key West! Not surprising.
If you want to see more photos from our trip, use hashtag #jenjonfl2013 on Instagram. (Warning: lots of birds AND awesome vintage and antique finds!)
Originally from Puerto Rico, living and raising her family in Greenpoint since 1978, Mrs. Garcia, by far one of my favorite Greenpointers, holds down Kingsland Ave. She invited us into her apartment on New Year’s Eve, shared with us her amazing yellow rice and chicken and showed us photos of her 11 grandchildren.
The world is random; so is Greenpointers. The obsessive collector in me cannot keep my hands off any and all cool looking business cards that I find in coffee shops, art galleries, bars and those handed to meet when I meet new folks. I have a nerdy binder with laminated slots where I keep them, but since that has filled up I stuff everything into this pickle jar. Like a lot of organizational disasters in my life, it is one of the many elephants in the room of things I need to go through. I earnestly pocket these cards because they are attractive to me and I want to check them out.
Enter the new weekly post: “Pick a Card” in which I randomly pick a business card, show it to you, and tell you all about it.
This may sound boring, but this isn’t the “Leave a Business Card for Free Lunch” raffle jar you find in an overpriced deli in Midtown. This jar is filled with some of the most innovative and creative new companies, organizations, artists and musicians, all people who live in our neighborhood. Another column I want to do regularly is a weekly featured Greenpoint artist, so I am killing two birds with one stone here. I am psyched that the first card I pulled is artist/photographer Caroline Burghardt. Aside from personally loving her work, the timing is great because on Saturday she is working on her Pastoral Dreams photo project up in the Bronx at the Andrew Freeman Home, and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun! Check out the facebook invitation for more info.