puerto rico

Puerto Ricans’ Vibrant History in North Brooklyn

S. 3rd St in Williamsburg, a section of the neighborhood known as Los Sures. (Living Los Sures)

Like many other Greenpointers, I heard the news of the closing of the American Deli (97 Franklin St.) with great sadness. The bodega has been a neighborhood fixture for the twenty-five years I have lived here and its closure is just another sign of the disappearance of the once vibrant Puerto Rican community in North Brooklyn.

When my wife and I first arrived in the area in the early nineties the bodega was one of the few active businesses on Franklin Street. Many of the other storefronts on the street were boarded up and hadn’t done business for years, but the bodega was always one of the few places on Franklin Street to grab a bite to eat or pick up some beer.

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A Brief History of the Puerto Ricans in Greenpoint

Members of the Assembly of God Church in 1928

Sunday, January 14th is a day of pride for the Puerto Rican community in North Brooklyn. It is the celebration of the feast of the Three Kings and there is an enthusiastic parade and celebration of Puerto Rican culture on Grand Street. In traditional Puerto Rican culture, the feast day was a day of celebration and gift giving that was actually bigger than Christmas for many Puerto Ricans. So it’s a good time to reflect on the long history of Puerto Ricans in our part of Brooklyn. Continue reading

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Donate To Puerto Rico, The North Brooklyn Way: Five Fun Events To Hit Up and More Ways To Help!

At our Fall Market this past Sunday, the community came together and helped to raise more than $700 for the Hurricane Maria Community Recovery Fund—where 100% of funds support low-income and communities of color relief and rebuilding efforts.

As we reported earlier this week, the former bartender/manager and chef of shuttered bar The Habitat are also looking for some help after their post-Habitat plans to move to Puerto Rico were seriously derailed following the hurricane. Additionally, local salon The Karcher (72 Greenpoint Ave) is collecting used Halloween costumes, and the proceeds from the sales will benefit hurricane victims. As it turns out, there are tons of upcoming events (including two tonight!) to benefit recovery efforts—so here’s even more ways you can donate, have fun and throw back a drink or two!

Puerto Rico Benefit @ San Damiano Mission

Sanctuary: Puerto Rico Benefit Show feat. Mr Twin Sister, CEP, Juri Onuki
@ San Damiano Mission | 21 Nassau Ave
Friday, October 6th | 8pm-10pm
$35, More info
Live Performance by Mr Twin Sister, Ambient Sine Wave Set from CEP (Caroline Polachek), Dance Choreography by Juri Onuki. Beer from The Brooklyn BreweryThe Old Blue Last & Other Half Brewing Company, Wine from Zev Rovine Selections, Kombucha from MOMBUCHA, Complimentary charcuterie w/ ~tipsy condiments~ from Sable & Rosenfeld. Proceeds will be donated to GlobalGiving for both short & long term relief for locals affected by Hurricane Irma & Maria.

Sanctuary After Party @ Magick City
Sanctuary: Puerto Rico Benefit Show After Party

@ Magick City | 37 Box Street
Friday, October 6th | 11pm-4am
$15, More info
DJ sets from: Andrew VanWyngarden (@nadrewvanwyngarden MGMT), Noah Prebish & Brother Michael (@noah_spine @brother.michael PSYMON SPINE), Rory O’Connor (@nitemoves Nitemoves / Tycho) Continue reading

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Community Call: Help the Habitat Gals Rebuild After the Hurricane

The ladies of The Habitat, Nicole Orlando and Ashley Engmann

Greenpointers, you’ve been a major tight-knit community. You poured in, drank, and reveled in the last days at the Habitat and shared your touching stories with us about our beloved watering hole. And now, two amazing ladies behind the Habitat need your help.

Nicole Orlando and Ashley Engmann were some of your favorite friendly faces (besides the Johns, of course) at the Habitat. Nicole poured your fave beers at the front and managed the bar, while Ashley was the chef behind your favorite dishes (those wings!). When the Habitat was nearing the end of its tenure, Nicole and Ashley were planning a new life full of hope: they would relocate to Puerto Rico for new opportunities. Then, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and now their dreams are on hold. Continue reading

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This Weekend We’re Raising Money for Puerto Rico Hurricane Victims & The Greenpoint Hunger Program

This Sunday at our Fall Market (10/1) at the Greenpoint Loft from 1-7pm, we will have two non-shopping tables you should definitely swing by. One is for the Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund, and the other is for the Greenpoint Hunger Program. Here’s a little about each of these important causes:

Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund
The devastating effects of hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico are still unfolding, but one thing is certain—the island’s most vulnerable communities are likely to be pummeled the hardest and face the longest road to recovery. Low-income communities of color often face the worst destruction and slowest recovery and have fewer resources to safeguard homes, vehicles, and other property. When the winds die down and the floods recede, these communities are often forgotten by reconstruction efforts, and underserved by insurance companies. The Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund will be housed at the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). One hundred percent of monies raised will be used to support immediate relief, recovery, and equitable rebuilding in Puerto Rico for the communities hit hardest by the storm. The Fund is governed by organizations like Puerto Rico-based Taller Salud, the G8 of Caño Martín Peña, and other local, grassroots organizations.

Photo via Greenpoint Hunger Program
Photo via Greenpoint Hunger Program

The Greenpoint Hunger Program
If you have not heard from your neighbors about the Soup Kitchen + Food Pantry of the Greenpoint Reformed Church’s Hunger Program, the volunteer-based organization is a vital part of Greenpoint, for those in need. The kitchen serves more than 800 hungry people every month in the North Brooklyn Community and beyond. On Wednesday evenings, they serve a delicious community dinner. On Thursdays, they distribute groceries from the food pantry. According to the Church, “It costs about $5,000 per week to host the meal and keep food pantry running,” so they need your monetary and volunteer support. Stop by their table to find out more about donating your time or dollars.

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