Local Heroin Addiction Treatment: Ask a Therapist

Q: First, I would like to applaud Director Selling for acknowledging that there are so many people addicted to heroin, and for having the insight and desire to establish a substance abuse practice in North Brooklyn, which I agree is severely under served in regards to professional help available to struggling addicts.

A loved one has been struggling with addiction for 7 years, and heroin addiction for just over 5 years. She is enrolled in a methadone maintenance program and has weekly sessions with a Psychotherapist. Continue reading

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Ask a Therapist: First Edition

The older I get, the more I realize one universal truth: we all have issues.  And while some of us are lucky enough to work them out through therapy, others never get the chance, for reasons ranging from the stigma surrounding mental health in America to the high cost of counseling (without insurance, therapy can range anywhere from $150-$300 per session).

But, don’t get too bummed out because starting now, Daniel Selling, founder of Williamsburg Therapy Group, is here to answer all of your deepest, darkest, and most profound life questions.

So, ask away Greenpoint!  Dump your problems here and Daniel will drop some words of wisdom that are sure to lay those winter blues to rest.

Read our debut advice from Daniel after the jump: Continue reading

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Onyx Cafe – Sports Bar?

Onyx Cafe has been around for awhile. I’ve never been inside but from what I know it was a Polish bar/cafe/club kinda joint. Reader Ryan sent me an email that they’ve been closed and are doing some work inside. Also, he sent a pic of their little homemade sign out front about a “Sports Bar” coming soon.

Seems like it’s the same owners maybe doing some re-designing? Anyone know?

Onyx Cafe
278 Nassau Ave (between Sutton St & Morgan Ave)

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Questions: Manhattan Deli

Reader Brian shot me this email regarding the Manhattan Deli & Grocery at 82 Nassau Avenue. A quick internet search turned up a bunch of wrong things stating Loren was at that address (it’s not – that’s the next block over at 80 Nassau Ave).

I did notice this was closed a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately I don’t know whether it’s temporary or permanent. If anyone does feel free to post a comment or shoot me an email at [email protected].

if anyone will know it’s you….why have they been shut down for the past few weeks? were they closed due to health department or are they on extended vaca or what? it’s the one next to the hipster-fied Schmooks (with bad pizza…ugh….) on Manhattan and Nassau

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Questions: Kielbasa To Go

Got an email from a reader in Florida this week looking for some of that good ol’ Greenpoint grub.

I used to drive through Greenpoint on my way to work, and stop for groceries along the way. Now that I am retired and living in Florida, I miss the true Polish kielbasa that I used to pick up from stores on Manhattan Avenue where I had to point to what I wanted because I couldn’t speak Polish. I wonder if any of those stores ship their products?

I found a thread going on at Chowhound where some people were talking about getting Polish goodies delivered. There seems to be a few online places to get it though none of them are local places. It wouldn’t hurt to call the following Greenpoint places to see if they do infact deliver (you might need a Polish translator though!):

Steve’s Meat Market
104 Nassau Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 383-1780/2041

W-Nassau Meat Market
915 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 389-6149

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Questions: Club Exit

Originally uploaded by LukeB.

Here’s an interesting question from a reader who’s name I’ll keep shush… Just in case…

I was just reading your blog and I wanted to know if you have noticed the recent growth of Club Exit on Greenpoint Avenue. The level of noise on Thursday through Saturday night has grown tremendously. I have also noticed that in the morning there is garbage everywhere. I have spoken to the police after an incident on my corner that made me uncomfortable and they said that there were a lot of complaints from residents. What are your thoughts on this? Have you heard the same thing from other residents?

My sister lived on Leonard Street around the corner from Club Exit and one night when she was hosting a small theme party (Polish Night, ironically) me and a friend went around the corner to pick up some more beer when we were greeted with a stabbing victim, complete with pools of blood on the sidewalk. Guess where the guy was partying?

I also sent this persons email on to my sister who wound up moving just a block away and therefore still down the block from Club Exit.

Why don’t you tell your witness to a stabbing outside of Exit story… I call the cops at least once a month because of the horrible ruckus that is made by the patrons of Exit. All I can do is pray they will feel as though they have outgrown where they are and move to a larger much less central and residential spot.

Another story I heard is about a neighborhood local who filed a formal compliant against the owners of Exit because of the loud and drunken crowds that spilled onto her street and was paid a not so nice visit from a person who she believes to be the Polish “Mob”- if such a thing exists, telling her to mind her neck. She claims that the Police are paid off by these people. Who knows if that is true, but Exit is a blight on Greenpoint.

I wish the Goons (they are huge!) that man the door at Exit would clear the immediate area after closing instead of unleashing a hundred drunken assholes to wake the neighbors within a 3 block radius.

The Polish Mob and crooked cops, oh my!

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Questions: Greenpoint, Queens?

*image from specmotors

Greenpoint is clearly in Brooklyn, but we’re sooooo close to Queens that sometimes people even think we’re in Queens. I dated a guy in Sunnyside and it literally took me like 8 minutes on the B24 – with stops – to get to his house. Different boroughs, but we both lived off Greenpoint Avenue.

Which brings me to a question from Nadir of Tales from the Mutliverse:

As you have mentioned before, as you grew up in Greenpoint you would hike to Queens more often than south to other areas of Brooklyn. And on my treks though the neighborhood over the years I have noticed that even the architecture seems far more Queens like than Brooklyn like, even more so than Williamsburg. So my question I guess is asking more for your opinion than not, but what trends have shaped the development of Greenpoint that acts like and seems more of a satellite of Queens than a neighborhood of Brooklyn? Or you know disagree with me. That will be fine as well.

I have to say I agree with you.

Greenpoint definitely has more of a Queens feel to it than a Brooklyn feel. I think that it simply has to do with our location. Had that whole water thing not been there, we’d probably have been part of Queens. Most of the people I know shopped, dined and went out in Queens than ever went further into Brooklyn. As a kid, my parents took me to the Queens Center Mall, we went to dinner at Sizzler or Red Lobster (now that I think about it, ew.). Me and the girls used to go to the bars on Queens Blvd. Breffni’s comes to mind especially…

I also agree that we’ve got a Queens borough state of mind when it comes to architecture as well. Not entirely, but our row houses of siding are less Brooklyn than our Billyburg neighbors. Also, I noticed years ago of the migration habits of Greenpointers. Most Brooklynites next stop is Staten Island, where as Queens folks or Brooklynites closer to Queens head to Long Island. Then Staten islanders flock to Jersey and Long Islanders just go further out on the Island. They all wind up in Florida, though.

But, we’ve definitely got the mentality of Brooklynites. We’re proud to be part of our borough and thankfully we don’t have Queens’ insane layout of numbered streets, avenues, lanes, roads and whatever else they could think of. Driving in Queens makes me want to blow my brains out. Which brings up another thing I’ve noticed, Greenpointers are more of a driving folk than other parts of Brooklyn. My parents never took the subway. Ever.

Probably because we were driving out to Queens.

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Questions: Newbies

I received the following email from a reader yesterday and thought I’d post some of my suggestions and welcome all of you to help pinpoint some good ways and/or places to make friendships in the ‘hood.

So I am new to greenpoint, moved here a few months ago from Michigan, and I happily stumbled upon your blog today. I am looking for some places in the area, particularly a good place to go and meet people… I am familiar with Matchless, Greenpoint Coffee House, and various other cafe/restaurant/bars… but in my experience going to these places isn’t always successful in sparking conversations for longer term friendships. I am looking for something a little more social-club like…. I was thinking of joining a yoga studio but am unsure of which is a good one to take classes at. I am a 22 year old grad student studying art…. so if you have any suggestions as where to find friends with similar interests, it would be much appreciated. Thanks! -amanda

I definitely see your point regarding making actual friendships as opposed to just meeting people randomly at a bar or cafe. I think this is a great question and I hope I can help you out a little.

First off, since you’re into yoga there’s Kusala Yoga on Franklin and India where I’m sure you could meet some like-minded friends.

Also, I think hanging out at Word for some of their cool events is a great way to meet new people. Just a couple of weeks ago they had their first game night. My sister and I went, it was a lot of fun and we met a couple of cool peeps ourselves! This Friday they’re having their first Book-to-Movie Night featuring a screening of Liev Schreiber’s Everything is Illuminated, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. And there’s always their Book Clubs to join.

You could also check out Brooklyn Kickball and sign up for a team. Not sure if they play in the winter, but send an email off to [email protected] and see what the deal is.

If you’re looking to meet a significant other, you could try local matchmaking service Brooklyn is for Lovers. Seems a bit safer than craigslist, no?

That’s all I got that doesn’t involve alcohol since I’m a drunk myself. But hopefully some younger and less apt to spending their nights stumbling from bar to bar folks will be able to weigh in on additional things to do in the area. Thanks for the email Amanda!

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Questions: Booze at BL?

There’s an UPDATE to this post here.

Here’s a new question I received today. It’s one I was curious about myself!

“here i am, a newly-minted greenpointer asking an old school greenpointer this:

will Brooklyn Label ever get a liquor license or do they choose not to have one, going the BYOB route? i did as one of the waitstaff once but she did not know.

love the place, excellent food and coffee, right around the corner from me in the infamous Astral and was curious.



I did a little digging and according to the New York State Liquor Authority, Brooklyn Label filed for a “Restaurant Wine” class license on 7/2/07 and it’s status is currently pending.

I thought that was a little odd since they were open for awhile, why so long before they applied?

So I checked into the mandatory Community Board thing applicants have to go through, which from what Ive heard can make or break you getting a license. From the NYSLA website:

“On-premises license applicants must notify the appropriate government entity (village, town or city clerk or the appropriate community board if in NYC) as well as the designated newspaper of a pending license application at a particular location.”

According to the CB #1 Brooklyn Label was first on the docket to be heard in October 2006 for a new Liquor License (The Gutter, which has it’s liquor license since it opened just a few months ago was on the same list that date). Then they’re shown on both the June 12th and June 28th 2007 meetings but this time designated for a Restaurant Wine License.

My assumption from this information is that they didn’t get the full bar liquor license and they refiled for just beer and wine and it’s currently pending.

So it doesn’t look like you’re going to be having a Bloody Mary any time soon at your Brooklyn Label brunch. But maybe a beer with your burger isn’t that far off.

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