New York is known as the ultimate city for countless things: fashion, finance, art, Instagrammable food trends – the list is longer than the line at a Supreme drop in Soho. When it comes to espionage, however, the city doesn’t necessarily come to mind the way Moscow or Washington, DC (especially as of late) might. Lucie Levine, a native Manhattanite turned Greenpointer, makes a strong case for her hometown as the ultimate spy city with Archive On Parade, her new tour and event company that reveals NYC’s fascinating history of espionage.
“What makes New York special is that it is the capital of so many industries, with more goods coming into NY harbor by 1900 than anywhere on Earth, and people always moving here from all over the world,” Lucie shares. “For a spy, that means a larger array of possible disguises and aliases, because anybody can be here doing any trade. Nothing seems out of place.”
Archive On Parade launched in February with two distinct walking tours, one in Lower Manhattan following the footsteps of Washington’s Revolutionary War spies and the other in Midtown covering espionage sights during both World Wars. Lucie, a self-proclaimed “history nerd,” does all of the writing, research, and tour guiding. Prior to starting her own business, she gave guided tours on the double decker red buses you see jam-packed with tourists. Continue reading →
Ken Butler’s artwork is playful. Often, literally. He designs, builds and plays unconventional musical instruments, crafting them out of everyday household objects or discarded junk on Brooklyn sidewalks. Through his eyes, an old printer cartridge plus a zip tie is a drum. A golf club is a guitar/sitar combo. His art is sculptural yet not purely sculpture; it’s captivating, conceptual and just pure fun. We were able to tour his studio, hang out and have a jam session with him this past Sunday, on a New York Adventure Club excursion. And you can do the same in a few weeks when he opens his doors again for Greenpoint Open Studios (on June 3rd and 4th, from 12-6pm each day).
On May 21st, Newtown Creek Alliance sets sail on Newtown Creek in a NY Waterway ferry boat. Historian Mitch Waxman and NCA Program Manager Willis Elkins are hosting the boat ride, and participants are invited to learn about the Creek’s rich industrial history, lasting legacy of contamination and environmental damage and on-going efforts to revitalize and restore this unique waterway in the heart of New York City.
This is a unique and rare way to be able to tour Newtown Creek and learn about our neighborhood’s (tragic) environmental history.
Newtown Creek Boat Tour | India Street Ferry Dock, 10 India Street
Sunday, May 21 | 2pm-4pm
What: NYC Audubon presents “My Yard Is For The Birds: The Things Birds Look For In Urban and Suburban Yards, and Why They Need To Be There” When: Saturday, April 22, 1pm–3pm Where: 520 Kingsland Avenue (Kingsland Wildflowers Roof & Community Space)
This Saturday at the Kingsland Wildflowers Roof and Community Space, NYC Audubon is presenting a talk from Joyann Cirigliano, president and Atlantic Flyway projects coordinator at Four Harbors Audubon Society. Learn about the importance of backyard gardens for birds, and the ways in which using native plants in landscape design will attract these feathered friends. The lecture will be followed by a tour of the Kingsland Wildflowers roof. Refreshments will be provided. This event is FREE and open to the public.
Led by Greenpointers writer and local historian Geoff Cobb, a historical walking tour of Greenpoint this Thursday evening will explore the northern part of the neighborhood with a focus on local ecology. If you’ve ever wondered what was there before the WNYC Transmitter towers, or why our area’s formerly pristine estuary and green section of Brooklyn became a center of heavy industry, this tour is for you. Considering our rapidly changing neighborhood, it’s important to honor elements of the old Greenpoint. The tour, is approximately 1 mile, and will last about 1.5 hrs.
The FREE tour will meet by the Greenpoint Avenue gate to Transmitter Park at 6:30pm and will walk to Greenpoint Playground. All participants will receive a map of the area with tour highlights, and enjoy complementary hot cider and gingerbreads. Bundle up!
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.
“I’m gonna keep you alive, I promise!” says Mai Armstrong, member of Newtown Creek Alliance.
It’s Saturday morning – a scorcher, by the way – and a group of 31 culture enthusiasts from all over New York have assembled by St Anthony’s Church for a free two-hour guided walk of Newtown Creek (and environs) as part of Jane’s Walk NYC. One woman, an ex-resident, has brought her two daughters from Manhattan to check out the old ‘hood. It’s a beautiful day, and we bristle with anticipation. Continue reading →
Back in December, on the eve of our first proper snow-fall, I tramped through the slushy streets of Greenpoint on a mission to experience my first ‘Salo‘, an underground Filipino supper hosted by Greenpointers’ very own wonder-chef Yana Gilbuena.
I stepped out of the frosty night air to find a glowing interior, a long table wrapped in banana leaves and a gang of friendly strangers – sharing wine and inhaling delicious cooking aromas. Continue reading →
Who listens to radio these days? I enjoy some WNYC action from time to time (when they are not doing a pledge-drive, of course), and my neighbor across the airshaft seems to enjoy sports radio at elevated volume levels around 7 a.m., so there are at least two of us. But after some research I discovered that, much to my surprise, my neighbor and I are not the only radio listening New Yorkers. There are millions of us!
I also learned that WNYC, my favorite radio station (see above), transmitted from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, for over 50 years, sited in what is now the aptly named WNYC Transmitter Park. The park—located where Greenpoint Avenue hits the East River—was opened in 2012 after a two-year, $12 million redevelopment project. The final product is lovely, with natural wetland landscaping, a pedestrian bridge and pier, killer views of Manhattan, and a nautically-themed children’s play area that reflects the site’s waterfront context. Continue reading →