This Saturday and Sunday, October 14 and 15, Open House New York will present a citywide celebration of architecture and urban design, for the 15th year in a row. One of the largest architecture festivals in the country, with more than 200 buildings and projects across the five boroughs, from historic to contemporary, will be opened up over the weekend for tours and talks with architects, urban planners, historians, preservationists, and city leaders.
The advance reservation tours are all sold out, but don’t worry—there are several unique locations you can still visit sans reservations (and for FREE) in North Brooklyn, as well as a couple not-to-be-missed in Long Island City. Check out the list below!
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NY Sun Works’ Greenhouse Project at PS84 | 250 Berry St
The rooftop greenhouse at PS84 serves as an urban farm and hydroponic science lab for K-8th grade students. The lab was developed and programmed by NY Sun Works, a non-profit that builds hydroponic science labs in urban schools to teach students and teachers about the science of sustainability. Continue reading →
Local artist Martynka Wawrzyniak‘s site-specific sculpture, Ziemia, will take the form of a ceramic sphere atop a meadow garden in McGolrick Park, and she’s having the local community help create it. Ziemia, which means Earth in Polish, will celebrate our neighborhood’s many cultures, become a locus for community programming, and carry personal significance for the participants who help shape it.
McGolrick Sculpture Installation & Walking Tour With Greenpoint Historian
When: Saturday, September 30, 3pm – 5pm
Where: Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof | 520 Kingsland Avenue
Who: Greenpoint artist, Martynka Wawrzyniak & Greenpoint historian, Geoff Cobb
$15 donation (proceeds go to the Ziemia art project), RSVP
Every Thursday from 7-10pm in October, you can get to know North Brooklyn and its culture and history a little better with FREE bike tours hosted by Brooklyn Bicycle Co. and Loudest Yeller Bike Tours. Bring a neighbor or friend, or kids—ages 10 and up are welcome! The biking is super easy, and all skill levels are welcome. The tours leave from 141 South 5th Street at 7pm. Pro tip: be ready to eat some ice cream along the way.
What to bring: Bring your bike if you have one. If you don’t have one, you can borrow a Brooklyn Bicycle Co. cruiser. They’ve got bikes that fit everyone from 4’11 to 7’6, as well as helmets. If you need to borrow a bike please send a message ahead of time by emailing [email protected].
The Brooklyn Paranormal Society‘s mission is to seek out and uncover Brooklyn’s most spooky spots, and making contact with the other realm. Their Meetup group is almost 500-people strong, so it seems that quite a few Brooklyners are freaks for the strange and unusual (and maybe a little history, too). This Wednesday night (August 9th), they are hosting a ghost investigation right here in Greenpoint, beginning at West Wine Bar (67 West St) at 7pm, with a seance starting around 9 or 9:30pm, and will later move to different parts of the building and outside. The event is free, and there will be happy hour specials at the bar. If you can’t attend, but have been hearing peculiar noises in your building, or your apartment suddenly gets cold and you sense a presence lurking about, they have a paranormal tips hotline: (844) 666-BKPS.
Greenpoint, a neighborhood with a manufacturing and nautical past and many historical buildings, is no stranger to spirits taking cover in the shadows. In the early 1900s, Greenpoint was not the safest place to be—stabbings and shootings were fairly commonplace, and the area played host to warehouse accidents like workers getting crushed to death or deadly explosions.
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!