When Transmitter Park finally opened in 2012, many longtime Greenpoint residents were shocked to realize that for decades they had been denied amazing views of the East River. They wondered how they could have lived so close to the East River, yet missed its stunning vistas. They also wondered why the community had been shut off from their waterfront for generations. The 1.61-acre park on the East River offers spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline and is a much needed urban oasis, but to understand why it took North Brooklyn decades to develop a park at the site lets take a look at the history.
The park is a natural estuary with wetlands that were once the hunting ground of the Keskachaugue Native Americans. The land is also susceptible to floods and when the park was planned, the designers incorporated a bridge into the park design that allows for the periodic high waters of the East River to enter the park. Sometime in the 1840s, the area was chosen as the site for a primitive ferry that was nothing more than a small rowboat with a sail that carried a few passengers over to the sparsely settled Brooklyn shore. Remnants of that first ferry are still visible from the park’s bridge, but the undeveloped shoreline of the park would soon change with the advent of our area’s first industry: shipbuilding.
The rapid development of shipbuilding in Greenpoint coincided with a huge demand for sailing ships. Trade with China and the gold rush in California created a massive need for ships and the East River shoreline became the nation’s largest center of shipbuilding. The first wooden ship was built locally in 1850 and within five years a dozen shipyards producing wooden ships lined the East River shoreline.
John Englis joined his father’s business in 1850 at his yard at the foot of East 10th Street in Manhattan and created the famous shipbuilding firm John Englis and Sons. Manhattan was booming, forcing shipbuilding across the river and John Englis and Sons moved to Greenpoint in 1872. The Englis family yard, located where the park is today, built several famous ships there. The family constructed one of the largest wooden ships ever built, The Grand Republic, which was more than a football field in length. Today, the bar ‘Grand Republic’ is just up the street from the park and recalls the huge wooden ship.
Shipbuilding was proving unprofitable in the early 1900s, and slowly the Greenpoint yards closed, but John Englis and Sons alone held out. Finally, Englis and Sons too could not find orders and in 1911 the last surviving shipyard in Greenpoint closed, ending a colorful era.
Graffiti with the words “Wielka Polska” (Great Poland in English) and the Celtic cross, which according to the Anti-Defamation League is one of the most common white supremacist symbols, appeared at the Kent St. entrance to Transmitter Park next to East River Studios, where the Showtime production “Billions” is currently filming.
The hate symbol appeared on Monday morning following the Nov. 11, Polish Independence centennial celebration of “Sto Lat,” which also marks the end of World War I in 1918.
♫ Busty and the Bass @ Rough Trade (64 N 9th St.), 7pm, $20, Buy Tix ♫ The Midnight @ Brooklyn Steel (319 Frost St.), 8pm, $26, Buy tix ♫ Lost Girls (Jenny Hval & Håvard Volden – North American Debut) @ Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave.), 8pm, $20, Buy Tix ♫ Exek / Richard Papiercuts / Orion / DJ Zack Lipez @ St. Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave.), 11pm, $12, Buy Tix
* 2018 NAG Gala @ BIBA Brooklyn (110 Kent Ave.) 7pm, $125+, the evening will recognize NAG’s history, activism and advocacy, and share the future of their work in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Buy Tix ♫ Material Support & Namatay Sa Ingay record release/benefit show @ Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave.), 7pm, $10, more info ♫ AcousticaElectronica with ToUch Performance Art @ House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Ave.), 7pm, $29-49, Buy Tix ♫ Quantic with Underground System (live) plus The Funky Seshwa @ Good Room (98 Meserole Ave.), 10pm, $15-20, Buy Tix
♦ Williamsburg Special Gallery Evening @ Williamsburg, 6pm, FREE, Williamsburg second Fridays are back. Six galleries will stay open late, expect art, music abd events, More Info ♫ The Roller Wave: Roller Disco @ House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Ave.), 6pm, $10 Buy Tix ♫ Luna Fox: Phases 4@ The Park Church Co-op (129 Russell St.), 8pm, $6-8, Buy Tix ♫ Dance With The Dead, Daniel Deluxe, Valentine @ The Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave.), 9pm, $20, Buy Tix
# CLASS: No Doubt Sauerkraut for Oktoberfest @ Archestratus (160 Huron St.), 10am, $50, Each student will learn three different ways to make kraut and create their own jar to take home to enjoy later. Plus, in the spirit of Oktoberfest, share a meal of local polish kielbasa smothered in ferments, mustard, and drink seasonal beer (yes, for breakfast-ish.) Buy Tix * Plant Daffodils in Transmitter Park Fall 2018 @ Transmitter Park (Greenpoint Ave.), 10am, FREE, Tools & refreshments will be provided, More Info ♦ Shorts Block: FEMALE CINEMATOGRAPHER | #Bushwick2018 @ LightSpace Studios (130 Thames St.), 2:35pm, $13, Buy Tix ♫ Synthesis by Undermind @ Bogart House (230 Bogart St.), 10pm, FREE, Join Undermind for its launch party: Synthesis by Undermind. The night will be divided into three chapters, each with custom vibes and visuals, More Info
* Get to the Point 5K Run @ St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy (12 Newel St.), 10:30am, $20-45, children’s races at 10:30, 5k at 1, pre and post-race party! Buy Tix ♦ The Addams Family with Wednesday’s Lemonade @ Videology (308 Bedford Ave.), 5pm, $22,Buy Tix ♫ CALLS, Coastlands, Akari, Corpse Meditation @ Gold Sounds (44 Wilson Ave.), 6:30pm, $8, Buy Tix ♫ Love & Respect V: A Funky Soul Rebellion @ The Good Room (98 Meserole Ave.), 7pm, $5 before 8pm, $10 after, More Info
♫ Terror Harms Way Backtrack Year Of The Knife Candy and Ekulu @ Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave.), 6pm, $14-16, Buy Tix # Case Vecchie Riunione with Fabrizia Lanza, David Tanis and Maira Kalman @ Archestratus (160 Huron St.), 7pm, $25, join the empress of Sicily’s most famous cooking school, Fabrizia Lanza of Case Vecchie di Regaleali, for a rare “Riunione” with her former students and brilliant friends David Tanis and Maira Kalman, Buy Tix ♫ Speakeasy Streets + The Nevermind Orchestra @ Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave.), 7pm, $8, Buy tix ♫ Told Slant + Lily Konigsberg + Felicia Douglass + Franz Charcoal @ The Park Church Co-op (129 Russell St.), 7pm, $12-15, Buy Tix
♫ The Milk Carton Kids @ Brooklyn Steel (319 Frost St.), 7pm, $30-125, Buy Tix ♦ Reconstructing the 1938 International Amateur Movie Show @ Light Industry (155 Freeman St.), 7pm, $8, presenting 6 films originally shown in 1938, More Info ♫ ASTOR (UK/Aus), Lary 7, Spencer Herbst, Skydiver @ Union Pool (484 Union Ave.), 8pm, $10, Buy Tix
* Greenpointers Pick ♫ Music ^ Literary Event ♦ Art & Film ☺ Comedy Event # Foodie Event ♥ Pheremones Likely
♫ Miracle Horse Miracle Hour: Miley Cyrus’ The Climb @ Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer St.), 7pm, FREE, a variety show where you explore your own struggles and learn to love THE CLIMB, More Info ♫ Sense, sensory & sensation BK Wildlife Summer Fest Showcase @ Bushwick Community Darkroom (110 Troutman St.), 7pm, FREE, music, visual art, storytelling, film, RSVP ♫ Inspired Word NYC featured artist: Zoe Voisin @ Hell Phone (247 Varet Street) 7pm, $10, Buy Tix
^ Rally Reading Series: Oria, Osmundson, Lucia Wu @Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St.) 7pm, FREE, a whole new helping of overtly political discourse. More Info ^ Exile On Second Avenue Launch Party @ The West BK (379 Union Avenue) 7pm, FREE, reading, raffle, tequila and food, More Info ♫ Vitalic, Luka Tacon @ Elsewhere (599 Johnson Avenue), 8pm, $20-25, Buy Tix ♦ UATU: U Are The Universe Premiere @ Triskelion Arts (106 Calyer St.), 8pm, $18-22, a journey through the awakening of the human consciousness, Buy Tix ♫ Dissociate 007 feat. QRTR + more @ The Tilt BK (248 McKibbin Street), 10pm, FREE, more infoContinue reading →
Unfortuantely for some, “Weed-o-rama” doesn’t refer to 420—Transmitter Park is holding the event this Saturday (8/18) for volunteers to help weed the gardens after recent rains have produced an excessive amount of pesky greens.
♫☺Happy Beginnings #1 Variety Show 8.15 @ C’mon Everybody (325 Franklin Ave.), 8pm, $15, Buy Tix ♫ FULL FLEX with Darling Chuck, Sheepshead, DJ Far East @ Good Room (98 Meserole Ave.), 9pm, FREE, RSVP ♫ House Of Vogue: NYC Black Pride Edition @ House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Ave.) 10pm, $10, Buy Tix
# Goodie Foodie Night Market @Space Ninety 8 (98 N 6th St.) 6pm, FREE, More Info * Tarot for Sexual Empowerment @ Catland (987 Flushing Ave.) 7pm, $25, Buy Tix ♦ Liv in Love premiere / dance party @ Peer Space (1080 Wyckoff Ave.), 8:30pm, premier at 8:30, party til 4, FREE, Buy Tix ♫ Summer of Bondfire Opening Party! Featuring stringsNskins @ GAMBA Forest (17 Division Pl.), 8pm, $5 suggested, More Info ♫ Light Ham and Dan at Williamsburg Music Center @ Williamsburg Music Center (367 Bedford Ave.), 9pm, $10, More Info
Volunteer tree watering is happening this Saturday August 11th at 10am, meeting in Transmitter Park! In this brutal heat, the trees get dehydrated and need a little neighborly help to keep them growing—if you volunteer you’ll help water young trees along Kent and West Streets.
*Watch out for the park’s mockingbirds; we received a tip they are still actively defending their nests as of yesterday.
* National Hot Dog Day @ Clinton Hall (247 Metropolitan Ave.), 11am, $7, celebrate all day with Kimchi Hot Dogs, More Info ♫ POPC Rooftop Party & Fundraiser @ Our Wicked Lady (153 Morgan Avenue), 6pm, $10, DJs til late! POPC is an arts nonprofit that aims to amplify the voices of underrepresented people and causes through arts and performance, More Info ☺ No Cool Kids @ Starr Bar (214 Starr St.), 8pm, FREE, comedy about akward youth, RSVP ♦ Titanic @ Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave.), 8pm, FREE, spend the evening with Jack and Rose, RSVP ♫ Noah PC Presents A Very Bad Room Special @ The Good Room (98 Meserole Ave.), 9pm, FREE, more info
♦ RU Exhibition: Scrims & Blurs @El Museo de Los Sures (120 S. 1st. St.) 6pm, FREE, a navigable pathway of paintings, drawings, sculptures, collages, photographs and partially site-specific installations, More info ♦ Disassembly : Brooklyn. Opening Celebration. @ A/D/O (29 Norman Ave.) 6:30pm, FREE, a participatory art installation that explores our obsession with technology and the untold story of the consumer electronics lifecycle, RSVP * Beauty Rituals Panel @ Anima Mundi (35 Noble St.), 6:30pm, $30, join a conversation on the meaning of “Beauty,” and explore rituals and self care. Start with a special blended Beauty Elixir tea, delve into a panel discussion, and conclude with a DIY Customizable Vegan Chap stick Class, Buy Tix ☺ Laugh Riots Comedy Showcase @ GAMBA Forest (17 Division Pl.), 7pm, $5-7, Buy Tix ♫ Fitness & Wild Moccasins, Shiffley @ The Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave.), 8pm, $15, Buy Tix * Stargazing on the Transmitter Pier @ Transmitter Park (2 Greenpoint Avenue.), 8:30pm, FREE, Members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York will provide telescopes to view celestial objects in the night sky on the Transmitter Park pier, More Info
Oscar Wilde famously quipped, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” and often living in New York City feels exactly like that. If you see yourself in the starry-eyed latter group, members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of NY are hosting an evening of stargazing on the Transmitter Park pier this Thursday evening (7/19). You will be guided through a view of celestial objects in the Gotham night sky via telescope and the naked eye. Possible viewings of The Moon, Jupiter, Venus & Mercury!
When: Thursday July 19th, 8:30pm Where: Transmitter Park, East River Pier * weather permitting
Tonight, watch the Pixar hit Inside Out outdoors on the waterfront at Transmitter Park. Tonight’s film is part of their FREE Summer Starz series, bringing family-friendly flicks to Greenpoint. All screenings start around sunset (8pm-ish). Bring blankets, chairs and snacks for your little ones!