van leeuwen artisan ice cream

Selamat Pagi Brings Bali to Brooklyn

A few of the items on offer at Selamat Pagi. Ethan Covey

Tucked in Greenpoint on Driggs Ave, Selamat Pagi is an Indonesian-influenced addition to the neighborhood, with plenty of options for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike. The restaurant quietly opened its doors in 2012 by Ben Van Leeuwen, Laura O’Neill, and Pete Van Leeuwen, the trio behind Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. The Indonesian menu is inspired by a series of trips to Bali and Laura O’Neill’s Australian background, where Indonesian food is widespread.

The stylish space features white walls, rustic light wood tabletops, a few thoughtfully placed potted plants and pink fluorescent light accents, emitting a retro-feeling cozy pink glow. The restaurant space was originally designed and built by its founders but underwent a renovation in 2016 led by the Brooklyn architecture firm Carpenter + Mason. Continue reading

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Beat the Heat with Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream!

Laura oNeill_greenpoint_sidney bensimon
Van Leeuwen owner Laura O’Neill scooping some ice cream! All images © Sidney Bensimon

About eight years ago, Greenpointers began seeing the butter-yellow Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream trucks popping up on our streets, often with one of the owners, Laura O’Neill and brothers Pete & Ben Van Leeuwen, inside. It didn’t take long—they were approached by a Whole Foods rep literally on their first day of business back in June 2008—for the Greenpoint locals to become the next big thing in ice cream. But of course, every “next big thing” in food needs a brick-and-mortar shop, and with their hearts already in the neighborhood, the team opened up their very first ice cream shop on Manhattan & Bedford in early spring 2010.
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A Conversation on Reducing Food Waste: “Just Eat It!” Screening at the Park Church Co-Op

©Peg Leg Films – Scene from Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story
©Peg Leg Films – Scene from Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story

Attending a screening of a food documentary may feel unnecessary because America’s poor diet and over-reliance on processed foods is now a big loud national conversation. Words like local, organic, sustainable, farm to table, fresh, whole, raw, and clean are ubiquitous descriptors for how we aspire to eat. But rather then fetishizing a carefully curated diet, The Park Church Co-op and Down to Earth Farmers Markets recently partnered to host a different kind of food discussion. Both groups share an interest in examining the ethically questionable practices surrounding food distribution. On Sunday May 22nd they chose to screen “Just Eat It!” The documentary’s call-to-arms statistic: Americans waste 40% of our food. Continue reading

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Free Live Performance by Laura & Greg at Academy Record Annex (Sat, 7/11)


Let’s be honest. No one really wants to see one single person endowed with multi-faceted talent. Yet, as evidenced in Laura & Greg‘s recently released album “Forever for Sure,” that person exists in the form of Laura O’Neill.

The same woman behind successful neighborhood favorites Van Leeuwen Ice Cream and Selamat Pagi, both of which have delighted our taste buds, can also belt out sweet melodic tunes with the best of them and I’m digging it. I had their first music video for “Muscle Memory” on repeat. Continue reading

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End of Summer Music + Coffee Playlist: Looks Like the Sun


Somewhere between clouds and sun, the end of summer in Greenpoint brought on a longing.  A longing for more sun when thunderstorms seem to rain on and on.

While the nature of summer played its role, Greenpointers were seen inhabiting coffee shops seeking shelter from storms at window seats (Champion Coffee); watching the streets darken as clouds amassed, hearing vinyl play as something nostalgic in the presence of affogato  [Toby’s Estate Coffee via Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream]; in an intimate cubby-hole while the midday sun warmed an interior (Variety Coffee), stopping to smell flowers blooming near coffee brewing [Spina], and catching sunlight shining through the front door of [Achilles Heel.]

Through it all, Greenpointers had music, a beautiful diaspora of music I might say shining a bright cultural light of its own.  Curated from the above spaces, ‘Looks like The Sun” is a playlist for your listening and coffee drinking pleasure. And now, play.

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