Williamsburg

There’s Tastings & A Cafe at the New Bedford Cheese Shop

Mmmmmmmm, cheese

Back in 2003, Bedford Cheese Shop opened its doors in the small mini mall in Williamsburg. The tiny shop was one of the first in the neighborhood to offer specialty cheeses, charcuterie, and packaged foodstuffs. In 2006, the owner Charlotte Kamin moved all the beautiful cheeses to the corner space on Bedford Avenue and North 4th Street. But the space was small, and you often felt a little cramped if more than a handful of customers were in the store. When it came time to renew their lease, she began looking around for a bigger space. Luckily, a larger space opened up just down the avenue at 265 Bedford and the whole shop moved three blocks to its new home last August.

And with everything all settled in, it’s time to really invite the neighbors in for drinks and nibbles. Starting last week, the new Bedford Cheese began weekly themed tastings, and this week, they’ll begin serving their cafe menu. Continue reading

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Humboldt & Jackson Has a New Dinner Menu, But First Let’s Talk About Humboldt & Jackson

Spaghetti and Mama’s Meatballs. Photo by Molly Tavoletti.

Echoes of the Cozy Royale catering hall can still be heard in the warm dining room in the back of the bar at Humboldt & Jackson (434 Humboldt Street). The Royale’s former owner, Joanne Perrotta, had turned down many other offers when she was looking to retire. For years, families and neighbors gathered for dinners there, and Perrotta wished to pass on that sense of community along with the space. Perrotta cared more about who was going to take the place over rather than what it was going to be.

The first time I set foot in Humboldt & Jackson was the very day it opened. I followed the renovation of the Cozy Royale into this place, a newly-titled “American Tasting Room,” step-by-step on my daily walk to the Graham Avenue L train and was thrilled to have a prospective place to call my own—my Cheers, if you will. I would cement my status by getting in right at the beginning. Over the three years since their opening I realized that the feeling of ownership and comfort that I felt is exactly what Bill Reed, the bar’s charismatic owner, wants for all his guests. Continue reading

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Poolin’ So Hard: From Free to Fancy, Where You Can Dive In This Summer

mccarren pool
Photo via NYC Parks Department

McCarren Park Pool | 776 Lorimer Street
Pro tips: Now open through Labor Day. Get ready to mix and mingle with your neighbors of all backgrounds and ages. The semi-recently restored pool is perfect to take a dip on the hottest days of the year. It’s FREE, but there are rules. You need to bring your own lock, a towel, wear all white (if you plan to don a t-shirt or coverup) and should leave your cellphone at home. We recommend getting an ice cream bar from a park vendor post-plunge (there are no food vendors inside the pool). See what we said last year for the full lowdown on how best to prepare yo’self.

Metropolitan Swimming Pool | Bedford & Metropolitan Ave.
Pro tips: Annual membership costs $150 for adults, and $25 for seniors (ages 62 and older), $25 for young adults (ages 18-24). Membership is free for under-18’s. There are designated community swim hours.

Greenpoint YMCA pool
Greenpoint YMCA pool, photo via their site

Greenpoint YMCA | 99 Meserole Ave.
Pro tips: $175 for a Summer Fun Pass for pool access from now through August 31st. The fun pass also includes access to the gym and sauna/steam rooms. Seems like a good deal. Note, you should bring a bathing cap to swim.

Brooklyn Athletic Club, photo via their site
Brooklyn Athletic Club, photo via their site

Brooklyn Athletic Club | 8 Berry Street
Pro tips: This gym has private training pools, which you can book 30-minute sessions in even if you’re not a member. A pool package of 10 sessions is available for $239.

McCarren Hotel & Pool_VIP Day Bed
McCarren Hotel & Pool, photo via McCarren Hotel

The McCarren Hotel | 160 N 12th Street
Pro tips: Leave your screaming mini-me’s at home: children are not allowed at the McCarren Hotel’s ground floor pool (unless you are a guest of the hotel). If you don’t book a room at the hotel, the lowest price access is $55 for an individual day pass (weekday per person price is $55; weekend is $65), up to $200 per person for VIP service for a group of 10 (weekend group price is $2000 for group of 10; weekday group price is $1750). FYI: “No topless tanning,” and you can only book up to 48 hours in advance, unless you’re booking a Day Bed ($150 per person weekday; $175 per person weekend; slightly cheaper if you book a daybed for 2) or package, in which case you have 2 weeks advance to book.

Pool @ The William Vale | 111 N 12th St
Pro tips: Book a room (currently listed at $259) for a staycation and unrestricted access to the pool, or book a day pass. Day passes include reserved seating in a pergola, daybed or cabana, but will run you at minimum $67 per person (weekday, with 6 people), up to $90 (weekend, with 2 people). The Vale pool is a “60-foot outdoor pool with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Snacks, light fare, and cocktails are served poolside under the direction of award-winning Chef Andrew Carmellini.”

Honorable Mention—Playgrounds with kid-friendly water features:
McCarren Park (Manhattan between Driggs & Engert), McGolrick Park (Nassau & Russell), American Playground (Franklin between Milton & Noble), Greenpoint Playground (Franklin between Commercial & Dupont), Transmitter Park (Greenpoint Ave @ the water), Cooper Park (Maspeth & Morgan),  Jamie Campiz Playground (Marcy & Metropolitan)

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Food Sex Lit, Electroacoustic Music, Dirty Book Fair, MTA Love Poems, Hip Hop Karaoke — What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (7/12–7/18)

WEDNESDAY 7/12

♦ New Paintings by Self-Indulgence @ South 4th Bar (90 South 4th St), 6pm, FREE, All new paintings by Self-Indulgence featuring the writing styles of lengendary graffiti artist OUI, More info
# Sex on Stage: Creative Activism Dinner @ New Women Space (188 Woodpoint Rd), 7pm, by Donation, Community potluck discussion with feminist activists who are using the performing arts to educate the public about sexuality, Buy tix
* Royal Headache @ House of Vans (25 Franklin St), 7pm, FREE, Hell yeah good times and rad new memories with Sheer Mag, Downtown Boys, RSVP


THURSDAY 7/13

♫ Spain-Brooklyn Music Series @ Nowadays (56-06 Cooper Ave), 6pm, $15, A celebration of the best independent music from Spain and Brooklyn with El Guincho, Extraperlo, Noia and Turnbull Green (DJ set), Buy tix
# Pizza Night
@ Archestratus (160 Huron St), 7pm, $2, Pick up to ten of twenty available toppings to create the personal pizza of your dreams! $18 per pie day-of ($2 to RSVP). We have gluten-free crusts, too! RSVP
* Resist: Learning from the Young Lords at [email protected] @UnionDocs (322 Union Ave), 7:30pm, $10, Approaching questions of how the Young Lords fight for economic, racial and social justice has changed in the present day. Discuss how the community based in the Southside of Williamsburg views and continues their work today, Buy tix
^ Lips, Teeth, Tongue: An Evening of Food Sex Lit @ The William Vale Hotel (111 North 12th St), 8pm, by Donation, Salacious evening of readings to tickle your tongue, your brain and your funny bone. From New York’s seductive burlesque performers to its hungry food editors, our readers are experts in the sensory pleasures of taste, More info
♫ Panorama x Working Women @ Black Flamingo (168 Borinquen Pl), 10pm, FREE, With Gene Tellem b2b Lis Dalton and Barbie Bertisch. Chance to win a pair of 3-Day VIP passes to Panorama with RSVP plus a pair of passes will be given out at the show, RSVP
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Beat The Heat With FREE Ice Cream This Weekend at MOFAD!

Haagen Dazs

On a hot summer day, there’s not much better than treating yourself to some ice cold creamy goodness. The Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD, 62 Bayard St) is teaming up with Häagen-Dazs to give away free ice cream at the museum this weekend, Saturday July 15th and Sunday July 16th from 12-5pm.

Visitors to the museum will receive a free individual cup to enjoy, with no purchase required.

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Greenpoint’s Notorious Sonny Franseze Released from Prison at Age 100

NY Daily News photo

The reputed local crime boss, John “Sonny” Franzese was recently released from the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts. The hundred-year-old reputed member of the Colombo crime family had been serving a fifty year sentence for bank robbery that dated back to 1966. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed that the Greenpoint native had been the oldest prisoner in Federal custody until his release. He had been paroled at least six times since his 1967 conviction, but always violated his parole, ending up repeatedly back in prison.

Franseze lived for many years locally on Engert Avenue. Mob aficionados credit Franseze with introducing the kiss into mafia family culture. It all started when “Sonny” Franzese and Joey Brancato, both alleged members of the Colombo crime family, bumped into each other on the corner of Lorimer Street and Metropolitan Avenue. As a gesture of peace, they kissed each other on the cheeks. The only thing anybody on Metropolitan Avenue knew was that they had never seen it done before. After the men kissed, it quickly became a mafia trademark. Continue reading

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The Golden Age of the Mature Hipster: 70s-inspired Dreampop From Williamsburg’s Glass Valley

Williamsburg-based singer/songwriter, and dark-humored Brad Cantor released his first solo album a couple weeks ago, under the moniker Glass Valley. The 60s and 70s-inpired dreampop album—which takes a few whispery pages from Velvet Underground and Elliott Smith—brings you on one man’s journey as he closes the door on his 30s and enters his 40s. Brad, a self-proclaimed “aging Brooklyn hipster,” wrote 22 songs after a trip to Joshua Tree, where he had time to reflect on the past decade of his life. When he returned to Brooklyn, the songs quickly poured out in an emotional stream of consciousness, and nine of them made it onto his debut album An Intimate Man. There’s a section in the track Young Hip and Old where he croons, “Everything’s gotten boring and we lost our way. Every party feels so forced, we ran out of things to say. The nights got less glamorous as our friends starting dropping off,” reflecting his stunted coming of age in early 2000s Brooklyn.

I chatted with Brad about how, in the music world it’s a little unusual for anyone to release their first album at age 40. “We don’t value older artists,” Brad says. “We don’t value their creativity. We don’t value their experience.” There’s a general consensus that when you’re younger you “embrace the craziness and rash decision making,” and as you age, you slowly shut down the most creative parts of your brain. “Fear makes people say things like that,” Brad says. So while on this album he may be resigning himself to getting older (on Golden Age: “It’s romantic to think that we’ll conquer the world, But most roads lead to rust belt cities, and gray rivers flow to dead ports, while strip malls decay in neglected suburbs. There was never a golden age, but life has a way of making it seem that way”), the brilliantly-executed record as a whole defies the idea that creativity fades after people reach a certain age. Continue reading

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Show Your Support for Silent Barn Tonight (7/7) at Brooklyn Bazaar!

last night’s Bambara set ⚡️ 📸: @fa.fina

A post shared by The Silent Barn (@silentbarn) on

North Brooklyn’s music scene is thriving, though our smaller and DIY music and performance venues are dwindling. Greenpoint’s favorite Manhattan Inn closed late last year, to much neighborhood disappointment. Shea Stadium recently shut its doors once again a few weeks ago, for apparently the last time. Legendary venue Don Pedro’s sang its swan song earlier this year. Secret Project Robot, which was a pioneering Williamsburg art/performance/weirdness space back in the early aughts, now located in Bushwick, somehow is managing to stay alive, having recently reopened again.

And now Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Ave), having finally received its liquor license, is asking for financial help. And to keep things on the up-and-up, they’ve released their official financial history and budgets to the public. Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave) is hosting a benefit show for them tonight (July 7) at 7pm, and tickets are $10. There will be a 15-minute Q&A with Silent Barn’s Financial Manager Jordan Michael Iannucci, plus sets from FitsPeaer and Crosslegged. Continue reading

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Review: Frankie Cosmos Was Otherworldly At Brooklyn Steel

On May 17th & 2st, Frankie Cosmos joined Real Estate for a shoegazey and magical set at Brooklyn Steel. With hints of vaporwave fun and twee, playful melodies, it was a sweet show to dance and nod yer head to. And, both shows sold out! I could see why – the set list was on fire with plush tones and great vibes.

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Mister Dips Brings Us Perfect Burgers + Ice Cream Cones

Burgers and fries at Mister Dips  Image credit: Noah Fecks

The thing about Vale Park is you can easily miss that it’s there. The public space lies one floor up from Wythe Avenue and North 12th Street and is a part of Williamsburg’s The William Vale hotel. But heading upstairs is completely worth it. There’s a little collection of raised beds growing a few greens, a decent-sized grassy knoll perfect for watching the sunset and at the far end, a vintage Airstream. That Airstream is the home of Mister Dips, the hotel’s burger stands.

Mister Dips is one of The William Vale’s offerings from acclaimed chef Andrew Carmellini, the man behind such delicious places as Bar Primi, The Dutch, Little Park, and Locanda Verde. He’s also won two James Beard awards and garnered more than a few stars from The New York Times. The man knows what he’s doing. Yes, even with grill top burgers and waffle fries. Continue reading

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