A-List Celebs Dropping Into Greenpoint Bar

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Mick Jagger at Brooklyn Safehouse.

Mike Whalen, a regular customer in the usually low-key Brooklyn Safehouse at 120 Franklin Street, went away for a weeklong fishing trip, never imaging anything exciting would happen in the bar while he was away. How wrong he was! When he returned he discovered to his dismay that he had missed the most exciting week in the bar’s history. At the beginning of June, celebrities descended on the once serene local watering hole and shook things up.

It seemed just like any other mellow night at the bar until the actor Steve Buscemi walked in and retired to a booth in the back. Buscemi had all the patrons asking,”Is that who I think it is?” and twisting their necks to see him.

For many bars the visit of one celebrity would be enough excitement for the whole year, but an even bigger shock was in store for patrons the very next night. Mick Jagger of Rolling Stones fame strutted into the Safehouse and sat at the very same booth, escorted by his granddaughter. Buscemi’s visit was quickly forgotten. Mick had a quiet drink and left, but apparently this was one time when he actually did get some satisfaction. The seat that held up those two very famous butts has been renamed the Buscemi/Jagger booth, and Stones groupies and Buscemi fans have started planning Greenpoint visits just to sit in the now legendary spot. Continue reading

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Jump Rope For PRIDE Tomorrow Night!

PRIDE Punk Rope

If you’ve never done a Punk Rope class before, this is your chance to break a sweat and check out this fun, fast and LOUD way to burn off more than 600 calories—and then balance it out with a few beers afterward. Join Punk Rope’s salute to NYC Pride and the LGBTQ community tomorrow night—jump and play to 14 queer-themed songs with gorgeous views of the sunset and Manhattan. Ropes will be provided.

Newtown Barge Playground | 37 Commercial Street
(weather permitting)

Wednesday 6/22 | 7:30pm-8:30pm

Free for members of the Greenpoint Y.
$15 suggested donation for non-members.

The Diamond | 43 Franklin Street

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Fire at Chase Bank Takes Down Sign and is Temporarily Closed

The sign at Chase Bank (798 Manhattan Ave) caught fire this morning by Julia Moak
Chase Bank (798 Manhattan Ave) this morning (6/21)

Chase Bank (798 Manhattan Ave) caught on fire this morning (June 21) and is temporarily closed. It should be back up and running tomorrow, according to a Chase employee who was at the scene. In the meantime, the ATM outside is still working.

It looks like the fire was contained to the area around the Chase sign and no one was hurt.

Thanks once again to the amazing work of the FDNY! Continue reading

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A History of Greenpoint in 25 Buildings: The Leviton Building

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The company is long gone, but the building remains. The Leviton Building just off McGuinnness Boulevard on Greenpoint Avenue has an interesting history. The Leviton Company was founded in 1906 by Evser Leviton and his son Isidor. They began by manufacturing brass mantle tips for the natural gas lights in Manhattan, and sold their goods on a pushcart on the Bowery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Then, Isidor designed a screw-in lampholder for Thomas Edison’s Electric Lamp in 1910 and within ten years the lampholders were being used in apartments all over New York, making the faimily rich! They started to make other electrical devices, especially light switches. By 1922 business was so booming that they didn’t have the capacity to assemble their more than six hundred products solely in Manhattan, so Leviton moved to Greenpoint. In 1936 they built the present day factory that occupied the whole block between Newell and Jewel streets. Continue reading

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Greenpointer Braves African Wild – Viewing Party Tonight!

Jens Rasmussen, before and after.
Jens Rasmussen, before and after.

As Greenpointers we’re quite fortunate to have so many sweet amenities at our doorstep—a bounty of delicious restaurants and artisanal food sources, more than enough bars where we can sling back a drink or two, and swimming pools to cool off in if we’re trying to survive the summer without A/C. As rough as NYC life can be sometimes, we’re pretty gifted with a life of lesiure. But one local Greenpoint resident, Jens Rasmussen, endured totally different harsh elements—the savage expanse of Africa—to star in the new NatGeo reality series Mygrations. The show follows 20 tough women and men as they track a wildebeest migration through the rough savannah in Kenya, unarmed and without map or compass. Their journey from the southern Serengeti to the Mara River lasted six weeks, and Rasmussen tells us he lost 20% of his body weight on the perilous journey. It’s tough enough surviving in modern day Brooklyn, so we can’t imagine how he persevered through this epic trek.

Check out Mygration’s trailer here.

And tonight (Monday June 20), our friends at Greenpoint Beer and Ale (7 N 15th Street) are hosting a show watch party at 9pm. It’s the second-to-last episode, so the stakes are high and a perfect time to tune in.

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Greenpoint’s Original Female Boxing Badass

Gussie Freeman, female Greenpoint boxer.
Gussie Freeman, female Greenpoint boxer.

Gussie Freeman is one of the most unique characters in North Brooklyn History. Years after her death people recalled her amazing strength and a night she achieved glory in an 1891 local boxing match against another female pugilist.

Gussie was born in 1864 to a poor German family that never allowed her the luxury of schooling. She grew into a big and powerful young lady who felt more at home in the company of men than other females. She found a job as a teenager in a local rope factory on Newtown Creek. One of the male employees, a bully, terrorized the females in the plant until Gussie learned of his misbehavior. She stood up to the bully and administered a sound beating to him that made her the hero of all the ladies in the plant. Continue reading

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Make Your Voice Heard On North Williamsburg Traffic

The official traffic data collection plan, via the NYC DOT's first public presentation of the North Williamsburg Transportation Study
The official traffic data collection plan, via the NYC DOT‘s first public presentation of the North Williamsburg Transportation Study

If you’ve noticed a treacherous traffic signal or wished for the addition of a particular crosswalk on the streets of Greenpoint or North Williamsburg, now’s your chance to speak up. In the ongoing North Williamsburg Transportation Study, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is surveying the portion of Brooklyn Community District #1 that stretches north of Broadway and Flushing Avenue between Newtown Creek and the East River to boost both safety and convenience for commuters. The initiative is a response to complaints and transportation hitches as the hot neighborhood grows increasingly crowded with architectural developments and thronged with both inhabitants and visitors.

Continue reading

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Friday: Bushwick’s Hot Summer Nights

How many galleries can you hit in three hours?
How many galleries can you hit in three hours?

Tonight, Friday, 6/17, is the June edition of Hot Summer Nights, when all Bushwick area galleries are open 6pm-9pm. It’s a beautiful night, so grab your bike and a date and make the rounds!

For a full roundup of the galleries, visit BushwickGalleries.com/spaces

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Outdoor Music This Weekend: Beach Campfire Songs and Steam Fish with Soca (6/17 – 6/18)

Looking to break out of the usual Smorgasburg / Mermaid Parade pattern this weekend?

Out in the Rockaways tonight (6/17), ukelele master Lorena Leigh leads a music jam at sunset around a campfire.

Bring your bathing suit for a dip at dark. Or, a guitar for the campfire songs.

Saturday (6/18), if the Mermaid Parade seem too far afield, the Oxtail Picnic in Bed-Stuy has oxtail stew, steam fish, and a backyard bash where the crowd is “not too stoosh to shake their ass on the dancefloor,” as the event’s Facebook page puts it. Esteemed DJ P.U.D.G.E. presides.

Details for both events, and how to get there, inside. Continue reading

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At Home at Polka Dot

Polka Dot – 726 Manhattan Ave – Greenpoint

I remember the time that I first noticed Polka Dot. I was walking down Manhattan Avenue, undoubtedly heading toward Peter Pan to satisfy my apple crumb donut addiction. Thankfully, I spotted the happy script across the street that was this little Polish cafe’s new sign. Many of you may not know that Polka Dot is in fact the reimagining of what was once the Polski Meat Market. Opened in 1996 by Marzena Parys and her husband, it’s evolved with the neighborhood into the gem that it is today. Continue reading

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