After basking in the knowledge that Xtra Discount was coming back to Greenpoint I decided to go down to 856 Manhattan Avenue today and document this most auspicious development.
As I took the above photograph a woman passerby asked:
Why are you taking a photograph of this?
I gave the matter some thought (this IS a very good question after all) and replied:
Xtra Discount lost their lease at the space across the street (pointing at WaMU) and it was feared they were gone forever. This establishment was a great place to buy socks. I am very happy that I won’t have to schlep twenty minutes just to buy a pair of fucking socks. So I decided to take a photograph of the new storefront so I could post it online and share the good news with everyone.
Believe it or not, I think she understood.
I imagine a number of you are preparing for Thanksgiving. Before I commence with the task of hunting and gathering all the proper vegetables for the feast I’ll be preparing (chile rellenos with rice, beans, salsa, soup and sangria!) I thought I would take the time to share a little bit ‘o’ of old New Yorkiana with you: Ragamuffin Day.
What is Ragamuffin Day, you ask? That is an excellent question. Imagine if you will a dash of Halloween on Thanksgiving Day. Children throughout our fair city would dress up in tatty clothes, blacken their faces and go door to door asking:
Anything f’ Thanksgiv’n?
If the man or woman of the house felt charitable he or she would throw them candy, fruit or change for their efforts. And just like the “trick or treating” we know today there was ample latitude on both sides— beggars and beggees alike —for mischief. Do you know what a “red penny” is? You will after reading this article from the November 27, 1931 edition of the New York Times. Enjoy!
Those of you who want to learn more about Ragamuffin Day from a distinctly Greenpointian point of view should point and click your way over to Greenpt.com. There you will find a number of amusing firsthand accounts of this long gone tradition.
Photo Credit: SuzyO of Py-O-My (who I will ordering my apple pie from!)
Ever had one of those moments when you realized something so fucking obvious you could kick yourself? Well, I had one of those epiphanies recently. It was as follows:
Greenpointers like chainsaw sculptures. A LOT.
Follows are a few of my favorite specimens. Enjoy!
The flower is a nice touch.
Pope preaching to an assortment of woodland creatures and a Fedders box: priceless.
I knew something was up when the Mister and I were walking down Grand Street (to dine at Santorini).
I spied this work of art gracing a construction fence, so I took a photograph of it. As we progressed further down the block I noticed more. Being hungry— VERY HUNGRY— I paid them no mind. Thankfully I bumped into Bitchcakes afterward and she told me the good news about this.
Speaking as someone who has taught art (and have seen one too many “projects” utilizing doll parts in my day) I found this utterly hilarious.
The fact it graces the construction fence of this derelict property where a fifteen story behemoth designed by North Brooklyn’s gift that keeps on giving— none other than Karl Fischer— was slated to be erected makes it all the more amusing. The downzone (and fetid economy) pretty much kiboshed that from happening. Now we have this instead.
I spied this menu in the window of a laundromat yesterday. Thinking this was a new restaurant in/near the ‘hood I grabbed a menu. It isn’t. Here’s the scoop.
ANYTIME is a website: www.anytimeny.com. This site (which appears to be in development) not only offers to deliver food, but smokes and beer as well. Their hours are 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. daily and their delivery zone (as culled from their web site) is as follows:
It should also be noted that they accept credit cards (VISA, AmEx, Mastercard and Discover): $15.00 minimum for delivery.
If and/or when any of you, dear readers, give this business a whirl let me know. I’m quite curious to say the least! And oh yeah, you get a free soft drink with your first “web purchase”.
ANYTIME: Late night food, booze & smokes
Next up, (and a note of somewhat well-substantiated intelligence), the mastermind(s) behind the Endless Summer taco truck which graces the intersection of North 7th Street and Bedford Avenue is going to expand to some more permanent digs…
Tacos & More is the name.
668 Manhattan Avenue is the address.
And (718) 346-2626 will be their phone number.
It is slated to open “next year”. Given that that our current one is almost over I imagine the wait will not be too long.
Last up, my buddy Larry da Junkman loves all things cheap. Especially coffee. I love wine (a hearty glass of claret on a cold day is noting short of sheer bliss). So you can imagine my delight when I checked out the new Porto Rico coffee shop he tipped me off to only find a new(ish) wine shop to boot!
Porto Rico, regrettably, was closed. But I did take a looksee at blue angel.
All in all, it was pretty neat. They had an interesting selection, much of their stock was quite affordable (READ: At/under $15.00 a bottle) and a very handsome chap named “Dude” mans the premises.
Had there not been a screaming child * on the premises I would have stuck around and made a purchase. Methinks I might take them up on delivery instead: blue angel delivers “throughout Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint” daily from noon to 9:00 p.m. One bottle up to TWO CASES. You know, for those extra special occasions.
Porto Rico Coffee & Tea
636 Grand Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211
blue angel wines
638 Grand Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211
To close on a somewhat related note, X-tra Discount is back! Their new store will be located just across the street from their old digs (which is now WaMu). Seekers of affordable housewares in Greenpoint rejoice.
UPDATE, 4:18 p.m.: I just received a very nice email from one of the peeps behind ANYTIME. Jessica writes:
Hello Miss Heather.Â I hope you are having a lovely Monday.Â Itâ€™s nice that it warmed up a little today.Â I LOVE what you do and Iâ€™m a very avid reader of your posts, thus I was overcome with excitement to see that today you wrote about my restaurant, Anytime, and so I figured I should tell you a little bit more about us.
The original owners opened shop in â€˜99 and were on North 6th Street until my partners and I built a sparkling new kitchen on Skillman Ave in August.Â We are working on making a spectacular eat-in restaurant and are delivering to all of Greenpoint and Williamsburg until 5 am every night, though we are closed fâ€™ Thanksgivâ€™n and Christmas.Â The sad news..L.. is that we are still awaiting our new liquor license for the new space, so there wonâ€™t be any beer deliveries until early next year. The good news however, is that we just started an amazing new menu last week (which you saw) and which I am very excited about.Â Our chef, Berty Richter (previously of Lamb & Jaffy) makes delicious hummus daily from scratch and we have added some real gems to the menu.Â My favorites are the Soy Honey Ginger Wings, Cuban Toasted Sandwich and Pumpkin Cheesecake!
I really do hope that you and Mister Heather will give us a try, and let me know how you like it.
Thanks for posting about us and have a great Thanksgiving!
As “Chip” would say to “Dale”:
No, Thank YOU!
*It should be noted that said child belonged to a client, not the proprietors.
Photo Credit: Endless Summer Tacomobile; www.offmanhattan.com
Everyone’s fantasy is to find a briefcase full of money. No strings attached.
When I encountered the above item (at the intersection of Dobbin Street and Norman Avenue) I knew it would not contain money. I know my luck. What’s more, I live in Greenpoint. Nonetheless my curiosity was killing me. I stared at the briefcase wondering what was inside. My post 9/11 self cried:
There might be a bomb in there!
Thankfully my rational side prevailed and I reminded myself:
- This briefcase is located in Greenpoint.
- Greenpoint is a neighborhood no one (save developers; the various and sundry parasites who shill their interests and the people who actually live here) gives two shits about.
- Ergo, it is no one’s interest to blow anything up at the intersection of Norman Avenue and Dobbin Street.
So I said to myself:
and kicked the damned thing open. Here’s what I found.
If anyone lost a briefcase full of clay this weekend you can find it at the northeastern corner of Norman Avenue and Dobbin Street. Its contents appear to be more or less intact, but who am I to know? I suppose only the owner of this case would know for certain.
In addition to the numerous volunteer opportunities at the Greenpoint Reformed Church* those of you who want to put the “thanks” back into Thanksgiving might be interested in attending the Thanksgiving Interfaith Service at Congregation Ahavas Israel right here in Greenpoint! This year’s service (a yearly joint collaboration of Congregation Ahavas Israel, the Greenpoint Reformed Church, the Greenpoint Islamic Center, the Church of the Ascension, St. Anthony’s, St. Stanislaw’s and the St. John’s Lutheran Church) will feature a sermon by Rabbi Avi Weiss, Dean of the Open Orthodox Yeshiva Chovoveih Torah*. Refreshments will follow.
Thanksgiving Interfaith Service
Wednesday, November 26, 2008, 7:30 p.m.
Congregation Ahavas Israel
108 Noble Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222
In closing I feel compelled to pass along another albeit highly secular reason to attend this event: I have it on good word the interior of this otherwise ordinary looking synagogue is absolutely breathtaking. Check it out!
*Whose Christmas wishlist you can see here.
**Who apparently is ranked one of “America’s Top 50 Rabbis” by Newsweek
Those of you who had the pleasure of going out yesterday probably noticed that it was cold as fuck. Mr. Heather was smart enough to stay indoors. I, on the other hand, was not so lucky: I had to work. The previous having been said New York Shitty’s bipeds were not the only ones wise enough to know that a roof over one’s head was much preferable than toughing it out on the mean streets yesterday.
Last night …I came home from dinner and …as I opened the door in marched a cat. She’s parked in front of an upstairs radiator right now after having spent the night.Â Let me know if you’re interested in taking this one off my hands.Â She’s a pretty quiet one.Â At least I think it’s a “she”.Â Kind of small – probably only a few months old.
This Queens cat is no dummy. (S)he knows that being in a nice warm home is much better than toughing it out sub-freezing weather. Anyone interested making the acquaintance of this street savvy chat should contact c at:
cardiaccath1103 (at) aol (dot) com
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
From Manhattan Avenue.
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
This is the storefront at 881 Manhattan Avenue. As my colleague over at Brooklyn11222 noted earlier this year this delectable bit of early 1960’s style (and its neighbors to the north) have been vacant for some time. On May 27 she wrote:
…Tonight, getting off the G train, we ran into a local couple who were complaining about the same thing we were, and overheard them say, â€œAnd Duane Reade, here we come.â€ They confirmed that it was going to be a Duane Reade, taking over the candy store on the very corner, the upstairs and the downstairs of the building, and that the buildings between it and the corner of Milton (except for the bank-now-medical-clinic) were going to be torn down and a highrise was going in.
This explains the businesses moving around, and the continual empty storefronts – who wants to move in if youâ€™re going to have to close up shop soon?
Confirmations and/or denials appreciated.
As you can see as of November 22, 2008 there is no highrise —and given the way the economy is going I doubt there will be one in the foreseeable future.
In the meantime this property has become a popular spot for the local homeless population to take a nap. It also serves nicely as an ad hoc garbage can and (as we have seen already) space to post advertisements. Which brings me to this.
It would appear that I am not the only person who finds the deplorable condition of this property irritating.