Culture on the Cheap
Another Question “For Ask A Greenpointer”
Thankfully this one is of a more, a-hem, civil caliber. It comes from my buddy Icky. He writes:
When I lived in Long Island City (back in the warehouse days), for the price of a glance directly across Newtown Creek, you would be treated to lights, music, and and eyeful of carnival rides. Seemed to be on-or-close-to the creek. Must have been about ten years ago, and it happened more than once. What was it, and where was it?
I too was once treated to lights, music and an eyeful of carnival rides. Once a year, three nights in a row and until 11:00 p.m. at night when I lived on Clay Street. The name of the carnival in question is The Greenpoint International Festival. It was located on Manhattan Avenue between Clay Street and the waterfront.
On a lark, my buddy Rachael and I went to this festival in 2002. We were supposed to meet a friend there. Since we arrived early, we decided to check out one of the vendor’s tables. He was selling earrings. I remember this distinctly because as I was bent over looking at a pair of baubles I was slammed onto the table by two young bucks engaged in a fist fight. That was the last year they served alcoholic beverages.
The lack of fire water the following year seemed to reduce the number of violent incidents. The decision to conduct a dry carnival also had another unforeseen consequence: it significantly (and adversely) impacted neighborhood interest. The last The Greenpoint International Festival was held in 2003.