Culture on the Cheap
From The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Archives: I Just Want My Pants Back
Of all the curiosities to be found in the Garden Spot this item, which hails from 106 Clay Street, is by far yours truly favorite. It is not only an absolutely stunning hand-painted sign but it is also a reminder of the people who were here before us. A number of you, dear readers, may not be aware of this but at one time Greenpoint had a rather significant Jewish population. These individuals largely immigrated from Germany, Poland and as the above sign indicates: Russia. Regrettably, 106 Clay Street is probably the only vestige left of these peoples’ existence; when they moved on, they took their culture with them. To cite an example, where the C-Town now stands was once the site of a synagogue. There are others.
In the case of 106 Clay Street I have done research and have for the most part come up empty. The only information I could find was via the Department of Buildings: the first floor once housed a social club (which I think it is safe to presume was the Russian People’s Home of Greenpoint). On a lark I decided to run a search this afternoon (Hey, I’m not walking around in this weather!) for “Russian” and “Greenpoint”. Among the items I found was the tale of twelve Russian immigrants with a problem anyone in 21st century north Brooklyn can understand: bedbugs and purloined apparel. Without further ado here is “Dynamite” from the December 11, 1882 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Enjoy!
I love a happy ending!