Awakening to a beautiful day (by August standards, anyway) I decided to knock off work and take a relaxing walk. My instincts told me to go to East Williamsburg. It has been my experience that there are always interesting things to be found in this neighborhood. Today was no exception. As you will see.
East Williamsburg is tops when it comes to community gardens. This tableau makes my hard little Garden Spot heart green with envy.
While The Garden Spot of the Universe might aspire to be the next Garden of Eden, someone on Garden Street has already achieved a state of primordial innocence. Good for him. East Williamsburg: 2. Greenpoint: 0.
But when you get right down to it, East Williamsburg and Greenpoint have a great deal in common. Take tony wine stores and pet boutiques, for example.
Or a glut of luxury condominiums (like these on Stagg Street). Been there, done that.
And lest we forget: bedbugs. This has got to be the best warning for a piece of bedbug infested furniture I have ever seen. The street cone is an inspired touch. That’s the one thing I have to hand to our neighbors to the south; they’re very considerate and terrifyingly creative.
This makes me feel right at home.
And when all words fail, East Williamsburg (being the artistic haven it is) more than makes up for it by fabricating objects to show their affection.
Fuck casseroles or cakes. This is the best damned condo-warming present ever!
What do all the above things have in common, you ask? Very simple: Ann Kansfield, the co-Pastor of the Greenpoint Reformed Church. I had the pleasure of hanging out with her earlier this week (albeit under less than auspicious circumstances) and I have to tell you: she always has a story to make you smile.
First off she told me that the food pantry recently received a donation to purchase a second (and sorely needed) refrigerator. In a nutshell she was given a blank check, so she went to MTA Appliance (not Zaya’s as I earlier indicated, whoops!)to make the purchase. There she quickly learned that the owner was Coptic. Despite her insistence, he refused any payment/tips for the delivery of the church’s new fridge.
This is the gyro cart at the corner of Milton Street and Manhattan Avenue. It is a very popular place. I have heard that the foodstuffs to be had here are pretty good. Lest any of you are wondering why this woman decided to set up shop selling falafel I’ll tell you: her son has recently been accepted to medical school. She is working to help pay for his education and support her family. Her husband lost his job.
On a food-related note, last week someone stole a pie from the weekly free dinner at the church. I advised Ann to put up “lost” fliers for it —and although I think she found my idea amusing— I do not think she will follow through with it. It’s just as well; someone took a dump in the church’s front yard. Perhaps this was his (or her) way of returning it?
Then we talked about the soup kitchen. More specifically, organizing a fall fundraiser for it. This is something we have been meaning to work on but the idea got lost/derailed along the way. We’re thinking of something along the lines of an art fair. Any and all suggestions (or local businesses who would be willing to participate) are welcome.
Lastly, someone has been generous enough to produce t-shirts for the food pantry (click on the image to the left for a larger image). While I usually have a serious disdain for being a walking advertisement— FOR ANYTHING— I cannot think of a better cause for us Greenpointers to spread the word about than our local food pantry.
Times are tough —and as a result the Greenpoint Reformed Church is feeding more people now than ever. If you have some money or time to spare, why not spend it there? Who knows, maybe you’ll get a stylish t-shirt! New parents will be delighted to know that the church also has creepers with the snazzy soup kitchen logo. Perfect for the fashion (and socially) conscious baby! More details (and pix) to come.
*I am going to follow up with this woman. She was VERY nice and I want to learn more about her.
From Manhattan Avenue.
I am certain by now you all are familiar with this guy. He is a regular in front of Christina’s Restaurant on Manhattan Avenue.
Well, recently I happened upon him around the corner on Noble. Feeling cheeky, I asked him what gives. He told me that he likes to start works of art and have other people finish them.
Artist: Would you like to work on one?
Miss Heather: Sorry, we’re headed out to dinner.
Artist: What’s your name?
Miss Heather: Heather.
Artist (waving arms): BEAUTIFUL name!
Miss Heather: What’s your name?
Artist: Auf Wiedersehen!
Miss Heather: What the fuck is up with that? Was your mother German or something?
Artist’s Friend: His name is Joseph.
Miss Heather: Nice to meet you Joseph!
Artist/Joseph: Nice to meet you!
It was at this point that Joseph (AKA Auf Wiedersehen) asked me if I would like a painting. I tried to politely decline. I told him we had so much art I had no idea where we could possibly hang it (which is true). He wouldn’t hear it.
Simply put, now Chez Shitty has a brand new painting to add to its ever-expanding collection of curiosities.
I cannot honestly profess that this painting is my cup of tea, but our resident calico cat Uni finds it compelling. You know what they say: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’ll find a place for it. Probably in our kitchen. That’s where things I honestly do not know what to do with tend to go. In the humble confines of this 100 square foot room (with mercifully high ceilings) this memento of a classic Greenpoint moment will have great company.
Consider this post to be both an amusing anecdote and a warning, dear readers: if you strike up a conversation with Joseph you might walk away with more than just memories!
Filed under: Williamsburg
Not to be confused with friendly bedbugs.
Although this should hardly be surprising news, here it is anyway…
In a very brief (or as Mr. Heather put it “cut and dry”) meeting this evening, the Executive Committee of Community Board 1 voted unanimously (7-0) against recommending that Studio B be granted a Cabaret license by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
If this flier (posted in front of our local grocery store, The Garden) is any indication, that might just be the case. Anyone interested in recreating the bucolic splendor of Genesis right here in Greenpoint should contact the poster at:
post (dot) domesticated (at) gmail (dot com
Filed under: Williamsburg
From Metropolitan Avenue.
No, not that Neighborhood Watch (as enjoyable as it can be). I’m talking about the new blog set up by Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (or NAG). I finally was able to give it a looksee last night and I have to confess that I found a number of very interesting items. Among my personal favorites are this post about the service industry encroaching upon north Brooklyn’s Industrial business zones and an update regarding the troubled Moore Street Market. If what they have written (regarding the latter) does indeed come to pass, it looks like it will get a reprieve!
Do add this site to your “to read” list. You will learn a lot about what’s going on here in north Brooklyn from it! I know I have.