A North Brooklyn Visitor’s Guide

No visit to New York is complete without a visit to the North Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Formerly three working-class and industrial neighborhoods, North Brooklyn now hosts many of New York’s best restaurants, a thriving art scene, and New York’s best shopping and night life. Hipster jokes aside — Girls is filmed here and The Hipster Handbook has its origins in Williamsburg — there’s more to North Brooklyn than normcore and artisanal gin bars. Pack in the highlights in 48 hours.

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Greenpoint has a troubling double-standard for its gay & lesbian community

Veronica's People Club, credit: City Room

Veronica’s People Club, credit: City Room

The world Lena Dunham showcases on Girls may seem like a bastion of liberal politics, but many in the neighborhood aren’t too happy about Greenpoint’s increasing gay population. Thankfully, there haven’t been any reports of anti-gay attacks recently, but we’re disturbed by the double-standard imposed on local businesses that have a gay clientele. The latest case in point is Lulu’s — a struggling bar on Franklin Street that wants to “come out” but is prohibited by its lease to operate as a a gay/lesbian club:

Owner John McGillion wants to take advantage of changing demographics in the neighborhood and turn it into a gay and lesbian bar. The only problem? His landlord specifically wrote in his lease that he can’t do that.

According to the clause in his lease: “The leased Premises shall be used by Tenant as a restaurant and bar. It shall not be used for adult entertainment and shall not be operated as a gay or lesbian bar and/or restaurant.”

“I am barely scraping by on the proceeds of the bar…If I am permitted to operate a gay bar at the premises I believe that I will be able to make a considerable profit,” McGillon wrote in the lawsuit he filed against his landlord, Guard General Merchandise Corp., last week. He told the Post he’s been battling with the landlord for the last year to make the change to no avail.

Just a few store fronts away, Veronica’s People’s Club, a popular (and really rather mellow) gay club, was forced to shutdown in 2012 by the local community board. It wasn’t the first. Blackout, a gay club on Manhattan Ave. closed in 2011 in part because of complaints from its neighbors. City Room has more on the Veronica’s closure:

In Veronica’s case, the owners of the building next door charged in a lawsuit filed in December that “unreasonably loud music and noises of all sorts are emitted” from the bar at all hours and that the music sent vibrations through their apartment, causing them “to become nervous, anxious and agitated.”

Next Magazine spoke with promoter Kelly Gorman last year who ran a party at Veronica’s called Kielbasa: [Read more…]

Greenpoint couple found dead in hot tub

hottubA Greenpoint couple were found dead in their hot tub at their Nassau Avenue apartment on Sunday. The 58-year-old Jacek Crockiewitz and his 66-year-old girlfriend Alicia Wieczorkiewicz were discovered with an almost empty gallon bottle of Tanqueray Sterling vodka nearby. From [Read more…]

Paulie Gee’s now open on Mondays, expanding to other cities


credit: The Food Doc

Good news! Paulie Gee’s is now open for dinner seven days a week. Paulie (AKA Paul Giannone), a prolific user of social media, has been blitzing Twitter and Instagram with news of the change.

If you’ve been to Paulie Gee’s, you’ve probably met and chatted with Paulie. That’s because he’s always there when the restaurant is open. It’s part of his hands-on approach to making pizza. He likes to know his customers. That’s also why the famous pizzeria has always been closed on Mondays; it’s Paulie’s day of rest.

But, with Paulie looking to expand to other cities, he’s decided to give some of his proteges a chance to practice “being the Paulie,” as Adam Kuban puts it. Kuban, who started the pizza blog Slice, will be managing the front-of-house operations tonight. Paulie plans to hand Kuban the reins of a new Paulie Gee’s location in Portland, Oregon, when it opens.

Going forward, Paulie’s assistant pizzaiolos, including Kuban, will be managing the restaurant every Monday. Paulie told us he has three people working for him now who want to open up Paulie Gee’s franchises in different cities. Ultimately, Paulie plans to open locations in Chicago, Oakland, Portland, LA, Las Vegas, Columbus, Ohio, and on Long Island.

Thieves make off with ‘pot of gold’ from Greenpoint apartment

potofgoldSt. Patrick’s day may have passed, but that didn’t stop thieves from searching for a pot of gold at the end of a Greenpoint rainbow. From [Read more…]

A baby seal washed up in Greenpoint on Sunday (don’t worry, it’s fine).

credit: NY Daily News

credit: NY Daily News

A baby seal was spotted sunning itself beside the Newtown Creek at around 2 p.m. on Sunday, the Daily News reports. Unlike the dolphin that got stuck in the Gowanus Canal last year, the seal was totally fine. It was just chilling and catching some rays.

The seal was discovered by “a group of teens skating nearby.” According to one of the teens, the seal was “the size of a dog, a fat dog.” Despite fatshaming the seal, the teens did the responsible thing and called the NYPD, who called the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation in Long Island, who sent an expert, who said the seal looked OK.

The seal swam away when the tide came back in at around 4 o’clock.


[via NY Daily News]

Fanaberie’s 4th Birthday Party is this Saturday. Win a $100 gift card.



Party with us, March 8th 10am – 8pm, for Fanaberie’s 4th birthday party at 102A Nassau Ave in Greenpoint.

Voted by Time Out as one of the best boutiques in Brooklyn, Fanaberie is ringing in it’s 4th Birthday with music, sales, and giveaways. Have a glass of wine and a snack while enjoying 20% off the entire store. And in case that’s not enough, Fanaberie’s own store manager, DJ ESTE, who’s performed at venues like Pacha, will be on the turn tables. Don’t forget to enter your name in the drawing for one of the three $100 gift cards being given out through the event.

Fanaberie still adheres to the owner’s, Ella Sikorski, ideals – quirky fashion that makes you look amazing for an equally amazing price. Through the last fours years, she has expanded to two stores, and online site, and to the boutique platform, Shoptiques. She’s brought in brands from the US, Poland, the UK, and even local NY artists. Grateful for the neighborhood’s enthusiastic support, Fanaberie wants to toast to continued success with the Williamsburg and Greenpoint community. So swing by the Greenpoint location and share in a glass of celebration!”

Watch a short documentary about Greenpoint’s Peter Pan Bakery

peterpanThanks you Greenpointers for Greenpointing out that there is a new documentary about legendary donut spot Peter Pan Bakery. Peter Pan has been open for over 60 years and has seen a lot of changes in the neighborhood (according to the owner Donna’hipsters’ have [Read more…]