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City Living: Greenpoint has charm and neighborliness
While some say Brooklyn’s northernmost neighborhood as up-and-coming, others insist Greenpoint has already arrived.
Historically a home to a large community of Polish families and industrial warehouses, its proximity to Manhattan and the trendy neighborhoods of Long Island City and Williamsburg of which it borders have made Greenpoint a desirable place for an increasing number of businesses to set up shop.
“Twelve years ago I used to describe this as New York City’s best-kept secret. The rent used to be low – but when you create a great neighborhood the demand to live here goes up,” said Joe Haines, 36, who works at Coco 66, a music venue on Greenpoint Avenue.
He also previously lived in Greenpoint for more than 10 years.
A great bar scene and international cuisines are what Haines attributes to the noticeable increase in “foot traffic” on the neighborhood’s main thoroughfares, such as Greenpoint and Manhattan avenues.
The quiet waterfront blocks in the west end of the neighborhood are increasingly coveted by real estate developers. Stunning views of the city’s skyline are offered from places like Transmitter Park at West and Kent streets.
Palin Enterprises, for example, recently announced plans to construct a 39-story tower at 145-155 West Street. A nearby development site was purchased by UK-based private equity firm Quandram Global for $45.5 million with plans to build at 161 West Street.
Other locals, like Andrew Orlowicz, 28, a writer, appreciate Greenpoint for its integrity and the charm it retained despite changes in the neighborhood over the last few years.
“I still love the feeling of transportation I get when I walk down Manhattan Avenue and don’t hear a word of English,” said Orlowicz, who moved onto a block “inhabited almost exclusively by Polish families” two years ago by chance.
“Of course I also love all of the great restaurants and bars which don’t get quite as mobbed as the ones just a few blocks south in Williamsburg,” he said. Trendy new bars, like Ramona at 113 Franklin St., have opened in parts of the neighborhood removed from the Williamsburg border.
Haines also describes Greenpoint as being less “saturated” with people than other parts of Brooklyn. “Here there is still breathing room.”
According to Citi Habitats real estate broker Eugene Litvak, who sells frequently in both Williamsburg and Greenpoint, that concept of “breathing room” makes the neighborhood increasingly desirable.
“There aren’t a ton of high rises,” Litvak said, adding that an abundance of privately owned shops and an absence of franchises like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts helps Greenpoint retain “a very nice neighborhood feel.”
To partake in it, renters are looking at about $2,000 a month for a one-bedroom walk-up, and double that for a two-bedroom, according to Litvak. He advised that those interested in purchasing real estate to act quickly: Last month two apartments on Kingsland Avenue sold for 33% higher than what they were purchased for two years ago.
Though locals expect the neighborhood to endure further changes as its potential is fully realized, they say today it is comprised of a happy mix of new-comers and old-timers.
Greenpoint is bordered by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the southeast, the Newtown Creek to the northeat, the East River to the northwest, and by North 12th Street, Nassau and Manhattan avenues to the southwest. More »
East River Ferry at India St./Greenpoint; Trains: G to Greenpoint Avenue and Nassau Avenue; Buses: B24, B32, B43, B48, B62 More »
Brooklyn Public Library Greenpoint, 107 Norman Ave. More »
USPS, 66 Meserole Ave. More »
Greenpoint is covered by the 94th Precinct, located at 100 Meserole Ave. According to its CompStat report, the precinct reported four robberies, nine burglaries, 11 grand larcenies, or major thefts, and 29 petit larcenies, or minor thefts, in the week of August 18-24. There were four rapes and no murders reported in the year to date as of Aug. 24. More »
This Middle Eastern restaurant features seasonal dishes, both large and small, with a unique flare. The waterfront location is open for brunch on weekends as well.
Peter Pan Donuts & Pastry Shop
You'd be hard pressed to find a better donut in the city than what's been offered at this old-school Brooklyn bakery for years. This neighborhood staple sometimes has seasonal specialty pastries.
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
Because there's just a few weeks of ice cream-worthy weather left, head over to this artisanal ice cream spot, where everything is made right here in Greenpoint from hormone and antibiotic-free milk. Quirky flavors include ginger, gianduja, and earl grey tea to name a few.
Film Noir Video
It's hard to find a video rental store this day in age, but that's not what makes this store special: Film Noir's impressive collection of old-school and foreign flicks sets it apart from remaining rentals around the city.
Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co
This eclectic seafood market, which features a raw bar inside, is an exciting new addition to the neighborhood. With a focus on sustainable and responsible fisheries, Greenpointers can expect a quality catch.
Coat of Arms
Recently relocated from the Lower East Side, this small men's clothier now sells streetwear to trendy Brooklynites.
A massive selection of brews makes Torst the ideal destination for craft-beer enthusiasts, or anyone looking to try something new. The modernist wood-paneled bar also boasts a tasting menu, which can be upgraded to include both a boozy, or non-alcoholic beverage pairing option for an additional price.
This popular spot in the south end of the neighborhood features a solid selection of draft beers with more than 16 taps, food until late, and local bands.
Equal parts restaurant, bar, and music venue, Coco 66 regularly features a variety of artists from a wide array of genres. Small and large plates from its American bistro-style menu can be enjoyed while at this full-service bar.
WNYC Transmitter Park
Previously home to WNYC radio transmitter towers, this stretch of Greenpoint waterfront has a green lawn and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline from its pier over the East River.
Visitor Center at Newtown Creek
The center offers education programs about the water supply and waste water treatment facility. A trip to the Visitor Center must be scheduled by appointment.
Get rowdy at this aptly named music venue in the center of New York Polish culture, where "pierogies meet punk."
214 Green St. #2B Two beds, two bath, 1,084 square feet: $975,000; 114 India St. #4B. Two beds, two baths, 846 square feet: $849,000. More »
129 Kingsland Ave. #3F. Two beds, one bath, 750 square feet: $3,100 per month; 157 India St. #2RR. One bed, one bath, 650 square feet: $1,795 per month. More »
"You see the same people around here every day. " More »
Greenpoint’s waterfront is set to receive a massive influx of tenants. More »