A project of Zach van Schouwen.


Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York

Any good trip starts at home. Greenpoint is the northernmost neighborhood in Brooklyn, a densely packed village of 40,000, living mostly in unattractive tenements and small apartment houses, speaking mostly Polish, with clusters of Spanish in the northwest. I moved here in March 2007 and will probably stay for the remainder of my time in New York; it's a great place.

North Brooklyn fell upon particularly hard times in the 1970s; Greenpoint (and neighboring Williamsburg) were very low-rent districts then. By the late 70s, a wave of artists had settled Williamsburg and rents were rising. Greenpoint started growing more expensive, too, particularly in the 1990s, and now a large fraction of the neighborhood's population is young artists, weirdos, college students, me, and a fair number of wealthier people in the nicer townhouses in the historic district.

Greenpoint is a wonderful place, though. You can't beat it. Tranquil, traditional, and except for a few condo buildings, a lot of vinyl siding and 20,000 cars, almost exactly as it was in 1910. Great sandwiches at the bodega on Franklin & Huron. More culture than you can shake a stick at. A weird, old-world feel. McGolrick Park.

One of the main complaints among long-time New Yorkers and transplants alike (including myself) is the ongoing homogenization of the city. It's hard to find anywhere with a truly strange feel in New York anymore, but Greenpoint still retains a fantastic integrity.

Get there: NYC Subway. L train to Graham Avenue, walk ten blocks north; or G train to Nassau or Greenpoint Avenues.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your blog has a lovely voice and is elegantly written. But the reason I like it is that it is informative and simple. It doesn't try to be something it isn't. It's not flashy or gimmicky. I like the towns, points, and villes you are covering. Keep it up!