With longterm G-train blackouts looming for some weekends to come, starting this weekend, we decided to round up why getting stuck in Greenpoint is actually pretty awesome. Drink well, eat better, tan yourself on the shores of the East River and shop for the perfect party dress all while your MetroCard is stashed away with the rest of your office attire. It may actually be more of a hassle come December, when your friends expect you to spend your weekends somewhere else.
1154 Manhattan Avenue (Ash and Manhattan)
Closed on Sundays, but the country-corner/Japanese-influenced café is open and cute as all get out every other day of the week. Check it out on G-less Saturdays and scoop up a fresh bagel with cream cheese for a wee $1.75.
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
97 Commercial Street (Commercial at Manhattan)
A plain and simple, made on-premises relic tucked in the Commercial Street corridor. The classic menu cures the common case of choice anxiety.
124 Meserole Avenue (Meserole at Leonard)
Their all-organic menu changes daily with vegetarian or fish entrée options but the great back patio is there everyday. Their staunch commitment to local and sustainable eating plus rustic interior takes Greenpoint’s “step out of the city” vibe to a new level.
108 Franklin Street (Franklin at Noble)
A little taste of France on Franklin Street with quite a history in NYC, starting in Soho in the 90’s only to bring their shop over the East River as their core clientele began to make the same move.
685 Manhattan Ave (Manhattan btwn Norman and Nassau)
My Taro Bubble Tea go-to spot offers a $4.75 Bahn Mi, simply called “Classic Vietnamese Sandwich.”
The Lunchbox Café
120 Norman Ave (Norman at Leonard)
The extensive sandwich menu and kind demeanor of the staff preparing said amazing sandwiches are enough to keep you coming back even with the G up and running again.
31 Greenpoint Ave (Greenpoint at West)
An adorable artisanal respite from an industrial landscape serving up contemporary confections like pistachio cardamom cupcakes and “secretly vegan” salted chocolate chip cookies.
152 Driggs Ave (Driggs and Russell)
Run by the same power couple in charge of the Van Leeuwen’s Ice Cream enterprise, this Bali-inspired eatery serves up the Indonesian island’s traditional dishes in the front of their ice cream kitchen and office space on Driggs. Once you finish your prawns, coconut curry or jasmine rice, try their daily ice cream trio. Hopefully you’re lucky enough to land on a Palm Sugar-flavor day.
159 Franklin St (Franklin at India)
A delicious, low frills though somehow gastro-chemist-y smoothie and juice shop. They’ll offer you a sample to help you wade through the mostly foreign options. Rose gelato worked out well enough to make me want to return, but the $10 price tag ensured it wouldn’t be often.
253 Nassau Ave (Nassau at Kingsland)
Why walk to Bedford Avenue when you’ve got a bigger corner pizza shop with all the pop-culture punchlines and quirky pizza offerings in Greenpoint?
91 Greenpoint Ave (Greenpoint btwn Manhattan and Franklin)
Sip on $3 house lagers in saloon-style booths, complete with swinging doors.
113 Franklin St (Franklin at Greenpoint)
The last remaining free pizza bar comes with $4 Yuengling drafts (PA girl special) and Big Buck Hunter. The high ceilings and open-air atmosphere make it feel gigantic but the best seats are the little corner booth rooms tucked under the stairs, if you’re lucky enough to snag one.
632 Manhattan Ave (Manhattan Ave at Nassau)
Want to be transported to a pre-prohibition style cocktail bar, complete with piano room, dark red velvet, dim lighting and deep wooden interior? Sip on a Manhattan’s Manhattan for a smooth, contemporary twist on a classic or check out their summer special, $6 Micheladas as you take in the sights and sounds of rotating house pianists from members of such bands as The Shivers and Psychedelic Furs.
No Name Bar
597 Manhattan Ave (Manhattan btwn Nassau and Driggs)
Great backyard space and uniquely ergonomical wooden booths, the clientele that sways between moderately stylish, trashed 20-somethings to coked-up trainwrecks recklessly throwing back drinks under the whimsical, blooming tree outside.
615 Manhattan Ave (Manhattan btwn Nassau and Driggs)
This new, Nordic, minimalist anomaly on Manhattan fills a serious beer bar void in the rather neighborhood-y part of Southern Greenpoint.
When you think of a “shopping trip” it usually involves some sizable sojourn from your home. But when your next paycheck starts burning a hole in your pocket, you can meet all of your sartorial needs without venturing into the city or even neighboring Williamsburg.
150 Franklin St (Franklin btwn Greenpoint and Kent)
A charming retail shop offering stylish, on-trend clothes with a nice zing to them—lately in the form of fluorescent green. There’s always gold drawing your eye under the black and white striped awning with pricing, like $20 sunglasses and $50 dresses, to keep you from walking out empty handed.
99 Franklin St (Franklin btwn Greenpoint and Milton)
A laidback counterpoint to the more sterile or totally price-prohibitive retail offerings around Greenpoint Avenue that mixes vintage-inspired with actual vintage clothing. It’s the right amount of folksy–from exposed wood décor or the hodge podge accessories, the store’s calling card, ranging in price from $20 studs to $130 ear cuffs. Their clothes are stylish and polished, with a nice dress running around $70, but relaxed enough to actually live your life in without worrying about the dry cleaning bill.
Fox and Fawn
570 Manhattan Ave (Manhattan at Driggs)
A personal favorite of mine that offers interesting, quality pieces from all over the timeline of fashion at reasonable prices. Almost everything I pick up is $15. There are grunge boots and old t-shirts next to polyester dresses and bright red cowboy boots. I’ve even found a new sundress, original retail tag still attached, for $30.
135 Franklin St (Franklin btwn Kent and Java)
There’s a 1960’s Mykonos meets summers on the Cape vibe to this place. It’s precious, often polyester dresses, swimsuits and retro tops steer clear of the trending grunge scene. This is a go-to shop for a statement making party dress, with unique semi-to-full-out formalwear priced around $130 on average.
110A Nassau Ave (Nassau btwn Leonard and Eckford)
This brand new hole-in-the-wall focuses on a few crucial silhouttes this season–90’s maxi-dresses, overalls, crop tops, high-waisted shorts and chunky shoes. Very on-trend with the neighborhood’s breezy, somewhat grandmaternal fare with just as easy-breezy prices. Shorts for $16? Yes please.
606 Manhattan Ave (Manhattan btwn Nassau and Driggs)
A true “vintage” store where the prices match the slight pretense, but their pieces are too good to pass up. Definitely worth periodically checking up on (aka mildly stalking) their inventory until it gives way to that perfect bucket bag or denim coveralls.
66 Greenpoint Ave (Greenpoint btwn Franklin and West)
Back in action after it’s infamous liquor-license raid two years ago, Coco reemerges in full force, rocking until 4am to fill a peaceful sliver of Greenpoint Avenue with raucous drunks and musicians once more. Watch out for Riff Raff on 8/12, which is sure to be a spectacle. Check out their Twitter for more show announcements.
1120 Manhattan Ave (Manhattan at Clay)
This dark bar and venue usually host some heavy shit. They toe the line, though, with “cross-over” bands like Cold Cave coming through occasionally I’d go there with the expectation of throwing at least a few elbows. Coming up July 13 is M.O.D. (Method of Destruction), Malignancy, and Dehumanized with Mother Brain.
OUTDOORS n’ AROUND:
The crucial peoplewatching park where the daylight beckons the hippest to shed their clothes and lay in the sun. Though there are shaded areas, the majority of the park is open air and ready for frisbees, baseball games, family BBQs and general parading around.
(Between Nassau and Driggs, Russell and Monitor)
A real neighborhood park with a lush canopy of green shading the labrythian pathways. This place has to have the highest concentration of public benches I’ve encountered in all of New York. Perfect to nestle into a verdant corner with a book (or laptop) and feel at peace, mildly productive or simply take a load off.
(End of Greenpoint Ave)
This new parklet has brought a little patch of green to the northern part of the neighborhood. The little sliver of contemporary urban planning mirrors the Williamsburg waterfront vibe. But, hey, it’s grass with one hell of a view.
(End of Huron St)
If you’re chill with crouching through a handcut whole in a chainlink fence and sharing some upended slabs of concrete with a few old locals, you are in for the best illegitimate treat (that I think) Greenpoint has to offer. The East River laps against the crumbled old pier while you tan and behold the breathtaking urban expanse that is all of the East Side of Manhattan—literally from Financial District up through the 60’s.
Greenpoint Brooklyn Library Branch
107 Norman Ave (Norman at Leonard)
For what this branch lacks in English-language novels, feasible quiet workspace and an outdoor book drop it makes up for in locational convenience and branch lending service.
87 Guernsey St (Guernsey btwn Nassau and Norman)
A critically well-received and conveniently located record shop on the edge of Greenpoint and Williamsburg with prices that match their nostalgic selection. Stalk their Facebook page for random free boxes of records or $1 sidewalk sales.
181 Franklin St (Franklin at Huron)
This less well-known record shop tucked away up north of Greenpoint Avenue offers turntable accessories and replacement parts in addition to an eclectic selection of new and used vinyl.
139 Franklin St (Franklin btwn Java and Kent)
The rather expansive selection of ukes almost distracted me from the back wall of guitars. Unique, character pieces, worn in and gorgeous like a nostalgic vision of eras gone by, their energy channeled and stored in the polished wood. It’s the type of local guitar shop you go back to on lazy Saturdays to play with the ever-changing inventory.
Brooklyn Woodwind & Brass
6 Bedford Ave (Bedford btwn Lorimer and Manhattan)
A niche market shop for jazz instruments and repairs–the only one in Brooklyn—that seems like a visage of yester-Greenpoint. Except it actually just opened 3 years ago.
Until those Citi Bikes turn up, grab a new bike or fix your old one at one of neighborhood’s cycle resources.
262 Driggs Ave (Driggs at Eckford)
A crammed little corner bike shop with used bikes coming out of the woodwork. The staff is personable and very laidback but well-informed. They’ve got free air during business hours (everyday 12pm-8pm) but gave a higher quote than Greenpoint Bikes on the same handlebar job (~$110 vs $70) when the actual bars were $10 cheaper.
1078 Manhattan Ave (Manhattan btwn Eagle & Dupont)
Opposed to B’s quirky charm, this spacious store is a more standard bike shop except for its vintage models on display. Greenpoint Bikes offers a lot of cruisers and other pre-loved bikes for around $300-$450 price range, which seems fair for a fully fixed up and fine-tuned cycle.