give yr prada to the poor. greenpoint. on Flickr.
Gentrification has been a major issue in Greenpoint and Williamsburg for years. The class divide is apparent, especially with rents going sky high & condos popping up everywhere, so its no wonder why some are bitter. This was taken on West Street in Greenpoint & is reminiscent of Basquiat’s street poetry written on city walls in the late 70s.
record player, permanent records on Flickr.
When I was in high school and college, my favorite weekend activity was going to the record stores and scouring through bins upon bins of music. Going throughout the Village, you could literally hunt all day for CDs, records, and ‘zines (I dearly miss the amazing ‘zine shop See Hear). Tower Records had their amazing clearance outlet, and Virgin Megastore still had yet to open their doors.
Some of my fondest memories are tied to the record store. That first time I took a chance on an album based on the cover art, hunting the last bins of vinyl at J&R (scoring Chris & Cosey and Kate Bush albums along the way), buying 7 inches at Kim’s Underground, making the trek out to Twisted Disque for rare (and overpriced) new wave finds, scouring the import section to get that UK only single at Rebel Rebel, looking through every single compilation in the (now defunct) industrial/synthpop section at Generation records…the list is endless.
Unfortunately, the record store circa 2011 is nothing like the era of my young adulthood (the early 90s), and is sadly an endangered species. With the advent of the iPod and the increasing popularity of digital downloads in the last decade, physical formats have been left to collect dust, causing many record stores and chains to shutter.
It’s nice to see that there has been somewhat of a renaissance and new-found interest in vinyl albums. Here’s a shot I took at Permanent Records on Franklin Street in Greenpoint is a great record store, where you can check out albums in their vinyl glory before you buy. Also, it’s definitely worthwhile to check through the used CD section - you never know what you’ll find.
from the source, west street. on Flickr.
From The Source is a unique home furnishings store in Greenpoint that specializes in reclaimed wood. Their warehouse/showroom on West Street is filled with amazing pieces, from beds to conference and dining tables, to lighting fixtures, to horse sculptures. Most of the materials used to produce these beautiful pieces are approved by the Sustainable Furnishings Council, which puts all materials under a rigorous Life Cycle Assessment before getting that stamp of approval.
behind the counter, peter pan donuts. on Flickr.
Every single time I find myself in Greenpoint for as long as I can remember, there are two places that I usually must stop by: Peter Pan Bakery for doughnuts and Christina’s for pierogi.
On Sunday, I happened to be in Greenpoint with my boyfriend and we had to stop into Peter Pan for a doughnut. These are some of the best doughnuts in the city, and if you add an interior that is delightfully frozen in time, complete with waitresses in teal and pink smocks, it just adds to the experience. Since it was warm out, we decided to get vanilla egg creams with our doughnuts, which added to that nostalgic vibe. Aside from the prices, nothing really has changed at Peter Pan, and that’s perfectly alright by me.
through a glass pane. on Flickr.
St. Cecilia’s Convent, which straddles the border of Greenpoint and the Italian section of Williamsburg is a creepy place. The church itself, opened in 1891 and accommodated a large Irish-Catholic community that once thrived in this section of the neighborhood. To show you how integral the church was to the neighborhood, it had some substantial properties including the school, the church, a chapel, the rectory, a convent, a brothers’ house, a gymnasium and priest housing. Unfortunately, the school was shuttered in 2009 due to lack of enrollment, and the convent has been long abandoned. Before the real estate crash, the church considered selling the properties for development, but then the crash happened. The current priest decided to think outside of the box and transform the spaces as places where the thriving art community can work and show their work. More about the story in this article in the NY Times.
Anyway, walking through the abandoned nuns’ quarters is quite an experience, and you can sense that many artists’ take considerable consideration to the history of this space. Works that deal with spirits, souls, general abandonment, dedications, all seem to work well with the space.