THE ORIGINAL SLICE: Greenpoint, Brooklyn

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Hello and welcome to the first ForgottenSlice. It’s a new strategy on your webmaster’s part not only to post more often during the week, but perhaps to get more opinionated than I allow myself on regular Forgotten NY pages. I have always envied NYC sites like a Gothamist, or the old Gowanus Lounge, or like a Queens Crap, that can do multiple posts every day.

The solution, as best as I can come to it, is to concentrate on 2-3 blocks of a given area that have interesting Forgotten New Yorky elements in it, and present them in my usual fashion. That way, I won’t have to work on a page for 8 hours, as I did for Manhattanville. I hope to do 2-3 Slices per week, and my usual Sunday page. Let’s see how it goes.

I was back in Greenpoint, the site of ForgottenTour 30 on June 10, to participate in what was called the Brooklyn Blogade Roadshow at Casa Mon Amour on Franklin Street, having been invited to give a slide show on Williamsburg and Greenpoint scenes by Miss Heather of newyorkshitty, who is in photo right in the pink dress and even pinker hair. (Your webmaster, with his slightly threadbare back pate, is seated in the center.) Everyone there, except the restaurateur, was a blogger, i.e., a writer. You used to have to wait to be hired by a magazine, or get your manuscript accepted by a publisher, to write. No longer, since most Brooklyn blogs can boast at least hundreds of readers (in your webmaster’s case, dozens!)

In photo left, Bob Guskind of the abovelinked Gowanus Lounge is taking a seat after having just spoken, and many well-known Brooklyn bloggers were there including members of Gridskipper and Only The Blog Knows Brooklyn. It was fun being applauded by 40 people. Adrian Kinloch of Brit in Brooklyn was among the dozens or so who spoke. photo right: Hugh Crawford.

Gowanus Lounge’s Bob Guskind passed away in 2009.

Java Street is named for cargo, the coffee that was unloaded by stevedores at Greenpoint’s now vanished ports. There are more publicized blocks in Greenpoint, like the landmark-districted Milton and Kent Streets. I had not in fact walked on Java Street before, ever.

A developer named Belvedere Partners is tearing down buildings all over Greenpoint and Williamsburg and building krapp in their place; the object on the left in the photo above left is Belvedere XLIX or something (the buildings all carry Roman numerals). They do make a slight effort, with 6 over 6, linteled windows and faux Doric columns on the doors, but they’re all the same garbage. It’s new New York.

Old New York is represented by the two modest buildings beside the Belvedere object dating from when architects were able to make esthetically pleasing buildings that didn’t cost much.

Meet the Belvederes [New York Shitty]

I covered the old American/Chopin Theater on the tour page but your webmaster couldn’t resist a picture of it in full sun (ForgottenTours are usually held in overcast and drizzle). I have friends who swear by the Starbucks, and some who think it’s too strong.

I don’t like the forced lingo (just give me a “large” or a “small”), and counterpeople are known by the pretentious baristas. The iced tea is OK; I’m not a coffee drinker except on holidays. Amusingly they won’t give me lemon with the iced tea. Once a barista cited that Starbucks has no fresh produce license. Why not spring for one?

This ad is designed to get your attention as you enter the subway and it got mine. One of the premises on an upcoming FNY page is that even though the 42nd Street sleeze district is long gone, advertisers are stepping into the breach and bringing back the sleeze.

7/22/07

 





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