I was lurching around Greenpoint in the summer of 2015, nearly insensate from the brain-melting 88 degree temperature. The “Garden Spot of the Universe” is relatively treeless, and therefore, relatively shadeless. When I came upon Gem Street, which runs fro one block between Meserole Avenue and North 15th Street, I noticed that something else could be added to the -less category.
For some reason known only to the Department of Transportation, Gem Street is illuminated only by privately-owned wall lamps mounted on the industrial buildings and warehouses that line the street. I’d wager a guess that the businesses here only operate during the day and thus the city deigns not to illuminate it, but the same can be held for a lot of streets around town — but Gem street is unique in its lampostlessness.
The usually reliable Brooklyn By Name by Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss is silent on the subject, but coincidentally or not, Greenpoint features Gem, Jewel and Diamond Streets. The streets, though, aren’t paved with gold.