Greenpoint, Brooklyn: A World Away

IMG_1776 (2)My friend Debby moved to Greenpoint, Brooklyn this month and I have been helping her move and unpack.  Greenpoint is like Williamsburg was 10 years ago, which is probably a lousy example if you don’t live in NYC, so to clarify, it’s a traditional old neighborhood that is slowly become very trendy, but still has lots of mom and pop stores, reasonable rent and feels on certain blocks like nothing has changed in 70 years.  One of the reasons such prime real estate on the east river so close to Manhattan has remained so quiet is because of how hard it is to get to: so close yet so far!  The only train that goes there is the mysterious G train which only runs in Brooklyn and only connects with the F (sometimes) and the L.   So otherwise you could try transferring from an M in Queens but also not on the weekend on the weekend you’d need to take an E then transfer to the G….maybe you can tell I’ve had some transit frustration in getting to Debbie, given I don’t live near the L and my forays in trying to get there on the F have met with considerable difficulty.  Anyway all this to say that the impervious nature of getting there has kept Greenpoint in a quaint stage of feeling untouched and of another era.

The other little thing that has kept Greenpoint from becoming hipster central like his brother to the south Williamsburg is a huge underground oil spill which is finally being clean up 30 years late.

My solution to the often unreliable and complicated nature of getting there is to walk.  One stop on the JM or Z trains leaves me in South Williamsburg and at a good pace I can be at Debbie’s place in 30 minutes.  Along the way I can enjoy the sites. The other night I was walking south back to the J train on Manhattan Avenue when I started noticing incredibly large displays of bottled water sitting on the sidewalk out front of grocery stores.IMG_1778 (1)I knew that Greenpoint had a large Polish community and had made note of the many Polish restaurants I wonder by some of which with big time old world aesthetics like this place but I had really explored the grocery scene.   At one store alone I saw 4 different kinds of Polish bottled water. Who knew bottled water was so popular in Poland that they had to import it all the way to NYC?

Had I bothered to go in I’m sure I would have found bottles of sour cherries, frozen blintzes and tons of wonderful kielbasa and look forward to exploring the Polish food possibilites in Greenpoint.  IMG_1779I did do my heart good though to notice that although imported authentic water was very popular they still carried one domestic brand: Poland Spring.IMG_1777 (1)

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note: urbanfoodguy@gmail.com
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One Response to Greenpoint, Brooklyn: A World Away

  1. Pingback: Kickstarter’s New Greenpoint, Brooklyn Headquarters Will Boast a Green Roof and Glass-Lined Courtyard Kickstarter Greenpoint | Tim Batchelder.com

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