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We rode around with Peter of Maspeth Realty in Maspeth, Queens, who brokers heavily in Greenpoint. This is what he told us about the Sub-Neighborhood map that he conceptualized.
Alphabetical City, also known as Greenpoint’s Upper West Side is these days way more “West Seventies by the Park” than Hell’s Kitchen. Or it’s like Hell’s Kitchen nowadays, but with less restaurants but more trendy boutiques. But the same amount of Thai restaurants, give or take. And way more new housing developments. There’s literally a new condo or two on every block, just a wide array of choices. Any kind of condo you want, it’s there, converted warehouse, new glassy shiny things… Literally, a vacant one on every block. But yeah, they’re about to fill up fast, so you got to act now. Prices are only going to go up. Anyway you got your young people, your young singles and couples, some strollers on Franklin, your old timers too I guess. Tons of new bars on Franklin too — that new Production Lounge? Oh you got to check that out. They got a plasma TV facing the street! Unbelievable.
What is GrIMEZ, everyone’s always asking me? Well it’s so hard to describe because it literally has everything. Anytime you can go from industry, we’re talking woodshops and warehouses, nothing toxic like in… well, anyway, you got your light industry, a couple really nice blocks of brick houses, and new restaurants, of course, like that place that the Australian guy who plays the Joker owns right by the park. Oh, you know those little bottles of juice that they sell for four dollars apiece, Odwalla? You know where they come when they first get to New York? That’s right, nowhere but GrIMEZ — a little warehouse over by Pop’s Clothes and that new bar with no booze and all the beardos. Also there’s the Musical Enjoyment part. There’s Club Europa right on the corner of the district. Bigtime venue. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, there’s Irene’s, they’ve got a jukebox so they count for Musical Enjoyment. Then, you got the hottest club in the Tristate that’s not in Manhattan — that’s right, Studio B, I know you heard of that. Unbelievable.
G-WWIZ is a little name I came up with one day when I was driving down Greenpoint Ave over to my storage spot, right before you get to Queens. It stands for Greenpoint Waste Water Influence Zone. “Gee, Whiz.” Get it? I’m not going to lie to you, the biggest feature in this district is the new Waste Water Treatment Plant. It’s brand new, looks like something out of Star Wars. They spent, like, billions on it. State of the art. Anyway, what else. Lotta good housing stock here. A lot of the vinyl siding is turning into stucco, so there’s that. Just solid blocks, real small-town feel — trust me, your neighbors will be up in your business around here. Real homey atmosphere. Big coffee place there, Grumpy’s. That name fits, I’ll be honest. I didn’t have a laptop so it wasn’t exactly my kind of place, I guess. Oh, there’s that bakery, Syrena. I go there literally every time I’m in the neighborhood. This beautiful Polish girl behind the counter has an eye for me — I’m serious! I’m not even kidding. Literally every time I go in there, out of five girls, she’s always the one who makes my bagel sandwich. Unbelievable.
Now the Polish Strong Hold and its close cousin the South Polish Strong Hold – that’s PoSH and SoPoSH. It’s a real fresh off the boat vibe around there, in a good way. Lotta signs you can’t read, great places to buy all types of food you’ve never seen, juices, Kielbasa, canned fish you’ve never heard of. Cheap places to eat, that’s for sure. Where else in New York in 2008 you gonna eat a full dinner for $6? I’m not gonna lie to you, there’s not a whole lot of nightlife in this district. It’s more of a Sunday afternoon party — gotta watch out for the after-church drunks over there. Also you do have the Palace Cafe over by McGolrick Park, they’re not Polish. That park – beautiful place, great place to sit, read a book, whatever you wanna do. Great old statue over there – you heard about that battle between those two ships, Monitor and the Merrimack? Well over by Monitor Street there’s this great statue of this super burly guy, I guess he represents the building of the Monitor. Literally one of the greatest statues in New York, right in SoPoSH. Unbelievable.
DECor — now I’m not going to lie to you, this part of the neighborhood could be considered an annex of the Polish Strong Hold, but I’m trying to promote this district to a certain sort of resident who wants to experience all that classic fast, young New York life. This is the Daddy’s-Enid’s Corridor with the idea being that those are two anchor points if you will of an area that includes a lot of up-and-coming high rises that are perfect for upwardly mobile young folks. If you’re aware of your recent neighborhood history, Enid’s kind of started it all as far as the trendy set socializing in Greenpoint. And then Daddy’s represents the newer spreading of the Williamsburg area into a part that was once considered the old Greenpoint. The young Turks taking over. At any rate, I like the name. Prominent around here, besides the two bars, you’ve got a bike shop, a lot of great Polish places of course, and ahh, the Park. You can’t ignore McCarren Park, just a place to see and be seen. Everybody goes through there, which is kind of the character of DECor as a corridor. Even though it’s a different corridor that gives the area its name. At any rate, have you seen the penthouse views from the high rises directly on the Park? Unbelievable.
OGre is definitely an up-and-coming area. Not a whole lot going on here yet so you’re definitely getting in on the ground floor if you set up shop here. I’m not going to lie to you, there’s not a whole lot of shops, you know retail stores, bars, even delis. It’s on the creek, but because of all the heavier industry that’s still operating in Outer Greenpoint, you don’t have any river views. Not that you’d want them, of course. It’s a tabula rasta if you’re looking for a warehouse for your new business or what have you. If you wanna look at it a certain way, you’re sort of in the Indiana of New York — three trucks for every person around. Plus there’s that one block with all the American flags out in front of the houses. Literally every house flies the flag. Unbelievable.