Drinks »Beloved

bel674 Manhattan Ave  Brooklyn

On these frigidly cold past weeks I’ve seen the darkened walls of Beloved more than any others (besides my home). I need to get a few cocktails with Mike and Shaun in before leaving and beat cabin fever so the close location of this new cocktail bar is ideal.

But it’s not just proximity that makes it worth a mention, the drinks are good (the lemony DB Cooper being a personal favorite) and, at least early on in the evening (my days of bar hopping past 9pm are long gone), it’s a nice environment to relax with booze and friends.

Once a Polish-only drinking hole, Beloved fits the mold of  the “new” post-Girls Greenpoint. Sure it’s a bit predicable in its schmancy Brooklyn vibe, but it’s also inviting and will service the area’s new generation of cocktail sippers nicely.

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Posted on February 4, 2013

Personal,Spend a Couple Hours »The Parlour

photo-272 Greenpoint Ave

I’ve actually recommended The Parlour salon before on Jim’s word as he gets his beard trimmed there regularly.

I however, am a much less frequent visitor to salons (two plus years since me last trim) and usually find them over priced, weirdly snotty and mediocre.All of those negatives are no where to be found at this inviting, friendly (yes, friendly!) Greenpoint spot.

You are offered water, given a choice of lovely vintage robes to slip into for your wash and cut and given a soothing scalp massage in the process.

I had intended to get a major trim, but not much more when I walked in. Together Cynthia and I decided to chop about fifteen inches to give to the charity Locks of Love.

My hair was still past my shoulders and it felt somewhat anticlimactic, so somewhere between our chat and the end of my shampooing, I decided to just cut the rest of it off.

Inspired by the signature cut of Kate Lanphear, I went for it, and Cynthia, with excitement and a deft hand took me there. She managed to give me a cut that was what I wanted without being impractical for my lifestyle and all for a very fair price (so if you go, tip generously!!).

I left feeling elated. It wasn’t a haircut, it was an experience, and a joyous one.

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Posted on January 13, 2013

Desserts »Uncle Louie G’s

674 Manhattan Ave

I’ve mentioned the creamy, slushy summertime delights of Uncle Louie G’s before but am happy to say they’ve made Greenpoint their newest home.

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Posted on August 22, 2012

Spend a Couple Hours »Ria Nailz

141 India St., Greenpoint

With Maria’s of Ria Nailz eye popping, jaw dropping nail art that calls to mind the most fun styles of the late 80′s and early 90′s (think Stephen Sprouse, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Keith Haring), you half expect her to greet you Betsy Johnson style – cartwheeling out of the back room.Instead you find a young stylish entrepreneur who’s professional, soft spoken, sweet, and immensely talented.

I discovered the Greenpoint artist via instagram and couldn’t wait to book an appointment. She recommends you call at least a week in advance. I assume as word of mouth spreads, you might need to wait even longer.

It would be worth the wait. I look at my hands and feel happy and awesome. This could possibly be my coolest manicure ever??

Watching her work – quickly and deftly is fascinating. She has a wide range of styles to choose from and the salon, which is nestled within a family run unisex hair salon is adorned with murals for additional inspiration.

Comparatively, she’s cheap – my art with gel top and base was only $36. So tip generously!!

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Posted on June 10, 2012

Desserts »Ovenly

31 Greenpoint Ave

Ovenly has been selling their baked goods around town at various locations for some time now but only just opened their own brick and mortar.

I was thrilled to find it open early (at 7) making it a viable option for getting a yummy breakfast treat when Van awakes.

The variety of breads, muffins and scones – some right out of the oven – is impressive and features inteeguing flavors like mustard cheddar (scones), jelly donut (muffins) and espresso cookies.

We tried to two former as well as a chocolate banana muffin and loved them all.

It’s a simple, airy space slightly off the beaten path with only one fault – no iced coffees to wash it all down.

So happy they’ve opened and plan on making then part of a new morning ritual.

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Posted on June 1, 2012

Spend a Couple Hours »Free Children’s Concert at McGolrick Park

Music, Puppets, and Sidewalk Chalk

As is in evidence in the above photo, the seeds of Van’s rock and roll dreams made have been planted thanks to one Mike Messer of The Dirty Sock Funtime Band.

Today’s Free Concert for Kids at McGolrick Park featured the singer as well as puppets and chalk drawing.

The park and the Open Space Alliance are making great efforts to make the lovely park more involved in the community and especially the local kids and hope to have more events like this in the future.

A similar show is scheduled at Cooper Park June 15th.

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Posted on May 18, 2012

Spend a Couple Minutes »Caribou Baby Turns One

272 Driggs Ave

It’s been one whole year since friends, neighbors and all around greats Adriane and Greg opened Caribou Baby!

In that time it’s become an invaluable resource for local moms.

We are big fans.

Stop by this weekend to say congrats!

We dropped by today to get Van bigger shoes (the kid’s got gigantic feet) and tried them out on the dance for at the WNNS Beach Ball party at Warsaw where Greg was spinning. (Hence photo of Van doing his signature squat dance).

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Posted on March 10, 2012

Restaurants »God Bless Deli

20120207-125356.jpg818 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint

How could this be true?, I thought skeptically as I read the Yelp reviews (that most of the reviewers admit to being drunk while eating didn’t make me any less dubious).

Could God Bless Deli, the polite, but seemingly run-of-the-mill deli down the street really hold the best Philly Cheesesteak around? The answer is: possibly.

The first rule is to NOT order with everything as they’ll try to get you to do. “Everything” includes tomatoes, lettuce and mayonnaise – which is just so wrong on a cheese steak. Tell them cheese, peppers and onions only.

After that, you’ll end up with a surprisingly tasty sandwich. Philly natives may not be lining out the door for it, but locally, you couldn’t find better. One of the best greasy bites (that’s really not that greasy at all) in Greenpoint or Williamsburg for that matter and only $5.

Looks like the drunks were right, and I’m glad. Local hardhats have also caught on and can be seen placing big orders on their lunch break.

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Posted on February 7, 2012

Restaurants »No. 7 Sub

931 ManhattanAve, Brooklyn

Welcome to the neighborhood, No.7 Sub, I’m so happy you’re here!!

With locations in the hip Ace Hotel and Fort Greene, Greenpoint is the next area to be graced by unique sandwich combinations like the Zucchini Parm: fontina, sweet onion, pickled jalapenos, and BBQ potato chips, and The Roasted Cauliflower:  potato chips, scallions, raisins, and smoked French dressing.

The sandwiches, served on excellent bread, are not the cheapest you’ll find (at $9) but they’re not your run of the mill bread and fillings. Sides are also worth a few more dollars, particularly the corned beef braised beans.

They’ve only just opened and are temporarily serving only after 5pm, but are sure to extend hours soon.

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Posted on January 18, 2012

Spend a Couple Minutes »Greenpoint Toy Center

736 Manhattan Ave. Brooklyn

Forget those big box stores!

If you are in need of a last minute gift or stocking stuffer for a child, we have one of the best mom and pop toy shops around: The Greenpoint Toy Center.

The friendly spot is overflowing with fun stuff and makes me feel the wonder and excitement I used to as a little kid.

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Posted on December 24, 2011

Restaurants »Corner Frenzy (!)

995 Manhattan Ave

With QQ Mermaid Fashion as a very close second, Corner Frenzy! (I like to add the exclamation point) is the best named local business.

It’s also one of the most unusual in a hood packed with unusual (several local store fronts seem to feature nothing but a rotating collection of dirty carnival stuffed animals and cardboard boxes).

It’s primarily a laundromat, part ice cream shop, part smoothie spot and part empanada restaurant.

We’ve enjoyed the soft serve but why, oh why did it take me so long to get their empanadas?!

For a mere 4.50 I ate like a king.
Each filling: chicken, beef bean and rice and cheese was distinct and delicious.

The menu varies day to day, consisting of what they have made, but don’t worry it’s all tasty.

I’ve never been the hugest empanada fan but that’s because rarely are they so perfectly soft and doughy.

Be sure to say yes to the hot sauce, a homemade concoction of tongue tingling yumminess. She should bottle this stuff and add it to the store’s list of goods.

Probably the best deal around and with the most friendly service too!

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Posted on December 21, 2011

Drinks »Troost

1011 Manhattan Ave

Friends and I agree, Troost is a very pleasant place. Everything is just right and unobtrusive. The lighting is dim but not too dark, the service is extremely helpful (even offering sips of wines to taste) but not pushy, even the music is just the right volume and nice and jazzy without being disruptive.

A very nice addition to the neighborhood, Troost offers a spot to relax with cava or wine without battling a scene. The list of wines and beers is short but carefully selected and impressive.

I am looking forward to trying both their daytime coffee and the delicious sounding menu of small plates, sandwiches, meats and cheeses.

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Posted on December 14, 2011

Restaurants »Amber Steak House

119 Nassau Ave, Greenpoint

There is a definite template for new, hip restaurants keen on slabs of meat in Brooklyn and Amber Steak House ignores it completely. Here old school “elegance” with white table clothes and bow tie waiters meets the over the top “fancy” design of the late 1990′s.

It’s decidedly not hip, but that’s actually quite refreshing and doesn’t at all take away from the fact that the food is great.

Don’t be afraid to go all out with classics here. A nice and salty dirty martini set the tone for a perfectly medium rare filet mignon with peppercorn sauce, creamed spinach and mashed potatoes. This is the very definition of what fine dining was for previous generations and they weren’t all wrong.

So while you may not see the trendiest dishes on the menu, you will be able to get a solid red meat feast for a much lower price than the more well known Peter’s or Keen’s. Plus, some of your dining neighbors will make you feel like you’re in a Giallo.

Please do a date night here if you’re a local, it’s an overlooked spot that deserves more attention.

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Posted on November 14, 2011

Desserts »Charlotte Patisserie

20111104-113149.jpg596 Manhattan Avenue Brooklyn

While Greenpoint certainly isn’t lacking for polish desserts, the recently opened Charlotte Patisserie gives us a taste of French pastries.

We sampled an chocolate covered tiramisu, a tiny cupcake, and and honey and cream puff. The tiramisu was the winner, creamy, decadent and just the right size for having your dessert without gluttony.

The place is friendly with a cute hipster staff and a baker who is very proud of his goods. A nice addition to the neighborhood (certainly beats the Allstate office).

Cash only for now. No word yet on how the coffee is but I’ll try it soon.

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Posted on November 7, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Eccentricity

At Yes Gallery, 147 India St, Greenpoint

Looking for interesting things to do with afternoon strolls with Van (there’s only so many times we can go out for coffee and baby food) I looked into local galleries and found Yes, an almost hidden space on India was hosting an interesting exhibit of drawings.

Beautiful yet sinister, Dana Bunker‘s bold drawings of women in tangled are eye catching and expertly crafted. They belong to a new wave of illustration style that surely has a name but I’ll call it realistic fantasy (see Deanne Cheuk and my old friend Ashley Macomber‘s work to see what I mean).

It’s very appealing stuff that reminds me as much of hand painted wallpaper as it does Italian Vogue.

So bold are her images that Kenneth Burris‘s almost fade into the background but they are worth close inspection. Some of subtle renderings of skyscrapers and ships are quite lovely, especially in the miniature drawings in the front room.

The pencil work is subtle and intricate (therefor also hard to photograph with just an iPhone, so excuse the lack if photos) but they’re better to see in person anyways so head down before October 9 when the show closes.

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Posted on September 16, 2011

Web Sites »Here’s Greenpoint

Scoops, Storefronts, History and Local Deals from Brooklyn’s Hidden Gem

In New York people tend to get fanatical about their neighborhoods. We want to know every move, change and history. For us Greenpointers now there’s one stop for all of that.

Here’s Greenpoint has breaking news about openings and closings, restaurant guides, historical photographs and tips on the latest happenings. Since Mike introduced me to the site I’ve been checking in daily. It’s visually clean, easy to navigate, and works great on an iPhone which is a rare found plus.

They also have Park Slope and Williamsburg editions and updates are easy to keep abreast of if you “like” then on Facebook (something I rarely see the point of but here makes sense).

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Posted on September 9, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Pure Qi Regimen Spa

26 Driggs Ave, Greenpoint

I’ve long been a supporter of the local absolutely no-frills Chinese massage salons.

After all, a cheap massage is worth a little bit of inconvenience, like the pungent smell of the massuses’ lunch and an old man next to you grunting, right?

Well, what if I told you that you could have a totally reasonably priced massage ($35 for 30 minutes) in a clean, soothing private room (pictured, sort of)?

What if I included a very courteous and friendly staff that is excited about their place of business and a very tempting menu of spa packages, body wraps, reflexology, and facials?

The place I speak of is Pure Qi Regimen Spa, and I am so happy I found it!

I am already planning my next visit.

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Posted on September 5, 2011