Walking Through Greenpoint: the Experiential View

As I walk through the side streets of Greenpoint I reflect on how this neighborhood compares to other areas of this immense city – it’s hard to put your finger on a single ‘feel’ of Greenpoint, unlike many other places, because it is a neighborhood in transition. It varies from old Polish to new yuppie parents, from contested new buildings to historic old ones. As you walk through the neighborhood, its ambiance changes from block to block.

Greenpoint is a neighborhood of hidden treasures – you never know what you might find around the corner. Here are some landmarks of the neighborhood to watch out for:

over by the industrial buildings of the waterfront, you’ll see water towers:

there are many old churches in Greenpoint, which are fascinating because they reflect the waves of history that have washed over the area. Church signs, I’ve learned, can be a good way to learn more about who lives in the neighborhood you’re passing through:

The recognizable St. Anthony Church has been a center of life along Manhattan Ave since 1875; it is now nestled among Polish markets and five-and-dime stores. On a Saturday afternoon I heard a man playing the accordion on its steps.

St. Anthony's

Greenpoint has many old, historical buildings that represent various eras in architecture – the neighborhood has been recognized by the city of New York as containing a historic district of 363 buildings. It’s lovely to think about the neighborhood’s past as we consider the details on buildings dating back from the 1800s – who might have lived there, and what was it like to live in Greenpoint then? One thing that I notice as a visitor from Manhattan is just how quiet and peaceful this area can be.

an old house just off of Manhattan Ave.

 

SOURCES AND FURTHER INFORMATION:

Preservation Greenpoint: http://preservationgreenpoint.wordpress.com/

Brooklyn Landmarks – Greenpoint from the Historic Districts Council: http://hdc.org/hdc-across-nyc/brooklyn/brooklyn-landmarked/dil-bk-greenpoint

‘Forgotten Greenpoint: the Astral,’ Sept. 2013 – http://greenpointers.com/2013/09/10/forgotten-greenpoint-the-astral-3/#more-23143

‘Historical Greenpoint Walk with the Wooden House Project,’ August 2013 – http://greenpointers.com/2013/08/06/historical-greenpoint-walk-with-the-wooden-house-project/