You might have guessed it, Greenpoint is named after the lush grassy area that used to define the suburb. Of course, times have changed, and the green expanse has now turned into a quaint neighborhood characterized by leafy residential streets, generation-old local shops, and trendsetting eateries.
The quiet neighborhood still wears the mark of its industrial past, with industrial buildings lining the avenues and streets. Now converted into condos or office spaces, they tell Greenpoint’s history as visitors stroll down the streets. And the mix of industrial buildings and traditional row houses certainly lends the suburb a unique charm.
Greenpoint is situated on the northernmost point in Brooklyn. Only a stone’s throw from Queens, it is bordered by the East River to the west, Williamsburg to the south, and Long Island city to the north. The Pulaski Bridge links Greenpoint to Queens.
Once occupied by the Keskachauge (Keshaechqueren) Indians, Greenpoint was bought by Dutch settlers in 1638. In the early 1800s, the neighborhood became an industrial area and the hub of ‘’the five black arts’’. These arts include printing, glass and pottery making, refining, and cast-iron manufacturing. But the area was also the center of shipbuilding and oil refineries.
In the late 1800s, immigrants from Russia, Poland, and Italy settled in Greenpoint, which became predominantly Polish over the years, often referred to as ‘’little Poland’’. The area brimmed with Polish restaurants, meat markets, and bakeries. In 1950, 30 million gallons of oil spilled into Newton creek, representing US history’s largest oil spill. Unfortunately, the fight to clean the water in the area remains ongoing.
In the 90s, an influx of young adults moved to Greenpoint, contributing to the area’s gentrification. That’s when the neighborhood gained its hip and trendy attributes.
In 2005, the East River Waterfront was revitalized and now features parks and new high-rises with sweeping views of midtown Manhattan. This has increased the area’s appeal even more, and many young professionals were attracted to the leafy neighborhood due to affordable condos and incredible amenities.
Culture and Lifestyle
On a sunny day, stroll along the Greenpoint waterfront for beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline. For history buffs, Kent Street, in the Greenpoint historic district, is lined with landmarked 19th-century row houses.
For the foodies out there, Greenpoint is the place to be! Indeed, some of the best pastries and pizza shops in New York are located in the area. If you love pastries, head to the popular Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop. Try their Blueberry buttermilk donuts while you’re there!
On Greenpoint Avenue, you’ll find one of the most famous pizza joints in NYC, Paulie Gee’s. If you decide to grab a bite of one of their inventive square pizzas, we’d recommend you to go early as it’s not uncommon to see long queues forming in front of the popular shop later in the day.
Talking about delicious food, Krolewskie Jadlo is a Polish restaurant that serves fantastic Polish staples in a medieval-themed setting.
Shopping addicts will enjoy browsing designer clothes at Peopleof2morrow.
For a breath of fresh air, enjoy an afternoon at McCarren Park. The 35-acre green space has ample space for adults and children to relax and play. Plus Greenpoint has fantastic views of the city from the Brooklyn river front.
The average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,320. If you want to own a property in the area, the average price for a home ranges between $595K and $4 million but can reach up to $6 million, according to Zillow.
The former relative isolation of the suburb explains why the prices are still lower than neighboring suburbs.
However, with the development of transport options and amenities, it’s only a matter of time before they catch up with the higher neighborhood prices. Indeed, the area is booming and many condo projects, especially close to the river, are underway to cope with increasing demand.
Besides, several green spaces and commercial projects have also been completed over the last few years, providing residents with more retail options.