Brooklyn is often described as one of the hottest boroughs in New York City (NYC).
This is partially due to the community of Greenpoint, which is the northernmost neighborhood in Brooklyn. This neighborhood is considered a secret gem in Brooklyn that offers many unique attractions for both residents and visitors.
In this article, we discuss some of the most popular things to do in Greenpoint, gearing our descriptions towards visitors interested in a comprehensive tour of the area. Towards the end of the article, we offer our final thoughts on the future of Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Eat At Delicious Local Restaurants
Greenpoint, Brooklyn is known for its delicious local restaurants which offer a range of unique cuisine.
Paulie Gee’s is one such restaurant that specializes in pizza. Beyond using many puns in the titles of their dishes, Paulie Gee’s is known for their unique combination of ingredients. They even have an entire section of their menu devoted to vegan pizzas. Vegan restaurants are already in the minority, let alone a vegan pizzeria.
In this sense, many people come to Greenpoint in order to have a novel culinary experience. One vegan favorite from Paulie Gees’ menu is the Chop’t ‘Til You Drop pizza which features a kale pesto sauce, cremini mushrooms, and NUMU vegan mozzarella. The kale pesto sauce that is used on this pizza is sourced from Chop’t Creative Salad Company, which has some of their stores in other parts of NYC.
Another experimental option for eating in Greenpoint is The Brooklyn Barge. This is a waterfront restaurant that overlooks the east river and offers spectacular views of the NYC skyline. Many people like to dine here at sunset when the floating barge is suffused in a magical light.
More than anything, Greenpoint offers a culinary community to visitors. Many of the restaurants in Greenpoint source their ingredients from local companies and farmers. This creates a very unique culinary personality that can be felt when dining in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Additionally, the culinary standards are very high at many restaurants in Greenpoint. This doesn’t mean that every restaurant is upscale, only that the customer experience is highly valued. For example, Paulie Gee’s doesn’t even allow customers to order take out from their pizzeria because they think their pies are best enjoyed right out of the oven. It’s these kinds of quirks that draw foodies to Greenpoint.
Shop Until You Drop
After you’ve sufficiently nourished yourself with the food in Greenpoint, we recommend hitting up the many shopping areas.
Manhattan Avenue and Franklin Street are particularly dense with boutiques. Many of these sell products made by local artists. For example, In God We Trust has its flagship store in Greenpoint and sells jewelry, clothing, and accessories. Additionally, Wolves Within is owned by a husband and wife and features art made by the minimalist designer Cold Picnic.
If you are particularly passionate about only buying locally made products, then Greenpoint would certainly be the place to go. It’s definitely a change of pace from the chaos of Manhattan, though many of the stores in Greenpoint still offer a similar level of luxury and indulgence. Customers can still find products made from all over the world, though local artists are definitely emphasized.
There are also many burgeoning subsections of Greenpoint that specialize in a particular kind of product. Any customer fixating on a certain product might benefit from frequenting these subsections.
For example, near Franklin Street and Kent Street, there are a plethora of home design stores, many of which are considered some of the chicest and cutting-edge stores in the country. This would be the perfect area to go if you just moved to NYC and are looking to fill up your apartment or home.
Experience The Vibrant Nightlife
Greenpoint is also known for the vibrancy of its nightlife. This consists of many bars as well as dance clubs that will surely keep visitors partying well into the night.
What’s great about Greenpoint is that it offers something for all walks of life. Quiet bars with a distinctive Polish presence can be found on one side of Greenpoint while more hip, artistic bars can be found on the other side. In between, there is a range of different nightlife options, from gay bars and karaoke bars to dance parties beneath disco balls.
Brooklyn Bazaar, for example, is one of the most electric places in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Beyond being a live music venue and featuring karaoke every night except Mondays and Tuesdays, Brooklyn Bazaar is notable for having an arcade room with various games, a pool table, and a ping pong table.
Alternatively, Spritzenhaus is another popular location for drinkers. This enormous beer hall is stocked with over 100 craft brews as well as a diverse range of cocktails and wine. Spritzenhaus is 6000 square feet in size and features wooden tables that would perfect for a large group of people.
Spritzenhaus also offers a German-based menu that features goodies like sausages served on a pretzel bun and Belgian fries. Customers can also choose from 10 different dipping sauces, like the unique Maple Banh Mi which features sesame seed oil, sriracha, maple syrup and cilantro. If that combination doesn’t have your mouth watering, then the Blue Cheese Bacon Mayo or the Curry Chili Ketchup certainly will.
Experience The Beauty Of McCarren Park
While the restaurants, stores, and nightlife in Greenpoint, Brooklyn offer visitors an incomparable experience, some people need a break from consumerism every now and then.
Luckily, visitors to Greenpoint can enjoy McCarren Park.
One of the amenities of this 35-acre park is the free outdoor swimming pool. This pool is open 11am-7pm daily and even offers free swimming lessons throughout the summer. This would be an ideal location to cool off from the sweltering NYC heat during the summer.
This pool is also significant because it offers free SPF 50 sunscreen. This would be ideal for families with young kids who often struggle to remember every necessary accoutrement. This free sunscreen means one less item for them to remember.
There are also a number of fields, courts, tracks, and playgrounds at McCarren Park. This makes it a great location for any kind of exercise. Kickball, soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, and tennis are common activities at McCarren Park. Many of these games are very inclusive and allow anyone to join or play as long as the player has a good attitude.
McCarren Park also screens various cult films throughout July and August as part of its SummerScreen Movie Series. Some past showings have included Fantastic Mr. Fox, Die Hard, and This is Spinal Tap.
Thus, McCarren Park would also be a great location for movie buffs who get FOMO when indulging their cinematic passion indoors. This is especially common in the summer months when our body craves the outdoors and refuses to be confined to indoor settings.
Experience The Community At WORD
WORD is an independent bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that is also so much more than a bookstore. They are also a community center that features author readings, workshops, and literature-themed parties.
A calendar of their events can be viewed here. They also offer a number of events geared towards kids, like readings from popular children’s authors. This could be a great opportunity for a child with a budding interest in literature.
WORD is often considered a booklovers bookstore. Many of its customers can be heard discussing current events and their favorite literature.
More than anything, the number of independent bookstores is dwindling worldwide. Thus, WORD represents the last vestiges of an industry. If you’re interested in supporting independent bookstores and aren’t willing to admit the end of an era, then WORD bookstore would be the perfect place to visit.
Our Final Thoughts On Greenpoint Brooklyn
We think Greenpoint is a unique gem that offers much for visitors to do.
This includes eating at local restaurants, shopping at boutiques, and taking part in the vibrant nightlife. Furthermore, visitors to Greenpoint, Brooklyn can enjoy the beauty of McCarren Park as well as the literature community that WORD bookstore fosters.
We think Greenpoint will continue to be popular in the coming years as people crave a more secluded location away from all the pandemonium of downtown Manhattan.
Our main worry is that the area will become too gentrified and will thus lose its identity as a quirky, working-class area. While some development is certainly a good thing, too much refinement can alienate residents that have lived in the area for generations.
Additionally, excessive gentrification can disturb the unique aesthetic of Greenpoint. This aesthetic is partially why the region has been the preferred filming location for many New York TV and film productions.
Regardless of what happens, we think Greenpoint will always represent an alternative to the overwhelming nature of downtown Manhattan. In this sense, Greenpoint is a kind of oasis for both visitors and local NYC residents.