Greenpoint me!
August 28, 2013 5:01 PM   Subscribe

Cityboy and I have 4 days in Brooklyn over a long weekend in early September, 5th to the 8th. Please point me to your favorite must-see, must-eat, must do Brooklyn experiences. Staying in Greenpoint - subway stop Greenpoint Avenue on the G line - and will rely on subways or buses for transportation. We love art, crafts, theater, and our fave - eating at little neighborhood restaurants so good they draw from outside the neighborhood. We are adventurous eaters and drinkers, looking for a friendly atmosphere. Price is not as important as authentic quality and honest presentation, and I'm not interested in 3 hour waits unless they are REALLY WORTH IT. Quality is way more important than buzz. We will also go to Manhattan for museums and shows, but our taste is more Fringe than Broadway, so I'd love recommendations for slightly askew productions or visual art shows in either borough. Have already seen the James Turrell show at the Guggenheim and felt a little underwhelmed after epic waits, but we might give it another try on a weekday.
posted by citygirl to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
If you're into art as a thing - Governors' Island will still be open on the weekends then. Take the free ferry over there on either Saturday or Sunday (or you can take a paid ferry from fairly close to where you're staying); access to the island itself is free, and they have a mini golf course designed by an artists' collective every year, as well as a couple of different pop-up shops with different Brooklyn makers' goods, a whole field full of about 5 different carousels, a couple of funky temporary museums, a couple of permanent historic landmarks with free tours, a chicken farm, and if you're lucky you may be there in time to catch one of the pickup games held by the guys who play vintage rules baseball.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:04 PM on August 28, 2013

I recommend Ovenly and Peter Pan Donuts in GPoint. Also - I would recommend scarfing down some pierogies at one of the local Polish restaurants.
posted by rdnnyc at 6:14 PM on August 28, 2013

I haven't been there in many a year, but if Relax is still in business (looks like it is from the interwebs) and you like polish food, its worth a visit. Nassau and Newell.

probably harder to find, but greenpoint used to have some crazy after hours polish bars. I'd imagine local bartenders could point the way.
posted by jpe at 6:34 PM on August 28, 2013

Response by poster: Youv've scratched an unidentified itch, EmpressCallipygos. I hadn't thought of the islands, but NYC is actually composed of islands. My closest friend is a daughter of Louis Kahn, designer of Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, and though I was peripherally aware of the recent construction and dedication some 35 years after it was designed, I'd never thought of visiting. I will now make it a priority. Thanks!
posted by citygirl at 6:41 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

There will be lots of great cafes and restaurants right near you (like, within a few blocks), most of which have nice backyards. I love Champion (for coffee), Troost (for coffee during the day and drinks at night), Milk and Roses (for coffee, drinks, brunch, dinner), Eagle Trading Company (for breakfast and lunch), Paulie Gee's (for bougie pizza), Cafecito Bogota (for arepas), and Eastern District (for fancy cheeses, beers, and pickles). There's better-known stuff further south on Manhattan Ave and closer to Williamsburg, but the places listed above, except maybe Paulie Gee's, will definitely not have lines out the door.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:04 PM on August 28, 2013

The Brick Theater is one stop from Greenpoint on the G, and is usually full of fun, fringe-y theater.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:23 PM on August 28, 2013

Tørst is right near you and is an absolutely superb beer bar. I'd also suggest you check out one of the Polish places in your nabe. The Elm is a higher end experience just on the other side of Mccarron Park that is getting great notice in the food world.
posted by JPD at 7:42 PM on August 28, 2013

Maison Premiere in Williamsburg is a not-too-far walk from Greenpoint and has oysters and fancy cocktails and a nice backyard, if you're into that sort of thing. Smorgasburg will give you a dazzling array of food but be quite crowded. I hear good things about Alameda in Greenpoint, as a sort of neighborhood-destination restaurant like you said you enjoy. A little farther out in Williamsburg is Gwynnett St--I haven't been there for a full meal (though I hear they have good fancy/eclectic tasting menus) but get a couple drinks at the bar and an order of whiskey bread and you will be glad you did. Pies 'n' Thighs can have long waits for a table but pick up some donuts to go if you're into donuts.

I see ThatFuzzyBastard mentioned the Brick; I just saw a show there last week, and it's a cool space.

You can walk a bridge into Queens over Newtown Creek and go to MoMA PS1 pretty easily as well.

Enjoy your stay!
posted by mlle valentine at 8:09 PM on August 28, 2013

Go see Then She Fell: "An immersive theater experience combining a hospital ward, the writings of Lewis Carroll, and just 15 audience members per show." There are two tickets available for the Saturday night performance right now, but availability won't last long.
posted by kathryn at 8:32 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would highly recommend Gwynnett St. (restaurant). Nice atmosphere (but more casual than stuffy) and amazing food.
posted by randomnity at 8:34 PM on August 28, 2013

Response by poster: Arghhh! No ticket pairs left for Then She Fell any night we're there! Any other recommendations Kathryn?
posted by citygirl at 5:07 AM on August 29, 2013


The Machine is opening at the Park Ave Armory that weekend.

Did you end up going to Sleep No More on your last trip here?

Keep an eye out for any Atlas Obscura events that might pop up last minute.
posted by kathryn at 5:53 AM on August 29, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks again kathryn, got tickets for The Machine. Sleep no More sounds intriguing, but the fact that there is no dialogue and the audience members are masked is a little strange. I didn't pursue it last time, as I was traveling alone. Have you seen this? We did see Alan Cumming do Macbeth so presumably we could place the various scenes, but this format seems so open-ended and unstructured that it might end up just unsatisfying and confusing. If you have a different perspective, I'd love to hear it.

Anyone see Sleep No More and have feed-back?
posted by citygirl at 10:18 AM on August 29, 2013

There's no dialogue because its primarily a modern dance production. The masks are very interesting from a psychological standpoint--you arr meant (somewhat) to feel like ghosts haunting someone else's nightmare. I've been to similar immersive/promenade shows where the audience doesn't have masks on and found it distracting. It's structured in that the action loops 3 times and the show has a definite end (that the perfumers try to lead you towards). It's actually best experienced alone, so you can explore. However it doesn't have a strong narrative. I wrote more about it here.
posted by kathryn at 10:31 AM on August 29, 2013

Right now, the following restaurants are attracting non-Greenpointers to Greenpoint.

Paulie G's
The Bounty

Also, get up early on Friday and go get some smoked fish from ACME.
posted by benbenson at 12:26 PM on August 29, 2013

Response by poster: You guys are fantastic! I got tix to "Sleep No More" entirely on your recommendations. Now to restaurants - will be investigating all the suggestions above.

And kathryn - you should certainly pursue a career as a critic/event organizer. Your link was . . . amazing!
posted by citygirl at 7:00 AM on August 30, 2013

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