Exploring Brooklyn's Greenpoint A Gem of a Community

Tucked away in the northernmost top of Brooklyn, Greenpoint is a historic New York neighborhood bordered on the southwest by Williamsburg at the Bushwick inlet, on the southeast by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and East Williamsburg, on the north by Newtown Creek and Long Island City at the Pulaski Bridge, and on the east by the East River.

“Greenpoint is a bit of a hybrid,” says Herbert H. Kliegerman, a broker with North Brooklyn Realty, who specializes in the area. “It's very close to the bustle of the city and of Williamsburg, but it also resembles a quiet maritime village. Franklin Avenue is becoming a shopping and fashion hotspot, while Manhattan Avenue is the neighborhood's busy commercial corridor, with lots of shops and restaurants. Greenpoint is nestled between McCarren Park and Newtown Creek/Long Island City and some day in the not too distant future, the waterfront itself will be a wonderful attraction.”

Sally Marshall, director of development at the Brooklyn Historical Society, offers that Greenpoint has a wonderful history and continues to thrive as a cohesive urban village. “Greenpoint is a diverse neighborhood with a strong history of mariners, immigrants and industry,” she says. “Originally farmland, the turn of the century brought many eastern European immigrants as well as waterfront-related industry. Today the neighborhood is still populated by many multi-generational Polish and Eastern European families, as well as an eclectic mix of artists, musicians and other creative thinkers.”

Early History

Originally, Greenpoint’s lush coastal peninsula was a rich fishing, farming and hunting ground for the Lenape tribe, which were forced to sell the land to the Dutch in 1638.

It was back in 1642 when Greenpoint’s first European colonists settled along Newtown Creek, near the tribal village of Mespaetches. The Dutch called the area Green Point because of the grassy projection of land jutting into the East River.

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Comments

  • My Father had a bakery at 1083 Manhattan Ave. Greenpoint.,circa 1908. I have some period photos. Would you be interested?