Living in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn

Greenpoint apartments remain a nicely affordable north Brooklyn option, but not because the community lacks appeal. In fact, in the 2010 edition of New York Magazine's "Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York" study, Greenpoint placed surprisingly high, in fifth place, a ranking driven in large measure by its strong public schools.


But it's not only families who are discovering the great values of rental apartments these days: large groups of young people, both professionals as well as artists and musicians increasingly unable to afford next-door Williamsburg, are drawn to Greenpoint because of its newly energized nightlife and restaurant scene, which has so far settled alongside the old-school butchers and grocers and diners without too much fuss.


This neighborhood is also home to "Little Poland," complete with stores and restaurants selling Polish goods and food. There is also the Greenpoint Historic District, filled with 19th century brick rowhouses, as well as historic churches and synagogues.


Greenpoint is Brooklyn's northernmost neighborhood, and is bordered to the north and east by Newtown Creek (and the community of Long Island City, in Queens); to the south by North 15th, Richardson and Lombardy Streets (and Williamsburg); and to the west by the East River. The main commercial strips for residents of Greenpoint apartments is the somewhat scruffy Manhattan Avenue—by the way, home to the best doughnuts in all of New York City, at the Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop--as well the newer and hipper Franklin Street, which runs parallel and has seen a large number of boutiques, cafes, wine stores, high-end coffee shops and the like open up in the past few years.


For residents who commute into Manhattan each day, transportation can be a bit of a nuisance, as only the G train stops in the neighborhood, and that's the ONLY subway line in the entire system which doesn't go onto the island of Manhattan. Recent Greenpoint devotees downplay the issue, however, saying that the bus-to-the-L train  or G-to-the-L train trip is not nearly as long nor as cumbersome as you might think. One other downside worth noting: Greenpoint's years as an industrial center left a legacy of pollution and waste, most notably a 30-million-gallon oil spill in 1950 that continues to bespoil Newton Creek.


The largest green space in for residents of Greenpoint apartments is McCarren Park, which it "shares" with next-door Williamsburg. Slowly being refurbished, McCarren Park has a recently resurfaced running track, a few tennis courts, playing fields for, among other things, an adult kickball league, and some slightly scrubby lawns for relaxing. Across the street is the great McCarren Pool, a Depression-era WPA project with soaring brick façade, and which the city is currently renovating to be used, for the first time in decades, as a pool.


McGolrick Park is also located in Greenpoint, and contains the classical Shelter Pavilion, a monument to the USS Monitor.  It was designated a NYC Landmark in 1966. It is also on the US Register of National Historic Places.


There are also plans to revitalize the riverfront with parks and playgrounds which, of course, would only add to the Greenpoint's attractiveness for young people and families. Greenpunkt is a great source to find out what's going on on Greenpoint.

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