Greenpoint

Spring comes early to Greenpoint

March 2, 2016 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
When spring arrives early in Greenpoint, it's time to bring out the scooters. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan

Eye On Real Estate

Nothing could be finer than the first taste of spring. Especially when it comes in winter.

A Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood like Greenpoint is the perfect place to go when the temperature rises to 60 degrees, like it did on a recent weekend, and sunshine wins out over cloud cover.

The streets were filled with skateboarders, scooter riders, cyclists, dog walkers and parents with toddlers tucked into strollers during the stellar faux-spring weekend we spent there.

The parade of fashionable Greenpointers and tourists also included joggers wearing sleeveless shirts for the first time in a long time, and the occasional brave soul garbed in shorts.

Workers at shops such as vintage clothing store Mirth at 606 Manhattan Ave. put merchandise out on the sidewalk to catch the attention of passersby. Outside Dream Fishing Tackle at 673 Manhattan Ave., which sells collectibles as well as actual fishing gear, the sidewalk was stacked with boxes of vinyl records, which are a big lure (yes, that’s a pun) for hipsters with a taste for retro stuff.

World of Flowers at 971 Manhattan Ave. was able to leave potted daffodils on outdoor shelves without fear of frost killing the yellow posies.

Restaurant owners with sidewalk café licenses hauled out their tables and chairs, and customers settled in for looong lunches.

The outdoor action was especially busy at Park Luncheonette at 332 Driggs Ave., Enid’s at 560 Manhattan Ave., Five Leaves at 18 Bedford Ave., Nights and Weekends at 1 Bedford Ave. and the Pencil Factory at 142 Franklin St.

It was so balmy out that the armored knight outside Polish restaurant Królewskie Jadłlo at 694 Manhattan Ave. would have been sweating if he were a real person instead of a statue.

The takeout line at busy Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop at 727 Manhattan Ave. was long, since many customers wanted to do their snacking outdoors.

Grownups took their kids to Van Leeuwen at 620 Manhattan Ave. and bought cones for themselves as well. The shop’s vegan ice cream tastes as good as its classic version made with milk, cream and egg yolks.

Grownups with and without kids thronged McCarren Park, where games of basketball, softball and Frisbee went on simultaneously. Some guys who were nostalgic for fall tossed a football.

Its original name was Greenpoint Park before a switch was made to honor the late Patrick Henry McCarren, an Irish immigrant who became a state senator. So we made sure to include the park in our itinerary.   

Old-fashioned rowhouses in the neighborhood were especially fine eye candy thanks to the azure sky that served as a backdrop. A white-stucco house with a double bay window at 258 Driggs Ave. on the corner of Eckford Street was one of many eye-catchers.

A row of red-brick homes on Greenpoint Avenue east of Franklin Street also looked terrific. Gothic Revival-style St. Anthony-St. Alphonsus Catholic Church at 862 Manhattan Ave. looked heavenly with that canopy of blue sky behind it.

WNYC Transmitter Park on the East River’s edge was a magnet for Greenpoint residents who wanted to play fetch with their dogs or take in the zillion-dollar views. Depending on where they sat, they either gazed upon the Chrysler Building and other midtown skyscrapers, or looked towards Williamsburg and Lower Manhattan.

People strolled out onto the park’s recreational pier for selfies at sunset.

The air rising off the river was chilly and not quite so springlike. But nobody minded. Franklin Street’s restaurants, with hot food and warming drinks, were just a two-minute walk away.

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