Confessions of a Neighborhood Blogger

Confessions of a Neighborhood Blogger: First stop, Greenpoint

By Angelina Fanous  | September 4, 2012 - 11:16AM

There are so many neighborhoods and micro-neighborhoods in New York City that it's virtually impossible to know everything you want to know about every one.

But ask the locals and you’ll get the true inside scoop, which is exactly what we're doing for our new bi-weekly series "Confessions of a Neighborhood Blogger."

This week we caught up with the Krrb Team, headquartered in Greenpoint, for the latest on this Brooklyn neighborhood. 

Krrb is a hyperlocal classifieds website, connecting people to special neighborhood items--an antique iron mirror as a headboard or mismatched plates and oddly shaped mugs in a cupboard. The items that often tell a story about the neighborhoods they come from.

Krrb also features a blog about neighborly living, like flea markets, how-to's, and "weekend wandering." 

One of the founders, George Eid, 40, dreamed up the site from his love for scavenger hunts, thrift shopping, and the simple joy of walking around your own neighborhood. Editorial director Andrew Wagner, 39, also writes the New York Times column, “What You Make of It,” about creatively recycling.

Though it's not entirely focused on Greenpoint, it is headquartered there and plenty of posts revolve around the Brooklyn nabe.

Here's what the Krrb team had to say about Greenpoint:

1. What's the first thing you would say to someone moving in?

Be sure to walk all over the neighborhood to get a sense of where you might want to try to live.

It's an incredibly diverse part of Brooklyn both geographically and culturally. Spend a little time getting to know the entire area -- from Manhattan Avenue to Kent Avenue. There are still deals to be found, so dig deep.

Prices all depend on where you're looking and what you're looking at. A one-bedroom, basement apartment with no light could be as low $1,200 or as high as $2,200 depending on exact location. 

Of course, if you want amazing views of Manhattan, then you could be spending as much as $3,500.

2. Where are the best deals in Greenpoint?

Look near certain parts of the water for real estate deals, because there are still some areas that are pretty underdeveloped, like West Street between Calyer and Eagle. If you are willing to put in some blood, sweat, and tears, there are still some great old factory buildings in the midst of conversion where affordable--though not necessarily luxurious--space can be had.

Besides real estate, the McCarren Park pool is a pretty great deal for an afternoon swim. But it is crowded and can be a bit overwhelming. Beer? I'd say R Bar on Meeker. Pizza? Grandma's pizza also on Meeker!

3. What's your favorite location within Greenpoint to live?

West Street on the water.  It’s still pretty rough and tumble and undeveloped but we assure you that the views of Manhattan are stunning and the spaces are awe-inspiring.  

4. Do you have a dream building in Greenpoint?

We love 67 West Street --  the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse -- which is just a block away from the water and houses galleries and art studios.

As far as a residential property, there is a house at the corner of Oak and Guernesy that gets talked about a lot in terms of house envy around our office. There is a lot of drool when 135 Oak Street is uttered around these parts. Oak is a cool little weird street in and of itself. Only a few blocks long. Sweet little secret.

5. Any buildings that feel out of place with the feel of the neighborhood?

Plenty! It is pretty ragged architecturally speaking. But not having one style is a good thing! 

For the most part on the waterfront, if a building used to be an old factory and is slowly moving over to residential use then it can be a little dodgier and not have all the 'comforts of home' so to speak. And the immediate surroundings are often pretty raw.

6. Any real estate-related controversy brewing or currently happening in your neighborhood?

It is a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood and there is constant tension not just between long-time, old-school residents but also between newer artist residents who are now feeling the squeeze from the ‘luxury’ condominium craze.

7. What do  you think you "sister" neighborhood might be? 

Far West Chelsea in Manhattan has the same sort of removed, on-the-water feeling. Architecturally speaking as well.

8. Which neighborhood feels like the opposite of your neighborhood?

Upper East Side, Manhattan. The Upper East Side feels very settled and developed, while Greenpoint feels like the Wild West -- unattended to, and still raw.

9. Would you stay in this neighborhood forever if you could?

Our Krrb U.S. headquarters are here and for the price it would be tough to beat the space we have. It's convenient, there is a ton going on and yeah, it is just so Krrb. So, yeah, I think we're here to stay. 

10. If not, where would you want to go?

We hear Rockaway is going off and we do like the beach! 

See all Confessions of a Neighborhood Blogger.

Related posts:

Transitions: Greenpoint, Brooklyn to Hudson Heights: Two tucked away, cool neighborhoods

A move-by-move neighborhood guide for the people, by the people

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