The Correct Proceedings of Social Etiquette in Greenpoint
By Zuzanna Wasiluk & Aphrodite Brinsmead
Greenpoint is a magical place, tucked away at the very Northern tip of Brooklyn, where it borders Queens and the East River. The transport isn’t always favorable, but Greenpoint’s beauty is apparent as stunning views of Manhattan can be seen all along the waterfront. The neighborhood has transformed over the last decade. Up until the late 2000s, the area was predominantly Polish, but in 2021 hipsters reside there, too. They’re drawn to its food, views, and proximity to Williamsburg. Admirers and newcomers are welcome, but please read this guide created by the locals before you visit. It provides useful tips about how to act, dress, and take part in local activities.
Participating in Local Sports
- Head to McCarren Park
- Take sports seriously
- Join a local club
- Walk in the running lane
- Be afraid to show off your skills
- Get in the way of cyclists
Greenpoint offers a hive of activities for even the keenest sports fans. McCarren Park is the preferred location for running, swimming, kickball, and even weight training. But some areas are unofficially reserved for picnics or lovers taking a walk, so make sure you head to the right location. One of the most notable places in the park is the running track. You’ll see locals from across Williamsburg and Greenpoint meeting here to train. Please don’t use the track for leisurely strolls, gossiping, or taking selfies. For longer runs and skyline views, head up to Long Island City via the Pulaski Bridge or down to Williamsburg along Kent Avenue. Watch out for cyclists in your lane!
You’re welcome to demonstrate your superhuman strengths over at the outdoor gym. But if you’re not ready to show off your muscles, it’s advisable to choose one of the many indoor gyms. There are also plenty of sports clubs you can join. Softball and kickball leagues frequently battle it out for beer and glory in the park. Tennis courts hide under a giant bubble roof. And if you feel like a paddle on the river, there’s a boat club at the Northern tip of Greenpoint.
Dressing to Fit in
- Dress in casual attire
- Wear vintage whenever possible
- Be creative
- Look too neat
- Match your accessories
- Wear heels or dress shoes
Greenpointers wear vintage attire. Do not show up to brunch in your designer jacket and heels. Unless, of course, you bought them at Beacon’s closet. White sneakers, vintage floral dresses, and denim jackets are the preferred style of the locals. If you can rock this look while also recycling and saving the planet, even better. Men can also wear floral dresses in Greenpoint if they so desire, but deep V-neck T-shirts along with old or even older-looking denim and leather jackets will ensure you look at home while playing pool at the bar on a Friday night.
There’s no need to go home and change before dinner. The same look works. You’ll rarely see Greenpointers in formal wear. Most of them work in tech or creative fields with little need to don a suit or blazer. But on occasion, there’ll be a big party or wedding hosted at one of the many splendid halls. Despite their mostly casual appearance, Greenpointers like to dress up too. It’s just that their party dresses are most likely acquired at a clothing swap or loaned from a friend rather than purchased from Saks or Bloomingdale’s.
Hosting a Picnic
- Keep dietary restrictions in mind
- Consider every detail around your guests
- Bring your own blanket and basket
- Stifle the energy around you
- Exclude children from your party
- Divide the food into portions
Picnics are a staple summer activity in Greenpoint. If you host one, you should prepare a picnic that extends beyond your own preferences. The ideal picnic should mirror a buffet in that your guests are not limited to one type of food. The mark of a great picnic is when you don’t know whose plate is whose and everyone is sampling from others. This kind of behavior should be encouraged by you as the host.
The sanctity of a picnic should be upheld by not having food items that need to be refrigerated or microwaved. Drinks are also essential. Your guests might expect to indulge in a summer wine, iced tea, or seltzer. If you run out, most of the good picnic spots are within walking distance to at least three delis. In addition to the food, the host of the picnic should bring a blanket.
McCarren Park has lots of grassy areas for your party, and the sunset hits beautifully there at around 8:15 p.m. in the summer. Transmitter Park is ideal for a larger picnic and holds the potential for uninvited but welcome millennials to join. Greenpoint Landing, near the Greenpoint ferry stop, has the best views of the skyline for your party to gaze at.
As a note for hosts, any flowers picked at the picnic site should be given to the youngest child at the party. Picnics are the perfect opportunity to teach children how to make flower crowns.
Getting to know someone new can be difficult, especially over Zoom. But in our very first meeting, Zuzanna and I bonded over something we had in common: Greenpoint. She was born there, and I lived there for many years. One of our very first writing prompts was to write about what we loved and hated in the neighborhood. Inspired by this and an etiquette book Zuzanna had found, we decided to write a guide on how to act in Greenpoint. We wanted to include things from our own unique experiences but also be entertaining so that it would resonate with both locals and visitors to the neighborhood. –Aphrodite
Zuzanna Wasiluk grew up in Greenpoint and had multitudes of pets in her early childhood. However, she’s been reduced to two kittens at the moment, Cricket and Felix. She attends high school in Brooklyn, NY, and a Polish school in Greenpoint to connect to her roots. She enjoys creative writing and painting as personal hobbies and joined Girls Write Now to develop as a writer in a more comprehensive direction in an inclusive environment.
Aphrodite is a content creator and marketer. She works in the fast-paced world of technology as the Director of Product Marketing at a startup called Duro. Aphrodite has spent her career working with B2B technology organizations as a marketer, consultant and industry analyst. Her experience includes creating reports, white papers, blog posts and presentations for a variety of clients and sales teams. She's passionate about mentoring and has volunteered at Streetwise partners and GirlsWriteNow. She holds a BEng in Microelectronics and Software Engineering from Newcastle University.