Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Little Poland" in Greenpoint, Brooklyn



Greenpoint is the northern corner pocket neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Greenpoint is largely a working class neighborhood sometimes referred to as "Little Poland" due to its large population of working-class Polish immigrants, reportedly the second largest concentration in the United States after Chicago.


You can see the skyscrapers of Manhattan in the distance, with the East River between, separating Brooklyn and Manhattan. In the early days of Brooklyn, Greenpoint was mainly farmland. Come the 19th century it became highly industrialized like most of North Brooklyn with a focus on shipbuilding, given its proximity to the water. The Polish settled the area before the turn of the century and Greenpoint has been categorized as a predominantly Polish neighborhood ever since.


There is a definite Polish feel to the neighborhood churches and buildings. To the left in the photo collage above is St. Anthony - St. Alphonse Catholic Church. Its Gothic Revival style has a strong presence on Manhattan Avenue. The Polish National Church of the Resurrection, on the right in the collage above, is located on Leonard Street.


At Slodycze Wedel is a Polish specialty candy store located at 772 Manhattan Avenue


The shelves were filled with all kinds of Poland imported chocolates and wafer candies and cookies.



It even had a friendly, purring cat, who was all decked out in a shirt collar and tie.


I peeked into the windows of various bakeries....


....where I saw the most delicious babkas, breads, donuts and pastries.  It took great self control for me to not buy a cheese babka as they looked so good! Perhaps I'll come back after my daughter's wedding, when I am not dieting any longer ... sigh.


Another temptation were the fresh, daily made donuts at the Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop, located at 727 Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint.


They have such a large following of fans from all over Brooklyn that they often sell out all their delicious home made donuts quickly. The jelly donuts are especially good!


The meat stores in Greenpoint are a sight for both the eyes and the nose, because as soon as you walk inside....

...the spicy, garlicky, salty, and sweet smells of kielbasi, sausage, and other cured meats immediately whiffs into your nostrils. It is a carnivores delight!


Just look at the size of those sausages!  I was also tempted by the stuffed cabbage rolls that were for sale.

Even the newsstands in Greenpoint are dominated by Polish and Eastern European magazines and newspapers.

The Greenpoint neighborhood is served by the G line subway -- the only NYC subway that does not enter Manhattan.  This fact has hindered the growth of Greenpoint but many young people are beginning to spill over from the adjoining Williamsburg neighborhood, due to the slightly more affordable rents that are available


Housing is varied, from a few brownstones to...


... predominately plain, wood frame and brick multi family homes.


That is not to say that real estate is cheap here, as you can see by this photo buildings for sale on a real estate office.

Greenpoint Brooklyn is certainly a colorful place to visit!



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66 comments:

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Wonderful post Pat! We go to Joes Meat Market in Perth Amboy before Easter every year. The aroma is just amazing. The make the most wonderful kielbasa and other meat products. They also always have lots of imported candy and other products. It must be fun to visit an entire city area with all of these goodies.
♥, Susan

ellen b. said...

You are making me want to get on a plane and head to New York. Maybe after the wedding when I won't be concentrating on dropping pounds. That polish neighborhood is calling to me...

Ginny said...

Wow, I'm loving this! Our son and his family just returned from a four day vacation in New York. They stayed right by the World Trade Center and went to ice-slate at Rockefeller Center, and to eat ice-cream at Serendipity. Also went to China Town and The American Girl Store and Bloomingdale's. I didn't even know there was a Little Poland. All these meats look even fresher than in a regular grocery store. And Polish candy, do they somehow specialize in making candy?? I'm going to world Market tomorrow and they have some Polish Candy, some from other different countries, I wonder what would be good that they export?

betsy said...

Thank you for bringing us the infinite variety of New York life. What a city-

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, I always love it when you show us all of the different neighborhoods in your area. I don't have any Polish relatives that I know of---but I will say that I LOVE Kielbasa...... Yum!!!!!

Thanks again for taking us on this little trip with you.. Such a wonderful neighborhood.
Hugs,
Betsy

Barbara F. said...

I could do some serious damage in those bakeries. We have a couple of Polish stores here on the island. Small but also chock full of goodies. xo

Sea Witch said...

My dad had friends in Greenpoint and he would take us to visit the bakeries where we would select something delectable and then we would sit outside as the "men" talked. It was always fun.

The Gathering Place said...

What a fun neighborhood to explore. The bakery and the sausage store look like great places to stop! How fun.

Pondside said...

You are a braver woman than I! There's no way I'd test myself near the bakery or the shop with the salami and sausages! I'm dieting too, but not having much success.

Kris said...

Pat, you always take us on the best trips!! I am now starving and so badly wishing I were in NYC!! Thank you for the places we get to go with your knowledge and beautiful photography!!

Ola said...

thanks for this post, I would feel in this NY district like in my home Warsaw:)

eileeninmd said...

Thanks for the great tour, Pat. It looks like a neat neighborhood and the bakeries and meat markets look very tempting. Wonderful post and photos. I wish you a great week ahead.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Looks like a great way to spend the afternoon! I haven't had stuffed cabbage in way too many years-gotta fix that:@)

Tracy said...

WOW... great food, great architecture, flowers...*swoon*... I'm loving swimming in this post of goodies, Pat! Thanks for taking us along, as always. :o) ((HUGS))

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, Pat, you photos were like eye candy for me to enjoy!! So beautiful. And, girl, you were very self-disciplined to pass those baked goods by this time!! blessings ~ Tanna

Riet said...

HI Pat. Wow lots of goodies there.Good for you to pass the sweets . I didn't know there were so many Polish people in New York. In our country lots of polish people are coming to work and live here since they joined Euroland. I haven't seen Polish shops yet but I am sure they will come sooner or later. Can hardly wait. LOL
Have a nice week my friend.

Maria M. Boyer said...

What a fun tour! Another area to add to our Places to Visit list! And I think I saw FLAKE bars in the candy store. My favorite!

Snap said...

Another fun tour, Pat. I put on pounds just reading the post! :D :D :D

Karen said...

What an interesting post. I loved all the pictures. You need to check out http://imjustwalkin.com. This gentlemen is walking all the streets in the 5 boroughs of New York. You might enjoy it.

Catherine said...

Thank you for the great tour. I miss ethnic neighborhoods, especially the yummy food.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I love the fact that so close by to you is a world filled with so many different cultures. The bakeries and meat market are to die for. All that home made fresh kielbasa YUM!!

La Petite Gallery said...

Another fantastic post..

yvonne

Claudia said...

Just a feast for the eyes. My Scottish great-grandfather renovated some homes in Greenpoint. The kielbasa beckons - I just love that stuff (don't tell Italian sausage makers). Will be coming to NYC in early spring and we will spend a day in Brooklyn - I don't know how I will pick and choose.

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Thank you for another great tour in a section of New York. I guess most big cities have their various ethnic areas. We have China town, Little Italy etc too. I could dive into those donuts. V

dix said...

Delightful! You made me feel like I was there in Greenpoint trying to converse with the shop owners in my VERY VERY meager Czech language. Many of the words are the same in Czech. Just seeing the baked goods made my mouth water for sure. Thanks for the trip.
dix---

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

Oh I will have to keep this info handy for our next trip to NYC! My family is 75% Polish and my grandmother was born in Brooklyn. Next time we would like to explore Greenpoint and find out if the Church she was baptized at is still standing (it is really hard to find birth records so church records are next!) Thanks loads for this post!

ps. the food looks amazing, I can imagine the smell just from the photos!

Nezzy said...

What a wonderful shoppin' area. Girl, I could just get lost in the candy and pastry shoppes!!!

Thanks for sharin' your little part of the world, I sooooo needed to get of the Ponderosa today.

God bless your week sweetie! :o)

RobinfromCA said...

What a fun tour of a place I didn't even know existed! I love traveling through blogland as I get ideas of new places to visit! Oh, those bakery temptations - my, my!
Robin

Sara said...

Thanks for the tour, and the photos off all that delicious and extremely tempting food! Your mention of "Polish Town" had me scurrying to my Ancestry.com records to see if my grandfather's relatives ever lived there. With names like Roswadowski and Korzeniewski it was certainly possible! Alas, no, they lived in the Bronx and Manhattan burroughs. This was 1910-1930.

Sheila said...

Little Poland looks like a fascinating neighbourhood to explore. You've given us a glimpse of the sights, smells and ambience of a wonderful place to live. Beautiful photos Pat!

Pamela Gordon said...

What a wonderful neighbourhood to see. Real estate sure is high! Thanks for the tour.

Carol said...

Fabulous post of a fabulous place. I don't think I've been to Greenpoint. Maybe it's a good thing about the subway, could ruin the charm!

nanny said...

I am always amazed at the variety of foods, cultures, etc at your finger tips!!! So interesting and fun. (Not good for dieting I imagine)

Ellie said...

Wonderful post! You just shared a bit of home with me. I grew up in Greenpoint. Oh how miss the butchers and the bakers. And the candy shop is awesome. Peter Pan...I drool everytime I see a picture they sell my favorite donuts of all time and you can't buy anything close anywhere!
St. Stanislaus is also an old neighborhood church, I believe they celebrated their 100th birthday not too long ago.

I've been homesick for Greenpoint, I haven't been back in over 5 years and don't know when I will get to go next. I still have family there. Thank you for bring a little joy to my heart today.

cassandrasminicorner said...

Wow, beautiful and very interesting place. Those food makes me hungry:(

Visiting for Blue Monday! Here's mine-hope you can stop by:)

http://www.loveablecassandra.com/2012/01/3d-sunglasses.html

Lorrie said...

New York has the most incredible blend of ethnic heritage. Those pastries look SO good! Thanks for bringing a little bit of New York to the west coast.

SmilingSally said...

I appreciate going on this trip to "Little Poland." Happy Blue Monday, Pat.

My Little Home and Garden said...

There is a Polish parish church a few blocks from my home. Although I am neither Catholic nor Polish, I visit the annual fall bazaar to pick up perogies and cabbage rolls! I'd enjoy a visit to the neighbourhood you featured!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Another wonderful pictorial tour, Pat. Loved the cat in the shop with his tie and collar :)

Ouch on the property prices there. Hard to believe you can't get to Manhattan using the subway.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Well I sure needed that little outing in the middle of a dull Monday at work.

nannykim said...

ah, yes, so many interesting places there!

Yvette said...

Thanks for this tour of Little Poland, Pat. I've never been to this part of Brooklyn - come to think of it, there's tons I've missed by only having visited the borough a few times even I lived in Manhattan.

My ex-husband is Polish, but he grew up in the Bronx so we never visited this neighborhood. I wish we had. :)

pat said...

Loved the tour of Greenspoint.
So much to see and so many colors.
My grandson is in Brooklyn, but probably not in your area because he takes the subway into Manhattan every day.

podso said...

Loved this tour! Ah the bakeries. You just don't see them like that down here in the south --I can't think of one like what you have shown. Good thing New Yorkers walk so much, with all that temptation in the shop windows!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

It's always the bakery that gets to me...be it French, German, Danish or Polish! I can almost smell the baked goods.

Thanks for the Monday tour of the Polish neighbourhood of New York.

Sue said...

Hi Pat....so sorry for the loss of your Mom...
I was out in Brooklyn right before the holidays at Fada and thought about you...Hope your doing well...Sue

diane b said...

That was great tour of the Polish sector of Brooklyn. Bill would love the sausage shop and me the bakeries. You were very strong to desist. The colours, buildings and unique signs give the place heaps of character.

Postcards from Wildwood said...

You have made Greenpoint look a very desirable place to visit, Pat. I love your shots from inside the shops. Eastern European cuisine is so homely and inviting!

coco said...

Sounds really fun.I want to let my children visit there.

dede said...

Once again!
http://varie-ed-eventuali-blog.blogspot.com/2008/07/greenpoint.html
Ciao Pat

Donna said...

Looks like an interesting and fun neighborhood. Yummy food!

Hugs,
Donna

Kathleen said...

Loved that Pat! Dh used to go there to get the kielbasa and ham when he still worked in that area.
Polish Town out here is just about gone.
Stores are closed and have become other nationalities.
We still have Our Lady of Poland RC Church here in Southampton. Mass in Polish every Sunday.
Great tour, as always!

Oliag said...

Perhaps the best reason for living in a big city is this wonderful mix of cultures! My little town used to have a large Polish population and we had a Polish festival every year...but time has changed things unfortunately...

Barb said...

What a place to visit when you're trying to diet! I liked your colorful and varied tour of Greenpoint. The bakeries and candy store would indeed be a temptation!

Cindy said...

What a wonderful place to visit! I love seeing all of these places that I have only read about, those brownstones are so pretty.
The meat in the meat shop looks amazingly delicious and the bakery, wow, I don't know if I could have walked by without going in.
I love your blog, Pat, thanks so much for showing us the fabulous sights.
Hugs, Cindy
PS I made your Moroccan Stew on the weekend and we enjoyed it tremendously. Thank you for it.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What beautiful churches and tempting bakeries! It's interesting to see the magazine stand. I've never traveled abroad but that's what I imagine in another country not NYC! How interesting! Great photos, Pat! Enjoy your week! ♥

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

I never grow tired of the places you share. NYC is such a diverse and interesting place. I had no idea there was such a high Polish concentration. No where near as interesting, but it was Polish immigrants, direct from Poland, who built the house I currently live in. They collected pieces from prominent homes and local landmarks (banks, opera houses, etc) and used them all to construct the odd and interesting home in which I live. So reading this, I imagined the places and foods and such were things my home builders (the woman of the couple being someone I spent an afternoon with, now in her old age and wanting one last look at "her" house) would have loved. Thank you.

Theanne said...

I'm drooling...so much food! Don would have loved that kielbasi! Maybe one stuffed cabbage leaf for me! Enjoyed Pat!

chubskulit said...

Gorgeous!

Whiteout, for outdoor wednesday.

Cathy said...

Great post, Pat. I love the Polish bakeries and restaurants in Chicago and know that I would feel the same about those in Brooklyn. Aren't the bakeries something!!!! All those beautiful pastries.

GardenofDaisies said...

This looks like a wonderful neighborhood! I love places that still have a little bit of that ethnic feel.

Jessica said...

I love specialty shops! This looks like a really interesting area. Next time I am in New York I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing :)

steviewren said...

Who would have thought there could be so many types of Polish candies and cookies....and those breads!!! My mouth is watering so. You've reminded me that I've been on the computer long enough...time to go find supper.

togoh said...

that's soo cool! all the cool stuff one knows from poland is there!
awesome post! :)

togoh said...

wow! it's so cool that you still take your time to write back to the people that commented your posts! that's really nice, especially if you consider how busy your blog is! :)

Bozena Wojtaszek said...

Thanks for the great tour :)

I don't know about their kielbasa but the sweet stuff at "Wedel" is a real thing - the newest sweets we aet right now here, in Poland.

Great post!