• Photo: Jennifer Arnow

Greenpoint

Greenpoint, Brooklyn's northernmost neighborhood, above Williamsburg and below Queens, is often described as "up and coming," but Greenpointers know it’s already arrived—again. A major 19th-century hub, first for shipbuilding and later for glassmaking, printing, and other manufacturing pursuits, Greenpoint prospered by welcoming successive waves of German, Irish, Italian, and Polish immigrants. Still predominantly Polish today, the area retains a village feel even as upscale businesses open and new residents move in. It has evolved more slowly than nearby Williamsburg, in part because the subway line that services Greenpoint is the borough's only one that doesn’t travel to Manhattan. With more than 7,500 new housing units planned for the next decade—some in repurposed factories, others, among them the waterfront Greenpoint Landing development, new construction—the mood could shift. For now, though, Greenpoint plays amiable host to outstanding restaurants, creative bakeries, independent boutiques, and cozy bars. All of these, along with the HBO hit Girls, whose main character, Hannah, lives here, have raised Greenpoint's contemporary profile, but it's still easy to get a sense of the area's layered history. Town houses from the 1800s add architectural gravitas to the side streets off Manhattan Avenue, the neighborhood's main artery, and a half-mile west, the waterfront is a striking juxtaposition of spruced up parks and the remnants of the area's industrial past.

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