Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York City
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Greenpoint is the northernmost neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is bordered on the southwest by Williamsburg at the Bushwick inlet, on the southeast by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and East Williamsburg, on the north by Newtown Creek and Long Island City, Queens at the Pulaski Bridge, and on the west by the East River. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 1.
Nestled in the northernmost reach of Brooklyn and surrounded by waterways on three borders, this waterfront neighborhood lies only a short distance from both Manhattan and Queens.
Notable individuals born and/or raised in Greenpoint include actress Mae West, children's book author Margaret Wise Brown, pop singer Pat Benatar.
In the nineteenth century, Greenpoint established itself as a center of shipbuilding and waterborne commerce; its shipbuilding, printing, pottery, glassworks and foundries were staffed by generation after generation of hardworking immigrants. The homes built for the merchants and the buildings erected for their workers sprang up along streets that lead down to the waterfront. Today, this area is on the National Register of Historic Places as Greenpoint's Historic District.
Greenpoint's East River waterfront holds the maritime history of the community. The buildings which formerly manufactured the ropes for the shipbuilding industry are still there. The launch site of the USS Monitor lies on Bushwick Creek. Long a site of shipbuilding, the neighborhood's dockyards harbored the construction of the Monitor-the Union's first ironclad fighting ship built during the American Civil War. The Monitor, together with seven other ironclads, was built at the Continental Ironworks in Greenpoint.
After a long history as a stable, working-class neighborhood and immigrant haven, Greenpoint began to see some of the effects of gentrification by the 1980s. The New York Times noted extraordinary rent increases as early as 1986, mirroring the pattern of residential conversions of industrial buildings seen in nearby Williamsburg, as well as the similar formation of a smaller art community. Today, rents in Greenpoint are among Brooklyn's highest, and new construction is prevalent on streets where most buildings date back up to a century.
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