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Oct 29, 2013 09:52 PM

Wendy's Closed. Is Homogeny taking root in Greenpoint.

I was in Greenpoint just last weekend. Went to my favored dive, in the direction of Queens on Manhattan. That is not the point. The point is that Wendy's was closed. It was a Saturday night. It was something in the hours near 8 pm.

Wendy's is a Polish venue just west, Manhattan and Greenpoint. The juke box has great Polish music.

123 Greenpoint Avenue

I fear that like so many other areas, that this may be a slow receding (euphemism.....crushing is more like it) of the originary local establishments, as cookie cutter venues open up.

The cookie cutter, well, the same types of places, one finds in Park Slope, Cobble Hill, areas of other cities in other states.

Basically, unlike these originary establishments, one can find similar or same experience where ever one might be.

Wendy's has been said by adventurers into the Polish community of Greenpoint, to be similar to a social club. The atmosphere was quite a difference that one could step in, from time to time, or often.

Homogeny, is it taking root?

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  1. Oh, just to mention. I was in Greenpoint in middle of 2003.

    I stated to some local friends, that it is due to change, Greenpoint that is.

    I said the reason for my supposition of a coming twilight of Grrenpoint as what it has been, was that amongst the Polish shops, I noticed a new, trendy Thai venue.

    I made a hypothesis then. I concluded that Thai venues the likes that dot the city some on every block, when popping up in regions of entrenched ethnic or other locale, mean gentrification.

    That is not the case with the more 'hands on' Thai venues that can be seen on Hillside in Queens, or Jamaica Ave, Woodhaven.

    There is a difference between 'trendy' and more standard appeal. One strives for appeal due to trendy expense driven show of interior and exterior, with low quality food. The other is primarily a food venue, simply opened to offer good eats, not some exaggerated show that in the end is an appeal that leads to emptiness, unless one looks at revue acquired from customers that do not no better.

    So, 10 years later, 2013, my prediction seems correct.

    I am hoping that both worlds can coexist. Needless to say, across from Wendy's is not going to disappear.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jonkyo

      I believe that greenpoint was already well into the homogenizing process by 2003. I lived there in the mid-1980s (at franklin and eagle) and spent a lot of time there throughout the '90s, and by the turn of the century, things had clearly begun to change -- in my mind, for the worse.

      new York is constantly in flux, we all know that. but in decades -- centuries, even -- before, neighborhoods retained *some* character, even as the character changed. that's becoming less and less true: I live in Jackson heights now, surrounded by some of the city's better dining choices -- here, Elmhurst, JH itself, woodside -- and I see neighborhood newcomers complain about the food (since there aren't any 'cute bistros,' 'modern italian' or fusion places).

      greenpoint itself? back in the '80s, the northern part was a mix of older poles and younger Puerto rican residents, very few dining establishments -- the older Poles tended not to eat out except on special occasions, since restaurant food could never be as good as that of the matriarch. there were, however, many more markets and small food shops. fortunately, those seem to have hung on to a decent degree there, even as the cultural epicenter has moved eastward into ridgewood/Maspeth.

      I miss neighborhoods with distinct character, and I miss the idea that every single two block area didn't need every single luxury. but you can't put the genie back in the bottle.

      1. re: debinqueens

        Your last point does ring true.

        The aspect that is highlighted in your statement I will quote below, concerning Jackson Heights, can be applied to other locations in the boroughs, but many are just not the historical note that Greenpoint was...or still is.

        "Jackson heights now, surrounded by some of the city's better dining choices -- here, Elmhurst, JH itself, woodside -- and I see neighborhood newcomers complain about the food (since there aren't any 'cute bistros,' 'modern italian' or fusion places)."

        Nice to read you comment. Thanks.

        It is nice to go to such areas, and some places, I half jokingly state to compatriots, defy modernity. Most notable here would be Hasidic neighborhood. Others, do apply, in varying degrees.

    2. Wendy's is often closed at what would be peak hours for a normal bar. She owns the building and does what she likes, although I've often wondered why she hasn't tried to take a bit more advantage of a prime location in an ever-growing neighborhood.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gort

        That is good to know.

        I will have to find out when the doors and lights are on....and the juke box. Let us not forget the taps.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Wendy's seemed open last night? (Tuesday 10/29)

          1 Reply
          1. The original comment has been removed