Greenpoint Gazette

What’s So Funny About Greenpoint? A Preview

BY Juliet Linderman

In just a few months, the Greenpoint Business Alliance has accomplished a whole lot. With membership up to nearly 80 businesses in the greater Greenpoint area, the GBA is making strides towards establishing, and bolstering, a bustling commercial corridor featuring some of the coolest boutiques, bars, restaurants and shops in North Brooklyn. And on Thursday night the GBA is upping the ante, holding their first-ever fundraiser extravaganza with the best comedians this side of the East River.

What’s So Funny About Greenpoint?, to be held on Thursday, November 11 at the Polonaise Terrace, will feature hors d’oeuvres, drinks, dancing and comedy routines from Bobby Tisdale of Wards of Merkin fame, Comedy Central’s Heather Lawless, Eugene Mirman and Todd Barry, among others. At $20 a pop, that’s a bargain, considering that all funds will go towards supporting community initiatives like holiday lights, a clean streets program and neighborhood marketing and awareness.

The purpose of the event is, first and foremost, fundraising. But the decision to hold such a contemporary group of performers at a place like the Polonaise—a 47-year-old traditional Polish catering hall that faithfully hosts political events, weddings and large parties for Greenpoint residents—is indicative of one of the central goals of the GBA: To bring together longtime neighbors and new members of North Brooklyn’s emerging creative communities.

Apart from being stoked to see the biggest names in the New York comedy scene perform under one roof right here in the Garden Spot, according to Kent Lanier, owner of Black Rabbit Bar and one of the central organizers of the event, the event space is proving to be an even bigger draw for North Brooklynites.

“The Polonaise—it’s a bygone-era kind of place, like it’s from a different time,” Lanier said. “With this show, we’re hoping to expose people to a different Greenpoint. There will be younger groups of people, who love Greenpoint, and are coming to see a comedy show, and older residents who often go to the Polonaise. It’s going to be an unusual experience. It’s a 50/50 world. There’s a new demographic here, but it’s great to be able to live in the old Greenpoint world, too.”

Lanier explained that as the neighborhood grows and develops, he’s noticed an increased craving for the kind of authenticity and cultural character that the Polonaise represents. He and his wife, Annie, opened Black Rabbit in 2007, and have watched the neighborhood change.

“We love it here. There aren’t that many neighborhoods that feel like a small town,” Lanier said. “We knew it was going to be something great. It’s a natural development because Williamsburg is so close, but you can just feel it in the air in Greenpoint, that energy. And the GBA is trying to create a group of people to make it an even better place to live.”

The fundraiser is a truly collaborative effort. Lanier secured the acts—Black Rabbit Bar has become an unofficial clubhouse for many well-known comedians—while Lilly Peachin of Dandelion Wine secured wine sponsors such as Zev Rosin Selections, Blue Coast and David Bowler. Other sponsors include the Brooklyn Brewery, Radeberger, Brooklyn Brine Pickles and, of course, the Polonaise Terrace.

Click here to purchase tickets online or they may be purchased at the door.

What’s So Funny About Greenpoint?
November 11, 2010 – 8pm
The Polonaise Terrace
150 Greenpoint Avenue


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1 comment

  • John Velleca:

    I grew up in Greenpoint and went to St Anthony’s. I went to school with the original owner of the Polonaise Terrace, but I don’t remember his name could you help me find out?

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