Hey, it’s The People in Your Neighborhood, our new recurring feature where we talk with notable local figures about their favorite people and places in the neighborhood they (and maybe you too) call home! Today we hear from Peter Feigenbaum, the visual artist whose ongoing Trainset Ghetto miniature and photo series is wonderful and fascinating, and who is also one third of Northside alums Dinowalrus.
Best place to people watch?
Tables in front of Verb or Fabians.
Best place to drink?
Daddy’s—it’s a real clubhouse.
Best bookstore or record store?
Record Grouch. I was quite pleased to find a Primatives album there. Spoonbill is great, too.
Best grocery store/farmer’s market?
Associated in Greenpoint because they have cheap ice cream sandwiches and cheap ground beef. Or Sun Hee Farms in Greenpoint because they have dirt cheap produce like boxes of blackberries for a dollar in the summer. The Associated + Sun Hee combo got me through the recession! Also, Emily’s Pork Store on Graham Ave has some amazing “Gabagool.”
The one that got replaced by the Tea House at Bedford and North 8th. Grrrrrr.
Best coffee shop?
Best subway line?
Ain’t nuthin’ but a G Train, baby.
Best date spot?
Night of Joy…actually that one didn’t go too well, but I thought it did (you know who you are).
Best person whose name you don’t know?
The bartender at Palace Cafe who looks like Wayne from Wayne’s World after 20 years of hard livin’.
According to neighborhood folklore, are there any celebrities living in the area?
I read that Michel Gondry owns a house on Olive St. near Graham Ave. L. Maybe some of the real-life mobsters portrayed in Donny Brasco still live around Graham Ave?
Which are there more of: dogs, bodega cats, strollers, American Apparel ads, or old men on stoops?
American Apparel ads or old men on stoops.
What’s missing from your neighborhood?
Not much! We have everything… but maybe a Bank of America ATM so I don’t have to pay the fees for bodega ATMs. Or I have this dream to open the first Waffle House franchise in New York State on Union
Ave—that would be a big step up. Actually, there’s not much good Indian food. Maybe an East London style Balti House would be a good idea.
What’s been the biggest change since you’ve moved in?
All the Polish Meat Markets on Bedford got replaced with useless boitiquey crap. All the Bodegas were upgraded into overpriced “organic markets.” Also, Matamoros Grocery had great tacos and that closed,
too. But mostly I’ve noticed the Manhattanization of Bedford Ave, which has lead to the proliferation of Euro-tourists and food carts, and a damn incense seller. This started in 2008 I think.
It’s a Saturday night in October/November. You don’t feel like traveling very far but are antsy for a night out. Where do you go?
Head up to the Palace Cafe in Greenpoint for some cheap Buds and Judas Priest on the jukebox…or probably just start texting like a 12-year old girl until somebody tells me where the action is.