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My grandfather's origin story reads like a Horatio Alger myth: born to a poor family, hungry, resilient, determined to forge a better life for himself, he worked his way up through the ranks of a logging company—laborer, estimator, lead forester. While running a crew on a large property in the countryside, he met the teenage daughter of the estate owner; there, in the glow of the summer woods, the young forester, Eliyahu, and my...
It’s easy to slip into a vicious cycle of comparing and despairing once summer rolls around, and you remain a constant in your cubicle while friends barrage you with accounts of their exotic vacations and adventures. But it’s important to remember that you could do a whole lot worse than being a compulsory captive in Brooklyn, where just by walking down an avenue or two, you can find yourself in Poland—i.e., Greenpoint—feasting on kielbasa...
Growing up in a “gray, industrial” part of Poland, the now Brooklyn-based textile artist known as Olek always felt that she was different. “If you wear bright colors there, everything gets dirty,” she says. “I was always dressed differently; that’s who I am." Today, Olek is a Brooklyn-based textile artist with innumerable works under her belt—colorful, crocheted installations that have popped up across the globe in Chile, India, Poland, Spain, and elsewhere, but also, of...
The first Polish restaurants to open in north Brooklyn were known as jadłodajnie, cafeteria-style establishments that served a wide selection of Polish dinners, soups, and salads. "There were no waiters. You would order your food, get it yourself, and bring it back to the tables," says Antek Wołowicz, 61, a long-time Greenpoint resident. "There was no alcohol, just soda and water." He remembers that there was a jadłodajnia on the corner of North 7th...

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