McCarren Park is Greenpoint’s most popular park, due mainly to its conspicuous location between Bedford and Bayard Avenues, on Lorimer Street. Comprised of baseball fields, a running track and handball courts, McCarren park carries the onus of Greenpoint’s recreation. For canine park goers, there’s a dog-run at the South-West corner of the park, adjacent to the Russian Orthodox church. Also for canine and other animal fans, watch for the Annual Animal Show and Parade put on by Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC) at McCarren Park; it’s a must see!
Monsignor McGolrick Park
McGolrick Park sits east of both Manhattan and McGuiness Avenues, on Russell Street between Nassau and Driggs. Unlike McCarren Park to the west, McGolrick Park affords a semblance of seclusion, and many benches to relax on. The centerpiece of McGolrick Park is the War Memorial (for the WWI battles of Argonne and St. Mihiel) and the Shelter Pavilion. The Shelter Pavilion (having recently undergone a $2 million dollar renovation) is designed after the Grand Trianon which stands at Versailles, France. For locals with dogs craving exercise, there’s a large dog-run located at the southern end of the park.
(To get to McGolrick Park, head east on Driggs or Nassau avenues to Russell Street.)
Barge Park is located at the very northern tip of Greenpoint. The “park” might better be described as a playground, since there are but few trees and no grass. A few benches are afforded, from which there are nice views of the Manhattan skyline. Despite its name and proximity to both Newtown Creek and the East River, there is no water access from the Barge Park itself.
Fitting for Greenpoint, the landmark by which to find American Playground is a prominent watertower emblazoned with the Polish flag. Although not on park property itself, the conspicuous watertower looms above the basketball and handball courts that comprise the park. American Playground is located between Noble and Milton streets on Franklin Avenue. Usually, there’s not too much traffic in American Playground, except for an occasional pick-up basketball game between the local teenagers. The streets surrounding American Playground have frequently, and continue to be used for Hollywood film locations. Recently (spring 2004), both House of D (starring Robin Williams and David Duchovny) and the Interpreter (starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn) were filmed on adjacent streets.