My friends were out shooting a music video for Shonali and we noticed a sign for free Corn Cakes at the Greenpoint Renaissance Center across the street from me. I never really knew what this place was. When I first moved here six years ago, I thought it was an abandoned insane asylum. The front entrance was boarded up with concrete blocks. I’d tell people that it’s to lock the insane people in. The windows were all smashed at top and sometimes you would see a shadow move by. Probably just a bird or ghost.


It was actually a hospital (Greenpoint Hospital), where a friend’s mother was born. What if that’s her in the photo? That’d be freaky. Later it became a homeless shelter and then a haunted house by the time I moved into the neighborhood. A couple of years ago, it turned into Greenpoint Renaissance Center –mostly an office building for the St. Nick’s Alliance, but the basement is used for community arts …where the free corn cakes happened.

It was a little intimidating following the signs around the quiet building and into a basement, just because there was a sign for free corn cakes. But once we got there, it was a room of kids and adults grinding corn on tree logs. They made us some corn cakes on the hot plates. Tasted great with the sage butter and goat cheese.

We got to talking to them. Their art collective Round Robin Brooklyn is doing a residency there. They have several events coming up soon, like this Wednesday where they are drinking some beers and showing some videos that have to do with Bob Ross and Disney Cinderella romances.

Arts@Renaissance – 2 Kingsland Ave. Garden Level (@ Maspeth Ave) Brooklyn, NY 11211

I was telling them that I always wondered about this building because I always thought it was creepy. Then she showed us some real creepy shit by taking us on a tour of the old public showers. The first one I poked my head in, there was a girl dancing on the window ledge. That was unexpected.

I took a photo of Todd out back.

About The Author

Jason Lam

Food blogger since 2008. Hair model since 2003.

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