Johnny Cirillo from @watchingnewyork’s Greenpoint Guide


The screen door is a great place to buy ice cream. Their split banana is totally bonkers, like a legit split banana with the whole banana and hot fudge. I like getting what I call the Oscar, though. A friend of mine, Oscar, who is nine years old and one of my best friend’s sons, introduced me to this and it’s a sorbet with gummy bears on top. Every time I go to The Screen Door now, that’s what I get: purple sherbet with gummy bears. The owners are also amazing, good and caring people. What’s cool about this store, though, is that years before it opened, I had done a photo exhibit and taken an aerial photo of McGolrick Park, and left for lunch and when I came back , someone had bought this photo. I was upset because it was the only time I couldn’t speak to the person who bought one of my prints, so I never found out who got it. Then, when the screen door opened, it was hanging on the wall. They bought it. They were just down the street so that was really cool. I have so much love for them.

It’s right next McGolrick Park, which is so special and awesome. It’s a beautiful park with a great play area for the kids. There’s good skateboarding there, it’s a great place to meet other friends, or relatives, or have birthday parties. It’s been a staple for a long time.

At some point during the day, I also like to visit Magic Land, which is actually not a public place. Back in the day, in Greenpoint, there were lots of artist spaces or DIY spots where you could hang out, bring beers, listen to music, or see art. Magic Land is a place that belongs to my brother. He lives upstairs on the third floor and Magic Land is on the ground floor. He is an artist and he does very beautiful paintings. But it’s one of those spaces where you walk in and there’s a lot going on. There’s a wall that everyone who comes in signs has this gigantic disco ball, beautiful plants, an already decorated Christmas tree, and a neighborhood cat comes by every day. It’s a place to be creative and relax, and there are usually other people hanging out. It really is my favorite place to go. Eventually he’s going to have his own art exhibit, open it up and let people in and out. Right now it’s just one of those special places where I can be and get creative. It’s always where I go before I go out to shoot, and it’s always the first place I go when I get home.

For dinner, there’s nothing that compares to Lilia. I think this is the best restaurant I have ever eaten at. For an appetizer, I have to have the artichoke, which is my all time favorite dish, hands down, and however they prepare it, it’s terrific. Then for main, agnolotti is my favorite thing they make. It is a really creamy and filled pastry with saffron on it. Every time I go anywhere else I’ll get the agnolotti, and it never compares. For dessert, Italian Work. It’s vanilla ice cream with olive oil, rosemary and sea salt on it, and it’s amazing. There are many good restaurants in New York, but this is my favorite. We also decided on my son’s name while we were sitting there eating the day before he was born, so this is an all time favorite spot.


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