Pointview: Greenpoint's Most Obscure Diner
Sometimes it's fun nosing out eateries not for the food, but for other features such as history, uniqueness, or -- in this case -- obscurity. I'd passed and re-passed the Pointview Deli and Restaurant on my bike and in cars at least a hundred times, but always on the way to somewhere else.
I was with a friend a couple of days ago and I spotted it again: the tattered awning flapping in the wind, the less-than-inviting squatness and decrepitude, the general sense that the place was very old, but had either closed or was on the verge of closing.
The location of Pointview (255 Greenpoint Avenue, 718-389-3460) helped reinforce this feeling. It was across the street from a sewage treatment plant, down the road from a Con Ed facility that looked like a pair of shiny nuclear reactor towers, in the midst of one of the city's more hardscrabble industrial areas.
"Is that place even open," my riding companion wondered. "Gee, I'm not sure. I'm a little afraid to go in there."
"Oh, c'mon," she coaxed. A minute later we were inside, surveying the yellowing, backlit menu board, the endless glass cases fogged with grease or steam, and a line of rudimentary tables by the shrunken windows, which produced a view grim enough to make you put a gun to your head, but maybe not fire.
At the register was a Chinese woman, the current owner, seeming a little sheepish about the kingdom spread before her. A trio of Mexican guys milled around behind the counter. We were the only customers.