laura o'neill | co-founder, van leeuwen ice cream // laura + greg | on greenpoint, brooklyn. photo credit: carey macarthur.

laura o'neill | co-founder, van leeuwen ice cream // laura + greg | on greenpoint, brooklyn.

photo credit: carey macarthur.

photo credit: sidney bensimon.

photo credit: sidney bensimon.

spotlight on brooklyn | laura o'neill.

name: laura o’neill

age: 34

star sign: sagittarius 

hometown: melbourne, australia

where do you live now? brooklyn, ny

when did you move here? and why? i moved to nyc in 2007 after meeting my then boyfriend, now business partner ben van leeuwen on a holiday in london. 

describe yourself in 3 words or less. busy bee.

describe ny in 3 words or less.  never never land.

what do you do here? i run an ice cream company called van leeuwen artisan ice cream with my two partners ben and pete van leeuwen. we have stores and trucks in nyc and la. we also have an indonesian restaurant in brooklyn called selamat pagi. aside from food i also run a weekly dance jam in the dark called no lights, no lycra a concept that began in melbourne and now happens in over 50 cities around the world. i'm also one half of garage-pop band laura and greg, we just released a new ep "greysharkcanyon" in march.

what does a normal day entail for you? wake up, snooze, snuggle with my gypsy,my cat, get up and shower, grab coffee at our greenpoint store on the way to our hq (also in greenpoint). lots of emails (while i think about what lunch will be and wish that i'd eaten breakfast). running a small biz means you'll never know what the day will throw at you, but on a good day we will talk a lot about new ice cream flavors and visit our various locations to check in. 

what makes greenpoint so special? i’ve been in greenpoint my entire 9 years here and have seen lots of changes. for me i love being able to live and work in the same neighborhood, a walking commute means a lot when you're almost never not working. i love how neighborhood-y greenpoint is. almost everything you could want is here, or close by.

favorite coffee spot? van leeuwen :)

best place in brooklyn for:

pizza: paulee gees or vinnies for a slice.

burgers: i don't eat meat, but i love the cauliflower po boy at champs junior. 

bagel: the cali bagel at the standard.

mexican: the tacos morelos truck on bedford and nth 7th (veggie burrito!) or tortilleria mexicana los hermanos in bushwick.

indo: selamat pagi

record store: academy records

vintage: awoke or mirth

where should we go to catch a live gig? shea stadium.

where can we dance? no lights, no lycra on tuesdays or weekends at the call box.

where can we run free? free-ish mccaren and mcgolrick park, more free prospect park.

any other secret finds we should know about in brooklyn? the spaghetti and red sauce at scalino, it's not on the menu but just ask!

next trip...? toronto for canadian music week in may.

what are some of the quirky things you always do when traveling? when we are driving around to play shows we always try to find cool abandoned places to check out.

whats an interesting fact about you that most people wouldn’t know? i can whistle through my tongue.

whats on your stereo? ezra furman, porches, george harrison.

words you live by. make time to do all the things you love. also, dance!

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