How Did a Massive Halloween Rave Almost Go Down in One of Greenpoint’s Most Dangerous Buildings?

Roux answered for what seem to be the sins of multiple parties at Monday's NAG meeting.
Roux answered for what seem to be the sins of multiple parties at Monday’s NAG meeting.

By now, most of you are familiar with the story of the Cityfox rave that never was. To sum it up briefly, a club promoter sold thousands of tickets to an all-night Halloween fête in Greenpoint’s toxic NuHart Plastics building. Due to intervention from the Fire Department, the party never quite made it to witching hour, but many residents are super pissed that something like this almost went down at a state Superfund site — and across the street from a senior center, no less.

Beyond that, the details are somewhat difficult to follow, which makes it hard to know exactly where to point fingers, even if the impetus is hardly in short supply. Cityfox issued a public apology yesterday, and organizers at Monday night’s NAG meeting made a point to save any rave-related questions for last, but the Q&A session quickly became a sounding board for public outrage. As one resident summed it up, the whole thing was a “huge slap in the face” for a community that’s been impacted by the building’s toxic history and is now grudgingly attempting to trust developers who claim to have its best interests in mind.

Fielding many of these questions was geologist Michael Roux, the environmental consultant for Dupont Street Developers LLC, which bought the NuHart site in 2014. He was joined by Yi Han, a representative of the group. Together, their account was confusing and at times seemingly contradictory to some of the other things we now know about the incident (for instance, Han said the owners never signed a contract, but NAG has supplied copies of the signed party permit on its website. To be clear, the building is owned by multiple parties). Additionally, Roux said that he wouldn’t be “totally forthcoming with everything [he knows],” as he’s been put on notice of potential legal action by the state.

In order to help make heads of tails, here’s a rough chronological timeline presented from multiple perspectives. Continue reading

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Design Thinking in Hair:  A Bespoke Experience at Bull in the Heather

Tracy Rasmussen at work

For a long time, I didn’t have a hair stylist. Whenever my hair started getting uncomfortably long, I would go to the most conveniently located salon and got a trim. It was usually a simple enough request to not worry about a haircut gone horribly wrong. Then one day I went to a salon whose owner went rogue on me and decided to try out, what she thought was a “cool” style that is good for me. I ended up looking like a female version of Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber.

Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot wiser about who I let handle my hair. Also, my hairstyle preferences have evolved into involving the complexities of perming and coloring. This opens up a greater chance of stumbling into bad hair. But there is a very simple solution to avoiding this problem; Go to someone who knows how to balance one’s personal style while providing some guidance based on their professional experience. And only try a new stylist if highly recommended by a trusted source. That’s how I met Tracy Rasmussen, owner of the recently opened Bull in the Heather (219 Calyer Street). There I discovered the wonders of my new favorite coloring technique, Balayage and left with a natural looking beautiful do. Continue reading

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Call for Vendors!! Greenpointers Holiday Market (12/6)

Designed by Akane Ogura
Designed by Akane Ogura

Apple Cider, Crispy Chilly Night, Roaring Fire, Hot Coco….. the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner and to help get you in the spirits, Greenpointers is hosting our annual Holiday Market at Greenpoint Loft (67 West Street) from 1pm-7pm on December 6th, 2015. RSVP here!

We are seeking all types of local vendors (food, artists, crafters, jewelers, potters, etc.) so apply here or directly in the form after the jump.

Apply here

Are you a corporate level business, a distillery, or a business that is based out of the NYC area? Vendor tables are strictly reserved for local independent artisans and small businesses but you may qualify as a sponsor and can submit an application here. Continue reading

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NuHart Plastics Dance Party Shutdown + Important Superfund Meeting Monday 11/02

20150510-IMG_9541Last night Cityfox, mega-party organizers behind Bushwick’s smash-hit Brooklyn Mirage, selected Greenpoint’s NuHart Plastics facility to host the ghouls and gals as they danced into the pale Halloween moonlight.

To the horror of the 4,500-plus ticket holders, the dancing was dead on arrival; the party organizers didn’t secure proper permits, and the Fire Department intervened, shutting the party down while people lined up to enter the Superfund Site around midnight. Continue reading

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Meet Greenpoint’s Drug Lords, Then Look Wistfully At the Changing Waterfront — The Hook-Up 10/30

Now that you mention it, this certainly appears to be a drug front. Photo: New York Post
Now that you mention it, this certainly appears to be a drug front. Photo: New York Post

Greenpoint might not need a Breaking Bad cafe after all. Turns out a local mom-and-pop pharmacy was host to “one of the biggest illegal prescription pill rings in New York history.”

Ready, set, development roundup. A new building is in the works for Kent and West, and “the design is…something.” Meanwhile, a Canadian firm just bought into Greenpoint Landing, with construction on two tall towers expected to begin in the first half of next year.

David Simon’s HBO pilot, The Deuce, was filming at The Capri Social Club last week. Get your 70s porn ‘stache ready in case they return. Continue reading

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More Toxic Secrets In This Rare 1980s ‘Hazardous Neighbors’ Brooklyn Study


It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the world of toxic chemicals, specifically as they pertain to Greenpoint. First, Neighbors Allied For Good Growth (NAG) released the ToxiCity Map to bring confusing, widely scattered publicly available data together into one cohesive document. Now, we’re bringing you the long-lost 1980s factory-to-factory survey of Greenpoint and Williamsburg by Hunter College, a study that many lifetime Greenpoint residents say they couldn’t find or easily access until now.

It reveals the former locations and quantities of reactive chemicals — the kind that explode when they make contact with water, such as cyanide. In many cases, they’re shockingly close to residential buildings in Brooklyn’s priciest real estate drag. From speaking with a NAG member at the map release event, I also found that the “Hazardous Neighbors” study contains information that’s not available in the ToxiCity Map. Continue reading

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The Best Haircuts? At Freddy Vazquez’s ‘Fade 2 Famous’ Barbershop

 All photos c/o Rosie de Belgeonne
Freddy Vazquez, owner of Fade 2 Famous, in his barbershop on a busy day
All photos c/o Rosie de Belgeonne

“I was born here, and I’ve lived here all my life,” explains Freddy Vazquez, the owner of Fade 2 Famous barbershop in Greenpoint, “and I just made twenty years cutting hair this year.” His shop is a neat space with six black leather chairs, big windows, and wall-sized mirrors, located on the same block as the fire station and across the street from the Key Food. When I arrive, two customers are having their hair cut and everyone seems to be a good mood: The perfect time to ask some important questions.

Continue reading

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What’s New in the World of Bushwick Inlet Park?


As far as broken dreams and empty promises go, things have been pretty quiet around this site since Occupy the Inlet got busy with demonstrations in August.

Open space activists rarely sit still, however, being champions of movement and activity (ideally on a well-appointed lawn). Here are a few recent developments in the saga of the hotly anticipated Bushwick Inlet Park.

1. Midtown Equities is selling one of its properties in downtown Brooklyn for $200 million, which is also, coincidentally, the amount it would need to purchase the CitiStorage property from owner Norm Brodsky. Continue reading

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Greenpoint’s New Massage Specialist is Sort of Your Therapist Too

Photo: Vladimir Pudovkin

If you’ll readily accept that your thigh bone’s connected to your hip bone’s connected to your generalized anxiety disorder, we might be able to put you in touch with someone who’s good with that kind of stuff.

Georgette Yannetti took a bold step away from her corporate job this summer and opened up shop in Greenpoint, where she’s now running her Holistic Myotherapy practice out of a cozy, dimly-lit room in Java Studios. Continue reading

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Hey North Brooklyn, Here’s Our Toxins Mapped

To shine a light on Brooklyn’s murky legacy of contamination, the Neighbors Allied For Good Growth (NAG) and Pratt’s Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative (
SAVI) released a beta version of a ToxiCity Map revealing the underground toxins of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The map release event was held at the Sunview Luncheonette in Greenpoint last Tuesday, but in case you couldn’t make it, here’s a re-cap.

NAG's ToxiCity Map outlines N. Brooklyn contamination.
NAG’s ToxiCity Map outlines N. Brooklyn contamination.

To get right to the point, the most significant contamination hotspots persist around Franklin and Dupont Streets (across from where Greenpoint Landing is going up) and McGolrick Park (which is host to stubborn dry cleaning plumes). There’s also the still-functioning and unsettling Radiac storage facility (cough…VICE employees may want to look into this), keeping things radioactive on Kent Avenue around the corner from PS 84. Continue reading

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