On the afternoon of Friday, December 17, The Free Store at 150 Greenpoint Ave. met its demise.
Located outside the Polonaise Terrace building since the start of 2021, The Greenpoint Free store followed a “leave what you can, take what you need” model, allowing neighbors to share their belongings and gift them to others.
What started as a modest structure became a full on outdoor boutique, scrappy as it was. Shelves housed books, kitchenware and non perishables, and a hanging area allowed for easy browsing of all types of clothing. Shower curtains and ad hoc coverings helped protect the donations from weather, and several neighbors both officially and unofficially volunteered to organize the goods, throw out garbage and answer questions of curious passerbys.
Last Friday, that all came to an end (the Free Store was more squatting than renting, so its closure was imminent when the vacant building sold), when construction workers on the newly sold Polonaise Terrace dismantled the store, the new owners allegedly only providing the Free Store Project, which manages the location, with hours’ notice.
The good news: The Free Store still has two nearby locations: A PS 18 Free Store in Williamsburg, near Leonard St. on Maujer and a Free Store on Graham Ave and Newton Ave. They’re both open and accessible 24/7. A Community Fridge outside The Lot Radio also offers space for food donations.
The Free Store Project is also eager to find a new spot for a free store in Greenpoint. A fundraiser via Donorbox is soliciting funds for a new store, and any tips on location are welcome.