12 Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

© Baby Vamp by Bella Harris

I love Halloween. As a kid, I would plot and spend hours drawing mysterious costumes while anticipating the ultimate spooky night of the year. This idea carried on into adulthood with promises of parties, and yes, still, candy.

This year, with a busy schedule and new projects galore, the holiday snuck up on me. It’s that magic time and I’ve got nothing to show for it! Are you in a costume rut like me? Don’t have time to work on your Ziggy Stardust-turned-Werewolf mask? I didn’t think so. Here’s some ideas to try out this Friday.
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When a Greenpointer Ran For President

Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes

Like millions of other Americans, Greenpointers today are paying close attention to the presidential campaign, but a hundred years ago in 1916 Greenpointers were very interested in the presidential election because a local, Charles Evans Hughes, from Milton Street was the Republican nominee for president.

Hughes, born in 1862 in upstate New York, arrived in Greenpoint as a twelve year old when his father Rev. David Hughes became pastor of the Union Baptist Church on Noble Street. Hughes, a child prodigy with a photographic memory, was so bright that he left for college at age fourteen and passed the bar with one of the highest scores ever recorded. He became a corporate lawyer, but gained fame as a reformer when in 1905, he was appointed as counsel to the New York state legislative “Stevens Gas Commission”, a committee investigating utility rates. He brilliantly revealed the price fixing that was robbing New York State consumers, while also exposing the corrupt ties between the industry and Albany Law makers. He also conducted a state investigation of the insurance industry, which also revealed fraud, overpricing and political corruption. Continue reading

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Introducing Bullet Mouth: Greenpointers’ New Advice Column

Bullet Mouth is Greenpointers’ new advice column, here to answer your questions on life’s many vexing issues.

Raise a glass to living within your means.

Dear Bullet Mouth:
I have a group of friends who love to go out to dinner and out to bars all the time, which is great, as I love to socialize and be out on the town too.
The problem is, lately I’ve been a little on the broke side and can’t afford the same lifestyle. I want to see people and be involved, but how do I avoid forking over serious cash every night?
—Cash-Strapped on Calyer

Dear Cash-Strapped on Calyer: Everyone I know has this problem. Like you, they either can’t afford night-after-night out or, if they can, feel guilty about it because they should be saving more or engaging in healthier activities. You are absolutely not a special snowflake in this regard.

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Four of Wands Wellness Collective: Self-Care and Community

Four of Wands Wellness Collective Williamsburg Store Window
Four of Wands exterior; all photos via Four of Wands

Four of Wands Wellness Collective (349 Leonard Street) is a self-care studio in Williamsburg, where people can find different kinds of holistic treatments, classes, handmade gifts, and a community space. Owner and Licensed Massage Therapist Daru Oda wanted to create a space for  doing “what makes you happy. We forget to do things that are fun or to expand our minds. At Four of Wands, we can take care of ourselves for an hour.”

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Back-To-School Greencycle Swap This Saturday 9/17!

Greencycle Swap - back to school Sept 2016Cleaning out your closet with back to school? Bring everything over to Greencycle Swap! Bring some! Take some! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Let’s recycle, reuse and reduce!

The next Greencycle “Back-to-School” Swap 
is happening this Saturday, September 17 at Greenpoint Public Library (107 Norman Ave.) from 11am-3pm.

They’ll be accepting:
Men’s, womens and children’s clothing, shoes, books, toys, bicycles, phones, household items and electronics. Electronics accepted until 2pm—cleaned, gently used and working items please. You don’t need to bring anything to take anything. However, out of consideration for others, they may limit folks to the greater of 1 bag or the number of bags that you have brought to donate to the swap.

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Greenpoint Duo Babetown Rock Reopening of Brooklyn Bazaar

Last Friday night, the Brooklyn Bazaar was reincarnated in the former wedding venue/event space Polonaise Terrace at 150 Greenpoint Avenue. The Bazaar was forced to abandon their former location at 165 Banker Street in June of 2015 after being financially outmuscled by BMW, who took over their 23,000 square-foot warehouse. After being forced out, Bazaar owners Belvy Klein and Aaron Broudo set up the Riis Park Beach Bazaar on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, and started searching for a new location for the Brooklyn Bazaar.

They settled on Polonaise Terrace near the intersection of Greenpoint and Manhattan Avenues. The location is drastically different from their last but it affords the Bazaar a funky, cool, and slightly creepy “The Shining meets labyrinthine Polish funhouse” vibe. There are lots of nooks and crannies in the venue, with ping pong, putt putt, and karaoke downstairs, vendors and food (courtesy of The Brooklyn Star’s Joaquin Baca) on the first floor, and music upstairs.

Leibowitz and Ross perform as Babetown.

To kick things off for the big reopening last Friday night, the Bazaar did not disappoint, with a musical bill that included local Greenpoint husband-and-wife duo Babetown, Rockaway Beach rockers The Skells, and established indie band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Continue reading

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Neighbors Allied For Good Growth Seeking Fall Intern

NAG's Toxicity Map
NAG’s Toxicity Map

Civic-minded students! Local Greenpoint/Williamsburg community advocacy group Neighbors Allied For Good Growth is seeking a Fall intern! The intern will be assisting with outreach, communication, writing and more. NAG focuses on raising the quality of life in the neighborhood through supporting environmental, transportation and open space sustainability and improvement initiatives. The gig is flexible based on individual interests, and although it’s unpaid (with a small $45 per month transportation stipend) they can offer school credit. Via NAG: “Interns must be available 8 hours per week for the duration of the semester. This time will be split between NAG’s office in Williamsburg, offsite meetings, and virtual work. Much of the interns’ time might be spent remotely, depending on the project and the work agreement reached with the Community Environmental Organizer. Significant opportunities will also be available for interns to attend networking and training events.” The intern will also help create their 2016 NAG RAG. The dates of the Fall internship will be Sept 27 – December, as the school semester calendar permits.

There’s more info and the official job posting on Idealist.
Check out NAG on Facebook and on their site.

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Another Piece of Industrial Greenpoint Gone: The Pinquist Tool and Die Factory

Screen shot 2016-08-31 at 2.22.56 PM

Greenpoint was once known as “The American Birmingham” because, like the English industrial town, almost everything was manufactured here. Greenpoint has been manufacturing items for so long that many of the factories predate zoning laws intended to separate toxic factories and residential areas. No one was more aware of the tooth- and-jowl nature of Greenpoint manufacturing than the people of Clifford Place between Calyer Street and Meserole Avenue around the corner for the post office. Since 1947 the sounds and vibrations of stamping metal and rolling steel have resounded up and down the street weekdays from the Pinquist Tool and Die Factory. However, the din of clanking metal has ended and neighbors now wonder what will replace the old metal shop. The old Pinquist logo still sits above the building, a sad reminder of a faded past. Continue reading

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A History of Greenpoint in 25 Buildings: Bamonte’s Restaurant

Bamonte's Restaurant. Illustration by Kenzie Kline.
Illustration by Kenzie Kline

Bamonte’s Restaurant is not only the oldest restaurant in North Brooklyn; founded in 1900 by Italian immigrant Pasquale Bamonte, the restaurant claims to be the oldest Italian eatery in all of New York city. It was founded at a time when southern Greenpoint was a mecca for Italian immigrants. The restaurant has been run by the Bamonte family for four generations. It’s off the main drag, so you may have a hard time finding where the restaurant’s located—at 32 Withers Street—but it’s definitely worth the trip.
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Emily Gallagher’s Campaign: Echoes of Another Greenpoint Female Reformer?

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Emily Gallagher

Some friends and I were sitting out on the grass in Transmitter Park one warm June evening watching a film when we were approached by a young woman campaigning for Emily Gallagher, who was running for the position of Female District Leader of the Democratic Party. Most people, even people who follow politics closely, would not know there was even a Female District Leader, let alone what the job entailed. But I was familiar with the position because Peter McGuinness, the legendary Greenpoint Democratic Boss and the namesake for McGuinness Boulevard, owed his rise to power to his Female co- leader, Margaret Conlon.

A District Leader is an unpaid position in the local Democratic Party, representing the neighborhoods of Greenpoint, North and South Williamsburg on issues regarding judicial nominations and elections. At the end of World War I, McGuinness, had grown fed up with the inertia of local Democratic politicians, but he had never gone to high school and needed someone’s help to write letters to the editor criticizing the party establishment. He turned to Conlon, a poet as well as a skilled prose writer, who helped McGuinness write a series of highly provocative attacks on the corruption and inertia of the local political machine and the letters hit home. Thanks in large part to Conlon, she and McGuinness in a shocker were elected as local Democratic Party leaders and they served effectively for years, bringing a number of positive changes to our area and making history.
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