Leaders of Windsor Terrace food co-op in negotiations to lease a space on Caton Ave. in Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s budding food co-operative is nearing its first harvest. Leaders of the Windsor Terrace food co-op said they are currently in negotiations to lease an undisclosed spot at “We are jumping across a barrier right now,” said lead organizer Jack O’Connell. “It’s a little scary, but at the same time it’s very exciting.” To finalize the deal, the board — which declined to give the address for fear of losing the spot to a better offer — needs at least 100 people to join the co-op by Dec. 1. The annual membership fee is $100. “The response has been strong,” O’Connell said. “We are already halfway there.” The group has 750 people on its email list but couldn’t start asking for membership fees until the site was selected. The search has been tough due to rising rents in Windsor Terrace and nearby Kensington, organizers said. “Are we going to be able to pull this off?” O’Connell asked. “Well, we’ll find out.” The group embarked on the effort about two years ago, after a Walgreens took over a Key Food on Prospect Ave. and 10th Ave., the neighborhood’s only major supermarket. Residents protested the store’s sudden closure and ultimately persuaded Key Food to come back and share space with the Walgreens drugstore. The supermarket is expected to open in January. Park Slope Food Co-op officials have done what they could to help the fledgling organization, offering work credit to members who spend time assisting the Windsor Terrace effort. Park Slope’s 16,000 members are required to work at the famed co-op at least 2¾ hours every four weeks. “That’s how you save money,” he added. “We are hoping to get 150 to 200 members, and then see what needs to be done.” Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Food trucks to roll into Tuckerton Seaport

Tuckerton Seaport is getting ready to welcome spring in a big way.The seaport will host its third “Truck”erton Food Truck & Brew Fest, a celebration of food and drink, April 30 and May 1. The festival will feature dishes from more than a dozen trucks, plus craft beer from Pinelands Brewing Co. in Little Egg Harbor, wine from Laurita Winery in Plumsted, and live music.Participating food trucks include, among others, Dump N Roll, which serves dumplings and spring rolls; The Cow & The Curd, for fried cheese curds; Oink & Moo BBQ; MexiFlip, for a variety of tacos; and My Four Sons, which cooks up Korean fusion dishes. MORE:  Where to eat for Jersey Shore Restaurant WeekNew to the festival this year are VIP passes, of which only 100 are available. The two-day pass includes VIP parking, express entry, reserved seating, two craft beers, refreshments and cooking demonstrations, and seaport membership.Admission costs $8 for adults and children 5 and older. There is no charge for children younger than 5 and seaport members. VIP passes cost $100. Food truck items, wine and beer will be available for purchase. MORE: Everything’s ducky at the seaportThe festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 30 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 1.Tuckerton Seaport is at 120 West Main St. For more information, call 609-296-8868 or visit www.tuckertonseaport.org. Continue Reading

Park Slope Food Coop and the Holy Kale: The alternative grocer, where celebrities can be spotted stocking shelves, has fed Brooklyn since 1973

A kale shortage incites widespread panic. A 4-year-old melts down when his parents won’t buy him dried papaya spears. And members debate natural childbirth while bagging nuts. It’s tales from the front lines of the Park Slope Food Coop, temple to locally grown, antibiotic-free, passive-aggressive grocery shopping where you’ll find equal doses of corn and scorn. “Do we have ...” is a constant drone heard over intercoms the community market installed throughout the store so shoppers and employees can get info about product availability and pricing. “There was a day when we ran out of kale and people were ready to burn the co-op to the ground,” one member tells the Daily News. Like other members we spoke to, he asked that we withhold his name for fear of being booted out of the cult-like co-op. “The intercom went crazy with ‘Do we have kale!?’ ‘Do we have kale!?’ ‘Someone needs to get fired!’ It was doomsday.” Even mini-members throw supersized tantrums. “The weirdest thing I have ever seen at the co-op would have to be a 4-year-old hysterically crying because he couldn’t get dried papaya spears,” says a male co-op member in his mid-20s. “I didn’t even know what dried papaya spears were until I was in my 20s.” The chaos extends deep in to the meat aisle, too. “There is always a generally high level of neurosis regarding running out of anything,” one member shares under the strict condition of anonymity. The thirtysomething artist has been a member since 2010 and usually works in the cheese department or bagging nuts. “There was no brisket as of Friday. That may be an anxiety-volcano in the making.” While working with a doula from California one shift, the subject of natural childbirth came up. “This Hasidic woman who was also on the shift was very Continue Reading

Colts to pay Grand Park $653K for 10 years but economic boost may be greater

The Indianapolis Colts put Westfield in the spotlight by announcing the team's training camp would move to the suburb for a decade, and city officials plan to grab a hold of the opportunity with both hands. Under terms of the contract provided to IndyStar, the Colts will pay Westfield $653,000 over 10 years, including an upfront payment of $123,000 to get the park ready for camp. The park will receive $53,000 in annual payments. The city is positioned to make an estimated $190,000 per year from parking, food and beverage sales. But it's the intangibles that have city leaders excited. Todd Burtron, Mayor Andy Cook's chief of staff, says the city has a chance to capitalize on the Colts brand. Thousands of football fans will flock to Grand Park every summer, giving the city the chance to introduce itself to a wider audience. "It's good for Westfield," Burton said. "But it's also good for Hamilton County and the region. For us to have the opportunity to bring the Colts for that length of time will help to serve the entire region."  Carmel news: Brainard still hopes to land carousel Hamilton County Politics: Republicans make surprise pick to replace Luke KenleyUnder the terms of the agreement, the Colts will rent the 370,000-square foot Grand Park Events Center and four outdoor fields from July 22 to Aug. 18 and repair any turf damage when camp is over. The city can continue to rent the dozens of other fields at the 400-acre sports park. The city gave the team a deal. Burtron said the going rate to rent that space for four weeks would be about $300,000, compared to the $53,000 the Colts will pay. The reality, though, is Grand Park's downtime is at the end of every summer, and those fields go largely unused. Burtron, in fact, anticipates a net cash gain, especially when factoring in concessions and parking. "It's the perfect time of the year for us," he said. "The soccer and lacrosse seasons are ending, and we go into Continue Reading

Brainard wants to transform office building parking lots along U.S. 31 into ‘little villages’

After spending the past 20 years developing a bustling, walkable downtown, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard is turning his attention to the heavily traveled, office-lined U.S. 31 corridor. When the mayor looks at the 5-mile stretch of highway, he doesn't just see multistory corporate headquarters and health care complexes that have been so instrumental in building the city's financial base.Brainard sees untapped potential. He says there are hundreds of acres of underused land, not just the few tracts of green space on the market, but also the seas of parking lots that serve the buildings. "It's such a waste of space, these big suburban parking lots, which don't look very nice," Brainard said. "I anticipate some day there will be little villages around those office towers."Someday could come quickly. The mayor is proposing to provide millions in taxpayer incentives for property owners and developers to build restaurants, shops, apartments and condos with parking garages along U.S. 31. He wants to bring a slice of downtown Carmel to the highway.  What's happening in Hamilton County: Rumors fly about mystery development near Noblesville Carmel considers $101 million for roundabouts, land, paths and carousel Carmel police chief pledges steps to better enforce Monon Greenway speed limit "Think about a traditional European village," Brainard said, "with a series of small streets and an office building being the anchor, or center, of that small village."Critics continue to question how long Carmel, which has more than $1 billion dollars in debt with interest, can afford to subsidize private development. "Things have got to be getting desperate as he continues with his unfettered, bloated spending," said former City Council President and one-time mayoral candidate Rick Sharp. The idea also represents a different way of thinking about U.S. 31, a commercial corridor that has served as the fuel for Carmel's Continue Reading

Park Slope Food Co-op schedules vote on whether to hold a referendum on banning Israeli products

The three-year batle over whether Israeli products belong on the shelves of the Park Slope Food Coop is finally coming to a vote -- sort of. The 39-year-old organic-food haven has scheduled a vote for next month to decide whether to hold a referendum of its 16,000 members on banning Israeli-made products like hummus, paprika, and seltzer. The coop has taken stands before - banning bottled water, Coca-Cola, and hummus from a Brooklyn company accused of mistreating its workers. But no issue has split members like the Israel boycott. “Anything we’ve boycotted in the past, the sentiment for the boycott was at almost 100%,” said general coordinator Ann Herpel. But she said while passions run high on both sides of the issue, most members are more interested in shopping for organic produce than delving into Middle East politics. “There are two groups that are very interested in this, and there’s a lot of people that this has not been on their radar,” she said. “Most people just feel passionately about the coop, not passionately about this issue.” The proposal is being pushed by a group dubbed Park Slope Food Coop Members for Israeli Boycott Divestment Sanctions. “Economic engagement with the state of Israel gives it the means and muscle to oppress, destabilize, and colonize the Palestinian people,” Mohan Sikka wrote in one letter to the Linewaiters’ Gazette - one of dozens of impassioned missives from both sides that have filled the newsletter’s pages in recent months. Opponents have countered with their own group, called More Hummus, Please. “It’s wrong to try to use the coop’s reputation to speak for one particular cause. We’re a diverse group of people, and we’ve come there to save money on food, period,” said Barbara Mazor, 54, of Midwood. “This is not going to have any effect on anything. It just promotes hostility, because it Continue Reading

Rye Town considering five options to run park

TOWN OF RYE - Officials are once again seeking a contractor interested in running Rye Town Park, hoping to turn the struggling shoreline property next to Playland into a profit generator for the town.For the third time in four years, the six-member Rye Town Park Commission has put out a request for proposals for an outside operator to run the 62-acre park, which includes Seaside Johnnies restaurant, a century-old administration building, a pay-as-you-go public beach, parking lot and other amenities.Officials hope to see the park become a year-around destination, an idea some neighbors oppose.The park has routinely lost money and its buildings are deteriorating and in need of improvements that have been put off for years, Town Supervisor Gary Zuckerman said.“In order to lose less money or make money, there needs to be a substantial investment in the park,” Zuckerman said. “The thought is to bring in some private money to work with the Rye Town Park Commission to make that happen.” SPORTS: Rye, Mamaroneck baseball players in lohud.com preaseason Elite 9  SPORTS: #lohudlacrosse preview: Rye The town has issued a request for qualifications and asked potential operators for conceptual plans on how they would run the park. It received five responses, with ideas that include more food concessions, a catering hall and kiddie rides. (See proposal details at bottom of this article)One of the companies interested is United Parks, which manages and has the same leadership as Standard Amusements, which already has a contract with Westchester County to manage Playland. Other potential operators are Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, the City of Rye, Caspi Development and Southwest Capital, Inc.The park commission hopes to strike a deal similar to the one Westchester County made with Standard Amusements to run Playland. The town would maintain ownership of the property, with the Continue Reading

Park Slope princesses who send nannies to fulfill volunteer hours at food co-op need to get a grip

You don't have to be Kate Middleton to be a princess - or even act like one. Like the folks in Brooklyn who recently felt that 2 1/2 hours of work a month was too much effort to be a member of the Park Slope Food Cooperative. They joined anyway - and then sent their nannies to work for them. Hey, even rich people love a bargain. Maybe especially. The other day, organic baby carrots were $1.05 a pound at the co-op, while they were $1.75 a pound at Whole Foods. You could get apples at the co-op for 99 cents a pound; the cheapest at WF were $1.79. Of course these people are wealthy enough to have nannies and brownstones on Sterling Place, yet they join the co-op because the food is so cheap. They just don't want to shuck corn or stack mushrooms for 150 minutes, even once a month. Of course they don't. They have spas to go to, people, and we're not talking Euphoria or Bliss. These ladies hop in their SUVs and head out to Spa Castle in Flushing or King Spa Sauna in New Jersey and make a day of it. Now, we've all heard the stories of celebrities abusing their assistants. Like Ricki Lake, who told New York magazine she delivered her baby at home in a warm bath - and then made her assistant clean it up. Or Charlie Sheen, who, porn star Lindsay Wager said, had an assistant deliver the morning-after pill. A woman who worked for Kirstie Alley once told me the sumptuous Scientologist asked her to express her breast milk for Alley's pet baby ferret - and she did. Proudly. Another woman, a registered nurse, told me a New York cosmetics mogul hired her to work as a nanny. She made $100,000 and had a studio apartment atop his townhouse, but the treatment was not always so great. She had to wear the full white uniform, shoes and hat that no nurse wears anymore just to push The Heir around Central Park in one of those old-fashioned Inglesina baby carriages. Okay, fine, but one day she was in her apartment on Sunday, her day off, when the mogul and his Continue Reading

Park Avenue food crawl: With so many places to choose from, it’s not as easy as ABC

This month I returned to the Park Avenue neighborhood to retrace some of my footsteps at the locations that initially sparked the idea for what would become my monthly food crawl adventures. With the quaint street lined with diverse bars and restaurants, who wouldn’t want to meal hop? Rather than visiting spots near the ABC streets (which I covered in a past birthday crawl story), we ventured further down the avenue and closer to Goodman Street to take in the always happening food and drink scene.   Roam CafeWhen co-owner Drew Nye and his two business partners took over the space at 262 Park Ave. six years ago, they inherited the Roam Cafe name from the previous business, but remodeled the location and rolled out a menu of their own. In an effort to overcome the misconceptions of a coffee shop or the limited café style menu of its predecessor, today the restaurant is simply referred as “Roam,” and customers are catching on to its full lunch and dinner service, as well as Sunday brunch. More: Thankfully, this Bushnell's Basin food crawl had time on its side Soaking up the sun on a Keuka Lake food (and wine) crawl Charlotte food crawl: Food, drink and fun on the river To my surprise, the interior appears a bit larger than the exterior suggests. A welcoming and sizable bar makes up one side of the restaurant, while a wall of brick archways leads into the dining room arranged with dark wood tables and banquettes below draped string lights that further warms the ambiance.Despite the selections of the beer, wine and New York state hard ciders, the majority of my group kicked off the night with an assortment of cocktails. At the top of the list was the Espresso Martini ($9), Roam’s best-seller that can easily double as a dessert. Made from Svedka Vanilla Vodka, house-brewed espresso, Baileys Irish Liqueur and topped with a few espresso beans, the frothy beverage was deliciously indulgent. Satisfying on the Continue Reading

Borough Park soup kitchen is hungry for more aid

It's a scene Alexander Rapaport has observed far too often on his way to the Borough Park soup kitchen he runs - elderly Hasidic men or neatly-dressed Hasidic women going through garbage bins searching for food. "Just this morning, I saw a very old man with a plastic bag going through the garbage," said Rapaport, who is in charge of Masbia, a public kitchen serving hot, kosher dinners Sundays through Thursdays. "As I tried to catch up with the man to tell him he didn't have to do that, I ran into someone who recognized him and said he would help," Rapaport said. The close-knit religious community is one where the wealthy, the middle class and the poor all live together within walking distance of over 200 synagogues. "The people who have resources are enthusiastic in trying to help their neighbors," Rapaport said. But emergency-service providers say they are feeling the pinch for several reasons. Rents in the crowded community and kosher food prices are climbing. And most families pay to send their kids to private religious schools. "At a time when we're receiving more calls than ever, we're receiving between 25% to 30% less food from the federal government," said Rabbi Shaul Shimon Deutsch, executive director of Oneg Shabbos, a food pantry that gives out 1,100 food packages a week. "More people have lost their jobs, jobs that were outsourced to China and India," Deutsch said. "Our donations are down 40% to 60%." The problems in Borough Park exist all over Brooklyn, according to a new Food Bank for New York City report. The number of Brooklynites who experienced difficulty affording needed food increased by 75% between 2003 and 2006. About 84% of the households receiving food stamps used them up within three weeks and had to turn to soup kitchens or food pantries for the last part of the month. During the last 12 months, 52% of Brooklyn's emergency food providers have run out of food at one time or another. And all of the agencies Continue Reading