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Chocolate Maker’s Sweet on Red Hook

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Cacao Prieto may be Red Hook’s sweetest secret. The chocolate factory has been quietly making bonbons for private parties and for the public, via a pop-up shop in DUMBO. While pop-up shop closed at the end of the spring, the Red Hook factory is poised to soon open its doors to the public.

The chocolate-making process starts with organic beans picked from proprietor Daniel Preston’s family-owned plantation in the Dominican Republic. The beans undergo a unique fermentation process after being harvested. Once in New York, the beans get shelled and winnowed down to a nib, before fats and sugars are added.

Damien Badalementi, Cacao Prieto’s head confectioner, says the painstaking process makes for quality chocolate. Badalementi clearly enjoys his work – but don’t mistake him for an Oompa-Loompa. Unlike Roald Dahl’s legendary chocolate factory workers, Badalementi believes chocolate making is serious business.

Murals Keep Memories Alive

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

A tradition that started in the Bronx’s deadliest days, when homicide was an everyday occurrence, still marks the borough’s streets. As blood fell on the pavement, paint rose on the walls.

Beginning in the early 1990s, memorial murals began to appear in Mott Haven and other South Bronx neighborhoods as vibrant reminders of those lost in the community and to honor the lives of neighbors who died.

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Fluoride Debate Makes a Splash

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The Centers for Disease and Control touts fluoridation of tap water as  “one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th Century.” But the last year has brought a wave of 21st Century opposition from some lawmakers and activists who cite new claims that the practice, intended to promote tooth health, is actually dangerous.

City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. (D-Queens) recently introduced legislation to ban fluoride in the city’s tap water. Dr. Gilbert Ross of the American Council on Science and Health and others experts say there is no danger – and argue that the claims are reminiscent of fluoride opponents of the 1960s who called putting the chemical in drinking water a communist plot.

Juggling No Longer Just a Sideshow

Monday, June 13th, 2011

As many get ready to celebrate World Juggling Day on June 18, a group of New Yorkers keeps the circus art popular year round. Each week, NYC Jugglers meet at the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center in Greenwich Village to socialize and practice their skills.

Members of the group, among them professionals and hobbyists, say there is more to juggling than just the circus. The growing juggling community in the city uses the activity as a form of exercise and an escape from busy lives.

Cooking up Healthy Meals With Kids

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Crew Helps Girls Row to College

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Parking Hikes Raise Mom & Pop Shop Ire

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

A Dropout Tries to Defy Statistics

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

A Deliveryman’s Brush With Death

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011