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Vermouth Maker’s Touch of Glass

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Bianca Miraglia, tired of mass-produced vermouth, wanted to bring something fresh, all-natural and stubbornly idealist to the bar. She started Uncouth Vermouth, which recently opened in a former billiards hall in Red Hook and is set to add a tasting room this summer.

Miraglia, 30, is a one-woman vermouth-making machine: She forages for many of her ingredients, only uses local products and refuses financial assistance.

She spends 12 or more hours a day working on her fortified wine creations, infused with a variety of seasonal, locally sourced flavors ranging from beets and squash to chili and lavender.

Uncouth Vermouth only produces a few hundred cases of product every year – and that’s how Miraglia likes it.

NYCHA Security Cameras Blocked

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

It’s tough to spot criminals you can’t see.

Yet five NYCHA security cameras at the gritty Van Dyke Houses in Brownsville have been rendered useless since the agency installed scaffolding that blocks their view.

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Kosher Soup Kitchen Struggles

Monday, April 7th, 2014

On a recent chilly afternoon in Queens, two women shivered in a line of about 50 people that trailed out the door of Masbia, a kosher food pantry and soup kitchen.

The first woman, from Manhattan, wore baggy pants. The other, from Queens, was clad in a long, draping skirt.

Their outfits signaled differences in how they interpreted proper Jewish dress for religious women, but both were there for the same reason: They needed kosher groceries, which are more expensive than average, as they try to live on less since food stamp reductions last November.

“When food stamps are cut, it’s hard to buy kosher,” said one of the women, Debbie Greenbaum of Queens.

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A Williamsburg Toy Story

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Samuel Lipschitz, 27, grinned as a pint-sized red smart car pulled up next to the curb outside his toy store on Lee Avenue. Lacquered onto the side of the car was a children’s cartoon character: a freckled, round-faced boy with curly brown peyes, or sidelocks, and a yarmulke.

“What Walt Disney did to Mickey Mouse — that’s what I’m trying to do here,” said Lipschitz, who designed the character.

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Hookah Smoke Complaints Heat Up

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Keeping Kosher, via Colombia

Friday, March 14th, 2014

A ‘Vision’ For a Safer Jay St.

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Latino Club Thrives Amid Change

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Making Ocean Parkway Safer

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013