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This Souped-Up Truck Serves Free Food With a Side of Social Services

Cooper Park residents Guillermo Nunez and Maria Albarado enjoying a free meal © Kasper van Laarhoven

A $340,000 “Angelmobile” has started cruising the streets of North Brooklyn, handing out free meals in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. The state-of-the-art food truck– funded in part by Norman Brodsky, the entrepreneur who drew ire from community activists when he held out on selling his valuable waterfront property for parkland— is more than just a mobile soup kitchen. Inside, it has an office space where a rotating array of neighborhood organizations can dole out social services.

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3 Ways to Lend a Small but Helping Hand to those Impacted by Oakland Fire

Fire that killed dozens of people trapped inside the Ghost Ship, a DIY art space in Oakland December 3 2016 (Photo: Julianna Brown, via Wikipedia Commons, Flickr)

Fire that killed dozens of people trapped inside the Ghost Ship, a DIY art space in Oakland December 3 2016 (Photo: Julianna Brown, via Wikipedia Commons, Flickr)

Whenever someone compares Brooklyn to Oakland, an angel loses its wings, and is sent plunging straight down to hell where the sexless being is reborn as an enormous phallus– imagine, like, a hedge fund manager or,  in some cases, a real-estate developer.

That’s because the observation usually has to do with the proximity of a relatively much more prosperous place like Manhattan or San Fransisco (actually those are mostly just super fancy places no matter how you slice it) and based on dumb facts like that you can take a train between the two (the BART, the MTA respectively). Oh, and there’s also that whole gentrification thing– like parts of Brooklyn, Oakland has been declared fabulously “up-and-coming” (barf).

The truth is that, aside from stupid comparisons like these–usually found in real-estate ads, or grunted between high-five’ing bros–Oakland and our beloved borough actually do have some real stuff in common.

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Shopping: Bowery Mission Benefit / L.E.S. Amis

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For once, you can buy pretty things for yourself and feel 100 percent certain in the aftermath that you’re not just a consumerist dweeb, you’re also someone who cares about the homelessness crisis in New York City. All proceeds made at this pop-up shopping event go The Bowery Mission, which depends enormously on donations and volunteers to help them feed the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and kids they feed each year (not to mention the tens of thousands of people the charity provides with shelter, clothing, and other kinds of essential services). You can find all sorts of amazing stuff at the event– it’s all donated vintage, designer, and vintage designer, all of which are recycled and priced affordably. But even if you’re not so sure a price tag is doable, the organizers say they’re “always up for a barter. Follow the pop-up on Instagram @LESamisNYC .

Read more about L.E.S. Amis here.