Monday, June 18, 2007

A Little More "Taco Advocacy" for the Red Hook Vendors

Letter Excerpt

The Parks Department has one more piece of community advocacy to munch on as they consider finding a solution to protect the food vendor at the Red Hook Ballfields. (We reported on Friday evening and on Saturday about the meeting held Friday, but that nothing has changed.) This missive, which was sent by a local food writer (he asked us to keep it anonymous and we're honoring that request), makes the case that "The Red Hook food vendors' value extends far beyond good eats. They have transformed a relatively isolated Red Hook intersection into an international tourist destination...their operation is open, public, diverse, inclusive and inviting..."

GL Analysis
While we're hopeful that the Parks Department will avoid actions that result in the eviction of the Red Hook vendors, we're rather surprised that officials haven't rushed to embrace a solution and correct a what has become a significant public embarrassment and political burr under the saddle. Perhaps they're trying to prove that they have thick skins and won't buckle in the face of emails, press coverage and political pressure. Maybe they really haven't figured a way out the corner into which they have backed themselves.

Regardless, this situation continues to demand a solution. If the Parks Department hopes the issue will fade from public consciousness in a week or two so that they can quietly act in a way that hurts the vendors, they are probably making a miscalculation. There are dozens of food and other blogs, for starters, that will keep the issue in the spotlight until a resolution is found.

In the meantime, if you haven't emailed Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe to tell him what a lousy idea any action that would result in the displacement--deliberate or otherwise--of the vendors would be, we strongly urge you to take a couple of minutes out of your day. Click here and send Mr. Benepe an email. Or send one to him at One thing we learned a long time ago is that public officials know how to count, so every message matters. Keep sending emails until the Parks Department tells the Red Hook Vendors they have a long-term solution and a home in Red Hook.

Related Posts:
Red Hook Vendors Have Parks Meeting, Still No Resolution



Blogger Matt Wright said...

I have failed to see a blog talk about the issues surrounding this whole situation. It just seems to be everyone saying "save the vendors", which of course is very very important. Is there any sort of discourse on any other blogs that concerns the issues that the Parks Commission have about all this?

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for posting the e-mail address. I wrote a letter in. wtf are they thinking getting rid of the ballfield vendors?

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we're rather surprised that officials haven't rushed to embrace a solution and correct a what has become a significant public embarrassment and political burr under the saddle.


Robert, it's more surprising you are suprised, even after the (admittedly) Big Surprise of (relentlessly pro-Iraq war) Charles Schumer showing up (but it was an easy way to do his grandstanding & for once it for a good cause).

When Breslin did his masterful book "The Short Sweet Dream of Eduardo Gutierrez" (which Pete Hammill will never ever EVER come close to) he was asked in an interview somewhere (I'm paraphrasing), what impact do you think this might have?

A: It's a book about a Mexican, who's going to read it?

Q1: seriously, without looking it up, do you know who Angel Rodriguez is?

Q2: do you know what city councilperson voted AGAINST Ikea, Atlantic Yards and the goddamn new Yankee stadium deal?

while NOT unreasonable, in reality it's expecting a lot Robert if you think the Democratic machine ** really ** gives a shit about dusky food vendors in Red Hook. that an admirably LOUD group of "foodie" (sic) fans have protested is good but it doesn't change the culture of the system.

NOTE UNO: just for historical context, someone should talk to Mr. Fuentes about THE other troubles they have had with city over the years, i.e. before anyone but a literal handful of people not there for futbol or beisbol (on Sundays) cared enough to notice.

NOTE DOS: anything that happens soon is a band-aid, pls absolutely beware IKEA & Marty's Red Lobster lust.


While I'm here, Robert-- why don't you do a story on those park benches that face... A TALL CORRUGATED FENCE in front of the basin by second futbol field & in front of the Grain Terminal.

Hint Uno: it was NOT always there, which is why those benches face that way. (a pretty nice view, too.)

Hint Dos: is it NOT, in fact, a completely legal set-up but... who's gonna enforce it?

5:36 PM  

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