18 June 2007

Still No Word from Parks Dept. on Red Hook Vendors

As Gowanus Lounge reported on Friday, the Parks Department met on that day with representatives of the Red Hook food vendors—whom the PD is thinking of kicking out in favor of a free-for-all bidding war for the Red Hook Park concessions—and City Council Member Sara Gonzalez.

The meeting was described as "positive" and "good." Still, nothing got done, and the Parks went home to think about their dumb idea some more, as if it would suddenly become a smart idea if left alone for a while.

Representing the Parks were First Depty Commissioner Liam Kavanagh and Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Julius Spiegel. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe did not attend. Not worth his time, I guess. GL reported:

Department officials noted that they are required to put the permits out for competitive bid and can't making an exception solely for the Red Hook vendors. Still, Mr. Fuentes told us that "they do do understand the importance of the vendors...and they're willing to work out something." He said he is confident that "something is going to happen."

Officials sure love to follow city rules when it gives them an excuse to ignore popular will.

Anyway, Red Hook Vendors Committee head Cesar Fuentes is trying to remain positive and he had this to say about the widespread community support the vendors had been getting: "To everyone who supported us and sent emails and petitions--it worked," he said. "They received it and they're very aware. Without the bloggers support I don't think we would have gotten a chance to get this type of attention."

Nice to know bloggers are good for something.

I went back to the park on Saturday and had my usual three lunches. The first was a barbacoa (goat) taco and carne asada taco from Perez Tacos. Next came a Papa Reyana from Ceron Columbian, a deep-fried ball of mashed potatoes filled with succulent beef. And I finished with Ochoa Guatamalen's shrimp-filled version of ceviche. Tangy and hot (as in spicy). There's still much I haven't tried. But there are more weekends left in this summer. This may not be the last summer for the vendors, but I can't take any chances.

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