Save the World
Well, not the entire world, but the food vendors of Red Hook.
For all you non NY'rs, Redhook Brooklyn comes alive on the weekend at the ball fields. Sports fans and foodies descend on the fields for some great games, good times and most importantly great food. The purveyors of this food are a bunch of Latin Americans, mostly immigrants who serve some of the best Latino food in New York.
The city of New York in all its wisdom has decided that the community would be better served if the food vendors were denied their temporary food permits and the spaces put out for seasonal bids. This could open the ball fields up to a vendor like McDonald's or the Shake Shake replacing the little guys. That would be a great disservice to the community. As another blog put it "This place is a culinary treasure and needs to be preserved."
So join in. Fight the power! Save the Soccer Tacos! (The text below is copied from the excellent site - Save the Soccer Tacos! - The first protest site to save the Red Hook Food vendors.)
As New York mag reported on 6/5, the awesomeness that is Red Hook soccer tacos is now in peril:
The city, eager as ever for the fat stacks that only a bidding war by commercial concessions can offer, has given the vendors notice that their Temporary Use Agreement, the permit given to them by the Department of Parks and Recreation, won’t be renewed. The city wants to open the parks up for concession bids, which will almost certainly mean an end to the makeshift food stalls that have been operating there for over ten years.
WHAT TO DO?
If you heart the vendors at the ball fields, now is the time to act. Send messages to both New York Commissioner of Parks Adrian Benepe and Red Hook Councilwoman Sara M. Gonzalez. We've even written up a handy message (with help from Serious Eats) you can use -- use your cut 'n paste skillz below! Add your name and send as-is, or for a more effective plea, personalize it with what the ball fields mean to you.
Please do it right now!
WRITE COMMISSIONER BENEPE
Contact him either using this form or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org:
Dear Commissioner Benepe,
Please extend the Temporary Use Agreement to the vendors at the Red Hook ball fields. They are a unique resource in the city, are one of the best things about summer in Brooklyn, and they are irreplaceable.
The vendors bring value to Red Hook by bringing people out to eat who might otherwise not visit the neighborhood, and they create an experience and a range of real, honest food that typical park vendors could not possibly replicate.
I'm asking you to please grant them an extension for this year and to look for a way to make the use agreement permanent.
This is a cultural institution worth saving!
YOUR NAME HERE
WRITE RED HOOK COUNCILWOMAN SARA M. GONZALEZ
Email her at email@example.com:
I am writing to let you know that if the vendors at the Red Hook Ballfields lose their license, or are forced out of business in any way (increase in fees, etc.), you can be certain the New York City Food Community will make it our mission to make sure that those who were responsible will not be re-elected to office.
Thanks for your time,
YOUR NAME HERE