On Saturday, we stopped by the Red Hook Ball Fields to see Chuck Schumer, Ed Levine, Andrew Carmellini, Cesar Fuentes (vendor manager), and Felix Ortiz, Red Hook state assemblyman, speak out against the Park’s Department’s move to open the Ball Fields up to bidding vendors.
Schumer said that if it comes down to money alone, “these guys are gone.” He also thinks that the vendors, who have been operating in Red Hook Park for 33 years, helped transform the area into a safer place. He said “Removing this for something that might make a little more money for the City of New York makes no sense. We don’t want McDonald’s here.”
Sing it, sister. Then he had some corn. Ed Levine says he had a delicious goat taco as well, and we always believe Ed Levine.
Ed Levine said, “This is the epitome of honest food by honest people… This is deliciousness in action!” and called the Latin eats “honest New York soul food.” Andrew Carmellini (A voce) said his motivation for supporting the vendors was selfish. “This kind of soulful cooking is what keeps me intrigued,” the chef said.
Carmellini, like Ed Levine, Chuck Schumer, and your truly, is especially a fan of Eleazar Perez’s braised goat tacos.
Cesar Fuentes said that the operation costs $10,000 per season, and they can’t afford to pay any more. He has been procuring temporary permits for the vendors for ten years.
In the off-season, or — God forbid — if the vendors lose their space, the Pueblan cooking so popular with chefs and senators alike is available at the Perez family’s restaurant, La Asuncion, in Borough Park.
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