On Same-Sex Sunday, we ran into Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and his now infamous wife, Jamie “First Lady of Brooklyn” Snow. He was congratulating couples, taking pictures with them with his wife, and cracking jokes about how joyous it had been to marry Jamie in the same location. (He didn’t yet know that in about 24 hours, he was going to find out the decision to spend a little too much time with her was going to someday cost him $20,000.) Our favorite gem from the Post’s story on Markowtiz’s fine was this: “What they’re saying is they don’t recognize my role (in promoting the city and Brooklyn) beyond the borders of Brooklyn. They don’t believe my wife has any role and they’re wrong. You go to Europe, other countries, being borough president [of] Brooklyn is a big thing there.”
After reading this and picking ourselves off the floor from laughing, we remembered an experience we had abroad almost running into the Brooklyn Beep.
We were in Israel in the summer of 2008, visiting the Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa. During the security sweep, we had the following exchange with the security staff.
Guards: Where are you from?
Us: New York City. Brooklyn.
Oh my God! We just met your President!
George Bush? Did he come here?
No, your President! From Brooklyn! He was just here an hour ago and he gave us these!
The three guards showed me a picture on their phone of them with Marty Markowitz, pumping their flesh as if they were on Flatbush Avenue, and produced three gold “Brooklyn” lapel pins he’d given them.
It didn’t sound like Jamie had been with them. But we saw first hand that peddling Brooklyn 5,633 miles from home is no problem for Markowtiz. He was able to better convince the Bahá’í guards that being a Borough President is a big deal than he could ever convince most New Yorkers.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 26, 2011