It's at once amazing and not all that surprising that the Red Hook ball fields in Brooklyn are getting so much attention from New York City food lovers. From bloggers to anonymous activists to chefs, everyone agrees: The place is a culinary treasure and needs to be preserved.

I love that Save Soccer Tacos sprang up, complete with a sample message that it suggests sending to New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and City Councilwoman Sara M. Gonzalez, whose 38th District includes the ball fields.

I hate that the Parks Department website makes you use a black hole of a form to email Commissioner Benepe, so with a little digging, we found direct email addresses to ping him at: adrian.benepe@parks.nyc.gov

Here's some body text, based on the Save Soccer Tacos message, that you can copy and paste into your email to Commissioner Benepe. (Add you name and send as-is, or for a more effective plea, personalize it with what the ball fields mean to you.)

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!


Photograph from Peter Cunningham


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