The holiday meal is the highlight of the otherwise uneventful December meeting of Community Board 4. Chair Julie Dent says “wait your turn!” — Photo by Aaron Short
I am running very late tonight because of two breaking stories today, one of which is the guilty plea of former RBSCC employee Tyess Crespo. She used to work at the Hope Gardens MultiService Center, which is where I’m headed tonight for the last Community Board 4 meeting of the year. (This was the other one.)
6:50 PM: Fortunately — or unfortunately for its members who have been waiting around — the board is late getting started tonight as they have been preparing their annual potluck holiday party. Chairwoman Julie Dent just finished calling the meeting to order and DM Nadine Whitted calls the roll with 30 members present.
6:57 PM: Dent introduces elected officials and Deborah Dilan, from state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office, who is also state Sen. Marty Dilan’s wife, stands up. She doesn’t come to these meetings too much, but mostly everybody in the room knows her.
Also in attendance is Borough President Markowitz’s general counsel, the suave-looking Jason Otano, who identifies himself as a resident of “neighboring Community Board 1” and mentions if anyone has any issues that need addressing, feel free to contact him at his office. Otano also says that Markowitz is looking for a few new community board members to fill the ranks. Otano has an outstanding pair of eyeglasses. He’s earned a few fans tonight.
7:00 PM: Nadine gives a special report, wishing everyone a happy holiday season, a most prosperous new year, and wishes for health and wealth in 2011. Then, Julie breezes through the committee reports noting that all reports (housing, land use, and public safety) are informational.
7:04 PM: Old and New business are cast aside, so we move to announcements:
Sharon Wong with New York City Food and Fitness Partnership will be trying to help improve the quality of school food in Bushwick with a training at IS 291 on St. Nicholas Avenue.
Oscar Heath: The Department of Health notes the city’s Healthy Bodega Initiative, which seeks to get more store owners to stock healthier items.
7:10 PM: Whitted and Dent don disposable gloves to begin serving up the meal, which includes two salads, three kinds of rice and beans, sweet yams, turkey meatloaf, collard greens, baked ziti, three kinds of fried chicken, ribs, another noodle concoction, and — holy Jesus — eight different cakes and pies including red velvet, pumpkin pie, and a pineapple coconut cake that is so sinful it should be convicted. Fortunately, Officer Franco from the 83rd Precinct was off tonight so everybody’s pigging out.
Did I mention somebody brought a 24-pack of mini Coronas? They were gone within ten minutes. Another 24-pack of Coors Lights resting in a giant ice bucket, were slowly being picked over as some members went back for seconds.
Tonight’s MVP? Everybody who brought food to the potluck (especially Parliamentarian Odolph Wright. We’re going to need that yams recipe.).
Bushwick’s Community Board 4 meets on the third Wednesday of every month (except July and August) at Hope Gardens Community Center, 195 Linden Street at Wilson Avenue. To contact the office any other time, call 718-628-8400 or visit 315 Wyckoff Avenue, 2nd Floor.