Cookin’ with Weiner

The Observer’s Jess Bruder, finally back from farthest South Brooklyn, reports:

At the Caraville diner on Avenue M in Brooklyn, some seniors were finishing their midday nosh when Anthony trotted in at two o’clock. “What’s cookin’?” he asked loudly.

A grey-haired Democrat named Sandy Litman, who wore a shirt with a picture of Tinkerbell and the slogan “Little Miss Attitude,” smiled as she sidled up to the candidate. “Have you voted yet?” he demanded. Ms. Litman hadn’t. “I’m going to vote for you!” she enthused.

“Don’t forget: it’s Weiner,” said Anthony. Behind him, sign-bearers held “Weiner for Mayor” posters. Anthony wore a matching sticker over the breast pocket of his blue, rumpled shirt. Ms. Litman raised her eyebrows. “I know, it’s Weiner,” she replied.

In the rear corner of the restaurant, a pair of women stopped picking at their coleslaw and promised to support Anthony. “If this comes down to two votes, I’ll buy lunch tomorrow,” he exclaimed. Like most people in the diner, they hadn’t voted yet, either.

Towards the end of the campaign stop, he was accosted by some hecklers. The first was angry about rising rent, and she didn’t want to hear about Anthony’s proposed tax cut. “I’m selfish. I don’t care about the younger generation,” she said, and made a reference to her “golden years.” “I care about me!” Anthony told her to cheer up.

Then came a guy on the street. He was angry that Anthony had supported a smoking ban exception for the city’s owner-operated bars, a point made moot after the ban became state law.

“I’m not going to vote for you,” the man said combatively. Television cameras rolled. Finally, he walked away.

Under his breath, Anthony let some sarcasm slip. “I’m glad you got that off your chest,” he said.

Anthony’s final stop this afternoon was Edward R. Murrow High School, a few blocks away in the 76th election district, where Weiner plied poll workers with boxes of kosher cookies.

As of 3 p.m., they said, just 22 people had showed up to vote.