If you were wandering down Fulton Street between Washington Avenue and St. James Place in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Clinton Hill starving and with $3.50 to spend, you might stroll into trendy taqueria Cochinita and exchange it for a pork shoulder taco heaping with pickled onions. A couple of doors down, for the same price, Brooklyn Victory Garden would sell you a bagel slathered with “faux gras” (or, walnut lentil pâté—not that you didn’t know). Where you could not spend that small wad of dollars is the vacant storefront of Joloff, a shuttered Senegalese restaurant that, after 17 years in this location, has recently been nudged out and relocated deep in Bed Stuy.
Also nestled in this block of Fulton is the small campaign headquarters for Democratic congressional hopeful Hakeem Jeffries. On a visit last Sunday, The Observer found an array of frantic, fresh-faced college and high school students, typing away on brought-from-home MacBooks, noshing on tacos from the aforementioned Cochinita, and phone banking furiously. It is an odd (or perhaps perfectly fitting) place for an ideological battle to land: in a neighborhood newly defined by hastening gentrification, the race that has emerged is between an old-guard, ultra-left black Brooklyn politician and a young moderate, modern coalition-builder who has fairly painlessly raised $700,000. Read More