Barron for Barron
Councilman Charles Barron can be described in many ways, but demure and dispassionate typically aren’t on the list.
The bombastic councilman, for instance, launched his unsuccessful bid for Congress last year by declaring, “I don’t care what they say, I’m still not saluting the flag!” In the halls of Washington, Mr. Barron vowed he’d continue to “stand up for Robert Mugabe, who’s an African hero–taking land back from white people who stole the land from us in the first place!”
Now, after 12 years as a constant presence at press conferences and rallies, the term-limited eastern Brooklyn councilman will be forced out of office. But he hopes his wife, Inez Barron, an assemblywoman with identical ideological stripes, can cement the Barron legacy.
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.
Beating the Street
The prospect of Charles Barron on Capitol Hill ought to send a shiver down the spine of every decent New Yorker. The man is a hater and a bigot whose only redeeming quality is his candor: The man makes no attempt to hide his loathing of white people, Israel, his colleagues and anybody else who doesn’t share his demented views.
Tales of Retail
BY MONDAY NIGHT, the 10th day of the Occupy Wall Street protest, the miniature colony at Liberty Park Plaza was rather sophisticated. The “media tent,” which on Saturday had consisted of a MacBook and an umbrella, now looked like an amateur version of the CNN newsroom. Protesters crushed around a central table, tweeting, emailing and editing video, surrounded by a barricade of tables holding more computers, with the cracks in between filled in by sleeping bags, blankets and backpacks. One revolutionary with a hard face sat straight-backed, a cigarette poking sideways out of his mouth while he typed away. The computers and lights were powered by a generator, which briefly died when someone misplaced the gas can. The media center, as the always-lit hub of information and electricity, is the cornerstone of the encampment. Entry is restricted.
In the marbled halls of a converted lobby in the Trump Building on Wall Street last week, a party was underway. Rihanna was blasting from turntables manned by D.J. Clue. A line of office workers waited for autographed photographs from baseball once-was Darryl Strawberry. Caterers in bow ties circulated trays of chicken skewers and stuffed peppers.
It almost could have been a nightclub, except that it was 11 a.m. and, in a corner, a woman presided over a table of free antifungal toenail spray samples. Despite the professional athlete and the music, this was a Duane Reade, the opening of the drug store chain’s new flagship store.
Council Member Barron Holds Press Conference on 7 Year Old Handcuffed at School. (Photo credit: William Alatriste)
Brooklyn's Back Bench
2012: How to use Obama’s new site. [Youtube]
Birther Responsibility: The media. [Brian Stelter]
Trump Reaction: “And that show is merely a showcase for the dishonor you have brought among anyone Read More
The emcee invoked Matthew 16:24. “Jesus said to his followers if anyone wants to follow me, he must say no to the things he wants. He must be willing to even die on the cross and he must follow me.”
Hundreds of parishioners had gathered in the basement of the 96-year-old Brown Memorial Church in Read More
Take it away, Charles Barron [and note the praise for "Lou" Fidler!]:
The City of New York
COUNCIL MEMBER, 42nd DISTRICT
718 PENNSYLVANIA AVE * BROOKLYN NY 11207 * 718-649-9495
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2011
Open Letter to Public Advocate Bill De Blasio
I am writing to Read More
City Council member Charles Barron spoke out against the selection of Cathie Black as the city’s new public schools chancellor at a City Hall press conference this morning, saying that the lack of an open selection process failed the city’s schools and children.
“Mayor Bloomberg, they say insanity is when you do the same thing Read More
While Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino are keeping up a maddening pace criss-crossing the state, the five “other” candidates for governor are mostly taking it easy today and tomorrow.
Warren Redlich, Libertarian Party: No campaign events. “Our campaign has been heavily focused on the internet and we will continue working there,” Redlich said Read More