On the eve of Christmas Eve, former Mayor deBlasio presented a cardboard check of nearly eleven million dollars to the Director of the Old Stone House in Washington Park. The money, drawn (extorted?) from the Gowanus Neighborhood Plan, will pay for rest rooms to be added to the small remaining space on the north end of the building, as well as a stairway and elevator that will each extend a vertical distance of ten feet.
It should be some elevator.
The Park, not far from the Gowanus Canal near Staples on 4th Avenue, was once home to the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers (better known as the Dodgers following their move to Ebbets Field). 138 years before that, it was the scene of what George Washington himself described as the pivotal moments of the Revolutionary War.
In remarks leading up to the presentation, the Comptroller-elect Brad Lander, who arrived on a CitiBike, and the Mayor (late again) bragged about all the great things they did for Washington Park while serving in the City Council, replacing concrete with turf, upgrading the playground, etc. The Mayor then quizzed the youngsters from the adjoining MS 51, aka William Alexander Middle School, who were fidgeting on the turf near his podium (one of them, perhaps sensing he had become a political prop, had earlier shouted, “Where’s my stimulus check?”). Did they know who Alexander was? No. Tsk, tsk. During the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776, he was the Major General who fought a delaying action at the Old Stone House just behind DeBlasio’s microphone, allowing Washington’s Revolutionary Army to escape and fight another day.
Lander then reappeared to say that just as Alexander’s brave Maryland regiment gave their all defending the Old Stone House in order for democracy to survive, the progressive stuff that he and the Mayor have championed are safeguarding democracy today. Who knew?
Brooklyn History can be quite complex. One should qualify for a PH.D. in Poli Sci after carefully studying this report. I’m sure a great book will emerge from Joe’s writings. Keep them coming!
I recall a certain tragedy, which cast a cynical pall over my psychological development. I lived with my parents at 2010 E. 57th St. After a 4th grade school day at PS 236, I dropped my books off at our Filmore Gardens Coop apartment and ran outside to play ball. Harold Trencher lived across the street and came out with a football. Baseball season ended. It was time for two hand touch. He mentioned that the Dodgers were moving to Los Angeles.
Later when my dad came home, I ran inside the apt and asked if it was true. I asked how was it possible? He said, “It’s just a business. Only a business.”
No more Ebbets Field and hotdogs with my father. But still played baseball in the Amity Little league.