Jurassic Park (Senior's Restaurant Appreciation now added)
“What a Hanukah present!” exclaimed a friend’s email.
Carl Kruger was copping a plea to a felony. His political career was over. His life was pretty much over. Someone who’d been an enemy for over a quarter century had literally been reduced to bawling his eyes out in the same manner that Kruger preferred to inflict upon his enemies.
Memories flooded over me of Hanukahs past.
Today David Paterson called Kruger “a slippery character.”
I THOUGHT THIS WAS A DEMOCRATIC CLUB; WHO LET THIS REPUBLICAN IN???
“You’re gonna need help keeping your job, and I’m gonna make sure you don’t.”
“Paterson doesn’t trust you anymore than Connor does, so you’re so far out of the loop that you’re the only one in the Senate who doesn’t know that I’m one of the 13 names on the first day hit list. There‘s nothing you can do to me, asshole.
CARL KRUGER, POLITICAL TRANSVESTITE; CARL KRUGER, THE RU PAUL OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.”
“Vith all due respect, I think the crowd is a little old for the Ru Paul reference.”
When I did my first Brooklyn campaign in 1980, there was a non-glatt kosher deli on practically every avenue in Southern Brooklyn from Bay Parkway eastward.
Plus there were the non-kosher Jewish style places like Martin’s, Senior’s, the Pavilion and Pop and Son (and that was just on Nostrand Avenue in Sheepshead Bay).
We are a dying breed.
There are three "non-glatt" kosher delis in all of Brooklyn, a number that barely beats Newark New Jersey’s.
Martin’s, the site of an epic squawk I had with Kruger the summer of 84, is gone, and with it, the best cabbage soup I ever tasted, as well as fond memories of many a happy lunch spent at the counter while sweet old "Uncle Sammy" Garson regaled me with tales from his time as a mob bookie and oil stock swindler. .
Also gone is Pop and Sons, where the septuagenarian owners schlepped around a cart full of Jewish delicacies which came gratis with every entre, all lovingly labored over by an old black chef in the kitchen.
Also, Senior's, unsurprisingly a Junior's knock-off, with the same rolls, but not the Caribbean cult following.
The first time I ate at Senior's was at a campaign kick-off for Kruger's predecessor, Donnie Halperin (alev ha-sholem) in 1982. The last time was in 1994, at a campaign kick-off for Joel Garson, the malapropping Fredo of the Garson Crime Family, in his pathetic effort to get the Democratic nomination for the seat when the senior Cuomo made Halperin his Housing Commissioner.
I can still hear Joel, screaming about the how we needed to restore the "deaf penalty" and put an end to "flea bargaining," and solemnly reminding the County Committee members to properly fill out their "protskys."
Mercifully, (and I mean this with no irony), Joel was beaten by Kruger, dropping out of the race at the last minute, and providing Carl with his protsksys. Shortly, thereafter, Joel got a job on Carl's payroll.
All those places are long gone, and so is every place like them.
And so, mostly, are we.
The world beautifully invoked by Dan Feldman's Sausage Factory Blog is mostly a memory now.
I suppose a few words are in order about the politics.
Councilman Lew Fidler seems the odds-on favorite for the Democratic nod.
As I’ve noted, Fidler has a strong track record with the Orthodox Jewish community (and the Russian community as well).
Of course, so did David Weprin, who lost this area two to one.
As the Weprin race proves, whether or not the Orthodox community still does the hora with those who brung them is at best an open question.
Of course, unlike Weprin, Fidler takes nothing for granted---he’s been working it hard.
And if there’s a place where the dinosaurs still roam, it is in this district, parts of which might still be called Jurassic Park.
If I’m not mistaken, all three of those non-glatt kosher delis lie within its borders.
And Lew Fidler, who used to own a purple suit which made him look like Barney, may be everyone's favorite dinosaur.
Meanwhile, the GOP has several potentially strong candidates—but none of them live within the current lines, and they are thus all ineligible.
The eligible names are pretty pathetic. Realtor John Reinhardt seems to spend most of his spare time writing checks to Democrats.
The frontrunner seems to be lawyer David Storobin, a protégé of GOP County Leader Craig Eaton.
So, while anyone who’d bet the mortgage money on this race is taking an undue risk, the smart money is probably on Fidler.
But reapportionment looms, and barring unlikely reform or a court imposed solution (somewhat more likely), the GOP will control the new Senate lines.
It would be ironic for a term limited Councilman to give up a seat whose shelf life expires at the end of 2013, only to find himself out of a job at the end of 2012.
But, as Mario Cuomo used to say, between now and then, a Pope could be born,
And meanwhile, we’re going to have whole lot of fun.