LAST GASP: Automotive High School Isn’t McCarren Park’s “Home Team”
Filed under: 11211, 11222, Culture War, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn
When I read this article by the inimitable Aaron Short I became furious. Not only do I find the fact these youths have to travel one mile (and purchase their own Metrocards) for the pleasure of playing football when there’s a field across the street utterly ludicrous, but I cannot shake the nagging suspicion that race— or at least class— has something to do with this. These suspicions are not in the least bit assuaged when I read a quote like this, which comes from a Department of Education Spokesperson:
It creates too many obstacles and we don’t want to have any kind of furious accidents there.
Perhaps Ms. Feinberg would be kind enough to explain to me exactly what constitutes a “furious accident”? God only knows I have seen my fair share (and then some) of unsavory activity at McCarren Park. I fail to see how a high school football game could possibly make the situation any worse. If anything watching these games would, in all probability, be a source of enjoyment for many in our community. But of course, youth football games do not make money. Which brings me to the Parks Department’s rationalization for this farce:
…A Parks Department spokesman added that the athletic league’s rules state that the games must be played in places that are not open to the public. Four years ago, the Parks Department actually issued permits for two Pistons games in McCarren Park, but the city reversed course, citing security concerns…
Yet, these very same people have no problem whatsoever taking much-needed playground space (READ: Barge Park) to throw carpet-bagging fund raisers. Events, which I can assure you, are of negligible interest to the people who use said park(s). Here’s the deal:
In the 10+ years I have lived here I have seen nothing but good things happening at the Automotive High School. It has come a long way. The Automotive High School’s students have treated me with nothing but respect. When they have bumped into me on Bedford Avenue (as excited gaggles of teenagers often do after school— we are talking about kids, after all) they have always said “excuse me”. This cannot be said of many folk who populate Bedford Avenue nowadays. Why is it so difficult for this city to— instead of blame-tossing— afford these youths a little respect and consideration? They deserve it. In closing here are a few vintage shots of football at McCarren Park.
Photo Credits: The image at the beginning of this post was taken by Aaron Short.