It was a last for Markowitz, but a first for Hynes.
Borough President Markowitz hosted his final Brooklyn Sweethearts Celebration as Brooklyn’s beep at El Caribe on Valentine’s Day, but the Mill Island event for couples married for more than 50 years was made special by the attendance of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and his wife Patricia, a loving couple who celebrated their Golden Jubilee last October.
“They had probably 400 couples and everyone was past their 50th year,” said an astounded Hynes. “One couple was married 70 years!”
Not only did Hynes have the opportunity to join one of Brooklyn’s most exclusive love clubs, but the borough president also invited him to recite the traditional — “unofficially official,” as Markowitz puts it — renewal of vows.
“I asked him and his bride to come to the front with me and my wife and, instead of renewing the vows myself, I let him do it,” Markowitz explained.
In the renewal, the long-time love birds were asked to stand — if they were able — and gaze affectionately into their companions’ eyes as the Hynes once again declared them man and wife.
As Markowitz approaches the end of his tenure as Brooklyn’s biggest advocate, the fate of his annual celebration appears uncertain and, while all good things must end, Markowitz hopes that this event isn’t one of them.
“This much I know, when I came in there was a previous borough president and I chose not to carry some of his events forward, and the next borough president might choose not to carry on some of my events, and I think that’s a good thing,” said Markowitz. “But I hope this is one of the events he carries on. It’s important to acknowledge these couples who have managed to carry on their relationship for 50 years. It’s a good standard, that they’ve been able to overcome the differences that always exist between two people.”
One things for certain, Hynes is looking forward to next year’s event.
“Yeah, I’d love to go back next year,” said Hynes. “I hope that whoever succeeds Marty as borough president will continue this very special tradition.”
Reach reporter Colin Mixson at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4514.