All the stars of Brooklyn Heights — from the legendary preservationists who saved the neighborhood decades ago, to the bloggers who keep the fire burning today — came out for the Brooklyn Heights Association’s annual meeting on Monday night at Plymouth Church.
The 100-year-old group doled out its awards for community service, did some housekeeping, argued over some local issues and invited education expert Diane Ravitch to speak about public schools before everyone repaired to a back hall to consume a limited supply of wine.
The housekeeping portion of the night was interesting to the insiders: the organization is running a slight deficit, its lawsuit against the state over the Tobacco Warehouse redevelopment is still controversial, helicopter noise continues to bother people, and everyone pretty much supports the expansion of PS 8 in a K-8 institution (way to go, Princpal Seth!).
The best moment came after President Jane McGroarty was asked about what the group is doing about rogue cyclists.
“You know, each group [pedestrians, cyclists, drivers] thinks the other group are the a—holes,” she said, drawing guffaws throughout the church where Henry Ward Beecher once held sway.
In other words, can’t we all just get along?
Next, Ravitch spoke eloquently, though not that locally, about the importance of proper support for public schools, the downside of merit pay and the short-sightedness of Mayor Bloomberg’s obsession with testing.
Later, she signed copies of her book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” while the rest of us mingled over wine and cheese.
That’s where we ran into affordable housing developer Ken Diamondstone, sporting a new goatee that was simply stunning. We also ran into Councilman Steve Levin, who chatted with preservationist Otis Pearsall (if Levin during his career does one-tenth of what Pearsall did to help the neighborhood, he’ll be elected mayor!).
But the highlight of the night came earlier when Brooklyn Heights Blog Publisher Homer Fink was honored for “outstanding community service.”
A blogger winning an award for “outstanding community service”?
Have pigs taken flight?
Certainly not. Look, we may be his biggest competitor, but Fink — whose real name, John Loscalzo, was revealed to his many readers at the ceremony — does a great job with his blog.
That said, he’d be nothing without us, and our free copy — nothing, we tell you!
The Riverside Tenants Association was also honored for its long-running battle to save its courtyard from becoming a garage.