It wouldn’t be a year-in-review issue without handing out the coveted Brooklyn Papers awards. So without further ado:
The Bladder of the Year: Scientists should certainly study the urinary tract of City Councilman Simcha Felder. Felder, an Orthodox Jew who represents very religious Borough Park, said he supported his openly gay Council colleague Chris Quinn for Speaker. But when the actual vote came, Felder ran into the bathroom rather than cast a vote that could later be criticized. Imagine if Felder’s bladder could be re-created in a lab and transplanted into all of us! Got a difficult decision to make? Just “pull a Felder” and your problems are solved.
The Bureaucratic Bungle of the Year: Why was the Metropolitan Transportation Authority suing a bagel store owner on Smith Street? Only because the store was named “F-Line Bagels” and MTA lawyers argued that customers would think the transit agency had gone into the bagel business. But the MTA need not have worried; no one would confuse Fouad Assad’s clean, well-run, friendly shop with the crumbling, MTA-run, dirty Smith/Ninth Street station across the street.
The Don Quixote Award: Oh, we had so many nominees for this award, including Democratic candidate Steve Harrison, who took on Rep. Vito Fossella and his million-dollar war chest; the Park Slope mom who wants people to give up bottled water because it’s not environmentally sound; or Ken Diamondstone, who spent $100,000 to lose badly to longtime state Sen. Marty Connor. But the winner, and still champion, is Victor Mooney, who vowed to row a thin plywood boat 8,000 miles across the shark-filled Atlantic Ocean. Mooney got about as far as Marty Markowitz did in the Marathon.
The Press Release of the Year Award: Again, there were lots of nominees, including the Sanitation Department for telling us to stop giving Christmas presents. But the winner was clearly Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz, who put out a press release announcing a celebration of the one-year anniversary of his stroke. The story raised one important question, though: What do you get someone for his one-year stroke anniversary? Paper? Platinum? Stent?
The Year’s Dumbest Crook: Some burglar was prowling the locker room at Gleason’s Gym in DUMBO. You gotta question the sanity of a crook who is willing to ply his trade in the same place where former light welterweight champ Vivian “Vicious” Harris and former welterweight champ Zab Judah work out.
The Chutzpah of the Year Award: This is Brooklyn, so of course there were lots of nominees, but the winner was Brooklyn Hospital. Seven months after filing Chapter 11, the hospital asked a bankruptcy court to allow it to give $1 million in bonuses to its top executives. Here’s hoping someone lanced those swollen cojones.
The Sonny Carson Memorial Racial Arson Award: Many wanted to nominate City Councilman David Yassky for this award, considering that he was trying to win a majority black Congressional seat. But Yassky had nothing on a Corcoran real estate office in Brooklyn Heights, which reportedly steered black buyers away from “white” neighborhoods.