La primavera

for The Brooklyn Paper
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For five months each year, the Red Hook ball fields are as unwelcoming as the Dakota badlands. But in late April, they awaken with the sights of soccer and baseball — and the smells of Central American food.

Though the “futbol” legends of Liga Mexico and Liga Guatemala showcase some real talent and aerial dramatics, the premiere attraction is the vendors.

Lining the fields are stands serving Guatemalan tamales, Salvadoran pupusas and more. It is all delicious and fantastically cheap — for $5, you can stuff yourself silly.

Across the street is the Red Hook Recreational Center, with its mammoth swimming pool open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Be sure to bring a padlock and a real bathing suit (no cutoffs!), as the Stazi-like guards will send you away if you don’t have them.

The Red Hook Recreation Center (155 Bay St., between Henry and Clinton streets in Red Hook) is open Monday through Friday 8 am–10 pm and on Saturday 8am–5 pm. The ballfields and vendors are directly across the street.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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