As our readers may or may not know, I am a borderline libertarian/objectivist... While I think universal health care would be rad I question government interference in the fiscal sphere. I believe that a "pure free market" might briefly be a nightmare but could blossom into a beautiful thing. I believe many of our land's current issues revolve around the coercive powers of government being used against its citizens at the behest of corporate interest. I believe in the corporation but not in the unholy amalgamation of lobbyist, laws, and commerce.
I also believe all of this only works in a place where people behave rationally, which g-d only knows is not the place we live in.
Having made this lengthy preamble, I have to say this: I don't want to lose the Red Hook Soccer Field Taquerias.
For those who have somehow missed this, there are these astonishingly clean and pristine sporting fields at the very end of Red Hook where the local latin-american population enjoys picnics, futbol matches and baseball games. They are also home to small vendors serving some of the best latin-american food in the hemisphere... And for cheap.The fields are far from train and bus, and until recently, this preserved them as one of the city's best kept secrets.
In recent years thanks to food blogs and the collective hipster unconscious, the soccer fields have become very popular among the brooklyn intelligentsia and culturati. However, the area has also become very popular among developers, resulting in the gigantic and labyrinthine Fairway and soon a huge Ikea adjacent to the fields. This has struck me as a red flag that it might be time to move.
The coming of Ikea means more than increased traffic, pollution and the illusionary opportunity for "local economic growth." It also means that the vendors who have been there for years will now be engaged in a permit bidding war to supply food to the furniture tourists who will soon be flooding the area. Corporate vendors who will charge ten dollars for an unappetizing hot dog will be able to force out the amazing artisans of $5 quesadillas and $2 pupusas in order to make the city the maximum profit.
WAIT: When I began this post, I thought I would be forced to compromise my ideals and say that this cultural and culinary treasure should be an exception to the free market, but as I write I realize this is once again this is an example of coercion... Why should a permit be required to use public land that ostensibly "belongs to the people?" Why don't we allow whoever wakes up earliest in the morning to get their booth and let whoever sells the best food they can at the best value they can win the day? I can guarantee a minimum-wage slave from Subway will not be able to compete against this juggernaut of cultural integrity and tasty deliciousness.
mmmm... blood sausage.