Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dubrow's as a community center

I found two articles from the 1960's, both of which reference Dubrow's as a center of political and community life in Brooklyn. The first one is about the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association rallying the community to vote 'yes' to eliminate the Civilian Complaint Review Board, claiming that "the existence of the board prevents policemen from taking appropriate action to fight crime." (New York Times, October 24, 1966) Apparently the language of the ballot measure was sufficiently confusing, because the article goes on:

"A yes vote bars civilians from serving. Thus anyone favoring the present board must vote no to support it. This produced bewilderment. In front of Dubrow's Cafeteria on King's Highway at 16th street, a campaign worker spoke in a mixture of Yiddish and English in an effort to clarify things for an elderly man."

This campaign hit up all the stops in Brooklyn - the article goes on to say that they made stops at Trump Village shopping center in Brighton Beach and Nathan's Famous before coming to Dubrow's, and from Dubrow's they planned another stop at the Brighton Beach Baths. The article also references a politician named Lindsay and blames much of the current political issues on him.

Two years later, Lindsay, who it turns out was the mayor at the time, is also booed in front of Dubrow's:

"At King's Highway and East 16th street in Brooklyn, the crowd was so vehemently anti-Lindsay over the school strike that (Senator Jacob) Javitz, a master at soothing angry crowds, said several times that there was no point in continuing since he could not be heard, even with a microphone.

"The Mayor is in a tough spot - it may even be his own fault," the Senator told a crowd that including angry teachers and parents outside Dubrow's Cafeteria. But just as he is jeered today, he may be cheered tomorrow."
(Tolchin, M. "Lindsay Backlash Confronts Javitz." New York Times, October 17, 1968)

Anyone remember these particular political events? The theme is consistent with memories people have shared earlier on this blog about the King's Highway Dubrow's being a popular place for politicians to stump.

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