They almost had to call the cops. Political titans and no-love-lost rivals, Kevin Boyle and Anthony Weiner, clashed on the boardwalk last Saturday afternoon, mere hours after Kevin Boyle announced his challenge to the incumbent. (I can now refer to myself in the third person because I ran for Congress last week and got multiple votes.) Weiner, campaigning in hockey gloves, threw them off and charged Boyle. He pulled Boyle’s jersey over his head and was about to pummel the political upstart and wiseass columnist but Boyle’s exposed pale stomach flab stunned Weiner allowing Boyle to escape and pile drive the congressman into the sand. Turns out, the slugfest was the result of a misunderstanding.
Weiner, like most Boyle-ing Points readers, was a tad confused by my column that referred to the photo shoot in which Audrey and Anthony dressed as wind turbines. What can I say? Email happens. Or, as some conspiracy minded readers suggested, The Wave shied away from printing the pic because they were endorsing the windy ones. Anyway, the photo is here this week. (I think. That’s me trying to get their attention.) Because the picture didn’t run, Weiner didn’t get the irony of him standing there with the sea at his back and his arms outstretched asking me how many votes I thought I was going to get. “What if I lose by one vote?” he asked, somewhat desperately. That’s the way the boardwalk crumbles, buddy. Every vote counts. And Kevin Boyle’s getting mine.
Of course, from that point on, Weiner played me like a drum. Even though he realized he wasn’t getting my vote he still charmed and humored me knowing I’d go soft on him in The Wave from now on. Sadly, it’s true. I hate it when people are nice to me.
(Like Audrey, she’s always nice.) As a farewell gesture he said, “May the best man win and remember Election Day is on Wednesday this year.”
Before letting him continue on his door to door campaign I said he could do something more meaningful than write letters to people who won’t read them. He could spearhead – like get a feasibility study started – an effort to have an esplanade or promenade built on the bay side from the Gil Hodges Bridge to Beach 116 Street. A wide walkway and bike path that would transform the bay side. Hold on, you nattering naysayers. Think Brooklyn Heights. Battery Park City. Manhattan Beach. Charleston, South Carolina, Milwaukee, Wisconsin for crissakes. These are just a few places with promenades – and the real estate that abuts them is the most expensive in the area. As it is, Beach Channel Drive is an unattractive speedway. Nobody even wants to walk on the sidewalk across the street from the bay wall. But, you build a beautiful promenade (throw in a small fishing pier and bay access) and you’d watch bay front housing prices take off. Instead of overlooking the Beach Channel 500 you’d have a view of strollers, joggers, and bike riders with a bay and city backdrop. Bay front property values would take off and lift the rest of Neponsit, Belle Harbor and Rockaway Park in the process. All those places I mentioned – and hundreds of others around the world – benefit from promenades. The real estate is golden. Music to naysayers everywhere.
So, anyway, Weiner was with me on this, nodding enthusiastically. But then he turned all slippery. The problem is no one, the city nor the feds, wants to “take ownership of the bulkhead.” It was time again for me to growl and put him in a choke-hold, are you kidding me? You’re the friggin’ congressman, figure it out. I mean Manhattan has more advocacy and “ownership” groups than anywhere and they somehow get a bike bath from the Battery to the GW Bridge.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park is another waterfront project that is going to happen and make Brooklyn an even more attractive place to live. How come these other places don’t have “bulkhead ownership” problems? Okay, Weiner finally relented, I’ll write a letter.
Because I don’t let go of a point until it’s beaten to death, I’ll say again to West Enders: your property values will rise – you can party like it’s 2004 again. Push for a promenade.
***Boyle-ing Points: Broad Channel Hall of Famer Marty Feeney is back in town after trying Florida. The call of the Channel proved to be too much. I can’t wait for the constant emails and calls demanding I announce the date for the Jamaica Bay Old Timers softball game at the top of the column. I just hope Dick-o and Sideshow Bob don’t resurface. ***Thanks to all who’ve said they were glad to see me back in The Wave, including my other brother from another mother, Patrick Brady. But I’m not back. I just don’t want to wait weeks to have stuff printed in the Bag of Mail.