Last night at Parks & Recreation Brooklyn Borough
Commissioner Julius Spiegel's Retirement Party
Brooklyn Park's Chief Of Staff Marty Maher
New York City Park's Department Commissioner Adrian Benepe
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
The man of the hour, Julius Spiegel
More Friends Of carroll Park
What a send-off into retirement! Last night's farewell party for Parks & Recreation Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Julius Spiegel was held under a giant tent at Dumbo's Tobacco Factory and was a fitting tribute to a wonderful public servant.
After 37 years, the man in charge of every Brooklyn Park and playground from Coney Island to the Heights, is stepping down. In a deserving tribute, Spiegel received citations from Borough President Markowitz, from the NY City Council and from the New York State Assembly.
But the speeches of his colleagues in the Parks Department were the most moving. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe called him a true "mensch" and Gordon Davis, the man who created the role of Borough Commissioner in the early 1980 and had hired Spiegel for the Brooklyn position, expressed his affection and admiration for him in a funny, moving speech.
Towards the end of the evening, Julius Spiegel, in a cowboy shirt, addressed the audience and thanked his colleagues. He revealed that he was stepping down because he could not remember the f---ing passwords and that he intended to finally make time for a mid-life crisis and will grow a ponytail and get an earing. A very humorous speech by a clever man.
I was at the event with the Friends of Carroll Park, the great group of volunteers who helps maintain our neighborhood park by taking care of the planting areas and by organizing concerts, flea markets and clean-ups. Some of the volunteers have been part of the group for more than 22 years now, almost as long as Julius Spiegel has been Borough Commissioner.
Julius will be missed by our group.