Celia Cacace, in red, is back in the neighborhood for a few weeks.Celia Maniero Cacace, a life long resident of Red Hook/ South Brooklyn***, who is back for a visit after moving away in 2013. She is staying with a friend for a few weeks and you will probably bump into her as she visits her favorite neighborhood spots.
After an entire life spent in South Brooklyn, she had to move to Wisconsin to live with her son after she lost her apartment and was priced out of the community. So her departure was bitter sweet.
Celia left a huge hole here that may never be filled, because she is pretty unique. Though she never held public office, she was always watching out for her community and was not afraid to stand up for what she believed was the right thing to do.
She was once famously quoted in the New York Times, foreshadowing the changes that would come to her beloved South Brooklyn, saying: "I don't care if they are yuppies, puppies or guppies moving in. Gentrification is not going to be good for us."
Fiercely loyal to South Brooklyn, Celia watched out for the seniors, got involved in every issue and gladly shared her vast knowledge of the neighborhood's history. She seemed to be at every meeting, whether it was at Public School 58, the 76th Precinct community council, or at Community Board 6 where she was a member for many years. She always took copious notes with her multi colored pens and asked her famous four point questions.
Before she left, neighbors and friends threw Celia a huge good-bye party. That was the last time we had seen her, though we have talked on the phone.
Just glad that she is back for a while.
Celia Cacace (on the right) with former Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden (on left) at the Carroll Park re-opening ceremony in the 1980's