2007_04_redhookball1.JPGLike the rest of the city yesterday, Brooklyn was recovering from an angry summer squall that shut down the subways and even had its own tornado.

While all this was going on Gothamist learned from Porkchop Express that the fate of a Brooklyn institution hung in the balance. Namely, the pan-Latin paradise known as the Red Hook Ballfields.

Yesterday Cesar Fuentes, the Executive Director of the Food Vendors Committee of Red Hook Park, met with officials from the Department of Health and the Parks Department. The DOH has given the vendors an August 19 deadline to remedy its concerns. These include storing more ice, providing portable hand washers/sanitation units, using sterile gloves and renting commercial kitchens for food prep. As if that wasn't enough to do in 10 days, Porkchop reports that the DOH wants everyone who works at a stall to be licensed.

We sincerely hope that the ballfields, which offer everything from Mexican barbacoa tacos to El Salvadoran pupusas, don't get shut down. To be sure, we would miss the opportunity to take a whirlwind culinary tour of South America. But what's really disturbs us is the effect such a move would have upon our city's vibrant ethnic street food scene. If the Red Hook Ballfields close due to DOH scrutiny can the demise of the Vendys be far behind?