102308vendors.jpgThis weekend marks the end of a turbulent season for the Latin food vendors at the Red Hook ball fields. First the Health Department shut them down entirely, then the Parks Department opened up the vending contracts to outside competition. After considerable public outcry, the beloved vendors were allowed to return, but only after spending close to $50,000 each to purchase new stands. What used to be a festive cluster of open-air grills was turned into a homogeneous row of food carts moved outside the park, powered by loud generators. In short, the city sucked the soul out of scene. Marcos Lainez, who sells Salvadoran food, tells the Brooklyn Paper, "We lost that friendly relationship with the customers and it will never come back." And organizer Cesar Fuentes says the vendors also lost money; because they weren't permitted back until July, none of them "were fully able to recuperate from the financial blow of the season." [Photo Cred]