Little Italy Still Mourns the Loss of Gooch’s Garlic Run
In recent years, residents of Little Italy had been at odds against the annual tradition of Gooch’s Garlic Run (named for retired Andover Township Police Lieutenant Al “Gooch” Monaco). Held on the second Wednesday of June for the last two decades, the motorcycle ride raises money to help fund medical expenses for underprivileged children who are ill. The negative response from the community forced the event across the Hudson to Newark in 2011, where it remains this year.
One local Little Italy merchant wrote the following:
About 25 yrs ago a chapter of a NJ Law Enforcement Motorcycle club called the Blue Knights started a Motorcycle run to aid in medical expense needs of underprivileged children who were ill. Every year it gained popularity and increased in numbers to about 5,000 participants each charged an entrance fee of 15 dollars which is then donated to one or two children each year. It was great for the sick children as well as business owners in NYC on Mulberry Street who also on average donated 25% of proceeds from the night of the run proceeds to Gooch Garlic Run.
For 25 yrs this was a tradition. Always second Wednesday in June. Until that is a couple of “Residents” on Mulberry Street complained to the Community Board 2 about loud Motorcycles that where part of the Run (Mind you that they are full time complainers they have hundreds of issues and attend the CB2 meetings to feel validated on a monthly basis to basically complain about everything). Hence CB2 makes a recommendation to NYC Street Permits Division and basically tells them to move the motorcycles to Foley Square about 8 blocks South of Mulberry Street where there are basically no residents.
Most of the participants are working people who only enter in the NYC from 6:30 to 9:30 and take the long ride back home to NJ. This added a 40 minute walk back and forth to their parking area, secondly some have very expensive motorcycles and didn’t want to leave them unattended while they dinned so far away. This was SO insensitive of CB2 to destroy this for NYC and Merchants of Mulberry Street in these tuff economic times.
This run is embraced wholeheartedly by the State of NJ they close of the right lane of traffic and every entrance ramp to the highway during the run not to mention the support from people who stand on over passes and wave to everyone involved in this Charity Event!! I am disgusted as a business owner and life long resident of NYC. It seems that Community Board are representing transplants in the Community who are wealthy and think that they can change NYC to a Suburb Atmosphere its terrible.