Volume 79, Number 18 | Oct 7 - 13, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Villager photo by Tequila Minsky

Sampling mooncakes, from left, John Liu, Margaret Chin and Alan Gerson

Gerson, in sunset of his tenure, munches mooncakes with Chin

By Josh Rogers

Political friends and rivals gathered Sunday at the Museum of Chinese in America to chow down on some traditional mooncake for a Mid-Autumn Festival in the museum’s new Centre St. center.

Councilmember John Liu, poised to become the first Asian-American to win citywide elected office, and Margaret Chin, in line to be the first Chinese person to ever represent Chinatown in the City Council, ate with Councilmember Alan Gerson, who lost the Democratic Council District 1 primary to Chin three weeks ago.

Chin and Liu, the Democratic nominee for city comptroller, voted for Nom Wah Bakery’s double egg yolk mooncake, while Gerson favored the sweeter black lotus paste. The Moon Festival celebrates the harvest and is somewhat akin to Thanksgiving.

Nearly a month after the primary election, Gerson has not yet publicly acknowledged his defeat, but he appears to be readying to begin the “smooth transition” he promised on primary night “if the results hold up.” Last Thursday, a Chin campaign official said that Gerson called Chin to say he would be endorsing her in the general election.

Gerson did not say Sunday if he was going to make an endorsement in the overwhelmingly Democratic district soon.

“I can’t tell you because that would ruin the announcement,” he told The Villager.

Gerson arrived after Chin addressed the audience, and neither mentioned the other in their public remarks. They did speak briefly to each other. Liu, in his comments, seemed to be bridging the gap. He had nice things to say about the rivals, complimenting Chin on her win while also saying she “had big shoes to fill.”

The event was held in the museum’s large exhibit space, which opened at 215 Centre St. Sept. 22. After operating out of cramped Mulberry St. quarters for three decades, the museum now has an $8 million center designed by renowned architect Maya Lin, a Chinese American.

The celebration also drew congressional attention as Representative Nydia Velazquez also appeared. She did not cast a vote in the political mooncake tasting.

With reporting by Tequila Minsky

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