For the police officers and community leaders of the 72ndPrecinct, the ninth annual NYPD Patrol Borough Brooklyn South UnityShowcase Festival in Prospect Park was a chance to gatherBrooklyn’s diverse cultures and communities all in one place.For the students of Zhang Yuan Chinese Martial Arts School on 65thStreet between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, however, it was a chanceto showcase the skills they have learned over months ofpractice.The youngest students used fluid movements from one pose toanother, older students practiced various martial arts scenarios,and older groups of girls demonstrated some self-defense moves. Itis a beautiful art, said 18-year-old Evan Farfan, who said heenrolled in the school because he loves how martial arts bringsout a form of expression.I love the difficulty, love perfecting the moves, agreed RahmanMunaj, 18, who chooses to make the trek from his home borough ofQueens because good kung fu schools are hard to come by.Sisters Charmaine, 18, and Caitlin Escudero, 14 — who have beenstudents of Grand Master Zhang Yuan for six years — said that theyenjoy how interactive the classes are, with the older studentsoccasionally helping the younger ones. [Doing events like these]is exciting and enjoyable, said Caitlin. We get to be outdoorsand there’s more practice and training.They were fantastic, exclaimed Enid Parra, treasurer of the 72ndPrecinct Community Council, which sponsored a booth where fortunecookies and Mexican pastries, donated by Don Paco Lopez bakery,were handed out in order to highlight Sunset Park’s large Asian andHispanic communities.It’s nice to see the police come together, bringing a uniqueperspective to one another, said Deputy Inspector Jesus RaulPintos. Another perk, he admitted, is all the food. I’ve alreadytried Middle Eastern food, Italian food and Spanish food.The 72nd Precinct’s booth also featured child fingerprinting, sothat police have their identification on record in case ofemergency. People ask about the auxiliary [volunteer police], howto join, what the Community Council is and where to come, notedParra. It’s a wonderful day.The event featured 13 police precincts covering 40 communitieshanding out food and entertainment from their respectivecommunities, and sharing information about public safety issues andcommunity culture with fellow officers and neighbors.
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