Congressman Charles Rangel Attends Vegan Korean Temple Cuisine Event
Embattled Congressman Charlie Rangel arrived around 6:30 last night at 275 Hudson to attend an event showcasing the vegan cuisine of Korean Buddhist monks. Attended by body guards, the legislator -- who has been accused of multiple improprieties -- looked surprised at the traditional garb worn by the costumed greeters at the door, then was whisked inside.
The three-hour event was sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea and the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. A large contingent of monks and nuns -- some of them chefs, all of them bald -- had been flown in for the evening. While the ostensible purpose was to familiarize the American public with Korean Temple Cuisine -- which includes no animal products whatsoever, and heavily features lotus root, seaweed, sesame derivatives, rice, acorn jelly, wild grass, and pickled radish -- the event included lengthy speeches about the virtues of Korean-style Buddhism. The president of the Jogye Order, the Most Venerable Jaseung, gave a speech directly preceding the meal.
The program began at 6:30 p.m., and speeches by various religious and secular officials took almost an hour before the food was served buffet-style. There were approximately 300 attendees, most of them Korean. Halfway through the speeches, Congressman Rangel stood up, appeared to falter, and was led out through a side door. His reason for attending (his name was proudly announced from the podium, and the room exploded in applause) was to meet with Korean Buddhist officials. It is election season, after all.