On Oct. 26, Judge Alex M. Calabrese entered the small courtroom at the Red Hook Community Justice Center and took a seat in front of the bar one last time.
But the judge, who had presided over the court for 22 years, wasn’t there to hear a case, or counsel a client. He was there to be celebrated — after two decades leading the revolutionary community justice center, Calabrese retired on Oct. 14. Two weeks later, dozens of people — clients, lawyers, elected officials and more — gathered at the Visitation Place courthouse to bid him a proper farewell.
Two decades of leadership at the Red Hook Community Justice Center
Calabrese — a warm and upbeat presence in the courtroom — has been with the Red Hook Community Justice Center since it opened in 2000. At the time, the judge recalled at his farewell ceremony, Red Hook was a “tough place.”