Monday, August 28, 2006

YIMBY! The Williamsburg Hasids want an arena? (Not really)

I already noted that many of the people at the Draft Environmental Impact Statement hearing last Wednesday who wore buttons with a slash through NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) were from neighborhoods far from the proposed Atlantic Yards project site.

Some wore both the slash/NIMBY buttons as well as ones that said "Yes In My Backyard." Probably the least convincing wearers of those messages were a group of Williamsburg Hasidim, as pictured in the Courier-Life chain.

Not only is there no room in South Williamsburg for an arena--the population keeps growing exponentially--but those in this enclave want to keep their distance from people who don't share their ultra-Orthodox beliefs.

As the New York Times explained in a 2/17/04 article headlined 'Plague of Artists' a Battle Cry for Brooklyn Hasidim:
The visitors were from the community of 57,000 Satmar Hasidic Jews who live in south Williamsburg and who have in recent weeks been alarmed by talk of their neighborhood being invaded by ''artisten,'' a Yiddish word that in local parlance is used to describe non-Hasidim who live on the north side.
They had come to the store after seeing fliers around the neighborhood that had portrayed the artisten as a looming threat. One flier even included a drawing of the World Trade Center collapsing, and read, in Yiddish: ''How long did it take the Twin Towers to fall? Eight seconds. How long will it take for Williamsburg??? God Forbid.''


(It should go without saying that most opponents of the Atlantic Yards plan are hardly NIMBY; they support development over the railyards though not at the scale Forest City Ratner has proposed.)

1 comment:

  1. What was their motivation in supporting the project? To make sure it doesn't occur in their neigborhood? Any idea who mobilized them and why?

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