It used to be that good-looking waiters and cold plonk were the sole essentials of a good museum opening. Maybe there were some crackers on a tray. These days, though, no such fete is complete without a little curbside controversy, some wacko bit of theater, a harried staff of professional-event duennas and a guest list that can often seem as if it were composed by shredding the White Pages and picking names out of a hat.
Here, then, at the gala opening of the Takashi Murakami retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum on Thursday, an evening of unseasonal chill and spitting rain, was the obligatory chorus of protesters on Eastern Parkway, raising voices against the developer Bruce C. Ratner...
To those on one side of the museum’s new glass-walled addition, Mr. Ratner is a deep-pocketed patron and, as the museum’s director, Arnold Lehman, said, “a nice boychick from Cleveland, Ohio.” To those at curbside on Eastern Parkway, he was viewed less benignly, as Satan. Most developers are.
“Atlantic Yards is truly going to make a lot of people miserable,” said one protester, Eleanor Price, referring to Mr. Ratner’s $4 billion plan to refashion downtown Brooklyn into a commercial wonderland of shops, a basketball arena and fanciful buildings by Frank Gehry.
Let's just say that if he's calling the site "downtown Brooklyn," an error the Times has corrected in more than a dozen articles, and that this was merely an "obligatory" protest, he's not doing his reading. The Times's CityRoom blog, maybe, thought it was news. Maybe the news side should've sent a reporter.