Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Brutally weird" block party quietly canceled, as FCR apparently has second thoughts

The "brutally weird" block party scheduled for yesterday--on a to-be-demapped AY footprint block--by Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) signatories was canceled without public explanation yesterday. Apparently Forest City Ratner and its surrogates recognized that 1) it was bad form and 2) block parties usually involve residents celebrating their block, and there weren't any of them. (Image from DDDB.)

Well, there was some largesse distributed. As told to DDDB and to me by an eyewitness, CBA signatory BUILD (Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development) and Forest City Ratner representatives "were out in front of the [homeless] shelter at 603 Dean handing out pizza, drinks and Nets tote bags to shelter residents." The shelter is on the block just below the block where the party was to be held.

Another eyewitness says the FCR rep acknowledged that the party idea was inappropriate. However, since party planners had put flyers up in the shelter promising food at the party, aiming to entice shelter residents, they had to come through in some way. Interestingly enough, flyers had not been put up elsewhere in the neighborhood, though they were circulated Monday by email.

A lie from Ratner's surrogate

According to the Real Deal, it was all about sensitivity:
Delia Hunley-Adossa, chairwoman of the Atlantic Yards Community Benefit Agreement, said the block party had been planned for months, but was canceled after the U.S. Supreme's Court decision Monday not to hear an eminent domain petition presented by property owners and tenants challenging the government's ability to seize their homes. The ruling followed a string of legal losses for the project's opponents.

"We wanted to be sensitive to the community that the decision came down Monday," said Hunley-Adossa, who works with both the developer and the community.

Daniel Goldstein of community group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, a plaintiff in several lawsuits against the project, said that flyers were first emailed out Monday afternoon, soon after the Supreme Court's decision.

"The flyer was emailed out at 4:30 p.m. on Monday," Goldstein said. "The decision came out after 10 a.m. I believe that it was scheduled because of that decision and I believe it was canceled because somebody realized it was a really bad, offensive idea."


I guess we'll have to add this one to DDDB's list of lies, most of which look inarguable to me.

1 comment:

  1. What if they gave. . . And nobody came?

    So nobody showed up as a guest- And, there was really no one there to show up as a host- No one who lived on the block- And what kind of host was the witch in Hansel and Gretel who just wanted to pop her guests into the oven, bake and eat them to satisfy her sweet tooth-

    No, I was thinking more about this weird hostless party which was expected to be attended by people who didn’t know why they were coming but were being paid to be there- And I thought of the “And Then There Were None/Ten Little Indians” Agatha Christie story based movies. If you are familiar with them, a mysterious absent host invites guests to a lonely island and then, dispatches ( murders) them one-by-one- Until there is no one left. Seems there are some definite parallels here.

    For some more thinking along the lines of how this party was an eerie ghost story see the comment at: http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2008/06/brutally-weird-cba-block-party-on.html

    Michael D. D. White
    Noticing New York

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