Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Times's Dining section discovers new restaurants thriving less than a block from blight

From a New York Times "$25 and Under" restaurant review yesterday, headlined The Vanderbilt and Kaz an Nou:
THE service was slick, the room was handsome and the food reliably good at the Vanderbilt, a well-groomed gastropub that opened last fall in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. But something was missing.

It was not half as pleasurable as Kaz an Nou, a new French-Caribbean place two blocks away with half its size and sophistication.
Looking at the map

Those living nearby or checking the map know that the two blocks between Kaz an Nou (on Sixth Avenue between Bergen and Dean, closer to Dean) and The Vanderbilt (on Vanderbilt Avenue between Bergen and Dean, closer to Bergen) are long east-west blocks.

By contrast, each restaurant is less than a single short north-south block from the corner of Dean Street, which happens to be the southern border of the Atlantic Yards footprint.

Why does this matter? Because the Empire State Development Corporation, in its Blight Study, declared at the outset:
This report presents an evaluation of conditions in the area proposed for the Atlantic Yards Arena and Redevelopment Project which themselves are evidence of blight or which may retard the sound growth and development of surrounding areas.
(Emphasis added)

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