Saturday, December 25, 2010

In novel Prospect Park West, "Atlantic Yards" is a screenplay about terrorism and a character has the arena on the brain

Amy Sohn's dishy novel Prospect Park West, optioned to be a mini-series starring Sarah Jessica Parker, has gotten lots of buzz for her satirical take on motherhood and Park Slope, with the park, the food co-op, the Park Slope Parents listserv, house envy, and more serving as the backdrop.

(See local reviews pro and con from FIPS and OTBKB.)

There are numerous real people and places in the book, but Atlantic Yards watchers may notice a few stretches:
Lizzie and Jay's brick walk-up [on Park Place] was between Vanderbilt and Underhill, in the footprint of the developer Bruce Ratner's proposed Nets arena, which meant that it might be knocked down in order to build the arena.
Actually, the project footprint doesn't go beyond Dean Street south to Park Place, nor does it go east of Vanderbilt Avenue.

Atlantic Yards, the film?

More entertaining is the name of the screenplay being written by Stuart Ashby, an Australian actor married to Melora Leigh, a Park Slope super-couple based loosely on Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly:
"Atlantic Yards. It's sort of a thriller about gentrification and terrorism."

"What's thrilling about gentrification?"

"Well," he said, "ultimately it's more about the clash between different types of people. There's a terror cell run out of a muffin shop, and a corrupt borough president funneling money to the terrorists, and then there's this weathered Seventy-eighth Precinct cop who catches on to the scheme and winds up saving the day. She's a woman. And I'm trying to figure out a way to work in that rape on the ball fields."
Well, you could probably get a good screenplay--Russian billionaire, Chinese millionaires, obsessed Borough President--involved in the real Atlantic Yards.

Ratner on the brain

There's also an entertaining moment in which a zonked-out Melora, unable to find a cab or orient herself homeward, winds up walking north in the Slope after a show at Southpaw:
Up Fifth Avenue, she could see the lights of the Atlantic Terminal mall.

What an atrocity. How this Ratner idiot had gotten permission to build it, she had no idea. When Heath [Ledger] was alive, he and Michelle [Williams] had gotten her and Stuart to sign on to the Develop-Don't Destroy advisory board. Even though Frank Gehry was supposedly going to design the arena, if Bruce Ratner was behind it, it was bound to be ugly.

Why was she thinking about the feasibility of the Nets arena at a time like this?
Good question. Maybe it sticks in too many people's minds.

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