Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Atlantic Yards meme gets a boost in 2011, with more coming from a journalist's novel

I wrote in March how a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority used the term Atlantic Yards--a marketing term for a 22-acre project, some of which is still in private hands--for the agency's 8.5 acre Vanderbilt Yard.

In April, one of the MTA's watchdogs similarly used the term Atlantic Yards to describe the property the agency marketed.

And in a manuscript

You'd think that a journalist writing about Atlantic Yards would know better, but not the notorious Stephen Witt, who's written an AY novel called The Street Singer. The Daily News gave it unaccountable publicity earlier this month, but not until AY opponent Patti Hagan gave me the hard copy of the article did I see an excerpt from the manuscript, which included this:
"Thaddeus Hoover," I said, suddenly recognizing the name. You're the guy who wants to bring the Nets to Brooklyn and build an arena at the Atlantic Yards."

"No, I'm the man who will build the arena and bring Brooklyn its first major professional sports team since the Dodgers left for California."

As Tad spoke, I though about Goody Brats saying Hoover was sucking up the neighborhood. It was kind of funny. Here I was having a drink with the land grabber himself.
Put aside the not-so-naturalistic dialogue and the Zelig-like wish fulfillment--Witt did once enthusiastically hug Ratner--and remember, Atlantic Yards was not a place.

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