When I meet Carmen Ejogo in Park Slope, the coffee shop is crawling with children; it’s like a hip daycare, and she apologizes for the clamor. Ejogo lives nearby in Fort Greene with the actor Jeffrey Wright and their two children, and seems keenly aware of the delicate balance between her art—performing in movies like Away We Go, Pride and Glory, and the upcoming Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 musical that has her acting and singing alongside Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston—and the responsibilities of family life. “You’re clearly not a dad,” she says in her crisp London accent when I ask about her favorite local bars; later, she speaks eloquently about the trouble with Brooklyn’s new basketball stadium. “We were so against that happening, but my son is such a big basketball fan, and I know we’ll end up there at some point.”Surely Ejogo speaks for a good number of parents who ultimately will find themselves at the Barclays Center with their children, however much their distaste for the project and the process. And some fraction will hold out.
The question is: how many will remember, contra Mayor Mike Bloomberg's assertion, at the March 2010 arena groundbreaking, that "No one's going to remember how long it took, they're only going to see that it was done." Answer: a good number as well, but that will depend on the press.