The film seems to have morphed from its description in the prequel, Prospect Park West, as "a thriller about gentrification and terrorism" with "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."
Rest assured, it's not based on the actual story of Brooklyn's most controversial development project--after all, Brooklyn's current Borough President has his ethical challenges, but he's no cokehead. But the new description is kind of ominous nonetheless:
Sohn's good at referencing the class and style signifiers of gentrification, as well as registering generational frustration. One veteran Park Sloper thinks:
It was a strange feeling to live in a neighborhood you could no longer afford. You were the reason values had gone up, and yet you were invisible.In another passage, a woman who runs a chi-chi store on gentrifying Fourth Avenue reflects on her mixed feelings:
Hipsters now did beer runs on bicycles to the bars up and down the avenue. The Nets arena was going through; they had already broken ground and you could see it rising as you passed. Poor people would soon be booted out to make way for high-end retail shops. Rebecca had been part of the transformation, but it was taking off on its own. You walked down the same street a thousand times, and then one day, everything was different.Just for the record, such trends, however representative of broader societal shifts, are also driven by policy: the state's override of city zoning to permit the arena, and the city's re-zoning of Fourth Avenue.