Another Markowitz exit interview: "Well, the arena was built first because the Nets were purchased."
What is your secret, asked host Josh Robin.
That's always been his shtick, but remember how, when he was contemplating a run for mayor, he erased that pledge from his official Borough Hall biography?
Robin, showing an excerpt from a new Beyonce video shot at the not-so-hip Coney Island amusement area, asked if Brooklyn had become too cool.
Asked if he'd serve again as BP if he could, Markowitz said, "I would've in a second."
And then he segued to what seems to be his new main regret: "There is one glaring thing: I tried my best to convince a Samsung, an LG Electronics and Apple in particular to roll the dice and open a manufacturing plant in Brooklyn.. and put our people back to work... where unemployment is huge, Brownsville, Eeast New York and Cypress Hills."
Now that's a worthy sentiment, but it's an unrealistic, since that's not how these companies look for factories, unless there are insanely massive tax breaks. Carlo Scissura, head of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, more wisely suggests expanding the current base.
But note how Markowitz is not touting Atlantic Yards as a savior for Brooklyn's unemployment rate.
Robin returned to the peculiar situation of Brooklyn, where there are tasting menus at high-end restaurants on Smith Street and people making under $10,000 in Coney Island and East New York.
"I must tell you. I love the fact that those that complain about the housing, these were the very folks that didn't want this project to begin at all, any aspect of it," Markowitz said, in a statement that is partly true but should be contextualized by the observation that the housing delay is part of the developer's suspect record.
Then he segued to his new arena mantra: "So the fact that they're complaining about this--I love it when I go to Barclays, when I see so many of those who opposed the arena and the whole project in there buying tickets, God bless."
"Let me say, we had a recession, a major recession, eight years of lawsuits," continued Markowitz. "All of that converged in a perfect storm to prevent the buildings from going up."
Yes, but Forest City also kept announcing its plans and delaying them.
"But the good news is, number one, that the first sections of the first building are now being assembled, as you know it's modular housing," he continued. "And it will be accelerated.. it's no secret, it's out, that Forest City Ratner has made an agreement with a major Chinese company that will invest billions to accelerate the building of housing. From what I understand, and I'm not a developer, but the money for those that invest is in the housing, more so than the arena."
"Let me ask you a personal real estate question," Robin asked, leading a viewer to wonder if Markowitz actually would be asked how a slip-and-fall case helped him buy a home.
No, it was a softball question about about Markowitz's plot at Greenwood Cemetery.
What does he make of mayor-elect Bill de Blasio leaning on allies to place Melissa Mark-Viverito as Council Speaker?
Markowitz gave a bland answer, adding that, under Brooklyn Democratic Chair Frank Seddio's leadership, "we are one party. We are cohesive."
"I would give him, maybe an A-, B+... he was competent, he hired I think the brightest of folks... and I think he did it in a balanced way... I think he got up every day and said, How do I make this city a better place to live?" Markowitz responded.
"Having said that, I've got a lot of complaints," Markowitz continued. "I think Borough Presidents were not given the kind of budgets I think would allows to be an important part of governance of this city."
"You're such a cheerleader for Brooklyn," Robin said, "and I realize part of it is shtick--"
"I would probably say the restaurants in Queens that I enjoy going to."
What's next for Markowitz?
He quipped about becoming a Wise Guy on NY1.