Wednesday, February 11, 2015

As DNC2016 decision awaits, a promotional push; Ratner "lives, breathes and promotes Brooklyn"

As the count-down begins to a decision by the Democratic National Committee to choose among Brooklyn/New York, Philadelphia, and Columbus, the hype continues--and a Philadelphia labor spat became fodder for New York.

Jackie Robinson’s widow has joined the city’s campaign to bring the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Brooklyn, where the legendary athlete integrated major league baseball with the Dodgers in 1947.
“New York and Brooklyn both are very special places in my heart. Jack and I had wonderful experiences in both places,” Rachel Robinson said.
...New York is competing with Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, to host the 2016 Democratic convention, and has played up not only the city’s financial clout but its diversity as a positive backdrop for the nomination of the party’s next presidential standardbearer.“Brooklyn has been in the forefront of some of the changes we’re looking to see in the society,” Mrs. Robinson told the News.
“The general feeling in Brooklyn will be that people will be proud to have the convention there," declared Robinson.

I'm not sure she should be opining about the mood of latter-day Brooklynites. After all, as the Daily News put it, she "now splits her time between Manhattan and Connecticut as she oversees the Jackie Robinson Foundation."

In the Post

Yesterday, the New York Post's superannuated Cindy Adams presented Bruce Ratner lives, breathes and promotes Brooklyn, which was mostly some cleaned-up stream of consciousness, albeit with a headline that overplayed Manhattan resident Ratner's commitment:
Bruce Ratner loves Brooklyn. Breathes Brooklyn. Built Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Next to Canarsie, he rates Hawaii a used-car lot. His little 18,003-seat Barclays is up maybe for the Democratic National Convention hoo-ha.
“Imagine going somewhere else?” boomed Bruce who, in Brooklyn, needed no telephone although I was in Manhattan.
“Come to Brooklyn, you got a taste of Brooklyn. Everybody wants in on Brooklyn. Hottest spot in the world in music, art, dance, culture, education, food, people, celebrities. Clinton was here. Duke and Duchess were here. BeyoncĂ© and Jay Z, Streisand all here . . .
“Food. We got 55 restaurants with their own special vendors. We’ll create menu items from every state represented. Other places got lousy junky fries and greasy hot dogs. We have Michelin star chefs. Fish taco sandwiches. Stuffed brisket sausages, stuffed chicken sausages. Me, I’m a brisket sausage-r. We got Redhook Lobster Pound, Williamsburg Pizza. Best in country. Reasonable prices.
“And nobody beats our 2,000 polite employees. Disney trained. Our No. 1 comment is how polite they are. There’s pride in our arena. Willingness to help. They say, ‘Have a nice day . . . get home safe.’ Eighty percent are local, maybe a 15- to 20-minute bus or subway ride or walk.
“The DNC’s considering Columbus? Middle of nowhere? Gum’s on their floor, not concrete. Here there’s value. You get ‘Brooklyn’ on your souvenirs. Want them to say ‘Columbus’? What’s Columbus?! Not a Michelin place in the whole state.
“We’re tops in technology. Most advanced in the US. You can use any phone carrier. Take any selfie. Call any place. We handle 15,000 people downloading videos.
“New York City’s got 105,000 hotel rooms. Philly — 45,000. Columbus 25,000. Even Philadelphia they’re considering? It closes at 10 o’clock. I mean, please.”
Reasonable prices? C'mon. The arena prices are ridiculous. Some of the food is good, some mediocre. (Yeah, I tried the pizza.)

It's interesting to note that Ratner was focusing on the arena, not on the purported benefits to neighboring businesses and the borough at large.

And while Brooklyn is certainly hot in several ways, Ratner should temper the hype. Some celebrities visit the arena, but that doesn't make it the "hottest spot in the world."

A Philly dip, Brooklyn bounce?

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
It didn't take long for Brooklyn's convention machine to try to capitalize on the Convention Center's court order against union carpenters who allegedly harassed attendees and vandalized vehicles at the 2015 Philadelphia Auto Show over the weekend.
"Antiunion," said one New York union official involved in helping Brooklyn in its bid to beat Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
...If Philadelphia lands the convention, union carpenters stand to gain a lot of work at the Wells Fargo Center, where the main events will be held. Other events would be at the Convention Center.
The Hill follows up:
“As we’ve said from the beginning of this process, New York has an unmatched ability to stage large-scale, high-profile events,” said Laura Santucci, who is heading up New York’s bid, in a statement. “From our strong relationships with the City’s trade unions to our infrastructure to the NYPD’s unrivaled security expertise, there is no better place to hold the 2016 Democratic National Convention.”
An official with the New York Hotel Trades Council, which is working with the city to woo the convention, slammed the convention center’s actions as “anti-union.”
"With Columbus lacking sufficient hotel rooms and now Philadelphia filing for an anti-union restraining order against the blue collar workers who would work at the DNC, it's time to pick Brooklyn,” said Josh Gold, the union’s political director, in a statement.
"New York's claim that Columbus doesn't have enough hotel rooms is entirely false," said Meredith Tucker, spokesperson for Columbus 2016. "In fact, Columbus has over 26,000 hotel rooms where delegates can afford to stay close to the convention sites."
Hillary in Brooklyn?

Capitol's Playbook reports:
--“Hillary Clinton’s Brooklyn options are limited,” by Capital’s Dana Rubinstein: “In recent days, people who pay close attention to the undeclared presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton have been wondering about her real estate plans, which could, reportedly, involve setting up shop in Brooklyn or Queens. … But it would be hard enough for Brooklyn and Queens to accommodate a 50,000-square-foot tenant. A 100,000-square-foot requirement would further narrow Clinton's options in two boroughs that have, for decades, sent commuters to offices in Manhattan, rather than developing office space themselves.
Rubinstein's article points out that office space offered by Forest City Ratner may be too pricey, and Brooklyn offers a mixed bag of symbolism:
"Brooklyn has the advantage and the disadvantage of having cachet,” said Seth Pinsky, a real estate executive and the former president of New York City’s Economic Development Corporation. “The advantage is that you can attract a lot of young, talented people and it links you to a new, very highly desirable urbanism. At the same time, there are also a lot of stereotypes—good and bad—that come with both of those and it's unclear whether she wants to be associated with those as she's campaigning for president."

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