Skip to main content

As 40/40 Club opens the night before arena debuts, a vigil and march draws 150 people, James, Montgomery


Michael D.D. White, in the photo at right, captures an image from the vigil last night that drew about 150 people to gather outside the Barclays Center and then circle it twice in fairly quiet protest. Inside Jay-Z's 40/40 Club was opening for a private, pre-arena-opening party, as detailed in the New York Post video at bottom.

White's photo captures the "Boondoggle Basics" flyer given out by protesting groups (more events today and tomorrow; rain venue 669 Atlantic Avenue, corner of S. Portland Avenue) framed by the digital advertising in the arena oculus for the 40/40 Club.

The main sponsors are Brown Community Development Corporation, BrooklynSpeaks, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), the Fifth Avenue Committee, and Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), which took different postures on Atlantic Yards before it passed, with only DDDB going to court to try to block the project.

Since then, for example, DDDB and BrooklynSpeaks were joined in a successful lawsuit challenging the inadequacy of the environmental review, given that 2009 deal revisions gave developer Forest City Ratner 25 years to build the project. A Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) has been ordered but has not yet begun.

Updated: Perhaps two dozen people came from Occupy Wall Street; they slept overnight on the Flatbush Avenue side of the arena, next to some of the shops, shielded from any rain.

Below are several more videos, most of them brief, that I shot.

The signage in the oculus



The Barclays Center plaza

Before the vigil, at 7 pm, cops gathered at the plaza, while those participating in the vigil gathered across the street



Gathering on Flatbush before vigil, at Bear's Garden



At the plaza




Leading off: the Rev. Dyson

The Rev. David Dyson, former pastor of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, cites "all the people who have been hurt by this project," including families who lost their homes, didn't get good paying jobs, and a "city in need of accountable development."

"Even now, as the arena opens up, we are told that the benefits are coming," he said, citing the promises of "Jobs, Housing and Hoops.")

(At about 1:08, note the presence of Forest City Ratner's designated lurker.)



Apparently relying on Council Member Letitia James's conflation of an elderly decades-long resident who wanted to die in her home (and who did, given the length of the process) and another elderly woman who had a small business in the footprint and was shaken by the threat of eminent domain, Dyson unfortunately maintained the myth: "I always remember remain that 89-year-old woman, Holocaust survivor, who wanted nothing more to die in her home."

(I checked this with Patti Hagan, who did the earliest census on those in the footprint.)

The Rev. Miller & Sen. Montgomery

The Rev. Clinton Miller of Brown Memorial Baptist Church declared, "A part of the soul of Brooklyn has been lost because games have been played, and bad deal have been made."

Barclays, he said, financed the Holocaust, apartheid, and the slave trade. (It's a bit more nuanced: the New York Times reported that many banks were enveloped in the slave trade; Barclays withdrew from South Africa only in 1986, decades after activists called for divestment. Barclays collaborated with the Nazis, according to this report, and paid a $3.6 millon settlement in one case.)



Also speaking was state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, who declared, rather wishfully, "There was an attempt to utilize this process to divide us, but you never allowed it to happen." In fact, the five groups sponsoring the event differed, as noted above


But the fact that the vigil could only muster two elected officials, longtime project opponents, suggests that other elected officials, even if they didn't express support for the arena by showing up for the Sept. 21 ribbon-cutting, do not want to associate themselves with the opposition.

Council Member Letitia James

"All of us are bracing ourselves" for the traffic emergency announced for today, said James, warning that the project is "a result of no transportation planning at all" and "corporate greed and corporate welfare." (Wait a sec; there was planning, but it was belated and open to question.)



Individuals and business will suffer, James said. Well, certainly some will, though proprietors of bars and restaurants are excited.

"We actually won this struggle," James declared, in what I assume was an effort to highlight community solidarity and a focus on Forest City Ratner's lies in the face of very large evidence that most people think Ratner won.

Part of the march

On the Atlantic Avenue side of the arena, passing the check-in tables for press and VIPs for the Jay-Z event, then to the plaza.



A closing prayer by Rev. Miller

He asked that those who profit from the arena to give back; perhaps there's a role for government and new oversight for Atlantic Yards.




At the party

From the New York Post:
The hottest club in Brooklyn opened on Thursday night, when celebrities and athletes gathered at the Barclays Center and Jay-Z’s 40/40 club.

Nets stars Deron Williams and Joe Johnson joined Jay-Z in opening the brand new venue, which overlooks both the playing court and the streets of Brooklyn.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.


Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …