Skip to main content

"Road to Brooklyn" focuses on borough generalizations; Washington Post explores whether Nets = return of Dodgers

In less than six minutes, the fifth episode in the Road To Brooklyn mini-series on Jay-Z's YouTube channel takes on the borough at large, with some predictable quotes from Borough President Marty Markowitz and generalizations--not-so-easy to make for such a sprawling place--from a cast of mostly younger and entertainment industry-affiliated interviewees.

"If you're from Brooklyn, you can't just say Brooklyn, you have to shout it," asserts actor Malcolm Barrett.

Oh, sure.

"We have more character and characters in Brooklyn  than anywhere else in America," declares Markowitz. "We can charm you off your feet and be in your face at the same time."

"Brooklyn is like its own world," asserts one young guy in a baseball cap.

"We are now considered the coolest city on the planet," declares Markowitz, not mentioning that the designation comes from GQ and refers to the artisanal food scene. He's not the first to make that pivot in selling the Brooklyn brand; so too has Forest City Ratner.

"Brooklyn has equity," says clothing designer Seth Braunstein (apparently the guy behind Brooklyn Rock, a new streetwear shop near the Barclays Center). "People come here to do something fresh."

"I always joke that people from Brooklyn say they're from Brooklyn at least three times a day," says model Damaris Lewis, who founded the Heels to Hoops blog.
It's local pride, and I think everyone shoudl have it

"What it really is about Brooklyn is there really is a community here," says radio host and former hip-hop exec Combat Jack, who has longstanding ties to Jay-Z.

"There's so much to be said for the character of this place," says DJ/record producer Tommie Sunshine. "And there's so much culture in Brooklyn. And people in Brooklyn are a little more dug in."

Of course, such observations could lead to the impression that those resistant to Atlantic Yards might be honoring Brooklyn.

Hip-hop artist Telli Ninjasonik declares, "Brooklyn is Brooklyn, man. It's beautiful. Ain't no place in the world like Brooklyn." Oh.

Enter the Nets

Then the music changes and the piece pivots. "The Brooklyn Nets have probably more pressure than any team in the NBA right now because of the city they're in," says DJ Clark Kent, another Jay-Z associate.

Lewis says, "I love the fact that I'm going to be able to say that there's a team in Brooklyn."

"They're going to bring their best game and their heart and soul to this Brooklyn arena, because that's all we know, because you're not just playing for a team, you're playing for a borough, a borough that's a city, a borough that's a country, a borough that's a way of life," declares Telli Ninjasonik.

Markowitz says he's confident the Nets will match the Brooklyn energy.

Advance the Nets

"The Nets coming back to Brooklyn, it is a rebirth," says Combat Jack.

The rest of the piece shows the Nets' Experience Van visiting Fort Hamilton and other places in the borough, with one visitor declaring he's ready to buy season tickets with his son.

"They better do more than just win games and play basketball to win over the hearts of Brooklyn," says Telli.

"Spread some of that money around," says Director X, a music video director who's worked with Jay-Z.

"They should reach out to programs that deal with young people," says street artist Lee Quinones.

So, with triumphant music, we see guard Deron Williams joining kids on a Take Your Child to School Day.

"We have 150 people in our front office that are committed to giving back and being part of the fabric of this community," says team/arena CEO and uber-marketer Brett Yormark

"You can already tell that Brooklyn is going to be very supportive of us, very supportive of the franchise," states Williams, dutifully. "And we're going to try to give back to them." (In Williamsburg, with less dutiful coverage, the reception was a little tougher.)


"Brooklynites don't hold back, we'll tell 'em," says Markowitz, asserting that the Nets will hear from fans whether they do well or poorly.

In the Washington Post

A Washington Post Sports section article 11/23/12, headlined Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Nets return professional sports to historic borough, queries Andy Rosen of Junior's, Yormark, author Roger Kahn, and public historian Julie Golia:
“It was the unifying force,” Kahn said. “Italians, Jewish, everyone gathered around the Dodgers. Think of a great oak tree falling and when it’s down, there’s a lonesome place against the sky.”
“I think that’s one of the real tensions of the Nets coming in,” Golia said. “Will the Nets have that ability to draw together the diverse population the way the Dodgers did?”
The article, however, moves back to hoops:
Nets games feel like those in any other NBA city. Maybe there’s a bit more Jay-Z played on the public-address system. And because the famous hip-hop star is a minority owner of the team, there’s also a 40/40 Club in the arena and a Rocawear store outside. He also helped design the team’s distinctive black and white uniforms. But the presentation is similar to what fans would find elsewhere, even if Brooklynites are still processing the in-game experience.

“The chemistry between our crowds and our players, we still have a ways to go,” Nets Coach Avery Johnson said. “We’re not Miami or the Lakers where we’ve been in the building for a long time. We’re still learning. It’s still a feel-out process.”
In the comments

Note a few comments:
  • Nothing about Ratner's eminent domain thievery?
  • Anyway, this article is so banal and glosses over many details to tell Yormark's sales pitch. How about a few sources who actually live nearby, new and old, for their perspectives?

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.


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 …

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…