Open Thread Wednesday 10/23/13

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

Photo: Mrs. Fink

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  • Remsen Street Dweller
  • Karl Junkersfeld


    Excellent graphic representation of our current state of affairs regarding the distribution of wealth in America given our present unfettered capitalist system of monetary rewards. As someone who is convinced that this economic model is the best alternative, I also appreciate that it needs to be moderated to create a more fair allocation of resources. If get a chance, please read the link below which further illustrates the current problem of distribution in a zero-sum economic environment.

  • DIBS

    You’ll get more “socialism” after you elect DeBlahsio. Have you seen Squadron’s proposal about redistributing the park conservancies’ budgets???

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Somehow, I think you missed the point of the graphic representation.

  • Joe A


    Every now and then it is good to revisit the arguments that
    were made against a certain project such as the Barclay’s Arena and to check back and see how those dire predictions held up after the project was completed.

    You all remember the naysayers on here decrying the
    Arena. It was going to be a disaster. Traffic backed up on the BQE – real estate values being negatively impacted – crime sweeping the area, yada, yada, yada. As a quick reminder here is a snippet from commentary back then:

    It will impact the neighborhood with traffic on Atlantic are from the BQE to the stadium (arena or whatever the monstrosity is). That will affect the attractiveness of the burgeoning retail district that is along Atlantic and the attractiveness of walking to Pier 6.

    Any impact it will have will be negative to the neighborhood. it is inconsistent with Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Fort Greene, Crown Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, etc. It is not a project for real neighborhoods.

    So now that the arena has been built and operational for over a year what are people saying?

    From the Brooklyn Nets who have seen ticket sales spike since their move to the borough, to local landlords who are witnessing a surge in property values, others are likewise seeing their fortunes rise with the arrival of the Barclays Center, the centerpiece of
    Forest City Ratner’s $4.9 billion project Atlantic Yards project.

    “There is no question that the Barclays Center — America’s most beautiful arena — is a true Brooklyn success story,” said Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz.

    The arena has brought jobs to the neighborhood, employing 2,000 people — 80% are Brooklyn residents and one third are from local housing projects.

    Brisk event and food sales and the fat payroll of the
    Brooklyn Nets — amounting to more than $120 million — are boosting the city’s tax revenues.

    In the year since it opened, Barclays Center has transformed Brooklyn into the live music capital of the country and a major pro sports cathedral without creating the traffic and environmental problems the naysayers predicted.

    “We’ve had 2 million customers, 80% of the population of
    Brooklyn, 25% of the population of New York City, visit our 19,000-seat arena in our first year,” says Ratner, who conceived and built Barclays Center, as he walked across the front plaza on a sunny morning last week.

    “Our parking lot is rarely full because the vast majority of people come by mass transit. The traffic and environmental impact has been less than we predicted, never mind what our opponents predicted.”

    Rhonda Sherman wasn’t always a Barclays
    Center fan. Having lived in Park Slope throughout the project’s development, Sherman says she was “pretty much opposed” to not just the stadium — home to the Brooklyn Nets — but Forest City Ratner’s entire Atlantic Yards complex.

    What a difference a debut makes. Barely 12 months after
    Barclays opened its doors in September 2012, Sherman and her son have moved from Park Slope into a two-bedroom condo at 123 Fort Greene Place, less than
    two blocks from the new stadium. And so far, Sherman concedes, she’s “delighted” by her new digs.

    “I’ve come around,” she says. “When I was looking [to buy at 123 Fort Greene], I walked by several times during concerts, and there was no noise that I could hear from Barclays.”

    It was then that Sherman grew confident the Center would
    actually add to her quality of life. “I really opened up to the idea that I could take my son to basketball games, that we could go to shows.”

    Sorry this post is so long but I have always been disturbed by the knee jerk opposition to so many projects that actually improve the quality of life for New Yorkers. We saw it with Barclay’s Arena, we saw it with Brooklyn Bridge Park and we saw it with the CitiBike Share program. Moral of story, listen to what the naysayers have to say but always be very skeptical of their “sky is falling”

  • north heights res

    1) My usual respectful request to post links instead of copying and pasting, which denies publications and writers the traffic that should be theirs for producing the work.

    2) From the Wall Street Journal: “The arena—the country’s most expensive—is lagging tens of millions of dollars behind projections for operating income.” (purchase required to read)

  • Bh1991

    Just heard 12 College Place sold for 8.7m?! And the place next door is undergoing major renovation and a celeb is moving in..I kinda miss the old grungy block

  • Joe A

    That is a silly argument. I posted the links to the articles themselves which I assume would make some want to read the entire article that they otherwise would not. Every blog on the planet quotes from articles and then posts a link. I don’t think any writer would object to getting some free publicity for their work.

    Your second point is equally absurd. The naysayers weren’t all upset because they didn’t think the Area would be profitable for it’s owners but that it would have a detrimental effect on the neighborhoods surrounding it which you haven’t addressed at all. In addition, the Arena is only a year old and it is the leading arena in the entire country in ticket sales. Don’t worry your little head, it will soon enough make a profit.

    The Barclays Center, a magnet for music superstars during its first full year of business, is already the nation’s No. 1 venue in the number of tickets sold and gate revenue.

    The new arena in New York ranks No. 3 worldwide in number of tickets sold, according to Pollstar magazine. And Billboard magazine ranked Barclays Center as No. 2 globally in gross ticket sales revenue at $46.9 million.

  • BrooklynBugle

    You know… a link to the story would have worked just fine.

  • David on Middagh

    It’s just weird to walk down Love Lane, that semi-deserted alley, while someone in a fur coat scurries home.

    The people & activity at the old parking garage made a difference! (I also moved here in ’91, Bh1991).

  • north heights res

    I’m a writer. Having other people steal my stuff isn’t “free publicity,” particularly in a world in which clicks matter for pay and ad revenue. And every writer I know feels the same way. When you pull paragraphs from the original, you obviate the need to click. It’s not “silly,” even if you disagree. That lots of other publications do it doesn’t make it right.

    And I didn’t make a second point. I added to the conversation about the Barclays Center. But you’re obviously not interested in conversation.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Thank you, Karl for pointing out this article. It is a very fine one, indeed — and, it gives one a whole feast of food for thought.

  • Arch Stanton

    Joe, you forget one important detail. The traffic argument is about the entire Atlantic Yards development, not just about the Barclay’s Center. 100’s of offices and 1000’s of housing units are yet to be built. Once they are completed you can be sure there will be a significant increase in traffic.
    Take the intersection of Atlantic Flatbush and 4th Ave. for example; it is already a nightmare most days during the rush hours, If even half the residents and 20% of office workers of the A.Y. own a car or drive to work it could become a catastrophe. Of course time will tell, get back to me in 5 or so years when the A.Y. is complete.

  • mlcraryville

    Last week Prof. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia’s Earth Institute gave a great talk at St. Francis. They taped it and it is available on line at:
    There’s been some blog discussion about the problem of wealth concentration. At about 25 minutes into the talk he gets into that. His holistic view of the real possibility of us wrecking the planet is clear, brilliant and completely unnerving.

  • Copldenizen

    Drop the ” ‘ “. It’s Braclays. Hello!

  • Andrew Porter

    1991! Why, you’re not considered a resident of BH until you’ve been here at least 30 years. Why, even Judy Stanton…

  • Joe A

    My excerpts were well within the bounds of the Fair Use Doctrine of copyright law. To suggest that I was stealing an author’s stuff is, pardon the word, silly. But thanks for your thoughts.

  • Banjo

    Are the kids that walk around with clipboards and ask for money for band instruments legit? They seem to be mainly out during the summer/weekends.

  • MonroeOrange


  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Despite numerous court rulings against them and 9 months of steady protesting by the community, politicians, nurses, doctors and patients — SUNY had the audacity today to threaten layoffs and elimination of vital patient services.

    Please join ujs for a MASSIVE PROTEST tomorrow (Friday, Oct.l 24th) at LICH at 5PM, 339 Hicks St!

  • Ann B Chapin

    I have owned a home on College Place for 37 years. I have seen this block evolve but never from an “old grungy block”. And where do you live??

  • Ann B Chapin

    NO “celeb” moving in. Just a business owner with lots of cash. hahahaha!

  • Ann B Chapin

    I am not sure what this means David??

  • David on Middagh

    I’m picking on the developers who successfully promoted the Mews with images of another lane or place because they didn’t consider Love/College sufficiently picturesque.

  • Regina

    How about some follow up coverage on the Howl-o-ween parade?

  • Arch Stanton

    I have lived in the Heights for 50 years and I think Love Lane/College Place definitely had a “grungy” edge to it. Not that it was bad, I too kinda wish it was still like that.