Thursday, January 19, 2006

Jennifer Connelly Hearts Damascus Bakery

True fact that, although nothing to do with the subject at hand. Today we learn that there's some sue-tastic, tort-ily delicious legal action going down In re: The Atlantic Yards monstrosity (I'm going to count to twenty before Cutesome opines that that last sentence made absolutely no sense). It is, according to Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn the first blow in an onslaught of legal pain to be visited upon the dolts that the state and city employ to review and process such projects.

The lawsuit alleges fatal conflicts of interest in a lawyer's work for both the Empire State Development Corporation, which reviews the Atlantic Yards development, and its developer. It is possible that the suit will find it difficult to gain traction. Although my slim knowledge of the legal profession suggests that one should steer clear of a lawyer that flaunts such obvious conflicts of interest, even if these are not illegal. Since city government seems unable to function without the presence of such dubious characters, however, I'm not holding my breath. On a scale of seriousness, I'd put this exactly at a mid-point between the lady who wants 26 grand from the city to send her kids to private school and the Florida recount.

At the moment the opposition to this gigantic bar-demolishing project hinges on the fact that the developers may use eminent domain to pursue it, and the possibility that the developer has not followed proper procedures. Which is probably the best way to stop it by legal means. My opposition rests largely on my affection for Freddy's, while wider opposition to the project suggests that it won't provide any good jobs or affordable housing.

Steve Gilliard, with his usual lack of patience with nuanced argument, hits another, rather sweet-sounding, note. The project really is rather ugly, and it's only the reputation of the architect, Frank Gehry, as a creative liberal that's stopped us saying it more often. I'm not necessarily suggesting that we should deluge the NY tabs with stories of how his concert hall in Los Angeles fried people's dogs (in part because these may well be apocryphal). But highlighting how silly the development looks would at least open up another lowbrow front in the battle.

Speaking of Freddy's, on the basis of my visit there last night (my first in a while), I'd just like to say I'm not quite sure about that new bartender.


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