Someone Fetch Triumph
"Lilly-livered blackguard," was all the outrage that Dope on the Slope could muster when they heard that Forest City Ratner had barred the most coherent critic of the Atlantic Yards development from the announcement of yet another plan for the site. This is quite unacceptable, not just the appalling atttempt to stiffle criticism from informed writers, but the milquetoast rhetoric that DOTS uses to describe the news. I'm chalking it up to the blog's courtly southern sensibilities.
No, for crass and childish insults of Ratnerville, Marty Markowitz and the whole boondoggle, set your browser to Gumby Fresh. Here's what this classy move by the wretchedly indept Dan Klores Ill Communications says to me: a typically ham-handed move by the dregs of the New York City PR industry, which when you consider that Lizzie Grubman is in its mainstream should make them pretty ashamed. I've handled "PR material" (or literature on a par with book reports from ADD-addled six-year-olds) from these clowns before, and believe me, Mr. Oder's inability to procure their drivel may have inadvertently spared him the horror of having to gouge his own eyes out.
Forest City Ratner is a greedy, confused, and inimaginitive gang of lobbyists with bricks, a set of developers that has given up on the idea of enriching the lives of their hosts in favour of becoming parasites on the public purse. To use a sports stadium to justify massive public subsidies to justify a gigantic raft of condos to justify not building the stadium somewhere it would be appreciated is the sort of unhinged logic that suggests there's a new bunch of crackheads loitering around Pacific and Flatbush these days.
As for Frank Gehry, I'm a bit like Only The Blog Knows Brooklyn on this - the man designs some awesomely cool buildings. But here's the thing, I have seen precisely one of them in the flesh - the Disney Hall in LA. It looked kind of neat, although the surroundings flattered it, and I wasn't concentrating anywhere near enough because Cutecome and I were busy arguing about directions. But Gehry buildings, my suspicion grows, look much better in books than blocking out one's favourite c(l)ock tower.
To say, as Gehry and FCR insisted yesterday, that the buildings would be in tune with the character of Brooklyn, is utterly dishonest. The only way that they can possibly justify such high-rise vandalism is by reference to an earlier act of aesthetic murder that FCR inflicted on Downtown Brooklyn. How about this: the first round of skyscrapers were witless, unnecessary and ugly, the next lot will be also, and all the glass and steel and contrived nods to brownstone living won't hide that.
And should you think any longer that Mr. Gehry is a charming ingenue exploited by scheming real estate thieves, then please note down this quote:
"They should've been picketing Henry Ford," Mr. Gehry said yesterday, dismissing critics who have questioned the pace and scale of development in the borough. "There is progress everywhere. There is constant change. The issue is how to manage it."
Oh dear, it's allmost as if Gehry hasn't realised that his main opponents have the futuristic name "Develop Don't Destroy". I think it's this dishonesty that's at the heart of the whole sorry mess - the idea that Brooklyn can either have a gigantic suite of skyscrapers at wonky angles or a scruffy rail pit. The fact that you never hear an arena opponent saying "I f***in' love my pit" doesn't seen to perturb them. What you have are alternatives that don't justify the gigantic public subsidies necessary to justify the gigantic stadium to justify the gigantic suite of condos. See where I'm going here?
Brooklyn's politics is a poor joke - too many of its civic groups are too close to the fictions that sustain its political class. If the cognitive dissonance that lies at the heart of this colossal waste of time and money cannot penetrate the skulls of the people that make policy in this fine borough.
Thanks for listening, I feel like the Maryscott O'Connor of the stadium-haterz.