Atlantic Yards is already the biggest thing to hit Brooklyn since that meteor that killed all the dinosaurs (look it up), and its impact will extend far beyond the megaproject's footprint. The under-construction Barclays Center is a huge arena, and huge arenas bring in huge crowds. Local businesses that rely on the exchange of goods and services for currency like to appeal to these crowds. It's the reason why you can't swing a dead Flyers fan outside Madison Square Garden without hitting a sports bar. But the Barclays Center is not in Midtown, and already brownstone Brooklyn residents are fearing the first signs of the arenafication of their neighborhoods.
That's apparent in the backlash to Prime 6, the planned bar/restaurant at Flatbush and Sixth Avenues that some Park Slopers assume will be a rowdy hip-hop club catering to arena crowds. The latest chapter in the saga, Fucked in Park Slope points out, is one resident's apparently serious attempt to get Prime 6's owner to opt for indie rock over hip-hop. And nope, race has nothing to do with it.
The Sloper's online petition, which currently has 15 signatures, states that Prime 6 has a right to exist, but would "see far more financial success as a different kind of nightlife establishment." On the neighborhood impact: "It's not 'racist' to equate hip-hop with an elevated crime rate vis a vi other types of musical genres - It's just a statistical fact that crime is more likely to occur among urban audiences than among audiences of other demographics." Clearly this person doesn't remember the Grizzly Bear-Sufjan Stevens knife fight of '08. They're still trying to get the blood stains out of the couches at the Bell House.
Even some local haunts appear to be getting arenafied. Ancient dive bar O'Connor's on Fifth Avenue and Dean Street, not far from the Barclays Center, is tripling in size and adding an upstairs restaurant in an effort to modernize, the Brooklyn Paper reports. The owners say it has nothing to do with the arena, but one regular says "it seems like there won’t be that same run-down feeling," and an O'Connor's bartender told the BP "the vibe might change." What's next, Gorilla Coffee selling Nets foam fingers?
· Another old-man bar bites the dust as O’Connor’s gets pre-Nets makeover [BK Paper]
· Petition: Prime 6: Embrace Indie Music! [Petition Buzz via FiPS]