Since NBC anchor Brian Williams tweaked the Times for its overnight discovered love of artisanal Brooklyn, the paper seems compelled to take a tongue in cheek attitude towards the "often parodied mix of the trendy and precious" that is Kings County. It loves Brooklyn and derides it in equal measures. Today the Times points out that the Battle for Brooklyn—concretized by the construction of Barclays Center—has been going on for longer than the Civil War was waged. And months before Nets part-owner Jay-Z will take the stage to make the venue's debut performance, the area around Barclays has already been fed feet first into Brooklyn's gentrifi-grinder.
Triangle Sports closed up shop and is sitting on its land waiting for the right offer as rents spiral upwards, but the Times details small businesses who have sold out or been forced out as stores like one offering $3,500 shoes, trendy restaurants offering items like hot dogs with "heirloom baked beans," and places like an "'eco-friendly bar' made of recycled oak floorboards from an old dairy farm" take their places. While some publications are truly deeply madly in love with the Barclays Center, the Times resists hopping on any bandwagons, and downplays the risk of disruptive Nets fans spilling onto residential streets by noting "victories have been few and far between for the long-struggling franchise."
For all of its winking fun, however, the Times does point out that the neighborhood around the Atlantic Yards is walking a tightrope between bemoaning rapid change and getting caught in the doldrums of protracted development. Massive plans that were meant to utterly transform the Atlantic Yards over 10 years are now projected to take 25 years, forcing residents to "tolerate vacant lots, above-ground arena parking and Phase II construction staging for decades."
· Sitting Tight and Pretty [Curbed]
· Brian Williams Hails The New York Times For Discovering Brooklyn [Racked]
· Brooklyn Barclays Center Sends Ratner, Daily News Into Frenzy [NYMag]
· Atlantic Yards coverage [Curbed]