The Highbrow Case for Atlantic Yards

For some time now, it's seemed that the richer, whiter parts of Brooklyn were opposed to Bruce Ratner's gargantuan Atlantic Yards project, while the poorer, minoritier parts were in favor. The development, including lots of market-rate housing, some below-market housing, and a future Brooklyn Nets stadium, has always attracted a weirdly disconnected array of reactions: Most blue-collar local residents welcomed it (more jobs, retail, etc.), while highbrow liberals — looking out for the people! — were aghast. (Entitled NIMBYism? Wishful suckerism? Who knows.) Was it possible, then, to be a pro-Yards guilty intellectual? Yes! Acceptance is just another twist of pretzel logic away, as demonstrated by the contrarian post-ironists at n+1. The stadium, writes Jonathan Liu, is a great idea precisely because it's all wrong for the borough. It's our ossified idea of what's right for the borough (brownstones, more brownstones) that's the problem, he says. Or something.

Whatever he's saying, it seems Atlantic Yards has — finally! — reached the "Backlash to the Backlash" point on our Undulating Curve.

A Sporting Chance [n+1]
Mr. Ratner's Neighborhood [New York Magazine]