the follow-up

The Last Week in Minor Misunderstandings



We wouldn’t go so far as to say we’ve been wrong. But, by the same token, there have been a few times in the last seven days we weren’t entirely right. How so? Well, we’ve got a Brooklyn border dispute, a misreading of what we’d call a confusingly written article, and a perhaps overbroad — but, still, we’ll insist, substantively correct — critique of some recent media criticism. We’ll explain after the jump.

1. Where Does Park Slope End?
If one looks at the maps of the “Historical Park Slope” hung around Stroller Central, the enclave’s western edge falls along Fifth Avenue. If one listens to a real-estate broker, the neighborhood ends in the middle of the Gowanus Canal. We find both definitions too stringent in their own ways, but when a Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn press release referred to Atlantic Yards as a “Prospect Heights and Park Slope project,” we questioned what creative interpretation would put Ratner’s megaproject in the gruppy nabe. Several reader e-mails later, we learned that Goldstein and Co. were referring to “Site V,” a lot currently housing a spectacularly ugly PC Richards. The lot, which makes up a tiny sliver of the project, is on the north side of Flatbush between Fifth and Fourth Avenues, which places it outside traditional Slope but within broker-Slope.
Verdict: The DDDB release squeaks by on the merest of technicalities. Yes, the project touches — barely touches — the Slope. But we still think calling Atlantic Yards a “Park Slope project” is like calling Alwaleed Bin Talal a New Yorker because he owns property here.

2. To Live or Work in New York?
We managed to misread a Post article that, as a reader wrote in, was “written on perhaps a third-grade level at best.” The paper was comparing weekly wages borough by borough; Manhattan came out on top with almost twice the national average, but the big surprise was Queens — the only other borough with above-average stats. The numbers, however, referred not to people living in each borough, as we’d thought, but to people working there. Which explains why Brooklyn came in dead last: Domino Sugar just isn’t hiring much these days.
Verdict: We screwed up.

3. Too Hard on Carr?
When the New York Observer went tabloid (remember where you were that day? no? dude, it was like a week ago), Timesman David Carr eulogized the earlier iteration of the salmon paper. We found the 700-word lament a bit soupy and tweaked Carr for “never once mentioning changing financial pressures or business models.” As the writer himself was quick to point out, he had included the following caveat: “It is of course too facile to say that something should always stay as it is, and The Observer was already being squeezed by the market.”
Verdict: Was it a trenchant business analysis from the usually trenchant media-business columnist? Not so much. But it did, technically, “mention” financial pressures. Our bad, Carpetbagger.

Bruce Ratner Swings His Ball
Manhattan Is in the Money; Brooklyn Isn’t So Much
Who Moved David Carr’s ‘Observer’?

The Last Week in Minor Misunderstandings