The Highbrow Case for Atlantic YardsFor 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]
in other news
The Most Misguided Reaction to September 11 (Since Invading Iraq)Presented without further comment from this week’s Entertainment Weekly, about the forthcoming Die Hard 4:
When Bruce Willis and his longtime producing partner, Arnold Rifkin, were marooned in Manhattan on September 11, the two took a somber walk down a muted Park Avenue. Along the way, a young fan spotted Willis and shouted, “Where is John McClane when you need him?!” “What I realized,” says Rifkin, “is people wanted to see John McClane again.”
— Ben Mathis-Lilley
‘Cash Cab’ Host Ben Bailey Experimented With Sushi, Didn’t Like ItName: Ben Bailey
Job: Comedian and host of the Discovery Channel’s Cash Cab, where passengers answer trivia questions for money during their ride.
Neighborhood: Battery Park City
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
There are too many great meals to pick one out. We are so spoiled; everything is great. I recently gave sushi another chance at Japonais, and I loved it. I also had a great filet there. I tried sushi once before, and it was bad. Literally bad. It ruined sushi for me for almost a decade, which is tragic.
Ellen Willis Memorial Brings Diverse, Laughing CrowdThere was a memorial service Sunday afternoon for Ellen Willis, the freewheeling essayist, rock critic, and radical feminist who died Thursday, and it filled Riverside Memorial Chapel on the Upper West Side with 500 mourners — from bearded hipsters and bohemian, black-clad women to old men in yarmulkes to fresh-faced students from NYU, where Willis was a journalism professor and founder of its Cultural Reporting and Criticism program. Willis’ husband, Stanley Aronowitz, a CUNY professor and the Green Party’s candidate for governor of New York in 2002, spoke, as did her 22-year-old daughter, Nona Willis-Aronowitz, and several others — all bringing loud bursts of laughter on the somber occasion.