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January 13, 2008

Rereading the AY court decision: could "Shoot the Freak" also be a "civic project"?

shootthefreak.jpg

Atlantic Yards Report

Let's take another look at one of the central challenges to the Atlantic Yards environmental review dismissed Friday by state Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden, the issue of whether Atlantic Yards would, in fact be a "civic project," defined as a "project or that portion of a multi-purpose project designed and intended for the purpose of providing facilities for educational, cultural, recreational, community, municipal, public service or other civic purposes.”
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Madden concluded that going to a basketball game is "recreational" under the Urban Development Corporation Act (UDCA). But that conclusion strains logic, since almost anything could be "recreational" under her analysis.
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While it might be reasonable to think that "recreational" meant opportunities for active recreation, let's take Madden at her word and consider what other forms of amusement today might qualify as "recreational" and thus be eligible, at least theoretically, to serve as "civic projects."

How about Freddy's Bar & Backroom, slated to be demolished for Atlantic Yards? Or, perhaps Privilege New York, home of the lap dance? Or, finally, a venue where spectatorship, participation, and mob psychology meld, a downscale Brooklyn classic beloved even by patrician Department of City Planning Chair Amanda Burden: Coney Island's Shoot the Freak.

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NoLandGrab: The most 'civic' of these amusements would be Freddy's Backroom, as it is always free.

Posted by amy at January 13, 2008 10:26 AM