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April 8, 2008

Ratner, the deputy mayor, the "Wild Card" BP, and the conversion of subsidies into philanthropy

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder ties up some loose ends in an analysis of last week's Brooklyn Museum annual gala, at which the honoree was Brooklyn's biggest developer, Bruce Ratner.

But no one at the demonstration outside recognized Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris, who was Mayor Mike Bloomberg's chief philanthropic advisor at Bloomberg, L.P., and her portfolio includes arts organizations.
Note that the "Schedule of Podium Remarks" (sent to me by an anonymous source) misspells Frank Gehry as "Ghery" and declares Markowitz, whose schedule is variable, as a "Wild Card."

NoLandGrab: "G-Hery?" Is that the starchitect's rapper name?

Indeed, the museum might have gotten more of a "Wild Card" than it expected when Markowitz's wife, Jamie Snow, scooped up eight valuable one-per-guest plexiglas placemats, as reported by Radar and the Daily News. (Note Radar's follow-up.)
Hmm--if the Murakami placemats are indeed worth $500-$1000 each (here's an eBay sale), and attendees at the ball paid $1000 a plate, do they get a full tax deduction? Did the Museum deduct the value of their swag from their tickets?

Hmm... that might explain why Jamie Snow and Marty Markowitz are now saying that the placemats Snow snagged will be auctioned off to raise funds for Camp Friendship, lest she should have to pay taxes on her booty.

What happens if you keep following the money?

Given that the developer relies crucially on public funding, it's a lot easier to spread the wealth.

In many ways, we may be paying for the philanthropy. Kawaii, indeed. [aka, "Kawaii ne!"]


Posted by lumi at April 8, 2008 5:21 AM