January 17, 2009
If Markowitz is remembered for nothing else, he will be for Atlantic Yards, the multi-building project that is still scheduled to one day stand here, centered on an arena for the relocated Nets. Deservedly so: bringing a professional basketball team to Brooklyn was an idea that Markowitz first proposed on the campaign trail in 2001, and, the story goes, shortly after winning he convinced Bruce Ratner to buy the Nets for the purpose of moving them to a new home built over the old rail yards along Atlantic Avenue.
He is clearly annoyed by the people who fought the project through the flush years when construction would have been easier, and stands by the old talking points—that it would spur economic development, bring pride to Brooklyn, create 1,000 units of affordable housing and be a home for events even as significant as a Democratic Convention—which come to him as easily now as they ever did, though not with the same enthusiasm he once had.
NoLandGrab: Okay, so Atlantic Yards is not proposed to be "over the railyards," the article is an interesting read, especially since the author was "Executive Editor" of Ratner rag, the Brooklyn Standard.
The profile raises a lot of questions, and they turn back, in a way, to Atlantic Yards. Brooklyn, arena supporters say, needs a team to be major league, though Oklahoma City, which has a team, surely is no Brooklyn.
Brooklyn could use a borough-wide daily newspaper, too. And a political system that would give the borough some more autonomy, leading to a BP with real clout, accountability, and a willingness to withstand vigorous political challenge.
Instead we get an energetic, entertaining, and enigmatic "visible symbol," who manages to be "on the block"(as his promotional publication Brooklyn!! puts it) a heck of a lot. At one point that was enough, but the increasingly testy Markowitz, who's "not at the table," has endured long enough to experience the limits of his position.
Posted by amy at January 17, 2009 10:28 AM