Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

How do you like Houston St. these days?

In under ten years it's been transformed from a big thoroughfare with lots of little shops to a glittering, soulless arcade lined with giant billboards. A smaller version of Times Square.

Well hellooooooooo, Brooklyn!

[N]ew state renderings ... show 15-story illuminated advertising billboards on either side of the development’s main building.
Two 150-foot-tall illuminated billboards on either side of the “Urban Room” atrium at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues would constantly bathe “Brooklyn’s famed brownstones ... in the light from 15-story beer ads,” said Kevin Fry, [Scenic America's] president.

The billboards only came to light last week, as part of the state’s hurriedly prepared final environmental impact statement for the $4.2-billion project...

Such billboards are illegal under New York City zoning — but that law is one of many local codes being superceded by the state in its approval of Atlantic Yards.

It's not so bad, though. Bruce promises.

Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner has said that light from the signs would only be turned up to maximum settings on game nights.

And if you believe that makes a difference, I've got a bridge a dozen blocks away I'd like to sell you.

In further silly Ratner news:

Ratner stoop really blows

State officials revealed this week that the large outdoor flight of stairs — central feature of Bruce Ratner’s mega-development — will be too windy for sitting or dining 61 percent of the time.

The state wind impact report shows that gusts would frequently exceed seven miles per hour —the threshold for comfortable “leisure sitting” or “dining,” as the report defines it — thanks to new wind patterns resulting from Ratner’s $4.2-billion, 16-tower arena, hotel, residential and office complex.

The front stoop, the report said, is only suitable for standing and walking — despite Gehry’s renderings that show people sitting and dining at outdoor cafe tables at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

“[The stoop area has] the highest predicted wind speeds as a result of the canyon effect caused by the buildings on either side,” the report said.

Okay, make that a cross between Times Square and the UN complex. Best. Urban Renewal project. EVAR!

UPDATE: In other news, Norman Oder reports that In 15 minutes, four ESDC board members approve AY project:

Yes, it was rubberstamped. Even though Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) Chairman Charles Gargano had said in a radio interview Thursday that “it’ll be up to the board members to vote yes or no” on the Atlantic Yards project, the press release had already been prepared when the 3:30 pm board meeting began yesterday.

My precious illusions, they are dashed.


  • At 12:35 PM, Blogger onNYTurf said…

    I told you, that's not an "Urban Room", its a damn catapult, if a tricked out one. Jay-Z's gonna have the most pimped catapult of all time - we all better step off!

  • At 5:23 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    I thought Jay-Z was planning to live at the top of the Williamsburg Bank building.


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