Sunday, May 17, 2009

The First Pick & A Last Resort?

Wow! It's MAY and there's a TWO PAGE spread in Newsday today by our favorite beat-writer, Greg Logan. Our NY Islanders normally would not even get a mention in the reader rant section at this time of year so permeated by Baseball and local High School sports.

But that first overall draft pick has changed all of that. The NY Islanders and GM Garth Snow show up in almost every media outlet that has any article even remotely mentioning hockey. Yes, the choice on June 26th is THAT BIG. The prize for being the biggest loser is being the biggest winner on a Friday evening in June.

Greg presents all the possible scenarios to those of us who know them well and those who never take their eyes off the baseball scores and have never visited a hockey blog site. It'll be 40 days and 40 nights of "WWGD"; What Will Garth Do? But don't try to ask him, you won't get an answer. He's saving it for the surprise party at the Coliseum.

"Going back to Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn? Going back to Brooklyn? Uh, no. I don't think so."

I was going to resist writing what every one and their blogging brother covered yesterday in the news that Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project is getting closer to becoming reality, but then I saw the article in Newsday's sports pages.

Hey, is Ratner the Ratner from the Kosher food conglomerate? Okay, I digress. But something struck me in the Newsday article. I'm not very familiar with the project design, so when I read the size of the project I was a little surprised.

Ratner is proposing a 22-acre $4-billion development that will include 6,000 apartments. Wait, read that number again. SIX THOUSAND apartments. Okay, I know it's Brooklyn, but doesn't that seem like an awful LOT of apartments on a development that's an exceptionally small amount of acreage that is also going to contain a 20,000 seat arena and commercial real-estate.

Originally, the plan called for almost 9,000 residential units that would make it more densely populated than Manhattan. I guess they pared it down to the 6,000 units since 2006. But still, 2,250 of those 6,000 apartments will be for "low and middle income families." That is 1/3 of the residential space. Seems like a lot to me.

As the LighthouseLI Project has their watchdog blogger, this Atlantic Yards project has it's own. The writing is very interesting, the problems facing the developer are real, the questions pending are enormous.

One large difference between the Atlantic Yards project and the LighthouseLI Project -- Eminent domain. How many people are losing their property for this project? How many field mice would be displaced in Uniondale?

If Brooklyn is the last resort of where to move the Islanders, I say -- Bye, Bye. I grew up in Brooklyn on Avenue K and Ocean Parkway. It took five years and speech therapy classes to lose the Brooklynese accent. It still comes out when I drink too much. But this very east end suburban housewife won't be travelling to Brooklyn to watch hockey games with any regularity. Maybe I'd go about as often as I go to Yankee games: once a season.

No, the more I read about other development projects, the more I don't understand the debate on the Lighthouse*. There is more property with less density and no condemnation. I just don't GET IT!!!!!

*As an aside: While watching Sunday morning television, there was a story about the Eiffel Tower and it mentioned that someone brought a lawsuit against it that delayed the building. That's the freakin' EIFFEL Tower, the icon that defines Paris, and some NIMBY was against it. No wonder we can't get the Lighthouse LI done! People have been non-progressive thinkers as far back as 1889. What would Paris be without that monumental structure???? The capital of Croissants? What will Nassau County be without the Lighthouse? Um... ummm.... give me a minute... I'm thinking...


Oliver said...

First and foremost let me state that I am a strong supporter of the Lighthouse LI project because something needs to be done to transform that asphalt paved embarrassment outside of the NVMC into a vibrant part of LI and the the mixed use development proposed by Wang and Rechler makes the most sense.
However should that not come to pass and the Isles end up moving further west on the Island the cost of a train ticket on the LIRR is about $10 less going to Brooklyn then it would be to Willets point with the additional benefit being that our fans could just walk upstairs into the arena versus either walking several city blocks from the Mets-Willets Point stop on the Port Washington Branch of the LIRR or paying additional money to catch a local bus or cab. Neither location will be someplace you will want to drive to as the traffic will be an absolute nightmare.
Thus if I were given the choice of Brooklyn over Queens I would choose the former.

Travelchic59 said...

Brooklyn or Queens both work for me. Mass transit to both. Kind of helps out the environment, too. Less cars on the road. Love it.

Or would you prefer Kansas City? I don't think you'd like that commute either. LOL!