While Forest City Ratner has yet to deliver affordable housing the immediate area surrounding Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, they did manage to build what is surely the only open-to-the-public meditation room in an NBA arena. Though the New York Times’ Andrew Keh claims the room has few, if any visitors, he credits it’s existential existence to the Reverend Herbert Daugherty, “a Brooklyn pastor who has long been one of Atlantic Yards’ most ardent supporters.”
“Life is more than stone and steel and stuff,” said Mr. Daughtry, who heads the House of the Lord Pentecostal Church. “It’s about values, decency, fairness, trying to teach people that there’s more to life than materialism.”
Mr. Daughtry’s opponents argue that he has been co-opted by Forest City, and they point to the group he founded, the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance, which was seeded with $50,000 from the developer. Mr. Daughtry’s family members oversee other programs that the developer funds to benefit the community. One of Mr. Daughtry’s daughters is in charge of distributing dozens of free tickets for each Nets game. Another daughter will run the arena’s community events program. His wife picked out the meditation room’s furnishings.
Mr. Daughtry said he was used to being criticized as “a sellout,” but he has taken a pragmatic approach. “Can you imagine all this is happening three or four blocks from my church, and all I had done was criticize from the side?” he said. “And my members and children are asking: ‘Can we get tickets? What happened? Why aren’t you involved?’ ”
A fan wearing a Nets shirt said he had seen a sign on the concourse for the meditation room but had never bothered to see what it was. The fan, who gave his name only as Sayani, said he did not think he ever would.
“The only time I would have used it was the game we blew to Toronto, when Deron Williams made that stupid pass into the backcourt,” said the fan, a manager at a nearby P. C. Richard & Son store. “Then I would have needed to meditate.”
Unless and until Blackie Lawless’ Segway hits the auction block, Chris Holmes’ 1987 Firebird might the ultimate item to complete your W*A*S*P-related methods-of-transportation memorabilia collection. Snap it up now, before some wealthy W*A*S*P fan drops it in the parking lot of the Experience Music Project.
(this entire post is just a lousy cheap excuse to post the above video…again)
CNNMoney’s Chris Isidore reports that purveyors of toxic, pseudo-Italian grub SBARRO are well and truly fucked. If you were here right now, I’d high five you so fucking hard you’d need a mechanical claw to place your next pizza order.
In a statement Monday the chain said the bankruptcy filing is a pre-packaged plan, which means that it has already agreed on a reorganization plan with creditors that hold 98% of the company’s debt. That should allow it to quickly shed an estimated $140 million in debt, and emerge from bankruptcy as a healthier company.In February, the company announced it was closing 155 company-owned restaurants in the United States, effective immediately. That left it with 220 U.S. locations and more than 600 other locations owned by franchise operators in 40 different countries.
Sbarro is best known for locations in airports, malls, train stations and highway rest stops — high traffic locations with limited direct competition from other pizza chains.
Why should jello shot emporiums that don’t lift a finger to support interesting live music 51 weeks a year be the only ones to cash in on SXSW? Depending on how much you can bench press, here’s your big chance, too.
Film director/Knicks superfan Spike Lee is certainly not above reproach ; if you paid an admission price of any sort for “Girl 6″, you know what I’m talking about. But if seems that Lee’s wealth and celebrity status have caused some to sneer at his recent diatribe against the creeping Vice-ification of his beloved Brooklyn (“we had the crystal ball, motherfuckin’ Do the Right Thing with John Savage’s character, when he rolled his bike over Buggin’ Out’s sneaker. I wrote that script in 1988. He was the first one. How you walking around Brooklyn with a Larry Bird jersey on? You can’t do that. Not in Bed Stuy”).
People didn’t like that Lee was angry and had used the word “fuck” several times in what was now being called his “rant.” They called him “arrogant,” a word that has “uppity” as one of its synonyms. They didn’t like that he, like television’s George and Louise Jefferson before him, had “moved on up” to the East Side, to a deluxe apartment in the sky, as the song goes. He was a wealthy hypocrite, people argued. He had too many multi-million-dollar properties. He had abandoned Brooklyn, and didn’t deserve to defend it. In an op-ed for the Daily News, Errol Louis made some good points about Spike’s own role in the gentrification of Fort Greene, including his flipping of several properties and the marketing of a rather tacky “Absolut Brooklyn” vodka. There were definitely some conflicts there that Spike did not address, and should have; however, that omission does not fully explain the violent backlash he received, and the fierce pro-gentrification cries that swirled around him. After all, plenty of other financially successful New York artists have railed against gentrification—David Byrne of Talking Heads, whose net worth is $45 million, even used the word “fuck” in his rant against the rich–and they didn’t get such backlash. But they weren’t black people expressing anger about white people.
As the online comment threads about Spike Lee lengthened, growing more contentious, the conversation began to crack. The neoliberal façade that hides the true face of today’s brand of gentrification fell away like a veil. Several people began to make statements like (I’m paraphrasing here): “I’m white and I helped make the neighborhood nicer,” and “White people were here first,” and “Black people pushed out the white people and now the whites are just coming back,” as well as, “I’m white and I’ll live wherever I want.” Said another (not paraphrasing), “Making a neighborhood that was once nice, nice again is not gentrification. It’s restoration.”
Who amongst us doesn’t remember the pre-internet / before-we’d-heard-of-dirtsheets era in which Mean Gene Okerlund was greatly enriched by 1-900 lines that didn’t exactly reveal the greatest scoops of all-time? Of course not, you’re not 100 years old! The good news is that Austin, TX based Inspire Pro Wrestling remember these days of insane phone bills and intense salesmanship, and they’ve dragged an otherwise moribund medium into the modern era :
LandlordsNY, sadly not a Gotham tribute to wonderful members of the Happy Flowers family tree, but instead a property owners/managers organization, has been forced to ditch plans for a symposium at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The venue pulled the plug after learning public protests were planned over the event’s chosen keynote speaker…who just happens to be the guy who built the building. From The Real Deal’s Katherine Clarke :
“Barclays Center has called to let us know they can no longer host our event due to threats by one or two tenant related groups protesting Mr. Bruce Ratner, whom was slated to be our keynote speaker,” said J’Nell Simmons, executive director of LandlordsNY, in the note. “They are concerned of the negative press it will bring them and Mr. Ratner, and thus feel they can no longer host the property management symposium.”
Tenant groups including the Fifth Avenue Committee, Make the Road and Met Council on Housing were slated to protest outside the Barclay’s Center on the day of the event, Fifth Avenue Committee director of organizing and advocacy Jackie Del Valle told The Real Deal.
“The building of [Atlantic Yards] has caused extreme displacement and rising rents in the neighborhoods around it,” Del Valle said. “There’s been a ton of public money given to this but no government oversight and the promised affordable housing has not been built.”
“He’s going to be teaching best practices when it seems like the best practices have been going into communities, pushing out long-term tenants and building luxury condos? New York City has become like the homeless capital of the world in the last few years and we needed to get out the word that tenants aren’t happy. We needed to school landlords on these facts of displacement.”
37-year-old Graham Fahey of Brooklyn waited too long to buy tickets for a pair of sold-out New York concerts scheduled for April. He thought he had a trick up his sleeve to get in: a rocket tattoo on his left forearm. Alas, when he reached the band’s management to ask, he learned he would need a ticket—tattooed or not.
John Reis, Rocket from the Crypt’s lead singer and songwriter, says the band, which combines blaring horns with densely layered guitars, is both befuddled and flattered by the number of fans who have its tattoo. Though the band wasn’t pushing fans to get tattoos just to get into shows, “we kinda created this thing where we don’t want to renege on what people think the deal is,” he says.
“It got a little out of hand,” says Mike Stobbe, a San Diego tattoo artist who inked the band members. Mr. Stobbe estimates he has tattooed “a couple hundred” fans, and still fields the occasional request. “It’s hard to have a guest list of that magnitude,” he says.
As it prepared last year for its first shows in eight years, the band was preoccupied with other matters. Its saxophone player needed a saxophone, for instance. “We really didn’t think about it,” says Mr. Reis, 44. “We were more surprised that we were playing again.”
That Ezra Levant is an unabashed shill for the Canadian oil industry is well established ; the lawyer/lobbyist turned TV pundit authored 2010′s “Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands”, essentially a 260 page love letter to, uh, the Canadian oil industry. So with that history in mind, it should come as little surprise Levant spends nearly 17 minutes on an extensive character obliteration of oil sands development opponent Neil Young.
The stand, purchased from an Isle of Wight seller for £5,500, has been taken apart and will be brought on a truck to the town, 10 miles south of Colchester, and put up on Friday in time for the weekend’s game, which is being billed as the biggest in the club’s history.
Brightlingsea, who attract more than 100 spectators a game, were promoted to the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, the ninth tier, last season.
Their North Road ground has a 50-seat stand, but the club need to increase that to 100 by the end of March to meet league requirements.
The new stand takes their seating capacity to 157, which will also satisfy the standards of the league above, should the R’s, who are currently sixth in the table, win promotion again.
Philly Mag’s Dan McQuade is careful to stress the above vehicle is almost certainly not Michael Vick’s personal ride. I’m not sure what the exact tip-off was, but perhaps the absence of an “I’d Rather Be Slaughtering Innocent Creatures” bumper sticker made it a little too obvious.
Best known for his many “close, personal friends” in the sports community, Hartman has been a fixture of Minnesota sports journalism for nearly 70 years. According to Estate Sales, he will attend Saturday’s sale at 10 a.m. for about two hours to sign autographs for those who make purchases.
Hartman is selling clothes such as suits, shirts, pants, and shoes. He’ll also be selling autographed copies of books he authored and bobblehead dolls, according to Estate Sales Minnesota.
Dana Arvidson, owner of Estate Sales Minnesota, told Twin Cities Business that estate sales usually take place when a family member has died or someone is moving into a smaller home or apartment. However, she said Hartman’s sale is designed simply to unload his excess clothing and he isn’t planning a move.
“Do you realize there are more people in America who play chess than tennis and golf combined?” Mr. Paulson said minutes into our first conversation, in an enthusiastic burst that made it seem irrelevant whether chess is, in fact, more popular. “Who would’ve thought people would be watching golf on TV, and, yet, they are. And all of India is watching cricket on TV. The only thing more boring than cricket is golf!”
Mr. Paulson, who lives in London, has a good idea of what India is watching because he parked himself there for several months in advance of the chess world championship, which was decided on Friday in Chennai. The victor was Magnus Carlsen, a handsome and personable 22-year-old from Norway who made a Cosmopolitan magazine list of the sexiest men of 2013. To Mr. Paulson, Mr. Carlsen is “a sea change in the history of chess, who gives us the opportunity to reveal the individual of chess players rather than their introverted inscrutability.”
The thing is, although people are listening to Mr. Paulson — and it’s hard not to — they aren’t yet doing much buying. In fact, he turned to India in part because his initial efforts in Europe to gain corporate sponsorship didn’t take. He faces many obstacles, like a governing chess body widely considered to be strange (putting it kindly), some top chess players who think that his efforts to popularize the sport are lowbrow, and the fact that he is promoting slow-motion entertainment in a world of short attention spans.
Lest you think there’s something dubious about Yao Family Wines, no less an authority than The Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker claims “the two Cabernets are actually brilliant, and the Reserve bottling ranks alongside just about anything made in Napa.”
Of course, until Vin Baker has published a review, it’s still early days for the former Rockets center’s vineyard.
(how did Clipper Darryl escape the rebranding discussion?)
While there’s no shortage of voices suggesting Daniel Snyder abandon the Redskins name, the LA Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth is, I believe, the first person to advise Donald Sterling to change the name of the Los Angeles Clippers. Calling the franchise, “a dysfunctional collection of Gilligans on the SS Minnow, from Benoit Benjamin to Wang ZhiZhi, with every other Olowokandi, Korolev and Closs in between,” Hoffarth proceeds to poll a number of NBA luminaries (including but not limited to Ralph Lawler, Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley) all of whom think, well, it’s a stupid idea. Eventually, however, Hoffarth found a great mind that thought alike in the skull of David E. Johnson, CEO of “crisis communications” experts, Strategic Vision.
“People will always think of the Clippers of the past, as the poor stepchild (next to the Lakers), because it’s too embedded in the public perception,” Johnson said.
“If I was giving them advice, I say make a clean break from that stereotype and re-introduce yourself. Establish your own brand DNA. Establish a new story to tell, a new vision of who you are, where you’re going. Sell your new rationale.
“Start by giving fans ownership of a new name by polling them. Find a local artist, or have a contest with kids, to develop a new logo. Even if they’re not fans of the team, they’ll get excited with this creative rebirth and rebranding process.
“We’ve seen this with tech companies, lifestyle companies. It’s working already in New Orleans. You sell it to ownership by showing how this is also a great way of merchandising, and you’ll see a great return on your investment. Put it in brisk terms.”
Should Wilpon and Katz — or Major League Baseball — push Cohen to sell his sliver of the Mets? Fay Vincent, a former baseball commissioner who is a securities lawyer, said of Cohen: “Don’t forget, there’s a big difference between the company being charged criminally and he being charged. At this moment, he hasn’t been nicked.”
But, he added: “Generally speaking, people in these situations come forward and say to the company: ‘What do you want me to do? I don’t want to embarrass you. You’ve got plenty of troubles as it is.’ And many times, the individual will leave.”
That may not be so easy at Citi Field. The limited partners have agreed not to sell their shares for three years — or until around March 2015 — and to offer them to existing partners first. Given the debt-filled recent history of the Mets, it is unlikely that Wilpon has $20 million lying around to return to Cohen as the team seeks, in the weeks ahead, to sign some free agents with the money now coming off its payroll. Other minority partners, like the comedian Bill Maher, may not be willing to finance Cohen’s exit.
And if his stake were then offered to outside bidders, how many people these days want to invest tens of millions in the Mets?
“Imagine if the National Basketball Association partnered with EDM DJ/producers to create a next level marketing platform for the music, culture and progressive mainstream marketability of not just the league, but EDM culture and the longevity of the producers themselves?” That’s the horrifying fascinating hypothesis outlined by Do Androids Dance?’s Marcus Dowling, who while quick to note Rony Seikaly’s second act as a deep house DJ, argues, “the interplay between music and the NBA has existed but been not capitalized upon in a commercially beneficial and progressive manner.”
“In this ideal scenario I have hand-picked franchises that have always or are currently showing an eye towards progressive ideologies, or, are located in cities wherein the tie between progressive idealism and electronic dance music is at a fever pitch. The DJ/producers involved? Even simpler. It’s a mix of top and rising names who are not currently affiliated with any one label in particular, and as well are closely affiliated with/grew up in that city, or are from within a 250 mile radius. The teams and producers that in my estimation would be incredible in the inaugural two-year run of the ideal scenario are as follows:
Miami Heat – GTA Chicago Bulls – Flosstradamus(above) Toronto Raptors – Wondagurl Brooklyn Nets – Cousin Cole New York Knicks – Baauer Dallas Mavericks – Peligrosa Los Angeles Clippers – TOKiMONSTA Golden State Warriors – Nanosaur Phoenix Suns – AZ Gunslingaz Washington Wizards – Alex Young