Markowitz Dreams of Atlantic Yards

atlanticyards 5 Markowitz Dreams of Atlantic YardsWe got a copy of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s State of the Borough address, given yesterday at the Brooklyn Cruise Ship Terminal. Mr. Markowitz imagined out loud a bustling downtown Brooklyn, one that includes a completed Atlantic Yards project:

WITH THE 4TH LARGEST POPULATION IN AMERICA, BROOKLYN DESERVES A SIZZLING, MODERN, MIXED-USE DOWNTOWN THAT CAN PROVIDE LOCAL RETAIL AND CULTURAL AMENITIES WHILE ALSO ATTRACTING REGIONAL INVESTMENT.

WITH THE RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION ALREADY COMING ONLINE, IT’S GETTING EASIER EVERY DAY TO ENVISION NEW RESIDENTS FEEDING THE THRIVING CULTURAL AND THEATER DISTRICT IN THE CORRIDOR LINKING BAM TO DOWNTOWN —
SHOPPING IN A 21ST-CENTURY ENVIRONMENT IN A REVITALIZED FULTON MALL —
WALKING OR BIKING UP A SPRUCED-UP FLATBUSH AVENUE TO VISIT FRIENDS LIVING AT ATLANTIC YARDS —
OR GOING TO CHECK OUT A BROOKLYN NETS GAME AT THE BARCLAYS CENTER!
(HEY, THE NETS MAY BE LOSING THIS YEAR, BUT REMEMBER, THEY’RE NOT A BROOKLYN TEAM YET.
IT’S NOT JUST WHO LIVES AND WORKS DOWNTOWN THAT COUNTS ¾ IT’S WHO BUILDS IT AND HOW WE BUILD.

 

The complete address is below:

 

 

 

THANK YOU.

WELCOME TO THE BROOKLYN CRUISE SHIP TERMINAL

HOME TO THE BEAUTIFUL QUEEN MARY 2 AND CROWN PRINCESS, AND A SHINING EXAMPLE OF WHY BROOKLYN IS BACK ON THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL MAP, WITH GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY WORKING TOGETHER TO REVITALIZE OUR WATERFRONT, CREATE JOBS, AND BOOST OUR BOROUGH’S ECONOMY AS THE WORLD’S TOURISTS SPEND THEIR EUROS AND POUNDS AT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES.

HEY, AT LEAST SOMEONE THINKS BROOKLYN’S REAL ESTATE PRICES ARE A BARGAIN!

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU TO THE PORT AUTHORITY AND MICHAEL DEVENEY AND TO THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND DAVID ALVAREZ FOR THE CHANCE TO SHOWCASE ONE OF BROOKLYN’S NEWEST PREMIERE EVENT SPACES.

AND THANKS TO OUR RECEPTION SPONSORS CUNARD, PRINCESS CRUISES, CERES STEVEDORES, CRUISELINK TWO, AND MICHAEL STAPLETON ASSOCIATES.

 

I ALSO WANT TO THANK Preferred Health Partners AND DR. MARTIN VALDEZ FOR SPONSORING OUR ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT.

AND OF COURSE I WANT TO COMMEND ALL OF THIS EVENING’S WONDERFUL PERFORMERS.

 

YOU KNOW, LAST YEAR MY STATE OF THE BOROUGH ADDRESS WAS NEARLY UPSTAGED BEFORE IT STARTED WHEN SPEAKER CHRISTINE QUINN AND THE CITY COUNCIL’S BROOKLYN DELEGATION “SERENADED” ME WITH A MARTY-IZED VERSION OF THE SONG “MY FAVORITE THINGS.”

BESIDES THE FACT THAT THE DELEGATION MIGHT HAVE CONSIDERED “DELEGATING” SOME OF ITS SINGING DUTIES, IT WAS A TRULY HEART-WARMING GESTURE THAT I’M CERTAIN WILL NEVER BE—WELL—EQUALED.

AND FOR THOSE ELECTED OFFICIALS SEEKING RE-ELECTION OR HIGHER OFFICE IN 2009, I CAN TELL YOU THAT THERE’S A YOU TUBE VIDEO ON THE INTERNET RIGHT NOW THAT THE REPORTERS IN ATTENDANCE TONIGHT SHOULD DEFINITELY SEEK OUT.

 

BUT SERIOUSLY, THIS IS MY SIXTH STATE OF THE BOROUGH ADDRESS, AND EVERY YEAR I TRY TO FIND A WAY TO KEEP THE SPOTLIGHT ON BROOKLYN, AND THE TWO AND A HALF MILLION BROOKLYNITES WHO LIVE, WORK, AND PLAY HERE EVERY DAY TO MAKE IT THE GREATEST CITY IN AMERICA, HANDS DOWN.

 

THAT’S WHY WE CREATED THE VIDEO YOU SAW EARLIER, TO SHOW JUST A FEW OF THE RESIDENTS THAT MAKE OUR BOROUGH AND CITY UNIQUE, AND A BEACON OF HOPE FOR THOSE WHO STRUGGLE FOR A BETTER LIFE AROUND THE WORLD.

SO I’D LIKE TO ASK THE STARS OF OUR VIDEO TO PLEASE STAND AND BE RECOGNIZED.

 

IT IS BROOKLYNITES LIKE YOU DOING EXTRAORDINARY THINGS WHO MAKE OUR CITY WORK, MAKE IT SAFE, MAKE IT UNIQUE—

FROM ELECTED OFFICIALS, COMMUNITY BOARDS, AND PUBLIC AGENCIES PROVIDING QUALITY SOCIAL SERVICES —

TO SCHOOLS, SMALL BUSINESSES, BLOCK ASSOCIATIONS, AND COMMUNITIES OF FAITH KEEPING OUR NEIGHBORHOODS SAFE AND STRONG —

TO CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS, NON-PROFITS, AND INDIVIDUAL FAMILIES WHO GIVE US THAT DISTINCTIVE FLAVOR AND SWAGGER THAT SAYS “ONLY IN BROOKLYN.”

 

 

 

 

IT IS ON THAT NOTE THAT I WANT TO EXPRESS MY DEEP GRATITUDE TO MY PARTNER IN GOVERNMENT, DEPUTY BOROUGH PRESIDENT YVONNE GRAHAM, FOR WORKING SIDE BY SIDE WITH ME EVERY DAY AT BOROUGH HALL TO BRING ABOUT THE KIND OF CHANGE THAT EMPOWERS EVERY RESIDENT AND COMMUNITY TO SHARE IN THE BROOKLYN RENAISSANCE.

YVONNE, BROOKLYN THANKS YOU FOR ALL YOU DO.

 

I AM GRATEFUL AS WELL FOR ALL THAT SPEAKER CHRISTINE QUINN DOES FOR OUR RESIDENTS ¾

INCLUDING THE WAY SHE SPOKE OUT SO POWERFULLY ON RECENT HATE CRIMES IN BROOKLYN, AND HER OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP AS COUNCIL SPEAKER.

SHE MAY BE FROM THE “OUTER BOROUGH” OF MANHATTAN ¾

BUT CHRISTINE, TONIGHT YVONNE AND I HEREBY BESTOW A BOROUGH PRESIDENT’S HIGH
EST HONOR—BY DEEMING YOU AN HONORARY BROOKLYNITE!

 

AND NOW I WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME A VERY SPECIAL GUEST—A LIFELONG NEW YORKER WE ARE TRULY BLESSED TO HAVE ON BROOKLYN’S SIDE.

WE APPLAUD HIS RECORD OF CANDOR AND COMMITMENT—ESPECIALLY HIS PERSISTENCE IN GOING TOE-TO-TOE WITH THE FORCES OF STAGNATION IN ALBANY, WHICH I KNOW FIRST-HAND AFTER 23 YEARS IN THE STATE SENATE CAN BE A HARD PLACE TO CREATE REAL PROGRESS.

YOU MIGHT NOT REALIZE IT AT FIRST, BUT GOVERNOR ELIOT SPITZER AND I HAVE A LOT IN COMMON ¾

HE’S TALL, SVELTE, AND ATHLETIC—JUST LIKE ME.

HE LIKES TO “STEAMROLL”¾I LIKE A GOOD KAISER ROLL.

HE WAS DUBBED THE “SHERIFF OF WALL STREET”¾ AND I’M BASICALLY THE “COMMISH OF THE KNISH.”

 

 

 

BUT WHAT WE REALLY SHARE IS CARING DEEPLY ABOUT THE WELL-BEING OF OUR CONSTITUENTS, AND DEVOTING EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY TO IMPROVING THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE.

AMONG THE MANY PROMISING INITIATIVES IN HIS RECENT “STATE OF THE STATE” ADDRESS WAS AN AMBITIOUS PLAN TO CONFRONT—AND HOPEFULLY “STEAMROLL”—ONE OF NEW YORK’S LONGEST-STANDING CHALLENGES ¾THE LACK OF NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

HE STRONGLY BELIEVES, AS I DO, THAT WE CANNOT LET NEW YORK CITY BECOME HOME TO ONLY THE VERY RICH AND THE VERY POOR, AND THAT IT IS GOVERNMENT’S MANDATE TO PREVENT THAT SCENARIO.

HE RECOGNIZES THAT OUR TEACHERS, OUR POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS, OUR HOSPITAL WORKERS, CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, RETAIL CLERKS AND SERVICE EMPLOYEES DESERVE TO AFFORD TO LIVE IN THE CITY THEY LOVE.

 

IT’S A TALL ORDER FOR SURE, BUT IF THERE WAS EVER AN ELECTED OFFICIAL WHO WASN’T SHORT ON AMBITION—OR SHORT ON ANYTHING FOR THAT MATTER—

IT IS NEW YORK’S GOVERNOR ELIOT SPITZER!

[SPITZER SPEAKS]

 

THANK YOU GOVERNOR SPITZER.

 

TONIGHT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE UNIQUE POWER—THE COLLECTIVE WISDOM, EXPERIENCE, AND IMAGINATION THAT IS AT THE CORE OF BROOKLYN’S DIVERSITY AND UNITY—THAT OUR BOROUGH HAS THE POTENTIAL TO SHARE WITH NEW YORK CITY AND AMERICA.

people together, not apart, is THE THEME OF TODAY’S brooklyn STORY.

 

WHEN IT COMES TO THE THINGS THAT BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER—

CREATIVITY, MUSIC, THE ARTS, FOOD AND RESTAURANTS, GREAT ARCHITECTURE, BEAUTIFUL PARKS AND BEACHES, SPORTS, NOT TO MENTION MOXIE, CHUTZPAH, AND STYLE ¾

WHAT IS NEW YORK’S HOTTEST, HIPPEST “BRAND”?

YOU BETTER BELIEVE — IT’S BROOKLYN, BABY!

THAT’S RIGHT, BROOKLYN IS A POWERFUL “BRAND” THAT CAPTURES THE POPULAR IMAGINATION LIKE FEW PLACES ANYWHERE.

SO WHEN PEOPLE SAY THAT I’M A “PITCH MAN” FOR THAT BRAND ¾ I SAY YOU’RE RIGHT, AND PROUD OF IT.

I LIKE TO THINK OF MYSELF THE WAY THE GREAT JAZZ TRUMPETER DIZZY GILLESPIE THOUGHT OF HIS DEAR FRIEND MAX ROACH—THE LEGENDARY DRUMMER, SOCIAL ACTIVIST, AND OF COURSE, LONGTIME BROOKLYNITE WHO PASSED AWAY LAST YEAR.

DIZZY ONCE SAID THAT MAX HAD “A LICK FOR THE SHTICK.”

IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME, JUST ASK THE BROOKLYN CYCLONES, WHO TOOK ME SO SERIOUSLY THAT THEY MADE ME INTO A BOBBLE-HEAD!

[image: bobblehead doll]

OR ASK THE DAILY NEWS, WHICH RECENTLY CALLED ME A KNUCKLEHEAD.

[image: knucklehead editorial]

BUT TRUTH BE TOLD, I’M HAPPY TO BE THE TALKING HEAD FOR BROOKLYN’S BODY AND SOUL!

 

THE WORLD IS FLOCKING TO BROOKLYN ¾ TO SEE HOW WE PLAN, HOW WE PRESERVE, HOW WE GROW AND HOW WE “GREEN.”

[Image: articles about Brooklyn]

MORE AND MORE EVERY DAY, THE INT
ERNATIONAL PRESS IS FAWNING OVER OUR RESTAURANTS, OUR HOTEL BOOM, OUR ETHNIC ENCLAVES, OUR DESIGN SCENE, OUR ROCK BANDS AND RAPPERS, OUR VIBRANT STREETS, OUR OUTDOOR ATTRACTIONS.

 

THEY COME BECAUSE THE BUZZ IS STILL HOT.

AND THEY COME WITH QUESTIONS ¾

WHAT IS IT ABOUT BROOKLYN THAT FEELS AUTHENTIC INSTEAD OF FORCED?

WHY DO NEW RESIDENTS KEEP FLOCKING HERE?

AND WHERE ON EARTH DID THEY GET ALL THOSE BEAUTIFUL BROWNSTONES!

 

THE ANSWER COMES DOWN TO HOW BROOKLYNITES DEFINE “QUALITY OF LIFE.”

[text; The Brooklyn Story: Quality of Life]

 

IN SOME PLACES, QUALITY OF LIFE MEANS GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL—OTHER PEOPLE, THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE, THE DAILY GRIND.

BUT IN BROOKLYN IT’S HOW WE LIVE SO CLOSE TOGETHER, HOW OUR CULTURES OVERLAP, AND HOW EXCITEMENT POPS UP ON EVERY CORNER AT ANY MOMENT THAT DEFINES THE BROOKLYN STORY.

AND WE SUPPORT THAT DIVERSITY AND DISTINCTIVENESS INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY.

WE ARE COMMITTED TO PROVIDING PUBLIC FUNDING FOR RESOURCES LIKE THE NEW L-G-B-T CENTER IN DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — WHICH WILL ADVOCATE FOR AND BRING TOGETHER OUR BOROUGH’S LESBIAN AND GAY RESIDENTS.

WE SUPPORT NEW INSTITUTIONS LIKE THE CARLOS LEZAMA CULTURAL CENTER IN CROWN HEIGHTS, CELEBRATING OUR RICH CARIBBEAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE, AND THE NEW ITALIAN COMMUNITY AND CULTURAL CENTER IN BENSONHURST.

BROOKLYN IS MANY THINGS TO MANY PEOPLE BUT I ASSURE YOU¾ BORING, NEVER!

 

IN SOME PLACES, QUALITY OF LIFE MIGHT MEAN TEACHING “ENGLISH ONLY” IN SCHOOL ¾ WITH A LITTLE SPANISH OR FRENCH IN HIGH SCHOOL.

BUT THE BROOKLYN STORY IS TOLD IN MANY LANGUAGES—136 AND COUNTING.

 

 

 

AND TO ENABLE OUR YOUNG PEOPLE TO SPEAK TO THE WORLD, OUR CHILDREN NEED TO “SPEAK BROOKLYN” ¾ RUSSIAN, CHINESE, ARABIC, FARSI, VIETNAMESE, HEBREW, AND THE MANY TONGUES OF AFRICA.

OPENING UP THESE DOORS WOULD TRANSLATE—LITERALLY—INTO NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR BROOKLYN’S CHILDREN OF THE GLOBE TO PURSUE CAREERS IN FIELDS LIKE DIPLOMACY AND FOREIGN SERVICE.

 

THAT’S WHY I SUPPORT THE OPENING OF THE KHALIL GIBRAN INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY ¾ AN ACCREDITED PUBLIC SCHOOL WITH A LANGUAGE PROGRAM IN ARABIC, STRUCTURED JUST LIKE ANY OTHER SECULAR ACADEMIC PROGRAM.

BECAUSE IN BROOKLYN WE KNOW THAT OUR KIDS NEED TO LEARN AS MUCH AS THEY CAN ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND US IN ORDER TO COMPETE ON THE GLOBAL STAGE.

 

AND FRANKLY, CULTIVATING ARABIC SPEAKERS IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE, AS OUR NATION DEEPLY NEEDS ARABIC SPEAKERS FOR ITS DIPLOMATIC AND NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE EFFORTS.

 

SPEAKING OF THE WORLD STAGE, I AM THRILLED TO HAVE TURKISH CONSUL GENERAL MEHMET SAMSAR HERE WITH US TONIGHT!

MERHABA, CONSUL GENERAL SAMSAR!

[Turkish Consul General stands]

I’M GLAD TO WELCOME YOU AND YOUR CHARMING WIFE FERUZA TO BROOKLYN, HOME TO AMERICA’S LARGEST TURKISH POPULATION.

[image: Turkish Trip photos]

IF I CAN EXTEND JUST A FRACTION OF THE HOSPITALITY AND GRACE THAT THE TURKISH PEOPLE SHOWED MY WIFE JAMIE AND I WHEN WE VISITED YOUR COUNTRY LAST YEAR ¾ THEN YOU WILL FEEL WARMLY WELCOMED INDEED!

 

BY THE WAY, I SPENT 12 DAYS IN TURKEY EATING BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER, AND DIDN’T GAIN A SINGLE POUND — YOU GOTTA LOVE A COUNTRY LIKE THAT!

[image on screen]

I AM also honored to welcome the Consul General of Italy in new york — Francesco Maria TALO — TO BROOKLYN, HOME TO THE LARGEST POPULATION OF ITALIAN-AMERICANS OUTSIDE ITALY — ESPECIALLY IF YOU INCLUDE OUR SUBURB OF STATEN ISLAND!

bENVENUTO!

[Italian Consul General stands]

 

MAINTAINING OUR STATUS AS “PROUD HOME TO EVERYONE FROM EVERYWHERE” IS CRUCIAL TO TELLING THE BROOKLYN STORY.

BUT LATELY, BROOKLYN HAS ALSO BECOME PROUD “HOST” TOO.

JUST AS OUR RESIDENTS HAIL FROM THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC — ISRAEL AND ISTANBUL ¾

FROM GHANA AND GUYANA ¾ CALABRIA AND COUNTY CORK FROM HAITI TO HONG KONG ¾ TOONA POONA TO TOO-LOOM —

FROM MICHIGAN, MAINE, AND EVEN THE EXOTIC ISLAND OF MANHATTAN ¾

VISITORS AND NEW RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO FLOOD INTO BROOKLYN.

 

[Text: The Brooklyn Story: We Welcome the World]

 

TOTAL BROOKLYN TOURISM INCREASED BY MORE THAN 10 PERCENT IN 2006, AND EVEN MORE LAST YEAR, INCLUDING A BIG JUMP FOR BROOKLYN’S TOP TEN TOURIST DESTINATIONS.

 

 

WE OWE THAT GROWTH TO MORE THAN OUR INNOVATIVE ARCHITECTURE, NATURAL BEAUTY, PANORAMIC VIEWS AND WORLD-FAMOUS HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS.

WE OWE IT TO THE BROOKLYNITES WHO STOOD BY THIS BOROUGH THROUGH ITS TOUGH TIMES, AND WHO POUR THEIR HEART AND SOUL INTO IMPROVING OUR COMMUNITIES, BLOCK BY BLOCK.

AND MORE TOURISTS MEANS MORE LOCAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES, WHICH MEANS MORE JOBS FOR BROOKLYNITES WHO NEED THEM.

 

FROM THE ARTISTS OF DUMBO TO THE MERCHANTS OF 13TH AVENUE IN BOROUGH PARK AND DYKER HEIGHTS.

FROM THE PIERCED AND TATTOOED ROCKERS ON BEDFORD AVENUE IN WILLIAMSBURG ¾ TO THE GLITZ AND GLAMOUR OF BRIGHTON BEACH.

FROM THE DREAD-LOCKED POETS IN FORT GREENE PARK TO THE SOUTH WILLIAMSBURG HASIDIM IN THEIR TRADITIONAL BLACK COATS AND FUR HATS.

WE’VE GOT EVERYTHING FROM DASHEEKEES TO HEH-JOBS TO HOT PANTS.

I CAN’T SAY FOR SURE, BUT I THINK “PEOPLE-WATCHING” MAY HAVE BEEN INVENTED IN BROOKLYN.

 

WHEN WE TELL THE BROOKLYN STORY ¾ IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE STATISTICS AND CHARTS.

FOR EXAMPLE, THE REAL STORY OF OUR HOTEL BOOM IS MUCH DEEPER THAN COUNTING OUR 700 NEW HOTEL ROOMS ¾ AND THE 2000 MORE ON THE WAY.

IT’S THE STORY OF WHO IS STAYING IN THOSE ROOMS.

THE MOTHER FROM TRINIDAD & TOBAGO VISITING HER DAUGHTER IN EAST FLATBUSH—

THE DANISH ROCK BAND HERE TO PLAY A GIG IN WILLIAMSBURG —

PASSENGERS FROM THE QUEEN MARY 2 AND CROWN PRINCESS — WHO GET A CHANCE TO COMPARE THEIR ENGLISH TO THE REAL KING’S ENGLISH HERE IN KINGS COUNTY.

THE COUPLE FROM MICHIGAN VISITING THEIR KIDS IN CARROLL GARDENS.

THE CORPORATE EXECUTIVE SCHEDULING AN EXTRA NIGHT IN BROOKLYN TO CATCH “KING LEAR” AT BAM.

TRAVEL PROFESSIONALS ATTENDING THE 2008 WORLD YOUTH AND STUDENT TRAVEL CONFERENCE ¾ WHICH IS COMING TO BROOKLYN AFTER HOLDING PREVIOUS EVENTS IN CITIES LIKE RIO, PARIS, VIENNA, MELBOURNE AND LAST YEAR ISTANBUL.

THAT’S RIGHT CONSUL GENERAL SAMSAR, WE’VE GOT’ EM NOW!

AND WE’VE ALSO GOT THE CONTESTANTS IN WILL SHORTZ’S FAMOUS “NEW YORK TIMES” CROSSWORD PUZZLE TOURNAMENT ¾ COMING TO THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE MARRIOTT FEBRUARY 29TH AFTER 30 YEARS IN STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT.

THANK YOU JOSH MUSS AND SAM IBRAHIM!

AND ALL THE REVELERS ARRIVING IN MAY TO CELEBRATE THE 125th BIRTHDAY OF OUR BEAUTIFUL BROOKLYN BRIDGE ¾ STAY TUNED FOR UPCOMING EVENTS!

BUILDING ON WHAT THE NEWLY-EXPANDED MARRIOTT STARTED A DECADE AGO ¾ HOTELS ARE CROPPING UP FROM BEDFORD-STUYVESANT TO EMMONS AVENUE IN SHEEPSHEAD BAY, EVEN ON THE SHORES OF THE FABLED GOWANUS CANAL — WHO KNEW?

FOR DYED IN THE WOOL BROOKLYNITES LIKE YOU AND ME, I COULDN’T BELIEVE WHEN I READ AN ARTICLE LAST MONTH IN WOMEN’S WEAR DAILY, THE BIBLE OF HIGH FASHION, OF ALL PLACES, ABOUT HOW COOL THE AREA AROUND THE GOWANUS CANAL IS.

IT WASN’T LONG AGO THAT IF YOU TOLD ME THAT FASHIONISTAS WOULD BE PRANCING AROUND THE GOWANUS CANAL CALLING IT “INDUSTRIAL CHIC,” YOU WOULD HAVE SAID MARTY, YOU’VE TAKEN ONE TOO MANY FALLS OFF THE KENTILE FLOORS SIGN!

 

SO BROOKLYN HAS HOTELS AND MOTELS AND INNS FOR EVERY AESTHETIC.

 

 

 

IN FACT, THE STYLISH HOTEL LE BLEU ON 4TH AVENUE — JUST STEPS FROM THE GOWANUS! — CATERS TO TYPES WHO CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO WALK TOO FAR FOR A SHOWER ¾ THE SHOWERS ARE RIGHT THERE IN THE BEDROOM ¾

I DON’T GET IT!

[Image: Marty in Hotel Le Bleu shower]

 

MAYBE I NEED TO ASK MUKESH PATEL — THE OWNER OF HOTEL LE BLEU AND ITS SISTER PROPERTY, HOTEL JO-LEE IN WILLIAMSBURG — WHO IS HERE WITH US TONIGHT, ALONG WITH GENERAL MANAGER ROBERT GAETA.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE WELCOME THEM BOTH!

style=”line-height: 150%” class=”MsoNormal”> [Mukesh Patel and Robert Gaeta stands]

WE CAN’T WAIT FOR YOUR NEW PENTHOUSE RESTAURANT TO OPEN THIS SPRING!

 

ONE OF THE REASONS EVERYONE WANTS TO COME TO BROOKLYN IS BECAUSE OF OUR EVER-EXPANDING REPUTATION AS A TOP FOODIE DESTINATION.

JUST ASK THE VOTERS OF THE ZAGAT GUIDE, WHO FIND MORE AND MORE REASONS EACH YEAR ¾ LIKE LUCALI’S PIZZA IN CARROLL GARDENS AND TANOREEN IN BAY RIDGE ¾ TO RATE BROOKLYN EATERIES AMONG THE CITY’S BEST.

OR LOOK AT THE RENOWNED MICHELIN GUIDE, WHICH BESTOWED ITS COVETED STARS ON THE LEGENDARY PETER LUGER AND SMITH STREET’S SAUL.

G-Q MAGAZINE EVEN FEATURED A MULTI-PAGE SPREAD ABOUT THE NEIGHBORHOODS THAT PUT BROOKLYN ON THE CULINARY MAP.

[image: GQ cover]

BUT IT’S BROOKLYNITES WHO DESERVE CREDIT FOR THIS SUCCESS, AND IT’S OUR ECONOMY THAT REAPS THE BENEFITS AND CREATES MORE NEW JOBS.

SO WE SAY KUDOS TO RESTAURATEUR IMPRESARIOS LIKE COLIN DEVLIN, WHO LURES THE GLITTER-ATI ACROSS OUR WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE TO HIS TWO WILLIAMSBURG FOODIE MECCAS, DRESSLER AND DUMONT, NOT TO MENTION THE DELICIOUS BURGERS AT DUMONT BURGER.

THE DUKE OF DUMONT—COLIN IS HERE WITH US TONIGHT!

[Colin Devlin stands]

 

IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, BROOKLYN’S RISE TO CULINARY STARDOM CAN BE PARTIALLY CREDITED TO THE EFFORTS OF MY OFFICE AND DINE IN BROOKLYN RESTAURANT WEEK, WHICH IS COMING UP THIS YEAR FROM MARCH 24TH TO 31ST, FEATURING MORE THAN 200 PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS.

PERSONALLY, I THINK OF RESTAURANT WEEK AS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE “BROOKLYN DREAM”:

FAMILIES AND FRIENDS, GATHERING EVERY NIGHT TO FILL OUR LOCAL EATERIES, SAMPLING THE CUISINES OF OUR MANY ETHNICITIES—

AND STUFFING THEIR FACES AT DISCOUNT PRICES.

WHAT COULD BE BETTER?

 

AND AS BOROUGH PRESIDENT, I GUARANTEE THAT THOSE EIGHT DAYS AND NIGHTS WILL BE CALORIE-FREE — ALTHOUGH I STILL HAVEN’T FIGURED OUT HOW TO “SPIN” THIS ONE FOR YOU, JAMIE.

BROOKLYN ISN’T JUST FAMOUS FOR SERVING UP THE BEST ENTREES EITHER — NOW WE’RE FAMOUS FOR SERVING CHINESE DUMPLINGS AND NOODLES TO THE EAST COAST AND BEYOND.

TERRY AND JOSEPH TANG OF THE T-M-I FOOD GROUP STARTED THEIR BUSINESS BACK IN 1989, DELIVERING NOODLES TO RESTAURANTS IN MANHATTAN’S CHINATOWN.

BUT NOW WITH THEIR NEW STATE OF THE ART FACTORY IN BUSHWICK, AN EXPANDED LINE THAT INCLUDES KOSHER DUMPLINGS—HOW BROOKLYN!—SUPPLYING SUPERMARKETS, CHINESE RESTAURANTS, AND CATERERS—INCLUDING OUR RECEPTION EARLIER TONIGHT—AND SELLING OVER 91 MILLION DUMPLINGS EVERY YEAR, THE TANGS AND T-M-I HAVE HIT THE BIG TIME!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE WELCOME TERRY AND JOSEPH TANG!

[The Tangs stand]

 

THIS EVENING IS THE START OF THE LUNAR NEW YEAR, AND I WISH A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL IN OUR CHINESE-AMERICAN COMMUNITY—GUNG HEY FAT CHOI.

IN JUST THREE SHORT YEARS, OUR BROOKLYN TOURISM INITIATIVE HAS GROWN INTO AN INVALUABLE RESOURCE FOR VISITORS, AND A POWERFUL PARTNER FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES.

THE VISITORS CENTER AT BOROUGH HALL DIRECTS TOURISTS TO OUR MANY DESTINATIONS, AND OUR TOURISM TEAM PROMOTES THE BOROUGH BY ORGANIZING TOURS FOR TRAVEL PROFESSIONALS, TRAVEL AGENTS AND MEDIA ¾ AND TELLING THE BROOKLYN STORY.

AND WE KNOW FROM THE NUMBERS THAT IT’S WORKING.

THAT’S WHY I’M THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE TONIGHT THAT THE NEWLY RE-LAUNCHED BROOKLYN TOURISM WEBSITE—AT VISIT BROOKLYN DOT ORG—IS ABOUT TO TAKE THESE EFFORTS A QUANTUM LEAP FORWARD.

[Image – Website Homepage]

THE NEW WEBSITE WILL BE INTERACTIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE FOR VISITORS AND PROFESSIONALS ALIKE, ALLOWING USERS TO LOCATE WITH ONE CLICK EVENTS LIKE MODERN DANCE OR THEATER, VENUES LIKE THE TOTALLY RE-DESIGNED BROOKLYN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, WHICH WILL RE-OPEN IN JUST A FEW SHORT MONTHS, OR HOTELS NEAR THE GOWANUS CANAL.

 

SO I WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT TO RECOGNIZE OUR BROOKLYN TOURISM VOLUNTEERS, WHO ARE TRULY THE LOCAL EXPERTS AND THE “FACE OF BROOKLYN” TO THOUSANDS OF VISITORS EVERY YEAR.

WHEN THESE FOLKS GET CALLED “KNOW IT ALLS” ¾ THEY TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT.

 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND YOUR LOVE OF OUR BOROUGH.

 

[text: The Brooklyn Story: We Celebrate Arts and Culture]

AS WE KNOW, BROOKLYN IS TRULY THE EPICENTER OF CULTURE IN NEW YORK CITY AND, I BELIEVE, AMERICA.

LAST YEAR, WE HELD THE STATE OF THE BOROUGH AT STEINER STUDIOS ¾<
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THE LARGEST FILM STUDIO ON THE EAST COAST ¾ WHICH IS EXPANDING AS WE SPEAK.

THIS YEAR FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, STEINER PLAYED HOST TO THE FILM INDUSTRY’S PRESTIGIOUS “GOTHAM AWARDS¾ RIGHT HERE IN BROOKLYN.

THE RED CARPET CAME ALIVE WITH STARS ¾ LIKE EMILE HIRSCH, UMA THURMAN, ELLEN PAGE, AND BROOKLYN’S OWN NOAH BAUMBACH.

[image: photos of Emile Hirsch, Uma Thurman]

WHEN YOU ADD THE GOTHAM AWARDS TO ROBERT REDFORD’S SUNDANCE INSTITUTE AT BAM ¾ WHICH RETURNS FOR ITS THIRD YEAR THIS SPRING ¾ YOU KNOW BROOKLYN IS READY FOR ITS CLOSE UP!

 

 

IN A TRIUMPH FOR BOOKWORMS AND BIBLIO-PHILES AND BLOGGERS ALIKE ¾ LAST SEPTEMBER’S SECOND ANNUAL BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL PROVED WITHOUT A DOUBT THAT THE CITY’S LITERARY LIFE HAS TRULY FOUND ITS NEW HOME IN BROOKLYN.

WHEN I TOOK OFFICE, I SAID WE NEEDED A BOOK FESTIVAL — THAT THE READERS AND WRITERS LIVING HERE DESERVE IT.

LAST YEAR, A CROWD OF TWENTY-THOUSAND STRETCHED FROM BOROUGH HALL DOWN COLUMBUS PARK PLAZA ¾ TO HEAR AUTHORS LIKE DAVE EGGERS, JONATHAN LETHEM, PETE HAMILL, DOMINIC CARTER, AND ED-WIDGE DANTICAT.

 

EVEN THE KIDS HAD THEIR OWN STAR AUTHORS TO SEE ¾ LIKE BROOKLYN’S OWN MO WILLEMS, CREATOR OF THE KNUFFLE BUNNY ¾ WHO TAKES A JOURNEY THROUGH BROOKLYN.

[image: Knuffle Bunny at Grand Army Plaza]

MO IS HERE WITH US TONIGHT – MO?

[Mo Willems stands]

MO, SINCE I DON’T HAVE ANY CHILDREN, I HAVE TO SAY, I MIS-PRONOUNCED “KNUFFLE BUNNY” THE FIRST FEW TIMES I READ IT TO KIDS.

AND BOY, DID I TAKE HEAT FOR THAT — THE KIDS SURE KNEW HOW TO SAY IT ¾ AND LIKE MOST BROOKLYNITES, THEY WEREN’T SHY ABOUT CORRECTING ME!

I WANT TO CONGRATULATE MO FOR WINNING THE PRESTIGIOUS CALDECOTT HONOR AND DOING BROOKLYN PROUD.

 

THE BOOK FESTIVAL PROVES JUST HOW IMPORTANT BROOKLYN’S CULTURAL LIFE IS AND WHY THE ARTS ARE AN ESSENTIAL GROWTH SECTOR OF OUR ECONOMY.

DID I MENTION NEW JOBS?

THAT’S WHY PLANS LIKE EXPANDING THE BAM CULTURAL DISTRICT ARE SO EXCITING.

(THANK YOU HARVEY LICHTENSTEIN!)

WHO’S NOT EXCITED BY PAUL SIMON’S UPCOMING TWO-WEEK RUN AT BAM IN APRIL?

AND JUST THINK HOW MUCH NEW BUSINESS THAT CREATES FOR LOCAL RESTAURANTS AND BARS.

AND WHY NOT DREAM EVEN BIGGER?

AS THE LATE NORMAN MAILER—ANOTHER LARGER THAN LIFE BROOKLYNITE WHO PASSED AWAY LAST YEAR—ONCE SAID, “CULTURE IS WORTH HUGE, HUGE RISKS. WITHOUT CULTURE WE’RE ALL TOTALITARIAN BEASTS.”

AH, THAT NORMAN.

WHY NOT MOVE SOME OF THE RUNWAY SHOWS FROM BRYANT PARK’S FASHION WEEK TO FABULOUS BROOKLYN? WHY BE SEVENTH ON SIXTH, WHEN YOU CAN BE FIRST IN BROOKLYN?

AS THEY SAY ON “PROJECT RUNWAY,” WE KNOW BROOKLYN CAN “MAKE IT WORK!”

 

THIS PAST SUMMER, IN FACT, WE WITNESSED A PERFECT “ONLY IN BROOKLYN” FASHION MOMENT ¾ ONE THAT PROVES BROOKLYN STILL HAS THE MOST CHARACTER AND CHARACTERS ANYWHERE.

AT OUR ANNUAL “BROOKLYN BEST” BLOCK PARTY AT GRAND ARMY PLAZA, WE HAD A FASHION SHOW FEATURING BROOKLYN DESIGNERS.

[image: model 1]

THE MODELS PARADED DOWN THE RUNWAY, INTRODUCING THE CROWDS TO OUR BOROUGH’S EDGY STYLE.

[image: model 2]

AT THE VERY END, ONE MAN IN THE AUDIENCE SAID, “THIS IS A GREAT SHOW, BUT I REALLY FEEL LIKE MY FASHION SENSE IS NOT REPRESENTED ¾ DO YOU MIND IF I TAKE A SPIN? ”

AND SO HE DID!

[image: Hasidic guy walking the runway]

ONLY IN BROOKLYN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, ONLY IN BROOKLYN.

I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE THAT CONEY ISLAND DEFINES “ONLY IN BROOKLYN” CULTURE.

[image: Coney Island montage]

IF THE CONEY ISLAND BOARDWALK COULD TALK, WHAT A STORY IT WOULD TELL — AND BECAUSE IT’S BROOKLYN, IT MIGHT EVEN EMBELLISH THAT STORY A LITTLE BIT.

BUT IT WOULDN’T HAVE TO EMBELLISH MUCH.

CONEY ISLAND HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PLACE OF GRAND GESTURE, OF RISK-TAKING, OF BRASHNESS AND BOLDNESS.

WHAT THEY USED TO CALL “
AMERICA’S PLAYGROUND” WAS HOME TO CHILD’S RESTAURANT, GERACI’S BREADS, CAROLINA’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT, SHATZKIN’S KNISHES, AND STAUCH’S ON THE BOWERY.

CONEY WAS A PLACE FOR STRONG-MEN, AND EVEN SOME CON-MEN —

A PLACE WHERE KIDS AND THE YOUNG-AT-HEART SCRAMBLED UP THE PARACHUTE JUMP TO GET THE FEELING OF FLIGHT.

OF COURSE, I WAS DOWN AT NATHAN’S ACTING AS HOMELAND SECURITY GUARDING THE FRANKFURTERS AND THEIR FABULOUS FRIES, AND WAVING TO FRIENDS TAKING THE JUMP.

SINCE THE EARLY DAYS OF DREAMLAND AND LUNA AND STEEPLECHASE PARKS, CONEY’S UNIQUE CHARACTER HAS DISTINGUISHED ITSELF IN THE NATIONAL IMAGINATION AS THE NEIGHBORHOOD THAT SYMBOLIZED BROOKLYN TO THE WORLD.

IT’S BEEN EXCITING WORKING WITH MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND HIS STAFF, ALONG WITH COUNCIL MEMBER DOMENIC RECCHIA, THE CONEY ISLAND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND ITS PRESIDENT, LYNN KELLY ON THE PLANS TO PRESERVE CONEY’S HERITAGE WHILE USHERING IN ITS FUTURE AS “AMERICA’S PLAYGROUND” FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.

LYNN KELLY, PLEASE STAND UP!

LYNN UNDERSTANDS THAT WE NEED A CONEY ISLAND THAT WILL PROVIDE BROOKLYN AND NEW YORK CITY FAMILIES WITH AN EXCITING AND AFFORDABLE PLACE TO “VACATION” AND PLAY CLOSE TO HOME.

A REVITALIZED CONEY ISLAND WILL BOOST BROOKLYN TOURISM— WHILE RETAINING ITS FAMED FREAKISHNESS, FUN-LOVING SPIRIT, AND CHARM — BROOKLYN STYLE.

LAST YEAR, I ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR A PROJECT I AM VERY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT ¾ THE CONEY ISLAND CENTER, NEW YORK CITY’S FIRST AMPHITHEATER.

TONIGHT I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE CITY HAS SELECTED A WORLD-CLASS LONDON FIRM—GRIMSHAW ARCHITECTS—TO DESIGN A WORLD-CLASS CENTER.

IT’S A STATE-OF-THE ART RECREATIONAL FACILITY AND PERFORMING ARTS VENUE AT THE GATEWAY TO CONEY ISLAND ¾ ASSER LEVY-SEASIDE PARK ¾ WHICH WILL ATTRACT TOP ENTERTAINERS WHO PLAY THE SUMMER CONCERT CIRCUIT AT JONES BEACH, RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, AND THE P-N-C ARTS CENTER IN NEW JERSEY.

SO NOW THE OLD-SCHOOL CONCERTS THAT I PRESENT, ALONG WITH THE HOTTEST NEW ACTS, WILL HAVE A BRAND NEW VENUE —

WHICH MEANS WE WON’T HAVE TO GO TO LONG ISLAND, OR NEW JERSEY — CONCERT-GOERS CAN SUMMER RIGHT HERE IN BROOKLYN!

AND I GUARANTEE YOU ¾ THIS NEW VENUE WILL TRULY REFLECT THE CLASS OF CONEY ISLAND.

OH, AND ONE MORE THING —

CONEY ISLAND WILL MOST CERTAINLY BE OPEN FOR BUSINESS THIS COMING SEASON – AND ALL YOUR FAVORITE RIDES AND CONCESSIONS WILL CONTINUE TO THRILL.

FROM ASTROLAND AND THE CYCLONE TO DENO’S WONDER WHEEL —

FROM NATHAN’S FAMOUS TO GARGIULO’S —

FROM AMERICA’S FAVORITE PASTTIME PLAYED BY BROOKLYN’S FAVORITE TEAM, THE CYCLONES —

FROM THE SIREN FESTIVAL TO THE MERMAID PARADE (WHERE “GLITTER” IS CONSIDERED CLOTHING!)—

TO DICK ZIGUN’S LONG-RUNNING FREAK SHOWS AT CONEY ISLAND U-S-A —

ALL SUMMER LONG YOU WILL STILL FIND THE ONE-OF-A-KIND “SCHMALTZ,” “BLING” AND CHARACTER AVAILABLE “ONLY IN CONEY.”

PERSONALLY, I LOOK FORWARD TO “PHASE TWO” OF “BLINGING” UP THE PARACHUTE JUMP ¾ AS BROOKLYN’S EIFFEL TOWER.

AND NO PROMISES HERE — BUT I STILL HOLD OUT THE DREAM OF MAKING THE PARACHUTE JUMP AN OPERATIONAL RIDE ONCE MORE.

HEY ¾ IF THE GIANTS CAN BEAT THE PATRIOTS —

THERE’S NO REASON WE CAN’T RIDE THE PARACHUTE IN THIS NEW CENTURY!

BACK IN 1962, JOHN KUSE AND THE EXCELLENTS HAD A HIT SONG WITH “CONEY ISLAND BABY.”

IN 2007, BROOKLYN GOT A NEW CONEY ISLAND BABY—WHEN BABY WALRUS AKITUUSAK WAS BORN AT THE NEW YORK AQUARIUM.

tyle=”color: black”>NOW, IT ALWAYS PAINS ME TO THINK THAT MORE NEW YORKERS GO TO MYSTIC, CONNECTICUT, THAN TO OUR OWN AQUARIUM IN BROOKLYN.

ONE OF THE WAYS WE CAN CHANGE THAT IS BY RE-THINKING THE CENTURY-OLD AGREEMENT THAT PUTS THE AQUARIUM UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY.

BECAUSE IT FALLS UNDER THE SAME UMBRELLA AS THE BRONX ZOO ¾ AND BECAUSE THE SOCIETY’S EXPERTISE IS OPERATING ZOOS¾

THE AQUARIUM REMAINS A PERENNIAL AFTER-THOUGHT FOR FUNDING AND PROGRAMMING.

WHILE I APPLAUD THE SOCIETY’S WORK WITH ZOOS ¾

LET’S FACE IT, THIS AQUARIUM NEEDS A WHALE-SIZE INVESTMENT ¾ NOT A BUDGET THE SIZE OF A GUPPY.

SO I WILL ASK MAYOR BLOOMBERG TO WORK WITH MY OFFICE TO STUDY CREATING AN INDEPENDENT BROOKLYN-BASED BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE AQUARIUM ¾

SO THAT BROOKLYN’S AQUARIUM CAN FINALLY SWIM WITH THE BIG FISH.

[The walrus comes onstage.]

[text: The Brooklyn Story: We Grow Smarter]

 

JUST AS OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE WORKED WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY TO DEVELOP THE RIGHT MIX FOR CONEY ISLAND, A WORLD CLASS CITY LIKE BROOKLYN NEEDS AND DESERVES WORLD CLASS PLANNING ACROSS THE BOARD.

IN EVERY COMMUNITY AND ON EVERY CORNER, BROOKLYN IS GROWING — NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.

AND OF COURSE, IT’S ALL PART OF BROOKLYN’S EVOLVING STORY.

 

THAT MEANS WE MUST PUT A PREMIUM ON STRIKING THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN BUILDING AND PRESERVATION, AND CONTINUE TO DECIDE WHAT IS APPROPRIATE FOR A COMMUNITY NOT JUST TODAY, BUT 10, 20, AND 30 YEARS FROM NOW.

BY GUIDING GROWTH WHERE IT’S APPROPRIATE ¾ NEAR MASS-TRANSIT AND ALONG MAJOR ROADWAYS ¾ WHILE CONTINUING TO ENACT HISTORIC DISTRICTING AND DOWN-ZONING, WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO RETAIN THE UNIQUE AMBIANCE AND INTIMACY FOR WHICH BROOKLYN’S NEIGHBORHOODS ARE FAMOUS, WHILE LEAVING A MORE EFFICIENT, CLEANER, AND LIVABLE CITY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

 

(SPEAKING OF AMBIANCE, VERY SOON YOUR EVENING STROLL IN VICTORIAN FLATBUSH OR LEFFERTS GARDENS WILL BE BRIGHTENED BY EXQUISITE VINTAGE-STYLE LAMP-POSTS, WHICH MY OFFICE WAS PROUD TO FUND)

WE NEED TO PLAN WISELY ¾ WHICH IS WHY I AM SO PLEASED THAT MY RECENT APPOINTEE TO THE CITY PLANNING COMMISSION BRINGS SUCH EXPERIENCE AND POISE TO HER ROLE.

SHIRLEY MCRAE COMES TO US FROM COMMUNITY BOARD 2, WHICH INCLUDES NEIGHBORHOODS LIKE DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN THAT HAVE SEEN THE MOST DEVELOPMENT IN THE BOROUGH.

SHIRLEY PROVES THAT BROOKLYNITES WHO WANT TO IMPROVE THEIR COMMUNITIES CAN INDEED ASCEND TO POSITIONS OF GREAT RESPONSIBILITY.

IT WAS A TRUE PRIVILEGE TO GO TO OUR COMMUNITY BOARDS AND “HIRE FROM WITHIN” THIS DAUGHTER OF BROOKLYN AND FORT GREENE RESIDENT TO BE OUR VOICE ON LAND USE ISSUES — BECAUSE SHE HAS EARNED IT!

SHIRLEY MCRAE!

[Recognize Shirley McRae]

AND TO DOLLY WILLIAMS, A PROUD DAUGHTER OF SWEET T&T WHO EMBODIES THE BROOKLYN ATTITUDE OF BEING SHY AND INTROVERTED, I THANK YOU FOR YOUR 5 YEARS OF INVALUABLE SERVICE ON THE COMMISSION.

 

FOR BROOKLYNITES, QUALITY OF LIFE DEPENDS NOT ONLY ON ETHNIC AND LIFESTYLE DIVERSITY ¾ BUT RETAINING ECONOMIC DIVERSITY BY HELPING BUSINESSES LARGE AND SMALL TO GROW AND THRIVE.

WHEN I TOOK OFFICE I PLEDGED TO ATTRACT THE KIND OF NATIONAL RETAILERS THAT OTHER CITIES TAKE FOR GRANTED¾ AND TAKE A LOOK AT THE RESULTS SO FAR.

IKEA IS SET TO OPEN IN RED HOOK IN THE SPRING —

A TRADER JOE’S IS COMING ON ATLANTIC AVENUE IN COBBLE HILL —

ANOTHER TARGET IS OPENING IN FLATBUSH JUNCTION—

WHOLE FOODS IS COMING TO THE GOWANUS CANAL—

LOWE’S HAS OPENED ON NINTH STREET—

AND IN DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, A MORTON’S STEAK HOUSE — TALK OF A “JC PENNEY” ON THE WAY ¾ AND THE RETAILER I’M WORKING ON GETTING TO BROOKLYN ¾ OR NORDSTROM’S RACK.

JUST AS BROOKLYNITES DESERVE EVERYTHING OTHER CITIES HAVE¾

WE ALSO NEED TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR OWNERSHIP AND A CLIMATE WHERE ENTREPRENEURS CAN PURSUE AND ATTAIN THE AMERICAN DREAM.

WHEN I SEE EXAMPLES LIKE DAVE COX AND ROBERT CUMMINS, I KNOW WE’RE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT.

LAST WEEK I JOINED THEM AT THE GRAND OPENING OF THEIR NEW INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES FRANCHISE — AFFECTIONATELY KNOWN AS IHOP — ON LIVINGSTON STREET NEAR THE FULTON MALL, WHICH IS ALREADY DOING STACKS AND STACKS OF BUSINESS.

IT’S ONLY THE SECOND IHOP TO OPEN IN BROOKLYN AND THE FIRST IN MANY GENERATIONS!

WHEN I JOINED THEM LAST WEEK I DEVOURED AN ENTIRE ROOTI TUTTI FRESH AND FRUITY.

 

 

 

 

I KNOW, I KNOW, JAMIE ¾ I SHOULD BE WATCHING MY WEIGHT, AND I AM ¾ BUT IN MY ROLE AS BOROUGH PRESIDENT AND EATER-IN-CHIEF, I HAVE CERTAIN RESPONSIBILITIES ¾ AND I HAD TO DO IT ¾ FOR BROOKLYN.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN ¾ PLEASE JOIN ME IN GIVING A SYRUPY SWEET WELCOME ¾ TO TWO PROUD SONS OF BROOKLYN — DAVE COX AND ROBERT CUMMINS!

 

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF ENTREPRENEURS AT THEIR BEST IS A HOMEGROWN OUTFIT CALLED SMALLS ELECTRICAL CONSTRUCTION.

FOUNDED BY JEFFREY SMALLS, IN 10 YEARS HIS COMPANY HAS BECOME ONE THE TOP ELECTRICAL CONTRACTING FIRMS IN THE CITY.

 

 

 

 

BY THE WAY, AT 6 FOOT 6, IF HE’S JEFFREY SMALLS—AT 5’5”, MAYBE I SHOULD BE MARTY BIGS!

WITH 35 EMPLOYEES AND NEWLY EXPANDED OFFICES AT THE BROOKLYN NAVY YARD, SMALLS WAS RANKED ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES IN AMERICA BY “INC” MAGAZINE—

AND “NETWORK JOURNAL” HONORED HIM WITH THE “40 UNDER 40, MASTERING THE ART OF EXCELLENCE” AWARD IN 2007.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, JEFFREY SMALLS!

 

[Image: The Brooklyn Story: Dreaming Green]

when WE talk about THE brooklyn STORY, we’re ALSO talking about PROTECTING THE environment we leave in trust for our children.

AND SMALL BUSINESSES ARE DISCOVERING THAT GOING GREEN ISN’T JUST GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, IT’S GOOD FOR BUSINESS.

WE FIND GREEN INITIATIVES IN the MOST SURPRISING PLACES.

LIKE BROTHERS LUIGI AND MASSIMO LO BUGLIO, OF THE LITTLE CUPCAKE BAKE SHOP ON THIRD AVENUE IN BAY RIDGE.

(by the way ma’ss-Amo is not only an expert ON all things green, BUT vice president al gore — mr. green himself — called on HIM for his gore climate project.)

ALONG WITH CREATING MOUTH-WATERING DESSERTS, THE LITTLE CUPCAKE BAKE SHOP RECYCLES, RUNS ON WIND POWER, AND PRACTICES ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN EVERY WAY IT CAN.

BY BUYING CREDITS WITH THE CARBON FUND, THE SHOP EVEN COUNTER-BALANCES THE EFFECTS OF ITS ENERGY USE AND CARBON FOOTPRINT.

(NOW I JUST NEED TO FIND A FUND WHERE I CAN DONATE THE EXTRA CALORIES AND I’LL BE ALL SET!)

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN— LUIGI AND MASSAMO LO BUGLIO..

[Luigi and Massimo Lobuglio Stand]

WE’RE all LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR NEW LITTLE CUPCAKE BAKE SHOP, OPENING ON SMITH STREET IN THE SPRING!

AT THE EAST NEW YORK FOOD CO-OP, THE LOCAL COMMUNITY HAS MOVED HEAVEN AND EARTH—MOSTLY EARTH ACTUALLY—TO TRANSFORM ABANDONED LOTS INTO GARDEN PLOTS.

IT’S AN ALMOST UTOPIAN PROJECT THAT TOUCHES SO MANY BASES AT ONCE:

EAST NEW YORK ELIMINATES EYESORES THAT HAVE FESTERED FOR FAR TOO LONG.

GARDEN GROWERS GAIN A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP—AND WITH A PLACE TO SELL THEIR PRODUCE, A CHANCE TO GAIN A LITTLE SPENDING CASH TOO.

RESIDENTS ALSO BECOME STAKEHOLDERS, AS THEIR DOLLARS STAY LOCAL AND GO TO NEIGHBORS WHO RE-INVEST IN the COMMUNITY — IT’S LIKE RECYCLING, BUT WITH MONEY.

<
p style=”text-indent: 0.5in;line-height: 150%” class=”MsoNormal”>AND OF COURSE ANY TIME MORE FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES BECOME AVAILABLE TO BROOKLYNITES, IT MEANS IMPROVED HEALTH AND LOWER RATES OF OBESITY AND CHRONIC HEALTH ISSUES.

NOBODY EMBODIES THE IDEALS OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE MORE THAN LONG-TIME ACTIVIST ELIZABETH YEAMPIERRE OF UPROSE IN SUNSET PARK, WHO REPRESENTS BROOKLYN ON THE MAYOR’S INFLUENTIAL SUSTAINABILITY TASK FORCE.

ELIZABETH HAs ALSO spearheadED THE development of the Sunset Park Greenway, A CAR-FREE TRANSPORTATION PATH AND RECREATIONAL AREA LOCATED in a neighborhood THAT CRIES OUT FOR MORE open GREEN space.

A TRUE MULTI-TASKER, ELIZABETH IS ALSO LEADING THE CHARGE TO MAKE THE CITY’S WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN MORE EQUITABLE FOR BROOKLYN.

WHERE ARE YOU, ELIZABETH!

[Recognize Elizabeth Yeampierre]

 

AND OF COURSE, IN THE BOROUGH WITH THE LOWEST PER CAPITA AMOUNT OF PARKLAND IN THE STATE, IT’S ONLY NATURAL THAT ONE OF THE 21st CENTURY’S MOST BEAUTIFUL NEW PARKS — BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK — IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO REALITY.

BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK MARKS ANOTHER MILESTONE IN THE TRULY REMARKABLE TRANSFORMATION OF OUR 80 MILES OF WATERFRONT INTO A DYNAMIC, PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE ASSET.

I WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE REGINA MEYERS, THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, WHO IS HERE WITH US TONIGHT!

[Regina Meyers stands]

THANK YOU REGINA, I KNOW IT’S GOING TO GET DONE NOW!

WE ALL ENJOYED THE FLOATING POOL AT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK THIS PAST SUMMER.

AND WHEN THEY TOLD ME THAT THE POOL WAS SLATED TO MOVE TO THE BRONX THIS YEAR, SO I CAME UP WITH A COUNTER-OFFER, SINCE BROOKLYNITES ARE KNOWN FOR OUR LOVE OF SHARING.

HERE’S MY SOLUTION, LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.

THE BRONX CAN HAVE THE POOL FROM SEPTEMBER THROUGH APRIL, AND THEN BROOKLYN CAN HAVE IT BACK FROM MAY THROUGH AUGUST.

AREN’T I GENEROUS!

 

GROWING THE RIGHT WAY FOR BROOKLYN MEANS PLANNING RIGHT, BUT IT ALSO MEANS CREATING THE ENGINES THAT DRIVE PROSPERITY ACROSS THE BOROUGH TO BENEFIT ALL RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES.

 

 

 

 

 

UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF AMERICA’S YOUNGEST CZAR, JOE CHAN, THE DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN PARTNERSHIP HAS BEEN MAKING CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR TO MOVE THE DREAM OF A 24/7, LIVE-WORK DOWNTOWN CLOSER TO REALITY.

WE WELCOMED YOU WARMLY LAST YEAR, AND THIS YEAR WE CONGRATULATE YOU ON A JOB WELL-DONE.

JOE CHAN!

[Recognize Joe Chan]

 

WITH THE 4TH LARGEST POPULATION IN AMERICA, BROOKLYN DESERVES A SIZZLING, MODERN, MIXED-USE DOWNTOWN THAT CAN PROVIDE LOCAL RETAIL AND CULTURAL AMENITIES WHILE ALSO ATTRACTING REGIONAL INVESTMENT.

 

 

 

 

WITH THE RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION ALREADY COMING ONLINE, IT’S GETTING EASIER EVERY DAY TO ENVISION NEW RESIDENTS FEEDING THE THRIVING CULTURAL AND THEATER DISTRICT IN THE CORRIDOR LINKING BAM TO DOWNTOWN —

SHOPPING IN A 21ST-CENTURY ENVIRONMENT IN A REVITALIZED FULTON MALL —

WALKING OR BIKING UP A SPRUCED-UP FLATBUSH AVENUE TO VISIT FRIENDS LIVING AT ATLANTIC YARDS —

OR GOING TO CHECK OUT A BROOKLYN NETS GAME AT THE BARCLAYS CENTER!

(HEY, THE NETS MAY BE LOSING THIS YEAR, BUT REMEMBER, THEY’RE NOT A BROOKLYN TEAM YET.)

 

IT’S NOT JUST WHO LIVES AND WORKS DOWNTOWN THAT COUNTS ¾ IT’S WHO BUILDS IT AND HOW WE BUILD.

 

 

WE MUST CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE FOR MINORITY AND WOMEN-OWNED CONTRACTORS, SMALL BUSINESSES, AND LOCAL BROOKLYN LABOR — UNION LABOR! — TO GAIN THEIR FAIR SHARE OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS DOWNTOWN, AND ACROSS BROOKLYN.

I COMMEND THE DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN ADVISORY AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE FOR ITS LEADERSHIP ON THIS ISSUE — AND I SAY THANK YOU TO MR. BILL HOWELL.

MY COLLEAGUES ON THE CITY COUNCIL, MAYOR BLOOMBERG, AND NOW GOVERNOR SPITZER ARE FOCUSED LIKE A LASER WHEN IT COMES TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING, BUT ON THIS ISSUE BROOKLYN AND NEW YORK CITY REMAIN IN CRI
SIS.

AND NOW, THE SUB-PRIME MORTGAGE SITUATION IS DEEPENING THE CRISIS.

 

 

 

THAT’S WHY ANY TIME I CAN HAVE AN IMPACT, I HAVE ADVOCATED FOR THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO BE INCLUDED IN NEW RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS.

IN FACT, MY OFFICE PIONEERED WHAT IS NOW CITYWIDE POLICY:

WHEN A DEVELOPER SEEKS A ZONING CHANGE, THEY MUST BE OFFERED A TAX INCENTIVE IN EXCHANGE FOR MAKING AT LEAST 20 PERCENT OF THEIR PROPOSED UNITS AFFORDABLE.

AT ATLANTIC YARDS, WE CELEBRATE THE FACT THAT A COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT WILL GUARANTEE THAT FULLY ONE HALF OF THOSE UNITS WILL BE PRICED BELOW MARKET RATES.

AND IN GREENPOINT-WILLIAMSBURG’S BIG WATERFRONT RE-ZONING, WE FOUGHT — AND WON — TO HOLD DEVELOPERS TO THAT 20 PERCENT STANDARD, CREATING 3,000 MORE AFFORDABLE UNITS.

 

 

SO I WANT TO COMMEND THE BROOKLYN CITY COUNCIL DELEGATION FOR ITS TIRELESS — AND ONGOING — EFFORTS TOWARD MAKING BROOKLYN AND NEW YORK LIVABLE FOR RESIDENTS OF EVERY INCOME LEVEL.

AND I APPLAUD MY COLLEAGUES IN ALBANY WHO ARE PUSHING TO BEEF UP AND RE-INSTITUTE RENT PROTECTIONS FOR NEW YORK CITY TENANTS.

THIS YEAR I ALLOCATED $7.6 MILLION DOLLARS TO THE BOROUGH PRESIDENT’S BROOKLYN HOUSING FUND, WHICH GO DIRECTLY TOWARD FINANCING THE CONSTRUCTION AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS OF PROJECTS LIKE YOU SEE ON THE SCREEN —

FROM MO VAUGHN’S MIRACLE AT THE NOBLE DREW ALI HOUSES IN BROWNSVILLE TO HABITAT FOR HUMANITY’S LARGEST, GREENEST DEVELOPMENT EVER IN OCEAN HILL/BROWNSVILLE ¾

AND FROM SUNSET GARDENS SENIOR HOUSING TO THE FIFTH AVENUE COMMITTEE’S ATLANTIC TERRACE IN FORT GREENE.

THIS YEAR, YOU ALL HEARD ABOUT THE SHINING MOMENT FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING — THE FIGHT TO SAVE STARRETT CITY’S 6000 UNITS ¾ WHICH REMAIN THE NATIONWIDE MODEL FOR SUCCESSFUL, DIVERSE URBAN LIVING.

THE LESSON STARRETT CITY TAUGHT US WAS THAT A COALITION OF DEDICATED, FIRED-UP RESIDENTS, TOGETHER WITH THE SUPPORT OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS AT EVERY LEVEL, LIKE SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER, ATTORNEY GENERAL ANDREW CUOMO, AND EVEN BUSH ADMINISTRATION HOUSING SECRETARY ALPHONSO JACKSON —

ARE A FORCE THAT, WHEN UNITED, CAN NEVER BE DEFEATED.

TONIGHT I WANT TO RECOGNIZE THE INSPIRED LEADER OF THE TENANTS ASSOCIATION OF SPRING CREEK, A.K.A. STARRETT CITY ¾

MARIE PURNELL—THANKS TO YOU, THE STATE OF OUR UNITY IS AS STRONG AS EVER!

[recognize Marie Purnell]

[Text: The Brooklyn Story: Our Whole Life Through]

i always say brooklyn is the best place to spend one’s golden years.

with our restaurants, cultural OFFERINGS, INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING, HEALTH FACILITIES, and public transportation, what i like to call our maturer citizens can liVe healthily and happily as active seniors.

BROOKLYN IS HOME TO THE LARGEST POPULATION OF SENIORS OF ANY BOROUGH, AND OUR RANKS ARE GROWING EVERY YEAR.

YES, I SAID “OUR,” AS I’M A PROUD MEMBER OF THE 60-PLUS CLUB, TURNING 63 NEXT WEEK.

BUT SERIOUSLY, IF WE WANT OUR SENIORS TO STAY SAFE, HEALTHY, AND ACTIVE AS THE BABY BOOMERS RETIRE, WE HAVE MORE WORK TO DO.

which IS WHY I HAVE CALLed ON THE CITY TO CREATE A SENIORS OMBUDSMAN TO ADVOCATE FOR OUR AGING RESIDENTS.

THIS NEW POSITION WOULD ensure THAT ALL CITY AGENCIES are as RESPONSIVE as possible TO THE SPECIFIC CONCERNS OF OLDER NEW YORKERS.

WE SHOULD CREATE MORE NUTRITION AND FITNESS PROGRAMS FOR SENIORS, LIKE ADOPT-A-SENIOR CENTERS, WHERE INSTRUCTORS FROM PRIVATE GYMS WOULD TEACH CLASSES AND ENCOURAGE EXERCISE AT OUR SENIOR CENTERS.

i have called as well for more opportunities to bring seniors into the ranks of our city’s volunteers ¾ TO DO EVERYTHING FROM teaching kids to read BETTER TO helping other seniors who need special assistance or just a friend.

we know THAT so many of our seniors are willing and able to help brooklyn ¾ AND HEY, MAYBE THEY DESERVE A LIT
TLE POCKET CASH TO NUDGE THEM TO BECOME VOLUNTEERS.

[The Brooklyn Story: Living and Learning]

FORGING STRONG TIES AMONG OUR GENERATIONS FITS RIGHT INTO THE BROOKLYN STORY ¾ BECAUSE BROOKLYN AND BROOKLYNITES HAVE SO MUCH TO SHARE WITH EACH OTHER, AND WITH THOSE AROUND THE WORLD.

CERTAINLY WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION, BROOKLYN AND NEW YORK CITY FACE MANY CHALLENGES.

BUT THERE ARE SOME AREAS WHERE WE KNOW WE’RE MAKING THE GRADE.

I WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT TO INTRODUCE MY NEW APPOINTEE TO THE CITY’S PANEL FOR EDUCATIONAL POLICY ¾ WENDY GILGEOUS, A BROWNSVILLE RESIDENT, BY WAY OF GUYANA, AND AN EFFECTIVE ADVOCATE FOR BROOKLYN STUDENTS AND PARENTS.

WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE HER ON BOARD.

WENDY GILGEOUS!

[recognize Wendy Gilgeous]

WE NEED THE BRIGHTEST AND MOST ENTHUSIASTIC EDUCATORS WORKING TOGETHER TO ACHIEVE OUR COLLECTIVE GOAL OF HAVING THE FINEST EDUCATION SYSTEM IN AMERICA.

AS YVONNE GRAHAM POINTED OUT EARLIER ¾ BROOKLYN IS IN A PERIOD OF ONGOING EXPANSION, AND WE MUST TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR PROSPERITY TODAY TO ADDRESS THOSE AREAS WHERE WE MAY FALL SHORT TOMORROW.

ONE OF THE MOST PRESSING CHALLENGES WE FACE IS FINDING A WAY TO ENCOURAGE SUCCESS IN OUR MIDDLE SCHOOLS, ESPECIALLY IN LOWER-PERFORMING CLASSROOMS.

STUDY AFTER STUDY HAS SHOWN THAT MIDDLE SCHOOL IS A PIVOTAL TIME IN A STUDENT’S LIFE—

YOUR AND MY QUALITY OF LIFE TOMORROW DEPENDS ON THE SUCCESS OF OUR MIDDLE SCHOOLS TODAY—

THAT’S WHERE THE RUBBER HITS THE ROAD, AND IF WE CAN FIX OUR MIDDLE SCHOOLS, OUR CHILDREN HAVE A MUCH BETTER CHANCE OF CHOOSING THE RIGHT PATH IN LIFE.

UNFORTUNATELY, OF 84 BROOKLYN MIDDLE SCHOOLS, FEWER THAN HALF THE STUDENTS ARE PERFORMING AT GRADE LEVEL, AND THAT’S A SHAME!

WE CANNOT SIT IDLY BY WHILE STUDENTS SLIP THROUGH THE CRACKS.

THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND THE MAYOR MUST USE THE STATE’S “CONTRACT FOR EXCELLENCE” FUNDS TO HELP THESE STUDENTS SUCCEED NOW, AND WE SIMPLY MUST REDUCE CLASS SIZES IN THESE SCHOOLS.

TO THAT END I SUPPORT THE GOALS OF THE BROOKLYN EDUCATION COLLABORATIVE ¾ COALITION FOR EDUCATIONAL JUSTICE.

AND CUTTING BUDGETS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SCHOOL YEAR SIMPLY DOES NOT MAKE SENSE EITHER!

THERE IS ALSO MORE WE CAN DO TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR solid, SUSTAINABLE careers.

earlier TONIGHT, i said that “brooklyn” is a “brand.”

and we all know that the business of BUILDING BRANDS ¾ advertising AND MARKETING ¾ is a lucrative AND REWARDING career.

BUT RIGHT NOW OUR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR ARE UNDER-REPRESENTED IN THESE FIELDS.

THE ADVERTISING MECCA OF THE WORLD has always been just a subway ride FROM BROOKLYN ¾ but for TOO LONG THAT CAREER TRACK has bypasse
d our BLACK AND LATINO communities.

The buying power of African-Americans is projected to rise to NEARLY A TRILLION dollars in 2009.

And don’t even get me started on how much African-American GENIUS influences our music, FASHION, jewelry, and CULTURE.

We must spark in our kids a zest to do business, TO get into creative industries like advertising and marketing, AND TO BE THE ENTREPRENEURS OF TOMORROW.

and tonight i can PROUDLY announce what has LONG BEEN A DREAM OF MINE.

we HAVE MARSHALED THE MOST POWERFUL FORCES IN THE advertising INDUSTRY TO BUILD AND SHAPE A LANDMARK PROGRAM FOR BROOKLYN STUDENTS.

after all the hard work on the part OF our ADVERTISING partners and a team led by AdalEZA MiCHELENA¾ the city’s first-EVER High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media will OPEN THIS fall at canarsie high school.

OPENING THIS SCHOOL WILL LAUNCH MORE YOUNG brooklynITES INto the top levels of the advertising industry ¾ where the real money is ¾

and of course help to grow the red hot “brooklyn brand” ¾ WHICH I ASSURE YOU WILL ONLY SHINE BRIGHTER WITH THEIR SUCCESS.

OF COURSE, IN BROOKLYN, EDUCATION DOESN’T ONLY HAPPEN IN SCHOOLS.

IT HAPPENS EVERYWHERE ¾ AND WE DEPEND UPON OUR CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS TO PROVIDE A LIFELONG EDUCATION TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AND BROOKLYNITES AND VISITORS OF ALL AGES.

FROM THE BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN TO THE WEEKSVILLE HERITAGE CENTER, FROM THE BROOKLYN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM TO AMERICA’S ONLY JEWISH CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, AND FROM THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM TO ALL OUR “HEART OF BROOKLYN” MUSEUM PARTNERS.

THE BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY, ONE OF THE NATION’S LARGEST LIBRARY SYSTEMS, IS A CORNERSTONE OF OUR CULTURAL EDUCATION COMMUNITY.

AND WHEN THE LIBRARY WENT LOOKING FOR ITS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LAST YEAR, IT WENT ON A NATIONAL SEARCH.

BUT IT TURNS OUT THAT THE VERY BEST AND MOST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE, WAS RIGHT HERE UNDER OUR NOSES.

DIONNE MACK-HARVIN IS CERTAINLY ONE OF OUR BOROUGH’S MOST INFLUENTIAL EDUCATORS, AND ALTHOUGH SHE HAS A HARLEM ADDRESS, I CAN NOW PROUDLY CLAIM HER AS A BROOKLYNITE.

SHE HAS IT ALL: BEAUTY, BRAINS, AND TALENT — AND DID I MENTION SHE’S ONE OF THE YOUNGEST DIRECTORS OF A MAJOR PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM IN THE NATION?

PLEASE JOIN ME IN RECOGNIZING THE NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY — DIONNE MACK-HARVIN.

[Dionne Mack-Harvin stands]

THE STORY OF BROOKLYN IS THE STORY OF A BONA FIDE “COLLEGE TOWN.”

IN FACT, WITH A DOZEN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING, AND 35,000 STUDENTS IN DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN ALONE, BROOKLYN IS HOME TO MORE STUDENTS THAN CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS!

 

WE ARE PROUD OF THEM ALL, BUT ONE SCHOOL IN PARTICULAR IS CLOSE TO REACHING A VERY IMPORTANT MILESTONE.

SOON, BROOKLYN’S POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY MAY BE JOINING FORCES WITH NEW YORK UNIVERSITY ¾ A MERGER THAT WILL BENEFIT THE CITY AT LARGE—AND GIVE N-Y-U THE CHANCE TO GRADUATE TO THE BIG TIME—BROOKLYN USA!

pan> SO I WANT TO WELCOME POLY-TECH’S VISIONARY PRESIDENT— JERRY HULTIN.

[Jerry Hultin stands]

N-Y-U AND BROOKLYN — HEY, WHAT’S NEXT?

DO I HEAR COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY KNOCKING ON OUR DOOR!

NO MATTER HOW HARD OUR EDUCATORS WORK, THE KEY TO A CHILD’S SUCCESS IS HIS OR HER PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, OR CAREGIVERS.

SO I WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE AN EDUCATOR AND A PARENT WHO MADE A DIFFICULT DECISION ABOUT HIS FAMILY.

KEITH BELVIN’S DAUGHTER AND A GROUP OF TEENS WERE INVOLVED IN AN INCIDENT ON THE SUBWAY IN WHICH A YOUNG MAN WAS PHYSICALLY AND VERBALLY ASSAULTED, AND WHEN A VIDEO OF THE INCIDENT APPEARED, MR. BELVIN RECOGNIZED HIS DAUGHTER PLAYING AN ACTIVE ROLE.

AS A TEACHER HIMSELF, MR. BELVIN ALWAYS EXPECTED RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR FROM HIS STUDENTS —

AND HE COULD EXPECT NOTHING LESS FROM HIS OWN DAUGHTER.

AS MUCH AS HE LOVES AND WANTED TO PROTECT HER, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HE HAD TO DO WAS SAVE HER LIFE, SO HE TURNED HER IN.

MAYBE WE CALL THAT TOUGH LOVE, BUT IT ALSO SHOWS A PARENT WHO IS TEACHING HIS KID to DO THE RIGHT THING!

WELCOME KEITH BELVIN!

[Keith Belvin stands]

OF COURSE, WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING BROOKLYN WORK ¾

WRITING THE BROOKLYN STORY ¾

we all stand on the shoulders of thOSE who came before.

in 2007 we lost our share of brooklyn legends.

JEANNETTE GADSON’s passing was a TREMENDOUS loss because she was a true CHAMPION OF BROOKLYN.

ms. gadson wAS THE FIRST WOMAN of color TO HOLD THE POSITION OF DEPUTY BOROUGH PRESIDENT FOR MY PREDECESSOR, and from 1993 to 2001 she was a positive force AND agent of CHANGE.

and that voice!

it never failed to inspire and bring a crowd of people to their feet!

HARVEY SCHULTZ imagined a brooklyn with infinite possibilities and then worked to develop tangible projects like the BROOKLYN MARRIOTT, BRIGHTON BY THE SEA, and the re-development of red hook, all of which helped usher in the brooklyn renaissance we ENJOY today.

IN ROLES FROM ADVISING HOWARD GOLDEN AND WORKING WITH MUSS DEVELOPMENT, harvey schultz always had brooklyn and new york city’s best interests at heart, and he is dearly missed.

THE BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN SIMPLY would not be the cultural treasure that it is today without the vision and tenacity of JUDY ZUK.

judy poured every fiber of her being into making THE GARDEN aN oasis for city residents, a must-see for tourists, an important science and research center, and a place of wonder and LEARNING for ALL.

to the end, JUDY WAS a lover of magnolias, which, not unlike judy herself, are KNOWN FOR BEING both strong and sweet.

SHE WAS TAKEN FROM US IN FULL BLOOM ¾ AND WE MISS HER DEEPLY.

IN THE LAST YEAR WE ALSO LOST CHARLOTTE KRIEGAL, BELOVED WIFE OF 72 YEARS TO STANLEY KRIEGAL, AND AN ACTIVE SUPPORTER OF THE BROOKLYN PHILHARMONIC, BAM, THE BROOKLYN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY AND THE BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN —

AND PASTOR JOE L. PARKER – OUTSTANDING SPIRITUAL LEADER AND PASTOR OF THE WAYSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH SINCE 1977.

AND I NOW ASK THAT WE TAKE A MOMENT OF SILENCE TO REMEMBER THOSE WE LOST WHO MADE BROOKLYN A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL.

CHARLIE ALSTON

KERMIT AUGUSTINE

RABBI SHMUEL BERENBAUM

GLORIA BRAITHWAITE HOPE

RUBY BRENT-FORD

JOAN CHEQUET-WRIGHT

SIR JOHN GEORGE MELVIN COMPTON

LAWRENCE PETER DORSEY

THE HONORABLE GERALD DUNBAR

JEFF ENNIS

RADAMES J. FIGUEROA

JOSePH F. FRENCH

VERDEEN GADDY

MILDRED MILLAR “DICKEY
GRAFF

dOUL “MICHAEL” HYLTON

SIEGFRIED LANDAU

HEATH LEDGER

VERNICE LUNDY

NORMAN MAILER

DR. PEDRO ENRIQUE MONTALVO

JUDITH MARIE EALEY-MOYE

THE HONORABLE THADDEUs OWENS

LOUISCASSE PIERRE

SUZANNE PLESHETTE

JOHNNY PODRES

MAX ROACH

GAYLE ROBINSON aka GAYLE SHAWN

ANTHONY SENISI

GREGORY “FOZZY” SERENA

BEVERLY SILLS

JOHN SINDAB

DARREN SULLIVAN

SEKOU SUNDIATA

CHIEF APOSTLE CARL E. WILLIAMS, SR.

NEW YORK CITY AND ALL OF AMERICA REMEMBER AND ARE PROFOUNDLY GRATEFUL TO THE BROOKLYN SOLDIERS WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE TO OUR NATION IN THE LAST YEAR.

lance corporal angel ramirez

sergeant kimel watt

and spECIALIST michael rivera.

I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE MEMBERS OF THEIR FAMILIES HERE WITH US TONIGHT TO PLEASE STAND.

America IS FOREVER IN YOUR DEBT.

 

i ALSO want to OFFER BROOKLYN’S DEEPEST sympathies to the families of the officers in the new york city fire department who PERISHED in the line of duty —

lt. john l. Martinson

firefighter daniel pudjak and

LT. joseph graffANINO.

 

AND i want to extend OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS to the family of new york city police officer detective russel timoshenko — who WAS TRAGICALLY shot while making a traffic stop in brooklyn.

I ASK THAT THE FAMILY MEMBERS OF NEW YORK’S FINEST AND BRAVEST PLEASE STAND.

HOW BLESSED WE ARE THAT THERE ARE THOSE WHO put their lives on the line for all of us EVERY DAY.

SOME OF THE LEADERS OF OUR CITY’S VALIANT PUBLIC SERVANTS ARE WITH US TONIGHT, AND IT GIVES ME GREAT PRIDE TO RECOGNIZE THEM ON BEHALF OF ALL THOSE WHO BRAVELY SERVE OUR CITY.

we WELCOME new york city police commissioner ray kelly — WHO WAS A DEPUTY INSPECTOR IN THE 71ST PRECINCT IN 1983, THE SAME YEAR CROWN HEIGHTS BECAME PART OF THE DISTRICT I REPRESENTED IN THE SENATE.

WE WERE BOTH JUST PUPPIES THEN — AND LOOK HOW FAR HE’S COME!

COMMISSIONER!

[Recognize Ray Kelly]

chief joseph fox IS commanding officer of patrol brooklyn south — AS WELL AS an accomplished photographer.

and chief of PATROL brooklyn north — who sleeps in queens but was raised and made it to the big time in Brooklyn — chief gerald nelson!

(Recognize Chiefs Fox and Nelson)

AND I WANT TO RECOGNIZE F-D-N-Y’s BROOKLYN BOROUGH COMMANDER ED KILDUFF.

the brooklyn story is one of diversity and celebration.

AND although most brooklynites live side by side in peace and harmony 365 days a year — there was aN UNFORTUNATE 20 percent increase in hate crimes IN OUR city LAST YEAR.

 

WE APPRECIATE THE EFFORTS OF OUR POLICE LEADERSHIP, OF speaker quinn, WHO coordinatED AN IMPORTANT “day out against hate” in response — and OF MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND THE MANY ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO WORK TO promote a culture of respect among our RESIDENTS.

AND i want to again praise COMMISSIONER KELLY and the n-y-p-d hate crimes task force for apprehending the INDIVIDUAL WHO ALLEGEDLY COMMITTED RECENT anti-semitic crimes in brooklyn heights, BAY RIDGE and other locations.

¾ an attack against any one individual is an attack against us all.

AND WE MUST REMEMBER, THAT for every DESPICABLE incident like this, there are a thousand examples great and small of residents reaching across cultural DIFFERENCES to ENSURE THAT RESPECT AND PEACE TRIUMPH OVER DISCRIMINATION AND IGNORANCE.

IN FACT, tonight we have with us hassan askari ¾ A PROUD BROOKLYNITE BY WAY OF BANGLADESH ¾ WHO, when he saw some punks on the subway threatening others, didn’t stop to think if helping them would put his own life in danger.

and he also didn’t stop to think for a second about the fact that the passengers he was helping were jewish and that he is muslim.

HASSAN’S ACTIONS REPRESENT the kind of EVERYDAY heroism that makes the brooklyn story worth telling, AND THAT ON PAPER SOUND LIKE THE OBVIOUS RIGHT THING TO DO — BUT IN THE REAL WORLD CAN BE FAR MORE COMPLICATED.

thank you hassan ¾ please stand and be recognized!

[Hassan stands.]

ELISA Zuritsky ALSO reached out in kindness to a stranger.

when eLISA WAS PLANNING HER WEDDING, she found her dream dress ¾ but then faced every bride’s worst nightmare when the GOWN wasn’t ready in time.

But ELISA turned her stress into someone else’s success by offering the dress to the person with the most compelling story of need.

eLISA received over 130 inquiries about HER dress — but her heart went out to ONE woman, an army reservist NAMED JENNETH PETERSON FROM TEXAS — who married her fiancé, an active duty officer, this past January — iN ELISA’S dress!

Thank YOU, ELISA Zuritsky, for proving yet again that Brooklynites have the biggest hearts!

speaking of LOVE AND MARRIAGE, NEXT WEEK ON FEBRUARY 14th, JAMIE AND I WILL HOST HUNDREDS OF SENIOR LOVEBIRDS married at least 50 years AT OUR ANNUAL VALENTINE’S DAY CELEBRATION AT THE BROOKLYN MARRIOTT.

we have TWO of THOSE genuine brooklyn sweethearts with us tonight who can probably teach all OF US a thing or two about true love.

YEVGENY AND LUBA KEESEN have been married 67 years, and THEY are a shining example of the vows we speak and the commitments we keep.

Please stand so we can acknowledge a BOND that has lasted SOME 7 decades.

NOW, IF JAMIE AND I CAN MAKE IT THAT MANY YEARS and celebrate our 67th anniversary, I’LL BE THRILLED —

I’LL BE 121— BUT JAMIE, OF COURSE, WILL still BE 21!

Along with big hearts, some Brooklynites have even more mysterious powers.

Take Christine Agro, who was written up in the New York Times for her work as a clairvoyant medium FOR famous people’s pets.

You heard right!

The beautiful people call Christine to find out what’s on Fido OR FLUFFY’S mind ¾ or to discover WHY THEIR PET IS DEPRESSED.

Please welcome aN “only in Brooklyn” character — animal medium Christine Agro!

christine, can you let me know what’s BUGGING “beep,” MY 8-YEAR-OLD AFRICAN GREY PARROT?

[Image: Marty and Beep]

HE’S PULLING OUT ALL HIS FEATHERS.

MAYBE HE’S JUST upset because WE KEEP CALLING HIM THE MOTHER OF ALL PLUCKERS!

OUR NEXT GUEST found her voice as an artist some time ago but just recently found her way back home to brooklyn, having lived for the last two decades as a manhattanite.

BROOKLYN FORGIVES YOU.

i MENTIONED that brooklyn is the best place to SPEND your sunset years, and i think 72-YEAR-OLD eleanor alper, originally from greenpoint, would agree.

ms. alper can often be seen zipping around the streets on her scooter OR ROLLER BLADES.

now that’s life in brooklyn after 70!

ELEANOR—YOU’RE PROOF THAT IT’S NOT JUST THE HIPSTERS AND THIRTY-SOMETHINGS MOVING HERE—

BROOKLYN SAYS WELCOME HOME!

ELEANOR, I BET YOU NEVER HAD GOOD PIZZA IN MANHATTAN.

BECAUSE WHERE ELSE ON THE PLANET HAS BETTER pizza THAN BROOKLY
N?

THAT’S RIGHT, NOWHERE.

leave it to tony mUIA from bensonhurst to figure out a way— not TO deliver the pizza to you — but TO deliver you to the pizza!

when you get on tony’s “slice of brooklyn pizza tour” you’ll get a slice of heaven from grimaldi’s or l and B spumoni Gardens, TO NAME A FEW —

but you’ll also get a four-hour tour of some of brooklyn’s most notable landmarks.

ladies and gentlemen, please welcome tony mUIA! GRAZIE.

AND AS THE BLOGGIEST PLACE IN AMERICA, OUR GUEST LIST WOULDN’T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT A NOTABLE BLOGGER.

YOU SHOULD READ WHAT THEY WRITE ABOUT ME!

ON SECOND THOUGHT, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T.

LOUISE CRAWFORD HAS BEEN TAPPING OUT ALL THE PARK SLOPE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO BLOG SINCE 2004.

IF YOU don’t SEE IT ON “ONLY THE BLOG KNOWS BROOKLYN,” IT DIDN’T HAPPEN IN THE SLOPE!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE WELCOME THE CINDY ADAMS OF PARK SLOPE, LOUISE CRAWFORD!

OUR FINAL GUEST TONIGHT LITERALLY PERSONIFIES BROOKLYN in the days ahead ¾ the exciting story YET TO BE WRITTEN.

let’s face it, WE all KNOW THAT BROOKLYN IS HOT ¾

BUT DID YOU KNOW THAT IT’S NOW ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR NAMES IN AMERICA FOR NEWBORN CHILDREN.

in fact, brooklyn WAS more popular than STEPHANIE OR MICHELLE IN 2007.

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!

ALONG WITH SOCCER STAR DAVID BECKHAM AND HIS WIFE POSH SPICE, WHOSE SON IS NAMED “BROOKLYN” ¾ THOUSANDS OF PARENTS NATIONWIDE ARE NAMING THEIR CHILDREN AFTER OUR BOROUGH.

WHO KNEW?

how about that for promoting the brooklyn brand?

you definitely don’t see any kids out there named “MANHATTAN”— SORRY SCOTT.

tonight, I AM PROUD TO INTRODUCE two year-old brooklyn cumberbatch, WHO IS HERE with US TONIGHT.

(recognize her)

THAT’S ONE KID WHO CAN REALLY BOAST ¾ “I AM BROOKLYN”

I OFTEN SAY THAT NOWHERE BOASTS MORE CHARACTER AND CHARACTERS THAN BROOKLYN — THAT’S FOR SURE.

WHICH IS WHY BROOKLYN WRITERS, PAINTERS, MUSICIANS, DESIGNERS, AND FILMMAKERS NEVER LACK FOR INSPIRATION!

 

WE CAN ALL SAY “I AM BROOKLYN” ¾ FROM HIPSTERS TO HASIDIM ¾ FROM BANKERS TO BLOGGERS — FROM YUPPIES TO BUPPIES.

WE SPEAK 136 LANGUAGES, AT LEAST ¾ AND ENJOY EVERY CUISINE ¾ FROM PIZZA TO PASTRAMI — FROM BURRITOS TO BORSCHT — FROM MOUSSAKA TO MOO SHU — FROM KOSHER SUSHI TO COLLARD GREENS — AND FROM CANNOLIS TO KEBABS.

SPEAKING OF CUISINE, SOME OF YOU MIGHT REMEMBER LAST YEAR I USED AN AGE-OLD BROOKLYN TECHNIQUE OF OPENING A FORTUNE COOKIE TO DETERMINE MY FUTURE AFTER TERM LIMITS

THIS YEAR I’M GOING TO BE A LITTLE MORE SCIENTIFIC — AND USE THE WORLD-FAMOUS EIGHT BALL TO TELL ME WHAT’S NEXT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SO, C’MON EIGHT BALL?

ARE WE GOING TO TAKE THIS BROOKLYN STORY ON THE ROAD?

(image of eight ball on screen –

Image of fortune on screen that reads “Too soon to tell”)

thank you all.