The only thing hated more by writers than their editors–at least within Brooklyn’s sprawling literary scene–is Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development. Jonathan Lethem is the movement’s de facto leader, but Jennifer Egan, Chris Smith, Philip Lopate and even Jimmy Breslin (sorta) are among those who have lifted their pens in protest. Now none other than Rick Moody has made his displeasure known–not that it’s going to stop this thing–in an aside for one of TONY‘s weekly Own This City neighborhood guides about his beloved Prospect Heights, which sits on the Atlantic Yards border.
I would like to see the neighborhood develop slowly, modestly and effectively into the Washington Avenue/Franklin Avenue direction without displacing a lot of African-American business. Partly because of the experience of watching that fucking basketball thing happen, my cynical attitude is that money and power wins every time. It doesn’t matter what the people in the neighborhood actually want, the developers win every time. It’s irritating and it makes me feel slightly hopeless. But, at the same time, I sort of feel like Prospect Heights, as it edges into Crown Heights, is not of tremendous value to the quick-buck-turnaround thinkers who generally profit from real-estate development. There’s not as much for them in this direction. [Emphasis the Observer‘s.]