There is something about big box stores that brings out irrational hatred. Especially in Brooklyn.
Now that plans for a 52,000-square foot Whole Foods store are hurtling toward groundbreaking, Brooklynites have been forced to confront their fears that without dogged opposition, the borough might come to resemble the kind of suburban hellhole found in the southern or central U.S. Or the Upper West Side, even.
Fortunately, a few brave filmmakers have tapped into their creative sides and explored these issues, posting the results, both the very, very sincere and the satiric, on YouTube.
For some, the Whole Foods debacle has dredged up memories of when Ikea came to Red Hook and ruined everything. In “Ikea: Four Years Post Controversy,” by theresident, we get a bleak view of empty parking lots and Ikea’s sad, state-of-the-art waterfront park.
The only thing Ikea was right about was that there would be no traffic problems, because no one shops there! So claims the video. (The 572 iIea items currently being sold on Brooklyn Craigslist would seem to suggest otherwise.)
Either Ikea shoppers are the most furtive people in the world, evading the camera and hiding their flatpacks and bright blue bags, or the filmmaker should look into setting up location shots for horror movies.
“Ikea in Brooklyn is nothing but a post-apocalyptic, post-consumerist ghost town,” she concludes, over a soundtrack that one commentator on Browstoner, where the video was posted earlier, called “somewhere between ‘don’t go in the basement!’ camp and scanning post-apocolyptic rubble/oil-covered ducks.”
With a videos like these, Brooklynites are naturally wary about Whole Foods plunking down next to the pristine Gowanus Canal. Well, a few Brooklynites, at least.
But why wallow in the past, when you can fear the future? Also posted on Brownstoner, A reason.tv reporter dug up two local activists mounting their best campaign against the health food superstore. While one talked mostly about the historic landmark concrete building that will be dwarfed by the superstore, the other, unfortunately, spoke about the Superfund site’s natural beauty, with “delicious apple trees and a delicious red apples.”
(The project does have a healthy cadre of opponents, like the Gowanus Institute.)
Most people, though, or at least those milling outside the Park Slope Food Co-op, seemed not to care about Whole Foods coming. Or maybe they were just relieved not to be the center of controversy anymore?