An Arena Grows in Brooklyn
The Barclays Center is open, and like Brooklyn’s favorite son who has been performing there all week, the arena lives up to the hype. It may not be universally loved, for its tortured past or rusticated design, but there is no question the Barclays Center is one of the most unique and interesting sports venues in the world. It is certainly the most exacting, with every inch of the place being burnished and detailed. It is like a Swiss watch—everything in its right place—albeit a Swiss watch with a discrete EmblemHealth logo on its face, the kind of thing handed out for a Christmas bonus. You eagerly wear it and just hope no one wants to see the thing up close.
One thing was out of place, though, when The Observer took in Wednesday night’s packed Jay-Z concert: drinks, drinks everywhere, but not a drop from Brooklyn.
“We did it!” developer Bruce Ratner crowed a reported 14 times at the opening of his new Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn this weekend.
We sure did. Poor Brooklyn, always trying to develop some new civic identity all its own, and always ending up with … a Barclays Center.
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As is his want, Gridlock Sam Schwartz is out trying to warn people about troubling traffic conditions. As Mr. Schwartz explained in a profile earlier this year in The Observer, you tell people about how terrible the roads will be, and they have a remarkable habit to stay out of their cars. After all, everybody hates traffic.
So when Mr. Schwartz says this will be the worst traffic week of the year, we are want to give the former traffic commission his due. Here’s what we have to look forward to in the coming “Carmageddon” (his term, not ours, and we think it’s a technical one at that).
Probably not, seeing as the Vogue editor in chief was just announced as being the fourth-biggest fund-raiser for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in a document released to The New York Times. But this was due in no small part to the $40,000-dollar-a-plate dinner she held over at Sarah Jessica Parker’s house back in June: that event raised approximately $2,000,000 on that night alone.
Now the president and first lady of hip-hop want to give the editrix a run for her money.
Hamptons Real Estate
It was bound to happen: Jay-Z’s comments about Occupy Wall Street in the recent T Magazine profile of the rapper/entrepreneur (written by novelist Zadie Smith), found their way to the Occupy movement itself. And as they were no doubt going to do, they’ve stirred up a bit of a media tempest.
(Photos via Farrellbuilding.com)
Perhaps it was inevitable that New York’s royal family would start investing in Hamptons real estate, what with Jay-Z branching out into all sorts of mogulite territories. After all, you can’t own part of a basketball team, be best friends with Warren Buffett, and throw annual an annual White Party without eventually falling victim to the siren song of the Jitney.
Still, it’s hard to imagine Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Blue Ivy Carter “summering” up in Bridgehampton, despite reports from Page Six that the family is looking into renting an 11-acre property in the area.
Beleaguered wax-man Kris Humphries has had a rough twelve months. The NBA lockouts had us fearing that he would forever be employed as Mr. Kardashian, until negotiations broke down on that front as well, leaving him booted from Team Kim shortly after their fairytale wedding. (“Fairytale” in the sense that it was entirely made up and in no way based on reality.)
His refusal to sign the divorce papers have lead to an ugly court case, with allegations of cheating, stalking, sex-tape set-ups, and a bunch of other sociopathic behavior on both sides. On occasion, he’s been booed off the court before he could even foul.
But now things are looking up for Mr. Humphries. The Brooklyn Nets (previously of New Jersey) have re-signed the power forward with a two year contract for $24 million.
The passionate opposition of the pro-obesity lobby pro-soda-size-choice lobby has already assaulted Mayor Bloomberg with a ‘Million Gulp March‘ for Big Soda. What’s next? Fashion, for people and drinks of all sizes!
Jay-Z might be from Brooklyn—and may season his songs with references to the borough liberally, not including his memorable Reasonable Doubt duet with The Notorious B.I.G., “Brooklyn’s Finest”—but does anybody remember the last time he played a proper concert there? Odds are, unless you’re an obsessive who tracks his every movement—or a Phish fan—you may not.
Fear not, though. The modest opening of the Barclays Center (the new home of the NBA’s Nets, of which, Jay-Z is an investor) will now shove this seemingly arbitrary but actually earth-shatteringly important query into irrelevance, as Jay-Z will not be playing one, or two, but three shows to open the new stadium, this September.
After last week’s glass-shattering fracas between Drake and Chris Brown at SoHo’s W.i.P., New York’s nightclub scene might be seeing a dip in bottle service. Hey, we’re not complaining.