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In The Footprint

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Atlantic Yards project began with grand ambitions for a basketball arena, skyscrapers and housing in Brooklyn. It ended up dividing communities – and inspiring a musical called “In the Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards.” Writer and director Steven Cosson and composer Michael Friedman talk about turning community activism and state-agency acronyms into music. And, the cast performs songs from the show live in our studio.


Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman,

Comments [15]

JJ from NYC

I'm not someone who cries easily, but I come close when I hear the Neighborhood Song; my throat constricts. It makes me sad! What a great show!

Nov. 30 2010 03:46 PM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

One of the things that you see from the New York Times review of the show is the difficulty of keeping people straight about the actual facts. That applies even those like the Times reviewer, sympathetic about the abuses going on. The Times reviewer refers to a project “over the Brooklyn rail yards.” Actually most of the project is NEXT to the Vanderbilt rail yards. The Ratner (/Prokhorov) project is THIRTY contiguous acres over which Ratner is being given exclusive monopolistic control and development rights for 30 to 40 years. Only EIGHT of those acres are over the rail yard. The project Ratner formally calls “Atlantic Yards” comprises TWENTY-TWO of those acres; the other governmentally assisted acres were previously given to Ratner but are part of the entire coordinated scheme of Ratner ownership. The debate about the abuse of eminent domain to give Ratner this mega-monopoly wouldn’t make sense if the project were just over a rail yard. The eminent domain abuse debate applies to 60% majority of the acreage, the new acreage being given to Ratner/Prokhorov under the rubric of “Atlantic Yards.”

I’ve seen two earlier versions of the show and will be going to see the updated version in a few days. One thing I am interested in seeing is whether it now dramatizes the effort of people like Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report to correct all the stories that are just not so. I also want to see how much they mention the concept of giving Ratner a MEGA-MONOPOLY over so much key Brooklyn real estate.

Nov. 30 2010 03:15 PM
Emma P. from Upper West Side

"In the Footprint" is a very unoriginal title; it rips off the title of the successful Broadway production, "In the Heights." The lyrics are contrived and forced, and I particularly liked the comment the songwriter said about all the "reasonable people" they spoke to. So anyone who didn't agree with his opinion is unreasonable?

Nov. 30 2010 03:03 PM
a g from nj

the hood was already gone,is that a little like saying, some africans were involved in the slave trade,therefore black people deserve eternal slavitude? what is your point.............

Nov. 30 2010 02:59 PM
threecee from Prospect Heights

for photos in and around the footprint, check out the flickr Atlantic Yards photo pool:

Nov. 30 2010 02:55 PM
telegram sam from Staten Island

Nauseating. This is a serious issue and it's disgusting that they're singing this fey, sub-Sesame Street bs about it, making their own exploitive buck.

Nov. 30 2010 02:54 PM
threecee from Prospect Heights

I don't think the photo is in the Atlantic Yards footprint.

Nov. 30 2010 02:51 PM
Pete from nyc

the hood was already gone when these people singing started moving in 10-15 years ago and priced everyone else out...

Nov. 30 2010 02:51 PM
a g from n j

i don't know if your comment is directed at me . i'm not blaming the hipsters, i'm blaming the circumstance that the politicos and developers create by piting people such as yourself agaisnt me,when there is so much commoin cause to be had.
a little less reactionary please,ya think..
btw- i am not african american,i just believe in what is just.

Nov. 30 2010 02:50 PM
kay from brooklyn

To landless: Brooklyn has multiple thriving economies in the many (more than 4) Brooklyns.

Nov. 30 2010 02:47 PM
su from bed-stuy

amen to the first comment!
I cannot believe they didn't sing in the black community (of Bed-Stuy).
no, that is NOT "covered" by them mentioning the Carribean section (as if being in the US for 400 years is the same as coming 10-20 or 30 years ago)
After Chicago, Bed-Stuy is the largest African-American community in the US.
anyway, enough said.

Nov. 30 2010 02:47 PM
landless from Downtown Brooklyn

Just heard the opening song about the four Brooklyns and I realized how much I dislike all four. It would be interesting to know how many people who live in Brooklyn do not like it because of its ethic/social divisions and the groups clinging to the past. Brooklyn needs an economy to stir things up.

Nov. 30 2010 02:45 PM
kay from brooklyn

Did the smarty hipsters just eradicate African Americans from their 4 Brooklyns?

Nov. 30 2010 02:44 PM

Did the smarty hipsters just eradicate African Americans from their 4 Brooklyns?

Nov. 30 2010 02:44 PM
a g from n j

the usual sad story of an underdeveloped but thriiving[at least for some] neighborhood that is given the zero sum ultimatum of overdevelopment destroying the 'hood. or being left to waddle along, with up and coming white cats, reviving the place, a la artsy,while the original other complexions of the hood can't find a damn place to live..........

Nov. 30 2010 02:42 PM

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