The Brooklyn Paper is reporting that plans are afoot to expand the Park Slope Historic District. Real estate brokers have been trying to expand the number of landmarked buildings for years, presumably so that they can command even more exorbitant rents. This time, however, there's something else driving the effort. Councilmen Levin and Landon are backing the expansion so that buildings that contribute to the historic character of the North Slope can't be torn down to build new businesses adjacent to the Atlantic Yards Stadium.
Um... Too late, guys. The historic character of the neighborhood is already fucked. One only has to look as far as 33rd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan to see what happens to a neighborhood when you build a basketball arena next to a big rail trainsport hub. The future of Yummy Taco on Flatbush is safe from now until the end of time. But will this effort protect the North Slope from future down-scale development?
In order to prepare for the worst, let's just assume, for the sake of argument, that the historic district is not expanded. A basketball arena doesn't just host basketball, you know? Let's take a look at some of the other businesses that might crop up in the North Slope because of the Atlantic Yards project, if this historic district expansion doesn't move forward.
Brooklyn doesn't yet have a professional hockey team, but if there's a primo arena that's not used when the Nets are away, it's entirely possible that another team could decide to re-locate (especially since Marty wants it so bad). Or maybe we'd get a minor league hockey team. If either of those things were to happen, it's likely that historical buildings in the North Slope would be torn down so that enterprising barbers can open shops that specialize in well-crafted mullets. There'd also be an unfilled niche for cosmetic dentists in the area. Think of all of those busted-up hockey players that'd need to get teeth replaced after a game. It's a cash cow for the oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the borough!
Madison Square Garden will no longer be the most logical location in New York for a big title fight. It's a well-established fact that many pugilists are transvestites. I don't quite know why this is, but it might have something to do with the fact that they give the winner of each fight a purse. In order to cater to that crowd, we should expect that someone would come up with the idea of demolishing historic homes in order to build lingerie stores that cater to sexy welterweights.
3. Figure Skating and ice dancing
If they start doing ice shows and ice competitions at the arena, we're in real trouble. Your home in the Slope may well be razed to build a Michael's craft store or JoAnn Fabric. Our neighborhood will be overrun by anorexic Russians and long-haired gay boys who will need to hot glue spangles and sequins to their costumes at the last minute. And if that's not bad enough, they'll also have to bulldoze an entire block of buildings in order to construct a warehouse that can house a supercomputer that's large enough and powerful enough to figure out the complicated and Byzantine scoring system that skating competitions use these days.
4. DOG SHOWS
Martha Stewart's Chow Chow took "Best in Breed" at Westminster this year. That happened in Manhattan. Martha Stewart is not likely to show her dogs in Brooklyn. If a dog show turns up in our neighborhood, it won't be a classy show like Westminster. It'll probably be sponsored by one of those dog food brands that's mostly chemicals and filler. So when the Alpo Invitational Dog Classic rolls into town, you're going to see a lot of crazy dog people invading the neighborhood--the kind who wear custom embroidered "I Love My Chinese Crested" denim jackets. And they're going to want places to buy those jackets, along with all of the other craptastic shit that crazy dog people love to buy. They could go online to buy that junk, but they'll feel more of a sense of community if they tear down your old house in order to set up a brick-and-mortar store that sells porcelain figurines of obscure dog breeds. The only plus from this is that our 'hood will smell like a freshly-groomed miniature schnauzer, and compared to the odors coming from the Gowanus Canal, that'd be an improvement.
5. madonna concerts
Did you see Madonna's performance at the Superbowl? Holy Shit! I thought The Gays were going to break Twitter for those ten minutes of Madge-mania. Madonna showed up being pulled by a couple hundred muscular guys dressed as gladiators (I think they were Madonna's personal slaves, for what it's worth), and then she re-enacted the choreography of the "Small House of Uncle Thomas" number from a regional theater production of "The King and I," only the music was her classic '90's hit, "Vogue." And that was just the beginning--it got crazier from there. I mean, there's no reason in the world that a 70-year old woman should be able to do cartwheels like that! Normally, I'd say that Brooklyn doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting Madonna to stage one of her overblown extravaganzas here, but keep in mind, she did that Superbowl shit in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is pretty much the Bangladesh of musical entertainment. And, on her upcoming concert tour, she's abandoning Madison Square Garden for Yankee Stadium. So if she's willing to put on a show in The Bronx, there's no reason she wouldn't come to Brooklyn if we had a suitable arena. When Madonna comes to Brooklyn, there will be thousands of middle-aged gay men paying top dollar to sit in the nosebleed seats. They'll need somewhere to drink, afterward, and Excelsior and Ginger's are just too small. We'll need several gigantic gay bars in the North Slope, and your historically-significant building will have to be dynamited so that we can build a bunch of giant gay dance clubs.
6. cathy rigby in peter pan
She's done it everywhere else. It's just a matter of time before it comes to Brooklyn. Don't worry, though. Your building is safe, this time. No one cares about this. Your only concern should be whether there's a safe place to park your stroller.
7. Professional wrestling
When Wrestlemania MCMLVXII shows up in Park Slope, we can expect that the percentage of traumatic brain injuries in our neighborhood will shoot through the roof. The Stand-Up MRI on 5th Avenue is too far from the Atlantic Yards project. They'll need to rip down some old buildings to construct newer Stand-Up MRI franchises in closer proximity to the arena. Also, there will be an influx of wrestling fans to our neighborhood, which means that a Wal-Mart will have to be built. We've kept Wal-Mart out of New York City until now, but you can't deprive scads of mouth-breathing wrestling fans of the low, low prices and labor law violations that they love so dearly. You'll just have to find somewhere else to live, white people.
8 Republican National Convention
Remember back in 2004, when Mayor Bloomberg allowed our city to be the staging platform for the re-election of George W. Bush? How he promised that it would be a boon to the local economy, but then a bunch of Broadway shows that weren't on the GOP's approved list promptly closed, and restaurants lost a week's worth of business because no one could get anywhere in Manhattan? Well, once Brooklyn's got an arena, the Republicans will almost certainly want to ruin our local economy, too. So they'll come to town, they'll have their convention, and since most Republicans are closeted homosexuals, they'll need to go to "ex-gay" therapy immediately afterward. Expect the Republicans to rip down historically significant buildings, so that they can open up "Pray the Gay Away" clinics near the arena.
9. Democratic National Convention
The Republicans have already convened in New York within recent memory, so it's probably more likely that the Democrats would hold their convention in Brooklyn. Recently I heard on Fox News that part of their party platform is to open up a nationwide chain of federally-funded abortion clinics that will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 364 days a year--year 'round, except the one day each year when they close to celebrate Hugo Chavez's birthday. They'll want to show America that they're serious about their plan, so expect that the first of those facilities will be constructed in the shadow of the Atlantic Yards.
10. Mass Moonie Weddings
The biggest reason Brooklyn hasn't yet held a mass cult wedding where 50,000 total strangers marry each other with the blessing of a self-proclaimed messiah is because you can't have that kind of function at the Grand Prospect Hall. It's just not big enough. Once the Unification Church can rent out a enormous space in Brooklyn, they will. I promise you. Lots of people don't know that the Moonies are actually the largest purveyor of sushi in the United States. Now that Blue Ribbon Sushi is scaling back, you can expect that the Moonies will want to demolish several blocks of the North Slope to open up more of their sushi joints, so that you can help fund their whack-a-doodle cult.
11. Cirque Du Soleil
One of those horrible traveling Cirque du Soleil shows will show up in Brooklyn, with their freaky contortionists and people climbing ropes in order to jump up and down and do back flips on a thin metal bar suspended several hundred neck-breaking feet above a pit filled with Little People dressed up as space crocodiles. And the clowns! Sweet suffering fuck! Don't forget about the Cirque Clowns. For me, the only thing more terrifying than clowns, are clowns that speak French. When the Cirque comes to town, they'll need to make room for construction of a Center for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it will need to be as close to the Atlantic Yards as possible. Start packing your things, North Slopers. You're going to have to make room for the treatment centers.