Today I stepped into the Barclay’s Center for the first time. My full-time job has a permanent interactive installation and I help set it up. It’s across from the Juniors + Blue Marble concession stand. It’s tough not to get excited about it even though I was one of many, if not most of Brooklyn who did not want it flanking Atlantic and Flatbush Ave. I mean couldn’t they find a better spot without tearing down and then building up. But now this billion $ fantasy is now our reality.
I left the newly updated Atlantic Ave. subway station, the massive hub for all of Brooklyn, walking up to the massive Barclay’s Center structure and it hit me. NYC is always changing; it’s always evolving. It will never stay the same for more than a second. I’ve seen a lot of change during my 20+ years here. I remember when the Target Center or whatever that shopping mall and office building is called was nothing more than an empty lot. The Barclay’s was nothing more than a U-Haul lot and some decrepit buildings.
And now there is the stadium, the arena, and additional attraction to bring people and money into this borough. The traffic is going to be hell. The surrounding neighborhoods will be greatly impacted and modified. The center is so huge that it’s effect on the surrounding areas will be both immediate and realized years from now. The attention could mean new opportunities for small business, especially food producers and that sparks my interest. There I said it. I’ve sold out and will embrace the Barclay’s Center and as far as the Brooklyn Net’s, I will likely get one of those “Hello, Brooklyn” tee shirts and add it to be growing collection of apparel with Brooklyn silk screened or embroidered. So “Hello Brooklyn!”