The last borough of New York City, at one point one of the largest cities in America, the East coast mecca and response to Portland’s craft revival and do it yourself culture. It seems like everyone is moving to Brooklyn these days or at the very least a train stop away hell I spent all of 2010 practically living in Greenpoint/Williamsburg and it felt like I was better for it. The culture was free, the food was better than Hell’s Kitchen and there was only one Starbucks and McDonald’s for miles. Brooklyn is where my mother was born where my family laid some roots down.
The lack of corporate consumerism and the alternative decor spoke volumes to me having grown up in the shadows of Time Square. Who wouldn’t want to live a mile away from their favorite brewery and dirt cheap bowling alley (cheap for NYC not America)? Not to come off as corny or soft but Brooklyn really made me a better person, happier, creative, a live I love the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives there.
Apparently Brooklyn has that effect on corporations as well. The Barclay Arena having just opened in September brought a mainstream “Yes we can” spirit to a part of town banking nationally on its name. Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Whiskey, Brooklyn Home Brewing Shop), Brooklyn Industries (Fashion), Brooklyn Bowl (Music & Food), The Brooklyn Nets and now The Brooklyn Islanders.
Can a place make a team better the same way it does a people? Can millionaire basketball players and hockey players be inspired to be better by virtue of adorning the borough’s name and its pseudo blue collar cultural revival that has taken root here? Maybe though I am skeptical however I do know that these teams’ apparel will be selling like hot cakes if they can make a few haphazard victories turn into the media frenzy that was Jeremy Lin and the New York Knickerbockers. The professional alternative mainstream answer to professional mainstream sports…ah but what’s in a name, right?
I was speaking to my father, and I had heard it through my Hip-Hop connections (yes this White boy Puerto Rican has Hip-Hop connections, also its pretty ironic to be connecting Hip-Hop with Hockey but I just did) early during the lock out that the NY Islanders were using the free time in their offices to discuss the prospect of moving into the Barclay Arena. The old man didn’t believe me, even my friends at the New York Daily News didn’t believe me.
The move is slated for 2015 enough time to build the same amount of hype the Nets manufactured. It’s going to be funny seeing all those white suburban hockey fans walking through that part of Brooklyn. The Islanders have had their ups and downs since their dominant years three decades ago, reaching the play-offs a few times and the teams ownership have had difficulties filling up Nassau Colosseum (a forty year old building that was in need of half a billion dollars in repairs).
Everyone is moving to Brooklyn its only a matter of time until the Hyatt opens up a luxury boutique hotel on Wythe and North 7th.