“Raucous” is having its day in the sun. There are no less than four headlines today (so far) about the Atlantic Yards hearing that use the word “raucous“–as in “Raucous Meeting” or “Raucous Hearing” or “Raucous Crowd.” A Google News search of “Raucous” turns up a dozen results, all of them articles about last night’s big public hearing on Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, not counting AP’s account which was published in multiple newspapers. (In addition to calling it “raucous,” the Star Ledger said it was like “open mike night at a mud slinging contest.”)
All of the comments about the, well, raucous nature of the hearing and the crowd aside, one begins to sniff the end game in the making–the trimming of the project that is likely to occur so that prominent backers like Borough President Marty Markowitz can be big supporters while saying their efforts led to a somewhat smaller project. Markowitz suggested that the Williamsburgh Savings Bank should remain Brooklyn’s tallest building rather than losing its status to Frank Gehry’s 620-foot “Miss Brooklyn.” He also said some fo the buildings nearest Prospect Heights had to be smaller and that traffic and parking solutions are needed. Even the Regional Plan Association’s surprising quasi-endorsement of the project yesterday contained important caveats about taking a hard look at the “second phase” of the development and a slap at project planners for their failure to plan for transit and transportation improvements.
Our awe of the day is reserved for Norman Oder’s superb and thorough coverage of last night’s events, which trumps all the other coverage. Mr. Oder has produced what is clearly the definitive report of the day about the seven-hour-long hearing and one which, by virtue of his fetish for detail and accuracy, is likely the most trustworthy account of events. If you read one account of the hearing, make it his Atlantic Yards Report article.