As the huge (largest-ever in Brooklyn) and controversial Atlantic Yards development project, adjacent to some of Brooklyn's most bobo-filled enclaves, makes further progress, the level of hysteria rises and rises. The latest story has a group of Park Slope residents freaking out about a new bar opening in their neighborhood (in anticipation of arena crowds supposedly) that they fear will dare to play hip-hop music.
A place called Prime 6 is planning to open at Flatbush and 6th Avenue, close to the Barclays Center, the centerpiece of the Atlantic Yards project and the future home of various sports teams (hockey and basketball), but also near the comfy shire where white thirtysomethings have decided to settle their weary, Wilco-swaddled bones. A(n albeit small) group of residents has signed a petition protesting this place, as they assume it will play loud hip-hop music, thus catering to a certain element they don't want in their precious, refurbished and bird-decorated 'hood. From Curbed:
The latest chapter in the saga, Fucked in Park Slope points out, is one resident's apparently serious attempt to get Prime 6's owner to opt for indie rock over hip-hop. And nope, race has nothing to do with it.
The Sloper's online petition, which currently has 15 signatures, states that Prime 6 has a right to exist, but would "see far more financial success as a different kind of nightlife establishment." On the neighborhood impact: "It's not 'racist' to equate hip-hop with an elevated crime rate vis a vi other types of musical genres - It's just a statistical fact that crime is more likely to occur among urban audiences than among audiences of other demographics."
"Urban audiences," says a person who lives in Brooklyn and is therefore themselves urban. So what does "urban" really mean? Well. I think we can guess! (The petition also self-confidently states: "I don't think anyone would deny that Park Slopers are about the least 'racist' people on the planet.")
Say what you will about the bad aspects of the Yards project — other bars are getting cheesy makeovers that will, in theory, better appeal to a stadium crowd, general foot and car traffic is bound to get unpleasantly heavy, etc. — but, as these gentle-eared Slopers should well know, for better or for worse, sometimes neighborhoods change.