Reader Dave emailed us about a new free newspaper he received at the subway station, amid the amNew York and Metro freebies. Called the Brooklyn Standard, Dave described its contents:
The front page has a large-type headline proclaiming "BROOKLYN BOOMING" with a picture of the proposed Atlantic railyard development. Then there's an article about Marv Albert, who has joined the Nets as a sportscaster. It looks like a regular paper with a masthead and a letters to the editor section (the first letter is a congratulatory note from the Mayor, who also plugs away for the Atlantic development). Then there's the usual lifestyle fluff like an events
calendar. Looking more closely at the first page, however, I note that the Brooklyn Standard is "A Publication of Forest City Ratner Companies."
Eureka! There is a publisher's note from Bruce Ratner that says, "Every month or so, we will try to put out a new edition where we can provide you with updated information about the Atlantic Yards and other news and events taking place in Brooklyn. We are not trying to compete with daily, weekly or local papers. Our goal is simple: to share information about Atlantic Yards with the people of Brooklyn and to create an even greater dialogue as we go forward." In other words: "I'm gonna paper the neighborhood with articles about how awesome my plan for a new Brooklyn is." Next, we expect Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn to pass out mimeographed packets while Extell furiously develops a competing free quarterly. Updated: Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn let us know (as did a reader) that Ratner's paper launched a few weeks ago and that the few community groups and the Downtown Brooklyn Leadership Coalition put out their own why-the-Ratner-plan-can't-work paper (a one time only pub, though).
You can read Brooklyn Standard at its website, which is actually only a PDF. The NY Times had an editorial about how exciting skyscrapers in Brooklyn would be, but does note that the Ratner plan lacks a "creative way to deal with all the problems that come with much more traffic and more people."