Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From Links to Links

I Love Franklin Ave is not good at golf. Not even remotely. Shot an average of 7 on a par-3 pitch-and-putt on vacation, and swore off the sport forever. However, that doesn't mean I can't hit the links now that I'm back.

There's much more to come tonight (two posts that would have run earlier if not for the tragic and untimely death of my beloved laptop), but in the meantime, enjoy these:

- Local Councilwoman Tish James (District 35) wants the MTA to commemorate Michael Jackson at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station where he shot the Scorcese-directed "Bad" video, with suggestions (not all hers) ranging from a plaque (which the MTA apparently prohibits) to an addition to the station name (Hoyt-Schermerhorn-Jackson, which is a little unwieldly).

This story has made the rounds already, mostly as a "what will they think of next" or "politicians grabbing for ideas and attention" story, but I think it's actually a brilliant idea. The station, after all, has two unused platforms, which is probably how they got a permit to shoot there in the first place. Forget a silly little plaque or a clunky name change--let's dress those abandoned platforms up MoMA Atlantic-Pacific style! You could put up some temporary statues in mid-dance-move, set up lights, run the video on big screens, put up stills from the video, whatever . . . but people would come to see this, many more than went to see a bunch of oversize MoMA gift shop posters! It wouldn't have to be something you could access, just something seen from the occupied platforms, with some labels explaining the history and what's going on. Done right, it could be a great draw for downtown Brooklyn, which happens to house the MTA's flagship Transit Museum. Ms. James, I salute you, it's a great idea, and I will happily sign a petition to make something interesting happen at Hoyt-Schermerhorn.

- RIP to Stanley Kaplan, the Brooklyn-born test prep mogul who turned his own rejection from med school (on grounds of being a publicly-educated Jew in WASP-dominated higher-ed) into a test prep business that blasted the SAT (designed as an "inherent aptitude" test by WASPs who were being "outstudied" by their Jewish competitors and realized it was getting unseemly to keep them out of colleges with quotas) to smithereens.

- On a down note, a good piece about the frustrations that follow a shooting in Crown Heights (this one a little further from home, but it's all connected). Since I've been back, the Brooklyn Patrol Borough North Mobile Command Center has been sitting at Franklin and Bergen, and along with beefed-up street patrols (I saw 8 officers on foot on my way up Franklin to Eastern the other day) and the Skywatch, things seem very quiet.

- Ending on a up note, Crown Heights' most unlikely rapper has a new album out that's winning some praise.

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