It's heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere! After years of protests, politics, and promises, the Barclays Center, which hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony a week ago, opens for its very first event tonight with Jay-Z onstage. Like every other moment in the history of the arena, the curtain will not rise uncontested; local Occupy groups are planning a teach-in from 4-6pm, and other local opponents of the arena marched last night in protest.
While Crown Heights doesn't immediately abut the arena, and thus hasn't seen the kind of reaction that our neighbors to the west have, it will be interesting to see what happens now that the place is finally open. Will carmageddon (parking-mageddon?) ensue? Will foot traffic to local business increase as people walk over a a mile from their cars (parked at one of the local lots that will doubtless be cashing in on these events)? Will nothing much change? And will locals adopt the Nets (as Jay-Z and his followers have) or stick with the Knicks (as Spike Lee has)? The next chapter in this saga begins...readers, your thoughts?
Along these lines, NYMag has a long, reflective piece about the Barclays Center and change in Brooklyn more generally here.