A photographic tour of 1970s Brooklyn.
[Images: Dinanda H. Nooney/NYPL]
Once upon a time, there was a pro basketball team in New York called the Nets.
Led by the superlative Julius “Dr. J.” Erving, it consistently made the playoffs in the old American Basketball Association (the ABA), and even won championships, in 1974 and 1976. But then, the team joined the NBA and—reneging on a promise to give Dr. J a raise—instead sold him to the Philadelphia 76ers before the start of the 1976-77 season. Then the team moved to New Jersey in 1977. After those two events, the Nets stopped contending. The franchise—which had won more than 65 percent of its regular-season games in three straight seasons just prior to the ABA’s merger with the NBA—never again hit that mark in any of its 35 seasons in New Jersey.
Of the two moves, losing Dr. J. was clearly the more important. He immediately became the 76ers’ most productive player and eventually delivered them a championship. But long after Dr. J. had left the game, the Nets in New Jersey continued to struggle. Life was especially bad in 2009-10, when the team lost their first 18 games, on the way to a record of 12-70.
Here, the story seemed about to turn, for when this dreadful season ended, hope appeared on the horizon. After the 2009-10 season, the NBA approved the sale of the Nets to the Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Prokhorov, it seemed clear, would not be selling off players to avoid raises.
Read more. [Image: AP/Sue Ogrocki]
“I’m Bill de Blasio, and I’m not a boring white guy.”
How’s that for a political opener? This is how the New York mayor-elect describes himself. At an August fundraiser for the Young Progressives for de Blasio, his daughter Chiara introduced him to the crowd, making an appeal for a new kind of inclusive city politics. Flanked by her entire family, she remarked, “If we’re gonna bring new ideas to the table and create a world, a society … where everyone has a chance, we need to start listening to everybody’s ideas.”
What are these bold and inventive ideas of the new mayor? Some of them follow a traditional Democratic nesting doll scheme: good government followed by more jobs succeeded by affordable housing topped off by better schools. Add in reason, compassion, equality, and whoomp! There it is—a consummate progressive platform. But the de Blasio campaign offered another idea that most campaigns can’t: the racially integrated family.
Read more. [Image: Kathy Willens/Associated Press]
Cinema Mercantile explores typographer Bessie Anderson’s Brooklyn based studio
Building-sized art, in all caps
“Steel is King of all building materials. Plywood is the Queen,” says the narrator. A short film by the artist and provocateur Tom Sachs, A Love Letter to Plywood instantly captivates the viewer with its deadpan delivery and whimsical enchantment à la Wes Anderson. Directed by Van Neistat, the film implores you to learn about the virtues of this “studio matriarch” via a step-by-step construction process in Sachs’s Brooklyn-based studio. Albeit a little quirky, the film illustrates Sachs’s creative muse: Ostensibly ordinary objects (cue plywood) mixed in with abstract cultural phenomena. Watch it and you are guaranteed to want to sand something afterwards.
Manhattan blamed it on the media campaign drummed up by a newspaper known as The New York Times, which Brooklyn had met at a party in, of course, Brooklyn. (Manhattan had not been invited, and so stayed home listening mournfully to Coldplay and thinking of the good old days, when everyone talked about Manhattan, not Brooklyn, when the parties were in Manhattan, not Brooklyn.) After that party, during which Manhattan suspected that something illicit had occurred between the paper and her sister (Brooklyn had notoriously bad taste in men, and was, how shall we say, a bit free with her charms), The New York Times would not shut up about Brooklyn. Of course, Brooklyn had been talked about before; she was quite the social butterfly and knew all sorts of people in high places, but suddenly, Manhattan began to see her sister’s Toms shoe footprints everywhere, in articles about everything from Paris to Nashville to something else entirely unrelated to Brooklyn or even cities in general. Whether it was true or not! Where were the journalistic ethics? Frankly, the phrase Brooklyn-style made Manhattan want to puke. Manhattan tried to be a little more like Brooklyn despite herself. The move was widely criticized. She opened an artisanal water business, thinking it would help matters. Cruel people just laughed.
Read more. [Image: NewYorkMonthlyMagazine]