#1. Generationally Disastrous
Atlantic Yards Finalized, Finally
It was a long, hard, bitter fight, and finally, in March, after seven years and all kinds of lawsuits, the New York State Supreme court dismissed the last round of challenges to Bruce Ratner's massive, constantly changing plan to develop all of Long Island and parts of the Atlantic Ocean (it's ok for the gubmint to seize land and give it to developers!). And then, in April, Daniel Goldstein, the last man standing, finally gave up his fight. The good guys don't really tend to win much in the real world, do they?
#2. Newtown Creek Superfunded
After being systematically polluted for over a century by all manner of industrial effluent-with a particular emphasis on sweet, sweet Exxon crude-the feds finally recognized the need to clean that shit up. Also, Exxon-Mobil will be forced to shell out $25 million to help improve the local area (which is like 0.00001 percent of their record 2009 profits).
#3. The Coney Island Boardwalk Evictions
In October, the city's chosen Coney redeveloper, Zamperla (Italian invaders!), gave the boot to eight grungy, iconic, independent neighborhood businesses-The Coney Island 8-including Ruby's Bar and Shoot the Freak. Coming soon: Applebee's? Or something just like it, basically. Barf.
#4. The Perpetual Corruption of Vito Lopez
This is kind of an ongoing story: over the course of the year, just about everything Assemblyman Lopez-the de facto head of the Brooklyn Democratic Machine-did came under investigation, from alleged shady dealing with a non-profit senior center he founded, to whether or not he even lives in Brooklyn. Of course, he was reelected anyway. The good news? Upstart reformer Lincoln Restler defeated Lopez's proxy candidate for District Leader, ever-so-slightly loosening the old guard's power grip.
#5. Mikhail Prokhorov Buys the Nets
If we were a sports team, we'd want to be bought by a Russian billionaire who would just pump in money until we won an NBA championship (after winning a hard-fought series against the NY Times). Will this work for Mikhail Prokhorov? Will Brooklyn have its first major sports champion since 1955? (Also, name-change anyone? The Kings?)
#6. The Bike Wars
This year's bike wars pitted cyclists against community groups, the NYPD and the Borough President. There were two major fronts: the beautiful new two-way bike lane on Prospect Park West, which Marty Markowitz and NIMBY-y seniors deemed more dangerous than the lane of speeding cars it replaced; and on Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights bikers were understandably outraged by the NYPD's refusal to enforce traffic laws on Sundays, when members of the First Presbyterian Church used the bike lane for parking. Stay tuned for 2011�ƒ¢â�€š¬�‚¦
Wow. Bro. Did you see that tornado? Yeah. It was awesome. And a little bit scary. On September 16th, a freak tornado cut across the western tip of Long Island, causing trees to uproot themselves and flee, car alarms to sound repeatedly, and Murray Hill transplants to film their moronic reactions to it all. Oh what a time we had.
#8. The Great Goose Genocide In June, under the cover of night, city officials abetted federal butchers in the systematic roundup of Prospect Park's goose population, which was subsequently gassed and dumped in a landfill. This, so we don't have another Captain Sully on our hands.
#9. Beekeeping Legalized!
Sure, this isn't Brooklyn-specific, but way back in March the city finally voted to legalize the domestic keeping of bees in New York City. Now, not to be total borough boosters (actually, yes), we'd like to think the near-demonic zeal of Brooklyn foodies in their quest for nothing but local, "grown on my block" alimentation was central to the public groundswell in favor of this change.
#10. Gorilla Coffee vs. The World
In April, baristas at Park Slope coffee destination Gorilla Coffee staged a full-scale walkout, citing jerk-faced owners. Then the owners (in a jerk-faced move) sued the baristas (and the NY Times) because of the letter they posted about their grievances. And now a world famous free speech lawyer (who has represented Nelson Mandela!) is representing the defendants. Your move, Gorilla Coffee.