Tourists! Come to Brooklyn and Walk Around Staring at Your Phones!

Well, these people probably dont have smartphones, so I guess theyre not the problem. But you get the idea!
  • Well, these people probably don’t have smartphones, so I guess they’re not the problem. But you get the idea!

When you’re on your way to jury duty or just strolling down the Fulton Mall (you do that, right?) don’t you wish that the streets were even more crowded? And don’t you wish they were crowded with people who don’t know where they’re going? And don’t you wish the throngs of people who don’t know where they’re going were stumbling around staring at their phones?

Wait, you don’t wish that?

Oh, so you’re not insane. Cool.

You know who might be kind of insane, though?

The people at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

Well, maybe not insane. But definitely optimistic about tourists’ desire to see the Barclays Center. Very optimistic.

The New York Post reports that the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is working on creating an app that will allow tourists to “follow a 1.4-mile ‘walking experience’ on their smartphones — starting from the staircase entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge at Cadman Plaza East and finishing at the soon-to-open home of the Brooklyn Nets in Prospect Heights.”

Tucker Reed, president of the Partnership, says that the ultimate goal is to make people familiar with the amenities and cultural landmarks, like BAM, that Downtown Brooklyn has to offer. However, since Downtown Brooklyn lacks the easy-to-follow sidewalk grid of Manhattan, people who are unfamiliar with the area might feel overwhelmed without a guide.

The Post reports that this has been an ongoing project and that “the Metro Tech Business Improvement District spent $1.4 million and seven years developing a plan to help guide tourists through Downtown, eventually installing 78 directional signs and maps throughout the area last year.”

Yet, according to Reed “that project is already out of date because there’s been a big turnover in local amenities.”

And “some of the maps don’t even include the Barclays Center.”


They don’t even include that cultural bastion and borough-renowned thing-of-beauty, the as-yet unfinished Barclays Center?


If I were a tourist in Brooklyn, that would be the first thing I would want to do. After strolling through the Fulton Mall and shopping at one of those hipster Brooklyn boutiques like Lady Foot Locker or Strawberry, I would then definitely want to check out a huge construction site located right in the middle of a traffic-clogged intersection. And I would want to do this, walk this 1.4 mile stretch, all while staring at my phone.

And preferably walking four-abreast with my fellow travelers.

It will be…très Brooklyn.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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