Gowanus Luxury Developers Attempt To Woo Community With Art And Food Trucks, Actual Artists Somehow Still Not Pleased
By Rebecca Jennings
Photo by Elizabeth Graham via Brooklyn Paper
Artists are so annoying, you guys—always crashing the parties you throw celebrating the construction of 700-unit luxury rental developments that will almost certainly contribute to their eventual displacement, regardless of the fact that you gave them free food from trucks (artists like food trucks, right?!) and even had the decency made your extremely loud construction site slightly prettier!! Artists: Just the worst.
Last week, more than a dozen Gowanus artists crashed a party for the Lightstone Group’s pretty much universallydespised development project while handing out flyers and wearing surgical masks with the words “toxic plan” written on them, on the grounds that the 12-story, 700-unit residential building “will crowd neighborhood schools and subways, cause traffic jams, stress already over-taxed sewers, and price out creative types,” reports the Brooklyn Paper.
The site, located at Bond St between 1st and 2nd Sts, was approved by the city in March of 2013 and has been under construction for roughly six months. Recently, the Lightstone Group attempted to soften the blow to the neighborhood (see: sewers) by incorporating an installation by the organization ArtBridge to beautify its previously very ugly construction fencing, which includes work by nine local artists centered around the theme of “urban interaction and exchange,” according to Curbed.
Those artists, by the way? Yeah, they don’t want anything to do with the Lightstone Group, either: “This project has nothing to do with Lightstone or whether or not that development happens,” ArtBridge founder Stephen Pierson told BP, adding: “It’s not comfortable for me to be on this side of it. I’m sort of used to being on the progressive side of things.”
However, the Lightstone Group’s plan to woo the community with food from stationary vehicles worked on some less-whiny non-artists: Of the several hundred people who showed up, most were less interested in the art on display but instead, according to Lisanne McTernan, a 20-year resident of Gowanus: “Most people just came for free food. What a joke.”