24 November 2009

Local Owners, Who Like to Walk Around Grand Army Plaza

The opening of the new Union Market branch that is taking over the former Blockbuster Video space on Court Street should be just around the corner. Serious shelving has been moved inside the building and there are posters advertising the market in the window.

There's also a computer-generated screen, which flashes a different image and message every few seconds ("Fresh Vegetables," "Home Delivery," "Fresh Seafood"). My favorite image is one titled "Local Owners." It shows three guys, apparently the owners of Union Market, walking casually, yet purposefully, towards us, while seemingly engaged in serious conversation. They're perfectly lined up, like they're walking in a parade, or are posing for the poster for an action movie.

My question: if you're going to boast about being local New Yorkers, why would you set the picture in the middle of Grand Army Plaza, with the arch in the background? What native New Yorker every spends time on the traffic island in the middle of Grand Army Plaza?! That's No Man's Land! It's surrounded by swirling traffic all the time! Nobody spends time there. It's impossible to get to and, when you're finally there, it's impossible to get off.


ChickenUnderwear said...

I go into Grand Army Plaza as often as I can. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a week. After I go for a run in Prospect Park I use the new pedestrian friendly crosswalks to get there. It is a great place to "cool down". Often there are Parks Dept staff there counting users.

I figure them more we get counted using it, there more it will be made into a destination.

danlevy said...

What a crazy critique, jeez.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

It's not crazy. I just don't like corporate phoniness, like patently fake photo shots meant to communicate authenticity. There's not much difference between this photo and the campaign shots of Bloomberg on 125th Street with his coat flung over his shoulder talking to the locals.

Herb said...

I'm so tired of people finding pointless things to bitch about. I suppose it'd be less fake if it was a picture of them in front of the Williamsburgh Bank building, or on the Heights promenade, or even in front of a random brownstone. Or maybe it'd be better if it was a Whole Foods owned by non-locals in Austin, Texas.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Funny, I don't think people bitch enough. That's why so many of the powerful get away with so much without so much as a peep from those down below. We've been taught to shut our mouths and accept shenanigans.

Sure, this is no big deal. But I did present the question in good humor, in case you didn't notice.

And, what would be a more honest picture? Well, how about the owners standing in front of one of their stores, huh? That's pretty straightforward, isn't it? That doesn't mythologize them as the Barons of Brooklyn, saviors of the borough. They're just businessmen, that's all.