Friday, May 12, 2006

Miss Brooklyn?

The provacative "Miss Brooklyn" nickname was in the headlines of several New York newspapers this morning reporting on yesterday's media event with Frank Gehry, Laurie Olin, and James Stuckey of Forest City Ratner. Provoked, DYWSC sought to comment on the day's events, and happened across Norman Oder's blog posting from April 18, 2006, entitled "From "Miss Brooklyn" to "Ms. Brooklyn": belated feminism or defensive tactic?" which makes the following points about the nickname "Miss Brooklyn" and its change (in the little-noticed 3/31/06 Forest City Ratner press pelease) to "Ms. Brooklyn"

Why the change?
Given that FCR officials and p.r. people don't answer my questions, I'll have to speculate on the reasons.

1) Perhaps this is a belated recognition that, in the 21st century, calling a building "Miss" just doesn't cut it, even if the architect designing it was reared in an earlier era of gallantry. The problem with that explanation is that the developer, Gehry, and the p.r. team had a lot of time to consider their message before unveiling "Miss Brooklyn" last July.

2) More plausible is that the renaming prevents critics from using the term "Miss" as a verb. As Aaron Naparstek wrote in the New York Press last July, in a column headlined Grumbles About Gehry:The designs are so bad they’re almost funny. Gehry calls the 70-story skyscraper at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush “Miss Brooklyn,” as in, “We’ll sure miss Brooklyn if this crap gets built.”

We can't ms. Brooklyn, can we? But maybe there's another explanation--the question is worth asking

In the era of "got milk?" and other variants, one might expect to see a couple "Miss Brooklyn?" shirts at tomorrow's

Garden, Don't Destroy Brooklyn
Rain or Shine
Saturday, May 13, 9am—6pm
205 Berkeley Place (Between 7th and 8th Avenue, Park Slope)


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