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The stories behind the remaking of New York's most populous borough.
The stories behind the remaking of New York's most populous borough.
123 backers pledged $6,100 to help bring this project to life.

Halftime Report

We are now at the exact midpoint of this fundraising campaign, and it's raised just slightly less than half the money needed to make "The Brooklyn Wars" a reality. That's not necessarily a bad thing — most Kickstarter campaigns end up with a final surge as people realize that time is running out — but it does mean this will likely come down to the wire as I approach the final funding deadline of a week from Friday.

What I most need now is help getting the word out beyond my immediate circle of contacts. So if you know anyone who doesn't know me but you think would be interested in "The Brooklyn Wars," I'd greatly appreciate if you could send out a quick email, tweet, or social media message linking to the handy dandy short link: http://kck.st/1nktwvH.

In the meantime, I've started digging through interviews that I've conducted over the years in Brooklyn, to get a jump on the research that I'll be going full throttle on once funding is complete. I typically record interviews with a small mp3 recorder, scribbling down the best quotes so I know what to go back and look for. Among the highlights I've run across in just the first couple of notebooks pulled out of the pile:

  • “Since I’ve been here, there’ve been eight murders in four months,” said Celeste Ortiz, an unemployed puppeteer on line for a soup kitchen in east Bed-Stuy. “I’m the black Shari Lewis, be sure to put that.”
  • “There is no middle class. Either you live in the Brooklyner, or you're out of here.” —Downtown Brooklyn barber displaced by condo construction
  • “This project is the Titanic. Sorry, I mean it’s like trying to steer it. That was the first ocean liner I thought of.” —Forest City Ratner official at Atlantic Yards “cabinet” meeting, 2012

(That Atlantic Yards meeting may require a whole subchapter, come to think of it.)

Finally, some partly good news about the Kentile Floors sign (see Update #2): The sign's owner says he's taking the sign down, but will "work hard to preserve the letters" and then hand them over to the nonprofit Gowanus Alliance for preservation. Alliance president Paul Basile says he hopes to get the letters down "as intact as possible," and then will work on finding a place to display them, though it may not be on a rooftop. Partial victory, or grasping at straws in defeat? That's a question that gets asked in a lot of situations in Brooklyn these days.

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