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The Fulton Mall lacks bling — in the sidewalk, that is

The Brooklyn Paper
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Gold, silver, diamonds, and platinum sparkle in the shop windows on the Fulton Mall, but some area residents think the street’s new sidewalks don’t sparkle enough!

Newly poured concrete sidewalks — part of an ongoing city reconstruction project — lack the promised glitz and glam, Community Board 2 Chairman John Dew told Department of Transportation officials on Tuesday night.

“There is no glitter on the sidewalks,” Dew complained, claiming that the city hadn’t laced the sidewalks with enough fairy dust — in this case, silicon carbide — to produce the visually stunning sparkle that had been promised.

“I was there today and I didn’t see glitter,” said Dew.

But the city claims the slabs of concrete twinkle as bright as the stars in sky — or the diamonds in the Fulton Mall’s windows.

“I was there today, too, and there is glitter,” said Chris Hrones, the Department of Transporta­tion’s Downtown Brooklyn rep.

Hrones said the city laced the tinted concrete with silicon carbide, but workers smoothed out the slabs for a “broom finish” — a process that can temporarily bury the sparkles beneath the surface.

“The glitter will become more visible after profuse pedestrian traffic wears away the top layer,” he said.

Some Fulton Mall regulars say they don’t want to wait so long for the promised pizzazz.

“It’s ugly and it’s bad,” said Ema Camacho, the owner of a roasted peanut cart at the corner of Duffield Street. “I’d rather see a shiny sidewalk, plus I like the old sidewalk any way. [The new one] doesn’t sparkle too bright.”

But Javed Awan, a diamond merchant at the Hot Spot, said the new sidewalks are an improvement over the uneven and occasionally slippery paths they replaced.

“You can’t make concrete sparkle like my diamonds,” he said. “But the glitter is good enough for me.”

It’s unclear how strongly Dew plans to push the point. A few days after the meeting, The Brooklyn Paper spoke to the district manager of Community Board 2, who said that Dew was expressing his personal opinion, but not acting on behalf of the board.

Updated 2:55 pm, November 2, 2009: Updated to clarify the last paragraph.
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Reader Feedback

Queen of the Click from Bay Ridge says:

Community Two has a lot larger issues than if their sidewalks sparkle.

I think there is a lot more news to report in Brooklyn than just the lack luster sidewalks of Fulton Mall. It's strange that was given such high priority in the Brooklyn Paper.
Oct. 23, 2009, 11:36 am
dave from carrol gardens says:
that's because the brooklyn paper has no journalistic integrity. All there articles are week and of no revealance to its readers
Oct. 23, 2009, 1:14 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
the so called glitter was a big waste of time and money, the brushed finish on the new concrete is a much more realistic finish for fulton st...after all, fulton st. is not the hollywood walk of fame. why do the sidewalk vendors need glitter ?
Oct. 23, 2009, 1:31 pm
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
Funny how this is news, yet the Brooklyn Paper neglects to tell us about the mouse infestation at Junior's. Oh yeah, you can't, Bozo the Beep eats there and you haven't gotten your spin story together fast enough.
Oct. 23, 2009, 1:54 pm
Gary Glitter from Downtown says:
It's good that CB2 is so focused on important community issues. And that the peanut-cart lady, who doesn't pay a dime of rent to sell her fare on the sidewalk, isn't happy with the way things look.
Oct. 23, 2009, 3:12 pm
Steve Stonehead from Boerum Hill says:
Maybe the readers commenting so far may not be interested, but it is interssting to me. It seems to me that the textured concrete on the side streets really shows off the glitter. Why wasn't the whole job done this way. Assuming there was a reason, I look foward to seeing the glitter revealed on the main drag.
Oct. 23, 2009, 7:52 pm

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