Sections
>

Ratner’s poster girl is unhappy

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Sahara Meer is still angry. Place a copy of Bruce Ratner’s recent Atlantic Yards mailing on the table, and she’ll put her handbag over it. Show her the pictures of happy Brooklynites smiling for Ratner’s cameras and she’ll cringe.

Meer, you see, is one of those smiling Brooklynites — except that she doesn’t support Ratner’s plans for Atlantic Yards.

So she’s definitely not smiling.

Meer, a sometime actress with a “No eminent domain” sign in her Prospect Heights window, was between paying gigs when she became a “poster girl” in Ratner’s Atlantic Yards propaganda campaign.

It was a day like any other day last summer, when Meer got an email from a photographer friend asking whether she’d pose for a “day in the park” photo spread. The photos were being shot by the Getty agency and would be sold as stock photos — the kind of generic, “happy” shots you see in dating service ads or when newspapers need that hard-to-find image of people without a care in the world.

Meer said she spent five hours being photographed. “It was fun, and it was a pretty good deal because I’m an actress and they offered to let me use the photos, too,” she said.
She had virtually forgotten about that day — until the phone rang last week.

“Why the hell are you doing posing for Bruce Ratner?!” a friend asked.

Huh?

Meer later received the “Atlantic Yards: A Vision for Downtown Brooklyn” pamphlet — which not only featured her photo, but even featured a deceptive rendering of the sprawling mega-development that actually made the 19,000-seat basketball arena disappear into a lush green meadow.

“I admit I have no one to blame but myself,” she said. “I signed the release. I got my $100 [for the shoot]. But I’m still mad at Ratner.”

Meer called her experience “the seedy underbelly of Ratner’s marketing campaign.”

“What, he couldn’t find actual people to smile for his cameras? He needed to buy stock images of people having fun?”

The greater irony of Ratner’s flyer is that the people in the pictures, smiling and enjoying their lives in Brooklyn, actual send a subtle anti-Ratner message: “Don’t change a thing, Mr. Ratner. We like things the way they are. That’s why we’re smiling.”

Meer said she wants to channel her anger and is now volunteering with Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn.

“And one thing is for sure,” she added, “I’ll never do stock photo shoots again.”.



Gersh Kuntzman is the Editor of The Brooklyn Paper. E-mail Gersh at gkuntzman@cnglocal.com
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!