Kings County’s foe on DNC shortlist

It’s Brooklyn vs. Philadelphia in smackdown for political bash

The Brooklyn Paper
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It may always be sunny in Philadelphia, but the chances of the backwater sometimes referred to by self-proclaimed journalists as “the sixth borough” winning a bid to host the next Democratic National Convention should be darker than the soot caked to the side of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Publications that claim to relate facts and observations about reality have over the past decade periodically suggested that Philadelphia is “the new Brooklyn,” as if it was at all possible to replicate the unique magic that moves 2.6 million people to keep hustling through superstorms, the constant heaping-on of garbage from neighboring boroughs, and criminal indictments of our political leaders. And now both the Borough of Homes and the so-called “City of Brotherly Love” are on the shortlist to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, so we figured we would ask leaders from our hometown and that pit-stop along Interstate 95 what makes their respective stomping grounds the better choice for the biggest liberal political bash since 2012. Borough President Adams fired the opening salvo by pointing out that Brooklyn’s superior population size — just 1.6 million people call Philadelphia home — means more people could benefit from the largesse of conventioneers.

“To pick a destination that has one million fewer people represents one million fewer opportunit­ies,” Adams said. “I believe the time has come to bring the king- or queen-making convention to the County of Kings.”

Adams, still embroiled in an active rivalry with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford over their bet on the Nets–Raptors NBA playoff series, declined to further diss our cheese-steak-eating neighbors, so we took up the charge.

In addition to the aforementioned population differential, there are the arenas. The Barclays Center is a new, iconic building in the heart of a bustling commercial district, sitting directly above a major mass transit hub that services nine subway lines and a commuter rail. The Wells Fargo Center, on the other hand, looks like a shopping mall, sitting as it does in a wide-open area between two expressways, with a pastoral park and a freight rail-yard for neighbors.

Then there are the waterfronts. From the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, visitors can take in sweeping views of the lower Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the boats plying the New York Harbor. Philadelphia’s Delaware River Trail, by contrast, forces strollers to confront the visage of Camden, New Jersey, the low-slung city of 77,000 best known for its closed factories and competitive murder rate. To be fair, in the murder department, Philadelphia bested Chicago, which has become notorious for its bloodshed, by a hair last year, logging 15.9 murders per 100,000 to the Windy City’s 15.2 in 2013 (Camden’s homicide rate was 44 per 100,000, among the highest in the nation, while New York’s was just 4 per 100,000).

Despite all the factors working against Philly snagging the honor, the alternately sleepy and violent burgh has its boosters, chief among them a Rep. Robert Brady (D–Philadelph­ia) who says the city hosted the Republican National Convention in 2000 and could take care of the conservati­ves’ rivals across the aisle, no problem.

“We are, without question, able to host the DNC and to do a good job,” said the Congressman. “We’ve done it before.”

Brady also held his tongue when given an opening to lash out at his competitor city, going so far as to invoke a regional pride in an attempt to redirect the rivalry to some of the other 14 cities vying for the privilege of hosting.

“I would root for you over one of those West Coast cities,” said the amenable pol, adding that he once attended a boxing match at the Barclays Center and enjoyed every minute of it.

Brady reserved his outright ridicule for Columbus, Ohio, another candidate in the running to accommodate the electoral bash.

“Do you know anyone who has taken a tourist trip there?” he asked, rhetorically. “I didn’t think so. There’s nothing to see.”

For Brooklyn, a pitch for the convention comes at a time when hotel and retail development in the area around Barclays Center is in full swing. By the time of the convention in the summer of 2016, many of the projects currently under construction, such as the restoration of Brooklyn Heights’ Bossert Hotel, the chain-store overhaul of 505 Fulton St., and the 13-story Hampton Inn on Flatbush Avenue Extension Downtown, will be completed.

“Brooklyn has the space, the culture and the nightlife to make any convention a success,” said Carlo Scissura, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “I cannot think of a better place to hold a national convention.”

Not content to cede the last word, Brady insists that the hometowns of Jay Z and Will Smith can go blow for blow.

“We’ve got great hotels like you. We’ve got great restaurants like you,” he said. “We’ve got our tradition and our heritage, and you’ve got yours,” he said. “We’ve got cheese-steaks, and you’ve got corned beef.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

The Duke from Flatbush says:
Ugh, the more I think about it, the less I want to deal with everything that comes with the convention. Let Philly have it, they need all the help they can get.
April 29, 2014, 3:44 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Anywhere but Brooklyn!

Except Columbus. I'd only wish Ohio on my enemies.
April 29, 2014, 6:56 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Having lived through the disaster that was the RNC back in 2004, the notion of having the same disaster with a different mascot is not appealing in the slightest. Philly is welcome to have that, because it sure doesn't belong in Brooklyn.
April 29, 2014, 7:43 am
Epiphany from Ex-Brooklyn says:

The Barclays Center (and Brooklyn itself) is the perfect location for the corrupt Democrat political machine to congregate. Maybe Jay Z (former Nets Barclays Center partner and Obama buddy) can proudly address the delegates and describe how he rose up to be a hero (and business, man) by selling crack to neighborhood kids - and shooting his own brother over drugs. Maybe Beyonce can reminisce about how Khaddafi's son paid her $1,000,000 to shake her butt and sing at his birthday party.

Heck, Hillary can tell us what preemptive war she'd next support for purely political gain, like the last one in Iraq she and Chucky Schumer sided with Bush on (remember that one that cost the deaths of perhaps over 100,000 civilians, cost about trillions of dollars and arguably was a factor in bringing on the recession?) And look at Iraq now!) Also, Hillary can talk out both sides of her mouth and rail against Russia, while pontificating in a venue with a major stake Russian owner. She'll be in good company with all the Brooklyn Democrats under federal corruption investigation, like Eric Adams, Velmanette Montgomery...and the list goes on.

It all fits together, because Brooklyn is quickly turning into the new Arkansas! (Why didn't Hillary run for Senator of Arkansas? Are the people who gave the Clintons a chance in Little Rock not good enough for her anymore?)

Brooklyn is the heart of political corruption and dysfunction. It is a place where the gap between rich and poor becomes more and more unbelievable every year, where normal working people can't live anymore. The Barclays company itself fixed Libor interest rates for years, ripping off the pubic. And that's what Brooklyn Democrats are experts at. So let the games begin!
April 29, 2014, 11:49 am
NoFanOf Epi from Realityville says:
Who is this Epi loon? If she's actually an Ex-Brooklyn then why is she nursing fantasies and grudges about someplace she no longer lives? Bitter, bitter, bitter!

And lies, too! Poor thing...
April 29, 2014, 12:05 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
No one cared what you had to say the first time, Epiphany. The unhinged ranting of loonies is boring. Go stand on a street corner so a tourist can get his money's worth for his real new york experience.
April 29, 2014, 12:23 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Although I am a registered Democrat, I would rather not hold the DNC over at the Barclays Center considering that it's already heavily subsidized by the state.
April 29, 2014, 4:46 pm
jay from NYC says:
I think it should be held in Pleasantville maybe they will give Tal a job.
April 29, 2014, 5:57 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- You're right. No events should be held in facilities that are "heavily subsidized by the state." Clearly.
April 29, 2014, 7:27 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
go for it - you al want Brooklyn on te map - here is your worldwide chance
April 29, 2014, 9:01 pm
Winthrop Bogart Wainwright VII from New Lots says:
Epiphany makes me laugh. Keep it local tho with some hometown Democrat heroes like Vito Lopez, Carlos Danger, Carl Kruger, William Boyland, Clarence Norman, Gerald Garson, and Charles Joe Hynes.
April 29, 2014, 9:29 pm
Adamben from Bedstuy says:
Kudos to epi! Keeping it real
April 30, 2014, 8:43 am

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