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View from Couch

Brooklyn, Wait No More


Here it is.

The logos. The black. The white.

The Brooklyn Nets have arrived. As a born-and-raised Brooklyn resident, whose parents still live here and work minutes away from the Barclays Center, it's a day I've been waiting for since the proposal was first floated in 2003. And it's a day that brings a new look to professional sports, a timeless one grounded in city history: the signage of New York's unparalleled subway system.

The new primary logo – created by Brooklyn's own JAY Z – retains the shield from its previous iteration, and adds that iconic Brooklyn 'B' to the basketball that has been part of every logo since the franchise's 1967 inception as the Americans. The Dodgers had their lettermark, and the Nets have added another model for the borough to bear. "Brooklyn," of course, is spelled out below. Nets CEO Brett Yormark called this "the new badge for Brooklyn," and JAY Z believes the design's boldness demonstrates confidence in the new direction.

The secondary logo, of the 'B' inside a basketball, surrounded by the words "Brooklyn New York" immediately popped an image into my head: "Planet Brooklyn." It's hard to explain the pride native Brooklynites feel for their home ("BK," "Bucktown," the "Brooklyn Zoo"), how outsiders don't get it and never really will; one measure might be trying to think if you've ever met someone from Brooklyn who said they were from "New York." Another could be the lines I once wrote in a spoken word poem:

I like to sport attitudes like
I'm better than you
because I'm from Brooklyn
… and that's just how we do.

Perhaps then, it seems odd that pride has found a partner in loss, the focus often narrowed upon 1957, when the beloved Dodgers left for "La-La Land" – as Borough President Marty Markowitz described Los Angeles Thursday. But "Dem Bums" wove themselves into the community in ways that perhaps are no longer feasible.

My elementary school in Midwood, P.S. 193, was named "The Gil Hodges School," after the first baseman for the "Boys of Summer" teams of the late '40s and '50s; he once lived across the street with his wife Joan, who remained long after Hodges passed in 1972. Hodges remains the player to receive the most votes for admittance to the Baseball Hall of Fame without ever crossing the threshold, fitting for a standout on teams that lost four World Series between 1947 and '54 – also finishing second in the National League three times and third once – before breaking through for the borough's only championship in 1955. "Wait 'til next year!" became a rally cry that resonates even still.

Brooklyn, you have only to wait for the fall.

—Posted by Ben Couch at 6:50 a.m.
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