Wearing Brooklyn Pride

Wearing Brooklyn Pride

August 30, 2012 at 4:00 am

‘I’m Still Calling it Atlantic Av – Pacific St’

Brooklyn residents wearing the “I’m still calling it Atlantic Av – Pacific St” shirt, left to right: Lara Ewan and Kevin M. Thomas, 58. Photos left to right by Robyn Shepherd and Kevin M. Thomas.

With ears plugged, noses in books and eyes on cell phones, not all of the thousands of commuters that pass daily through the Brooklyn transit hub where the Long Island Railroad meets the NYC subway have noticed the change yet. With no ribbon-cutting, celebrity kick-off or cheerleaders, the sprawling station commonly referred to as Atlantic Avenue – Pacific Street has begun its quiet name change to the Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center, sign by sign.

Months ahead of its first event on Sept. 28 (a Jay-Z concert), the new arena, which can accommodate 18,200 people for Brooklyn Nets games, began claiming its naming rights to the sprawling station, which annually adds $200,000 to the MTA books for the next 20 years.

MetroFocus spoke with two Brooklyn residents sporting a nostalgic shirt, “I’m still calling it Atlantic Av-Pacific St,” designed by Deb Goldstein, owner of MissWit Designs.

MetroFocus also interviewed Goldstein.

Lara Ewan, musician and Brooklyn resident
Q:Where did you get that shirt? What does it mean?
A: I got this shirt from Deb (the designer) when I met her at Freddy’s on Fifth Avenue. The phrase on the front is a reference to the name change of the Atlantic/Pacific subway stop. They’re changing the name to Barclays Center, and frankly, I don’t know anyone in Brooklyn who’s in support of that center or the name change.
Kevin M. Thomas, photographer and resident of Park Slope/Gowanus
Q:Where did you get that shirt? What does it mean?
A: I got it as a token of my support for those who are trying to bring about sane development. Ramming the stadium through at the behest of the oligopolist Ratner, well, that bugged me, a lot.
Q: How do you rate Brooklyn on a scale of 1 to 10?
A: 2,700. But seriously, if you really need it on a scale of 1 to 10, make it exactly 10.
Q:What do you find unique about Brooklyn?
A: Diversity. Strength. Prospect Park, which Olmstead made in order to fix the mistakes that he felt he made in Central Park. Good manners: people hold doors for each other, and strangers speak to each other in the street. Drinks are strong and cheap. For a photographer such as myself, Brooklyn is a target-rich environment. Plus, there’s a flat-rate light-rail system to take people into the city center.What’s not to like?
Q:How would you describe Brooklyn?
A: The land of energy, trees, churches, synagogues, and a friendly life — with just enough of the Manhattan edge to keep it interesting.


It may take a while for the public to adopt the name change … somewhat like the years it took  straphangers to drop the “9”  when referring to the former  1/9  route along Broadway – Seventh Avenue.  Beyond the issue of habit dying hard, the Atlantic Yards development that holds the Barclays Center was infamously controversial for both its eminent domain claims and changing the character and economy of a residential brownstone area. Some Brooklyners, like those shown here, might never utter the name Barclays Center in the same breath as Atlantic Avenue.