Slope Stoop Photos a Response to Atlantic Yards

The Times has fleshed out the story behind the large portraits of local shopkeepers that were pasted to stoops on Bergen Street between 4th and 5th avenues, and it turns out the installation was organized by a resident who is concerned that mom-and-pop businesses may be forced out of the Slope by Atlantic Yards. Dana Eskelson, an actress, got people on the block to participate in the Inside Out Project, which is the brainchild of Paris-based street artist JR. The artist was awarded $100,000 via the TED Prize for the project, which has an aim of “rallying communities and telling stories of the anonymous” via the photographs. Eskelson says the following about the subjects she wanted to highlight: “It’s really hard for their businesses to stay in our neighborhood because the stadium is coming.”
In Park Slope, Portrait Project Draws Block Together [NY Times]
Bergen Stoops Face Off [Brownstoner]

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  • This is a matter of great concern. The huge pressure on the blocks around the Arena will cause rents to rise in ripples for a mile around.

    At the same time, 7th Avenue has all these vacancies and the retail market is very much back in brooklyn (7th is an exception to quick re-leasing, for a variety of reasons already discussed in Bstoner in detail).

  • oh my! an actress is concerned about mom-n-pop’s and get’s a french artist to make a statement with his grant money. very profound. and important.

  • completely jejune and puerile


  • Are these concerned citizens going into the small mom and pop stores and buying anything? I doubt it… The only way to keep these stores going is by utilizing their shops. Shop Brooklyn, isnt that the motto. Stop going into Manhattan for a cop of coffee.

  • did we really need this explanation? i mean the pieces speak for themselves. their message is so obvious and effective.

  • I don’t see what’s “jejune and puerile” about people doing what they can to draw attention to concerns in their neighborhood. Who said it had to be profound?

    I think, first of all, that the portraits are fantastic and a brilliant idea, and the execution is really well done. It’s something new that hasn’t been done before, at least not here, and it’s interesting. Who cares if the artist is French? Who cares that he used his grant money? It’s his grant money.

    Secondly, there is only so much the average person can do to get the attention of media, politicians and the community at large. Petitions? Everyone does that, and no one really cares. Rallies? You can’t get people to come out, unless you have a huge grass roots organization that practically drags people out of their homes. Then you need a first class publicist to assure press coverage. Mailings and flyers? You need money and people to distribute. Even with, so what?

    This project has quietly gotten media attention, it’s been on Brownstoner twice, it’s different; serious, yet whimsical and personal enough to be affective. Neighbors recognize store owners, maybe those that don’t will look them up. People walk by there to see them, if only to see how it’s done. I think its great, and quite effective.

  • Hey Martis – you need to lay off the apostrophes. Oh, and your attitude sucks too.

  • What MM and tiptoe said ^^^

  • The art shows a commendable concern by our neighbors and fellow citizens for local merchants, the kind most brooklynites like to support, and in a creative way very cool

  • Rob’s painted sticks of wood were the second runner-up in the competition.

  • $100k? That would have given at least a few merchants seed money to relocate or something…I just wonder how many people are going to pass the ‘faces’ project and “get it” without benefit of an artists’ statement (of which I’m sure TED et al have a magnificent specimen posted somewhere).

  • Brenda, I’m pretty sure 100k was the entirety of the grant given by TED to JR for his worldwide project – the woman here was suggesting that people use the TED project to bring attention to their local cause – which I think was JR’s point.

  • Talk about self-fulfilling propaganda!
    So now the Arena is going to be the cited cause for every crappy “mom&pop” store closing in the Boro of Brooklyn???

    Any retail business that thinks MORE foot traffic is somehow bad for business – is a store that DESERVES to close.

  • yeah, no sympathy for “mom and pop” stores here. WTF does that mean anyway? if we were talking about a wal mart opening up here i might understand a little, but if the mom and pops can’t keep up with the changing needs of the community then they should STFU and move on.

    oh, and how painting faces on stoops is supposed to enlighten anyone to anything, and how it cost 100 grand, is beyond me.

    this whole discussion is stupid.

    and ROB, please stop using the phrase “jejune and puerile”. you use it everytime you want to sound smart and take a dump on something. big words do not automatically mean you are taking the high road. you are still a jejune and puerile person.

  • But Bergen St. between 5th and Flatbush is a highly successful example of a recent retail remix. There are these great little stores, many with very accessible pricing structures. As cute as those stores are, I can’t see them appealing to the sports crowd. It would be so sad to see those spots taken over by fast food, etc. Is that section of Bergen landmarked? What’s to keep Pinchik from tearing everything they own down and building a mega-tower?

  • As always, this is a pointless gesture that will accomplish absolutely nothing. Bad art, too. MM, stop hanging out with Norman Oder and learn to express a point in less than 500 words, if that’s possible. P.S. – love how your sidekick, bxgrl, is always at the ready to echo your droning lectures.

  • big jugs- I am not her sidekick. I agree with her adn unlike you, MM presents her points clearly, completely and well thought out. Not that I expect someone with the handle “big jugs” to get that.