If you take the short hop, skip and jump over to Brooklyn from Manhattan, you might reach a stop called Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center. It only recently made its first appearance on the subway map, and many still refer to it by its old name, Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street, which might be a cause for confusion. Have no fear and don’t be confused – you’ve made it into Brooklyn Nets territory.
The brand new Barclays Center stadium, which opened on Friday, will house National Basketball Association franchise the New Jersey – now Brooklyn – Nets. Brooklyn emblem and rapper extraordinaire Jay Z has just passed the halfway point in a series of eight inaugural sell-out shows marking its opening. The shows are buzzing celebratory parties, which eclipse all thoughts about commercialisation from your mind, because you’re far too busy bouncing with your hands in the air – especially if you happen to be a Brit who moved to Brooklyn two months ago, like me. I will admit that I’ve jumped on the trendy Brooklyn bandwagon so enthusiastically that the metaphor nearly broke, but it’s hard to deny that Brooklyn is where all the exciting things are happening in New York and the moment, and to experience it first hand is pretty special.
The Barclays Centre, Brooklyn
The Nets’ move to Brooklyn makes them the first professional sports team to take root in the area since the Brooklyn Dodgers left for LA after the 1957 baseball season. The development has already brought much attention and business to the area, but has also seen its fair share of debate and controversy, over everything from its ‘rust-bucket’ exterior, to delays over the building of associated affordable housing. However, the hype and excitement surrounding its opening is palpable.
I have been hard pressed to find a New Yorker who doesn’t harbour an ardent love for ‘their’ team, across the gamut of pro sports that captivates American audiences. One of the most exciting elements of any New York stay is capturing some of that fervor, and a visit to the Barclays Center would be step in the right direction. Thrills abound, with pre-season basketball games starting on October 15th. The beginning of the actual NBA season will, very appropriately, see the Nets face the New York Knicks on November 1st.
Oh, and did I mention the food? Some 37 different food providers were selected from a short list of 130, including the famous Nathan’s hotdogs from Coney Island, delicious Cuban food from Habanas, and newer outfits like Brooklyn cupcakes. Enter hungry at your peril.
This post was written Thishani Nadesan from onefinestay New York.Google+