Listen to Lucy

Banks should be more like the FT

Monday, May 05, 2014

Banks should be more like the FT


The Leonard Lopate Show

Sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard discusses her work and her sculpture “Ona,” a 19-and-a-half-foot tall, nearly 12-thousand-pound bronze art work that was commissioned as a permanent installation in the plaza in front of Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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Barclays Developer Beats Out MSG in Nassau Coliseum Bid

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The developer of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn was chosen to redevelop Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Nassau Events Center is an affiliate of Forest City Enterprises, the company that's also developing the massive Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn. NEC beat out the owners of Madison Square Garden, who also bid for the Coliseum project.


Transportation Nation

CHART: Mumford and Sons Fans Take the Subway to Barclays. Barbra Fans: Notsomuch

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Barclays was designed for public transit, but some visitors have a distinct preference for getting there behind the wheel: to wit, fans of Barbra Streisand and Andrea Bocelli.

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Listen to Lucy

Finally I’ve found some good corporate guff

Monday, February 18, 2013

Finally I’ve found some good corporate guff


Transportation Nation

VIDEO: All Aboard the Brooklyn-Manhattan "Bus Bridge"

Friday, November 02, 2012

MTA head Joe Lhota stopped by the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center station in Brooklyn on Friday morning to greet passengers waiting in line for the buses over the Manhattan Bridge.

Lines are long but from this video it looks like they were moving quickly.

The buses will be in place until subway service between the two boroughs is restored.


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Transportation Nation

Bus Bridge from Brooklyn: Jay Street, Not Barclays, Best Bet Right Now

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Brooklyn "bus bridge" locations

(SEE UPDATE BELOW) Manhattan-bound Brooklynites: Go to Jay Street, not Barclays -- it will immeasurably improve your ride into Manhattan.

We're getting reports this morning that Thursdays' Brooklyn-Manhattan commute is proving...challenging. But once riders clear daunting lines at the three bus bridge locations in Brooklyn, traffic over the bridges into Manhattan is moving quickly.

But because the line at Barclays Center is longer than the line at Jay Street -- and Jay Street is closer to the Manhattan Bridge -- riders are being directed to the bus bridge stop at Jay.

Here's what we know: this morning, TN's Andrea Bernstein was at the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. The arena was built at this site because of its 11 subway lines and Long Island Rail Road service. And now it's functioning as the site of one of three MTA-operated "bus bridges" that must shuttle passengers between the two boroughs until the subway tunnels can be restored.

(Subway and LIRR service to Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center was relatively uneventful -- even uncrowded. To encourage transit use, the MTA isn't collecting fares.)

Subway fares have been waived (photo by Caitlyn Kim)

But as those transit riders pour out of the Atlantic Avenue terminal, they are confronted by bus lines that she says wrap entirely around the arena.

"Thousands of them are in line," Andrea said. She said MTA workers were getting people onto buses as quickly as they can -- but once the bus is loaded, it must confront traffic. "They are waiting for a police escort to help take them down Flatbush Avenue across the Manhattan Bridge," she said.

People whose commute normally takes 45 minutes told Andrea that it's taken them an hour and a half just to get to the Barclays Center, and that's before taking the bus to Manhattan.

The line to board a bus on Hewes Street, Brooklyn (photo by Jim O'Grady)

Meanwhile, in Williamsburg, WNYC's Jim O'Grady said Hewes Street isn't quite that crowded--but not by much.

Speaking by cell phone, he said "I'm looking at a line that is a block long." Or it was a block long, before another J train disgorged dozens more people who promptly got in line for the bus over the Williamsburg Bridge.

Boarding the Hewes Street bus (photo by Jim O'Grady)

Jim said the crowds boarding buses was reminiscent of a Tokyo subway: "There are MTA workers in orange vests, and they are pushing people onto the buses and forcibly closing the doors on them."

It sounds dire, but Jim said the 10 MTA workers were efficient and doing a good job.

But, like Barclays Center, the buses are pulling out into traffic.

Jim said police are checking to make sure each vehicle has three passengers in it -- ensuring compliance with the new HOV rules. Once drivers clear that checkpoint, he said, traffic seems to be moving well over the bridge.

(UPDATE 10:20) Once buses make it to the Manhattan Bridge, the ride over is a stark contrast to the line gridlock.

Or, as Andrea says: "That was awesome! I got to Manhattan so quickly that I missed my stop!"

Later, Andrea reported that she was seeing a lot more police officers directing traffic. "They were really there, they were really doing it."

It sounds like the dedicated bus lanes are working as intended: they are speeding traffic over the bridge. Andrea also said that southbound riders told her they made great time from 57th Street to Spring Street -- it was a 15 minute trip.

Andrea reports that someone on the bus was so happy with the speed it was traveling he told her: "imagine if we had rapid bus transit, then the buses would be like this all the time."

Remember, transit riders: MTA head Joe Lhota warned riders Wednesday night that the commute would be tough. “Be flexible about your travel times," he added in an emailed statement. "We have come a long way in a short time to repair the damage from the most devastating event to strike our transportation system.”

For more travel info, visit our transit tracker.


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Transportation Nation

New York Islanders Will Move to Brooklyn

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

(photo by Blue387 via flickr)

(WNYC newsroom, New York, NY) The New York Islanders are moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, sources said.

The Long Island-based team will make an announcement this afternoon with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Islanders owner Charles Wang and Bruce Ratner, the developer of the Barclays Center.

The newly opened 18,000-seat arena already hosts the Brooklyn Nets team, currently playing pre-season games.

Last year, voters in Nassau County defeated a plan that would have allowed the county to use $400 million to redevelop the 40-year-old crumbling stadium.

Supporters of the redevelopment said the county stood to lose $243 million a year and more than 2,000 jobs if the Islanders leave and the Nassau Coliseum closes.

The team's lease at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., expires in 2015.

To read more TN reporting about parking and transit at the Barclays Center, go here.

Andrea Bernstein contributed reporting.

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Transportation Nation

Counting the Jay-Z Subway Crowd

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

We've gotten questions about how we crunched New York City subway turnstile data for the opening of the Barclays Center. WNYC's senior editor for data news explains all in this post for the station's data news blog, which we've reprinted below.

(John Keefe - New York, NY, WNYC) Saturday morning we did something fun: We counted the number of people who took the subway to the opening-night Jay-Z concert at Brooklyn's new Barclays Center the night before.

Or at least got pretty close.

Traffic and transit were closely watched for the new arena, as the 19,000 or so concertgoers would have just 541 parking spaces. So we decided to grab data from subway turnstiles to measure the crowds leaving the Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center station for the show.

How we did it

Turning around the data overnight took a little planning. Here's how we pulled it off:

Every Saturday morning, the MTA posts turnstile data for the previous week. Fortunately for us, the last reading is 8 p.m. Friday, the scheduled start time for the concert.

The data files contain the entry and exit counter readings for each turnstile in the system as a sort of "odometer" reading. The data is a little tricky to use, though it does have a regular structure.

So Steve Melendez, our Data News Team programmer, wrote some Python code that grabs the data files and puts the individual readings into a SQLite database. He then sorted the readings by station (using this chart), and calculated how many exit clicks were logged for the Atlantic Avenue station from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

We suspected there would be a jump in the time period before the concert. So earlier in the week, we ran the numbers for each Friday for much of the year and calculated those averages (I ended up using just September, because they were higher, post-summer vacation readings). Then, Saturday morning, Steven got up really early and ran the program again, including the newly posted numbers.

He sent me the latest values, and I added them to the chart in a taxi on the way to the station. At 8:35 a.m., I was on the air talking about how it appears about a third of the concert-goers took the subway.

It could be more than that. Some people could have left the system at another station. And if anyone left through an emergency exit, or if they showed up after 8 p.m., they wouldn't be in our turnstile data.

But it's a place to start, and we'll be watching how these numbers change for future concerts and for Brooklyn Nets games.

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Transportation Nation

Word(s) Up: Barclays Center

Friday, August 10, 2012

(photo by Amy Pearl)

The finishing touches are going up on Brooklyn's Barclays Center -- the home of the future Brooklyn Nets, due to open next month. This week the name was hung on the arena.

(photo by Amy Pearl)

The subway station's name was changed to reflect the stadium three months ago.

And the bollards around Atlantic Terminal? They're being updated, too.

Want to learn more about what's happening on Atlantic Avenue? Read

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Transportation Nation

NY MTA's $1.35 Million Mistake

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

(photo by Andrea Bernstein)

Now we know.

The New York MTA spent $1.35 million on giant granite bollards that it later removed outside the Atlantic Terminal station.

To put that in perspective, a year of service* on the B51 bus line, which the MTA discontinued in 2010, cost $800,000 a year.

The bollards, much-reviled by architects and planners and panned by the Brooklyn Paper as "sarcophagi," were installed in 2010 for unspecified security reasons.

Bollards being excavated outside Atlantic Terminal, July 2012 (photo by Andrea Bernstein)

To be sure, the Atlantic Terminal has been a terror target in the past.

But the huge granite slabs were  more imposing than simpler steel bollards outside the more heavily trafficked Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal.

Bollards outside Grand Central (photo by Kate Hinds)

The Atlantic Terminal bollards also blocked pedestrian flow to and from the Terminal, which houses the LIRR and nine subway lines.

This, it was pointed out, presented a potential problem when huge crowds of people start to flow through the plaza for events at the next-door Barclays Center, set to open next month.

The MTA also came to the conclusion that the bollards were a bad idea.  It decided to replace them with a smaller, sleeker model, like the ones at Grand Central.

About a week ago, the authority began to take the bollards down, bringing the total cost of the installation and removal to $1.35 million.

I might never have unearthed this information had I not passed by the Atlantic Terminal Monday morning, trying to grab a quick photo so you all could see how the plaza is coming along.  (I also regretted not having the headline "Never Mind The Bollards," in our initial post, and was hoping for a second chance.)

The construction workers had other ideas. A piece of cardboard came down in front of my iPhone. I would not be photographing the site because it was "a Homeland Security project."

Like, um, the World Trade Center site, which must be one of the most photographed construction sites on earth?

I was told (though maybe in not-so-polite language), that this decision had been made by MTA police. I was offered the opportunity to have them tell me in person.

That's an opportunity I declined.

But I did later email the MTA's chief spokesperson, Adam Lisberg, for an explanation. And, while he was at it, could he please tell me how much the MTA had spent on the bollards in the first place?

Lisberg, a former New York Daily News journalist, told me quite clearly that anyone could photograph the site and that if I should be obstructed again I should stand my ground so I could do my job. In so many words.

So the next day, I went back.

I was greeted no more happily than I was the day before. This time half a dozen construction workers, and three MTA police, came to make the point. But, per Adam "L-i-s-b-e-r-g, the MTA communications chief," I would not leave.

Did I have documentation? Well, I had the constitution of the United States of America. Had they seen the Bill of Rights? Also, my press pass -- though that's not required to photograph a public plaza.

Besides, the construction fence was mostly down so, unlike the day before, I couldn't physically be blocked.

So I took my photos.  (And, unbeknownst to me, was photographed doing so by my colleague, Emily Botein.)

Andrea Bernstein photographing Atlantic Terminal (photo by Emily Botein)

Initially, the MTA re-issued a statement (which TN ran last week) citing the total cost of the Atlantic Terminal renovation -- $108 million -- and the cost of the new security project, which came in at $3.486 million.

Today, the authority furnished further details.

The total cost of building the 15 granite bollards: $1.2 million.

The total cost of demolishing them and removing the granite: $150,000.

A $1.35 million mistake.


*To be sure, service is paid for from the operating budget, while the capital budget pays for everything from bollards to the Second Avenue subway.  So you'll hear that comparing one to the other is like comparing your lunch money to the loan you took out to redo your kitchen.   But at the end of the day, it all ultimately falls to straphangers or taxpayers to foot the bill.

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The Takeaway

Geithner Testifies Before Congress

Thursday, July 26, 2012

In 2008, then president of the New York Federal Reserve Timothy Geithner noticed something might be wrong with Libor. So he took the strongest possible action he could think of: He sent a memo.

Comments [2]

It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Post-Libor, Romney and Obama Need a Plan to Fix Banking

Monday, July 16, 2012

This is bigger than Obamacare. It's much more significant than Romney continuing as CEO of Bain after 1999. It has a far greater impact on every American this election year than any other issue the candidates have been discussing or will address in presidential debates this fall.

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Comments [2]

The Takeaway

Are Banks Too Big to Prosecute?

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Justice Department is said to be preparing cases against financial institutions in response to the Libor scandal, but Barclays has signed a non-prosecution agreement and is paying a penalty of $450 million – not much for a company with over $50 billion in revenue last year. 

Comments [1]

Money Talking

Money Talking: Could Dodd-Frank Prevent Another Financial Crisis?

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 21 marks the two-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, but the vast majority of the rules have yet to be finalized.


The Takeaway

Libor Scandal Reaches United States

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Libor rigging scandal that started at Barclay's in London has landed, in its most recent episode, at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Reports that Barclay's met with the New York Fed about Libor in 2007 and 2008 implicate then-president Timothy Geithner. Nobody knows yet what those meetings were about, but the Treasury Secretary may now face grilling from some senators who want to know more.


The Brian Lehrer Show

Joe Nocera Explains LIBOR

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera explains the London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR) index in the context of the allegations that Barclays manipulated that key rate benchmark.

Comments [21]

Money Talking

Will the LIBOR Scandal Jump the Atlantic?

Monday, July 09, 2012

It's big news in Europe right now. Monday morning, before a British Parliamentary committee, a top official with the Bank of England is testifying.

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The Takeaway

Bad Behavior Continues for the Banking Industry

Friday, July 06, 2012

Ever since the 2008 financial crisis, we've heard story after story about bad behavior in the financial industry. In the most recent, bankers at Barclays were found to have rigged Libor, the London-based lending rate that is used throughout the world. The scandal led to the resignation of the former CEO of Barclays, Bob Diamond.

Comments [4]

Money Talking

Money Talking: How Serious Is the Barclays LIBOR Scandal?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Heads are rolling at the British bank Barclays after it admitted to rigging a key interest rate known as the LIBOR — short for "London Interbank Offered Rate."