In a Week in Review piece in today's New York Times, architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff dishes on the design of most stadiums and says Frank Gehry — building a new home in Brooklyn for the New York Nets — may have the right idea by tossing out the old formulas. In a multimedia slideshow that runs with the story on the NYT website, Ouroussoff minces no words about Staples Center here:
The epitome of cynicism, the arena's interior is dominated by rings of corporate boxes. In a particularly blunt example of the social stratification that marks most American stadiums today, the entries to the boxes and upper- and lower-level seating are carefully segregated. All of this is enclosed by a tacky corporate wrapper with a few retail shops meant to tie the stadium into the surrounding neighborhood, which is largely abandoned.
Also in the Sunday NYT: Joel Kotkin contributes an essay about his Brooklyn roots and writes, "Brooklyn also reminds me of the highly diverse eastern portions of the San Fernando Valley, where I live with my family in a 1930's ranch-style house with a backyard dotted with fruit trees and swings for my two girls. The Valley, a sprawling area north of the Santa Monica Mountains, serves as a welcome alternative for middle-class families who have been priced out of the terminally trendy sections of Los Angeles's Westside but are reluctant to settle in the sprawling suburbs farther on the periphery."