The subway signage at what is now named seemed to change overnight in late May without so much as a peep, a protest or even a ceremony.
But one Brooklynite and T-shirt designer, Deb Goldstein, is taking action one T-shirt at a time.
Goldstein, who is the founder of the company Miss Wit Designs that makes satirical T-shirts, created a new tee that reads: “I’m Still Calling it Atlantic Av-Pacific St".
“I was involved with the fight against the [Atlantic Yards] project since it started,” Goldstein said, who is the sister of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn co-founder, Daniel Goldstein. “When I heard about the renaming, I didn’t like it and I have been wanting to do something for a while that spoke to it in a subtle way.”
Back in May, when Goldstein first saw the signs that the MTA was posting, “This station is now called Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center,” she felt like she was duped.
“I felt like this fact, the renaming, was snuck in. It was like a magic trick, OK, first it was this, now it is that,” Goldstein explained, who has been living in Brooklyn for 14 years—first living in Carroll Gardens, then Park Slope and now Sunset Park.
To help along with pinning down a witty way to speak to the subway station’s renaming, she looked to her friend’s T-shirt he made after Shea Stadium was knocked down and Citi Field opened in 2009—“I’m Still Calling it Shea”—and played around with that template.
“As with most shirts that I do, I am never sure that it will resonate with people, but once I put it out there people responded positively,” Goldstein said, explaining that once she put it on Facebook, people ate it up and starting spreading it around. “It ended up being witty enough and it has a punch.”
Goldstein said that her T-shirt also speaks to a scene in the Oscar short-listed feature documentary "." In the film, it shows Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the 2010 arena groundbreaking where he said, "No one's going to remember how long it took. They're just going to see that it was done."
“This is my way of saying, ‘I still remember,’” Goldstein said, who made the shirt last week and has printed them this week.
So far, Goldstein has sold nearly 30 of them, at $14 each, as DNA Info first reported on Wednesday. One buyer, who lives in England and has never been to Brooklyn, said he resonates with the T-shirts’ sentiment and had to buy it.
The naming rights of the subway station was bought by the London-based bank, Barclays and Forest City Ratner, the developer of the Atlantic yards Project, in 2009—when they agreed to pay the MTA $200,000 a year for the next 20 years.
“This is, for me, a form of expression. If you don’t agree with it, you don’t have to wear it and if you do, you can,” Goldstein said.
But, she said she doesn’t know if she regards her T-shirt as a protest, necessarily.
“I think it’s a form of activism and giving another voice. I just want to say that everyone is not OK with this, still,” Goldstein said. “It does not mean that I do not embrace change and am living in the past, I am just not OK with this whole thing.”