Borough President Markowitz is dreaming of a black-and-white Christmas — at least according to this year’s Brooklyn Nets-centric holiday card.
Markowitz’s 2012 holiday dispatch riffs on Brooklyn’s new home team, its home court at the Barclays Center, the growing number of celebrities who performed there, and, of course, the Beep’s diminutive stature.
His cards of year’s past addressed more pressing social issues such as gay marriage and the controversial Prospect Park West bike lane, but this edition is a pure celebration of Brooklyn’s new-found status as an entertainment hub — perhaps a necessary diversion in a borough still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
The super storm is not depicted in the drawing itself, unlike Hurricane Irene’s appearance on last year’s mailing, but the lyrics of a ditty printed inside reference the natural disaster (We’ve posted the full lyrics at the end of the story).
Our analysts spent hours poring over the card, which sources from Markowitz’s office said took more than two months to create and was drawn by Portland-based cartoonist Dennis Adler, a long-time Borough Hall collaborator.
Experts say the work shows a diverse range of domestic influences, pulling from the Hudson River School, “Where’s Waldo” books, and the subversive underground comic book scene in San Francisco in the early 1970s. Here some things that jumped out to us:
• The slumping Nets rely on the vertically challenged Markowitz, two friendly Santa Clauses, and the Beep’s parakeet Beep for some extra offense — perhaps a reference to Nets guard Deron Williams’ struggles shooting the ball.
• Other Barclays Center attractions are front and center: An Islanders hockey player hints at his team’s planned move to Brooklyn by skating across the herringbone hardwood using a candy cane as a stick, while Mickey and Minnie Mouse, of “Disney on Ice” share the floor with the elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus.
• There’s plenty of star power: try to find the likenesses of Rihanna, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. Our crack team of art experts struggled to find Justin Bieber, whose fans terrorized Prospect Heights in November, and Lady Gaga, who is hard to spot because she’s not depicted in any of her most famous getups.
“We didn’t want to put a hat on her because it would block the face above her, but she often comes out to perform with silver hair,” Markowitz explained.
• Markowitz, a big-time Barclays Center booster, didn’t pass up an opportunity to give a shout-out to the insiders who brought the arena to Brooklyn. Rap mogul Jay-Z, who owns a tiny portion of the team, is easy to spot. But can you identify Nets owner Mikhail Prokorov, Atlantic Yards mega-developer Bruce Ratner, Forest City Ratner executive MaryAnne Gilmartin, or Nets CEO Brett Yormark?
• A notable omissions from the card includes the much-panned Nets mascot and spelling curiosity BrooklyKnight.
Markowitz says the holiday card has been a tradition has cherished since he took office — and that he has been sitting on the Nets theme for some time.
“They’re all humorous and positive,” he said. “We waited for the arena to open before we decided to use it as a theme.”
Barclays here, Streisand’s belting
Fans will cheer, hearts are melting
The Nets and Jay-Z, what a team they will be
Brooklyn is a Winter Wonderland
New hotels, business booming
Mazel Tov, Brooklyn’s blooming
The Islanders play in Barclays one day
Brooklyn is a Winter Wonderland
Have a blintz or try a Belgian waffle
Brooklyn restaurants are cookin’ good
From sushi to kielbasa to falafal
Taste the world and never leave the ‘hood
From the Bay to Gowanus
Sandy stormed in upon us
We took a big hit, but we’ll never quit
Brooklyn is a Winter WonderlandReach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg