We caught our neighbor — people who work for him, anyway — putting up a fresh sign on his garage door yesterday in Fort Greene. Our neighbor, Spike Lee (who, thanks to a block profile this weekend in the Times, everyone now knows is our neighbor), is finally going to host his birthday party celebration for Michael Jackson.
He’s been trying for a while. Last year, Spike planned to celebrate what would have been the King of Pop’s 51st birthday, just up the street from 40 Acres and a Mule’s office in Fort Greene Park. But then, after fans swore they’d travel from afar to pay their tributes with the man who’d directed multiple Michael Jackson videos, police started freaking out that the crowds would overwhelm Fort Greene Park.
(Not that even Spike could blame the cops this time: The LAPD paid over a million dollars in overtime to cover security for Michael’s Staples Center send-off. )
So the decision was made to move the whole event to Prospect Park, a result lauded and decried by Fort Greene residents in equal parts, if what we heard at our block party is any measure.
In the end, it hardly mattered. The big day arrived, and it rained and poured. The crowd could have totally fit in Fort Greene Park. Spike’s party for Michael wasn’t as big a flop as, say, “Miracle at St. Anna,” but it was still a disappointment.
And now, take two. He’s going to try to make it work this year, hosting another MJ party on August 29 in Prospect Park’s Nethermead. If Spike pulls off a rain-free birthday bash worthy of the Gloved One this time around, maybe, just maybe, we’ll forgive him for his involvement with this:
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 27, 2010