Groundbreaking at the RatnerDome

More than a dozen of the most powerful players in New York politics and business gathered yesterday to break ground on the long-awaited construction at Atlantic Yards, a massive $4.9 billion development now under construction in downtown Brooklyn.

One after another they took the stage to praise the development. Embattled New York Gov. David Patterson promised "job creation the likes of which Brooklyn has never seen!"

A few hundred feet away from the invitation-only event, a few hundred disgruntled residents gathered at a neighborhood bar to protest the groundbreaking. "I do hereby declare March 11, 2010, the destruction of Brooklyn's Soul Day!" intoned one protester, who impersonated Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, with the help of a four-foot tall Markowitz mask.