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We're live on the scene this morning of the Trader Joe's press conference in downtown Brooklyn.
10:32am: There's a very small Caribbean steel drum band playing outside the building at 209 Joralemon Street, maybe 20 people—not even. Most seem to be press or people from the government. All the people from Borough President Marty Markowitz's office are wearing Hawaiian shirts, standing around, watching awkwardly. Maybe six genuine spectators. We're preparing to walk. It's like 10 drum guys.
10:36am: A government latecomer awkwardly pulls on his Hawaiian shirt.
10:38am: Here's Marty! He takes the mic: "Follow me down Court Street as we search for the first Trader Joe's site in Brooklyn!" Now he's walking in front, and the parade is off! The band is awesome.
10:40am: Someone's filming right in front of Marty's posse, who are leading the parade. To Marty and Co.: "Walk slower! We need to film you!"
10:45am: Nobody in the neighborhood has any idea what's going on. The parade really consists of the press taking pictures, Marty's people, the drummers, and no one else. Thank God it's only one more block. The drummers are at the tail end—I think we've lost the drummers!
10:52am: Just got inside the old Independence Bank at 130 Court Street. Bank is still is all here, but they hung little banners all over that say Trader Joe's. The band is coming in, and they're about to start.
10:57am: Inside the bank, the band stopped playing. Some women came in and said, "We don't want a big corporation here!" So they started the band back up, and the women left.
11:09am: Hey, it's Jed Walentas from Two Trees! Nice to see the Walentas clan get some exposure.
11:14am: Aaaand we're done! In the end, nothing much revealed. They're not sure when they're going to start work on the Trader Joe's, and they don't have a goal for when it's going to open. One funny thing: after Marty spoke, a Councilman said, "We're going to look back on this as the day there's no reason for Brookynites to go to Manhattan anymore." Remember this moment, friends: July 12 is Brooklyn's very own Bastille Day. Pass the Two Buck Chuck.