The event took place last Thursday at the Barclays Center, where Markowitz reminded those in attendance of his vow to secure a national sports team for Brooklyn when he first took office in 2001.
Midway through his remarks, Markowitz said, “This year we’re going to change it up. Get this podium out of here.”
After a wardrobe change, the borough president emerged from backstage as fireworks went off inside the arena. With Markowitz in a white suit jacket, the stage was arranged to resemble a late-night talk show – “Brooklyn Tonight.”
His co-host was Cat Greenfield of Stoop Talk, who helped Markowitz interview Steve Hindy of the Brooklyn Brewery and New York One anchor and Brooklyn resident Pat Kiernan, who did a Markowitz version of “In the Papers,” memorializing the borough president’s career in office.
Along with the talk show, Brooklyn’s own Tony Danza came out and rapped a long list of famous people from Brooklyn.
Councilwoman Letitia James, who vociferously opposed the entire Atlantic Yards project as it was proposed, did something fort Markowitz she vowed never to do: step foot inside the Barclays Center.
“I can’t imagine living in Brooklyn or politics without Marty Markowitz,” James said. “Though we’ve disagreed from time to time, I’m here in the Barclays arena and I’m here in honor of the great Borough President Marty Markowitz.”
Speaker Christine Quinn kicked off the event, which published reports estimated costs approximately $200,000, with an off-key acappella song “How do you solve the problem of losing Marty,” a parody of the tune “How to you solve a problem like Maria.”
Following her performance, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir took the stage, something they did in Washington, D.C., recently for President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Sitting with other Brooklyn elected officials Councilman Steve Elvin called the event “an incredible send-off for one of the most beloved Brooklynites I have ever seen.”
“Marty Markowitz epitomizes Brooklyn, and the show he put on was representative of all the incredible things that Brooklyn has to offer,” he said.
One things Markowitz offered the audience was honestly, telling everyone exactly how he felt about journalists and the state of journalism..
“The line between opinion and news is becoming increasingly blurred, particularly in print media,” he said.
During the course of the evening, many elected officials turned to their Twitter account to comment on the proceedings. Some eventually gave up.
“Ok, I’ve given up on tweeting the Marty Markowitz State of the Borough Variety Show,” Councilman Brad Lander tweeted. “No way my twitter stream can match reality.”
James said that while the event marked the beginning of Markowitz’s exit from public office, she has a feeling he won’t be forgotten.
“When you think of Brooklyn, you have to think of Marty Markowitz,” she said.