We tried to warn them.
We were in the audience at Justin Bieber’s Brooklyn show Monday night, and even from our elevated perch above the action, we could sense the powerful emotions running through the air. The crowd, their nerves emboldened by Justin’s newly-single status, was out for flesh: With every flash of skin, they jeered, cajoled and begged for the Canadian teen idol to offer up his unclothed form on the alter of the Brooklyn Nets arena. “Take off your shirt!” they cried. “Take it off!” When Bieber emerged from yet another costume change wearing a motorcycle jacket with nothing underneath it, the inches of abdomen on display only enflamed fans’ lust further: “Take off your pants!”
These passions, clearly, were not going to be dulled by a little thing like the end of a concert. As we exited the stadium onto the bright lights of Flatbush Avenue, we surveyed the army of tweens being unleashed into the Brooklyn night and knew it at once: This was going to be trouble. We tried to tweet, to warn the unsuspecting citizens of Park Slope about the massive surge of humanity soon to surge into their brownstone-filled streets, but it was useless. There was no service. The tweens’ cell phones—tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking—had taken care of that.
Left unawares, the residents of Dean Street were left to confront the threat alone:
Hundreds of screaming Justin Bieber’s tweeny-boppers mobbed the pint-sized singer’s bus as it was leaving the Barclays Center on Monday night, blocking sidewalks and traffic and making an awful racket as they chased it down the street — and police could do nothing to stop it.
[...] As the concert let out around 10 p.m., hundreds of Bieber’s young fans swarmed near a VIP parking space next to the loading dock at the back of the arena on Dean Street near Sixth Avenue.
Police corralled the fans into an area near the bike racks on Dean, and urged them to keep the sidewalk clear, but things got crazy when a black bus that super fans identified as Bieber’s pulled out of the loading dock shortly after 11 pm.
As the bus pulled onto Dean Street, the Belieber forces stormed down after it, screaming and shouting for their idol to acknowledge their passion. When the bus slowed down on the approach to Carlton Avenue, Bieber soon found himself overwhelmed by the sheer mass of fans. The bus, overrun with tweens, had no choice but to open its doors, and for one second the Beliebers got exactly what they wanted: a physical link with Bieber’s world, in the form of the outstretched hands of Alfredo Flores.
The bus soon sped away to ferry Bieber to the next stop of his whirlwind tour, and the Beliebers soon dispersed and returned to the subways, minivans and party buses that had brought them to Barclays in the first place. But the brief frenzy, despite its transience, has already had an effect on the neighborhood: Neighbors are furious at the authorities for not protecting them from the storm of stans. And the powers that be can only shake their heads in amazement at their own failure to anticipate the Bieber fever:
“Next time Justin Beiber comes to town, we’ll have a better plan,” [Dep. Insp. Michael] Ameri said. “Thank god nobody got hurt.”