I was out of town (that post to follow shortly), but according to Miss Heather, the other night at 1 AM, there was an armed robbery on the corner of my street. Two guys—at least one with a gun—approached a couple and stole their stuff, including a laptop. Then they fled down North 11th and made a turn on Roebling. No doubt right down Rapey Alley. (Here's another shot of it—I like this one because it looks like an outtake from an afterschool special about the dangers of LSD.)
Call me a wuss, but scaffolding is creepy. At least they've finally added lights to ours, but so far I have found lurking: a sofa (okay, not creepy, just large), a man's jacket (obviously torn off his body), and a backpack that someone had helpfully emptied of its contents. Maybe it belonged to the jacket-owner, who knows. But by far, the creepiest thing I've found in Rapey Alley lurks after the jump—
Carnegie Hall plans on repurposing all the apartments for education space, but Sherman and many others (including Frank Sinatra fan, WNYC DJ, Jonathan Schwartz) hold, or held, rent-controlled leases, which are more difficult to void. Predictably, as any time rent stabilization laws come into play, this has the commenters over at Curbed up in freakin' arms. "Drop dead you self-entitled, fat ugly slob," was the first commenter's sentiment. Good to see that "fat" and "ugly" are still the go-to insults even when you're talking about people who are almost 100 years old. Sigh.
"Shame, shame, shame! There will be a special place in Hell for you Editta. Hope it was worth it you cantankerous old loon," said yet another reasonable reader.
What is wrong with people? Check out the New York mag photo of Editta. She's got her wig on, she did her face and she's showing some serious RACK! I love her and I can only dream of being one-eighth as cool as her. Shame on Carnegie Hall for forcing a cool old broad out of her home.
This is what our piledriver looks like, but if you want to see/hear an action shot, Miss Heather, at New York Shitty, took video (just see if you can last through all three minutes, then imagine sitting through it for eight hours while trying to work). Though even viewing it is highly annoying, you would need IMAX to exactly capture what it feels like to wake up to this thing going off about ten feet from your head. At 7:20 AM.
When you wake up needing a xanax you can be pretty sure that you're not going to have a good day—or, in this case, week.
Every time I read about the Economakis family, I want to punch someone. If you don't know what I'm talking about, the Economakis are a couple of rich assholes who work at her daddy's real-estate firm (before deciding to suckle off the family financial teat, the Mrs. worked for Yanni!). A couple years back, daddy's company bought a giant, rent-stabilized building in the East Village for the bargain price of $1.3 million. While this is more than I could ever afford, that's about the going rate for a nice-sized, sheetrock-fabricated penthouse in Williamsburg. Barely the price of a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. It was cheap because it came fully-loaded—with rent-stabilized tenants. If it had been market rate, it would've cost much more.
Daddy then sold his daughter and shipping magnate son-in-law the building cheap—for exactly ZERO dollars. They did this because corporations have restrictions on how they can evict tenants. This way, as individual owners, the Evil Economakis' could set about systematically evicting every single rent-stabilized tenant by claiming they planned on turning this huge apartment building into a single-family home. Yeah, right.
Outside each apartment door hangs a security camera, which the tenants
say makes them feel spied on. Opposite the Economakis family’s front
door hangs a voodoo-style evil eye. [Hey, maybe if you weren't spying on and evicting people from their homes, you wouldn't have the evil eye staring you down. Though personally, I would've opted for pornography—more along the lines of an evil brown eye.]
Part of the charm, [Mrs. Economakis] said, is that the block includes the Hells
Angels headquarters and Maryhouse, one of the city’s most enduring
Roman Catholic missions for the homeless. [WTH? You're kidding, right?!?]
They say Mr. Economakis refused to repair their dilapidated mailboxes but built a large monogrammed one for his family. [Nice. One can only guess that the "E" is for "Evil."
I know I should figure out a coherent way to wrap this up, but it's Sunday morning and New York City has me more than a little depressed today. I'm going to go practice boxing with my Wii Fit, though somehow I doubt that punching air will be as gratifying as punching an actual human head.
As I stepped out onto my fire escape to survey the destruction next door, something sitting in my very own backyard caught my eye.
My camera isn't great, but I hope you can see that what you're looking at is a homemade toilet. A standard toilet seat mounted on top of some sort of bucket. It even looks like there's a box of reading material sitting next to it. Cozy, no?
Who is pooping in this thing? This isn't situated in a private area of the yard. Something like 15 apartments look out into this courtyard, not to mention the construction guys on the roof.
As Gowanus Lounge reported this morning, scaffolding has gone up around the building rightnext door to mine. As I was taking some scaffolding photos, the guy circled told me I should take his picture. So I did.
He asked me what I was doing and said I just wanted photos of the scaffolding and told him I lived next door and was worried my building was going to come down when they tore down this building. I implored him—very politely, I might add—to please be careful as that was my home.
But since all but two of the building/demo permits that the new owners of the cabbage factory have applied for have been turned down, the building has been left wide open. (As far as I can tell the other two permits are pending.)
We've known for a while that the cabbage factory next door was going to get torn down and turned into shitty overpriced condos, so when I heard jackhammers out front this morning, I expected the worst.
I looked up the address on the DOB website, but couldn't decipher whether or not the demolition permits had been granted. I could tell they'd been applied for but they use all this weird coding that normal people without an extensive construction background can't understand. So I called 311 and attempted to talk to a human.
The operator connected me to the Department of Buildings, where a cheery young woman informed me that I'd have to look on the website to see if there were any permits.