Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Front

One day a couple years ago our front doors (one is the old CUANDO 2nd Ave entrance) turned up grey. Solid battleship grey, not a mark on them. I was furious. Our front had been a glorious mash up of graffiti upon graffiti, neglected, or rather, I'd like to say, a work in progress for about 18 years at that time. The story was, that the management company for the building next door did it in error during the regular grey-washing of their own doors. However, the developer for our project has owned the building on 2nd Ave to the north of us for a few years and so the mystery paint job may not have been in error after all. He had obviously had his eye on our building and perhaps there was a bank visit imminent.

Its laughable to think that a bunch of graffiti could devalue a property, ANY property, in the East Village of Manhattan at this point, but whatever. Were I the bank, an uninspired 50% grey greeting would be as offensive if not more, than a proper appraiser might find graffiti. But as goes a frequent lament, I am not the bank.

I say they had a lot of nerve, trespassing and destroying dynamic and random art and artifact in the process, but considering we don't own* our building, there's nothing we can do to deter what are now regular assaults on the graf that accrues on it.

*Our building was owned by the City of New York, then in 2001 was passed on to an organization called The Urban Homesteading Assistance Board for a dollar, as part of a group deal made by 11 of the 12 remaining homesteads in the EV to stop fighting, renovate and stay on in our buildings. Obviously we are not staying on in our building. Instead, we have agreed to have UHAB sell our building to a developer. Back in the day, agreeing to 'relocation' would have been considered homestead sacrilege and never, ever considered, but here, circumstances have been vastly extenuated. More on this later.

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