Imagine that you wake up in a house that is shaking. No, it’s not an earthquake; it’s a crack running up the apartments. How come? Well, apparently because of the construction next door. You are evacuated from your home and proceed to wait for the next development. That’s what the residents of 420 Melrose have been experiencing for a little over a month now. In August, the media spread the story widely. Daily News wrote:
Two four-story Brooklyn apartment buildings were evacuated early Wednesday after construction next door undermined their stability.
Residents were forced to leave 418-420 Melrose St. in Bushwick two days after someone called the city to warn that the work next door was causing “extreme trauma” to the buildings, records showed.
It’s not clear what the Department of Buildings inspector found on a visit Tuesday, but records state at the time there was no damage to the building.
But on Wednesday morning a huge crack could be seen running up the side of the apartmenthouse. A Buildings Department spokesman Wednesday said the agency was looking into the circumstances that led up to the evacuation. [NY Daily News]
It seems that over a month later, the situation is not much better. The residents are still evacuated and, in the meantime, some unruly neighbors have been helping themselves to anything of value left in the building. While most of the media have lost interest in the sad cracked building, you can still hear the voices of 420 Melrose on the internet. A resident or perhaps just a compassionate person has started a Twitter account @420Melrose, using the voice of the building, and regularly updates the Twitter feeds with sad jokes about the recent developments with a dose of irony:
420 Melrose have also started a guest column at our fellow Bushwick bloggers Bushwick Nation:
I came into this world like anyone else, the offspring of a stack of building permits and some raw construction materials. I never wanted to be anything but a good home for eight families. And I was doing just that until August 15th.
That’s when the Fire Department of New York City and the Department of Buildings vacated those eight families and deemed me “unfit for habitation.” Everyone keeps acting like it’s my fault! I’m a building! Even more annoying, I don’t know why after two weeks, nothing is getting fixed and my old residents are still homeless!
I am not the one who broke my foundation and cracked my own facing. Credit for that is due to someone else. However, I can’t point a finger at any one person because it seems like a lot of people are to blame. Also, I don’t have fingers.
Originally, I was excited to learn that there would be a brand new building right next to me. A once empty lot would soon be the latest addition to the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizen Council’s collection of buildings. I was thinking I’m the luckiest apartment this side of Northeast Kingdom! [Bushwick Nation]
Despite all the bad luck 420 Melrose residents have endured recently, we cannot help but appreciate the creativity and approach of whoever is behind the 420 Melrose twitter and column. In either case, we’re with you folks, and keep on blogging and tweeting so that you’re not forgotten!2012-09-20