Whether you love it or you hate it, Castle Braid, the controversial luxury rental development on Troutman Street that markets itself to the creative set, is a perennial topic of interest in conversations about Bushwick real estate: most recently, it was name-dropped in the New York Times’ profile of former meatpacking restauranteur Florent Morellet the week before last. However, members of the Bushwick community have been surprised in the past week by tweets from a Twitter feed that represents itself as an official Castle Braid account. The account is trolling local groups on subjects ranging from affordable housing and gentrification to Occupy Wall Street and Israeli politics. Khalil Chishtee, a long-time Castle Braid resident and official representative, has confirmed for Bushwick Daily that the account is not in any way affiliated with the building’s management.
The account, which went live at the end of 2011 and is managed using the social media tool HootSuite, includes some innocuous tweets of the kind that are de rigeur for an institution starting a humble social media campaign. But it is sporadically published and includes many missives that are clearly intended to provoke a response. Provoke responses it certainly has: One dialogue in particular, between the account and another one using the name “AntiCastleBraid,” is particularly loaded.
AntiCastleBraid has reached out to Bushwick Daily to let us know that it represents a group of Castle Braid tenants. The group has been engaged with the building’s management to ensure that the building upholds its fiduciary responsibility to provide a percentage of affordable housing in compliance with the requirements for a tax break it receives. More information about this controversy can be found at the group’s website (and is kind of a whole other can of worms, in this reporter’s opinion. We’ll be making some inquiries and following up accordingly, so stay tuned).
Castle Braid has never maintained an official social media presence; Chishtee tells Bushwick Daily that anyone interested in updates about the building can visit its official website.
Will Castle Braid management demand to know which parties are responsible for the fake account? Is this going to have a major bearing on how gentrification works going forward? Readers, we think you can answer those questions for yourselves. In the meantime, let’s see if we can’t find ourselves some goofier, funnier Bushwick twitter parody accounts. We’d love to see one with ‘tip-offs’ about hip hop megastars throwing secret concerts, or perhaps a running list of band names that are variations on the monikers our local scene has to offer. Or whatever. Surprise us.