Last week Jeremiah Moss of Vanishing New York had a piece about a hoarder car, and this reminded me of the hoarder house on 13th St that I photographed last July. Later that summer, the house got a lot of attention on local blogs, and was a featured story on NBC news. After community protest and visits from the FDNY, the owner removed a lot of the stuff in the front yard, and the story faded away. I wondered about the house, but didn't check back. A typical case (for me) of taking the same old routes around the neighborhood, & not turning around a corner, just two streets away from home. What a sad creature of habit I can be.
I went back on Sunday & saw I saw that the hoardings had piled back up. Not at last year's level, but substantially enough. The cat-litter boxes had gone, but the carts were still around. The guy I saw a year ago was not outside. No-one was outside, really. It was a very hot day, and it must have been hot inside that closed-up house. The front door still looked pretty jammed-up.
On Monday I decided to pay another quick visit. This time the owner was present, sitting in front of the steps in a fresh white shirt, peacefully engaged in that most suspicious & anti-social of activities. Reading a book.
So that's the view of one side of the block. And here's what we see on the other:
This is the hulking 500 Fourth apartment building, and here's another view of it, with the corner holdout building by its side. Why do I find these side-by-side views so unbearable?
If you look closely, you might see a cage in front of the laundromat. Lindo and Linda are always brought outside in warm weather. They don't talk much beyond hello, but they're champion whistlers. If you whistle a phrase, Lindo or Linda will echo back with variant notes. In an age where whistling is rarely heard on the street any more (why did it disappear?), this is a sweet thrill.