. . . click. . .
and the Gothamist . . .
And the NY Daily News, Channel 11, 1010 Wins Radio and just this last 30 minutes, Channel 2 news came by and wanted an inteview. I drag myself downstairs and my daughter says, in the sunlight, "Oh Mom -- the cathairs!" Well - it's Easter Sunday Morning -- I'm slopping around while the cats are busy shedding (it's spring) and my old t-shirt is covered in cat hairs. I tell the news reporter: don't show the cat hairs, or you're toast. I'll find you wherever you are and sprinkle your fine black trenchcoat with white cat hair."
ONLY IN NEW YORK would the story of a woman squatting in a rent-stabilized apartment, pretending her aunt is dead for years, in order to get a $200-something rent, would make the front page of the NY Post!
A cheap apartment is the Quest, the Holy Grail. If someone dies, people say "Oh, I am so sorry for your loss, is the apartment available?"
So they interviewed man on the street (last night I'm watching Judge Judy and the local news comes on and there's a picture of our building and I think: That looks familiar -- and it is!) -- and one guys says "I'd love to have an apatment at that price in this neighborhood" but some other moron says something idiotic like we should have more rent-controlled apartments in this neighborhood to allow more people to live here at a lower price.
He obviously is not the poor schmuck landlord who is paying $550 maintenance for the apartment the squatter is getting -- rent-controlled -- at $260 (and change. I never remember the exact amount).
When the sponsor converted the building in 1986 to a co-operative apartments (little-known outside of NY) -- where you buy shares in the corporation that owns the building, and with the shares you get a proprietary lease -- by law he had to offer everyone living there to buy their unit, or stay there for life at a fixed rent. So he has five more units, mostly elderly, some who were born here -- but this young woman was simply the niece of the original tenant. One of the other tenants is about 50, was born here -- and so was his mother! So direct family lineage is entitled to keep it forever at the same rent! That's "rent-stabilization."
On the flip side, it's not really fair to someone who's saved and worked to buy an apartment, or rent one at market value, to subsidize an able-bodied woman with a full-time job at cheap rent.
This whole thing was prompted by the sponsor filing suit against her in Supreme Court (after having tried for several years to get her out by other means). Evidently, the NY Post reporter says, they have employees down at the courthouse who look through every public filing (lawsuits, etc) to look for stories, which is how they came across this one.
I think I'll go for a walk and see if I can find anyone else's hidden Easter Eggs.