Monday, April 10, 2006

St. Marks Squat Trilogy

I received an email from Robert Arihood (a fixture in the East Village who has been taking photographs of people and the neighborhood since god was a child) about the eviction of some squatters at 120 St. Marks Place, including Mosaic Man. He writes:

No one living in the building ever expected to live there forever. All expected to be evicted eventually. All were willing to leave peaceably when asked to do so. ... The owner of the building knew they were living there, some of them for several years. The owners acknowledgement and accepted their occupancy in the building for such a long time afforded them some limited standing and thus an entitlement to due process when the owner chose to evict them. ... Doors of occupied apartments were broken down with one very surprised individual actually being home at the time of the forced entrance. This behavior is emblematic of Mr. [Benjamin] Shaoul's management and can be seen in other places where he is attempting to evict other RENT PAYING and LEGAL tennants such as 515 E. 5th St.

Is this the last squat on St. Marks? I've walked up and down the three blocks between 3rd Ave. and Avenue A hundreds of times, and I'm pretty sure this is the last one. It's too bad that it had to end this way, when so many other squatters in Alphabet City were able to take control of their buildings and turn them into real homes. Of course, the inability of the squatters at 120 St. Marks Place to do that is not solely the fault of the landlord.

Gorgeous photo by Robert Arihood. Click to enlarge.

Mosaic Man and Other E.Vil. Squatters Evicted [Polis]
Mosaic Man Update [Polis]