|Print this story||Permalink|
Y’all come back now!
A troupe of trailer park tenants are suing the Long Island Rail Road and a cement mixing company for evicting them from a vacant Williamsburg lot where they have lodged for 15 months.
Workers from Kings Building Supply towed away two-dozen RVs on March 13, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
Settler Joe Diamond, one of the hardscrabble leaders of the collective, said that every trailer had been “brutalized” and the trailers were illegally evicted.
“The hitches have been broken beyond repair, some of the tires came off, one RV’s hood is caved in, and an Old Toyota will never drive again,” said Diamond, who filed court papers on Tuesday on behalf of the group, the Bushwick Project for the Arts.
What began as a down-home art cooperative has now been shattered like most hearts whenever Dolly sings “Jolene” on the radio.
About 25 plaid-clad pastorals hitched their trailers to a dream in a former nut-roasting factory on Meserole Street in 2009 — paying a mere $600 a month for rent and utilities.
The collective’s creatives were drawn to the vehicle village’s video editing and painting studios, wood and ceramic shops, free-range chicken farm, fish pond, and of course, the BBQ.
But the complaints of neighbors who didn’t understand country living — and disliked the smell of propane — forced the trailers to move to a back yard leased by Kings near Waterbury Street.
Kings had no problem with the arrangement, according to Diamond.
“That back yard hadn’t been used for 20 years — and we made it usable,” said Diamond. “It was a junkyard with everyone’s trash. We cleaned it all up.”
For more than a year, residents made art and ate barbecue without interference from the outside world — until a surveyor for the railroad, which owns the yard, discovered them last month and charged the pilgrims with trespassing.
The cement company, which leases the lot, agreed, dragging the motor homes with forklifts and front loaders out of the lot.
Now the trailer park denizens are on the road again.
Some have hauled their RVs to India Street in Greenpoint while others are camped at nearby Johnson Street.
Diamond has remained country strong — he hopes to return to the yard he called home. A court date has been set for April 15.
“Ideally, the land would be our preference,” said Diamond. “There’s no bad guy in this.”
The Long Island Rail Road agrees with that.
“This is property we released to someone else over 10 years,” said Vice President Paul Victor. “We haven’t met or heard about these guys — and we’re apparently being sued as well.”
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
|Print this story||Permalink|
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.