Trailer trash! City orders RV community out in Williamsburg

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They’re on the road again.

City inspectors, firefighters and police officers cleared out the ground floor Meserole Street warehouse on Wednesday morning, leaving its 20 tenants mobile homeless.

But its tenants said they are willing to do whatever it takes to bring the building up to code over the coming weeks — including apply for rental protections.

“We’re applying for loft law status — we just want to find out what we can do to make everything save for everyone,” said Hayden Cummings, a resident in the space.

The warehouse has become home to a colony of artists and their trailers, which have congregated in the space for over a year under the monicker, the Bushwick Project for the Arts.

But a buildings inspector was not amused, slapping a vacate order on the warehouse on Tuesday after discovering that safety issues, such as illegal wiring and a woodworking shop in the basement, had not been resolved for more than a year.

“The way to resolve it is to remove the trailers,” said Department of Buildings spokeswoman Ryan Fitzgibbon. “The backyard is a violation of zoning, and the first floor is illegal use because it’s supposed to be a factory.”

And NYPD and FDNY officials told tenants they must move their RVs and property from the property or risk arrest.

“Nobody is allowed to be here on the first floor,” said firefighter John Hurley. “We were warned about fire hazards. We’re just following the Department of Buildings on this.”

But tenants, who have been paying rent for a year and hold a five-year lease on the space, said that previous inspections have been handled and the building is safe.

“I don’t know what the Fire Department considers unsafe now,” said artist Jason Tschantre, who lives in the space. “The warehouse has sprinklers, and front and rear egress.”

Many of those tenants moved their trailers to a lot behind the warehouse, but its property owner, the Long Island Rail Road, evicted them on March 13, sending the trailer park residents into a “Grapes of Wrath”-like search for nearby space.

Several tenants are preparing to file a lawsuit this week against the railroad and a cement mixing company that towed the trailers onto the street and damaged them.

But this time, tenants are frantically scrambling to pack up their belongings into their RVs before the police or the fire department show up again.

Bushwick Project for Arts founder Joe Diamond is optimistic he and his friends will return to their home soon.

“We have to get this place up to code,” said Diamond. “We’ll figure something out.”

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Reader Feedback

Cletus from Myparentspaymyrentistan says:
Only privileged bourgeois hipsters would conceive of an indoor trailer park. Boo ——ing hoo. Find a vacant lot like real rednecks, or crash at your parents' place in Connecticut.
April 13, 2011, 10:39 am
SwampYankee from works in Brooklyn says:
Why don't you move your trailers to your precious hipster bike lanes? You guys are all peace love and understanding no? F U!! Take your trailer trash parks and your urban farms and move them back to DogFletcher Falls from where you came. We don't want you here. Want to live in the big city? Well be prepared to pay big boy rent!
April 13, 2011, 10:50 am
OO from Wburg says:
what swampyankee means raquel is since the landlord bent him over then everybody, esp hipsters, should also take it raw like him. good luck
April 13, 2011, 11:03 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
Real Swamp Yankees never leave a tip.
April 13, 2011, 11:23 am
m from o says:
No person should be referred to as trash.
April 14, 2011, 6:42 am
Pointy from Greenpoint says:
I agree with Cletus and SwampYankee. All these hipster douches like to stir the pot and try to avoid living like a real NYer because they have a safety net and mommy and daddy's credit card. You want to live here? then pay rent. Can't pay rent?, leave town... it's that simple but don't start putting eye sore f*ckin trailers in our city, it is disgusting. Drive your POS trailers elsewhere and pursue your "art" somewhere else. Just because you move to Wburg does NOT make you an artist.
April 14, 2011, 9:02 am
Sam from Bk says:
Hipsters = trash
April 15, 2011, 4:19 pm
Raquel from Williamsburg says:
You may think that I have gotten everything from my parents, but you are wrong. I grew up in Bosnia, on the streets, having to toot my pooter to strange men just to pull together a small bit of cash for perfume and mini slut skirts. I pooted with so many men, some of them dirty muslims. It wasa absolutely disgusting. Hooded muslim —— in my horny pooter, and now you want to take my american dream caravan? Go to hell you dirty biatch.
April 16, 2011, 6:32 am
Guest from Around says:
I'd rather live with black people than hipsters. Blacks keep it real.
April 16, 2011, 4:48 pm
m from o says:
Hipsters are trash
April 16, 2011, 4:49 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Although the hipster-developer is not a novel hybrid, it's one members of both discrete camps consider a questionable proposition.
April 17, 2011, 4:05 pm

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