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What is the story behind this bizarre white line dividing Ditmas Park? • Brooklyn Paper

What is the story behind this bizarre white line dividing Ditmas Park?

Residents like Barden Prisant say vandals have crossed the line by painting this strip of white paint down Rugby Road in Ditmas Park — while the city says it’s the neighborhood’s job to clean it up.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

This time, vandals have crossed the line.

Ditmas Park residents are furious that a graffiti “artist” has painted a white stripe across the neighborhood — and they’re enraged at the city’s unwillingness to do anything about it.

The mysterious thin white line begins on the sidewalk at Rugby Road and Church Avenue, and continues south for almost two blocks before stopping just short of Beverly Road — and this line is not dividing its community, as everyone hates it.

“It’s quite irritating,” said Barden Prisant, who said that he moved to the neighborhood from Manhattan a few months ago to avoid just this type of lawlessness. “Especially when everything else is so pristine and everyone puts so much effort into the upkeep of the area.”

Prisant especially hates the vandalism because it reminds him of a similar “artwork” a few years ago in the Lower East Side, where the graffiti writer Momo painted a notorious orange streak that spells out his name across the Village when the line is seen from above.

“I feel like it’s following me,” Prisant said.

The Ditmas Park stripe — which residents say appeared sometime in the last three months — isn’t nearly as ambitious as Momo’s, but is just a thin line of dripped white paint, as if Jackson Pollack had run out of colors and went Minimalist.

The city’s so-called “Anti-Graffiti Task Force” said it is powerless to do anything about the streak, as it draws a line between vandalized buildings and sidewalks and streets, which “are the responsibility of the owners,” said city spokeswoman Evelyn Erskine.

Residents are streaking mad that the city has washed its hands of the white line.

“It’s disheartening,” said Prisant. “It’s so difficult to remove, it’s not like a wall.”

Of course, there’s a thin line between love and paint. Momo’s piece certainly had fans.

“It’s simultaneously the biggest and smallest artistic statement I have seen in my time here,” said Nick Divers, who writes for BestRoofTalkEver blog.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow his Tweets at @from_where_isit.

The line of white paint can be seen going down the length of Rugby Road in Ditmas Park.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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