anti-labor day

September 6, 2007

In lieu of anything interesting happening to me today, a story from my roommate. Some context: I live way out in Bushwick, in an unfashionable neighborhood which is gentrifying quickly – as in, when I moved in 4 months ago, things were semi-nasty. (My second night returning to my apartment, a man walked up to me carrying one of those 2×4’s mounted on wooden axles they use to block traffic. It was slung over his shoulders. “I’m not crazy,” he informed me. “My back is in pain. I’m carrying this as penance for my sins.”) I’m no longer the only white face on the subway every night, and I’ve seen some hipster douchebag with an Andy Warhol bag prancing around – but obv. gentrification is not arriving quickly enough for shy suburban poor kids like me.

Witness: my roommate’s girlfriend (who lives two blocks down) was supposed to have some heating installed. The dude who sort-of manages the building (he’s not the super, but he hangs around, is vague about his status, and sells pot) brought in unpaid Mexican labor to install illegal heating while the super wasn’t there. Trouble was, the super was there, and he had the foresight to inspect the pipes for the heating system. Which, it was discovered, disgruntled Mexican laborers had filled with concrete – had it been installed, the building might have exploded. Lawsuits have ensued.

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