We are two tenant associations who joined together to defend ourselves against a corporate real estate investment hydra that seeks to expel us from our homes in order to maximize their profits.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fire Last Night

Last night between 8:30 and 9 there was a fire scare at 120 East 4th street. Four fire trucks arrived on the block, bringing traffic to a stand still, lighting up the street and buildings with red flashing lights and bright white beams from the search lights attached to the trucks. Dozens of people on either side of the street leaning out of their windows to get a look. Quite like an Edward Hopper painting. I noticed that the large numbers of firefighters on the street below, did not seem to be moving about with any great urgency, so I figured the situation was not so dire. I kept watching to be sure. I thought I smelled smoke, but wasn't sure.  The trucks remained on the block for about a half an hour. I sent an email to our tenant association's private social network asking what the problem was. I received a quick response from one of our members. The fire was from one of the new tenants lighting a BBQ on the roof. 

The following photo is one of the rooftop gardens with access from the apartment below on top of 120 East 4th. A bulkhead stair from an apartment to the roof is apparently legal. A room up there is apparently not legal. When Rosie Mendez attended one of our TA meetings in February, she said this sort of room on the roof is illegal. The definition of "room" comes into question here. A real estate developer like Ben Shaoul will try to manipulate the definition of "room" to suit his ruthless greedy profit driven agenda. Mr. Shaoul and Magnum Mgmt have a penchant for adding barely legal or illegal structures to rooftops. In the photo below through the window, a drying rack for clothing is clearly visible. Does this make the structure a room, or a storage space? Hard to say.

Looks nice, but we here at OE4 are not sure how much care was taken to make such a roof garden structurally sound. Looking carefully I'd say not much care was taken. Looks like some nice patio stones and a bit of decorative gravel placed directly on top of the roof. Looking carefully one can see that the old roof is in need of some attention. 120 East 4th street has 2 or 3 of these roof cabanas as we like to call them on the roof. This is where one of the new tenants lit a BBQ. Are BBQs legal on the roofs of the East Village?


  1. It is beyond scary that there is some kid with a hibachi and a bottle of lighter fluid somewhere over our heads! There's a reason why open flames are prohibited; connected buildings!

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