Richmond Hill, Queens, New York
On the day after the six-alarm fire that destroyed the homes above storefronts in Richmond Hill and taking pics of the charred windows on the buildings, strolling about 8 blocks east by Lefferts Blvd. there exists this unsightly gated wall protruding on the sidewalk next to a barber shop and a ministry. I call it a gated wall because it’s secured with a lock and chain.
Unfortunately the wall itself wasn’t as resilient. As evident by this unsightly and hazardous profusion. Which is easily accessible to passerby, especially children.
It wasn’t hard to deduce what happened here. Apparently a bunch of graffiti artists were looking for a convenient venue to bomb and also are coming strapped with axes along with their aerosol paint cans.
Just some standard tagging, no offense to the artists oevure. Also standard but more varietal was the detritus strewn on the platform of the spacious lot, with a piece of the breached wall lying askew on a shoddily structured fence.
I wish I can recall what used to be here, most likely a mixed use building probably with a restaurant. It also looks like it was recently razed because there are no indicators of new development being done here going by the absence of NYC Department of Building placards. It also looks like this wall has been in this condition for a few weeks now, including that gaping jaggered maw.
The only indication that this pit belongs to anyone is the one sign affixed to the wall on it’s east side. A company named Signature Premier Properties is advertising their company and website on this open and blighted space.
With some sleuthing on the duckduckgo and that monopoly search engine, this premier property with quite the sordid history was put up for sale about 3 weeks ago a few days before Thanksgiving. And Signature PP is asking $999,000 for it.
I cannot fathom why they decided to cut a grand off the price more than how they came to this ostentatious value. Maybe it’s because of it’s current status as an “unimproved land” that didn’t qualify for the rounded out million. But advertising the property as “convenient to all!” certainly exacerbated it’s unimproved condition of the lot with all that vandalism and pollution.
Apparently as the recent picture shows, they had to improve and fortify the property post haste and it shows with this incredibly cheap upgrade. Which includes a new “gate”. This looks like the handiwork of dustheads squatting in an foreclosed home and is not up to the standards of anthropomorphic cartoon animals.
Conspicuously absent from the repurposed wall is Signature’s ad sign…
And if Signature PP or whoever owns this pit think this is going to stop rival taggers from getting in they are sadly mistaken. A crowbar or even a $1.99 Trisonic flathead screwdriver that you can get from the nearest 99 cent stores can easily pry those planks down or even a good rain to loosen them up for a tae kwon do superkick.
Usually the default reaction/response to scenes like this is to refer it as another definitive sign to what a shitty year 2020 is (and it is the worst year in this young century); but this is Queens and scenes like this have been always been manifest. And none more than on the southern and eastern sides of the borough far from tony Brooklyn and Manhattan and the interests of elected officials, which includes even the ones who represent the districts here.
It’s only amplified even more because of the pandemic and people either have no time to care or using as an excuse not to be concerned. But the thing that makes this blighted eyesore worse is that it actually has a value on it. Urban decay is being marketed and sold as a luxury product.
There will be a buyer for this shithole just like there are buyers for a wall with a banana being held by duct tape and Mark David Chapman’s autographed copy of Double Fantasy he got signed after he killed the artist who created it. But for now, this unimproved land belongs to the taggers, hooligans, homeless and anyone else who dares to enter. Or break and enter into there. But at least the residents of Richmond Hill and the borough of Queens can take a scintilla of pride knowing that they are walking in the presence of opulence.
Even though it’s speculated and fabricated…