ANONYMOUS CRUSADER FIGHTS BLIGHT ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE

It’s no secret that the Upper West Side has been rocked by the Recession, at least in relative terms (we’re not Florida or Las Vegas). Dozens of stores have closed, and some entire blocks have the air of ghost towns.

One of those blocks, on Amsterdam Avenue between 78th and 79th Streets, is just coming back to life, with a new cafe called Pecan having just opened, and a photo studio and candy store on their way. At least half of the storefronts on the East side of the block are still empty.

But now, one neighborhood crusader, armed only with bumper stickers and a dark sense of humor, has taken the matter into his/her own hands. The bumper sticker bandit has been pasting stickers on the windows of abandoned storefronts like the old shut-down Shining Star Restaurant that say “This is a Neighborhood Eyesore”, “This is Neighborhood Rot” and “This is Neighborhood Decay” in bold black and red letters.

Who is this masked person? (And geez, don’t they know what this sort of thing does for property values. The nerve!)

Unmask yourself, oh you bandit of blight, by emailing us. If you’re nice, we might even give you a column.

Photos by Avi.


    1. I live in a nice neighborhood that is going to hell. At least it looks that way from the stretches of retail space that have been closed for more than a year. Entire blocks have become papered-over eyesores that are constant reminders of the shitty economy.
      THIS IS NEIGHBORHOOD DECAY.
      One by one the local businesses have disappeared, leaving notes taped to their windows saying they can no longer afford the exorbitant rents. Sometimes a new venture pops up briefly in a vacant space, but I’m curious about the ones that just sit and sit. I can’t say I understand the cost-effectiveness of leaving a space abandoned, but it probably involves tax games played by slumlords.
      THIS IS NEIGHBORHOOD ROT.
      There seem to be easy solutions: quit extorting rent and allow the people who want to work to succeed. In the meantime, why not invigorate the artistic community by having storefronts painted or decorated even while in disuse – anything but the dusty old brown paper that makes things Depression-era depressing.
      THIS IS A NEIGHBORHOOD EYESORE.
      I’m starting with New York’s Upper West Side, stickering the long-vacant spaces with reminders of the blight, because even worse than their being ugly is their being invisible, If the same thing is happening around you, order a set of stickers [stickerbandit@gmail.com] and start putting the message up where people can see it. If you are tired of seeing declining quality of life with no neighborhood street foot traffic, empty dirty abandoned storefronts gathering nothing but garbage and and becoming home to rats?
      THIS IS NEIGHBORHOOD BLIGHT.