THE UPPER WEST SIDE STICKER BANDIT ISSUES A MANIFESTO

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about a mystery: someone was placing stickers that said things like “This is Neighborhood Decay” on the windows of empty storefronts between 78th and 79th Street on Amsterdam Avenue.

We implored the “sticker bandit,” as we called the person, to come forward and explain his or her mission.

Well, just today the bandit contacted us, and issued a manifesto, decrying the empty storefronts that have spread throughout the neighborhood and the city. We have posted the manifesto in its entirety below.

The person is also apparently selling or giving away the stickers, and has put up a website with pictures of stickers on vacant windows in the neighborhood, including at the site of the old Time Out bar. They seem to mostly be on Amsterdam Avenue in the 70’s.

We have asked the bandit for more information, but have not heard back yet. We will update you if we hear more.

In the meantime, stay aware Upper West Siders. Someone — maybe your neighbor, your co-worker or even your mother — is walking the dark lonely streets, their pockets stuffed full with stickers.

STICKER BANDIT MANIFESTO

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 becoming home to rats?

THIS IS NEIGHBORHOOD BLIGHT.

Flickr photo of mask by poropitia

    1. MPD310 says:

      I wondered about those stickers! Eye catching. And I agree with the manifesto. Thanks for sharing this!