By Melvyn Kohn
January 31, 2011
The Village Voice, that bastion of all things far to the left of left, recently ran some articles on
bad landlords. It singled out Jewish landlords in a front page piece by Elizabeth Dwoskin; one wonders
if it will follow up with a report on bad Protestant landlords, or bad white landlords, or single out any other group.
So far, it is just us. We're bad.
Well, Ms Dwoskin might only have to look at the advertisements in her paper to find a bad non-Jewish landlord; and I do not just mean bad, I mean one who runs a building with swastikas on the doors, peeling paint all over, mice running between the feet of inspectors and spilling out of rubbish bins in which there are not lids - and legions of bedbugs, which leave this building on the mice, on the tenants, and in the rubbish.
Ms Dwoskin did not bother to attend the Housing Court session in which these problems and more - such as lack of hot water and unsanitary conditions - were brought up. Judge Kaplan, on the 10 of June, issued an order for there to be lids on rubbish bins, for the complainant's door to be fixed so as to fit and not allow in mice, and for the ceiling to be fixed so as to not allow in bugs; 90 days was the time limit. We are now at about 200 days, and no action, not even the placing of lids on the rubbish bins.
Ms Dwoskin might note that this building then retaliated against the complaining tenant four days after an article appeared in the Epoch Times (25 August, 2010) by starting proceedings against him for non-payment; which takes a lot of chutzpah - as the building never properly registered the units - and the tenant had agreed to pay once this was done. Clearly, as the building is charging the tenants more per cubic foot than the Trump Towers - more than chutzpah is involved here; what they are doing is illegal.
And it is dangerous. A city of nine million cannot afford to have one landlord flout the law and allow unhealthy conditions to endanger the health of its residents. The mice populate at will, and some will emigrate and find new haunts; the bedbugs leave on the bodies of the mice, and of the tenants, and in the rubbish - and easily find new places to suck blood. They can go without a meal for over a year, so they are perfect pest. They also breed at up to 200X a year per individual. It is estimated that 300 a day leave the Vigilant Hotel, located at 370 8th Avenue, and end up sucking the blood of new victims in the area; this is borne out by a map of afflicted hotels and residences in Manhattan, in which the Vigilant is more or less the epicentre. Ground Zero the locals call it.
So when it advertises in the Village Voice, it really shows the hypocrisy at this paper. What ethnicity or nationality or religion is/are the landlord(s)? It does not matter. I will only say they are not Jewish. This unkosher atrocity would never be permitted by any of us.
What needs to be done here is simple: enforcement of the laws in regards a proper registry of the room in question, if not all of them, and enforcement of the court orders. Asking a tenant to live in such a mess and pay more, or even anywhere near, what he would pay to Mr. Trump is an outrage. And allowing a landlord to ignore court orders but then ask the court to take such money from a tenant is again an outrage. Both issues need to be addressed; proper registry must be enacted and the orders enforced. Otherwise, the Vigilant will continue to breed bedbugs which are now affecting one in five Americans. These insects have found their way into all government offices in Manhattan, the Brooklyn DA's office, cinemas, upscale clothing chains, Nike footwear, and hundreds of hotels. The city, faling to deal with this, leaves itself open to lawsuits for negligence.
And the Village Voice, it leaves itself open to questions about bias in regards to ethnicity and favouritism in allowing one of its advertisers get off scot free. One wonders if there are bedbugs in their offices; if so, it is not our fault, but theirs' for promoting this disgusting hotel.