Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Illegal hotel row mural defaced again in First Street Green Art Park

Someone has twice vandalized the illegal hotel row mural since its arrival in First Street Green Art Park back in May.

The folks at the Cooper Square Committee shared this with me on Monday:

On June 27, tenants from East 1st Street rallied alongside affordable housing activists and elected officials to celebrate the completion of a community mural project, which called attention to the high concentration and negative effects of commercially operated, short-term apartment rentals facilitated by platforms like VRBO and Airbnb. These amateur muralists were shocked, but not surprised, to find that their project had been vandalized for the second time since they had begun work on the mural in early May.

On both occasions their mural was the only artwork in the First Street Green Art Park to be hit by the vandal, and the muralists allege that their messaging about the negative impact of short-term rentals on the community, as well as information on what tenants can do if they believe an illegal hotel is being operated in their building, were intentionally obscured.

A report issued in May 2018 by City Comptroller Scott Stringer notes that Chinatown and the Lower East Side are home to a high concentration of short-term rentals. Tenants living in buildings where illegal hotel operations are common allege that illegal hotels reduce affordable housing options and compromise tenant safety and quality of life — the lucrative prices that short-term rentals fetch contribute to displacement pressure on long-term tenants, and tenants' lives are often grossly disrupted by the influx of tourists and strangers who are able to access their building.

Residents in buildings where these operations are common claim they are routinely woken up in the middle of the night by confused guests ringing their buzzers and travelers carrying luggage up and down their stairs at all hours of the night. Others have woken up to find vomit in building common areas.

The tenants who worked on the mural are currently planning their response, and are looking for support from members of the community who are also concerned about illegal hotels' detrimental effects on the community.

Here's a video about the mural project...


[Photo from late June]


Anonymous said...

So what, do we think Airbnb hired someone to deface the mural? Given the ludicrous onslaught of advertising I'm seeing from them I wouldn't be surprised.

DrGecko said...

At the risk of being that guy, I have to say that a hyphen would have been clarifying:

Illegal-hotel row mural

or, two if you can get them at a discount:

Illegal-hotel-row mural

JQ LLC said...

reps from Airbnb have been very snotty since the council decision. Being that tech cos. are populated with douches in their 20's and 30's (and early 40's), it wouldn't be a shock if they resorted to vandalism. And judging from those pics and that lame tagging, it could be.