If there’s one thing the residents of the trailer park are going to take away from this fiasco, it’s the realization that it’s very, very easy for the media to get things wrong. Since our early days, there have been more than a few articles that have left us scratching our heads in utter amazement. We shouldn’t name names, because it would only encourage more tedious hillbilly metaphors in the next article.
the engines were running indoors
Sorry, we’ve only ever had two trailers that could drive under their own power (“class C motorhomes” for those of you in the know) and we would never run them indoors, even in our warehouse. They were meant for the outdoors and that’s where we lived in them. We have no idea where this ‘gas leak’ information came from, we don’t have the gas to leak. The decision was made early on never to use propane but to power every trailer electrically.
the fire department evicted everyone from the warehouse in february 2010
the department of buildings did not want people living in trailers inside the warehouse- and the trailers were indoors for the early part of winter 2009 because we didn’t have the manpower to get them out back easily- we eventually had to build a ramp, and any time trailers were moved it was an manual operation involving 10-15 people pushing and lifting. We complied with the department of buildings and if you take the time to look up the violations on the nyc.gov website you will find that our violations have all been marked as such. No police set foot inside. But there were so many errors and insults in the press in february that we decided to keep to ourselves about the existence of the trailer park in the back lot. They were our homes and bedrooms, and we didn’t want further attention, ecspecially when it was all going to be fodder for bad creative writing exercises. Besides, the last article said we were all gone, so it was better everyone thought that.
One of the main epithets we’ve heard surrounding the trailer park. It’s a way for blogs to generate message board furor. No one knows exactly what the word means, but there sure are a lot of them in williamsburg and bushwick, right? We can’t convince anyone who doesn’t want to be convinced, but we’ll state this- after a few months of living in a trailer the irony wears off. Look, it’s about half-and-half art and music space, most everyone who lives here does it because having a live/work space is what suits them the best.
you are banjo playing hillbillies/cowboys/white trash/southerners who aren’t real new yorkers
Among our residents, we have had about four native new yorkers, a bunch of people from new jersey and philidelphia, a couple from texas, one from kansas, a few from virginia and north carolina, a few from california and a whole host of foreigners- from germany, sweden, france, brazil and el salvador. We have one dedicated banjo player, and he’s really good.
you guys were trespassing
You can’t trespass on land you had permission to enter- and you can’t be evicted from land you’ve been living on for over year, even the humblest strip, without 30 days notice. Claims that Kings Construction Supply had no idea we were back there are completely ridiculous- how does one overlook 20 caravans in your backyard? Do a google map search, you can practically see us from space.
you can’t live in an industrially zoned space
technically you can’t live anywhere in manhattan, but somehow people do.
all photos by Robin Hastyfor her project Homeland: a Wet Plate Collodion Photo Essay