Oh, Rubulad. The low-rent Cosmic Cavern. The Burning Man of Brooklyn. The place NYU students write home about as what it’s “like to be inside the brain of Lady Gaga.” Well, the Bed-Stuy communal-living space that intermittetly functions as a packed party den is apparently having some problems. Big ones. Ones that don’t allow them to inhabit the first floor of their premises. Or as the Brooklyn Paper so delicately puts it:
A group of Clinton Hill artists will have to fight for their right to party, as the city is moving to evict them from their Flushing Avenue workspace because of their allegedly wild bashes.
The “city issued the eviction notice on Tuesday,” the Brooklyn Paper continues, after a big party got out of hand two weeks ago, and artist inhabitants were forced to move out. But then once Gothamist picked up on the story, Rubulad’s Sari Rupinstein sent out a note to clarify that they weren’t actually evicted. More like hassled, but with consequences.
In the morning of Tuesday, July 20th, NYC fire marshals entered Rubulad and announced we were being “evicted.” We were informed that representatives of the Department of Buildings were on their way to padlock the space and that we had an hour to remove our essential belongings.
There appears to be some element of harassment at work here as, at the close of business on the third day of this ongoing fiasco, the DOB has not arrived to padlock the premises and indeed we have spoken with them on the phone and they have assured us they have no intention of doing so.
However, the fire department has issued an “Order to Vacate” disallowing us from entering the ground floor of our space. The DOB represents that they can and will undo the Order, but again nothing further has happened and as of now the Order stands.
Meanwhile, our space is in total disarray as many sympathetic friends and arts groups heard our cry of distress and came to help move our belongings and supplies into storage lockers in (retrospectively unwarranted) anticipation of being padlocked.
It’s unclear to us how much of this harassment is due to a) the furor over the new loft laws, b) the fact that the fire department finds our parties annoying or c) any actual or imagined safety issues.
What is clear is that while we have been ordered to vacate the ground floor, we have not been evicted in the sense of being irrevocably thrown out on the street.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 23, 2010