There’s a house at the end of my block that hasn’t had anyone living in it for over a year. Well, not officially, anyway. Clearly, there’s been some activity in and around the house over the months of abandonment; the back door has been boarded up, and some windows have signs of attempted – perhaps successful – entry.
I’ve heard from more than one person that the inside of the home is wonderfully detailed and that it holds great charm in its “bones.” But sadly, due to a combination of personal and local and national issues, the house grew to reflect the reality that many have endured.
And still, there is beauty. The vines, which are slowly making sure that the stucco will never survive, wind their way over and around and through and into the house. The beautiful, wide pine tree on the side of the house is majestic and healthy and inviting. So inviting that several people have used its shelter as a hideout – even a skull from another street’s Hallowe’en display was found nestled in a natural alcove. And the lace-trimmed curtains on the third floor help the imagination to take flight – especially on days with little sunshine.
Seeing the bulkhead with its many colors, including the still-intact lock which matched some of the paint, reminded me of walking around 2nd and 3rd Avenue in Sunset Park. A pedestrian with open eyes can find the most beautiful moments even in extreme decay and industry. For excellent photographs of my beloved Sunset Park, check out the flickr account of Vanessa Velez. Especially as Dia de Los Muertos comes around, you’ll want to see what she has to show.