October 16, 2011

Spite and Malice 40216

I accidentally turned down this street last week and came upon this delightful house.  It's like a house in a fairy tale, one you want to live in because you know it's filled with candy and cupcakes.

A day or two later, I went back with Laramie and the camera so I could get photos better than the one on my cell phone. Two guys looking under a car hood in a driveway watched me emerge from the Jeep with camera and dog in tow, and what with there being a No Trespassing sign and all in the front yard of the darling house, I decided to chat them up.

"Do you know the story behind that house?" I asked.

"Yeah," said one of the men, with a slight grin.

So here's the story.  Beside this house is a vacant lot.  Beside the vacant lot is another house about this size.  Behind the colorful house, at some distance, is another house. Several years ago, a woman bought the vacant lot and the two houses for $60,000. The third house, now multicolored, was owned by an elderly man who died at age 93, after which the house idled in an estate for a time and was eventually purchased by the owner of the other properties.

The first two houses she bought have been renovated and are occupied.  The vacant lot and this third house were on the back burner.  Two homeowners on the street got riled up, muttering about weeds and grass and rundown houses, to the point of official papers being served demanding that the space be cleared up. 
It happened once.

It happened twice.

It happened a third time, and that was when the woman said to her son, "Paint the house."

 So he did.

The complaining neighbors are not as happy as you might expect, even though their demands were met.

As thee two men told me, not everybody has lots of extra money to throw around, especially not these days in these economic times.  The complainers know the governor and the mayor -- which shouldn't exactly matter, what with the house being in the county -- and that's why they created such a stink over a situation where a person is actively restoring houses and making them available at reasonable rents.

Human nature:  is there anything as satisfying to observe?  And the best part of the story is that it all happened here, on Eureka Avenue:

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