‘Birdhouse Repo’ Reminds us that Even the Animals Can’t Afford to Live in NYC Anymore

Posted on: January 17th, 2017 at 5:14 am by

first-park-art

To live in New York City is so expensive, even the birds can’t afford it. This truth is the creative mojo behind a new temporary art project coming to First Park this month.

The incoming sculpture, aptly entitled “Birdhouse Repo,” is the work of city native Aaron Schraeter. Simple yet brilliant, his goal was political commentary on the immediate surroundings, where gentrification is crowding everyone out.

This “foreclosed” birdhouse will post up adjacent to the former “rat alley,” now an open air gallery, rechristened First Street Green. Public unveiling is planned for the end of the month, and will be on display until sometime in June. As for assembly, the 36-inch-high model will be a miniature replica house atop an eleven-foot pole. Same materials, smaller scale. For instance, tar paper and shingles will be used for the roof, while the rest is pressure-treated plywood. The front door to the Birdhouse, so to speak, will be boarded up, yet Schrater noted that “wouldn’t be too upset” at the sight of bird squatters.

birdhouse-repo

More from the proposal:

Aaron Schraeter draws inspiration for his work from the constantly changing neighborhoods of New York City, especially the effects of gentrification and who gets to stay. The city has become increasingly expensive, with new luxury condos replacing older commercial spaces and skyrocketing rents due to mass migrations to newly gentrified neighborhoods coupled with the flailing job market and extended recession. With that, this sculpture—a birdhouse under foreclosure—is a simple statement: New York is becoming so expensive that even the animals can’t afford to live here. As many human domiciles have, this one will remain “vacant,” save for some possible winged squatters. The openings will be boarded up, and signs will be posted on the sides of the structure reading “house under foreclosure.”

Schraeter presented these plans before the Parks subcommittee of Community Board 3 last week. And while the advisory body wasn’t required to make a motion, the panel seemed to enjoy the overall message. He further quipped that “there’s no guarantee in my adult life I’ll be able to continue living here.”

Recent Stories

Drunk Driver Struck Man on Moped at Bowery and Delancey

A man is in critical condition after an SUV, operated by a driver police believe was intoxicated, struck his moped at Bowery and Delancey Street early Wednesday morning. Police said the Toyota RAV4 turned onto Delancey from the Bowery at around 2:00am, where it struck the 38-year-old on the moped. Paramedics rushed the victim to […]

The Chic COVID Test in Little Italy that Costs $300

In a clash between the Pre-Covid New York CIty and the new, abnormal, meet Rapid Test NYC. This new endeavor brings boutique COVID-19 testing to Little Italy, with its no-wait rapid swab testing at 232 Elizabeth Street. No lines and a posh waiting room await the discerning citizen looking for immediate results. The interior has […]

COVID Has Taken Fineline Tattoo, a Lower East Side Institution

Oh, COVID/2020, you’re an evil bitch. Come Monday, you will no longer be able to walk into Fineline Tattoo shop. But the owner and legacy keeper, Mehai Bakaty, wants you to know: We are not closing, we are moving. LES STRONG.  We will be going back to a private studio next door. Appointment only. Rest […]

Work Underway at New Orchard Street Home of Scarr’s Pizza

Scarr’s Pizza is moving up the street. And the work has already begun. As previously reported, owner Scarr Pimentel applied to remove and transfer the liquor license to 35 Orchard (aka 34 Allen) in what was formerly the Lam & Associates insurance office. (A building now shared with Cheeky Sandwiches.) Community Board 3 signaled its […]

Pandemic Pitch: Essex Crossing Tries to Lease its Office Space

One of the crown jewels of the Essex Crossing mega project – namely, 350,000 square-feet of Class A commercial space – is also an Achilles Heel of sorts. And now, a first look. The Commercial Observer spilled ink this week on the challenges of renting this office space during pandemic times, even referring to the […]