Above: the gutter shared with Raccoon House, after rain.
Emails arrived asking me to cease use of the shared-house gutter between us and Raccoon House until a leak had been repaired next door, at Raccoon House. The name on the emails led me to Google, which led me to this post on Lost City.
It identifies the owner of Raccoon House.
But back to the beginning: We received a polite note, on paper, from Raccoon House the other day telling us that the drain in the gutter shared by our houses was blocked and that a leak was dripping onto their unoccupied top floor door (maybe onto the raccoon?). Vincent, perched on the edge of the roof, managed to miraculously unplug the gutter, finding two hidden drains, so the problem was solved. Not that it was all ours to solve. One of the drains belongs to Raccoon House. I wrote another note letting them know that it was fixed, and left my email address on the note.
This man is also the owner of the long-abandoned but now-in-renovation (which has stalled for months* apparently because of a lawsuit about not having permits) house at the corner, two houses over, where Estorbo was lost a couple of years ago, and upon which a swat steam descended in 2005 looking for a Peter Braunstein, a notorious fugitive.
These articles in the Daily News say the owner of the house on the corner lives on the block. But where? The only possibility is Raccoon House. I had thought that the occupants were luckless tenants being starved out by a mean landlord.
* Update, 17 July 2012 - still stalled.
The roof of Raccoon House sags at the west end, so is a permanent pool of mosquito rainwater.
Before I found the Lost City post, I found a couple of others. Pause for thought. "Mob ties"?
Raccoon House's facade is crumbling, the ornate wood beneath the roof line is pocked and rotten. The tartop roof itself is a breeding ground for mosquitoes when there is rainwater (a long-ago memory it seems; will it ever rain again?). The gutter downpipe does not connect to the sewer- pipe so floods our courtyard when it rains. There is no glass in the windows of the upper rear floors. And yet a family lives on the parlour floor. It's fascinating.
So bear it all in mind. In case a raccoon - or a blogger - in cement booties turns up in the East River...