Just a few blocks from Bushwick hotspot Roberta’s, where well-heeled diners can sample the chef’s tasting menu for $180 a head, Urania Medal wonders whether she and her family will have heat this winter.
Last year, Urania’s landlord sold her building, and the new owner — no doubt seeing the potential new market — told all of the existing immigrant tenants that they had to leave. They all left — except Urania, who’s had to pay a hefty price for her strong stance.
She was left without heat for most of last winter; the landlord gutted the building around her, removing walls, windows and floors in the empty apartments, and then her own ceiling collapsed. Eventually, the city replaced the boiler, but she continues to live in the middle of an idle construction site.
It’s become fashionable in recent years to hail Bushwick’s “renaissance,” but for many longtime residents of this working class and immigrant community, living conditions have worsened — even as rents have skyrocketed.