Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Locked out

The kids at Landslide were kicked out of one of the three houses which make up their base here in Pittsburgh the other day. Cops came and told them they had 15 minutes to get their stuff out. They had been living there for two years, so after they grabbed a negligible amount of stuff (sleeping bags mostly) the PGH Polls boarded up the place.

Landslide is an urban farming project. Basically a bunch of punk kids live in, and fix up, a handful of decrepit houses while farming in a portion of central Pittsburgh that was once victim to a landslide. Though they look like a bunch of ragamuffins, they've lived in this world long enough to know ripping the plywood right back off the building when the cops left would be a short sighted solution. They are considered a non-profit project under the Thomas Merton Center, here in PGH. They've been in constant dialog with local leaders in their mission to procure more farm land, so they knew the right number for their friends to call. Phones in several public officials offices rang off the hook for hours, until finally (after a sympathetic lawyer threatened a federal suit against the city) the police returned to remove the plywood themselves.

Though, since the house has no plumbing or electricity, they are not technically allowed to live there--the property has been temporarily opened to them as an office-type space (which is something).

And while they were defending their home I was hunting for mine. After stopping by Landslide in the morning, and after making a phone call on their behalf I took 2 walk-throughs on my latest leads.

The places are being short-sold presently, so when they offer me a price, we'll know how hopeful it looks.

I'm also checking someplace out in Larryville on Thursday.
I'll keep you posted.

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