Isn't he a pretty picture of contentment, sunning himself on the permanently open fourth-floor window of this 19th-century brick walk-up on Kane Street in Cobble Hill?
Vermin apparently have such complete run of the abandoned, bedraggled spectacle that is 149 Kane Street that they don't mind sunbathing out in the open, as if to state to the world, "I have no fear of reprisal or extermination. I run this place!" The building is the one eyesore of the elegant block between Henry and Hicks. The roof is sagging, the stoop and facade are cracked, the cornice is loose and hanging, some windows are boarded over while others are open.
The Department of Building website lists dozens of complaints and violations against the property, all laid at the foot of one Arlene Karlsen (or Karlson), who has been assessed tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Recently, parts of the house fell onto the lawn of a neighboring property. Even members of the FDNY have filed complaints! And yet, nothing has changed in the years I've been eyeballing the house. The thing's going to fall any moment, I swear, guys. (Oh, guess what, freinds! The building is landmarked!)
A very angry old lady who lives next door, and has signed many a petition over the years, told me the owner of the horror bought it 20 years ago "for a song," and has done nothing with it ever since. She said the roof leaks constantly. A little rain, however, never bothered our fat friend, the suntanned rat.
UPDATE (1/2/2007): This item has since been picked up by Brownstowner, Curbed and New York Magazine, to which sites I am gratefull. I no longer care whether it's a rat, squirrel, small dog or armadillo. I just want that that building saved from the clutches of its absent landlord.