Explosions, crack house rumors, Sainted Mary, police vans, missing air conditioners, severed Barbie heads. What goes on at 229 Dean Street?
The Boerum Hill brickface, on a handsome block, first caught the attention of Lost City when a big Barbie head was displayed, like a museum piece, in a hollowed-out cavity that once contained an air-conditioning unit. (See below.) Soon after it was replaced by a statue of the Virgin Mary and a couple religious candles. But the initial post was enough to unearth all sorts of comments and information, including that "There was an explosion at this house back in December that blew out the front and back windows on the parlor floor," possibly caused by the manufacture of crack; that the crack story was bogus and the building owner was suing the paper that printed it; that a "police van [was] parked right outside" on one occasion.
I had forgotten about the building when a reader wrote in recently to report: "I noticed some odd stuff tonight outside of 229 Dean Street... And when I say odd stuff, I mean, old turntable, stereo equipment, old super 8mm projector, a box of PAL VHS tapes (from the U.K.) including all of Twin Peaks on VHS and non-playable on U.S. VCRs. And lots of CDs and cases beneath that. Up in the window next to the odd windowbox you mention is now a huge Hells Angels flag. I usually rumage cool old electronics like this, but all of this stuff was beat and looked like it was covered by dust. WTF is up with these folks? Lights on and bright at 3:00am at this place as well. Grew up in this city and this place is skeevey to say the least. Reminds me of every junkie den I have ever seen. Even moreso now."
So, dutiful citizen and blogger that I am, I checked it out. I didn't take a picture, though, because the scene just scared me shitless. That is one creepy-ass house. The Hells Angel flag was gone. Instead, there was a clear view through the windowbox into the brightly lit house, where a bare bulb hung from the ceiling. One can also see through the windowbox that there is nothing in there, no furnishings, no nothing, just open space. Two young men left the house. They were followed by a pair of eyes that peered through the wooden shutters that completely cover the two ground-floor windows. Just like in the movies, I swear, eyes peeking through shutters parted by two fingers. Then one of the men returned, looking over his shoulder as he did. This is not a wholesome house.
According to the Corcoran site, the building is "in contract" for $1,595,000. Do the guys inside know that?