One year ago, after the above condo at 18th Street and Eighth Avenue was completed, it immediately began attracting people to the low and perfectly sittable ledge that circles its exterior. Some of those sitters had been folks looking to take a load off; many of those sitters have been kids from the high school around the corner. And so began a year-long battle between the sitters and the condo.
First, the condo erected a fence of crime-scene tape and wooden barriers. Neighbors protested the junky display and glued signs to the condo's front door saying, "Remove right away the sidewalk barrier. It's illegal. The city and police have been notified." The condo complied.
Winter came and the sitters stopped sitting. And then came spring. In April, like swallows returning to Capistrano, the ledge was again filled with kids on their lunch break, dog walkers, and people on crutches. Suddenly, the NYPD had a patrol car staked out on the corner and an armed officer standing guard. That didn't last long either.
Now, in what looks like the final chapter in the year-long saga of the condo versus the sitters, they have installed the human equivalent of pigeon spikes: two rows of toothed rails running around the circumference of the condo, making sure that no one ever takes a seat on their ledge again. —Jeremiah Moss