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Unique Trailer Park for Artists Sprouts in Brooklyn

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December 23, 2009 by   Leave a Comment

A scruffy group of Brooklyn, N.Y., artists are revving up a new kind of workspace inside a Bushwick warehouse – a trailer park.

They’ve rounded up a collection of dilapidated trailers and RVs, with names like Shasta Strato Flyte, Aristocrat and Yellowstone and plan to put them outside come spring, according to the New York Daily News.

“It doesn’t look like much now, but that kind of works to our advantage because anyone with an imagination can use their creativity to help us get it going,” said Hayden Cummings, one of the founders of the workspace project.

There are nine trailers so far, and eventually they’ll all be outfitted with electricity hookups, running water and hot plates. Artists will pay a “membership fee” that starts at $590 a month and grants each person access to a trailer for use as personal workspace.

Inside the warehouse, near the Montrose Avenue L-train stop, the artists are building community spaces – including a photography darkroom, ceramics kilns, a wood workshop, a recording studio and a kitchen.

There’s a no-smoking and no-pets policy, save Murry the dog, Buddy the cat and Ruda the hen, who moved into her own trailer Monday.

The warehouse is designated by the city for commercial-only use, so the trailers aren’t intended as living quarters.

Public records show Ethel and Louis Oberlander of Brooklyn own the lot. A man identified as the landlord who was there Tuesday declined to comment.

Cummings came up with the trailer park idea with a few friends. For the past month, they’ve been placing ads on craigslist, looking for potential trailer-mates and investors. So far, about 50 people have shown interest.

“I want it to be a community, so this is all about human interaction and finding the right people,” said another founder, Liam Grill, 32. “We’re gonna have fun, make art and live on the cheap.”

The whole thing will run on Brooklyn hipster staples, he joked: Cheese sandwiches and cheap malt liquor.

Neighbors were bemused but generally supportive of the project.

“They are doing what?” asked Judy Sarante, an office clerk at a plastic bag factory across the street. “I guess it’s OK. People want to express themselves.”

“It’s clever,” said Matt Kipp, 41, who is installing an instrument supply store annex down the block. “Maybe it will generate energy and get more people coming out here.”

“I just hope the cops don’t mess with them,” said Astrid Smith, a painter. “The days of Bohemia in this neighborhood seem to be over. Maybe they will save some of it.”

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