New York - A 23-foot 1984 Chevy Pathfinder RV, which is owned by 62 year-old Rabbi Steve Blumberg and has been parked at Riverside Drive and 74th Street in New York’s ritzy Upper West Side, is drawing the ire of local residents who want the rusted-out monstrosity moved.
THE NEW YORK POST reports that local activist Gretchen Berger said, “Why is this ugly piece of junk here? It just sort of creeps me out that somebody is living in a parking space, and this may give rise other people thinking it’s a cheap way to live on the Upper West Side, where the rents are high. Is Manhattan going to become a trailer park?”
Blumberg, who purchased the camper in 2007 after he lost his apartment, says he has lived out of it off and on, but currently has housing and is now using it as a sometimes-office or mobile hotel room for out-of-town guests.
One such guest, a 54 year-old Romanian friend of Blumberg’s who visited last summer and stayed in camper, said he thoroughly enjoyed his stay.
“I think the greatest thing about it is having the comfort of sleeping in a real bed, while being, at the same time, in the middle of everything going on on the street,” the friend said. “I could hear the bus, the cars, people walking their dogs, passersby talking, police with the sirens on. It’s even more special, this being New York.”
Admittedly, Blumberg said he’s not exactly sure what the city’s laws are concerning RVs parked for periods of time, but despite that he’s yet to receive a ticket.
In answer to the complaints from Upper West Siders, Blumberg said, “If you want a gated community, you should live in Creedmoor [Psychiatric Center]. Otherwise-liberal West Siders have very serious middle-class scruples about what should or should not be in their neighborhood.”