Punk Paradise Lost
Even among the squatters, the communal spirit of the house lived on. But the stairs were the least of the RAW's building code violations. On August 18, both Sgt. Flocken and I independently called the city attorney's office with questions about the house. On August 19, assistant attorney Kristin Larcom looked at the property--and the next day, she had Tony Savoni and Milt Andrews out there to close the house down.
Afterward, Larcom went to Simsar's home on South Forest. Like the Miller houses, it was fronted by shrubs so overgrown they shaded the second-story windows.
"We spoke face to face," Larcom reports. "I'm guessing [he is] about eighty. He was well dressed and appeared to be in good health. He didn't seem aware of the condition of the property. It would be my assumption he hadn't been there in a while."
When I called Simsar about the eviction in August, he told me, "I don't want to talk about it." But when I called back in October, he was more forthcoming. Asked about the maintenance problems, he says the buildings were expensive to keep up and the tenants "were behind with the rent." As for the foreclosure, he says, "I couldn't make the payments. And that was that."