People In Our Neighborhood: 128 Beadel Street Speaks!
On July 8, 2009 a missive entitled “128 Beadel Street” from a gentleman named Waldemar found its way to my inbox. He wrote:
Hey it’s Waldemar @ 128. Pass by and check out my Weeping Wall both day and nite and feel free to snap a few shots. For nite shots it’s best after 8PM.
Well, I have yet to make it over to see the Weeping Wall after dark— but I did swing one afternoon earlier this week. What’s more, I met the man behind the Weeping Wall himself: Waldemar!
Not only was he gracious to talk to me for the better part of an hour, but he took me on a guided tour of his home! He is easily as fascinating — if not more so— than the fabulous oasis he has created. Follow are some highlights from our meeting.
HOW HE CAME TO ACQUIRE 128 BEADEL STREET
Using Chinese Astrology (and zero credit) Waldemar landed this house in 1991 (year of the sheep). Twelve years later (2003, once again year of the sheep) he acquired the property next door: 130 Beadel Street (which he has since turned around and sold—but not before giving the front door his personal touch).
Waldemar explained to me that the year of the sheep is a particularly auspicious year to purchase property. He is also resolute in his belief that this is how he avoided the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Who am I to argue? Whatever system he has created appears to be working!
He went on to explain he did not want this house to be acquired by people who reside at 132 Beadel, whom he referred to as his “enemies”. He did not go into any details as to why there is acrimony between him and these folks and I did not ask. Although I suspect his aesthetic sense probably has something to do with it.
For example, he told me that a number of his neighbors took issue with the dragons gracing his front door. They felt these bad boys— not Beadel Street’s remote location, being positioned on top of the infamous “oil spill” or possibly being located atop the Meeker Avenue plume— were discouraging prospective buyers from purchasing a house on this block. Then he continued his discourse on Chinese Astrology:
Mike Bloomberg is a horse. Horses like to take things away from one person and give them to another. They think this makes them look generous. While the city suffers he is getting richer and richer.
I can’t honestly argue with that. Then I made the mistake of telling Waldemar my Chinese zodiac sign: year of the dog.
Dogs and Horses are friends.*
He said. To wit I replied:
Michael Bloomberg is not my friend. What’s more, I do not think anyone earning under $200,000 a year is his friend.
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT WALDEMAR
- He is fifty years old and retired.
- He is single.
- He is very food-conscious. Not only is he a vegan, but he refrains from eating tomatoes or citrus (which he believes to be poisonous). He will only eat his own home-cooking.
- He makes his own lychee-infused vodka, which he assures me is quite delicious.
- He is an animal lover.
It all started with a litter mate of this lovely lass:
Her brother was diagnosed with leukemia so Waldemar took him in. He has since passed but Waldemar now counts a parakeet (he rescued from horrific conditions) and a thirty pound cat named “Vandervoort” as roommates. On top of that he has made a number of other feline friends.
Like this feral fella who likes to lounge on his stoop.
And this urban tigress who belongs to his next door neighbor (who is not his enemy). He has made special beds for his kitty callers and sometimes places them out for them to enjoy.
INSIDE CASA DE WALDEMAR
It is a living extension its owner: filled with fascinating objects from a life lived to the fullest. Take these cylindrical “core sample” looking thingamajigs. He explained to me that when he worked at World Trade Center and they needed to install telephone lines they had to bore a hole through the floor to run the cables through. These are the byproducts of this practice. He likes to use them as paperweights. He sent the one in the middle to his mother in Puerto Rico. She didn’t much fancy it so she sent it back. It just goes to show beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
And on that note I will close with a slide show showcasing the numerous items of interest I saw at Waldemar’s chateau. A domicile— I will add— that is actually two apartments which he alone inhabits.
If I don’t need tenants, I don’t want ’em.
Who can argue with that?
As we parted ways Waldemar confided in me that he rarely goes out anymore.
Maybe once or twice a week…
he said and then he pointed back at his front door
…I have a whole world in there.
Not only is this true, I can personally attest it is a very wonderful one at that!
*Clarification per Waldemar:
…regarding my statement about the do and horse being friends, it only means that for example the year of the Horse is good for you and what people born under that sign do, benefits you by bringing the best out of you. So in your case, the worst Mayor Bloomberg does the more material that will come your way. (Man is he ever right there— Ed. Note) By the way 2010 the year of the tiger is your other good year, And I predict much success for you and your site.
Video Credit: Waldemar