Looking for a squat/community in Brooklyn

MauroV

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Aug 11, 2018
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Brussels
Hi everyone, my name is Mauro, I'm Italian and I live in Brussels, Belgium. I'll be coming to New York next January for 6 months, I was granted with a residency in Brooklyn. I'll be there working as an artist, but still traveling to and from Europe form time to time. When I arrived in Brussels I spent some times with a squatting community, and it was very nice. I'm now renting a flat with my wife.
I was wondering if any of you could give me tips about squats/communities in Brooklyn. Rents are so expensive over there, and I would rather spend the money on production and research than in renting a flat. Plus I like the idea of living and meeting other people with fascinating stories and lives, it's beautiful, romantic and very stimulating. At least that's my personal experience.

Does anyone have any tip or recommendation?

Thanks a lot in advance,

Mauro
 

PotBellyFatGuy

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i have lived here in brookyn for 31 years.

some options to help you:

the beach - in the spring and summer (you will freeze to death in the winter, really), you can hang out on the beach here (from brighton beach to the end of coney island) and the cops leave you alone. i do see squatters there sleeping in the handball courts to the actual sand on the beach (hidden with umbrellas in a corner). i have even seen people sleep openly on benches on the boardwalk when the boardwalk is closed (after 1 a.m.) and the cops just walk by (deblasio, the mayor, has gone soft on the homeless).

couchsurfing - free of course, just rotate your hosts every few days and have a back up plan/place to stay in case someone backs out or can't host you that night.

labor for stay - do some kind of work in exchange for a roof over your head

corner of a room share - there are plenty of people here renting out corner spaces of a room for a few hundred bucks a month at most. at least you can sleep in security.

rent an actual room - i can get you something for about $500 a month especially in winter which is a great time for renters as the market is down compared to the summer.

food: you can visit churches in manhattan for free who give one meal a day maybe twice a week. rotate those churches after making a list for 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. there are also dollar pizza stores in nyc. yeah, they are delicious. 1 dollar for an incredibly taste slice.

i don't know of any communities as i keep to myself and of course i don't trust anyone as that takes a long time to build and i haven't gotten to that point. you can check out other forums and message boards as well for options.

lastly, brooklyn is very large and has about 8 million or so of a population which means it is super easy to blend in. there are also many parts with dead factory areas and such where you can sleep but then again, you have to be very cautious. i say start with couchsurfing or a safe option till you figure out your tolerance level for safety and comfort.
 
Last edited:

Matt Derrick

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while that is a somewhat helpful post, the OP was asking specifically about squats in nyc.

i haven't been back to nyc in ages, but last i heard all the squats were dead except for maybe one somewhere in brooklyn, but don't quote me on that. given the history of squatting in that city and the recent crackdown in past years, it's unlikely you'll find any information online. if any squats still exist, you're gonna have to find them via word of mouth on the street.

although, you could try talking to people at MoRUS which is the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space:

http://www.morusnyc.org/reclaiming-space-squats/

i think they would be the best resource for that kind of information in nyc.
 
OP
MauroV

MauroV

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Thank you all guys, you have been very helpful! I'm getting a much better understanding. Matt, I contacted them but I think this is something I have to forget for the time being, and maybe check out myself once in Brooklyn.
PotBellyFatGuy, I will be very happy to know more about your proposal of 500$, I start considering renting a room as the only option available...

Alternatively, do you know by any chance a good website where to find cheap or "special" rents (and for special I mean easy and basic, no fancy/cool)? This is a bit out of topic, but this will be my last request...thank you in advance!

Mauro
 

PotBellyFatGuy

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the entire city uses craigslist in the rooms/shared section. some men also trade room for sex, but even if you're gay, that's an extreme risk for many reasons. i have seen guys trade room for sex with girls too. all of this is happening on the nyc section of craigslist. roomi is an app that is cleaner in terms of the type of offers on hand. you can also walk around areas of brooklyn where they stick "room for rent" paper ads all over the traffic light poles.
 

ZombieJack

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Aug 29, 2018
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Yeah squats in NYC aren't as common as they used to be, in most cases they either found ways to evict the squatters -or- they gave squatters ownership of the property and in turn gentrified the surrounding area (the C-Squat is a good example of this) Also keep in mind how densely packed the city is and how high demand property is, and you end up with very, very few empty buildings able to be turned to suitable squats.

Now what you could do is find a decent abandoned building a little outside of the city itself and turn that into a nice squat, but I think you'll have a hard time finding a pre-established one. Not only are they rare, but local squats might be full up, or they might be more inclined to welcome people who they know better.
 

PotBellyFatGuy

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yes but you have to go stealth as this city is densely packed. you can easily move around blocks all the time but don't stick out. you can actually sleep on the boardwalk for free from june to october. i was there yesterday (at coney island) at 4:30 a.m. for a jog until 5:30 and saw plenty of people sleeping. cops don't bother homeless as mayor deblasio has said to leave them alone.
 

Jackthereaper

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Theres a bunch of rather industrial areas i always thought would work for van dwelling when i was actually venturing into the city lol. Red hook maybe?
 

PotBellyFatGuy

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nope. red hook has a strong projects area AND that place has its own police precinct. you'd be targeted by LEO as a possible drug dealer or trafficker of sorts.
 

Jackthereaper

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I think im thinkin of the wrong place. Ive alwasy been on a bike when i saw these industrial looking areas. There was water not far off, and I remember local train tracks at least. I saw a few vans i suspected people were living in. Dont quote me on neighborhoods lol, i get lost af everywhere i go in nyc
 

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