So I looked on the city's ARTIST LINK and used the artspacefinder to see what is out there. Interestingly enough, there is a listing for the building where I live. There is also a contact link on the page that the developer has set up for the building. This FREEWEBS page has information about the building and a link that features the story that the Boston GLOBE did about me a few years ago. So, essentially, this developer is using my face and my career to market this space. I have to say, I really appreciate the responses I have received to my post about the ongoing situation at 1391 Hyde Park Avenue. I was not really expecting it, but I have to say, I woke up today feeling a lot better about things. That is, until I started looking on the artspacefinder.
This is the thing about getting taken or duped or played for a sucker. You feel deeply ashamed. You think "I'm a smart guy, how come I didn't see this coming? Why didn't I look deeper? Do I have a sign on my head that says 'easy mark'"? You ask yourself all these things.
And then you realize they are called con artists for a reason - and that smart people get taken all the time. A friend of mine said that this is like the LAPD - either the guy is a criminal mastermind of a complete incompetent. Either way, whether you've be taken by an Albert Einstein or a Sarah Palin, you've still been taken.
A lot of people have asked what they can do. Honestly, I've no idea. I've gotten some suggestions about how to start a non-profit, so I will be looking into finding an attorney who can help me with that. I would like to get more media attention for this story in the hopes that news media picks it up. A couple of people tweeted it to Sebastian Smee and other reporters and I think that is really helpful for the news media to know that people are interested in this story. I'm thrilled that Big, Red and Shiny is coming back. They have been very supportive and kind to me.
I would also like to hear from other people who have had dealings with this developer and I'd like to get their stories. A couple of people have commented on Facebook and here on my blog. I really appreciate that.
Below are the names and contacts of all the officials I contacted about this situation:
Michael F. Rush Senator D West Roxbury State House Room 519 Boston, MA 02133 T: 617-722-1348 F: 617-722-1071 E: Mike.Rush@masenate.gov
Angelo M. Scaccia Representative D Readville State House Room 33 Boston, MA 02133 T: 617-722-2060 F: 617-722-2849 E: Angelo.Scaccia@mahouse.gov District Office 76 Fairmount Avenue Hyde Park, MA 02136 Phone:617-361-4331
Thomas M. Menino Mayor of the City of Boston 1 City Hall Square, Suite 500 Boston, MA 02201-2013 T: 617.635.4500 F: 617.635.2851 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Meade Director, Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA 02201 T: (617) 918-4201 F: (617) 248-1937 E: Peter.Meade.email@example.com
Clarence J. Jones Chairman, Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA 02201 T: (617) 918-4336 F: (617) 248-1937
I think, as artists and people who are in the larger art world, we need to look at the ways the city uses the arts to create financial interest in property and neighborhoods and then abandons those artists after they have been the shock troops for neighborhood development. I think it is really unacceptable that artists have to be vetted to participate in city housing programs but developers are not, or, if they are, are not held accountable to the city agency that supported their development projects.