A senior citizen book lover from Brooklyn, NY is being threatened with eviction for having an expansive library in his tiny apartment.
67 year old Ben Hammer has spent 46 years living in his now rent-controlled apartment but is now facing an uncertain future thanks to a landlord who believes his collection of books is a fire hazard. Ben moved into the one-bedroomed apartment in 1973 while working as a seaman on international freighters but received a notice of eviction just months after his rent was frozen at $700 a month. The eviction notice also coincided with the building being sold to a huge company for $17.3m, which Ben does not think is a coincidence.
Ben Hammer’s book collection started when he was a child. He insists he is not a hoarder as each of the books he has kept is of sentimental value to him. Every room contains books- from the bedroom to the bathroom- and range from modern literature to early history.
“They’re important to me,” says Hammer, “Unlike a lot of people, I happen to have respect for the printed word. I am not a media person. I do not own a television. to me it is valuable. To somebody else, it’s just a stack of stuff.”
The eviction notice read:
“You have been keeping your apartment in an extremely unsanitary, unhealthy, and unclean manner in violation of your lease agreement. There are boxes, bags, papers, debris, filing cabinets, wood crates and books piled from floor to ceiling throughout the apartment.”
The maintenance director for the building, Nelson Diaz, noted: “This tenant has literally filled his apartment with paper and has created a significant fire hazard for him and the entire building.”
According to sources who have visited the site, Hammer’s home has walls entirely lined with books, against the walls, on every shelf alongside family photos, boxes of books and papers sit stacked high, with framed prints of the ships he worked on as a seaman.
Hammer is quite rightly upset about his home being scrutinised and attacked in such a way, and to be threatened with eviction for some dust and a love of reading seems a tad overboard.
“You might call it a library, my landlord calls it a fire hazard,” he says, “Pure and simple, I’m a long-term senior citizen resident in a rent-stabilised apartment and I got a rent freeze that I’m lawfully entitled to. If he disposed me he can realise a windfall of profits at my expense.”
And his lawyers from the Legal Aid Society agree:
“Unscrupulous landlords will employ a range of tactics to shirk legal obligations and boost their bottom line. It’s shameful that our clients- seniors, families, the disabled, and children- in rent-regulated units continue to suffer this type of harassment with little recourse.”
Hammer and his landlord are due in court this week.
Born in the Bronx to Russian Jewish descendants on 27th May 1915, Bronx grew up as part of a struggling family in poverty. After his childhood, Wouk earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the age of 19 from Columbia University and went on to serve as the editor of the university’s humor magazine, The Columbia Jester and thereafter would become a radio dramatist.
We have suspense and page-turners galore, debut novels and favourite authors. Here they are, the best crime and suspense novels out this June!
We saw the teaser trailer in March and it didn’t give much away, however this latest trailer is VERY exciting. In it we get to see and hear the characters many of us fell in love with from Pullman’s books including the main protagonist Lyra Belacqua who is played by Dafne Keen and the wonderful James McAvoy who will play Lord Asriel. Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins) is set to play the Texan aeronaut Lee Scoresby, while James Cosmo and Lucian Msamati play as Farder Coram and John Faa respectively.
Any fan of the book series will be pleased to see far more detail from the book included in the television series, as opposed to the movie The Golden Compass, which left out chunks of the story and never managed to make enough at the box office to carry on the movie franchise.
8 intense episodes will run over 2 seasons, and a date has yet to be announced for its release. We do know, however, that it will premiere in the USA by the end of 2019.
We will let you know more details as we have them- meanwhile check out the trailer below!
The idea was created by book personalisation company In The Book who have redesigned each stop with a famous literary name such as Graham Greene, Zadie Smith, or Arthur Conan Doyle. The map covers most of zones 1 and 2 with some prolific writers featuring multiple times- Charles Dickens is represented in 7 areas.
Tom Matthews, spokesperson for In The Book said:
“The map aims to give a comprehensive geographical guide to London’s diverse literary history. We’re all familiar with Charles Dickens, Martin Amis and Zadie Smith, but it’s also titles such as Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows that help colour areas of the city in their own unique way.”