“WELCOME, YOU REPTILE”

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Even by the medieval standards of 1980s Brooklyn, the apartment building at 320 Sterling Street managed to distinguish itself as a brick and mortar atrocity. The blighted 113-unit behemoth between Nostrand and New York Avenues would have scandalized the Bucharest housing authority. Paint peeled from walls as if the entire structure had been dunked in napalm. Gangs of free range rodents annexed corridors and mounds of low-rent detritus provided an unyielding stink. Dripping in Gucci and Fila, crack merchants indulged in dark commerce with relative impunity. Heat was considered a luxury back then and Nor’easters were known to turn bone marrow slushy. Like so many other diseased buildings at the time, 320 Sterling Street was lorded over by an almost comically