ADIEU to the LEGENDARY PHYLLIS
You’re an elegant man, what a lovely tie. What’s your rent?
Phyllis, is moving to Florida. She is a N. Williamsburgh institution. Our neighbor and kindred spirit, Kimberly, threw her a block party at Ali’s corner Bodega. A store inventory of the best selling authors, critically praised artists, celebrity assistants, and Williamsburgh originals bidding bon voyage made the party as unique & fascinating as the lady herself.
A landlord, actress, wife, mother, activist & fashion plate, Phyllis was one of the original Bedford Avenue street vendors. Her building fell. She moved all her wares. She & Ali met as tenants of the same building. She’s been working his afternoon shift ever since.
Phyllis will apologize for an appalling lack of stock with epic tales, historical accounts and sometimes curious & touching anecdotes including but absolutely not limited to Winston Churchill (part native American!), Whitey Bulger, the Williamsburg mob, the rub-outs at Kellogg’s Diner, Serpico, the passing of her brother in WWII, her son’s death, her husband’s birth (born in what is now Best Pizza’s brick oven) and his early demise, even Whitney Houston & Liz Taylor.
But, by far, Phyllis’ favorite topic is landlord corruption. She & Ali’s landlord proved quite the slumlord. $2000 for a horrible 1 bedroom. Lots of violations. Rent increase to $2200. Court fight. Intimidation. Harassment. The judge awarded her a year of free rent. She was tired of fighting. “Do you know what I could get in Florida for half the price?”.