Monday night I was watching TV, waiting for the big Detroit fireworks display to start. Bouncing through the channels on the way to channel 4, I landed on the local government cable channel and saw a familiar sight. “That can’t be the yard next door, can it?” I watched for a while and saw not only the yard next door, but the house, and the garage. All of it was in terrible shape, which was the point of the property being on television. TV Warren had produced a show featuring the city’s property maintenance department, and to show what maintenance violations looked like they picked three properties. The abandoned house next door to me was one of them. I think the video was shot in early May, because soon after that the city came out and boarded up the garage door that had been left open, cut the grass, and hauled away some junk piles in the backyard.
I didn’t watch the show all the way through because the fireworks had started, so I taped a later broadcast (TV Warren repeats everything over and over; for once that was good). At one or two points my house does appear as the camera pans around. That was weird to see. I want to watch the whole thing tonight when I get home, because I’m paranoid that their on-camera person is going to point toward my house and say something like “And this one isn’t much better!” I’m sure she didn’t; my grass was short and I just got the new windows, after all. On the other hand, there is a piece of siding that’s loose….
That house next door has been nothing but trouble. After years of having iffy tenants (well, the last one was more than iffy, but I don’t want to say much more than that), it has been abandoned for six to nine months now, I think. A pipe burst there during the winter and flooded all the way to my sidewalk before the city came and turned off the water. And now it’s a star on cable access. Wonderful.