Castle Braid, the expensive, much-maligned Bushwick housing complex that comes with amenities like a digital media lab and designated “chill space” (and has recently found itself at the center of a flurry of neighborhood controversy) can add something else to its list of dubious PR magnets: an unhinged, surprisingly conservative, and apparently real Twitter account. Like so:
Hoo, boy. The @CastleBraid feed is also filled with Pat Buchanan quotes, knockout game-related fear mongering, complaints about Obamacare, exhortations not to give money to panhandlers, claims that Castle Braid is singlehandedly responsible for Bushwick’s meteoric rise, and at lease one use of the hashtag #GoodFencesMakeGoodNeighbors. The Village Voice reported extensively on the situation yesterday, and it seems the feed is run by a group of residents who claim to also speak for the building’s management.
“We share development goals and politics of MGMT and know them personally,” the feed’s proprietors confirmed to the Voice, insisting that they remain anonymous. “But we don’t think it would be good if they found out who we are. Don’t want to risk eviction or the ire of fellow tenants, many of whom unfortunately tend to suffer from liberal guilt.” They also tweeted the above clarification saying that they are, in fact, a group of concerned tenants. As for the building’s owners, they’ve reportedly been advised by lawyers not to comment.
@CastleBraid’s defensive tweets are mostly in response to controversy over a 421a tax exemption the building received. Occupy Bushwick and a group called AntiCastleBraid have consistently claimed the building failed to create the affordable housing units legally required to receive such an exemption, but the Department of Housing confirmed this week that the building broke ground before the requirement was written into law. So Castle Braid’s units are overpriced and arguably inaccessible, but also completely justified in the eyes of the law. For now, Occupy Bushwick has ceased engaging with the Castle Braid Twitter altogether, and AntiCastleBraid seems to have backed off, as well.
And if this all just feels silly and exhausting? Don’t worry. Castle Braid’s got some bright plans for the future:
[Update:] As of Thursday night, the account appears to have been de-activated. For the best, unquestionably, but still a little disappointing.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.