Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chutzpah - An Illustration

In looking through Wikipedia for its take on chutzpah, I was seriously disappointed. What a shortcoming in illustrating this fabulous word. Then today, thanks to the Metro section of the NYT, comes this little story. A gem, really, of how a word can describe a life. A certain Darren Miller decided to fence in over 10 acres of public land quite a few years ago and make some money. The land, public land, was used by Mr. Miller as a truck parking lot, a chop shop, and a detailing business. On Wed., Aug the 13th, it was an unlucky day for Mr. Miller as he faced various charges for the "acquisition" and mis-use of the land. This blurb from the article gives you an idea of the sizable weight of Mr. Miller's chutzpah.

"Mr. Miller’s lawyer, Vincent M. Gerardi, said his client’s claim to the land was sound, and based on the legal doctrine of “adverse possession,” in which someone can claim title to property he has used for a specified number of years. Mr. Miller, his lawyer said, is a small-business owner who simply made good use of a wasted patch of land."

This is certainly a story worth following. Seems that the folks paying for the use of the borrowed lot weren't ticked off at Mr. Miller at all but were in mourning of the closing of the lot.

"Joseph Bhola, sitting next to an orange dump truck, said it was hard to find truck parking lots in the city, especially at the prices Mr. Miller charged: about $300 monthly, or half the price of other lots, depending on the size of the truck. Another trucker, Peter, who would not give his last name, said the closing of the lot was probably the last straw: He would move to Florida. "New York has too many permits, and too many laws", he said."

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Do you know whatever happened to Mr. Darren Miller- prosecuted? fined? Forced to give up the land? What has come of the land patch?
 
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