The House That Brian Built
(photo essay/audio slide show – click link)
Brian Joyce, a “mostly homeless” man, spent years building a home for himself, only to see it destroyed by the government. Of course, Joyce was squatting on a small wooded strip of land located next to a busy highway in Cambridge, and his “home” was constructed entirely from items he found in nearby dumpsters and on the land itself.
This is a story about a man, his bizarre and artistic home, and his unsuccessful journey to grab a slice of the normal life on his own unique terms.
(video – click link)
Each year in Boston, scores of mostly young people move into a new apartment. With its proximity to numerous colleges and cheap housing, Allston and Brighton is ground zero of this disturbing dance.
Students arrive from around the world with jammed luggage and personal items on public display, poor post-grads with mattresses strapped to the roofs of borrowed vehicles battle fatigue and frayed nerves, and U-haul trucks as far as the eye can see line congested side streets.
Amid the chaos, mountains of trash, including used furniture, clothing and kitchen wear, discarded by previous tenants, litter the already congested streets. The annual “cleansing” draws thousands of old and young, to what has become know as “Allston Christmas.” The free household items are ripe for the picking, frequently ripe from the smell of trash they are thrown into and piled up everywhere.
Moving Day marks the start of a new chapter for many, is an informal holiday for some and unquestionably the single most chaotic day for an entire city.