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The Battle of Camille Sperrazza’s Sidewalk

Utility agrees to resurface profane pavement

Brooklyn Daily
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Turns out nothing is set in stone — at least not when Brooklyn Daily is on the case.

A Bay Ridge resident returned to her 84th Street home earlier this month to discover that gas company National Grid had torn up her sidewalk and laid wet concrete in its place. But what she found when she came home the next day was worse — a vandal had inscribed a phallic character wearing a hat and apparently named “Tyrone” that quickly hardened as the concrete dried.

She blamed mischievous Bensonhurst ragamuffins for the desecration.

“Kids saw wet cement, and decided to have a party. It was a canvas,” said Camille Sperrazza, known to Courier Life readers for her reviews of Brooklyn businesses.

Sperrazza tried to get National Grid — which was working on another project a short distance from her residence between Bay Parkway and 23rd Avenue — to come and repair the pavement it had failed to protect. But she said her repeated calls to the company went unanswered for weeks. When she finally got a representative from the gas distributor on the phone, Sperrazza said the man was dismissive of her complaint.

“I was very polite, and twice he said to me, ‘what did you expect us to do, hire a security guard?’ ” Sperrazza said.

But a day after this paper contacted National Grid for their side of the story, Sperrazza said a cement truck stopped by her home and covered the obscene image with fresh topping. A field representative from the company came out the following day to speak with Sperrazza, and promised to finish resurfacing the sidewalk and fill several cracks that had formed. Sperrazza credited Brooklyn Daily with utility’s change of attitude.

“It was you that did it,” Sperrazza said. “Yesterday, this person was the first from National Grid who was polite to me and acknowledged there was definitely a problem.”

National Grid, for its part, said leaving pavement — and its relationship with residents — in good condition is a company policy.

“Whenever we put a main in, we want to replace the sidewalk or the road back to its original state,” said spokeswoman Wendy Ladd.

Brooklyn Daily has a record of getting results for its readers. Last year, we got the city to remove the stump of a Sandy-toppled tree that had trapped a Bay Ridge family in their driveway for more than a month.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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