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Westchester Square association fights graffiti

Bronx Times

Dr. Seuss once said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to change.”

And someone was listening.

Founder of the Westchester Square Civic Association Lou Rocco and Westchester Square resident John Sanabria have started their quest to clean up the neighborhood.

On Tuesday, March 20, Rocco and Sanabria scrubbed and painted the back wall of McDermott’s Pub, located at 2634 E. Tremont Avenue, which was scrawled in graffiti.

“What we are getting around here is a lot of gang tags,” Rocco said.

“This type of graffiti is destructive,” he said. “The other kind I am fine with; in fact we were even thinking about possibly doing a mural on this wall.”

“ I think a lot of graffiti is left on the buildings to bring real estate values down, to take advantage of housing in this area,” he said. “But when we clean up, and paint over it, we show the pride we have for our neighborhood, and maybe it will make a difference.”

Sanabria, a 20-year resident of the area, has volunteered his extra time to help work on the space for the civic association as well as clean up the neighborhood.

“I decided to help out because this is a good neighborhood,” Sanabria said. “Lou is a good man trying to keep the neighborhood clean, so I am just trying to help out, and keep it clean for myself too.”

Rocco said the paint for the project was donated by Paul’s Police Equipment.

“We decided to do McDermott’s first because that’s the back of the area we are going to start cleaning up,” Rocco said. “We also decided to do McDermott’s because that is where we got our start. That is where we had all of our meetings before we got a center, so we are trying to give a little something back to the owner.”

After the front of the new Westchester Square Civic Association was recently vandalized by graffiti, Rocco said he is looking to Community Board 10 to help install a street light in front of the building.

“Some of our next projects will include installing paving blocks and flowers around all of the trees along St. Raymond’s Avenue, and volunteer clean-ups on Saturday mornings,” he said. “We are very busy; it’s been a lot of work.”

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