Posted at 00:23h
in Street Farm
Excerpted from “Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier”
by Michael Ableman (Chelsea Green, 2016).
The lot where our farm sits is attached to the Astoria Hotel. Built in 1912, the Astoria was once a prominent feature in this neighborhood, but like the neighborhood that surrounds it, the building has drifted into aging and decay. Now the Astoria is one of several hotels owned by one of the city’s most notorious slumlords. For $425 per month you can get an eight-by-ten single room on one of five floors of the hotel. The rooms are rough: stained carpets, peeling paint, droves of bedbugs, and an ongoing cacophony of raw, uncensored life filtering through the walls. Pig farmer and convicted mass murderer Robert Pickton hung out at this hotel, reportedly abducting prostitutes that he later murdered at his farm outside of the city. Thirty-two women from this neighborhood were killed by Pickton. Some were last seen at the Astoria.