A 44-year-old Manhattan mother of four is due in court today to face charges that she ran a brothel from an East 78th Street apartment building for 15 years. Anna Gristina apparently earned millions from her home-based business, but barely raised an eyebrow among her neighbors, according to a report by DNA Info.
"Attractive women could be seen coming and going from the buidling — sometimes several per month — for the past few years, but [a] neighbor chalked it up to a sublet for college kids," reports the neighborhood news website.
We found that a little bit surprising, but Manhattan real estate lawyer Dean Roberts tells BrickUnderground that brothels located in "higher end" housing tend to have lower foot traffic and higher-quality clients than the "flophouse" variety, and therefore draw less notice.
Even the police--focused more on quality of life crimes these days--tend to not to care so much, says Roberts.
"The police focus on hookers--prostitutes who work the street--as opposed to madams who operate quiet apartments in residential buildings," says Roberts.
So while the first step in ousting the brothel down the hall is to complain in writing to the management--requesting that they investigate and address the problem--you may need to resort to self-help.
"In one building I represent," says Roberts, "the tenant who objected to the brothel simply sat in the hallway and took photographs of people coming and going. Needless to say, the brothel promptly moved out."
Other successful tactics reported in an earier post on this topic: Install a sign in the lobby announcing that the building is under surveillance, and instruct the doorman to photocopy the ID of all guests.