Lisa Fiekowski is the daughter of a millionaire. But for years her old junk-filled Toyota has been an eyesore for her family and neighbors.
"Last month I parked my rusty jalopy [shows the car] a few blocks from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s favorite park and left for a few days for a wedding in California. So people were so upset that this 'terrible car' was in the neighborhood. The media made a fuss about the mysterious 'trash car', and on July 10 the police towed the car, even though it was parked legally. I don't understand why so much attention is being paid to my car... It shows you how intolerant that area is," the millionaire complained.
But disgruntled neighbors hardly knew that the trash collector owns the real estate in New York City worth more than $8 million. Three of Lisa's properties are in Harlem, and one is in Brooklyn, where she lives.
Lisa Fiekowski was born into the family of successful economists. Her father was once the head of economics for the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis, while her mother traveled around the world negotiating trade deals for the Department of Labor.
The daughter followed in their footsteps. She graduated from Chicago University with a master's degree in business administration. In 1979 she moved to New York City. In the 1980s she worked as an analyst for AT&T, one of the world's largest telecommunications companies. Later worked as a stockbroker, but not for a long time.
The woman has a wealthy husband and an adult married daughter. Her husband works in city administration, earning about $180,000 a year.
Ten years ago, Lisa took up garbage collection as a hobby. Since then she walks around the city every day, gathering empty cans. Her hobby isn't very profitable, since she earns from $20 to $30 a day. But at least it keeps her healthy and fit.
"It keeps me active. I talk to people in the neighborhood. I guess I was always a recycler. Mostly, it’s physical activity. I figure I make a little money at the same time. Keep the neighborhood clean," Fiekowski notes.
The woman added that she knows that her neighbors and relatives resent strongly her pastime, but she doesn't pay attention to it. "I'm an old-fashioned bohemian. To me, what's sad is New York used to have acceptance of people being eccentric, but now it's like, 'Heaven forbid!'" Fiekowski said.
"My family thinks it's all terrible, but I don't see anything wrong with it. I think it's so funny," she finished with a chuckle.
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