The Real Deal New York

West Village fixture has key to rent-free living

Park your vans down by the river

June 25, 2016 11:30AM

Jimmy Tarangelo

Jimmy Tarangelo’s van (photo credit: Scouting NY)

Want to live rent free in the West Village? Try moving into a van down by the river. That’s what Jimmy Tarangelo, 64, has done for more than a decade, and no one seems to mind.

Tarangelo parks his clutter filled van near the Hudson in the West Village each night, where he is surrounded by multi-million dollar homes. Some may call it a strange way to want to live. But he thinks the ones paying for the pricy properties in the area are the crazy ones.

“I’m not the cuckoo one living in the truck. They’re cuckoo for paying to live there,” Tarangelo told the New York Post.

Tarangelo has lived in his van in the neighborhood for 15 years and has now expanded to a second vehicle. He has filed both vans with his eccentric “collections,” which include scooters, tripods, microwaves, boards, fans, lamps, chairs, bags, detergent bottles, stuffed animals, cans, etc.

“I’ve got a Zenith Trans-Oceanic radio. I bought it on eBay for $275. It’s an 11-band radio . . . And a replica of a vintage jukebox is another one of my valuable things,” he told the Post.

Tarangelo works odd jobs and has become a fixture in the neighborhood that locals have come to accept.

“I see him all the time. At least he has a van to pass the night in. He’s an integrated part of the neighborhood. He’s very shy. He never fights or yells,” Oscar Luna, 36, an engineer who works in an office building on Greenwich Street, told the Post. [NYP]Christopher Cameron

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