I don't know if a large mural of a rooster with something wrapped around its neck constitutes a curse but I am open to hearing both sides of the story.
According to the New York Post, Gwen Goodwin, 52, who lost the Democratic primary to winner Melissa Mark-Viverito, says her nemesis targeted her East 100th Street building as the canvas for a five-story image of a bodiless rooster atop wooden poles. The head is just below the window of the apartment where Goodwin has lived since 1997.
“According to neighbors of Puerto Rican and other backgrounds, in the Caribbean culture, this constituted a curse and a death threat, as a swastika or a noose would symbolize typically to many Jews or African-Americans,” Goodwin alleges in a Manhattan Supreme Court suit she filed Friday.
Many New York Puerto Ricans practice a hybrid religion called Santeria, which is based on Catholicism but includes voodoo-like ceremonies and animal sacrifices. East Harlem even boasts a specialty shop dedicated to the religion called Justo Botanica, at East 104th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Mark-Viverito was the head of an urban-art campaign launched last summer called Los Muros Hablan (“the walls speak”). The effort celebrates Latino culture by painting murals on walls across the five boroughs. She partnered with Goodwin’s landlord, Eastside Managers Associates, for the East Harlem project, which was dedicated on Sept. 1. But Goodwin claims her rival’s motives were pure evil.
“This is supposed to be a professional politician who came and graffitied the side of my building,” Goodwin told The Post. Goodwin said she endured “emotional distress” from the alleged spell that distracted her from running a winning campaign. “This intimated me and caused me fear. I’m a Christian. I don’t believe outside my religion, but strange things were happening,” Goodwin claimed. She said that she suddenly got a blood clot in her foot and that a close friend began “acting crazy” right after the mural went up.