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The Cut
33 mins | May 13, 2020

The eco–yogi slumlords of Brooklyn

From yoga emperors to pandemic villains, this story has everything: success, greed and inevitable failure. For 'entrepreneurs' Gennaro Brooks-Church and Loretta Gendville, the pandemic was an unequivocal moment of reckoning. While on paper they lived successful lives, the reality was that towards the middle of 2020, they were homeless and desperate. After trying to illegally evict the tenants of a house they rented in Brooklyn, so they can move in, the harsh reality of their past actions caught up with them. Bridget Read explores. "By all accounts, Loretta Gendville is not a yogi. She did, however, predict the exact moment that two things were about to take off in Brooklyn: yoga and babies. Gendville grew up outside Chicago and moved to Williamsburg in her early 20s, trained in Swedish massage. Her first venture — funded, she said, with 'small private loans' and her American Express card — was a spa in Carroll Gardens in 1998. Two years later, she opened her first yoga studio, on Smith Street, followed by her first retail store, Area Yoga & Baby, which carried maternity and workout clothes."

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