survey says? where do you pee? what's inside? do you use drugs? that's not a house!
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Home, sweet, truck in B'klyn

By Tracy Connor
Daily News Staff Writer
March 4th, 2007

WANT PROOF that rents in the city are insane?

Angel Hess pops his head out of the 1953 bread truck he and his girlfriend Theresa Magario call home.

     Look no further than the purple 1953 bread truck parked on the corner of N. 12th St. and Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
     Dance photographer Angel Hess and his girlfriend have been living in the vintage Ford since the fall.
     "I always wanted to own a house," the 28-year-old said. "But I can't because I don't have any credit."
     After living in Manhattan for two years, Hess, 28, was so sick of paying for crummy rented rooms he decided that radical change was in order.
     Last summer, he spotted the truck on eBay, made a winning bid of $2,500 and hopped a plane to California to pick it up.
     He'd never driven a stick and the truck's top speed is 40 mph, but he decided to bring it back to the city and make it his home.
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like roam, for Hess and Magario.      Stopping in Arizona and Arkansas, he began gutting the interior to make it habitable.
     An oak ceiling went up. He put three layers of insulation on the walls - aluminum, foam and cork. He bought bamboo floor tiles, a wood-burning stove and solar panels.
     When he got to New York in October, he and girlfriend Theresa Magario, 24, couldn't find parking in Manhattan so they crossed the bridge and settled in Williamsburg.
     They've been there ever since.
     They spent two months on N. 11th St., but alternate side regulations, graffiti artists and drunks who urinated on their tires drove them to move to a lot a block away.
     The parking space costs $200 a month - a bargain compared with the $1,000 he was once asked to pay for a tiny room on Astor Place in the East Village.
     Of course, the apartment had running water, a toilet and didn't turn into an icebox at night.
     "It was a pretty tough winter," Hess said.
TRAVELING CANVAS: On the side of his bread truck, Hess wrote the address of his website telling the story of the truck's transformation. Taggers have added flourishes to the rolling work in progress.      He has spent about $4,000 on renovations and expects to shell out another four grand to build a bathroom and get the electricity going.
     But a Craigslist fund-raising campaign has brought some donations, and the Village Church of Manhattan kicked in a down comforter and a gym membership so he and Magario can shower.
     Hess said he isn't giving up. "I'm committed," he said.
     Of course, he conceded, there are those who think he oughta be committed.
     "Some people think it's weird," he said. "But they don't understand . . . I never owned anything before."