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Neighbors Angry Over Upper East Side Man's Collection

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There's a fine line between collecting and hoarding and some Upper East Side residents say one of their neighbors has crossed it.

Kevin McCrary, 64, was featured on the show "Hoarders." Asked if he thinks the title is deserved, he told CBS 2's Mark Morgan "I consider myself a collector/hoarder."

A Manhattan apartment can be cramped, even when it's empty, so it's no surprise McCrary's East 64th Street digs, where he's live for 20 years, ran out of room.

1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reports


McCrary said for at least a decade, he has been collecting items, then moving them from his 4th floor apartment to a van parked on East 65th Street. He then donated or sold  some belongings to others, or put them in storage elsewhere.

The van, however, has become a bit of an attraction.

"I feel like every night or every day I walk my dog the garbage gets bigger and bigger on the truck," one neighbor said.

"It's an insult to the people who live in  the neighborhood to act in a thoughtless manner like that," said neighbor Linda Pedro.

The van is piled with suitcases, a shopping cart, chair, and lamp. Inside, there's everything from VCRs to microphones.

Kevin McCrary's Van
Kevin McCrary's van (credit: Juliet Papa/1010 WINS)

"We've complained to the police, the Fire Department, the Sanitation Department, and they all say he's not breaking the law. They can't do anything," neighbor Peter Pedro told Morgan.

"It's really filthy. There's garbage bags underneath and the other day we saw little mice in that planter box, like 10 or 12 little mice, and it was just so gross," said neighbor Anahita Kopet.

McCrary tells 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa he loves to collect "shiny" and "sparkly" things, especially gold and diamonds. He said he's even managed to find a few antiques, including a brass bed and a 5-foot-tall brass sculpture of a dancing lady from the 1930s.

Unemployed, he lives off a trust fund set up by his late parents, talk show pioneer Tex McCrary and model-actress Jinx Falkenburg -- both of whom have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

McCrary's neighbors have complained but after three failed attempts the landlord gave up trying to evict him.

Some neighbors shrug, others roll their eyes.

"He doesn't bother nobody, he just picks up garbage from the street," one man said.

McCrary considers his van a work of art.

"Art is in the eye of the beholder, so one man's trash is another man's treasure," he told Morgan.

Is he a collector or a hoarder? What are your thoughts? Let us know below...

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