"One if by land, two if by sea"
The oak tree had already been felled. The permits had been obtained to split the lot and multiply the built square footage many times over. People were told that the existing house would be moved early in the morning, around four o'clock. It turned out to be shortly after midnight. In the wake of the house's passage and ancillary destruction, the accompanying crowd increased, with some running ahead to knock on doors and alert householders with trees to what was in store. Accompanying off-duty police, legally using taxpayer-funded equipment and vehicles, told some people to move their cars and ordered others not to obstruct the roadway. Where the house didn't take down limbs, there were chainsaws at the ready to do the job. A trailer bringing up the rear was the receptacle of the biggest downed limbs; smaller trash was left in the street. We're seeing more towaways and teardowns all the time, as the super-high appraisal values placed on the land raise taxes to the point where longtime householders can no longer pay them, clearing the way for construction of Giant Uglitudes. Riffraff 'R' Us.