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A year in the life of a 'super' man

Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT) March 6, 2021

Abigail Pesta is an award-winning journalist whose investigative reporting has appeared in major publications around the world. She is the author of the new book "The Girls: An All-American Town, a Predatory Doctor, and the Untold Story of the Gymnasts Who Brought Him Down." The views expressed here are hers. Read more opinion on CNN.

(CNN)The stretch of Grand Avenue where Onesimo Garcia works in Brooklyn is not exactly grand. It's a desolate warehouse street, in the shadow of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, where cars roar overhead. There's a monolithic self-storage place on one end of the block and a trio of empty warehouses on the other, waiting to be demolished. It's a street where film crews like to stage scenes of drug deals going down. It has that look — all grit and graffiti. But there's also a tiny garden, growing in a square of dirt carved out of the sidewalk, where sunflowers and roses bloom in the summer.

Abigail Pesta
That's all Garcia.
He's the superintendent — the "super" — of a crumbling warehouse that dates back to the early 20th century, when it was a garment factory. Today, the place is an apartment building, housing painters, musicians and performance artists, all in industrial lofts. Garcia has been working here for decades. When he first arrived in the 1980s, the building ho