The New York Times has a wonderful story out today that was sent in by a tipster (send in your tips here). Apparently why labeled a “psychic credit check” it’s really just an old fashioned skill of getting to know your debtor.
Frank Morales, 62, an Episcopal priest and part-time carpenter who has worked with Ms. Baker, says that she “possesses something rare in the world of New York City landlords and superintendents — namely, heart and soul. She treats tenants as people, rather than as objects to be manipulated for their rent.”
Joan Baker, a freelance property manager in the Bed-Stuy part of New York City is called upon by landlords to check out tenants that otherwise would not be approved.
She describes herself as a “devout skeptic.” Born and raised in New Orleans, she said she was descended from a line of Cajun “dreamers,” an expression she uses to describe people who have eerily prophetic dreams. And although she does not possess the same ability, she lays claim to a form of extrasensory perception — saying she first discovered it as a teenager.
“I was taking a Greyhound bus to Oakland and I got really bored, so I started reading all the passengers’ palms,” Ms. Baker said recently, dressed like a swing dancer in a vintage polka-dot dress and black-and-white saddle shoes. “It turned out I was spot on. Stuff no one could have known, like ‘Your brother was bitten by a snake when you were little.’ ”
She studied biology at Tulane University before dropping out to travel the world as a street performer.
“I know how flaky and stupid it sounds, saying you have psychic abilities,” she said. “Like I must be a crazy cat lady or something.”
Tenants and co-workers attest to her powers of intuition.
“If anybody’s psychic, she is,” said Bob Hain, a graphic artist who has lived in one of Ms. Baker’s buildings in Bushwick for three years. “She’s always predicting when things go wrong in our apartment.”