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US House Painted with Smiling Emoji Faces; Neighbors 'Unhappy'

Neighbors suspected Kidd was using her property for short-term rentals, which are illegal in Manhattan Beach, and reported her to the city authorities.

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Updated:August 9, 2019, 8:03 PM IST
US House Painted with Smiling Emoji Faces; Neighbors 'Unhappy'
(Instagram/ @ztheheart)

A house in the United States has been painted with emoji faces including a smiling one — but not everyone is happy.

The emoji faces have been painted over the facade of a Manhattan Beach, California, home “embroiled in a feud between neighbors that has boiled over into a fight with the city,” according to The Washington Post.

While one features large eyelashes and a tongue lolling out of its mouth, the other one adorning the pink façade was drawn with a zipper for lips— a shut call in emoji parlance— instead of a smile.

Tensions erupted in the affluent neighborhood last year when Kathryn Kidd bought the two-story duplex, according to Easy Reader News, and announced her arrival in a Mercedes convertible with a license plate holder that read, “Move Over Princess, The Queen Has Arrived.”

Neighbors suspected Kidd was using her property for short-term rentals, which are illegal in Manhattan Beach, and reported her to the city authorities.

Kidd was fined $4,000 (over Rs 2 lakh) in May.

Susan Wieland, who was among the group that reported Kidd to authorities, returned home from a work trip in June and found the emoji faces staring at her from the house.

“I feel like I’ve been directly attacked with my eyelash extensions,” Wieland told Easy Reader News. “It’s definitely directed. I had them done here in Manhattan Beach, and they did them way too big. Now it’s painted on the house.”

Wieland has shut the shades of her emoji-facing windows, accusing Kidd of bullying her.

“That word keeps coming up to me: she’s a bully, and she feels she is entitled. She just wants to make things uncomfortable for us,” she told Easy Reader News.

Kidd, however, denied that the emoji faces were meant to rile up neighbors, including Wieland.

She told reporters she wanted to cheer up the neighborhood with her “happy house.”

“Instead of everybody being so gloomy, always so depressed, always in other people’s business, I just wanted to send a message to be happy," Kidd said, "be colorful, be positive, and enjoy.”

But the artist who painted the house and goes by the name of “Z the Art," may have given away Kidd’s intentions when he shared a photo of his creation on Instagram post in May.

“Are your neighbors constantly rating you out? Have they cost you thousands in fines? Have you wanted to tell them off lately? Why risk a case, when you can hire me to paint them a pretty message?” he wrote in the caption, which has since been deleted.

Kidd’s neighbors told the Los Angeles Times they feel targeted and are working on arguments to persuade the city authorities to get the emoji faces removed.

Planning commission official Gerry Morton told The Washington Post that Manhattan Beach’s municipal code does not ban murals, paintings or graphics on homes.

“Older communities like Manhattan Beach have a lot of eclectic architecture that were built over many years of time,” McIntosh said. “... And I think the city has just never wanted to over-regulate people’s ability to have their home the way they want it.”

The planning commission will now discuss the issue on August 28, McIntosh said.

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