In an article published last Friday, the Post noted that there are people sleeping in Tompkins Square Park, calling it a "homeless haven" ... one unnamed parks worker said that the place is "riddled with bums who have drug problems."
The Park is receiving more attention this week in an editorial signed by the Editors at The Observer titled "Take Back Tompkins Square Park. And New York City."
Here's an excerpt:
Tompkins Square Park has been an accurate barometer of where the city is headed. Known for decades as “Needle Park,” its disarray and lawlessness reflected a dysfunctional, ungovernable city. The restoration of its beauty over the last 20 years has heralded an era where residents and a vibrant collection of small businesses near the park — is there a single better food in all of New York City than the jalapeno cheddar cream cheese at Tompkins Square Bagels? — have thrived. Let’s not let that progress slip through our fingers.
This week, members of the Observer editorial board visited the park. It was a gorgeous summer day and workers were sweeping up, dogs were playing, a small group was practicing Falun Gong, men were playing chess. And at least six people were sleeping on cardboard boxes on the lawn. One park worker, Nelsy, told the Observer that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton personally visited the park on Monday. Perhaps he was inspired by the Post story to take a look and if so, we applaud his leadership. But it will take more than a visit. The city needs a strategy and the determination to stick with it.
It’s time to take back Tompkins Square Park and beyond. Before it’s too late.
The piece quotes an EVG commenter (one of 105 on our post on the article) who wrote, in part: "There are junkies, most of whom are men, passed out, sleeping, without shoes, often waking up and screaming. Some of them talk to themselves and have incoherent conversations."
To which the Observer responded: "It may not be violent criminal behavior at first, but the cancer of lawlessness will metastasize. It will get worse."
Read the whole piece in The Observer here.
By the way, Observer publisher Jared Kushner owns upwards of 30 walk-up buildings in the East Village, including 165 Avenue A, home of Tompkins Square Bagels.
As for Bratton's visit, we heard from a reader that the NYPD was in the Park yesterday "to clean up."
Previously on EV Grieve:
The Post reports Tompkins Square Park 'has become a homeless haven' (105 comments)