Friday, July 10, 2015

The Post reports Tompkins Square Park 'has become a homeless haven'


[EVG photo]

Here are some passages from the article in today's Post:

“I really don’t enjoy the beauty of the park anymore because I’m too scared to walk through it,” said NYU student Christine Gal, 19, who lives nearby. “I would say it has doubled in the last six months.”

And!

A parks worker called the urban oasis “scary,” saying it’s riddled with bums who have drug problems.

And!

One woman is worried about bringing her 6-year-old daughter to the park.

“Some of them are junkies. They’re standing there almost falling down or sitting there slumped over,” the 39-year-old woman said. “My daughters asks, ‘Mommy, why are the men sleeping?’ And that’s not something you want to explain to your child.”

At least one of the five Post reporters who received a byline on the article spent time in the Park yesterday … noting "a herd of homeless people sprawled across the lawn" while "a few feet away, hobos sought shelter under a cluster of trees, snuggling up in sleeping bags."

The Post also found "a similarly seedy scene across town at Washington Square Park."

Anyway! Thoughts on the state of Tompkins Square Park (not the song by Mumford and Sons) this summer? Any different than, say, five years ago?

116 comments:

Anonymous said...

Six months ago it was the dead of winter. Of course the homeless population has doubled since then. Guess that $$$$ NYU edumacation doesn't include any instruction in logical thinking.

Anonymous said...

I don't like to agree with this newspaper but unfortunately this phenomenon seems intensifying

Giovanni said...

Forget the homeless people, the most dangerous things in Tompkins Square, Park are all the rotten trees. Wait until that NYU student finds out that NYU stands for Now You're Unemployed, maybe then she'll appreciate how dangerous those trees are when she sleeping under them.

Anonymous said...

When will the Post do an expose on the East Village becoming a haven for entitled frat boys and drunk brunchers? They are the real menace

Anonymous said...

The real issue is, of course, the causes of homelessness and drug addiction, and the lack of treatment/remedies for this. Maybe President Sanders will focus attention on this.

Anonymous said...

Homelessness has increased all over the neighborhood, all over the city, all over the country. And when you're homeless and services aren't being provided (Bloomberg took care of that), yeah, you end up in the parks.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to know that the indigenous fauna of TSP are returning it to its natural state, after a long period of gentrificative makeover. If this indicates a trend, then in a decade or two, the East Village will again be a haven for struggling artists and "creative types" in the original sense of the term.

blue glass said...

i view this push about the dangers of TSP as a preamble to NYU attempting to take the park over as its campus, as it tried (and failed and now denies) with washington square park a long long time ago.

in the 1960s, FIFTY years ago, the park was truly unsafe, filled with gangs, dirty, not a place to go to. not even to walk through or around.

the 1993 the community created the charlie parker festival which led to the start of the parks revival. new plantings, restoration, clean-up, and playgrounds and a dog run and park staff and policing.

the current extended use of the park encourages safety.

nygrump said...

There seem to be fewer travellers around this summer, but many more beggars. They get to work first thing in the morning too, coming through the subways during rush hour.

Anonymous said...

Rise in heroin is clear as i see many more people nodding around the park and neighborhood but not sure of their home situation. Havent seen so many people nodding in years.

Anonymous said...

Theyre keeping out NYU students. The problem is?

DrGecko said...

I don't see a lot of needles on the ground. Way back in the day, they'd sometimes get stuck in my bike tires.

Special Snowflake Generation has some problems interfacing with reality. Duh.

Anonymous said...

“My daughters asks, ‘Mommy, why are the men sleeping?’ And that’s not something you want to explain to your child.”

Lady, if you can't handle the small stuff, how are you going to explain the big stuff like cancer or a death in the family? You're the reason Millennials are socially crippled. Good luck with the parenting gig!

Anonymous said...

Some of these peoples, IMO, have migrated, and been pushed, from their traditional positions in front of what now are becoming B&T Bars and Lounges.
First push out the traditional tenant, leave the space empty for a couple of years while it=
(a) doesn't lease at that rate
(b) becomes home to scruffies, skin popping or not
Then, lower the asking rent back down, lease to a B&T operation and push the homeless away...... to the park(s) among other locations (like the school construction shed next to my place)
SB

JG said...

The Post had 5 reporters/interns work on this story and they could only get one person to go on the record? A 19 year old NYU student, no less, who doesn't have any history/or context with the Park. I wonder how many people the Post approached who said that it's about the same as it was last summer and the summer before? The Post must REALLY hate de Blasio!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised they still call it Washington sq park, and not NYU park.

JQ said...

Proper Post headline:

This East Village park has become a homeless haven AGAIN.

The Gentrification Bubble has officially burst. At least the NYPD has pentagon hand-me-downs to quell the next riot.



Anonymous said...

If the high number of homeless are keeping the NYU students out of the park, and discouraging the gross narcissistic uninteresting entitled new east village residents out also, I"m all for it. Bring them in. give them shelter. No one can afford rent here anymore, especially people who were already poor to begin with. and there used to be lots of poor people here, for those who are either too young or too new to recall. Not all poor people are junkies. You need money to buy junk. And honestly, if I had to live on the street and had a chance to escape with a $10 bag for a few hours of zen happiness, I might be in there too.

Anonymous said...

The Post should hang out in the EV on a Friday / Saturday night around 1-4AM and watch the bros + brahs drunkenly terrorize the neighborhood. They'd find a million puddles of vomit verses a needle or two. I can't even imagine what poor Jane Milqtoast must think about those as she walks little Emma to her fairy princess ice cream parade in the morning.

Anonymous said...

As a resident, the neighborhood and park is definitely changing. I walk through it daily on my way to work. Especially toward the 9th St and Ave A entrance, 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. The age gap is quite wide. I've seen young teenage girls to senior citizens. In the past five years since my relocation to E7th, I've seen a resurgence of homelessness. it is tragic and indicative regarding the state of our economic culture. The job market is pitiful, even for those of us who are college graduates, who have full time jobs, but who are barely making ends meat. I cannot even imagine how some of these individuals arrived to this point. I wish there were additional funding to rehabilitate those who were willing to change and prosper. I am in no place to judge others and how they became that way. As a human, the only thing one can offer is kindness, sympathy and hope.

Anonymous said...

i call it rent control.
i would rather have heroin addicts than all you can drink brunchers. at least the heroin addicts nod out.

Anonymous said...

I am relatively new to Alphabet City (4 years in August) -- but, being in New York far longer than that, it is in my opinion that Homeless rates have skyrocketed recently. I think I remember a piece in winter of 2013(?) that it was at an all time high occupancy at city shelters. Women with children are taking spots from single-men and the overflow is seen in parks.

Dare the Post to goto Grand Central Station at 3am during the winter and then try to compare it to TSP during the summer. Ask NYU children about that.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this concerned 19 yo NYU student, the Post fails to report, transforms on the weekend into . . . a she bro hanging off terraces, and what nots.

I'm a half block away, and don't notice any influx. This is complete real estate hype. There is, however, of concern, a noticeable increase in very strong heroin on the street these days causing a few very bad cases of overdoses.

I do miss the Polish drunks. I believe they may have been leveraged out at some point over the year by the Tompkins Square Conservancy. Or they may be just working a slow boat to Gdansk.

Anonymous said...

The travelers arrive every spring as been the case for many years. I noticed less than in past,the police have cleared death row of crusties after all

Anonymous said...

I'm all for anything that brings NYU and their students discomfort. They've turned the entire East Village into their own campus. I'd rather sit next to a junkie on a bench than another parentally funded iZombie thinking he/she is the shit.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:19, There have always been folks in the park talking to themselves. That's one of the delights of the EV.

You millennials now call it talking on a phone. It's the same though: Mindless conservations that clutter up my air space.

Jenny Adams said...

I think it's important to also note that many of our East Village homeless population gather in the park at lunch time because Trinity Mission (thanks to the amazing Pastor Phil and his team) offers a free hot lunch 6 days per week.

So some of this could be a result of people going there right before noon or right after and the crowds of people are greater before lunch and directly after.

We definitely have a large homeless population in our community and in this town and the focus should be on "what's next for us as neighbors all living on the planet together and how can we help these people get back on their feet" rather than any tone of "how do we get them to just go away."

Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to see the seasonal "Stinky Kids" beg and five minutes later whip out an iPhone to check their Social Media!
I'm sure the majority have issues, but there's a lot of seasonal tourism going on as well! At least they are not as bad as the growing Rat population in the park! That's truly disgusting, especially around the playgrounds!

Anonymous said...

Where is our hero of a Mayor on this issue? People should not be sleeping in the streets. Unfortunately it falls to the city and the community to figure out ways to solve this problem. Complaining about NYU isn't fixing anything.

Anonymous said...

Remember the 80s when the park was like a camping ground, with open fires in the garbage cans and tents and sleeping bags everywhere? Of course, little miss NYU wasn't born yet and mrs. what do I tell the kiddies was miss NYU and avoided the east village like the plague.

Anonymous said...

The shelter system doesnt do anything for single men. All the money goes to help women and children who make up 80% of shelter residents. Bloomberg also closed all the drop in centers that were located throughout Manhattan. They provided showers, meals, case workers, and clothing. Bloomberg decided to force everyone into the shelters which are violent and chaotic. These guys are safer in the park. They are trying to avoid being stuck in a nightmare shelter in Queens. There is no housing and no treatment available. Any jobs they can get wont pay rent. There was a time these guys would live in SRO buildings. Im surprised there arent more sleepers in the parks and on the trains. If these guys were HIV+ or honorably discharged vets they could get help. Otherwise this is the reality. Glad the Mayor is 'concerned'. How about NYU do something? All of you who mentioned frat drinkers need to stop and stfu. Yea you got your RS apt. Good for you. This isnt about you. Selfish assholes. This is about homeless in the park. Maybe if the Salvation Army would sell buildings to the Bowery Mission instead of developers these guys would have somewhere to go. Try to think about someone else for once.

Scuba Diva said...

I walk through the park every single day, at all hours; I don't notice any change—except seasonal, of course.

The "homeless problem" and the "rat problem" are constants we may never get a handle on as long as we feed them—both the homeless and the rats. I prefer to refer to them, respectively, as the "homeless situation" and the "rat situation."

Anonymous said...

Really? Homeless in a New York City Park? Homeless in Tompkins Square Park? Wake up. It's been this way for at least as long as I have lived in the EV which is 40 years. With halfway houses, rehab centers, methadon clinics, Bowery flophouses (both good and bad), the NYC Men's Shelter, eviction addicted landlords and a good measure of people below the poverty line just barely eeking life out from week to week, just what did you think you would see?
Walk down to Battery Park and look across the water...to see the Statue of Liberty on which is written: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
The lesson here is either....be careful what you wish for or God Bless America. Take your pick, but stop picking on people who have so much less than you. Have some humanity.
That might be hard when you have just bought a condo around the corner for $3 million. Now who is the crazy one? This is NYC. Not Peoria (my apologies to anyone from Peoria.)

bowboy said...

"i call it rent control." ding, ding, ding, we have a winner!
My neighbors and I are trying to come up with a t-shirt that expresses this.

Context is everything: it's not that what's inside the park has changed; it's that everything around it has.

Anonymous said...

it's not about the junkies or the homeless or even the entitled and oblivious. it's the rats! has anyone noticed a huge increase in the rat population? they used to only come out at night, but now they scamper about in the daylight with abandon! also: i agree with the poster above: too many frat boys, even in the daytime.

Anonymous said...

1.) Bloomberg completely ratfucked homeless services. De Blasio's been working to clean up his mess, starting with homeless families, but there has been a massive surge in family homelessness thanks to Bloomberg's arch-assholish dismantling of the services that kept them from falling through the cracks (not to mention the economy, which is stuck on 'fail' for people at the bottom of the ladder). The single dudes are a much harder nut to crack (since they're mentally ill substance abusers requiring much more intensive services) and therefore way down on the policy agenda.

2.) There's been a massive, nationwide surge in heroin sales, thanks to a decade-old opiate epidemic and a crackdown on pill-mills, more abuse-resistant pills, etc (and probably Bush's bumbling of the Afghanistan war in there, too). Bottom line is, addicts couldn't get high on Oxycontin anymore, so the dealers switched them over to H. NYC is, as luck would have it, the national distribution hub.

3. Fuck the New York Post and its insane hatred for poor people, homeless people, non-white people, non-Andrea Peyser people, people with ladyparts and most of all, Bill de Blasio.

bayou said...

Every commenter who doesn't see a change in the homeless population is either willfully unobservant or an idiot. The Ninth Street corridor has become a cess pool, worse than the untameable corner of 7 and A. It is a terrible shame for the homeless , the junkies, the parks workers and even the scared 19 year-old.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

"Yes" to Jenny Adams' comment.

"No" to the Post's crappy sensationalism.

Anonymous said...

9:59, the shelters are full of those selfish women and children, yet they are "violent and chaotic"—behavior that can be 99% attributed to single men. So which is it? I'm impressed that you managed to be an MRA and a frat defender in one stupendously stupid comment.

Anonymous said...

It won't be long until the Bros, Brahs, and She Bros (props) find out the only thing waiting for them after NYU is a mountain of student debt and a lack of jobs. When Miss 19 is forced to live on the bench with the other homeless without wifi because her parents don't want her back, and there's no jobs back home anyway, maybe she'll learn the world doesn't revolve around her.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of the last commenters. Its crucial not to kick someone down further when they are already suffering. The problem is narcissism and a lack of empathy. Many in this town don't or won't deal with it because they are too fixated on their own personal success and material world they've created. If someone you knew personally who was affected by homelessness, you would have adopted a different perspective. Perhaps some of these people willfully chose to be in this position or perhaps some had no where to go or no one to turn to when their lives fell apart for whatever reasons. Not everyone has family or friends or education or money or even the will to survive. This does not make them less than you or imply they are lowlifes or scum. Instead of pointing fingers, our community, our residents, mainly the Mayor's office, needs to become more engaged. If we want change, we need to illicit it to our daily lives and make a difference. Or at least try to.

One more thing: I know someone who is HIV+. They belong to a program called HASA, which is supported by the HRA. Not only does he have medicaid, food stamps, and a weekly cash allowance, he also has rental assistance until he can get on his feet. He has a Masters and was disowned by his family for being gay and infected with the virus. After losing his job, he swallowed his pride, walked in and got assistance. He could have been one of those in the park, seemingly with no one, but now he has hope and safety. He paid into the system for twenty years. Now, he is taking advantage of where our tax dollars go to. That is what most of these people need. In other socialized countries like Sweden, Finland and Denmark, homelessness is extremely low. Do the math. Let's help each other if and when we can.

Anonymous said...

Oh I'd like to get my hands on that 19-year-old NYU shitbag. GO HOME TO MOMMY/DADDY. I think NYU is a bigger problem in this town than homelessness. And if I get evicted because I cannot make enough to satisfy my greedy landlord, then I plan on being among them too. I'm not leaving. I think I'll be spending lots of time hanging out near the NYU campus, i.e. everywhere. And of course the park. I'm no addict, but I do plan on sleeping there in the daytime, should it come to that. I see a lot of these NYU kids everywhere and they are all sooooo STUPID when it comes to common sense NY issues/history/places. And none of them seem to have a heart. Developers are just looking to pave the way to redevelop Tompkins Square Park; the POST is just trying to incite that push. Also, why ask someone about anything real WHO JUST ARRIVED HERE? Don't like the park, stay out then! And that other women with her precious child who she cannot reason with...what's the big deal? Some people in the world are addicts, some people in the world are homeless. Are you an idiot? Do you think little Janie isn't forming her own conclusions? I mean, aren't these the same stupid parents who are always claiming that their children are GENIUSES? There's a lot of that going around. And then all of these GENIUSES end up at NYU. In the words of DEBBIE HARRY...IS NY TOO SCARY FOR YOU? GREAT, THEN GTFO. Also: HOMELESSNESS PROBLEMS ON THE WEST COAST ARE SO MUCH WORSE THAN THEY ARE IN NYC. If anything the much greater problem now is that the RICH people want to control who can live in NYC and who cannot. THIS IS CLASS WARFARE IN THE MAKING.

Anonymous said...

well as a lifelong new yorker, i've felt things have been sliding back the past year or so. i'm seeing more stuff on the streets and in the trains that i haven't seen since the 90s. it's still a world away from, say, 1994 when the tide began to really change. unfortunately things stay as expensive as ever. so we're losing on both fronts.

Anonymous said...

There are no easy answers or painless solutions to this situation; that needs to be acknowledged first and foremost.

On one hand, homeless folk gathering in the park is, to put it callously, an eyesore. To make matters worse, they're sometimes belligerent and sometimes openly relieve themselves on the lawn when a perfectly functional, albeit disgusting public restroom is mere meters away. And yet these are also people, people who've failed themselves and people who've been failed by others, which makes them a bit over public decorum for which I can't blame them in the slightest. Oftentimes I'm a hair's breadth away from flaunting all of your convenient illusions as well and I have little to complain about. Their presence is an uncomfortable reminder that, given an abrupt change in circumstances, that fellow inured to the stench of his own urine, babbling incoherently might someday soon be you or someone you know. Wheel of Fortune. On another note, this is basically what has kept the middle class in line all these years: "Be a good little patriot/producer/consumer - you don't want to end up like that poor sod, do ya?"

And it takes all kinds. Some of these people are mentally deranged. Some of them are fleeing abusive, poverty stricken environments. Some of them are a phone call away from returning to their parents' condos in Philly (we don't care about them). But I don't see that there's much to be done to help people who won't help themselves. Begging for money to buy cigarettes/drugs/alcohol means you've already given up. Answering the desire to temporarily alleviate the pain of your current situation will solve nothing. Asking for spare change? I pick up tons of spare change all the time (call me penny wise and pound foolish) but in the time that you've spent baking in the sun begging for nickels, you could have been combing the sidewalks for loot. Again, no one can help you unless you're willing to help yourself. That's real.

Take for instance the recent "pregnant couple" on Second Avenue and 13th St. or thereabouts. Smokers. Don't you think your kid is going to have enough problems with its parents' living situation without you using what little money you can scrounge up to inhale carcinogenic ash in yours and its lungs? Choices, people. You ask me for money but I think that subsidizing harm is not compassion. The double amputee in the wheelchair with vomit all over his shirt asking me to buy him malt liquor (with his own money no less!) from the bodega at not quite 8AM on a Saturday? Sorry, no.

And there aren't enough jobs for the able-bodied and motivated, so how can we expect to provide anything of lasting, meaningful value to the homeless, a real game changer? And it's not like we can use them food, the shit from the grocery store is toxic enough. Maybe we can burn them for fuel, but that would probably be bad for the environment, right? Gladiatorial contests instead of the free movies in the park? Nah, bum fighting has been tried. Maybe after a few more Hunger Games movies the people will have rekindled their Roman spirit; we're certainly well on our way in every other respect.

Those who can be saved will be, hopefully. Those who won't be are already lost, assuredly. Be discriminating. Do what you can. Sometimes just looking someone in the eye to say 'no' -- acknowledging that they're still someone -- can go a long way instead of walking past them and pretending they don't exist. And if someone is a belligerent ass to you, remind them that if you were to kick their heads in on the spot that no one would care and that you'd probably be awarded a medal for community service. Like I said, no easy solutions.

Shawn G. Chittle said...

NYC is not for everyone.

"Scary?" People who are sleeping are "scary?"

This reminds me of the 80's Twilight Zone movie, at the end when Dan Ackroyd, the ambulance driver says "Scary? Wanna see something *really* scary?"

StuBot said...

Right on.

Anonymous said...

Some things never change!

cmarrtyy said...

I've lived in the EV for close to 45 years. We can mourn the loss of our DNA... the funk...the creative... the offbeat energy... All salad days. But the park was a sewer that most EVers avoided. Now that it's cleaned up... it's become an asset... an oasis for all not just the lost. In our haste to insult the new EVers we shouldn't become blind to what's obviously happening to OUR park. It's on all of us... one voice to make sure the Park is for all... not just a few.

Anonymous said...

No Shawn, people who are sleeping are homeless, therefore "ugly," and not fit to be a part of the NEW NYC. Get with the program! This wants to be an island only of the rich, famous, and beautiful. Don't want those crusties befouling your endless selfies in the park, now do you?

Also, why does everything need to sanitized for some new arrivals or, even funnier, 4-year-olds? You can't protect your kid from reality unless you plan on blind-folding it for those impressionable formative years. Homelessness has always been part of the NYC fabric, just as it is part of the fabric of every American city because there is no social safety net. Get used to it, folks. Maybe they're pissing in the wind because that's how they feel society has treated them. While I don't condone it, I get it. And so should every REAL NYer. Students are only passing through and some of these new arrivals with kids and money; you CANNOT change the city just because it isn't convenient for toddlers'eyes. Good god, how selfish! The POST is awful.

Going to the East Village? Don't trip on a student! said...

There's a new dorm in Alphabet City - everywhere.

The East Village park space, stoops, sidewalks -- even gutters -- have become an encampment for the surging number of city students, many staring vacantly into their iPhones through out the day amid the dog walkers and other people with jobs.

"I really don't enjoy the park anymore," said Jane Johnson, a local small business owner. "I can't seem to walk through it without tripping over a MacBook cord or a 16 Handles cup."

She added that she has been shamed on social media by students taking her photo after stepping over them in the gutter to cross the street. "Hashtag 'Nuisance' they call me."

Other New Yorkers call the epidemic "frightening," saying the city is riddled with Millennials who can't afford to move home.

"There are a lot more students than there was," said a park worker sweeping up Big Gulp cups. "There are dorms nearby, but many of them don't want to go there."

One woman is worried about bringing her 6-year old daughter to Tompkins Square Park.

"Some of them look like junkies. They sit there almost falling down or sitting there slumped over their laptops," the 39-year-old woman said. "My daughter asks, 'Mommy, why are the young people sleeping in public?' And that's not something you want to explain to your college-bound child."

On Thursday afternoon, a herd of students sprawled across the sidewalk outside Superiority Burger on 9th Street.

Three young men shared the dirt patch under a tree for most of the afternoon. One of the haggard men ventured into the street for a better Wi-Fi signal.

A few feet away, a young lady was yelling into her cell phone, screaming at her parents to send her more money for Seamless.

It was a similarly seedy scene across town at Washington Square Park, where one student spent the night drinking in the fountain and screaming 'woo' while her friends snapped photos to post online. "Living the dream bitches," she shouted before falling into the fountain and hitting her head.

“I've been coming here since the '70s, and I see more students here now than ever before," said artist Philip Phillips. "It's terrible that these students should be taking over a park with no place to live."

Park maintenance worker Anthony Allen blamed the city for not doing more.

"If there were say a half a million dormitory buildings downtown instead of a paltry quarter mill, you wouldn't see so many students hanging out on the streets."

Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted Thursday that he is worried about the student population.

"I think it's a real concern, and I share the concern of my constituents who have said to me they’re worried that there are students on the streets,” he said. "They graduate, there are no jobs, and they can't afford to move. We don't know how to get rid of them."

Anonymous said...

Agreed about Bloomberg, who slashed or eliminated budgets for the homeless. That plus the Bush Bust is pushing millions into poverty and desperation. But don't look for one of Rupert's Rags to focus on that...they only care about making deBlasio look bad. It's his fault, you know--rainy days and ISIS, too.

Anonymous said...

It is always best in the summertime. People are forced out of their apts. and this is what happens..it's not funny..there will be more..then let's see how the homed cope..they are not strong enough to live in the park. Fuck them.

Anonymous said...

Anyone saying it hasn't gotten worse recently is deluding themselves.. Been in the neighborhood a long time. It's definitely starting to return to the bad ol' days. A year ago the homeless were pretty much limited to the SW corner by the chess tables.. Now you can't walk through the center of the park without having to step over and around drunk and drugged homeless and their belongings. Yes, homelessness is an important problem and we need a solution, but making TSP a scary place like it was in the 70s and 80s again isnt a good solution for anyone.

Anonymous said...

Donate to Bowery Mission. They do good work and need the money.

Anonymous said...

I hate to agree with the Post, but...

For the last 10 years I've been going to TSQ twice daily with my dog. I've lived in the neighborhood since the late 80s. Certainly the park was worse then, almost unusable (at least at night). In recent years there's been a definite year-round presence of junkies, drunks, and general homeless. They generally stay to themselves in specific areas. Same with the seasonal crusties/travelers.

The people who are camped out on the lawn seem to be a new phenomenon. They look unfamiliar to me. They seem to be vagrants who have staked out their spaces on the center lawn, spread out cardboard or mats and their belongings. There is garbage and food everywhere and the other night while I was looking for a place to sit I almost stepped on a pile of what looked like human feces.

I'm not apathetic to their plight, maybe I've become less patient as I've gotten older, but they've made the place unusable again.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:03 pm. Agree with you. Nice having a nice park and not happy to see return of Needle Park.

Anonymous said...

Stuyvestant Park, behind Beth Israel, has been half-closed for construction this year. They seem to be finishing up (maybe) but most of the seating south of 16th street has been unavailable. I spend a lot of time in there in the summertime and there are always people from the hospital, drug outreach places, etc hanging about. In the past I've seen bands of crusties and some drug dealing going on, but none of these people bother me. Maybe there has been some migration over to Tompkins because of the construction. I was through both parks the other day and it really didn't look that out of the ordinary for July.

Anonymous said...

Haha, I'm glad you said it. There has ALWAYS been a good number of homeless in East Village. These people just want something to complain about.

Anonymous said...

Despite its being unfortunate for NYers, it's almost a relief to see that overly-entitled college students are not just a problem in Austin, TX. The "woo!" thing has been going strong for a long time in Austin - it's so "cowboy." UT students are half the reason why the rents are going up all over Austin; the more high-rate apartments, condos and juxury dorms that are built for them, the more that landlords believe they can over-charge regular working people, or tear down rentable properties to build new luxury digs. NYU's land-grabbing and development for its own ends and amenities sounds a lot like UT's. NYU students' yelling, vomiting, arrogance, entitlement and lack of appreciation for local culture and history that I read described on EV Grive sounds like what people like me have had to endure in Austin for a long time, though it's gotten a lot worse in recent years. (Where's Charles Whitman when we really need him?) What I'm tryin' to say, y'all, is that you have my sympathy. Oh, and: we time-share the Crusties with you in the wintertime.

Anonymous said...

I say BRING IT ON. If more homelessness and drug-use makes the EV LESS INVITING then maybe these new-monied elites would MOVE SOMEPLACE ELSE. I rather like the homeless over these iPhone addicts and student "woo woo" whiny SUBSIDIZED wannabes. And a lot of the homeless are kids from NJ who come in to the city and pretend to be homeless. Take a look: A lot of them have phones and their shoes are too nice/not worn from (not) walking the NYC streets. To whomever rewrote the POST piece: BRAVO!

Anonymous said...

Same bleeding heart arguments I heard over 30 years ago. And honestly if that is how you feel, then be the change to want to see in the world and take a homeless person home. As regards to Second Avenue pregnant couple (he grew up on Ave D, his own mother does not want him in apt., she girlfriend newbie but both alleged users of heroin.) They needs detox/rehab but fear being separated. As regards to rats, that is because Parks won't put down poison due to hawks, so make friends with the rats. In regards to NYU alot of people who came years ago came because they were going to NYU and discovered EV. Kinda hateful speech attacking students who in later years will be workers and who are going to pay for your social security /medicare in later years.

Dave on 7th said...

First of all when I moved to 7th Street on the park it was literally an encampment. Fires burned 24/7. When the city tried extinguishing the fires the courts ruled they could not as long as only wood was burned. Apparently plastic was burned sometimes. Anyway. The point is there is no comparison. I would avoid the park at the time for fear of catching TB or being subject to the rampant politicking of devout anarchists. As a 25 year long daily user of the park I'd say there are a relatively small number of "homeless" or "junkies". As noted the "crusties" seem fewer in number and, yes, thanks to our 15 year presence in the opium producing capital of the world (just like Vietnam and 60's heroin epidemic) we have cheap, plentiful heroin available.
But, in the end most of these people are mainly inconvenient insults to bourgeois sensibilities. They have every right to sit in a park all day if they want. Just like anybody else. And if you have a problem with they're homelessness or drug addition, then help solve that problem. Don't condemn the victims or wish they'd just go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

3:59pm,

Without the University of Texas located there, Austin would be San Marcos North. Without NYU, Manhattan would be Manhattan.

Austin was weird because of the students. Now it is Dallas lite because of the employment opportunities.

Anonymous said...

"most of these people are mainly inconvenient insults to bourgeois sensibilities" Actually they are more than that because of their lack of status they are extremely vulnerable and so crimes committed in homeless community go unreported such as rapes, robberies etc. Please do not romanticize as being a "lifestyle". I agree with the idea of helping to solve the problem and avoid condemning them or wishing them away. Citywide homelessness has increased under every administration (so not a political issue) but a complex set of issues that in so far NYC has been clueless in dealing with since the scandal of Willowbrook. So why not turn El Bohio into a shelter since the area has lost so many beds?

Makeout said...

Holy shit that was alot to digest. Thank you Dr.Gecko for "special snowflake generation. Thank you Anon for "fairy princess ice cream parade". Almost lastly- Don't trip on a student person should do a parody column weekly. Hilarity amongst the seriousness.

Anonymous said...

Single men live in seperate shelters.
The single mens shelters are violent and chaotic. Women and children have their own shelters. I guess you misread that. Ever been in a shelter? The only stupid piece of shit is you. The selfish ones are the RS apt dwellers who could care less about homeless people. They care about pets and complaining about frats.

Anonymous said...

I walk thru the park from 9th and A to Avenue B everyday and have noticed a new crew hanging out on the bathrooms by the benches. Feels to me like they just relocated from the other end of the park. They don't ever bother me, don't even ask for a smoke. That said I have lived in the hood for over 20 years and born and raised in NYC and have worked with the homeless for 25 years, so homeless people have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. It is part of living in a City. The kids and the new folks with cash want a City that looks like the sanitized environments they come from, so anything that disrupts that vision or desire should just be washed away. The Park is not scary and is not dangerous, personally walking the streets on Friday night at 1 am is more dangerous with the drunken idiots piling out of the bars and restaurants and the cabs rushing blindly to pick them up. The homeless folks in the park actually generally exhibit better behavior then Kylie and Brad do when they stumble out onto the streets from the Blind Barber.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Post should go visit LA. They have close to 50,000 street homeless amd there are tents and encampments everywhere. The homeless can camp legally from 9pm to 6am on the sidewalks. Google 'skid row LA'. A 50 block area that is all crazy junkie homeless. Go to SF. Thats a disaster as well. A few sleepers in TSP? Really? The NYC homeless begger sitiation is quaint compared to the West Coast. There are more junkies under one freeway overpass than in TSP and Wash Sq combined. NYC has shelters and winter. And it was far different in NYC 25 years ago. This article is ridiculous. Also, people complain here about NYC being suburbanized- then they complain about a homeless guy in a park. Well- be honest. What do you really want? How many closet Bloomberg voters are here saying he ruined the city turn and complain about homeless? Isnt that the point? Turn back the clock? Make NYC 'real' and gritty again?

Dave on 7th said...

Trust me, I not romantising a homeless drug addicted lifestyle. I certainly don't want it and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. And I am in full agreement with your analysis of the systemic and incidious problems of homelessness. I just take issue with the pearl necklace clutching contingent who are offended by the very presence of certain members of our community in a public park of all places. That's where people should be able to sit unmolested regardless of their status, station or condition of life.

Anonymous said...

You used to need some grit and determination to want to live in the EV. Now you only need your parents' credit cards - pathetic. I've seen WAY more drunk bros relieving themselves right in front of my building than homeless people. And no way any of the bros are carrying drugs around right? Arrest them all - clean up our hood.

Anonymous said...

Too bad they don't stop and frisk Bros. There's a mint to be made on their coke.

Scuba Diva said...

On July 10, 2015 at 10:07 AM, Anon quoth:

it's not about the junkies or the homeless or even the entitled and oblivious. it's the rats! has anyone noticed a huge increase in the rat population?

It's been that way; you can blame the humans throwing scraps of bread out for the pigeons so they won't starve to death. Also the humans who can't be bothered to cover their trash cans.

I've submitted pictures of rat holes—conveniently located near the playgrounds—several times to EV Grieve, and they've been published. Too bad people don't take the hint.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. Now it's cool to say "Oh, I'd rather have the junkies than the frat boys! OOH, gentrification sucks! OOH! I want the OLD park back!" Bullshit. I remember when you had to fear for your fucking life when it got dark. You want that back? Keep up with the faux tough-guy horseshit...

Anonymous said...

Junkies take their works home. Bros? A train wreck.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late to say but I want to give props to the person who re-wrote the Post article for us. Very funny.
SB

Anonymous said...

8:00pm needs to remember that our rents have doubled so it's not an either/or situation

Anonymous said...

I feel so bad for these homeless poor souls. What can I do to help this world? It's very depressing. On a brighter note I can't think of a better place to be. EAST VILLAGE

Anonymous said...

Please reply of you only have a solution to this problem.

Anonymous said...

Born and raised in Manhattan i moved back after graduate school. Lived in Williamsburg but couldn't find work. Then i was kicked out of my apartment because i was subletting regardless i couldn't find another place to rent u could afford, so i stayed living in Tompkins. It's miserable when you're sober you try sleeping upright on a bench because they will arrest you for laykng down. It's a lot easier to just spend $20 on a couple bags of dope and get some sleep. I did this for six years then i finally got a place in bed stuy where i could leave my stuff during the day and lock up my bike. I got a job as a bike courier and for six months things were great. I mean i shared a room the size of a queen bed with my friend and his dog but we were of the street. Then the landlord was offered 4 million to sell the building. Two weeks later me my roommate and everyone else was back in the streets. I again couldn't find a place i cod afford or even a place to leave my stuff while i worked so i lost my job. Moved back to the parks and sidewalks. There's no real help for the homeless. And being a drug addict has little to do with it. You can be a junkie and work just as hard as anyone else. The problem isn't drugs it's the outrageous cost of rent because all these entitled rich assholes move into the hood where rent is affordable, but only after they push out the poor and the Bodegas to build trader Joe's and luxury apartments. So it might be inconvenient to see homeless people but we have nowhere to go, and can't get jobs because either we nowhere to leave our things out are too dirty to get hired anywhere. Would you eat a big Mac if the guy making it was one of the crusties you see passed out in the park? So let the homeless alone it's a public park. And is not just about education either some of us are smart and educated but for some reason unemployable

Anonymous said...

11:01 you want a solution? Adopt a homeless kid. Get him a room, help pay for deposit and rent, buy him some interview clothes and maybe help him get a job. But opening disgusting shelters or giving out food or blankets is a waste. That stuff is easy to get

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:01 pm. Solution: Take a homeless person home.

Christopher Pelham said...

There are homeless people but in the day time the park is FULL of families, kids playing, adults sunning, reading, playing music, skateboarding. So what if someone is sleeping here and there. I walk through every day and it always feels very safe and vibrant. I also walk through most nights shortly before closing time and I usually see a handful of couples on the benches, a guitarist or two, other commuters. It's not only students and addicts, or even mostly. It's a hundred times better than it was in the 80s and if there are a few more homeless this summer than last summer, there may be a few less stinky kids

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, does any know any crime stats for TSP? I'd guess the number of crimes in the park are quite low and generally in line with the rest of the parks in the city. But, I could be wrong. Does the 9th or Parks keep stats?

Anonymous said...

Ends meet

Charlie said...

This will get buried because there are hundreds of other comments... but beware when you do your laundry. Guard it with your life when you put it in the dryer, since no one steals wet clothes. I can never help a homeless person again because of how violated I felt, having my clothes stolen.

Anonymous said...

Late to this thread but I'll chime in. I'm in the park hours a day for many years now and homeless / bum population is at historically low levels. I'm guessing the Post article is part of a general "city falling apart under DiBlasio" theme they will run with until there's a Republican Mayor regardless of any connection to facts on the ground.

That said many of the newcomers now are so soft that I see them being frightened by generic non-caucasian teenagers or even what's left of generic scruffy punk rockers.

Anonymous said...

Reading through the thread I now suspect that it's mainly the relatively new bum hangout spot just west of the bathrooms. That hasn't traditionally been a bum hangout and it is right on the 9th st corridor so perhaps less-out-of-sight is now driving the fear and outrage up thread. Factoring in that the chessboards, both 7th / A and by the handball courts, now have less homeless and that there are no more crusty punk traveler spots to speak of the numbers are still lower.

We are also at historically low levels of amateur heroin sidewalk nodding which is a very good thing.

JG said...

I agree with the above commenter that this is just the latest in the Post's "city falling apart under DiBlasio" theme. Did you see today's cover?

It also seems obvious that the Post sent an intern into the Park to report this story, which is why they quote a 19 year old NYU student. A college age intern feels more comfortable approaching another college student rather than a "scary" older resident (like me!)

Anonymous said...

GG
Time to clean up this neighborhood. It's only a matter of time before tompkins square park is cleaned up. Don't give me the bs that the homeless junkies are part of this great EV vibe. I wont to walk through the park without seeing the decay of the western society.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:22 am. Having clothes stolen from laundry. I forgot about this. We used to have laundromat around the corner from BRC and you needed to guard your clothes or give it in to be done by staff.

Anonymous said...

I have lived here 30 years, and I am not a fan of being harassed by the junkies, who are now dominating the center row of benches in the park, or the a-hole frat boys and sorority girls who traipse around the neighborhood screaming all night and tearing down trees. One group is no better than the other. The rest of us are stuck in the middle putting up with all of their bull. I would love to see the police come down on all of them equally.

Anonymous said...

as I have read through the comments daily it makes me realize how our first world problems of a few people sleeping in a community park are Their third world problems. the fact is that this park has seen much tougher times and as a community, if this is a concern it is up to us to help those less fortunate. so rather than complain, perhaps lend a hand and pass out information on shelters, housing, health advice. whatever it may be, everyone falls down in their lives, but as they say for kids, it takes a village so as a community lets make it a village and help those less fortunate rather voice complains about their plights.

Anonymous said...

I hate the free lunch people turning TSP into a homeless magnet. In most communities, it's illegal to give out free food on the street, for precisely the same reason you shouldn't feed pigeons.

If I ran the EV, I'd shut down the Key Foods recycling on 4th and A, shut down the free food, poison the rats / hawks, and encourage the homeless to go be homeless somewhere else. I hear the west village is nice.

Anonymous said...

Lets be honest. No city in America has the shelters and services NYC does. You think these folks want to go to shelters? The park dwellers know where the food, clothes and shelters are. They can walk up to 1st Ave to Bellevue where the main mens shelter is and do an intake. They are not interested. Shelters have rules man. They want to drink and get high and do as they please.
And as far as getting people back on their feet goes, go volunteer at the Bowery Mission or NYC Rescue Mission. The majority of clients are men between 45 and 65. They tend to have no education or skills. Many of them read at a 2nd or 3rd grade level. Some have never had a real job. Combine that with mental illness, substance abuse, and multiple felony convictions and you have a group that is largely unemployable. If they somehow job a GED and a job they would not be able to afford a room never mind an apt. Its a disaster. Did you know the city is going paperless? They send these guys letters telling them to create accounts using email and a password. Seems reasonable in 2015. The problem is that when you can barely read, dont have a library card/net access, and dont know how to go online or use the net, this doesnt work. Regular people dont get how far behind these guys are. The idea that a suit and resume will get them going is laughable. Its a terrible situation.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the rats to both the junkies and the NYU frat-bros and frat-hos.

They are friendlier, cooler, quieter, eat trash instead of creating it, keep to themselves, don't use iDevices, don't vomit or scream for no reason, don't say "like" every 3 seconds, don't suffer from vocal fry or uptalk, don't smell, don't travel in sidewalk-monopolizing herds, don't wear $300 faux-worn denim to show their faux solidarity with the blue-collar working class, don't eat fro-yo, and they have better taste in music.

- East Villager

kopp said...

When rents around the park were $60 for a two bedroom apartment and most of those rents were paid by welfare checks; when no sensible person entered the park after dusk; when poverty, drugs and arson ruled the East Village and you were not even safe in your own apartment with gated-windows and triple-locked doors—that's when I moved into my apartment east of Avenue B. Forty years ago we paid for our low rents, not fearing the homeless and crusties or the addled, but the predators who owned the Lower-east-side. The EV is now owned by real-estate interests who will keep it sweet for the timid, but well-heeled newbies. So don't worry about a few junkies on the nod or a few homeless folks who only want a safe place to rest their evicted bones.

Anonymous said...

There's a new book out, Dreamland, that explains the source of our current heroin epidemic -- even some of you know-it-alls would learn from it: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/dreamland-9781620402511/

MbassBKNY718 said...

My sentiments exactly.

Anonymous said...

It is getting worse. My wife has lived in the East Village for 25 years and me for more than 15. We're rent stabilized, thank God, because we couldn't afford the new prices. There's nothing charming or authentic about junkies and homeless. I have an 11-year old daughter, and I'm starting to feel it is no longer safe in this neighborhood for her. There needs to be some middle ground between making sure the cops respect citizens and allowing them to do their jobs, which is to keep the streets safe. The word is out that you can get away with shit again in De Blasio's New York, and it is only going to get worse from here.

MbassBKNY718 said...

Beat me to it. I am late to the article though so makes sense that you Caught that before me. I'm hoping it's the damn word speller on cell phones and not the actual spelling of a literate person who can afford to live on east 7th. I sure can't. I'm barely surviving in Brooklyn. I'm a native though and should have left NYC ages ago. I know times change but holy crap N.Y. has become unaffordable. I used to be able to go out in the east village..where I spent my 20s and 30s..and not break the bank. Now, no way. Who can afford to pay for the restaurants, the $10 drinks..or more..and complaining about the homeless in TSP? It's been like that for at least 30 years but I'm sure longer. Try creating a real and decent amount of affordable housing. Not what we have now..which is 60,000 people applying for buildings with 40 apartments designated affordable. It's sad and pathetic that so many people are struggling and can't even afford the outer boroughs anymore. Besides maybe the Bronx. I'm not counting staten island cause that should just be considered Jersey. Anyway, homelessness and drug addicts in TSP.. maybe the one thing that hasn't changed in the east village.

A Man's Drink said...

it is a beautiful park

john penley said...

Hot Damn are they selling that super high quality Afghanistan Smack there ? I blame this all on George Bush who invaded Afghanistan and returned the country to its historical place as the world highest quality #1 dope grower and exporter. Just bought my bus ticket and am on my way back. Can someone reserve Frenchie's old bench spot for me on Crusty Row ? Attention NYU students... Tune In Turn On Drop Out..Don't tell mommie and daddy and let them keep thinking you are still paying EV rent and join me I can teach you a lot more fun things than NYU.

Anonymous said...

It is the rats.

The feeding programs help feed the rats, but it is not the only thing that brings the homeless or the rats into the park.

les native said...

Fucking yuppie colonists feel entitled to every square inch of this earth. Your hatred and fear of the less fortunate is your problen to overcome. This is the crusades all over again.

Bobby Gorman said...

re: the July 15th, 9:59 AM posting. I am a 45 year East Village resident, and somewhat community involved guy. I too am now homeless as a result of 12 years of both verbal & physical harassment, and a list of bizarre unproven allegations at the hands of my building's management. My reports and pleas for help to all the authorities one can name have gone ignored. The courts are unsympathetic and my defense was not even heard. I am a Viet Nam era honorably discharged vet and the VA has done nothing for me - either to defend me or to house me. You are operating under a delusion that Vets are safe from this shit!

Anonymous said...

I moved out of the city 5 years ago. But I still come back to hang out and catch up a couple times a month. So I notice trends that full time NYC residents might not catch right away. I can easily say that the number of "crazy" people on the streets (all over the city) and the number of homeless people camping out (esp in the east village) has increased noticeably since the Michael Brown and Eric Garner situations. Cops are just less likely to arrest people or to relocate people due to standing orders from top brass as well as fear of retaliation. Its obvious the direction the city is heading in slowly but surely.

Tired of seeing this said...

I recently wrote a letter to Park Commissioner and received the below email. So happy that they are at least trying to take action.


Thank you for your letter regarding conditions you observed in Thompkins Square Park.

We understand and share your dismay concerning the number of apparently homeless individuals and drug users who populate the park.
Over a long and particularly brutal winter our city parks saw an increase in people remaining in parks after closing time or overnight, engaging in illegal activities such as drug and alcohol use, vandalism, encamping, public urination and littering. We worked throughout the winter with the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to assist homeless people in parks to connect with social services. Parks Enforcement officers also patrol parks daily, addressing conditions associated with this issue and removing abandoned property when they encounter it.

I am happy to be able to tell you that our officers have already begun patrols at Thompkins Square Park, starting at 6:00am; last night officers were present from 12am until 3am, working with the local precinct and DHS representatives to engage and assist homeless individuals. We plan to conduct another joint operation tomorrow with DHS outreach teams and the Police Department.

Parks will continue to monitor and patrol at Thompkins Square Park throughout the summer to provide a consistent deterrent to illegal activity in the park.
Should you observe dangerous or illegal activity in the park, please tell a PEP officer, if one is present, or call our Central Communications office at 646-613-1200 to report it. If an officer is available, one will respond.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write, and for your concern for fellow New Yorkers.

Sincerely,

Deborah Zingale
Urban Park Service

Anonymous said...

Oh pleasse....it's TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK. Do you even live here Deborah? NOT ALL HOMELESS ARE ADDICTS, some have just had the misfortune of being SCREWED OVER. So great, more NYPD hanging around on their devices because that's largely what they do. They stand around in clumps like the rest of the iZombies.

WTF is the origin of THOMPKINS? Was it once called Thompkins?

Also: Thank you for your service, Mr. homeless VIETNAM VET. This country is the worst. Good luck to you with all you are dealing with; you have my empathy and respect.

millennial said...

imo, a vagrant sleeping/junky nodding is just more beautiful than a bro in flip flops

IzF said...

Millennial: I'll cheers to that!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that letter from Parks Dept. Incredible! Is that what employees of TSP have been reporting cuz everyone working there goes home around 6 pm. and then nothing until cops sat in their car after midnight. DHS? never saw them in TSP. What total BS.

Anonymous said...

The Post is utter garbage. Look at this piece of crap passing for "journalism". Such a transparent campaign against the mayor. A few days ago the mayor was a terrible person ruining New York for being too tolerate of the homeless and letting them run free in the park. Today the mayor is a terrible person for being intolerant of the homeless and not letting them run free in a park. The Post is a disgrace.

http://nypost.com/2015/07/15/undercover-reporter-exposes-intolerance-for-homeless-people-outside-gracie-mansion/

Anonymous said...

Thank you. They should of been here in the 80s with the drug lines and squatters in the abandoned buildings and the riots and no one on the street after dark or holidays. Born and raised in this neighborhood n dam proud of it. Now where are our tax breaks for sticking it out all these years f the rich who just moved here. Go back where you came from

Karen Tighe said...

I have lived in on 6th and B for 18 years and the park is way cleaner and has way less drug activity than it used to. The Gardens are amazing and the playgrounds are some of the best in the city.

Move to the boring suburbs and I assure you, you will not see junkies.. just bored people on anti depressants.

Why are they interviewing a 19 year old transplant who has lived here 10 mins??

Anonymous said...

Hello, I appreciate this blog's extensive coverage of various aspects of the Park. This comment is returning to the blog's initial question, how is the park this summer? what I was searching for on EV GRieve was why is half of the already-not-that-large lawn still cordoned off, and has been all summer? (Although yes, I am pissed about the NYPD jig lift, too!).

john penley said...

NYU should remove all their students who live in dorms and are temporary residents who have helped gentrify the East Village because as the NYU student said the park is so dangerous now they are afraid for their safety. How can NYU allow their students to continue to live in such a dangerous environment ? Shame on NYU.