Monday, July 17, 2017

Traveling and panhandling

[Photo on 2nd Avenue last Tuesday by Derek Berg]

Back on Friday evening, CBS 2 filed a report on the summer travelers titled "'They’re Traveling And Doing This Purposely,' Some City Panhandlers May Be In It For Fun."

The not-so-newsy report attempted to cover a lot in 1:50: a) noting the annual warm-weather migration of the travelers (or crusties, as some prefer) b) theorizing that some of the travelers or panhandlers in general are actually not in need of money c) piggybacking onto Mayor de Blasio's recent comments about his frustration with panhandlers.

To CBS 2:

When spring and summer come to New York City, so do homeless travelers from far away suburbs and cities.

They gather in Tompkins Square Park.

Police said some of the disheveled newcomers hopped freight trains from as far away as Seattle.

The park is their central gathering place, and they fan out to the surrounding East Village streets to panhandle.

The report has an on-camera interview with Angelo, aka Gypsy, a regular along Avenue A.

“I’m homeless myself,” he said, “A lot of these guys believe it or not, their parents are rich. They’re traveling and doing this purposely.”

Without quoting anyone directly, the piece notes: "Residents and merchants said the trend is harming their quality of life, and they want the city to do something about it."

CBS 2 also quotes Mayor de Blasio from his quality-of-life press conference last Wednesday, in which he implied some panhandlers are doing it for fun.

“There are people who are in desperate need and maybe don’t know there’s other options. But there are also people who are doing it purely out of choice. This is a fact — who somehow think it’s fun, or think it’s a way to make easy money. And I resent that, I really do.”

Per the Daily News: "He’s especially annoyed about so-called 'crusties' who come into the city from out of town to beg, and women who panhandle with children."

“I’m very upset at the notion of anyone who in effect gives people the impression they’re homeless to make money. That’s what I think is going on. And I don’t like it one bit,” he said, acknowledging there’s little cops can do unless the panhandlers commit a crime. “As frustrating as it is, and this bothers me to say this, but panhandling per se is not illegal.”


JQ LLC said...

Spare us the (self-)righteous indignation Bill and feigned outrage. The corrupt mayor is really covering his ass and tracks at the same time with this sudden embrace of reactionary thinking.

there is no doubt about the "crusties", but that has been an issue for decades. It's a problem now because it's an election year and his future republican opponent will surely bring up the fact that his own beggary for REBNY money is what led to the massive homeless population in addition to the squalid and cramped conditions of the "ample services" he has provided with the clusters and hotel rooms.

Did he notice that they seem to enjoy those link nyc stations that he pushed to implement? The only people that use those with frequency are the homeless.

And it goes on and on with De Faustio. He's a joke and what he is doing is picking and promoting an easy scapegoat.

sophocles said...

They should have incorporated pull-down beds into the Links - Murphy style!

Anonymous said...

Taking handouts, De Blasio, you should know. But yours are in deeper pockets.

Anonymous said...

Book your time share at Crusty Row last few Spots going FAST

Gojira said...

Always amusing to walk by and see one of them on a cell phone far more superior and expensive than mine, and I work full-time. I must be doing something really wrong here.

Anonymous said...


Oh snap! wish I had thought of that.

Okay a few shitty months of the years we get a special breed of "panhandler" on our streets, so what? Our year round homeless are in need and they either are not getting that help from the city or having tried the city's help decided they want no more of it. Many homeless people have mental illness so keeping them in shelters helps nobody. So many of us give some spare change, a dollar or more once in a while life goes on. Why do those in power, those with tons of money always point their fingers and blame the poorest and helpless? Probably to distract us from their failed policies and make sure tourists don't see something that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

Talk about the horns of a dilemma. Bitchin' about gentrification on one hand and then being forced to bitch about Crustification on the other. How dizzying. Heh heh heh.

Anonymous said...

'Real simple:

Do not give to these fake beggars. If they harrass you, call the cops on them.

'Nice to see the Ninth Precinct allow 3-4 people to take over a patch of sidewalk with a mattress which must be disposed of because of bedbugs and it's a fire hazard.

I'd call 311 to ask sanitation to remove that mattress.

Anonymous said...

Sure, crusties are a little fragrant, sure they assemble in our 'hood, sure they ask for money: I say SO WHAT! Look at all the corruption from the "president", his cabinet, his associates, and basically everyone else in government. Look at the corruption in state government, in local government, and basically EVERYWHERE you look. So these people have a lifestyle that's different from yours? Big f-ing deal. It is those people who have to call out what is different from them that truly have a problem. I see these folks as members of a loose community that have distanced themselves from capitalism and its restraints and oppression. Maybe it's not the best choice, idk, but ACTUAL HOMELESSNESS IS UP BY 40 PERCENT since last year, so the city isn't doing much to combat the wave of disparity that was exacerbated by too many years under BLOOMBERG'S UNBRIDLED CRUELTY. 200,000 units of affordable housing? It's a drop in a vastly expanding bucket of pain. We need micro housing that is actually affordable and universal, not just a place to charge our phones every 40 feet. You don't have to give them money. Last I checked, those crusties hadn't yet joined up with the NRA folks and their attachment to the second amendment, but maybe they will. That may be the beginning of a wave of some real affordable housing, not just one "lux" condo after another.

Anonymous said...

I rarely see them in the park anymore. They are all on Second Avenue. I assume the cops are keeping them out of the park. I feel bad for the residents and business owners because they do drink and fight and I avoid going into the businesses they camp out in front of because I don't want to be harassed. What really bothers me is that they all have dogs. There was a gathering last week of a bunch of crusties on St. Mark's and I counted 8 dogs.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 11:09 - Empty moral posturing is a bad habit engaged in by lazy people. Most of the crusties are spoiled brats who go panhandling to give their empty lives some meaning.
They are a nuisance and they know it. They are not rebels in any sense of the word, just bored children looking for a thrill at the expense of our community.
Stop making excuses for them.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea why people still give money to panhandlers. Almost always goes to drugs or booze. If you want to feel good about yourself don't enable addictions and send your money to where it will actually go toward helping these people with their basic life needs, like the Bowery Mission. $20 and you can go a whole year passing by the panhandlers and not feel guilt that you're doing nothing to help those in real need.

Anonymous said...

Back in the day, when I was a young punker in Chicago, I knew a lot of crusty kids and many came from the wealthy suburbs of Detroit, some with daddy's Platinum Card. They were slumming rich kids, sure, but they were also pretty universally mentally ill drug abusers. Many were working class mentally ill drug abusers. All were more than a little lost. FWIW. Not to say that some rich white kid who's living on the streets because their awful parents neglected them and they went off their bipolar meds isn't less deserving of your measly pocket change than someone who's homeless because they're butt poor and brown and their hours got shorted so they couldn't make rent one month, but...

Anonymous said...

I hate when "fake homeless" get reported upon, because while real, it is a much lesser problem that detracts from the much more serious homeless problem. Whenever I ask people why they don't give to the homeless, they say they don't believe they really need it. So sad.

Anonymous said...

@11:09am: Oh, yeah, they "distance themselves from capitalism ... and oppression" - right up 'til the weather is not in their favor, and then they go home to mommy & daddy.

Giovanni said...

A few weeks ago the Crusties had moved into East River Park, but now there are suddenly a lot more police patrols in the park, and so the Crusties are gone. So as a result of police pressure, now it's back to Second Avenue where they can harass even more people. Nice job by the City making everyone's lives even more miserable. Maybe DeBlasio and Cuomo can shut down a few more subway lines, put in more solar powered garbage cans that don't work, and put up some of those 99 story condos now blocking out the sky in Central Park on our Houston St. Horridor. Welcome to New Yorkistan, or maybe it's Dubai on the Hudson.

Anonymous said...

"I have no idea why people still give money to panhandlers. Almost always goes to drugs or booze."

Precisely! Maybe if you look at this from a different angle, that's not such a bad way of dealing with the problem, if you catch my drift.

Unknown said...

DeBlasio is a lowlife piece of gutter sludge
every word that comes out of his mouth is utter bullshit
the same stuff that comes out of his ass
He was on TV NUMEROUS times this winter and spring stating that "I am taking personal responsibility for the homeless situation"
He has done nothing for this city at all

Anonymous said...

Think of them as Snowbirds in both terms when it is cold they are gone or when the good is dried up

Anonymous said...

Where are the animal rights people? Where is PETA or the ASPCA? There are animals being mistreated and used as panhandling props. I wonder how many of these dogs were stolen

Anonymous said...

@ 1:21am - 11:00am back here.

I did not say call the cops on them just to get them in trouble, I said call the cops on them if they harrass you, and yes, they have harrassed people.

They are fake beggars thus I will not give money to them or people in real need. I will, however, offer to buy food and water to someone in real need but not to one of these fake beggars.

Anonymous said...

There dogs are often unleashed, and unruly. They should be removed.

Anonymous said...

'Homeless', 'panhandlers', forget the euphemism, they're young Travellers! And they all have well trained dogs! Get real Mr. De Blasio this is the EV and they've been visiting us every season for years. And they have a ton of more interesting real life experiences than the average 40 year old! The only difference is now they have more high tech stations to charge their phones.

Anonymous said...

@2:27 pm - yes, forget the euphemisms, they are crustys, and a more accurate description has never been conceived. Many are not so young,and if you find them so interesting, PLEASE invite them to lounge/pass out in front of your building and not mine. I've had enough of walking around them and their dogs, bags and trash when I leave or enter my home. Why should I have to keep my windows closed to try not to hear their inane/drunken conversations, squabbles or talentless "musical" performances. Why are large groups allowed to take over public space indefinitely? Their insufferable presence offers proof that privilege is race and not class based. Hate to have to go there, but enough already!