[Reader photo from October]
In recent months, several residents have said that a growing number of travelers/crusties have been living under the sidewalk bridge next to the Verizon building on 13th Street between Second Avenue and First Avenue.
Early Sunday evening, there were reports of a small fire under the sidewalk bridge.
Shortly after the FDNY departed, a dump truck arrived, and a crew discarded the various mattresses and furniture.
[Scorched-wall photo yesterday by Steven]
One resident on the block shared this about the recent activity under the sidewalk bridge "where the crusties have made home."
They live and sleep there. They openly shoot up, get drunk, fight, party all night and block the sidewalk with mattresses, chairs — even tables.
The situation has become a total nightmare now. This scaffolding — I swear it seems like it's been up 10 years and I've seen them do about maybe 10 days work on the building that entire time. It's become the homeless heroin spot now and it's incredibly disturbing to watch people shooting up. We really don't know what to do but something definitely has to be done.
Said one nearly 20-year resident of 13th Street:
Our block has been gross for the last six months. The homeless have moved in under the Verizon scaffolding ... I witness drug deals on the regular and the cops have only parked on the block one day — I’m ready to move! And now they cause a fire?
EVG correspondent Steven spoke with a super who works on the block. The super said that residents have called 311 "to no avail."
A few scattered items remained on the sidewalk yesterday...
[Photo yesterday by Steven]
As for the Verizon-owned building, there are multiple work permits on file with the city, including for "mechanical chiller replacement. Removal and replacement of chiller along with related piping." There are also permits for "new steel dunnage and steel framing to support new generator and fuel piping." There doesn't appear to be any current tenants in the circa 1923 building. (The building was also the site of a major fire in 1975.)
In several recent years, Verizon was engaged with the local graffiti community in the ongoing brown paint vs. tagging battle.
Meanwhile, one of the readers said that a few people had returned last night to sleep on 13th Street.