Showing posts with label crusties. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crusties. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

NYPD light tower back in illuminating action on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street

[Photo by Nick Solares]

On Sunday night, some kind of malfunction KO'd the police lights that were set up last week on the northwest corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street...

However, after one night off, the lights were back on last night...

The light tower arrived last Wednesday night after increased complaints over unruly travelers/crusties gathered on the corner.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: It's 'Crusty vs. Postie' on 2nd Avenue

NYPD installs patrol tower in the middle of Tompkins Square Park (149 comments)

NYPD installs light tower on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street

Thursday, October 18, 2018

NYPD installs light tower on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street

[Reader-submitted photo]

There have been several published reports (here and here) in recent weeks about the growing number of increasingly unruly travelers/crusties gathering on the northwest corner of Seventh Street and Second Avenue.

This past weekend, New York Post reporter Dean Balsamini wrote that he was allegedly punched by a traveler named Zeke, who apparently had a "farm-animal musk" and "Charles Manson eyes," per the article.

In response to these reports and a growing number of complaints from nearby residents and merchants, the NYPD last night set up a light tower on the corner, illuminating the sidewalk and empty lot — site of the deadly gas explosion in March 2015 — to deter anyone from congregating and camping out (apparently in keeping with the mayor's Omnipresence policing strategy).

[Photo by EVG reader Ryan]

In an email to local elected officials this past week, one nearby resident wrote: "It's terrifying to come and go day or night! They own the street and it's getting worse. These are drifters, not homeless to be pitied. Help before someone is murdered."

Another EVG reader worries that the corner can only get worse. Luxury condominiums are slated for part of the lot on Second Avenue and Seventh Street. The eventual arrival of a sidewalk bridge would only provide more cover for the travelers, who like this spot with its proximity to a LinkNYC kiosk and its free Wifi and charging station, according to the reader.

Back in July 2015, following published reports citing a perceived influx of homeless people and drug users in Tompkins Square Park, the NYPD installed a patrol tower in the middle of the park. The NYPD removed it after a week. (We did get the tweet tower out of all that.)

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: It's 'Crusty vs. Postie' on 2nd Avenue

NYPD installs patrol tower in the middle of Tompkins Square Park (149 comments)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Report: It's 'Crusty vs. Postie' on 2nd Avenue

New York Post reporter Dean Balsamini reports that he was punched by a traveler/crusty while looking into the annual migration that has seen the group camped out on the corner of Second Avenue at Seventh Street at the site of the 2015 deadly gas explosion.

Balsamini described the alleged attacker, named Zeke, as having a "farm-animal musk" and "Charles Manson eyes." Wrote Balsamini: "Crusty vs. Postie."

A passage from the article published today:

One terrified 64-year-old retiree blamed the city’s decriminalization of quality-of-life offenses.

“The fish stinks from the head,” he fumed. “From de Blasio on down. He doesn’t care. He’s too busy at the gym.”

Jose Amigon, co-owner of Paul’s Da Burger Joint, was beaten with his own broom in June when he asked a sleeping crusty to move as he swept outside his store.

Not long after I was crusty-creamed, 9th Precinct Capt. John O’Connell called me to make sure I was OK, saying, “This is upsetting to me.”

[Enz's owner Mariann] Marlowe said my Wednesday-afternoon whipping prompted action. O’Connell has stopped by her store at least three times since, and a cop is now posted on the block.

The Post has a history of conflict with the travelers. In 2015, when the travelers camped outside the new Cooper Union academic building, a group of them threatened a reporter and photographer with taunts and cookies.

Per that article:

Nine of the drifters were splayed out on bits of cardboard Thursday morning, and began hurling insults, water and bits of cookie when approached by a reporter.

“I was going to chase him down and beat the s–t out of him,” one thin, bedraggled man spat in anger.

“If I ever see you or that photographer again, I’ll kick the s–t out of you,” he threatened.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Saturday, July 28, 2018


[Screengrab via CBS 2]

CBS 2 filed a report last evening with the headline "Summer Brings Wave Of ‘Crust Punk’ Homeless Nomads To East Village."

Here's an excerpt:

“It’s getting worse now than it was before,” said Tania Martinez who lives in the East Village. “Me paying a lot of money being here, I shouldn’t see things like this.”

The homeless nomads – known to hop freight trains – pop in and out of cities across the country like Seattle and San Francisco, often ending up in and around Tompkins Square Park when it gets warm out.

The pilgrimage dates back to the late 1970s when many began migrating for the neighborhood’s punk rock music scene. Like most subcultures, rejecting the status quo was a conscious choice by its members.

“It’s absolutely a choice,” said Dallas, one of the movement’s adherents. “We just hate our government system, the way it affects us as a whole.”


NYPD sources say there are more transient people this summer because of the city’s increasing opioid epidemic. The narcotics division has been patrolling the park to help, with police doubling arrests this year – many of them drug related.

Police sources say because of the stepped up enforcement, many “crust punks” have started sleeping inside abandoned buildings in the outer boroughs instead.

Friday, June 28, 2013

A case against using the term 'crusty'

[At a recent Thursday night PBJ Dinner in Tompkins Square Park]

Andréa Stella, executive director and co-founder of The Space at Tompkins, submitted the following post.

With the summer in full swing, a lot of our clients are coming back to New York, and we wanted to take a moment to give an explanation for a term that has been and will inevitably be thrown around while they're here.

Three reasons why we don't call our clients "crusties"

1) The term "crusty" is derived from "Crust Punk," a punk movement started in the 1980s out of England with followers who referred to themselves as "crust punkers." Being a "crusty" is like calling someone a Deadhead. 99% of our clients do not refer to themselves as crusties, so we don't either. The term gets thrown around a lot in the East Village because it's a quick way to define a group of folks who look a certain way, but that doesn't make it accurate.

2) When asked, "What do you consider yourself?" — almost everyone told us their name. The first time I asked someone that question, I felt like an idiot because I know that personally, I don't walk around introducing myself as, "Hi, I identify as a white female and my name is Andréa." I start with my name.

3) Our clients are individuals, and most of them are trying to transition out of their current situation. It may not always look like it to outsiders, but there are many complex issues right under the surface that each person copes with in their own way. Tagging someone as "crusty" deepens the stigma and does not promote positive change.

We're The Space at Tompkins, a harm reduction organization whose mission is to help homeless travelers move towards improved health and self-sufficiency. We've been doing this since 2009.

Learn more about The Space at Tompkins here.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A proposal to help curb the East Village crusty population

As you may have noticed in the past few weeks, the travelers (transients, crusties — whatever term that you use) have been returning to the neighborhood. (Or maybe visiting for the first time.)

[Last Saturday on St. Mark's Place via Steven Matthews]

In an op-ed in The Villager this week, CB3 member Chad Marlow outlines a proposal to curb their presence in the neighborhood... First, he notes the perception that some of the crusties have becoming more violent.

While crusties have been coming to our neighborhood for many years, their behavior seems to be getting more aggressive, brazen and violent. Although many of my neighbors agree, I wondered if this perception is accurate. Before proposing drastic solutions, one should be certain to accurately understand the problem. Many of us have negative personal experiences that mirror last summer’s widely reported crusties incidents, such as defacing St. Mark’s Church, allowing their dogs to urinate in Washington Square Park’s fountain where children play, frequently harassing Washington Square and Tompkins Square Park visitors and engaging in countless bloody altercations. While this demonstrates the crusties problem is significant, it does not prove it is worsening.

Marlow, who spoke out about the growing rat problem in Tompkins Square Park several summers ago, goes on to outline his plan... it's a complicated process with several caveats ... an excerpt from his column:

So proceeding with the utmost caution and concern for protecting the involuntary homeless, I offer the following proposal: The City Council should pass a law making it unlawful to sleep or lie down on a public sidewalk, in a park or other public space between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Additional penalties would apply to those in possession of an unlicensed dog.

This legislative proposal, if it ended there, would be nothing short of an immoral attack on the homeless. That is why the law must contain numerous exceptions (“affirmative defenses”) to ensure it is applied humanely and only against voluntary homeless tourists like crusties.

You can read the whole piece here.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Report: Mendez office to crack down on crusties

[East 11th Street last summer]

In his current column in The Villager, Scoopy reports that City Councilmember Rosie Mendez is planning to crack down on the crusties. A report that Mendez's office recently issued to Community Board 2 last week said that she is aware of the complaints about the seasonal transient population, and is working with outreach teams to help get them off the street.

Per the report, as quoted by Scoopy: "The challenge in removing them is that people have the right to refuse services and to live in the street. Rosie is researching the laws that protect such transients with the intent of tightening up loopholes, so that in the future, these individuals will not have the opportunity to take over the sidewalks in the East Village and Lower East Side and thereby reduce the quality of life of residents."

We asked Mendez's copy of the report, but did not receive any response.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Report: Crusty trouble at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery

Catching up to an article in the current issue of The Villager by Lincoln Anderson titled "Crusties cross line, graffiti obscenities on East Village church."

You may have already read it. (Read the whole article here.)

Quickly... a group of crusties/travelers have been hanging out at the St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery ... "Things came to a head [June 15] around 3 p.m. when three of the crusty punks graffitied over the church’s front with white latex paint. Using a paintbrush, in large block letters, they scrawled obscenity-laden messages on the portico’s bluestone slate floor, on walls and on statues and also on a small lion statue in Abe Lebewohl Park outside the church grounds."

Church officials called the NYPD ... and the trio hasn't been seen there since...

Winnie Varghese, the church’s rector, said that the crusties hanging out in the Park "are fewer in number, but more aggressive and troubled, in her view, than before." Because of drug use, the church has closed its public restrooms (only opening them for intermission during plays and Poetry Project performances).

However, one crusty isn’t deterred when he finds the bathroom locked. “I don’t know how to say this, he — takes a dump outside the theater,” the reverend said.

Probably unrelated... but I did notice this recently...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Claim: Crusties will be returning to Tompkins Square Park this spring and summer

As you may recall, last spring/summer, there were fewer travelers/crusties hanging out in Tompkins Square Park. Instead, the group took to Washington Square Park, Union Square, parts of Brooklyn... However, in The Villager this week, Scoopy hears from Black Ops-Bob that "the 'travelers' will be returning to Tompkins Square Park this season."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Crusty Row, now with a vacancy in Tompkins Square Park

From the Times:
In East Village, Harbingers of Spring Are Missing

[Photo last year by Melanie at East Village Corner]

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


EV Grieve readers Meaghan Burke and Liz Prutting send along the above shot of a traveler/crusty setting up a bunk in an East Village stairwell ... They asked some questions that other readers have been curious about: "He was ... playing games on his smartphone. Where does he charge this phone? Who pays the bill? Games use up a lot of data..."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crusty down

EV Grieve reader Steven just snapped this shot on Second Avenue between Ninth and 10th ...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Crusty slumber party

Earlier this morning on East 11th Street. Would like to know what that CNBC van is doing in the background... Photo by native New Yorker and East Village resident Anthony Torre.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Claim: Tompkins Square Park is 'Heroinville'

The Villager has an article in this week's issue about Asylum, a group of travelers who hang out in Washington Square Park. The members claim that the NYPD leaves them alone since they're not bothering anyone.

Which leads us to this passage:

However, Hollywood claimed that this isn’t the case in Tompkins Square Park where rumors are that the police have driven some homeless people out of the park permanently.

“The hard drugs are in Tompkins,” said Hollywood.

Russell, another Washington Square Park regular, added.

I don’t go to Tompkins Square Park because there’s a f---ing bad vibe there. It’s Heroinville!

Police officers make it extremely hard for the homeless to stay in Tompkins Square Park anyway. They tend to confiscate transients’ belongings as well as harass them incessantly, the transients say.

“You can’t even lie in the grass,” Russell said. “Just because we are homeless doesn’t mean we don’t have rights!”

[Photo by Bobby Williams]

Saturday, July 9, 2011

East Village crusties go national thanks to The Huffington Post

Thanks to the readers who sent along the link to a Huffington Post, um, post on Steven Hirsch's Crustypunks site.

Although the site is in the HuffPo's New York section, the piece is featured on the main page...

Aren't you proud?

Saturday, July 2, 2011