Clochard-a-Palooza in the North Heights

Has anyone else noticed the daily freak show on Henry Street near Pineapple Walk? The Henry side of the Clark Street subway station (as evidenced by the photo of a man in a yellow bag above) serves as a gateway to the ménagerie de clochards who dwell around Pineapple Walk near Peas and Pickles.

What’s the deal? Are these people in need or just regular folk hangin’ out?

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  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Believe it or not, as I passed by the dorm entrance on Henry Street between Pineapple and clark today, every stone bench was occupied with a homeless man lying down. This is not good and EHS better get its house in order.

  • Karl Junkersfeld


  • T.K. Small

    Don’t you mean DHS? Department of Homeless Services.

  • Matthew Parker

    This morning I encountered a homeless person sleeping in a plastic bag at the base of the Remsen St. entrance to the Promenade.

  • AnnOfOrange

    EHS = Educational Housing Services, who put the benches there for smoking students. A call to 311 should bring someone from the DHS Homeless Outreach Team to offer housing/temporary shelter services. It’s going to get worse before it gets better — a tough time for the down and out people whose numbers increase daily.

  • BronxKid

    And let’s not forget the very scary looking homeless and obviously mentally ill people who are currently using the Clark Street subway station as their shelter. Hate to say it, but it’s beginning to look a lot like it did in the 1970s around here.

  • Teddy

    Thugs creeping, clochards hanging out. Man, this neighborhood is going to hell…or the 70s/80s.

  • David on Middagh

    It can’t be just this neighborhood… I think much of the world is in trouble, what with banks and whole countries seemingly ready to domino. My grandparents lived through the Depression, and I’m wondering if by the time I’m dead it will be called D1.

  • AEB

    Moral: even BH’s bubble of affluence can be penetrated by those less fortunate than its residents. I believe the proper response is compassion.

  • Western Brooklyn


    Indeed, no one wants homeless people lying about, but they are in fact PEOPLE, they have rights, & they are entitled to receive help.

  • AEB

    Indeed, Me, no one wants homeless people to be…homeless.

  • travy

    perhaps some of our more affluent neighbors could bring up the state of the world economy and the clark street station with their banker friends after their next squash match?

  • Master Of Middagh

    @me- I don’t think you’re obnoxious, and I think you’ve got a point. Nevertheless, you have to admit that living in the city is not a good selection if you’ve got such a problem with the homeless. There isn’t enough “good money” you can pay to live in major city without them so your complaint is a little silly in that sense. Take your “good money” and move to Millbrook- no homeless there.

  • AEB

    me: “I just wish they wouldn’t come to rich neighborhoods to beg….”

    Should they then come to POOR neighborhoods to beg?

    The truth of the matter, though, is that they don’t so much “come” to neighborhoods as they do to places in which they are less vulnerable in winter–subway stations, for example. And darned if “they” don’t end up in the Clark Street station and environs.

    As Master of Middagh suggests, if you’re going to live in NYC, even in wealthy neighborhoods, you’re bound to encounter the homeless at some point and to some degree.

    And, personally, I don’t think that seeing a few homeless people in subway stations or even about in nabes like BH is going to be deal-breaker for those considering living in them.

  • Gerry

    @ Me – Millbrook is an affluent community upstate New York dont you know anything? I swear….some people…..

    We need another Mayor like Rudolph Gulliani to clear the streets, subways, etc. of homeless people if they are to go otherwise get used to them being here.

    Like it or not few things in my life have I observed as the remarkable change in crime, quality of like under Rudy this is a politican who cleaned up New York City.

    And then Mayor Bloomberg maintained the City well during his frist 2 and 3/4 terms it appears Bloomberg is backing down at the end of his lackluster thrid term as mayor.

    We should try to have compassion for these poor homeless people and at the same time watch our backs this is a dangerous situation.

    In Brooklyn Heights we are a fortunate group safe in our homes food in our kitchen and second homes in Millbrook, etc.

  • here

    @me: so what you are saying is that is that the poor/homeless have no right to be here because they are not rich. Is that it? Or are you saying they have no right to be here because YOU are rich and damnit you will not help anyone deemed less fortunate than yourself and if you’re not going to help them, you shouldn’t have to look at them.
    What an embarrassment.

  • DrewB

    @Me that is so over the top stuck up and cold-hearted it almost seems like A) You are attempting satire or B) You’re just looking to have an argument. If you’re for real, then WOW!

    You can pay whatever you want, but as long as you live in the city, you’re gonna have to deal with homeless people. If you have a problem with pole sleeping in your neighborhood call DHS @ 311 and tell them there are people that need help. But to sit there and think that because you live in a fancy neighborhood somehow entitles you to life free of having to see homeless people is not only stupid, it is frankly disgusting. God only knows what sort of garbage you tell you kids about those people. I hope you sell your house soon so you can run away somewhere else and pretend the world is full of lollipops and roses.

  • travy

    i actually prefer the homeless to jerks like ‘me’

  • Tclinton11201

    oddly most of us will be somebody’s version of the clochard around the corner:
    people with no kids vs. people with kids,
    people with pets vs. no pet,
    rich people vs. poor people

    but mind you there is also richer people vs. rich people. If I was the lucky owner of a century old brownstone why would I want a peasant like ‘me’ with his / her actual apartment! and ‘me’ seems to be a working class person collecting bonuses (actually going to work, horrific… how unclassy…) I prefer to live off trust funds and such!

  • Just A Neighbor

    I think it’s important that while we live our lives showing compassion to others, we all have the right to draw our lines in the sand when representing what we feel is a proper quality of life. Like “me” and probably every one of you, I pay a hefty amount of taxes, part of which go to social services that provide care for homeless people. So it’s less about condeming people for being homeless and more about having them go where they can get back on their feet and become contributing members of society if they are able.

    What would you rather have – the system work the way it was meant to (idealistic I know), or continue to have them here begging and living off our handouts? They will not leave and only continue to grow in numbers if we give handouts – you are not helping them to help themselves. We should all want them in shelters and not on our sidewalks, benches, etc.

    As well, I do not feel safe around them. I have been menaced, screamed at inches from my face in a crowded subway train with everyone looking away (at the Clark St. stop no less), encountered them vomiting all over subway platforms and streets and throwing garbage everywhere. Yes, you will see this in the city and having lived here my entire life I get that, but it doesn’t mean that I’m going to wait for an incident to happen in our neighborhood to stand up for the quality of life all Heights residents deserve.

  • Tclinton11201

    Ah the famous screwdriver assailant! just call the cops… there are often some cops by the elevator or even the MTA people who will call the cops…

    no need to scare people that way, I find this profoundly immature.

  • Wrennie

    It’s always a sorry sight to see homeless people trying to bear the elements, especially as the weather gets colder. Many of them are harmless, but there have been some who are a little off their rockers–whether they scream incoherently at people or do their business on the 2/3 platform. In any case, I am, once in a while, guilty of wondering, to myself, what they’re doing in this neighborhood. I was around pre-Giuliani, and I have to say that I’m not totally eager to revert to that.

    At the end of the day, there need to be better systems in place for getting the homeless back on their feet–handouts don’t help beyond a day. Or, better yet, it needs to be prevented in the first place. I always wonder how wrong everything must go before you get from a generally normal life to literally having nothing to your name.

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    Quite a few of the homeless are mentally ill and do not want help. A friend of mine (a 40 year resident of the Heights) tried to help a homeless person who was spending a great deal of time on the Promenade. I don’t know the name of the organization that came to the Promenade to help this person but the person refused the help. Eventually the person disappeared and we never knew what happened to her. From what I have heard, homeless shelters are perceived by many to be dangerous places and that’s probably why the homeless are reluctant to go there.
    I have lived here for seven years and I have definitely seen a change in the neighborhood. There seems to be more crime, or maybe I am just becoming more aware of it because I read about it on this blog. But I no longer feel safe walking on the Promenade at night with my husband, especially in winter when the tourists are gone.

  • DrewB

    I’m sorry. The idea of blaming homeless for being homeless, or somehow thinking they “don’t have a right to sleep in my neighborhood” is just asinine. They sleep where they sleep because it is the best situation they can find. You should be complaining about how the city is doing very little to care for these people, instead being upset about where the have to sleep.

  • Arch Stanton

    @ me and Just A Neighbor, it is people like you that make me wish the whole economy would completely collapse and leave you and your kind in the street penniless and starving.

  • WillowtownCop

    I grew up in San Francisco. It is completely overrun by raging, drunken, crazy homeless people. The police are not allowed to do anything to “harass” them (aka enforce the rules that apply to everybody re: throwing garbage, trespassing, getting in people faces and demanding change, taking up the entire sidewalk, stealing shopping carts, deficating in public, drinking in public, treating their dogs and cats creully by keeping them outside in all weather, etc.). My mother lives across the street from the VA hospital there, which has a drug addition clinic. She has had to put up a serious spiked gate to keep them off her porch and chicken wire around her bushes in front of the house.

    Regular people whose only crime was working hard their entire lives to afford a decent place to live with their family should not have to put up with the results of a failed mental health system and put their lives in danger everytime they want to get on a train that their tax dollars and fares paid for. What do you think would happen to the homeless guy who decided to camp in front of Bloomburg’s townhouse? It should be the same thing that happens to homeless people that decide to camp in front of the homes of all tax paying citizens, rich or poor.

    No one, homeless or not, is “entitled” to trash a neighborhood like the homeless trashed the entire city of San Francisco.

  • AEB

    So, Willowtown, what do you propose the city do to/with homeless people? This is a genuine question.

    Enforced relocation? If so, to where? And then what?

    Of course the problem is rooted in systemic failure, but, you know, there are always going to be people who, for whatever reasons, end up on the street. And I can’t imagine that living on the street is very good for one’s mental health. A vicious circle.

  • Arch Stanton

    WTC, I have lived in and visited San Francisco and I have no idea what you are talking about. Sure there are homeless and I am not familiar with the area immediately around the VA hospital but “the homeless trashed the entire city of San Francisco”? That is ridiculous.

  • willowwillow

    can we talk about the old man that wears the snow boots, I enjoy him.

  • Western Brooklyn


    Shouldn’t our government do better for those homeless, especially the VA hospital veterans you mentioned, who served our country?

    Perhaps some of the trillions of $$$ government spends on our wars of conquest & other global mayhem could be redirected for mental healthcare, education, & other things needed right here at home?