Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • StudioBrooklyn

    Gotta hand it to UPS for a competently carved on-brand pumpkin. They know what block they’re on.

  • Mike Suko

    New HousingWorks – Is it just me … or are they off to a “slow start?” Yes, I recognize that they have less space, but the last thing in the world a “thrift shop” needs is minimalism. Yes, good traffic flow is probably in the Gap’s store managers’ handbook, but the new store seems dramatically unlike any/all of the Manhattan branches + the 2 in Park Slope in this regard.

    Yes, it COULD be me … and maybe, there are start-up issues in terms of raiding other outlets’ stock, but I half-hope that someone with clout at HW will read this and muse, “You want clutter? We’ll give you clutter!” I think it needs that kind of re-orientation!

  • Matt

    I know it is unfortunate, but there is now another homeless individual making a basecamp outside of 200 Montague Street over the past week. This is now in addition to the gentleman parked out within the Church on Court Street/Montague Street who has taken on a resident with him. What can be done about this? Or is there nothing that can be done unless they start to create problems for people walking on the street?

  • CassieVonMontague

    Needs more books. I miss the book room

  • CassieVonMontague

    The man who calls me an “asshole!” when i ignore him is my new favorite. Better than the man who would call me a “bitch”.

  • Mike Suko

    I half-way forgot about that one. You’re right. Oh well, perfectly rectangular space (the new) and way too narrow and not nearly deep enough. Hope they’re paying a “bargain” rent!

  • H Ginsberg

    In my experience, writing directly to the 84th precinct NCO, Officer John Condon or the other NCO, is the only way to bring attention and action to local issues that are not 911 worthy, or or dealt with properly via 311.

  • karen

    I know! I saw that guy get change from someone, look at it disgustingly (I guess it wasn’t much) and throw it back at him!

  • StudioBrooklyn

    On a broader scale, homelessness is a problem that should be dealt with at a systemic level and goes back to Reagan’s pioneering efforts to discontinue public services to those with mental illness. Since then Americans have carried on a proud tradition of forsaking their needy because to see to their basic needs would be “socialism”, or detract from a higher priority effort to fund war or industrial agriculture or billionaire tax breaks. That’s before we talk about our criminal justice system, loan sharks, and the way our military functions. What a time to be alive! But I digress…

    The guy at St. Ann’s church, for whatever it’s worth, is meticulously clean and demonstrates respect for the [public] physical space he occupies. I know he has problems and this sometimes causes him to be psychologically unpredictable with terrible effects for any unfortunate passersby. I hope he gets the help he needs.

    Then there’s the other guy, who is often found near the corner of Montague and Henry asking for money. He gets really belligerent when you don’t respond to his requests. I routinely cross the street to avoid confrontations with him. I just don’t need his energy in my day. I hope he gets the help he needs too.

  • Jorale-man

    Yes, I admit I always cross the street when I get to St. Ann’s church, though I echo other commenters here that it’s unfortunate we don’t have a social safety net strong enough to help people like that man (and his new roommate).

    Side-note: Has the church recently cleaned up its side-yard? It used to be all grown up in weeds but it was looking a little more manicured last time I walked by.

  • KBells40

    That guy is terrible. I’ve had minimal contact with him (tho it follows the usual –“hey, can i ask you something?” and when i ignore him, he calls me an asshole — script), but he has gotten verbally aggressive with my boyfriend on several occasions.

  • TeddyNYC

    I saw that man who sits in front of Five Guys scream violently at a woman sitting next to him a couple of weeks ago. Most of time he’s okay, but sometimes something sets him off.

  • CassieVonMontague

    The “help a homeless veteran” guy? He always is chatting with people who look like they are on break from work and seem like they’re his friend so I thought he was not a problem

  • TeddyNYC

    Maybe he had a bad day?

  • Heightsguy77

    It’s very unfortunate. But if you are threatened, intimidated or assaulted by ANY individual, you should call the police and make a report. That’s the only way these things get documented and eventually taken care of. It is unfair that these people have to live on the streets and there’s not much we can do about it. But no one should have to take abuse from any of them. If you don’t do it for yourself, think about other people that may not be as thick skinned as you.

  • Andrew Porter

    I noticed that too. The big change is a stone patio for the porta-potties they use for concert goers.

  • Andrew Porter
  • Andrew Porter

    Did people see the amazing image of millions of fallen golden leaves during the rain on Halloween? I took several photos showing the Promenade carpeted in gold, including this one:

  • Andrew Porter

    They don’t take electrical or electronic stuff now. Nothing that requires a plug.

  • Andrew Porter

    The 20 most expensive homes for sale in Brooklyn includes 13 in the Heights:

  • Roberto Gautier

    Detective Condon’s partner is Donovan Hunt. Both of them are perceptive. good listeners and hard-working.

  • karen

    I spoke with someone this morning who said they’re ramping up, have put in requests for better housewares, records and books. This is just their initial haul. So happy to have them back in the neighborhood, have been cleaning out my closets!

  • Mike Suko

    I think you’re a little too understanding – of course, you ARE right about some of the root causes – but your “I don’t need his energy in my day” comment strikes me as very ill-considered words.

    De-institutionalization was rooted in the sense that – as with many things – “if you look ahead in an increasingly expensive and unequal city & country, there won’t be enough money – or trained individuals – to handle the problem in that manner.” Calling for help – do you really think there’s any chance of a “happy ending” given laws that preclude insisting people “take meds”? – for mentally ill individuals who have wound up in situations like these “seems kind,” to be sure, but it’s inadequate – beyond any shadow of a doubt!

    The Times had an article about “public spaces” (including subway platforms) this week that seemed sympathetic to homeless who might sleep there … were it not for designs – “ridges” and similar – that purposefully discourage that. A smart commenter pointed out that “the public” includes 99% people whose “rights” are violated by the homeless. Every so often – for a certainty – a mentally ill person who’s worse than “frayed” will grievously wound or kill someone. THAT is too high a price to pay for “tolerance,” and Seattle is among many cities where “livability” has been diminished. What if you can’t cross the street because there’s another distressed person – or several – on the other side?

    Detention – for all the risks that it will be over-used – simply has to be an option. Too many mentally ill say, “No, I won’t let you take me to a shelter,” even on a cold wintry night. Being caring and compassionate cannot possibly be squared with “Well, if that’s your final answer….”

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I’m picking up what you’re putting down.

    The situation is not straightforward, and is vastly more complex than just providing better mental health treatment to people (and of course, you can’t force anyone to receive wellness treatment). As I mentioned, it involves our whole paradigm of how we deal with anyone who, for whatever reasons, needs help getting by in our economic system, whether they are military veterans, struggling with disease and addiction, lacking basic skills and capacities, and so on.

    One thing is clear to me, though: calling the cops on homeless people—even the ones who irritate others with begging—is just unkind. The police don’t have resources to actually help them, and while removing them may “clean up” local streets, that cleanliness is both temporary and puddle-deep.

  • Brooklyn Noob

    Mike Suko — This is an excellent assessment of what is going on — and what needs to be done. I am appalled by the comments from women who are afraid to walk by these miscreants in their own neighborhood. NO ONE should be subjected to that type of harassment — I don’t see much “kindness” in that behavior, and I am fed up that the “rest of us” are expected to deal with it and smile. At a minimum this is “assault” (look up the legal definition) and should be dealt with by the police. Enough is enough.

  • Proto Plano

    Just as a comment: I personally do not see any difference between calling the police on a homeless or a non homeless person for a valid reason (i.e. harassment, assault, disorder, etc…)

    This has nothing to do with being kind or unkind, but rather social order.

    When you turn a blind eye to low level crimes and public disorder, you cultivate a perception of lawlessness and permissiveness which will go unopposed and allowed to get worse. If you give someone the space, they will fill it.

    Is it any wonder that crime on the subway began to rise after our mayor decided not to pursuit “low level offenses”. Why? Well, if you can walk onto subways and buses without paying the fare, sleep across multiple seats, smoke dope and blare loud music on a crowded subway unchallenged, why can’t you also “surf” on subway cars, pull the emergency brake, take a dump on the 42nd street platform in the middle of rush hour, or even assault a bus driver or rider that dares to challenge a fare dodge or not give up there seat.