In the summer of 2009, the city’s Department of Homeless Services will close it’s homeless shelter in the former Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital. The reason for the eviction of our less fortunate neighbors? The building has been sold and will be converted into yet another luxury hotel for out-of-towners! 600 clients currently being served there may be back on the streets. Those fortunate enough to make it to the outer boroughs may be housed in homeless facilities there. Homeless Services Commissioner Robert Hess guarantees that permanent housing will be found for most of the homeless folks and that others will be taken in by borough shelters. Wouldn’t it be nice if Mr. Hess as the official in charge guaranteed everyone that he will personally take in every homeless person who might fall through the cracks in his plan? Doubtful, huh? Ah, yes. Personal responsibility in government. Such a rare commodity.
Three New York City hotels, The Plaza, The Bowery and The Duane, are among 136 hotels in 53 countries judged to be the hottest “new” hotels in the world. That, according to Conde Nast in their new Traveler’s Annual. Congrats to them! All are located in Manhattan. That of course means higher rates than comparable (Yeah, right!) hotels in Staten Island. For example, rates at the Plaza start at $775 per night! So weary, wealthy travelers, sleep well. And if you can’t nod off, try counting dollar signs instead of sheep.
After 12 years of searching for a beneficial use for an old National Guard facility, a solution may be right around the corner. Once, the largest military drill hall in the world, vacant since, the Kingsbridge Armory may soon become home to a major department store and dozens of smaller shops. Happily, the Bronx building’s exterior with it’s distinctive towers, turrets, crenellated parapets and huge arches will remain intact with only minor alterations. As is usual when major change in a neighborhood is proposed, some will rise to oppose it. In this instance, it seems that potential benefits outweigh the complaints. Jobs and money will be brought to the surrounding areas. Of great significance too, a magnificent structure erected between 1914-1918 with 575,000 square feet can be reclaimed along with the neighborhood around it. To the developers, respond to the fears and concerns of local residents. To those in the area, be open to new possibilities. Build it and they will come.
Graffiti is up an incredible 81.5% in New York City from 2006 to 2007. So say the NYPD in a recent report. “Taggers” are scribbling their names, sayings and graphics all around town. Both public and private property is being affected. The new “pop culture” has the current generation of kids believing this is a legitimate form of art expression. It’s kind of like youtube.com or facebook.com, on an offline basis. Arrests for this criminal behavior are up too, but there’s no end to tagging in sight. So, is society changing for the better as a result of this primarily juvenile behavior? The answer is as plain as the writing on the wall.
Last month, during the pope’s visit to the United Nations, an ill beaver was plucked from the East River by cops on a NYPD Harbor Patrol boat.Sadly, the beaver could not be saved by wildlife experts on shore.It died a short time later.The experts believe that "Denny" (the beaver) died from swallowing pollutants in the water from unknown sources.However, suspicious/sarcastic political experts believe that’s this is what results when a structure containing international U.N. delegates is placed too close to the shore.