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Recession hits North Brooklyn as 'Gutter Punks' take over Williamsburg and Greenpoint

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Here an intresting story. North Brooklyn mainly the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods along the (L) subway line coordior is now getting new residents that is unwelcome. "Gutter Punks.' The Recession is being blamed for those newcomers that making those in the neighborhood angry. This is a far cry from even 5-10 years ago when this part of NYC was a rebounding and hip neighborhood. Story is below.

 

 

 

 

Punks invade Williamsburg as heroin-addicted hobos set up shop in trendy Brooklyn neighborhood as Recession hits the area

BY Ben Chapman and Elizabeth Hays

DAILY NEWS WRITERS

 

Wednesday, July 15th 2009

 

Heroin-addict hobos from around the country are overrunning hipster haven Williamsburg - living in stalled luxury condo projects in the trendy Brooklyn neighborhood as victims of the current recession .

 

The homeless newcomers, who call themselves either "gutter punks," or "white trash" are stirring outrage among residents and shopkeepers who charge the bums brawl on the sidewalk, shoplift and shoot heroin in trendy cafe bathrooms.

 

"It's like St. Marks in the '70s," said Williamsburg activist Philip DePaolo, referring to the notorious East Village hangout. "It's the bad old days all over again. There's crack and heroin all over the neighborhood."

 

The squatters, usually from middle-class families, are in their early-mid 20's and also often are college drop outs. The new unwelcome residents usually hop freight trains and Greyhound buses to relocate to the city, where they can earn up to $150 a day panhandling in Manhattan. At night, like plenty of other borough commuters, they return to their homes: grubby hideaways inside boarded-up lots along Kent Avenue and other blocks that pock the once-booming neighborhood.

 

"I've got to sleep somewhere, and I might as well do it in Williamsburg," said Stuart, 22, a Florida college dropout.

 

Gutter punk Johnny has traveled hobo-style all over the country, but he has never had it as good as he does in Wlliamsburg.

 

He's just a short train ride from Manhattan, where he panhandles on Wall St. to pay for a hefty drug habit, his friends said.

 

"I've squatted all over the place," said the 21-year-old drifter. "I've never made as much money as I make here."

 

The $150 a day he can make even pays for his other addiction - electronics.

 

"It's one of the reasons I won't leave New York," said Johnny, who is originally from Jersey City.

 

"My girlfriend and I bought a laptop, a portable DVD player and a PSP."

 

Since November, Johnny and his galpal have been living rent-free with their pit bull.

 

They crashed in an abandoned building and in makeshift sheds on empty lots after coming to Williamsburg.

 

When they were house-hunting, they chose stalled construction projects like one at 205 North Ninth St. near Driggs Ave., which was going to be a seven-story residential building but is now an empty lot circled by plywood.

 

"We just kick the fences in," Johnny said. "We get in easy."

 

When the Daily News visited the site last week, a shack had been built from discarded plywood and plexiglass.

 

Inside was a guitar, oil paints and a stereo. Nearby lay a discarded hypodermic needle.

 

Johnny got into the hobo lifestyle five years ago, when he met some squatters at a concert in Philadelphia.

 

"I was getting so sick of my job as a bike messenger," he said.

 

"One of the squatters showed me how to hop a train, and that was it."

 

He doesn't want for company in Williamsburg.

 

"I'm seeing more squatters on Bedford [Ave.]. There's a lot," he said. "The cops don't mess with you."

 

"I've got to sleep somewhere, and I might as well do it in Williamsburg," said Stuart, 22, a Florida college dropout.

The admitted alcoholic and heroin user makes $15 an hour panhandling in Union Square, holding a sign that reads "Traveling Broke and Sexy." "The girls here like it that I'm dirty and I ride trains," he added.

 

That's bad news for locals, who want Stuart and his brethren out - as soon as possible.

 

The vagrants - who also call themselves "crusty punks" - swarmed into Williamsburg and parts of Greenpoint and Bushwick as this spring, drawn by open-minded young people and vacant lots. Another attraction for those so called 'bums' is how easy it is to get public assistance in New York State, compared to rest of the country.

 

Packs of punks and their mangy dogs clog Bedford Ave. in the evenings. They sprawl drunkenly on the sidewalk and heckle hipsters for money and cigarettes.

 

"There's a big crowd of us here," said Sethry, 20, of Portland, Ore., lounging near North Ninth St. one recent night. "Every night it's a party with all our friends."

 

The Daily News found at least four current or recent squats clustered near Driggs Ave. and North 10th St., each littered with mattresses, clothes and bottles.

 

Squatters said 510 Driggs Ave. is a "shooting gallery" - a hot spot for heroin. The site, developed by Kalmon Dolgin, was slated to be a 50-unit luxury rental with penthouses fetching up to $5,000 a month. Kalmon Dolgin didn't return calls for comment.

Another growing problem for Williamsburg and Greenpoint residents and elsewhere is the increasing number of existing tenants being evicted for not paying their rents and adding to the growing number of homeless in the area.

 

"This is not Haight-Ashbury," said Community Board 1 member Evan Thies. "This is a family neighborhood."

 

Cops said they haven't seen an increase in crime or vagrants yet, but would monitor the area. "If someone is found trespassing or sleeping in [the lots] ... they will be arrested," said NYPD spokesman Detective Joseph Cavitolo.

 

Buildings Department officials said a special unit has been created to monitor stalled construction sites across the city.

 

c)2009 NY Daily News, Inc. ehays@nydailynews.com

 

Reactions? Please no flame wars but feel free to comment on this side of Young Americans the media rarely focuses on such as insecurities/mental illness, etc. Also on different issue as is the Greenpoint/Williamsburg area is overpriced as well?

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Great one more dope fiend haven. I don't know whats worse in that neighborhood, the trendy freak hipsters or the dope fiends. Now the local Puerto Rican dope dealers that are all over Williamsburg are going to be rich with $ALE$ $ALE$ $ALE$. My friends brother has lived over there for years and this PR kid in his building sells dope and stashed a ton of it next to his door by the roof stairs and my friend found it. That place is going to go from being worse to a war zone.

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Great one more dope fiend haven. I don't know whats worse in that neighborhood, the trendy freak hipsters or the dope fiends. Now the local Puerto Rican dope dealers that are all over Williamsburg are going to be rich with $ALE$ $ALE$ $ALE$. My friends brother has lived over there for years and this PR kid in his building sells dope and stashed a ton of it next to his door by the roof stairs and my friend found it. That place is going to go from being worse to a war zone.

 

you mean messino that Greenpoint/Williamsburg crime rate is going up?

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I've got a solution. Bust those addicts and tell them to get a real job, and don't give to any panhandlers ever. Then these burnouts who blew every opportunity given them in life can suffer a bitter end and we will be rid of them.

 

Then send the drugs to Al Qaida as a good will gesture and watch Al Qaida crumble right before our very eyes.

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I've got a solution. Bust those addicts and tell them to get a real job, and don't give to any panhandlers ever. Then these burnouts who blew every opportunity given them in life can suffer a bitter end and we will be rid of them.

 

Then send the drugs to Al Qaida as a good will gesture and watch Al Qaida crumble right before our very eyes.

Well considering that Al-Qaeda were the ones pumping out drugs, I don't think they are addicted since they are busy pumping it out.

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Well considering that Al-Qaeda were the ones pumping out drugs, I don't think they are addicted since they are busy pumping it out.

 

Killjoy...:cry::mad::tdown:

 

:P

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8330/4.5.0.77 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

 

That part of town is such an eclectic collection of weirdos and winos. Go to McCarren and McGolrick Parks or American Playground during the cold months and you'll see the drunk old-timers smoking cigarettes in the park comfort stations, trying to stay warm. They distance themselves from the new dopers and squatters by the simple fact that these new imports have quite an undeserved sense of accomplishment. Then again, perhaps it IS an accomplishment to live rent-free in a luxury condo in Northside Williamsburg for eight months AND still support a heroin habit. If those people put half as much effort into maintaining real jobs and legit lifestyles as they do being obnoxiously filthy thieves and drug uses, they'd probably live fairly comfortably.

 

Idiots.

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This is great news, finally someone to push those filthy hipsters out of Brooklyn. This could not be better news. Now once this hipsters have all been robbed and have moved back to the Midwest, send in the police to arrest all the junkies and pu them to work in chain gangs. The $150 a day ain't bad though, its a little better then my job.

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Who are the people who gives these lowlifes money? tourists?...as a native New Yorker I don't give any beggar the time of day.

 

I only wish that the drugs that these people do would eventually kill them, the sooner the better. I never have been asked for money from a "day laborer" in Woodside,Queens, most of these guys are homeless also. At least those guys are willing to work for their money.

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I read in a Freelancers Union article recently that two new locals were planning on being created: Local 87 Panhandlers NYC and Local 132 Metro Slum Bums. Apparently none of the pedestrians or riders were offering up any insurance and retirement benefits into the dirty coffee cups and hats.

 

They're also looking to get time and a half pay for begging on weekends and holidays.

 

If that kid really rakes in $150 a day, that's $54,750 NET (TAX FREE!!!!!!!) at the end of the year.

 

I'm in the wrong line of work. :cry:

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If that kid really rakes in $150 a day, that's $54,750 NET (TAX FREE!!!!!!!) at the end of the year.

 

Absolutely disgusting. People like you and I work our asses off for what we have and these skells get everything scot free.

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I write story about a vigilante named Stryker who when he isnt taking on actual threats, seems to get his jollies beating up on drug dealers and other forms of scum. Kinda wish someone like that actually existed. I'd set him loose in that area and make videos for youtube.

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The only solution is on-site executions.

 

Nah, way too easy, I propose to set them on fire, let them die a slow and painful death as they make their journey to hell.

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Nah, way too easy, I propose to set them on fire, let them die a slow and painful death as they make their journey to hell.

 

LOL if they're druggies think of all that "OTHER" stuff you'll be releasing into the atmosphere by lighting em on fire... :P

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8330/4.5.0.77 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

 

LOL if they're druggies think of all that "OTHER" stuff you'll be releasing into the atmosphere by lighting em on fire... :P

 

Ha. You'll have to start begging yourself in order to pay the DEP fine.

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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

 

Warriors. LOL :P

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I didn't read everyone's replies (only read the ones on the 1st page).... so forgive me if I repeated what someone else said already....

 

 

This bull**** is a major reason why I don't shell out one red cent to panhandlers.... and passing by areas w/i the subway system where there's usually someone panhandling (passageway @ TSQ b/w 7th & 8th av's, passageway @ 14th st b/w 6th & 7th av's, )... not to mention the ones that go from (subway) car to car, and train to train (I see this, usually @ 125th on the 4/5/6 (downtown bound), going from 4's to 6's, or vice versa)....

 

the ones that play musical instruments, that have some type of hat, a box, or even their guitar cases open for ppl. to chuck money into... I pass by these panhandlers, and I see $5's... even $10 dollar bills.... once I even saw a 20... I ask myself the same question, Locomotion69 did in this thread:

 

^^ Who are the people who gives these lowlifes money?

 

...man, I wish I would open up my wallet, or even dig into my pocket & drop a NICKEL, let alone a $5 spot in front of somebody for doing absolutely nothin beneficial for our society.... and these clowns featured in this story's got the gall to say:

 

"I've got to sleep somewhere, and I might as well do it in Williamsburg," said Stuart, 22, a Florida college dropout."

(if it were up to me, you'd be sleeping with the fish)

 

"I've squatted all over the place," said the 21-year-old drifter. "I've never made as much money as I make here."

(yeah, how about gettin up off your lazy ass & finding a goddamn JOB, you worthless BUM)

 

.....and the writers of this story are dead on, in saying that these ppl. are college dropouts (or haven't even attempted to apply for college) that came from middle class families.... These ppl. aren't stupid, and yes, the # of these ppl. are increasing in Williamsburg... they're starting to make their way into dumbo also, believe it or not... what do those two areas have in common? They're near bridges.... areas directly around bridges are really quiet at night... quiet & desolate - a perfect haven for these characters....

 

I don't want to go too far OT, but just as the illegals are making their way into certain parts of long island, these out-of-town/out-of-state bunch of low lives are making their way into the city, getting money by whatever means necessary, while the average common working man is barely holding on to make ends meet for him & his family....

 

absolutely disgusting.... reading things like this just pisses me off.....

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Four years of school showed me that college is a joke. You don't learn common sense, you don't learn responsibility, you just learn how to imitate MTV, behave like an ass and become shallow. Then you are guided into boring careers where you can do more of the same at "happy hour". As I say all "happy hour" means is that the other 23 hours a day of your life must not be so good right? It's amazing how many people I went to school with became total losers and just relied on mommy and daddy to do everything for them for four years. They didn't manage their own money, they ran bank account balances of between 0 and 100 dollars constantly and kept asking their parents for money. Mommy and Daddy moved them into and out of the dorms, and now where are they? Jobless losers who got nothing out of all that money mommy and daddy paid for them only now some of them have actual alcohol and drug problems now.

 

And what about all the high school overachievers with the high GPA's who got into the Ivy League schools? Well I know of one of em...he's doing what all the rich kids do, no idea what he wants to do, going to grad school going deeper into debt trying to figure it out cuz "no one is hiring" which a bold face lie...

 

they're all NINJAs - "no income, no job, no assets" as the banks that keep loaning them money have figured out all too well...deeper and deeper into debt...

 

Meanwhile I got TWO jobs but these silver spoon kids can't make anything of themselves, screw 'em, not my problem...I got my own stuff to take care of they're on their own and if they get any money for their little habit it ain't comin from me...

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they're all NINJAs - "no income, no job, no assets"

clever, lol

 

Upsetting because my mom works very hard, yet, we still struggle in life, I wish that i'd get paid 3979473473942397 dollars for sitting on my butt... and taking a few steps here and there

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