By the time Anne Pierre and her sons arrived at 199 Amboy Street, it was after midnight. The heat of the unusually warm April day had all but drained away, but there was a mellowness to the air, a contrast to the sharp, cold spring nights that had come before. From the outside, the red-brick building looked clean and well-maintained, though the darkness made it difficult to tell for sure. In Ms. Pierre’s experience, the exteriors of homeless shelters were poor predictors of conditions inside.
Late though it was, the family’s arrival at the Brownsville shelter marked the somewhat triumphant culmination of a bureaucratic odyssey that had started two days earlier, when Ms. Pierre had reapplied for shelter at the family intake center in the Bronx. It was only somewhat triumphant in that 199 Amboy was just a 10-day placement, the latest in a string of temporary housing assignments that had become the norm since the family lost its eligibility for shelter in February. But as it turned out, 199 Amboy was the nicest place Ms. Pierre and the two boys stayed since entering the shelter system in June 2012.
As 9-year-old Jordan described their arrival, “When we saw it, we was shocked. It was nice. It was decent.”
Decent is the kind of good-enough existence that has seemed to elude the family for the last 10 months. But it felt potentially within reach again when they fell asleep that night at a little after 1 a.m., relieved if still wary, with the alarm set for 6 a.m.—the preparations necessary for the school day ahead as uncompromising as the dawn.
Like many other families who have recently swelled the ranks of the city’s homeless population, routine has taken on an almost talismanic significance for Ms. Pierre and her boys. They live an approximation of a life that involved, until recently, an apartment of their own—a two-bedroom on Legion Street rented for four years with the help of a Section 8 voucher. Ms. Pierre paid $350 of the $1,100 rent until a recurrent mold problem disqualified the apartment.
Earlier today, multiple bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing at least two and injuring dozens more.
New York City has already stepped up its own security efforts in case there is a plot to attack additional cities, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced.
“[T]he NYPD has stepped up security at strategic locations and critical infrastructure, including our subways,” the mayor said in a statement.
“Some of the security steps we are taking may be noticeable, including deployment of Critical Response Vehicles and additional police personnel, and others will not be. We have 1,000 members of the NYPD assigned to counter-terrorism duties, and they – along with the entire NYPD and the investments we have made in counter-terrorism infrastructure – are being fully mobilized to protect our city.”
Law & Disorder
Last year, when the cops who were part of a street narcotics unit shot and killed unarmed teenager Ramarley Graham in the Bronx after kicking in the door to his grandmother’s apartment, it was a clear-cut case of police failure. But it never became a citywide story, let alone a national cause.
By contrast, the recent shooting of 16-year-old Kimani Gray in East Flatbush led to days of scattered street violence, an Occupy influx, extended posturing on MSNBC and widespread press coverage.
The difference this time? An election, and post-Bloomberg anxiety.
Give Mayor Bloomberg credit: the man is determined to leave behind a genuine public health legacy, whether the public likes it or not.
Days after a court threw out the mayor’s ban on oversized sugary drinks, Mr. Bloomberg was back on the soapbox, proposing a new law that would force merchants to hide their tobacco Read More
The infamous gun show loophole has been part of the nation’s conversation about gun control since the appalling massacre in Newtown, Conn., late last year.
Advocates for tighter regulation, especially Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have been pointing out that in most states, those who purchase weapons at a gun show are not required to submit to Read More
Sure, you’ve seen a hundred shots of Katie Holmes celebrating at The New York Observer‘s 25th Anniversary Party by now. If you didn’t know what Rex Reed looked like, now you do. And those pictures of Spike Lee, Mayor Bloomberg and Chuck Close? Sure, we could see how some could be Read More
Last night The New York Observer celebrated its 25th anniversary surrounded by some of the biggest influencers of the city.
The Eight-Day Week
Happy Birthday to us! The New York Observer is a quarter of a century old, and publisher Jared Kushner and CEO Joseph Meyer have assembled a bonzo boldfaced lineup of NYC’s most fabulous hosts to fête the glorious occasion. Think NYO founder Arthur Carter, Marchesa designer/knockout Georgina Chapman, art kingpin Larry Gagosian, Carolina Herrera, Katie Holmes (Suri will be in bed—sorry, tabloids), Commissioner Ray Kelly, style icon Lauren Santo Domingo, Matt Lauer
The New York City Council passed a bill today that prohibits employers from considering an applicant’s current employment status when making hiring decisions.
The bill would also put an end to job ads that say applicants must be currently employed. Under this measure, New York would be the first city in the country providing people Read More
The sky may be the limit when it comes to constructing cloud-skimming Manhattan luxury condos, but when a storm strikes, it’s the sidewalks below that developers need to worry about. In the last month, our eyes and cameras were fearfully focused on One57′s dangling crane boom, but it’s not the first time that high winds have made it mortally dangerous to walk beneath an under-construction skyscraper. Back in April 2004, a freakish wind storm—gusts of 34 mph were recorded in Central Park—dislodged construction material from an upper floor of the still-under-construction Time Warner Center.
Perhaps the most remarkable difference between the two incidents was Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s reaction. In the case of the Time Warner Center, he chastised the developer and ordered work stopped immediately. After the One57 incident, he defended Extell, noting that high wind gusts often cause blameless accidents (which, to be fair, may well be the case and gusts during Sandy did reach 60 mph).