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Amid Cold and 2d COVID Wave Grand Central Barricades Out Homeless As Apple Still Sells

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 6 – As winter descends on New York, the daily lives of homeless people not in institutions become ever-more difficult - in some cases, intentionally so.

Take for example Grand Central Station. Since March, with restaurants and coffee shops closed, the station's two sets of men's and women's bathrooms on the lower level have been ever more central.

First, the set of bathrooms to the west were roped off. Then those to the east were subject to more frequently cleanings, or at least closings.

 Upstairs in the large room with constellations on the ceiling, people ranging from those waiting for trains to the homeless have been able to use the counters facing what used to be the ticket windows.

But suddenly in December, police barricades were installed in front of the counters so no one can use them.

  This comes after the Apple Store took over not only the second level but the stairs leading to it and the walls leading to the stairs where customers wait and are signed in. They are not subject to police sweeps, nor are most commuters.

Likewise on the lower level, where cupcake shops and hotdog chains still make money catering to commuters, not only the tables with seats but even the stand up counters have been roped off.

Likewise many of the hallway entrances to the station are now closed, by police, at 7 pm.

There are homeless people, many of them elderly, who use such spots as places of quiet dignity and respite: to read the newspaper, or shuffle through mementos. Now there is no where to do that, and the libraries are still closed.

Grab and go, indeed.

While probably rationalized as enforcing social distance, why not just put the ever-present 6-feet foot stickers on the floor?

Who got notice or an opportunity to be heard? As the weather grows cold, other changes are sure to follow. And where will people go?

And where is the claimed progressive politics of Gracie Mansion and the City Council? Watch this site.


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