“Without a word of warning to residents or elected officials, the Department of Homeless Services, citing “emergency Covid powers,” in May moved more than 100 single men into the boutique Belnord Hotel on a quiet residential block of West 87th Street”

‘Covid Powers’ Wreck My Neighborhood
by Julia Vitullo-Martin
August 12, 2020

For many years I’ve lived in par­adise—the Up­per West Side. We have con­vivial neigh­bors, beau­ti­ful build­ings, great sub­ways, ex­cel­lent the­ater and dance, fine li­braries and book­stores, won­der­ful restau­rants, pleas­ant mar­kets. There were prob­lems but we worked them out am­i­ca­bly. Then Covid-19 hit. The streets emp­tied as peo­ple shel­tered in place. Re­tail stores, al­ready hurt by on­line shop­ping, closed. Restau­rants were shut down. The city cut san­i­ta­tion pick­ups. Cops stopped walk­ing the beat. At the same time, va­grancy—a peren­nial prob­lem—seemed to in­crease, with pan­han­dlers on many cor­ners, and peo­ple with their be­long­ings oc­cu­py­ing space on the side­walks. READ MORE

NEW YORK POST Editorial Board: A mad rush for the exits as New York City goes down the tubes It’s not just a few Upper West Siders who are fleeing New York: Moving companies say they’re swamped with calls from residents looking to ditch the city — even though the COVID crisis has waned. One likely reason: The virus was but the last straw; New Yorkers are fed up with the shootings and lootings, homelessness on the streets, sub-par online schools, sky-high taxes and the sheer obliviousness of pols like Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. On Sunday, The Post highlighted families who’ve given up on the Upper West Side — now teeming with junkies, the homeless, convicts and others — and are headed for greener pastures outside Gotham.

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