#1 Strand Books Used Sprinklers to Douse Homeless, Employees Say11-15-2013, 12:08 AM
By Rosa Goldensohn on November 14, 2013 6:50am | Updated on November 14, 2013 6:50am
GREENWICH VILLAGE — The Strand Book Store used its sprinkler system to drive away homeless people from beneath its famous red awning and yanked a sign warning people of the tactic after a reporter asked about it, DNAinfo New York has learned.
Signs reading, “Warning: Sprinkler System Will Run Periodically From 10:30 PM-9:00 AM” were placed on the wall of the bookshop at the corner of East 12th Street and Broadway. Some homeless people said they were doused when they tried to sleep on the sidewalk in front of the store, store employees and the homeless said.
“It was to keep people from sleeping out there,” said a Strand bookseller who asked that her name not be used. “People used to sleep over there and in the morning we have to put out the book carts, so it was a little bit difficult and uncomfortable for some people."
Strand co-owner Nancy Bass Wyden — who is married to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and is the granddaughter of Strand founder Ben Bass, who opened the shop in 1927 — said in a brief phone interview Thursday that she was “not sure” about the reason for the sprinklers.
Strand manager Eddie Sutton denied the sprinklers were intended to disperse the homeless, saying they were there to clean the sidewalk.
The warning sign had been removed as of Friday.
Michael Pilgrim, 44, who sleeps under scaffolding across the street from the Strand, said he has seen fellow homeless people get sprayed trying to take shelter in front of the store.
“A couple of people were staying under there and the sprinklers came on. And last time I tried to sleep under there, security came by and said, you gotta move before the sprinklers come on,” Pilgrim said.
“It was bad because you get soaking wet. If you’re lying there and you don’t know about it, everything is going to get soaking wet — all your personal belongings. You’re going to freeze, basically."
Charise Paschall, 39, who was trying to sleep close to Pilgrim on the pavement, added, “It’s already cold. You’re going to basically freeze to death."
Local homeless people said that in years past they regularly took shelter under the Strand’s awning without the threat of sprinklers. Moe>
If you don't goes you get dah hoze!Pffffffffffffffffffffff! Buh Bye Big Ears
11-15-2013, 10:56 AM
The Strand is an awesome bookstore. I wouldn't want the homeless around, either.
11-15-2013, 11:47 AM
I love how the basic premise of this piece is that the homeless somehow have a "right" to sleep in front of the bookstore, and that the store has no right to keep them away from its property. Talk about getting it backwards.
11-15-2013, 12:38 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
11-15-2013, 02:01 PM
11-15-2013, 03:23 PM
11-15-2013, 03:26 PM
I was in NYC in the summer of 1990. There were a lot of homeless people hanging out in Central Park. They were all hanging out in the Strawberry Fields memorial part, which is the memorial for John Lennon and it is located right across the street from the Dakota, where he was murdered and where Yoko still lived. NYPD tried to evict the homeless from a tourist site, and Yoko came running out of the Dakota and yelled at the cops not to evict the bums from that spot, that John would want them to sleep there.
It was on the news that night, and we were all laughing. As we were from Detroit, we were kind of amazed that the police will actually evict homeless people from a public park. Even in 1990, that wasn't a DPD priority.
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