NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A day after Mayor Bill de Blasio cleared an Upper West Side park for a photo-op, the homeless problem is back.
Trash was anywhere and the homeless had taken up their usual spots in Verdi Square on 72nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue sitting on benches with their possessions in tow.
It was 24 hours after the area was tidied up a bit, so the mayor could hold a press conference to announce an electric bike crackdown.
“I was actually looking to see how much dirtier it got since yesterday,” David Douek said.
Apparently it got a whole lot dirtier.
As for the homeless, one man who was rousted from his spot for the mayor’s appearance on Thursday, was back Friday, where de Blasio spoke.”Forget this mayo. I wouldn’t believe anything he said. In my mind he’s a complete fool,” Ronnie said.
People who use the park were talking about what happened Thursday, they said the area is a magnet for the homeless.
“I don’t think it was specifically targeting any negativity in the population,” David Doudek said, “Because of the security concerns, I went someplace else. I didn’t want to sit here and be part of the security.”
“Anytime you clear whatever the issue is away from where you are going to be, you’re not presenting a clear picture, it’s just a pretty picture, it’s not the real deal,” Judith Flynn said.
The mayor was clearly unhappy to be asked about the cleanup.
“I don’t know, I wasn’t here this morning, but I can tell you for a fact, because I talk about this location regularly in addressing street homelessness. It is regularly addressed by homeless services and NYPD,” de Blasio said.
Some acknowledged there was a double standard.
“As soon as he leaves they’re all going to come back. They’re all going to come back,” Hyma Mahara said.
Parks department crews were on the scene Friday morning to clear out the trash, but a CBS2 news crew did not see them talking to or moving the homeless.