A crusty proposal: Crack down on ‘voluntary homeless’

Photo by Steve Hirsch Crusty traveler punks, like Trash Can, above, tell their stories on East Village photographer Steve Hirsch’s crustypunks.blogspot.com .

Photo by Steven Hirsch
Crusty traveler punks, like Trash Can, above, tell their stories on East Village photographer Steve Hirsch’s crustypunks.blogspot.com .

TALKING POINT

 

BY CHAD MARLOW  |  With the arrival of spring, the start of the warm weather tourist season is upon us, and the thought makes me shudder. I am not begrudging the 50.9 million annual visitors who pump $34.5 billion into our city’s economy. Rather, as an East Villager, I am thinking of the other tourists whose presence brings nothing positive to our city: crusties.

Before discussing our worsening crusties problem and how I propose to address it, a few initial points should be made. First, I hate the pejorative-sounding term “crusties.” Name-calling has no place in civil conversation. Nevertheless, I use the term because (1) crusties apply it to themselves and (2) it is less cumbersome than “transient, antisocial, voluntary homeless.” Second, one reason I find crusties objectionable is because I believe homelessness is a great societal tragedy, not a lifestyle choice. This is especially problematic because crusties compete for pocket-change donations with legitimately homeless persons who need that money to survive, rather than to purchase another piercing, tattoo or $10 pack of cigarettes. Third, I accept that our city’s sidewalks are, by necessity, a home of last resort for persons with nowhere else to go, but they are not a free hotel for anyone wanting to visit our city.

While crusties have been coming to our neighborhood for many years, their behavior seems to be getting more aggressive, brazen and violent. Although many of my neighbors agree, I wondered if this perception is accurate. Before proposing drastic solutions, one should be certain to accurately understand the problem. Many of us have negative personal experiences that mirror last summer’s widely reported crusties incidents, such as defacing St. Mark’s Church, allowing their dogs to urinate in Washington Square Park’s fountain where children play, frequently harassing Washington Square and Tompkins Square Park visitors and engaging in countless bloody altercations. While this demonstrates the crusties problem is significant, it does not prove it is worsening. On that point, the best evidence comes from crusties themselves.

Crustypunks.blogspot.com — an online forum providing first-person crusties observations about their community and lifestyle — contains two commentaries about crusties’ growing violence. Last summer, a crusty named Dameon remarked that, “I have been traveling for a long time and this is the worst year I’ve ever travelled cause there’s so many new people…that ruin it for a lot of people like me. I’ve been doing this for a long time so these new batches of kids who think they gotta be the hardest, baddest guy out here, you know they try to prove themselves in some weird sense and then they ruin it for people like us, they blow places up… . I’ve been coming to [Tompkins Square] park for many many many years. And I’ve I just progressively see it downgrading and downgrading and downgrading.”

Another crusty on the blog named Jamie agrees, stating, “I’m getting really sick and tired of these younger groups of crusty traveling kids that are completely utterly violent for no reason. When I first started traveling [16 years ago]…it was completely different… . There was some violence but…it [wasn’t] nearly as violent as it is now. It’s just utterly [expletive] up.”

So, beyond being a nuisance, crusties and local residents agree: Crusties are an increasingly violent threat to our community.

Beyond their escalating violence, it is valuable to see what else can be learned about crusties from crustypunks.blogspot.com, because such knowledge might help provide a solution to the problem they present. Here is what I discovered: (1) Most crusties are not from New York City; (2) almost all are homeless by choice; (3) most travel throughout the country, commonly by illegally riding trains; (4) most abuse drugs and/or alcohol, with heroin being most popular; (5) a significant minority of crusties, and likely a majority of the younger ones, are violent; and (6) quite a few own dogs (most commonly pit bulls).

My examination of crusties also led me to conclude that the increasing danger they present is largely attributable to a longstanding failure to check their aggressive behavior. Like children, crusties constantly push the envelope of authority to see what they can get away with, and when their belligerence goes unchecked, they push even harder. Some might argue crusties are attracted to the East Village and Greenwich Village because of the area’s counterculture history — and I concede that likely motivated early crusties to gravitate here — but that history is of little consequence in 2013. Rather, it is our tolerance of crusties’ behavior that leads them, year after year, to comfortably congregate in our community.

In 2010, after observing an N.Y.P.D. response to unlawful crusties behavior, a crusty called Trash Can commented, “I’m surprised they didn’t take them to jail or anything. Anywhere else. It’s crazy out here. Up north it’s crazy. In Texas, that type of stuff don’t go.” Your darn right Texas would not tolerate crusties’ behavior, and the fact that we do does not make us a more righteous, benevolent community. It makes us fools; it makes us victims; it makes us pushovers. Many crusties are nothing more than bullies who we emboldened by tolerating their hostile behavior.

It is neither fair nor accurate to blame the N.Y.P.D. for the crusties problem. Certainly, their response to crusties-related 911 calls is appallingly slow. Often by the time police arrive, the threatening behavior, and opportunity for an arrest, has passed. This can be remedied by providing law enforcement with broader authority to go after crusties based on their use of our sidewalks as a hotel.

This conclusion leads to the greatest challenge in addressing the crusties problem: How do we empower the N.Y.P.D. to crack down on crusties without risking involuntary homeless persons getting caught in the process? Surprisingly, two very bad but legally permissible types of anti-homeless laws provide guidance.

The first are those that broadly ban street sleeping. These laws, which exist in cities like Phoenix, Los Angeles, Miami and San Diego, have been upheld by courts in cases where alternative shelter is offered. While I believe broad anti-street sleeping laws are morally repugnant, their legal validity highlights the breadth of legislative tools at our disposal.

The second laws are those that require homeless persons to prove local residency before being allowed into a homeless shelter. Washington, D.C., has such a law and recent comments by Mayor Bloomberg suggest he wants a similar law here. To me, laws that force nonresidents to sleep out in the cold are cruel and ill-conceived. Nevertheless, they clarify that homeless persons, under certain circumstances, may be required to demonstrate residency.

So proceeding with the utmost caution and concern for protecting the involuntary homeless, I offer the following proposal: The City Council should pass a law making it unlawful to sleep or lie down on a public sidewalk, in a park or other public space between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Additional penalties would apply to those in possession of an unlicensed dog.

This legislative proposal, if it ended there, would be nothing short of an immoral attack on the homeless. That is why the law must contain numerous exceptions (“affirmative defenses”) to ensure it is applied humanely and only against voluntary homeless tourists like crusties. To that end, the law would not apply to anyone who: (1) was born in New York City; (2) ever lived in New York City for three consecutive years; (3) ever held federal, state or local government agency-issued identification bearing a New York City address; (4) ever filed an income tax return as a New York City resident; (5) for 12 consecutive months prior to first becoming homeless, resided in public or private housing in New York City; (6) for the past 12 consecutive months, lived in New York City without interruption (including time on streets); (7) is actively participating in a drug treatment program; (8) is a veteran; or (9) is in the location primarily for the purpose of engaging in political speech. Further, the law should require the Police Department to provide notice of these defenses and to use its available resources to assist persons seeking to establish one.

The penalties for violating this law would be as follows. For first offenses, the person would be taken into custody, issued a warning, provided with information regarding the penalties for a subsequent violation, advised to go to a homeless shelter, find a nonpublic place to stay or leave New York City and, if appropriate, would be offered drug treatment program information. For subsequent offenses, the person would be taken into custody and assessed a $500 fine. If the person is found guilty and cannot pay the fine, his or her personal property, up to the value of fine, would be seized. This includes items like jewelry, camping gear and backpacks, but not clothing. As further disincentive, if the person was in possession of an unlicensed dog, it would be seized and taken to an animal shelter.

Such a law would enable the N.Y.P.D. to crackdown on crusties without having to catch them threatening local residents, having sex on the streets, defecating in our doorways or committing some other violation or crime. While this proposal may be imperfect, it is good enough to warrant being proposed in the City Council now. Once introduced, there will be plenty of time to debate and refine the bill.

If our community and elected officials are serious about cracking down on crusties, here is a way to do it. Otherwise, let’s get ready to roll out the welcome mat for another increasingly violent crusties summer.

Marlow is a member of Community Board 3

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212 Responses to A crusty proposal: Crack down on ‘voluntary homeless’

  1. Chad,

    Surely you're familiar with the concept of "selective enforcement"?

    • I am, and that is not a trival concern. The bill is designed to protect involuntary homelss and other groups from enforcement altogether, but not crusties. It is virtually impossible to design a law that fully precludes selective enforcement. Speeding laws can be seletively enforced, but at least here the enforcement, selective or not, would deter crusties from using our streets as a hotel and threating our residents. If the bill can be refined to further address your concern, I would be all for it!

      - Chad

    • What is a dog license worth? My dog is licensed in three cities, but you're proposing making it illegal to visit your city with him?
      No sleeping on the sidewalk? Who cares? That's illegal in most cities in the United States.

      Your "crusties" are sleeping on the sidewalk because there is cheap heroin in your neighborhood but no good places to camp. I'm sure it's been a great place to score dope since the days of Kerouac; what are you going to be able to do about it?

      • fight the real battle. bust the drugs. hobo u rock!

      • Agreed. My dog is registered and liscenced in nine states, if you want to encite real dirty kid violence in your city, start taking their dogs. Heroin is a problem in my community and lifestyle, and the kids will always flock to cheaper better drugs. And by the way, I am a dirty kid from the state of texas and lemme tell you, its just as easy there as anywhere. Theres just more good crack than good junk. You want the kids to respect your community? Be respectable. We are homefree, not homeless. We dont want your shelters. A house owns you, you do not own your house.

  2. They sure ruined the HOWL movie night at Tompkins for me last Summer. Never went back after watching them stumble around drunk fighting each other.

  3. Marilyn Stults

    You're darned right that Texas wouldn't tolerate this! I love New York City and I chose to live here when I moved from Dallas in 1985, but there are just some things decent people shouldn't have to put up with. Quality of life can make or break a community and it's what separates the civilized from the savages.

    • are you kidding there are all kinds of crusty punks in texas.

    • Marilyn, It is nice to see someone know how to use the word YOU'RE and not YOUR. Too bad this yuppie writer can not do the same..

      • Marilyn Stults

        Well, we have good school in Texas (Dallas) – at least we did when I was growing up. Of course, the whole public school system in this country has been "dumbed down" a lot. As soon as teachers stopped counting off for spelling mistakes, I knew we were in trouble. Not that I'm a super whiz at spelling, but if something I write looks funny, I check the dictionary (or Dictionary.com these days).

        Marilyn

        • tatteredamelion

          Um, I'm not entirely sure where you're getting your facts, but Texas has one of the worst public school systems in America, and I spent spent most of my years there. And hey, speaking of education, let's do that instead of name calling and pointing fingers like children. Because no matter who you are or what you do, it's the arrogant, ignorant, assholes that run it for everyone. So you guys can get off your damn high horses, because we all stink like shit at some point or another.

      • Person too busy proofreading to understand the issue at hand. Most of us get the occasional typo you child you.

    • Texas would also steal women's rights to their own bodies and have mass prayer gatherings to solve their issues. Love that Rick Perry.

  4. Why not just enforce the laws on the books against violence like assault? Why craft a 'designer' law targeting a specific group of people that you've priorly identified by their dress, their habits and their origins. Sounds like Jim Crow for the EV.

    • Rob:

      Respectfully, you need to read the op-ed more carefully before you comment. It explains that the current laws on the books, like assualt, virtually require police to catch the crusties in an act of violence, which is exceedingly difficult to do. It is perfectly reasonable (and not remotely Jim Crow-ish) to outlaw tourists from using our streets as an extended-stay hotel. If that has the (intended) secondary effect of reducing crustie's unlawful, violent behavior (which, by their own admission is getting worse), all the better.

      • By the way Rob, I should have thanked you for taking the time to read the op-edand writing a post. That was inconsiderate of me. Having public discussion of the piece is as important as the piece itself, so thanks.

        • I think you're misinformed about how an assault can be charged. You would need a complainant willing to come forward, or a witness who is willing to be identified that can meet the elements required for an assault. If the cops actually had to witness and assault it would probably never be charged and could be virtually taken off of the books.

          What Rob is saying, if I understand him correctly, is that you're basically proposing a law which could be called the "anti-crusty" law, and using that to target a certain group of people. This is extra galling considering that there already exist all the laws needed to combat this problem. Adding legislation on top of legislation is never a good solution from a legal stand point because when the legal system has too many moving parts, it tends to contradict itself or work itself into irrelevance because there become too many exceptions or becomes contradictory. The solution is to get the police to do their jobs and to actually understand the laws they are supposed to be enforcing, and the legal methods for enforcing those laws you could get your desired result.

          • Thanks for your thoughtful commentary Randall. Two points. First, I am not misunderstanding how criminal laws are enforced. The point is it is very difficult following one of these altercations, by the time the police arrive, to find a witness who has hung around to identify a crusty and a crusty who has hung around to be identified. A law outlawing tourists using NYC streets as a hotel is far easier to enforce.

          • Second, I do think your point is fair that the law is aimed at the crusties. That being said, it is not a law that bars being a crusty per-se. If a crusty comes to New York City and has a place to stay that is not on the streets, he/she can avoid the law altogether. But it is the crusties who say, "your community be damned, I will sleep on your streets, harrass your neighbors, get in fights", etc. who need to be controled. As the article points out, the crusties themselves admit their culture is becoming more and more one of violence, and we have the right and duty to protect ourselves. Increased NYPD enforcement of existing laws is nice in theory but will not work in practice. The crusties have been around for years and I, frankly, haven't cared. It is only the recent spike in aggression that has moved me (and enumerable others) to demand action. If the crusties policed themselves, we wouldn't have to.

          • If you can't get the NYPD to enforce existing laws why would you expect them to enforce the new "anti-crusty" law? Who's going to enforce it? You?
            Like I said before and others have been saying, the laws to combat this problem, if you see it as one, already exist. The problem is enforcement of existing laws, lack of social services, lack of community involvement, but the one thing it is not is lack of laws.
            What I'm getting is that you don't want this "undesirable element" in your neighborhood so you're looking for a quick fix solution, which is what these designer laws always seem to be, when a better trained law enforcement mechanism is really the solution, but that takes time and money and a political will that seems to be lacking when a weak quick fix is more politically expedient.

          • Oh and you're welcome for thoughtful commentary. I think that healthy debate is critical in these types of situations and seems to be lacking today and this really is an important issue that dives much deeper than just this proposed law.

    • you by far make the most sense out of anybody else ive seen reply to this. thank you

  5. Cops should not be in a position of giving legal advice, especially on potential defenses to laws. You can't have them playing both sides.

    • Prosecutors have a duty to turn over evidence supporting a defense. They have to play both sides. Why not the NYPD? (who have to, for example, gather exculpatory evidence as well). Not a good point.

      • Uh. Yeah, you're right that prosecutors have a duty to turn over exculpatory evidence, but I'm not aware of any rule or affirmative duty requiring a prosecutor to tell a criminal defendant how to use that information; that is his or her lawyer's job. They just have to be given the evidence in a timely manner so they can make meaningful use of it, not taught how to use it. It doesn't even need to be contextualized. The police should be gathering all exculpatory evidence in any given case, and it is my opinion that by doing so the integrity of the conviction or aquittal is that much more sound, but the important part to remember is that police and prosecutors, although mostly on the same side are not the same beast and do actually perform different roles within a state, at least in the United States. Police are not lawyers and as far as I know don't have any obligation to tell someone what the laws are. As citizens of the United States we are obligated to understand the rules which we, in theory, have enacted on our behalf, it is said that ignorance of the law is no defense. The police don't make the laws, that is the legislature's job and it is not up to them to interpret them, that is the Court's role. Their role is to enforce the laws (an executive function) as they are written or interpreted, requiring them to also play the role of defense lawyer and explaining possible defenses puts them at odds with their primary executive function. The system is busted up enough without having each role usurping another. There is a separation of powers for a reason. Citizens have a responsibility in this whole process and this is something that I feel often gets overlooked in the whole "law enforcement" conversation. People like to think that certain things are the role of the government and that they should not be bothered (see how many people try to shirk jury duty), but every government action is an action taken (again in theory) at the behest of the citizenry. As Chad Mentioned in his response to my other post, that it is often difficult to get a witness to ID and stick around long enough file a complaint, if you can't get people engaged enough about cleaning up their neighborhood by sticking around and making sure the police are able to do their job effectively, the answer certainly isn't more law, the answer is finding out why people are so disengaged in their community that the won't help push it in the direction they want it to go. Again, being a citizen sometimes isn't as easy as simply saying I'm an American, or New Yorker or East Villager. The laws for combating this problem, if you see it as one are already in existence. Why not use them and let the systems in place handle it.

        • Police don't have an obligation to help people they arrest? How about reading them their Miranda rights? ("You have the right to remain silent; you have the right to an attorney…"). The NYPD has to fulfill any obligations that are imposed on it by the legislature or the courts.

          And separation of powers applies to the executive, legislative and judical branches of government – it has nothing to do with limiting what obligations teh law can impose on government agencies (which the NYPD is).

          • The NYPD does whatever they want whenever they want if you don't agree you just don't know

          • @Wha? Police are not obliged to read Miranda warnings to anyone. If they plan on speaking to a suspect or arrestee who is in their custody, they do so, because to not would ruin valuable evidence in an ensuing prosecution…you know, that whole part about "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law" it's not out of an obligation to help anyone but themselves and probably a prosecutor down the line. So the Supreme Court said that if you want to use a confession in a prosecution, or any evidence that flows from that confession in a prosecution, the person from whom you got that information had to be made aware of their 5th amendment rights. But what they don't do is advise them what those rights mean or even how to use them. The just read them, most of the time off of a card or a sheet of paper. There is no interpretation made and there is largely no assistance in helping a person exercise these rights other than maybe providing the person with a phone to call a lawyer, by that time, the person has already "lawyered up" in the parlance and is more or less off limits for any questioning anyway (Caveat: See @Lucas' reply below). Essentially Miranda is saying "I'm warning you to shut up, but if you don't here are the consequences and you can have a lawyer present with you" so reading Miranda warnings and the police using "available resources to assist persons seeking to establish [a defense]" are two different things.

            Also, the New York State Contitution recognizes the separation of power doctrine and any government agency falls under one of the three available branches.

  6. Yikes Chad.
    I'm not really sure where to start with this one.
    As the founder and Executive Director of a CB3 supported organization that specifically works with the "crusties" (maybe try switching it to the more appropriate travelers?), I invite you to meet with myself and our staff to give you a better understanding of who these folks are and what they're about. Here's our website http://www.thespaceattompkins.org/, my email: andrea@thespaceattompkins.org And my personal number 718.213.5206
    -Andréa

    • Andrea:

      Thanks for reaching out. I will certainly contact you to speak further. I did want to point out that I did a great deal of research on crusties through the blog I cite in my piece. I think that the population you serve is not necessarily reflective of the full crusties population, most of whom do not seek help from organizations such as yours. Also, one of the protective carveouts is for persons in a drug treatment program, so those seeking such services would not be affected. I agree that those who are seeking help should be protected, but most are not.

      I hope you also have a "yikes" for the anti-social behavior crusties exhibit that threaten our neighborhoods residents. You wouldn't believe some of the things young children in our community are exposed to on a regular basis from the crusties. Yikes indeed.

      We'll talk soon.

      - Chad

      - Chad

      • C'mon Chad. The "What About the Children" argument is about as lazy as they come. It's a multidimensional problem with no quick fix solution. You'd be better off allocating resources into community organizations such as Andrea's so that they can function more effectively. I agree that no one wants to feel threatened in their neighborhood and everyone deserves a safe place to live, but to do so at the expense of some people that you find undesirable is not a real solution to a very real problem which happens, in this instance, to take the form of crusties or travelers or whatever you want to call them.

        • Tim:

          I get your "children" point, but please understand I am the parent of 2 small children, so that really is my primary focus. And I don't find crusties undesirable. I find their sleeping on the street and increasing propensity toward violence and lawlessness to be undesirable.

          I hope we all recognize that this is a challenging issue and addressing it properly and effectively is tough. Again, while my proposal may be imperfect (and could be improed upon once sponsored in the City Council), I still think it comes very close to balancing everyone's concerns and addressing the problem in a realistic manner (that "just enforce existing laws more" does not).

          Thanks for commenting. I am grateful you (and everyone else) took the time to read my piece.

          - Chad

          • Chad,
            I'd like to point out that your "extensive research" was conducted by using only one source. And while that blog is entertaining, it also clearly intentionally aired the most thought-provoking and provocative photos and testimonies, as a way of airing the "full spectrum". Your discussion of 'crusties' shows your lack of understanding of the nuance of traveller's culture. Not all travelling kids ride freight train. Some hitchhike, some drive or catch rides with drivers, some save money and ride busses..travellers aren't predominantly violent, or addicted to drugs. You only tend to notice the ones who are. I happen to be lucky enough to get to spend a great deal of my time with beautiful and creative "crusties", and I do not associate with alcohol or violence, and neither do they.

      • Firstly, it's ridiculous to expect The NYPD to do anything but whatever they want. You want to let the cops steal homeless peoples few belongings, and have their dogs killed in a shelter, all for sitting or lying down? You are the worst of the heartless disconnected beugoise. You have no empathy and no humanity. You are the worst of all of us. You are a real lowlife.

      • anti social? thats absurd how do u make money if not being social when u work on the street? i do wish that i liked ur area of the country so i could come sit and chat with u as well…. but sadly i stand on the " i like texas more" idea.

    • I love you, Dre. You guys kept us alive this winter. Keep up the good work.

    • Screw em. Who cares what they're about? They're nothing more than human litter. Sweep em off the street with the rest of the trash, right?

  7. In Europe, crust punks look about the same and are actually awesome, political, and help the community. In the US they're just shitheads who bought their my-first-Amebix patches on the internet and bum money and cigarettes.

    • charlie dyer

      um the young ones are they are fuckng retarded ima traveler that has helped so much and half of the traveles in England marry here cousins

  8. This article is not even useful as toilet paper.

  9. I don't like crusties either, but i think you're problem is that you just hate hate the homeless and are too much of a wimp to stand up to a stupid stoned out crustie by yourself, so you want the NYPD to fairly abitrate a selectively enforced law. Get Real, where are you from obviously not here? Get some world experience before you open your mouth you sound like a scared suburban punk.

  10. You're lack of empathy is less than admirable. You obviously know nothing about NYPD and have never dealt with them in real life. Stay behind your computer talking shit, you are obviously afraid to go outside.

  11. not all of the "crusties" are bad dont blame every person that dresses like them for whatever happens in NYC cause a lot of the stuff you blame them for everyone else does every single night out there and every different kind of person does it ive been watching it happen since 05 its just getting worse all over the country lil by lil its not just the crusties everybody sucks even the yuppies too.

  12. Can't hate their music skills though! They can play all day and night and I'll give them money to have fun with or actually better yet they like to BUY THINGS THEY NEED LIKE SLEEPING BAGS OR SOCKS OR FOOD INSTEAD OF TRASH. You'll never see a bigger smile if you give them socks…

  13. This law would be a great idea. I pray it becomes real. And to the people sticking up for the crusties. These people are terrible. A waste of life. They dont even care nor respect themselves so why should we? They purposely give themselves diseases by sharing needles, they choose to be dirty and live on the street in filth. This law is genius, and i hope the city understands how great this would be.

    • MurrayMonster

      And how many crusties have you ever bothered to talk to?

    • You my dear are exactly whats wrong with society.

    • These people choose to reject material objects and enjoy the beauty of life they aren't enslaved by the workforce or the monetary system

    • I'm a traveler but not a crusty, AND I dont do drugs. Think for profiling. I dont really go to new york city either, that whole city is dirty. But I dont agree with this law cause not everyone is the same. Sure I'm mad at these new young bucks coming in and giving everyone else a bad name but what if I did decide on going to new york? Would I be hated before I even open my mouth? Me and my husband are not like them. There are a few different types of traveler. The ones your mad at are the "scum fucks" what ever the hell they decide to call themselves these days. I'm a peaceful type and hope if I ever come across you please send me a smile. Dont fill the world with hate cause then we will never get anywhere as human beings. Thanks for istening

    • so you are one to pray, yet you believe one could be a wasted life?

    • charlie dyer

      you sound like youve never even talked to these people and thimk they are all dirty fools you are the fool who lets the gov wlk alll over you its great i dont go to new york any way cause all of you house punks are scared little bitches following the lifestyle no that its safe to be a punk ive been ass you guys call it a crustie wich acctually im a dirty kid because a little dirt is good for your imune system and ive never shared a needle or done herione soo you sir are a dumbasss go back to high school where you were you acctually popular

    • not all crust punks are a waste
      there are the ones who just want to live everyday an have a good day just like u an me
      but yes there are the low liv cunts that just want the world to burn

    • Wow… NYC has truly gone to the ignorant yuppie, hipsters like you who know little of what you speak.

  14. How would involuntary homeless prove their residency, etc.? Aren't they the very sort of people who are unlikely to have the necessary documents to establish an affirmative defense? This law sounds incredibly susceptible to selective enforcement, and will probably be used to target the involuntary homeless as well. I don't feel like putting another weapon into our fine, professional police force's arsenal, nor do I look forward to footing their legal bill when they inevitably abuse this far-reaching power you propose giving to them.

  15. Will:

    Thank you for reading the op-Ed and for your well considered comments. I too had a concern about proving residency. In Washington, recognizing that problem, the homeless were able to even just provided a notorized statement from someone in the community (like a social service worker, someone who knew them a long time, etc) affirming their residency, so that makes it a bit easier. Also, while I know some people share your skepticism about the NYPD, I think it is fact that we are forced to rely upon them to enforce our laws or we would have no enforcement mechinism at all. Even homicide laws can be corrupted by unethical cops, but we wouldn’t get rid of those laws. I for one trust most cops and believe they have little interest arresting involuntary homeless persons – most of them don’t think that’s “real” police work (also why they sadly don’t enforce bar noise). If the law could be strengthened to reflect your concerns more fully that, of course, would be helpful, but we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

    • That’s ridiculous. Anyone can get a piece of paper saying anything, and then what? Who should have to check these things three police or the courts? And what should happen to this homeless person? Should they sit in Riker’s while the already congested court system figures it out? You need to have some compassion for people, your children aren’t in any danger from a bunch of poor kids, junkies and alcoholics or not. Being poor shouldn’t take away your rights and dignity. These kids you haute so much fight, just as much as the rich nyu and Cooper students do when they’re outdrinking. Go out to 2ND ave on a Friday night after 1am and yousee.

    • You're the worst, Chad. You speak entirely from a perspective of liberal bourgeois privilege. Have you ever been homeless? You don't have any idea how difficult it is. If you had, you'd realize that "voluntary homelessness" is an extremely rare phenomenon. I have been homeless, unfortunately. While many if not most I met on the streets claim to be there voluntarily, they make that claim out of pride. Most are there because they have to be, even the travelers. These are real people, Chad. These aren't abstract caricatures for you to sick the powers of the state on just because their looks and lifestyle make you uncomfortable. The NYPD is a far more dangerous and violent threat to the people of New York than a group of seasonal travelers playing mandolins and banjos. Who assaults and murders more New York citizens every year, "crusties" or the NYPD? The answer is obvious. The problem is that you are a person of privilege. The NYPD exists to protect people like you, and to victimize people like the homeless and the "crusties" that you so much abhor.

  16. I'd like to point a few problems out. If you're going to do research on a group of people, then it's best not to base your assumptions on a sensationalistic blog. Especially if you're attempting to craft legislation regarding those very folks. It's a collection of interviews collected, sorted, and filtered by one person whose views don't really reflect the reality of being a traveler. Have you ever spoken to a traveling kid? Can you spot the often not-so-subtle subcultural distinctions between each group? I'm going to assume you haven't, and therefore you are not in a position to start cultural and especially legal actions

    I've traveled on and off for the last 6-7 years, and I would never ever say it was a choice. Many of us (especially us older travelers) started because there were no other viable options. With no jobs available, no parent's house to be in, many of us began living this way in order to just keep going. Along the way, a lot of us develop skills and figure things out. A lot of the people I first met when I started traveling are now going to trade school, college, or have a profession. Now, I've also met many people who've fallen by the wayside, and are stuck in that way of life.
    Condemning us because it appears to be a choice reflects a grave misunderstanding of where we come from.

    If it weren't for traveling, I'd be dead. It provided a means for me to support myself, by dumpster diving, riding trains, and playing various instruments for money. And now, I'm a professional musician living a wonderful, stable life in New Orleans. Your laws would certainly not have made it easier for me to approach where I am now.

    Also, you mentioned that violence from "crusties" is on the rise. I will agree with you on that. But so is the legal and cultural suppression of travelers. Might there be a connection? Quite possibly. When you alienate people and treat them with impunity and disrespect, then they're going to respond in kind. And that violence bleeds on to everybody, including other travelers. Providing positive options is a much more humane and reasonable response.

    My point overall is that being a "crusty" (which I hate that word because I and other folks I know stay as clean as possible on the road) does not mean that you have picked that lifestyle voluntarily. Drawing a distinction based on residency really doesn't work, especially because many homeless people lack ID's. It only fosters hatred and classism toward the poor.

    • Best comment thus far. Thanks man!

    • You can’t accurately judge an entire social class of people by a few instances… and you can’t say all travelers are involuntary homeless you don’t know people’s background maybe try talking to some of these people offer them some food or socks maybe a jacket anything that might help but suggesting that you have them arrested kill their dogs in a shelter and take their gear the few things they own that keep them warm at might… well that’s just inhuman… Also Lyle you hit the nail on the head but I just needed to say that anyways…

    • Lyle, you took the words right out of my mouth, I just recently recently stopped travelling when my son Rider Finn was born(dec32013), I had been on the rails for about 8 yrs, tried to get off a few times, but to no avail, considering my lack of identification. When I initially began traveling it was because I was bored with the repetitively mundane bullshit of the everyday life at the age of 17, shit wasn't't interesting to me.
      So I took my art on the road, sure I flew a few signs, drank a few beers, ate dumpster food, even got in a few fights, but I discovered myself, and used my artwork to make a little cash.
      I have been to every state except Hawaii and Alaska and every Canadian province, and I have an uncanny arsenal of bedtime stories to tell my kid! I am now the manager of a pretty successful restaurant and have a bad ass five mth old kid that I would kill for! And I did it my way!

  17. I travel and play music and people on the towns I pass through are more often than not surprised by the talent and preservation of old blues music. And kids ruin this by being violent and rediculous. One day maybe they’ll understand that they are ruining a great culture. Keeping the american tradition of being a hobo alive. Work…be polite. Not a piece of shit. And your article sucks. Good luck with your problem.

  18. I stopped reading after “purchase another tattoo or piercing.” your ignorance and high horse attitude on the topic is how do I say this, retarded. do you know anything about stick and pokes or how a lot if “crusties” make money as tattoo artists whether with a fun or not usually tattooing friends for free. the “crusties” “problem” is a zeitgeist response to the disappearance of the middle class. upheaval of the system through breaking it down.

  19. PAs a Crust Punk who was “voluntarily homeless” I do have to say making laws for specific groups of peopke based on appearance is disgusting and smacks of Nazi leanings. First of all most crusties started out as run aways from abusive homes or young people regecting societal norms of what should be standard of humans in corporate culture. We reject corporate america and choose to not participate in The System.

    We are societal rejects, we are scum. We dont care about your culture or rich comforts. You can pass laws and we break them. Just the blatant classism associated with this article is sickening. Thank you for reminding me why i became what i am.

    By the way I own my own business and my own home now. Now im one if YOU AND YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW. CAREFUL I NAY BREATH ON YOU.

  20. Hey “Annon”. Fuck you. You “pray”…? Go read your fucking bible fake christian.

  21. Hey Marlow, we let the community board get away with its classist threats when Mendez issued that memo last year. This time I'm rounding up all the comrades from the street, the squats and the anarchist circles and coming down to a board meeting soon. It's been to long since we shook one of those things up.
    If anyone is interested in helping let me know.

  22. i don't really understand the distinction between voluntary and involuntary homelessness here. the only explanation i can find is racist and full of assumptions. those who are "voluntarily homeless", ei: crusties, are usually white, young, able bodied. they must be voluntarily homeless then? what about mental illness, what about societal alienation, what about a lot of other things that might make them unable to get a job, keep a job and maintain a stable living situation? is it because they are making or have made bad life choices? isn't that what makes a lot of people "involuntarily homeless"? is it because they speak cogently, seem to have a sense of themselves and are angry? if so, that seems true of plenty of "legitimate" bums, at least where i live in chicago. i understand the argument that idiot kids should not be able to piss on everyone and everything around them, but i think the line you hope to draw is a lot fuzzier than you think.

    also, what the fuck kind of empirical research is done reading a single blogspot? and you're happy citing two practically anonymous crusties who comment on said blog as proof that crusties are increasingly wild and dangerous? everyone and their brother likes to shake their fist at the kids these days, and it really pathetic that you're hoping to validate your argument with no more factual evidence than the fist shaking of the people you deem unfit for civility to begin with! i mean come on!

  23. I traveled for years, and I will agree that many of the younger kids out there now are basically worthless drunks and/or junkies. However I think they are genuinely a minority, and their behavior shouldn't be used as a benchmark to judge all the rest by. It's fine if you don't like them and want something done about those individuals who are being problematic, but a narrowly worded law or ordinance designed to target one specific group of people simply because you don't like them isn't the way to go. It's a bit facistic don't you think?

  24. humansarecruelandhorrible

    I agree that although shitty travelers are on the rise they are still the minority. And your proposal is terrifying and full of flaws.instead of taking away what little transients have to begin with.”to aid in them paying fines for sitting down and SLEEPING?!” Which is not something that harms a community rather is something that is a neccisary action for all human beings at one point or another, why not offer services to help them obtain income?! Their wouldn’t be anything in their possessions worth money anyway. You would only be.making cruel horrific actions that would possibly scar them for life. Many travelers have PTSD or other forms of mental anguish which makes it difficult to find work. Providing a safe space for their dogs and varius jobs they could do for money or a safe space to exist in with councilors willing to listen seems a lot better. Or perhaps free courses on metalworking? Crafts? Leatherworking? Dog training? Child care? Helping them be students to get trades? A way to get better gear? Or to work to get a first months rent in their own apt? The cruelty here,the lack of sympathy,is crazy.these people are not sub human garbage to be swept under the rug. I applied several times a week for six months for a job when I was trying to transition from traveling to being able to live inside and not a single place ever called me.it took me almost a year to get an I’D and I started traveling at the age of 13 because I was abused my entire life in every way imagionable. Many of the other travelers I met came from the same backround. I think you’re a really bad person for making this proposal. You’re mean.you’re ignorant.and you think people in poverty are less of value than yourself.you should not be given power over issues like these.you are creating a shitstorm for lack of a better term.good lord I hope you find some compassion and humanity. Your view is one sided and obviously coming from a place of fear.why don’t you actually get to know this subculture and explain to the elders that they need to police their own community? There are older travelers that when grouped together could educate younger travelers and help prevent situations in which the community feels threatened. What your doing by making yourself an outsider and grouping everyone together is the same thing police did on L.A. in the 50′s to African Americans.

  25. You're overeducated under experienced slanderous shit talk makes you the hipster version of the kids who just hit the road with too much too prove. you're not a journalist until you sit down and drink a half gallon with these kids, maybe dont go for the ones that you watched beat the shit out of each other. But there are kids out there that might actually spend an afternoon on the sidewalk with you -if you could bare it. You have no idea what you are talking about, and clearly there is something wrong with your brain if you think more police involvement is the solution.
    As a traveler I prefer texas to new york city. Never had a problem with the cops there one time. And the people are some of the nicest in the country. The difference – people are strait with you down there, they aren't pussys who are too proud to say what they think to your face. They'll ask me why I smell, how come I don't shave, and what you doin out here girly. But you know what comes after that, a ride, a beer and a place to stay. Texas works because it's a self policing kinda place. One thing I've learned; If you go to Texas with a big ego, you're going to get crushed. You know Texas has the biggest ego of all. People down south do it right.
    A lot of trains only stop in cities and the middle of nowhere. Have you ever walked out of a city? Sure sometimes you can get on a bus with a dog, Ive done it; but I avoid cities because of the number of pretensions fucks who associate me with every other drunk ass who has wander through. I am not every other mother fucker, just like many of the people that you're grouping together. I personally know the kid that you "interviewed", trash can is a badass musician, which you neglected to mention in your article.
    For the future of your career, try learning about the subject you're addressing, and presenting an array of solutions instead of just one.

  26. So hey I’m David the one in the picture and if the man “Steven hirsch” would put the rest of what we were talking about. These other traveling kids I met they got caught shooting heroin in the park an the cops just ran them out of the park. Just because I choose to travel doesn’t mean I’m a bad person or taking from anyone else that’s out there trying to make a buck Give some people need it more. But I’m defiantly one of the few who are respectable I only panhandled when I had too. But to put a law on only homeless that are from there seems alittle much.

  27. If the community doesnt want them there then assemble a greater number of people and tell them to leave. If people dont care enough to do something then the problem is yours alone and you have to live with it. More laws = more oppression. Police have never been great at being fair, it isnt right that you make someone who's life is a struggle already jump through hoops to sleep at night simply because a web site says people are violent.

  28. Interesting article. You will want to do a lot more research on this subculture before jumping to these sorts of conclusions about its demographics. I recommend 'One More Train to Ride' by Cliff Williams, a professor of philosophy (although the book is an ethnographic study, not philosophy), which paints a very human portrait of these travelers – "crusties", if you insist.

    In any event, saying that "crusties" are increasingly violent is like saying New Yorkers are increasingly violent. Statistics may support it (and no evidence has been given that these statistics exist, but let's assume they do), a "therefore a given 'crusty' or New Yorker can be assumed to be violent" conclusion is fallacious and unethical. You will need to address your problems individually, e.g. via an anti-dog urination law, rather than cultural profiling, which is what you seem to be promoting.

    There is interesting precedent in Philadelphia: in 2007, a murder among a particular community of travelers suddenly put the subculture on the police's map and instigated an ugly backlash against the weird looking young folks of the town for their supposedly dangerous behaviors. A few surreal months of catch-and-release scenarios followed in which not only out-of-town travelers, but any vaguely subcultural and unwashed young people, were stopped, harassed, and/or taken in by police, who clearly could not differentiate between the various permutations of the subcultures. It was a big, sloppy embarrassment, and woefully typical of such witch hunts.

    As I see it, your problem is this: you are moving too quickly from the behavior that bothers you (violence, urination, harassment, animal cruelty) to the demographic that you perceive to be causing the problem and targeting *the latter* with legislation addressed not towards the actual problems, but the lifestyles of the group broadly defined. This will undoubtedly affect those who have done no wrong. Whether you like it or not, one should be free to be a "crusty" if one chooses or is forced to by circumstance, and the police should NEVER have authority to target a certain demographic simply on cultural profile alone.

  29. I used to hang out with these people when i lived in new york. Yes its true not every single one of them are terrible. There are a few that are decent people. But for the most part, MOST of these people are scum. Really extremley terrible human beings. I am telling you from first gand experience. Many ofthem are thieves, they steal from eachother and incocent people, the way they panhandle they act as if society owes them something. No one owes them anything. 90% of them are heroin addicts. And its not something to feel bad about, they CHOOSE this lifestyle. So u dont understand the reasoning in helping them. They are all imfected with diseas BY CHOICE , there are plenty of places to get clean needles. They CHOOSE not to bevause they dont care. Like i said there are very few of them who are decent people, who just wanna travel for free and dont bother anyone, but the problem is there are more bad “crusties” than there are good in my opinion and those are the people that make crusties have bad reps. They will steal from you, lie about not having disease, they are truley terrible humans. Blame it on mrntal illness abus or whatever but everyone has control of their own lives, so they dont have an exuse to live like scum. This law to sn extent can work. Yes it does have a few flaws. But the easy village needs to do something to get these people out. I understand alot of people think this is not right its being a nazi snd what not, but im telling you all from first hand experience most crusties are TERRIBLE HORRIBLE human beings. I have seen them do really bad shit, steal from innocent people that were kind to them, pass around hep c on purpose for the sake of infecting someone. They dont need to be helped they need to be run out if nyc permentanley. They need to go bavk to the hick towns there from, nyc is not place for them. Go back to the south, midwest, whatever hillbilly places you guys come from.

  30. This opinion is illustrative of the privileged people that have moved into the EV. Use your laws and police to punish the disenfranchised and poor-even if one is poor by choice, they’re still poor.
    Chad selectively responds to commenters that support his draconian visions.
    I’d appreciate much more creative solutions from someone with a mouthpiece in a neighborhood rag, not just reinforcing elitist class segregation.

    • Aging crusty:

      Rather than dealing with my propsal on the merits, you decide to personally attack the writer. I notice you say nothing about the issues I raise like the increasing violence in your community. But let me point out a few things. First, if you look at my "selectivity" in responding to comments, I have only reponded to comments that DIS AGREE with my piece, and have not responded to one that supports my position. Second, I am a native New Yorker who has lived in the City for 25 years and whose family has roots in the East Village going back four generations, so you reference to me as a "privleged" person (I am far from privileged, by the way) who "moved into the EV" in an attempt at dismissing my views doesn't hold either. . . .

  31. . . . . Finally, I invite you to Google my name and see how I have a long standing record of advocacy that is anything but elitist. I know it makes things hard when facts interfere with your arguments (if you would call personal attack arguments), but I guess taht is all youhave when you can muster no arguments on the merits. If you don't want locals policing your community, then crusties need to start doing it themselves, but since you folks have shown no interest in doing that, we will.

    - Chad

    • I guess you can throw me in the same category as Aging crusty. I too am a native New Yorker (from the Bronx thank you) and used to hang out and squat (C squat, glass house, 13th street) in the lower east side during the 90's. While a minority of the "Crusties" you mention can be violent, thieves, junkies, etc., most I have personally met are not just merely living their lives as see as free as possible. The legislation you propose is discriminatory and goes down an unnerving slippery slope. As a person of color, I see some disturbing parallels here (stop and frisk laws, jim crow, etc.). In addition, I'm not sure if you are familiar with the term "mission creep". It refers to a policy being expanded beyond its original purpose. How long do you think it will take for the NYPD to target other "undesirables" with this law. Another interesting observation I have made is in your last sentence- switch the word crustie with black, latino, etc. and it takes a much more sinister tone.

      • Daniel:

        Just wanted to point out that if, as you suggest, one changes the word crusties in the last sentence to black or latino it makes no sense (not to mention, makes it racist). If I wrote a piece about gun violence and finished the piece with "we should lock up these murderers and throw away the key," you could change the word "murderers" to "blacks" or "latinos" and it would also take on a much more sinister tone – and be equally off base. I do very much appreciate your thoughts on the piece, but the last one I think was a bit unfair. Thanks for reading and posting!

        - Chad

    • BTW…. I shared the link to this article on my Facebook page. Expect more disagreements.

    • The fact that you trust the NYPD is what makes you come off so elitist, Chad. Anyone who has ever been colored, homeless, or even slightly counter-cultural in New York knows that the NYPD is a violent repressive gang that is out to destroy the poor in defense of the privileged.

  32. Hey Chad, you sound just like ol' Rudy! Target those dirty freaks! -Love the NYC bigotry!

  33. Hi Mr. Marlow or Chad? I have posted a comment on EV Grieve and I see here that you are still standing by your proposal. It looks like you get many sarcastic remarks in return. I hope that is sarcasm! As we discussed before and and as a teacher, I think you should lend a hand to help and do better research first hand on this target population. I don't think googling your name is going to make me feel any different about the issue. Like I've said I have personally had the opportunity to get know many and see them differently than you. Instead I would like you to address these questions: What alternate solutions can remedy this?
    Are there local services that I can provide to them?
    What cuts have recently affected the homeless?
    Are there organizations that already provide assistance with this population?
    How can I help????

    In the end please consider compassion and use your energy and time to better the situation than suggesting force on a vulnerable population. It will not solve the problem, but only help you not see it.
    -Teacher and local

  34. One more thing… if you are worried about tourists not coming to NYC anymore and helping out the economy, (what a contradiction here), it may be because there are less mom and pops stores to shop in. People used to come to NYC to spend their time finding unique places to shop in and visit. It's part of the experience. But no one wants to come when we build more stores that they can easily find at their local mall.

    • I am not worried about tourists at all (I am just making the point that most tourist produce an economic benefit for our city, whereas the crusties do not). I am worried about protecting local residents. I posted a reponse to your comments on EV Grieve (thanks for them, by the way, they were very well considered). I will repost my comments here once the get posted on EV Grieve.

      • those working on the street still make an equal financial benefit do to the fact that any money they actually make, assuming they r even trying, goes directly into the local business that is closest on hand … alot of ppl dont think about that. though this is coming from a street performer. i dont advacate junkies and abuse though i dont hate on them either, i prefer providing example.

  35. There have always been "hobos and travelin' folks, beatniks, hippies and flower children and squatters etc. The names change but the element is basically the same. They are free spirits and wanderers and this article demonizing them sounds like the same old same old "yuppie drone."

  36. Dear readers:

    One part of my op-ed that has not received much comment is this statement: "one reason I find crusties objectionable is because I believe homelessness is a great societal tragedy, not a lifestyle choice. This is especially problematic because crusties compete for pocket-change donations with legitimately homeless persons who need that money to survive, rather than to purchase another piercing, tattoo or $10 pack of cigarettes." I firmly believe there is a limited supply of money, goods and services for the homeless, and cracking down on the "voluntary homeless" (or "lifestyle-choice homeless", etc.) will help the other homeless by preserving their resources and not having spill-over negativiety towards crusties affect the non-crusties homeless. Thoughts?

    • One thing you fail to realize when it comes to this "competing for change" you bring up Chad, is that a lot of these "crusty" voluntary traveling homeless people often organize with local communities and organizations (I see this a lot here in Texas) and help feed the "involuntary" homeless for free in public parks, and also often would love to help in open and free community gardens for growing food (looks into the food not bombs, similar movements) and other useful community projects. BUT lo and behold, a lot of these community projects are vulgarly interrupted, ruined, and deemed illegal by police forces you wish to give more power to… These kind of community projects are severely needed in today's horribly atomized society, and the teacher who asked "what can i do to help?", these kind of projects and communication with incoming travelers (commonly vehemently opposed to today's capitalist form of organization) would be a good place to start, you'll be surprised at how many would love to help…

    • Have you ever stopped to get to know these people? You may be surprised. Their pride causes them to claim "voluntary homelessness." But in actuality many if not most came from broken homes with drug addicted parents and ran away before the age of 16. Because they have the agency to move from city to city and not be "homebums" does not make them cannon fodder for your yuppie defense force (NYPD).

    • on that note, most of my street fairing friends dont "spange" or "busk" to turn around and get a new piercings and most deffinately dont go buying 10$ packs of smokes…

    • You really think that the "legitimately homeless" as you call them need that money to survive? do you have any idea how many feeds, food pantries, shelters, free clothing, ect. is in NYC. A lot. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about, there are plenty of resources. plus these veterans and a lot of the "legitimately homeless" get money from the government too, and are violent. they spend their government checks, and the spare change you give them on alcohol and booze just as much as your so called "crusties" you are a very ignorant person, and it is terrible for you to dehumanize people just because they decide to travel instead of sitting around in the same spot every day urinating themselves and asking the same people for money over and over. You should really get your facts straight.

    • My thoughts…I panhandle year long and would be grouped in with the crusty community. When I am trying to find a place to sit (I don’t sit in the east village anymore but used to) most of the other homeless I see who are not “crusties” are pretty clearly trying to buy crack or booze with the money. Not everyone but at least 85% of the non-crusties. I am actually planning on trying to quit panhandling this week and worked out a budget and living on the streets still costs money. Even if people are buying for you alot of what you need I still spend lots of money on food, laundry, subway fare and mist of Akko my dog every month. My dog by the way that I’ve had for nine years who amazed the vet last year at what amazing health she was in. He said people who have homes dogs aren’t even close to as healthy as her for her age.

  37. It’s my personal opinion that the home guard, your “legitimate homeless” people, are equally as violent, belligerent, and vice-riddled as the “crusty” community. Just as likely to spend their earnings on drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Just as likely to harass and rob; just as likely to defecate in door jams. I don’t recognize the difference between your so-called “voluntary” and “involuntary”. Members from both communities are prone to violence and disorderly conduct – not to mention the fact that a large number of housed up, working class people are prone to the same kind of behavior. Victims of circumstance, or jumped into circumstance, there they remain and rely on the gentle hearts of folks who understand (or at least have characteristics of decent human beings: empathy, compassion, etc.) to eat, and sustain the habits that all of us, all too often, develop.

    Now, that being said, the spectrum goes both ways – to both ends. There are members of the crusty community, and the home guard, who have minimal vices and contribute to both the communities they belong to and the communities they visit; who don’t cause a ruckus – and although they utilize “your” sidewalks as “hotels”, they are no more threat to your community than the eyesore you so despise. Passing legislation to target a sub cultural group is fascistic, it is classist, it is narrow-minded, bigoted, immoral, and generally just a bad idea – the consequence of which will only be a more pissed off and desperate breed of homeless person – “voluntary” or no.

  38. you really think crusties will listen to your laws?

  39. Chad Marlow,
    My thoughts are that you should personally spend two or three months in a homeless situation, without cash, without credit cards, no cell phone, and definitely NOT in NYC, but somewhere unfamiliar and preferably conservative in its policies. I think after you try this experiment, and 'walk the walk' you'll feel quite different; even in regards to these belligerent suburban kids 'slumming it' (i.e. "crusties"). The problem with your logic is that you think the NYPD will only target these "crusties" and leave the the "legitimate homeless" alone via ID's (You invoke images of Nazi Germany in that paragraph of your article, a unsettling variant on the theme of 'Blut und Boden'). If you truly believe this claim of yours, your naivety is off the charts and you truly embody the definition of the word ignorant. There are far better methodologies in dealing with this issue that you bring up in your article. I too suggest you do some better research before making yourself look even more ignorant. I also suggest you look into how places, specifically in the North West; such as Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco deal with these things before invoking a 'witch-hunt' which essentially this rant of yours comes off as. I wish you well on your quest, and pray you act in compassion to those less fortunate. Even is they are belligerent.

  40. This is the most vial article I have ever read. Shame on you. YOU should be locked up.

  41. Like it or not, "crusties" are part of the current counter culture. Clearly you haven't even tried to appreciate their contribution to art, music, literature or the history of the neighborhood. Nor do I suspect have you considered their influence on future generations. I wonder how you would've reacted to the beats of the 50's or the urban homesteaders of the 80's and 90's who (unintentionally) made your neighborhood and crumbling tenements habitable again? you're lucky to have anything at all that's culturally significant going on in your ridiculously gentrified and homogenized "village" neighborhood. further, you demonstrate an acutely naive attitude regarding police involvement in these kinds of issues. Good luck with your efforts to make the LES another generic Manhattan playground for yuppies and other people who tow the line for the status quo. Also, Marlow? Who are you? I suspect some rich transplant from Santa Barbara wrote this.

    • he states in an above reply to aging crusty, that he has been in the east village for 25 years and has roots there, what ever that means

  42. this jerk once told me we should send all the homeless to an island.. How about we send YOOUUU to an islanddd… And Island of DOOoOoOoOOM!!

  43. Your community just needs to put their foot down. We did it in Boston, and our punk scene has, over the years, made it very clear that crusties can either keep their filthy asses in the Harvard Square pit or get rolled for their food stamps.

  44. I appreciate your effort to be understanding and balanced in this tense topic. I would like to weigh in because about a decade ago I was a part of this culture for a few years. I rode freight trains and did heroin and drank beer on the sidewalk, but was never violent. I am now a research assistant at a University and have a stable home.

    I have a few concerns with your arguments. First, you need to refine your idea of voluntary homelessness. People with decent lives don't decide to be homeless out of the blue. In my case, I had a chaotic home life, and parents with serious substance abuse problems. I was regularly terrified at home and wanted to be anywhere else. As a young person I had few options for employment or housing. My lack of skill and experience were compounded by a more fundamental lack of coping skills and life skills.

    I turned to drugs and alcohol and was not able to carry on in school or find sufficient work. One time I did get a full time job at 16, I could not find any one willing to rent to me. So, I traveled. I guess my homelessness was voluntary in a sense, but only because my other options were worse.

    I eventually got off the streets thanks to welfare, which I received for 6 months when I was 19. I have been supporting myself ever since, not always legally, but I have done what I had to do to stay off the street.

    Criminalizing vulnerable populations is not the solution. You need to enforce existing laws against assault and other violent acts, but targeting a group as broad as 'crusty kids' will invariably result in criminalizing some innocent young people who need support and opportunity.

    I was able to improve my life thanks to individuals who supported me and didn't give up on me when I made mistakes. When I learned coping skills, I was eventually able to kick heroin. When I started to gain work experience, I was able to stay off the street. When I went back to school and succeeded, I started to gain confidence in my self. A lot of these kids aren't as lucky as me. Many of the kids I knew back then have died and will never get their chance to get straight.

    Surely some of these people are criminals who should be in prison, and will end up there. Still more are addicts who will either get help or die. Many are just neglected kids with out opportunity, support or love in their lives.

  45. Crust Punk? Maybe if it were back in the 80's. But today… These aren't Crust Punks, and shouldn't be affiliated with such counter culture. Like anything, Crust Punks have grown and become aware and more intelligent about their surroundings.

    Anyone who is still trying to live the "old school" life style of a Crust Punk are simply not intelligent enough to grow and expand are simply known as Oogles or Wingnuts.

    Oogles and Wingnuts are the type of people who look similar like a Crust Punk, but really don't share the same ideals mainly because Oogles and Wingnuts can't even do anything more than mooch off of other human beings while Crust Punks actually try and a make a difference as an independent human being.

    When was the last time you've seen a "Traveling Crusty" help the counter culture? When was the last time you seen one not asking for change from someone who worked hard for their money but instead work for it them selves? Hardly, if not ever.

    An actual Crust Punk knows the hardship of reality and deals with it as best as possible, but still retaining the idea of changing the harsh reality of things to a better reality. We don't travel, unless it's needed (such as visiting a friend, touring in a band, etc).

    If there's the idea of Crusties being homeless, it's due to the own right of not communicating with others to make friends, being a completely burn out drug addict or alcoholic, or simply getting your self involved in a situation you should have not involved your self in to begin with.

    Regardless of Crusty or Oogle, both have one common thing, the capability of being intelligent to make decisions. Do not try and mix two different context together and call it the same thing simply based on an appearance. Remember the saying… "Don't judge a book by it's cover"

    The only resemblance other than the appearance (if that), are the old school life style of a Crusty where they're rights and beliefs suffered such a back lash, they would even some times be denied of "good water", thus the hygiene movement. But as time goes on, we need to adapt. We don't have the same problems as the first wave of Crust Punks. We have access to water every where, from gas stations to public pools and rest rooms to any place nearly.

  46. My name is Tony, and I am one of the people Steve photographed for the blog a few years ago. I have a few comments I'd like to make and one reply I'd like to address. First the reply: I was at every HOWL movie night and, with the exception of one night, everyone (crusties included) was well behaved. The disturbances were caused by "Homebums." Homebums are homeless people that are not travelers. They reside in NYC all year long. Some of the younger ones have taken to dressing like travelers because it's a style choice. I understand the confusion this could engender, but I wanted to clarify that travelers were not at fault at HOWL. I have traveled for about half my life but was born and raised in NYC. I am homeless. I sleep in the street. The clothing I wear could identify me as a crusty, I guess, but it happens to be the most durable yet comfortable clothing that I can afford that also helps me survive the climate. I did not choose to be homeless, but am making the best of a bad situation. To attempt to formulate laws that target a specific group of people and, to refuse aid to people that are not from a specific area, smacks of racism. What's next? Will you refuse us treatment in hospitals if we aren't from NY? Will we be banned from libraries, parks, and other public spaces where (socially accepted) people congregate? This happened to us at Tompkins Square Park a few years ago. A certain group of police officers made an arrangement whereas homebums would be allowed to drink in the park if they kept the crusties out. This resulted in a number of assaults on crusties in the park. Assaults that, if reported, led to an official response of something along the line of, "If you weren't in the park, you wouldn't have gotten beaten up." I was arrested for brushing my teeth in the men's room and told if I returned to the park, I wouldn't have to worry about teeth anymore. I do realize that some people do things that aren't ok, but where is that different from the NYU kids that urinate in phone booths or against the walls every weekend? Where is that different from the weekend warriors that come into the neighborhood, start fights, break windows, then run back to the suburbs or outer boroughs in time to make it to work? is it because of how we dress? because we don't have access to showers and/or a closet full of (designer) clothes. i want to applaud people like Andrea, Lisa, and Raina at The Space as well as Heidi and Alli at Collide for the work they do to help us survive. This winter, as all New Yorkers can agree, was especially harsh. Without those groups, I'm sure some of us would have died. They not only help us survive outside, they actively work towards providing solutions and getting us off the streets. Maybe people should think about helping these groups out and not just singling us out for "legal termination." Feel free to speak to me on facebook and find out what and who we really are. We are more than just faceless people behind signs.

  47. Not a Crust punk. It's an Oogle or Wingnut.

    Stop living in the past and adapt and change your surroundings. Don't be a mooch

  48. Everything about this article is fucked, but the one statement in particular which makes you particularly shitty is asking the courts to shake us down for our camping gear upon release. Now were back to square one begging on the streets which seems to be the reason your mad. Now were aggressively panhandling in fear that we may freeze over night because of some asshole on the internet thought it was a good idea take there home way(sleeping bag, pack, etc.). Real problem is if you ask me is heroin itself kids go to NYC without addictions and don't leave because they got caught up with that bullshit same with portland and san fran. Choose your battles wisely! Maybe public bathrooms would be a good start to keep people from shitting in doorways keep in mind "voluntarily and involuntary homeless" folk all shit so do tourist but they have a better chance of a store owner letting them use a restroom. And lets talk about how someone becomes "involuntarily homeless" divorce, losing a job, mental illness alcohol and drugs. Now "voluntary homeless" broken homes, general feeling of displacement from common society, alcohol and drugs. Fact is there's no difference you just don't like the young whippersnappers. Fact is the "crusties" if they can go to new york and make it out without addictions they will move on more will come and all the while your still ignoring your local homeless.

  49. The truth is the travelers are getting more aggressive because the general public is getting more aggressive…it works both ways.

  50. You said your concern is "protecting local residents." However, when you research crimes against local residents by comitted by homeless, you'll only find that the crimes were more often or not against the homeless. Also this looks similar to Stop and Frisk. http://www.ny1.com/content/politics/political_new

  51. I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has posted to this website after reading my op-ed, regardless of whether you were supportive or critical. I so value discussions on important topics such as this, and am particularly grateful to those who have shared personal stories, some of which were very moving. So to all of you (well, most – not so much to those who pulled the "Nazi" card [really just name calling by people who have a limited knowledge of history] or those who told me to go back to the suburb I came from [the "suburb" I am originally from is called Manhattan and my family has roots in the East Village going back four generations]), thanks so much for helping create a very worth while conversation!

  52. Julie Unfortunate

    It`s baffling to me still after many years to see how ignorant and apathetic some people are. There are bad seeds with in every ethnicity, race, creed, and lifestyle. That does not make them all bad. What about all the folks who have face tattoos and wear patched pants who maybe used to be `crusty`and live on the street or travel but are now off the street, employed, recovering from drugs and alcohol, etc.? Should they be persecuted also because they look the same or hang out with friends who are still on the street? And FYI, not everyone who has tattoos and piercings paid for them. I am fully tattooed and have NEVER once paid, unless you count a few bucks for supplies as a donation. I suppose that is one of the benefits of being good friends with several tattoo artists. Why doesnt anyone ever think of that? Not to mention, a lot of people like in prison or lets say many, many years ago, tattoo themselves. Guess you never thought of that huh? I used to get that all the time when I had to resort to begging for money: why don`t you stop spending all your money on tattoos?! Do you honestly think crusty-traveler folks spend money on tattoos? Are you aware of how much tattoos and piercings cost these days? Come on….And about the dogs, most of these folks take damn good care of their animals. Think about how the stray population would increase if we didnt have these folks to take these dogs as companions. My dog was the best friend I ever had traveling. And mandatory licensing then would only guarantee a bigger stray problem or the euthanization of so many more dogs, seeing how the adoption rate in this country alone is sad.(You can thank breeders and pet store owners for that.) I thought society as a whole was trying to stop labeling and stereotyping groups of people and blaming them for our societal problems? Oh wait, no, that was just a dream I had. I still live in a world of judgmental, prejudice idiots who hate ANYONE that doesnt go along with the norm and conform or sell-out to every idea that tells people how they should live their lives. Almost forgot…. Cheers and sweet-dreams!!

  53. Whoever wrote this article is an incompetent moron!!! I work with homeless populations and the crap your suggesting is just stupid. If you are proposing that NYPD crack down on "voluntary homelessness" how do they differentiate? They won't, asshole!!! They will arrest every single homeless person they see. Why don't you expand your research further than a blog spot? You sound like the Hipster scum that is really the problem with New York City. I think it would be great if NYPD put your stupid skinny jeans wearing asses through some bull pen therapy. Google it!

  54. This lady is a stupid cunt

  55. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2168175/A

    so this is pretty much what you'd rather have

  56. Just like domestic violence you don't need either party involved in the crime to come forward. Aren't there cameras on every corner there like everywhere else in America? That to me would be the easiest way to protect people from the admittedly small percentage of violent "crusties" who make it bad for everyone else. And that way you don't need to create fancy, target specific new laws to solve a problem and instead target the trouble makers and leave the others alone to be peaceful and free.

  57. Rather than simply pile on with the "you're an asshole" crowd (but no mistaking, you are. youre inability to parse individual tendencies to immediately apparent trends, for instance) I would simply point out to you that all people have a right to be alive and even in your line of sight, even if you dont approve of them. What you are proposing is a pogrom for the homeless, in which they will be prophylactically mistreated so as to prevent future uncommitted crimes. This is damaged reasoning and has never ended well in any form in all of recorded history. If the crusties scare you, move to some nice, boring suburb where its all waspy and safe. Then you can be the minority as the anxious metrosexual.

  58. telephoneassasin

    LOL. OOGLE POWER FTW!

  59. So basically what I gathered from this article is, "I saw some people who didn't look like me and they made me uncomfortable so I did some research on one blog and came to the conclusion we should run them out of town. Who's with me?"

  60. You are a goof.

    my one constructive comment is:

    You say “most crusties are homeless by choice.”
    what does this mean? where did you get this notion? any statistics to back up your claim?
    if “by choice” you mean they chose to escape abusive parents/partners, escape addiction, escape home towns where they do not fit in, or any other of the infinite reasons someone might “choose” to live on the streets, then i would have to agree.
    not to mention, doesnt everyone have the right to travel as they wish? just because they cant afford a hotel, doesnt mean they should be penalized.

    although i understand the desire to erradicate violent incidents in your community, i think there are much better ways to adress the problems then thinking of ways to penalize an already marginalized demographic

  61. Horrible article. Completely lacks insight. Have you ever even been to a gathering mate?

  62. We have the same problem in New Orleans. The crusties take over the streets in the French Quarter and up on St. Claude Avenue and generally just act like assholes. They get wasted and fight each other and make it uncomfortable for locals and tourists to walk around. They will literally take your beer out of your hand and walk away laughing about it. I refuse to put up with rudeness and always stand up to them. One crusty actually had the nerve to ask a woman for money, who then offered her $7, which apparently wasn't enough, so she pulled a knife on her and stole her wallet. I fully think anyone should be allowed to live their life they way they so desire, but when their lifestyle begins to encroach on other people's comfort and safety, something needs to be done. Asking for money when you are involuntarily homeless is one thing, demanding it so you can buy alcohol and drugs, and having a foodstamp card on top of that is just laziness.

  63. MissionIngram

    From the way you've structured this proposal it doesn't seem to be targeting "voluntary" homeless people so much as it does non-local folks without homes. Putting that aside for a moment:

    Passing a law like this would adversely affect the long-term local homeless quite possibly more than travelers (who will likely just skip town with warrants in the city – not true of the local homeless). I don't know how you are proposing these folks prove their residency, and even if they can they are going to get woken up on the street by cops (some of the most notoriously violent cops in the world, I might add) every other night because of a law specifically designed to target their demographic – and they will target local homeless. If you have ever been homeless before you should know that not a whole lot of police officers can distinguish between those subcultures.

    I don't know what you mean by an "unlicensed" dog, and to be honest I don't know why you would include that bit in the proposed legislation. If you're on an animal cruelty kick, traveler kids' dogs usually eat better than they do and I have yet to meet a kid on the road who likes to beat up on their canine companion. You wouldn't be helping anybody by doing this; you'd just be tearing a bunch of kids away from their best friends and often ONLY consistent companion. My dog is up to date on all her shots and vaccines, but she doesn't have a tag. I worry enough about her getting gunned down by a trigger-happy cop (over half the incidents of a police discharging a weapon involve a dog) without having to worry about laws telling me I can't have her. Especially considering most shelters don't let animals in – these kids don't have any option but the street when it comes to sleeping.

    I don't even know what to say about the fines – these kids don't have money, and if you are seizing their gear you are taking their whole lives away from them. Not many of these kids have much more than their backpacks, and just because the lifestyle is "voluntary" doesn't mean they have anyone to call or anywhere to go. Even if they do, they aren't going to be there overnight.

    Even ignoring all of that, enacting a law that lets police discriminate on appearance can end in no way other than horribly. The police already profile the homeless quite enough without your help. You're not going to create enough specifics so that this law catches all the violent, aggro travelers without making a whole lot of innocent kids suffer in the process. If you are okay with that as a means to an end, cool, but you have to live with yourself after you see the results.

    If you think a majority of the younger kids out there are violent, you're grossly ignorant of the culture and obviously haven't spent a lot of time with them. There are some violent people out there, but not any more than there are violent drunks in any other costume. There are also some of the most beautiful, hopeful and inspiring people I've ever met in my life. For every aggro, vocal minority you get off the streets with this proposal you are going to have ten innocent travelers get their best friends put in some animal shelter, along with their very livelihood and tiny, minute level of portable comfort strapped to their backs seized by the state.

  64. Hey Chad,

    While I understand many of your sentiments as a father, and I applaud your concern for your communities homeless there are some definite issues with your article.

    The major issue is it shows a decided lack of understanding about the people you are writing about. You term them “The Voluntary Homeless”. Travelers are a huge diverse group of people and that’s a really broad categorization. I can assure you, had you done more research, perhaps actually talked to the people you are writing about, you would not assume this. You probably wouldn’t call them Crusties either. I’m not sure what you define as “voluntarily homeless”, since while many of the settled homeless do indeed suffer from mental illness or disability, there are a fair number who don’t – and a fair number of Travelers who do.

    Also, honestly, did you really feel that reading a blog alone was diligent research to write a professional news article, especially one that could easily smack of classism and prejudice?

    East Village may be, to you, a nice part of the city to raise your kids. Try to understand – not everyone enjoys gentrification. East Village, I’m sure you know, has a really long history as a place for the Anarchist community, which a lot of Travelers are, or are at least very hospitable to Travelers (since we view their lifestyle choice as valid). I know you feel because you pay your rent (which is a lot I’m sure) that it’s yours and these people are trespassers, essentially, ruining your neighborhood. There’s a good chance that a lot of these people, and others, feel the same way about you and others living there now. You’re also, largely, talking about a group that has no belief in the right to own land like you do – their philosophy is that you are just the bourgeois who uses resources gained by exploiting laborers to use a violent and corrupt group of thugs that you pay off to immorally keep it for yourself.

    I’m not trying to tell you you’re wrong or they are right, I’m just trying to illustrate a perspective to you. I’ve been working with the homeless and Travelers for a long time, I’ve had open doors to Travelers whenever possible and most are good people. Some suffer from their demons and some are just asses – like anyone else. That’s also the best way to treat them – like anyone else. With the same empathy, respect and human dignity. They are not a problem to be solved, but a people to be understood, have a common ground found, and to work towards peaceful coexistence with.

    Also, your “proof of residence” law wouldn’t work so well because of people like me who will gladly distribute information (letters, junk mail, etc. . ) using our addresses to make sure they aren’t harassed.

    From your article it’s really clear that though these people are in your community enough to be worth of writing an article, you have clearly not interacted with them. If you want to know how to fix the problems caused from the friction between your community and theirs, do what you’d do with a neighbor, try to be their friend, grab lunch and try to build positive relationships.

    If they feel you have no respect for them, why should they respect you? I’ve never once given a traveler money, but I can’t count the number I’ve made dinner for and sat on the curb and ate with them, or at my dinner table. I’ve probably learned more from Travelers than I have any other group in my life (I kid you not, I spent 10 years not being able to make rice for the life of me. Like any other group, if you have a good reputation with them and they’re being assholes, they’ll probably listen to you out of respect for an equal and friend; maybe not everyone, but enough to make a difference.

    More than

  65. are you new? is it your first day? what makes you think sleeping on a sidewalk is like a hotel? see that wad of old chewing up on the curb… that's just the mint on the pillow. Jacuzzi Tub? Room service? HELL NO! How about a city worker waking you up with a pressure washer?

  66. Christine Quinn

    Chad is just being sexist.

  67. you, sir, are a bourgeois asshole.

  68. Never judge a book by its cover. These kids (most of them are 14 to 29) are just that, kids. And beside the handfull of dumbasses their a pretty descent group. More acutually come from horable pasts where being on the streets was the best opption. Where drinking and drugs is the best way the pass the time. Yeah they fight amongs themselfs (same as any group of drunk anyones) but their not out betting on randoms. Way spend so may tax dollars picking on some houseless travling (thats right they leave) kids when 148 people die a day in NYC (and not by these kids). And if you wanna help them out without giving away cash, socks are gold to someone who doesnt have a washer.

  69. Your problem seems to be the people with the most anti-social behaviors (violence, public defecation, heroin use, etc.). I don’t think very many of these people really fall completely under the category of “voluntary” homeless. How many violent, off-kilter, heroin addicts do you know who can hold down a stable, conventional job? The basic premise of your article doesn’t seem very sound.

    Also, your recommended solution seems like it would create more problems than it would solve. Do you really want to give the NYPD (one of the most corrupt and violent law enforcement agencies in the country) the power to arrest someone for nothing more than being in a public place?

  70. Alot to wade through.
    Acting as a nurse and confident to the summer camp kids for almost thirty years, opposition read the kids its the same for a good ten years, what watershed event took place? Probab ly just critical baas opposed to warm weather sport in the e.vil.
    Hers a simple effective solution
    Works EVEYTIME I’ve needed it
    Ignore them they go away

    I like the kids.
    We get along
    They are adventurous, bright, creative and usually become a resident if an alternative community, eventually.
    Often in TX.

  71. quite a few of you just love the sound of your own rhetoric…and where is your tolerance….live and let live….just remember in the larger picture we are a nomadic race of people and settling and permanent structures and the society of bricks is a relatively new thing, 2000 years a blip in the ocean of time we have populated this planet, before that we roamed and foraged ….so the so called 'crusties' [i hate labels] are more natural than your domesticated selves. It is a reflection upon the modern way of life that people prefer the community of the streets to the loneliness of mainstream society…..glad i dont live in america …..

  72. crewless stinkhead

    well i have been all over the country via freight and my boots…have had a few odd jobs when available…and sometimes have found myself in the degrading and eye opening situation where i had to hold a sign for just enough to leave town…10 or 20 bucks…if i was lucky i may be able to afford a hotel and get a shower now and again.
    yea ill admit some of these yahoos dont take rejection too well, these are the ones i try to avoid…yelling disrespectful dimwits who not only give me and my pals who just are built for this lifestyle….which, if your livin it like i do, is not all smiles pot and free money not at all its snow and rain and dust and alienation and lonesome days in a town that ya never heard of let alone are familar with and all ya need is a drink of whisky to cheer ya up or a burger but are too disenchanted to ask anyone.
    suffering is the price a lot of us pay for a seemingly free as a bird life…..i think its a fare deal…

    and us real travelin american low/no income tourists hate these bum ass new comers too….heck half my old stomping grounds apologize because a gaggle of idiots had just trashed the town that i used to dig and enjoy days before.
    point is. i aint a crusty. i ride freight listen to hank williams and gg allin and frank sinatra and respect the streets i sit on….dont throw us in one group….PLEASE…thank ya
    a transient named N8

  73. Anyone can make uneducated, ill informed blanket statements about a subculture of people they don't respect, nor understand. here are my favourite assumptions in this article. 'they own dogs, specifically pitbulls. THEY ARE BAD.' 'THEY ALL DO HEROIN' 'THEY THREATEN LOCAL RESIDENTS AND HAVE SEX ON THE STREET' You can't crack down on homeless people, regardless of whether it's voluntary or not. This whole bill is going to result in a lot of people getting fucked over, because how can you prove someone is voluntarily homeless or not? On the first "offense" the person would be taken to a homeless shelter or drug rehabilitation center? After that, they can take away your gear and potentially your dog. what the fuck. I don't know about you, but I really like traveling and I usually have to pass through major cities. And if this bill passes, it's going to fuck over a lot of people, even those who aren't "crustpunks". Why do I need to be treated like a piece of shit by someone else's city? I don't even beg or busk. I am just sleeping in a park so I can go somewhere else the next day and if I don't got money, I can't sleep inside. Shelters are far more dangerous than parks, especially for a female by herself. Other shelters- you can't take dogs. So what then? This bill is literally some of the most oppressive shit I've heard, and what is being said is 'all dirty kids with dogs and backpacks are pieces of shit, make them leave' why don't you say 'all mexicans are lazy and illegal immigrants into the country, make them leave' or 'i hate indian curry, MAKE IT GO AWAY' It's the same shit. Targetting a whole group of based on what is the cultural equivalent of racism. What you're doing is essentially crying to daddy, who is in this case the city of new york,and asking him to 'make the icky people go away'. Take your bill and shove it right up your culturally intolerant ass.

  74. This is supposed to be a free contry where ppl can live the way they wish that being said u sound like a housie communist that beleaves ppl should live the way they live if u don,t like being free to live how ever u wish u should move back to what ever country your ansesters came from I bet ur one of those type of ppl that beleave america will be safer if we disarm the citazens my humble american opinion
    Wolf

  75. if enough people have not said it already, chad, you seem like a very cruel and simple minded person. you want to take these kids backpacks and sleeping bags away? you want to put their best friends, their dogs, in an animal shelter, essentially condemning them to death? you should be ashamed of yourself. inhumane people like you who try to influence public legislature to punish people based on how they look, are a MUCH bigger, more serious problem in society than some individual idiot "crustie" who gets drunk and acts like a belligerent college jock in the park.

  76. Well i think its just one of those things that comes with the territory, nyc has got way more problems than tramps or “crusties” so the first few times i went there was to see some culture, statue of liberty, cbgbs, times square etc. sure ended up in tompkins drinkin 40s with old friends. Point being, so what, who is anyone to judge i was always taught somebody that makes judgements on others is just insecure and has trouble judging themselves. Ive been on “the road” hopping trains for 12 years, the difference is “tramp code” picking up after yourself, not blowing up corners, basically leaving the road clear for the next tramp. So next is the pitbull thing, which most are rescues, alot are stolen from dogfighters. Alot of us had no choice in being out here, even though the constitution states that a man can travel any way he sees fit. You should celebrate the fact that america has some culture besides money, especially nyc.

  77. this is in no way real journalism.

  78. i couldnt read anymore after you stated that crusties are unchecked bullies. the opposite is far more common. kids who have been treated awfully their entire lives retreat to the crust and punk subcultures where they might be able to find a real societal home. just because you dont like it, doesn't mean its wrong or bad. maybe you should just quit bitching, and learn tolerance.
    p.s. if you choose to write an article usunig big words and a holier than thou attitiude, educate yourself first. youre just a whiny shit-talker.

  79. That article is ridiculous. Doesn't matter if someone is a "crustie" or genuinely homeless illegal is illegal. If violence is the problem then charge them with violence. If they commit all these crimes they should be charged. What more want? Let's piles laws upon laws to prevent them from possible maybe having the chance to probably committing a minor felony. From my understanding most crustie kids steal exclusively from big corporations which is apparently bad because they lose money, but the fact they use child labor is completely, but they can pay their fines and sweep it under the rug so it is okay.

    One case I know of is a crustie taking dried food from a dumpster because they don't believe in wasting food, and someone getting mad at them because what they don't want in the least bit is still their property, and that is wrong.

    So what are they trying to crack down on? Violence that has been seen most recently in schools through the media? This guy isn't targeting illegal activity but a supposed group of people that "are likely to" commit crimes, but haven't actually. Truth be told the only violence I know of in "crustie" kids was actually started by a REAL homeless person trying to steal their belongings, and a REAL pedophile attacking a "crustie" just for speaking their mind. You may say violence, but they are the only ones actually willing to take a stand against crimes that no one else will.

    "The second laws are those that require homeless persons to prove local residency before being allowed into a homeless shelter." So in order to get into a homeless shelter you need a home?

    Unlicensed dog? Are you going to start charging suburb people for having a dog without papers.

    The way the American economy is going is actually promoting people to be crafty and homeless. These are people who want out of it, and just because they want out of it you are trying to promote them as illegal? If they doing anything illegal thing then jail them, if not I find your claims just to be a matter of "taste" and hold no real significant value.

  80. If the person is found guilty and cannot pay the fine, his or her personal property, up to the value of fine, would be seized. This includes items like jewelry, camping gear and backpacks, but not clothing. As further disincentive, if the person was in possession of an unlicensed dog, it would be seized and taken to an animal shelter.

    "This includes items like jewelry, camping gear and backpacks, but not clothing. As further disincentive, if the person was in possession of an unlicensed dog, it would be seized and taken to an animal shelter."

    "As further disincentive, if the person was in possession of an unlicensed dog, it would be seized and taken to an animal shelter."

    Normally, I don't really care about these kinds of articles. But, you sir, take the cake in making me reply. Why would even think to take away someones stuff just because they're sleeping on the sidewalk, underneath scaffoldings, in parks? Imagine the travel kids that would inevitably be targeted by this hypothetical law, the ones that DON'T do heroin? the ones that aren't violent? the ones that are amongst some of the chillest beings on the planet? the ones leaving from terrible home situations? the ones suffering from mental illness? Why would you take someones livelihood and creature comforts off their back because you managed to group them with the slightly beings causing a ruckus? What if there were a New York state resident sleeping on the streets, not wanting to sleep in a shelter be they young, female, or afraid of contracting diseases, parasites or the possibility of abuse and/or disrespect from shelter staff? Shelters aren't necessarily the clean, efficient facilities you'd think them to be, and if this hypothetical bill were to pass, I'd have a feeling the quality of them would go down due to being overpacked with all the homeless the NYPD stumbles across being redirected or forced there under the threat of arrest. Also, what of shelters that don't allow dogs? Would you ask a person to relinquish their friend, their means of support and protection? As a tip, the dogs that are picked up and taken away will end up in the NYC animal care and control. You know what that is? A high-kill shelter. And, you know what breed the majourity of homeless own? Pitbulls. Which make up the majourity of shelter overpopulation in NYC and aren't widely adopted due to their terrible reputation. You'd essentially be sending these dogs to their deaths: one in a very loud, smelly, stressful and lonely facility.

    I just can't believe anyone would say this.

  81. this author is a heartless asshole. fuck you, you arrogant rich liberal yuppie, why dont you propose obama start using drones on homeless people?

  82. i guess you would call me a crusty kid if you saw me. i've been through new york a few times since i started traveling the country eight years ago, and i just want to speak for the ones of us who ACTUALLY travel extensively across the entire United States and say a few things. most of the crusty kids in New York City fucking suck. they stay there all summer and then go ruin New Orleans in the winter time. these two cities have a shared hatred for traveling kids because of these assholes who get wasted and cause problems. at the same time though, take a look at the entire population of NYC and try to tell me there aren't a bunch of your residents who own homes and work jobs that are violent, sleazy, and inconsiderate meatheads. like every town, you're gonna find scumbags in every section of society. because we're easy to spot with our dumb clothes and big backpacks, people remember the asshole who puked on a baby while his dog tried to bite it way more than they remember the douche in the white t shirt and blue jeans who punched his girlfriend a block away. as far as the homeless by choice thing, i agree that spending weeks in the same place and bothering people for money on the sidewalk a few stores down from the 58 year old disable vet who got evicted into homelessness is one of the most annoyingly pathetic things a person can do with they're life, and some of these kids do have money in the bank while they're panhandling at the same time, but that doesn't mean we're all just spoiled rich kids following a trend. what people have to understand is that some of us are just traveling the country and trying to experience freedom and to see everything while we are young rather than go to college and become a slave to employment, some people just don't fit in to the societal mold. some of us really were forced into this lifestyle, whether it was an abusive family or simply the way our brains are wired so that we just can't be happy living the way the authority figures in our lives have told us to be the way things have to be. after all, i remember hearing something mentioned somewhere once about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". we're the ones who spend most of the time in between cities rather than hanging out in them, and we'll be gone down the highway or the railroad line in a few days without bothering anyone. so before you judge a crusty-looking kid based upon her or his appearance, take a moment to figure just out what kind of crusty-looking kid they are. maybe the kid you're telling to "get the fuck out of town already" has only been there for an hour. i have many good friends who you would look at and label to be a violent disrespectful crusty kid but actually are productive and creative members of the art community. hell, i might look like a bum, but while some kids are getting drunk and fighting each other in Tompkins, i'm getting drunk and writing poetry on a roof top. -simple

  83. After thinking a bit, I realised what this article essentially is. It shows the breakdown and a weakness within the punk scene over the years. It shows that the solidarity that was once there in the 1980’s and 90’s is not as cohesive as it was then. Ever since the ‘riot’ caused by Skinheads in 1988, TSP has never been the same; they used to call it ‘Tent City’. http://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/15/nyregion/tent-c
    Crust punks need to come together again. Some of us are in our 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s now, our dogs have gone on to greener pastures. Some have left NYC. However, those that are in their teens and 20’s need to be schooled more than ever, and have something more in common than just getting wasted and causing mischief, otherwise people like Chad Marlow are going to eradicate a culture that was initially a movement and form of social activism. You can disagree with me all you want, but I speak from my experiences and my heart. To me, the lifestyle of punk and crust were far more than what’s been stated in this man’s article. Don’t let mis-informed people take any more of what little is left.
    “Hateful glances, violent dances,
    Visious rumours & Gossip mongers,
    All the mind games and pointless slander,
    Will not help us to achieve our goals & dreams.
    We are one, united, bonded, Let’s all be friends.
    Let’s all be friends, a means to an end.”
    -Doom

  84. There can always be found examples of "bad eggs" to any type of group of people, no matter if it's is aimed because of race, sexuality, music preference, life style choice, education, and so on. The Lower East Side used to be nothing like it was today, and all of Manhattan living can't be afforded by anyone in the working class that earns minimum wage or close too. In reality, rich people are moving into all these places that used to be cheap and either forcing people to leave manhattan or choose to be "crusties". Also, a large percentage of these people aren't just "voluntarily homeless", but leave home because of rape, abuse, and other things. Some really would be just another homeless person that you have no objection to but gravitated toward "crust" because there was a form of community. You can't single it out as a "crust" problem without it being any different than Germany having a "gypsy" problem, and in a large way the two communities are alike. I understand not liking the violence or not wanting money to go to people who don't really need it because they'll by a tattoo, but even non crusty homeless by alcohol and drugs, so really it's the person giving the moneys choice to give to any person they see and decide. Some people give money knowing it will be used on a night of drinking and are okay with it. In the end, the police should deal with any issues like there supposed to. If there is a fight, they should treat it the same as if it were business men, college kids, workers, etc.

  85. Why don't you come out and spend a day actually talking to these kids, hearing their INDIVIDUAL stories (because each one is very very very different) Most don't choose to be homeless but end up that way in some bad form or another. Traveling is just a beautiful way to make good out of a shitty situation. The Space At Tompkins helps these kids year long… and invites you to come actually talk to the ones you heartlessly bad mouthed. [Tony Parilla, thank you for the beautiful feedback]

  86. Your a bit of an arrogant prick. So many problems in the world and you chose a sub sect of homelessness to deride. In a cosmic sort of sense you are much lower then they for only takeing a face value look at what you seem to think is a big issue.

  87. You are a disgrace to humanity. I would like to defecate on YOUR doorstep. As a matter of fact, I will do that this summer when I "tourist" my way through your dirty city streets. Idiot.

  88. Sick N. Tired

    Amazing how no one wants to talk about the rights of EV residents. Time for a reality break people – the people who live in a community get to set the rules. If the crusties don't want to be subject to these kind of lawes, then they need to take some responsiblity and pressure those who are giving them a bad name to stop pissing people off. If not, tough luck. You don't get to visit my community and tell me that you are going to wahtever you want. Guess what? The local residents are sick of the BEHAVIOR of the bad crusties (if you behaved, that would be a different story, because your cheap out of saying we hate crusties in general is b.s.), and we are going to do not only what we want but what we have to do to preserve our community. we need tougher laws and the one proposed is our only remaining options. Time to grow up kids. That's how the real the real world works. Class dismissed.

    • Agreed Sick N. Tired!!! I was just thinking I wish more local residents posted to this website. If every local resident posted, it would be pretty clear how much enormous support Marlow has. Marlow for Mayor!!!

    • I'm a local resident, and I think both of you are silly. They're not that big of a nuisance to the point where you have to go neo-nazi on the entire subsect of homeless. And, you know, this subsect isn't entirely made of children.

      What of your rights? The right not to have your day disrupted by someone being annoying? Or having your day disrupted by someone homeless being annoying? How many times have you actually had a crusty run up to you and harass you?

      There are A LOT more "crusties" in the downtown part of Toronto, and the most they do to "disrupt" my day is ask for spare change. Most are friendly and if you can politely tell them no or even just ignore them, I don't see what the big deal is. You have to realize they are NOT a collective, too. Homeless people like people with homes are INDIVIDUALS. They all have different stories and they all do different things. Just because a few of them are assholes doesn't mean all of them are assholes and vice versa. As I mentioned in my previous post, this hypothetical law wouldn't just effect crusties, it would affect other homeless people, even the ones who are involuntarily homeless and prefer to sleep in the rough as opposed to in shelters. Shelters are NOT necessarily clean, and efficient. The staff isn't always friendly. With the collection of people sleeping there, it's easy to get parasites like bedbugs and mites, there's also a higher risk of catching an illness which is not what you want while being homeless at all. Women may also not feel safe in shelters, and most shelters do not allow dogs. What of someone who lost their home to keep their dog? What of people whose dogs are they're only friends and means of support? Wake up. You're fortunate enough to be able to close your door and be done with whatever is disrupting you.

      Also, I don't see any of you setting rules… Where are your street-sleeping bans?

  89. First of all, I would rather have some dirty traveling kids in my town then wasted homebums who sleep in the middle of the sidewalk and smell like urine. Homelessness is pretty much voluntary for anyone, some people (aged 50 and above) would just prefer to smoke crack and drink 40s while pretending to be a broken veteran who "needs" your change to survive. It's all a scam. The young travelers/dirty kids/not-homebums might ask for your change, but at least they're leaving tomorrow. Don't be jealous just because you're stuck in some crappy job and they get to travel the country for free based off other people's kind hearts. And of course some kids are into drugs but so are some housewives and politicians and they are living off your tax dollars even more than kids are living off your spare change.

  90. Speaking as a tax-paying full time worker, I find this article appalling and classist.
    We live in a sick society, one of the most violent countries on the globe. Obviously something isn’t working for New York and the crusty community, but using these people as a scapegoat for a deeper societal problem is outright immoral and I’m deeply disturbed by your writing here. Instead of attacking the misguided and disenfranchised, maybe we Americans can instead look to the root of the problems of violence, homelessness, and substance abuse.

  91. I like how if your found “guilty” and not able to pay a fine for being homeless they can seize your camping gear and make you even more homeless than they started out, good job douch bag

  92. "first world problems". i will be commenting further, tomorrow, when i am less tired from my day to participate with a long winded rebuddle of pro's and con's.
    have a great night!

  93. Oogles not crusts. Big difference.

  94. Wow, your writing skills almost fooled me into believing you had any amount of pertinent intelligence. The amount of effort you put into offending: (1) Travelers; (2) Dogs; (3) Children; (4) Laws, is a malnourished attempt at doing anything but making you look ridiculously: (1) Ignorant; (2) Scared; (3) Ugh (really).!?! Try losing a bit of your structured numbering system way of life and your judgemental assholery. Perhaps then your company or words would be more bearable. Of course, it is doubtful. I was expecting your next paragraph on laws to include the death of any traveler who did not have blond hair or blue eyes……

  95. Brilliant, a law allowing the police to take transients into custody without them breaking any laws. And confiscate their personal property. Personal property which, during cold times, could mean the difference between life and death. Essentially, your proposal is a law that allows the NYPD to summarily execute transient homeless and, as if that isn’t enough, their pets (often the only thing we have that makes life living) as well.

    You sir, are an idiot.

    Here’s something further to consider: Most of the people you’re proposing robbing and killing, simply because they’re “voluntary” homeless, suffer from the same addictions and mental illnesses as your “involuntary” homeless. How, exactly are you drawing the line between people who are “voluntary” and “involuntary” homeless? Oh, right, you’re drawing the line with no conscious thought and not even the lowest level of human reasoning. Congratulations, you’re more stupid than one of these “crusties” you so look down on.

    Maybe your property should be removed to attempt to force you to become “voluntarily” homeless so that you can have a shred of human empathy and understanding.

  96. Anastasia Euthanasia

    it's a homeless solution, not a homeless problem. the overbearing homoginization called civilization is an abomination unworthy of participation… if what you're worried about is parasites sitting back and feasting on your hard earned tax dollars, your beef is with the ultra-rich. crusties are just another scapegoat.

  97. "How do we empower the N.Y.P.D. to crack down on crusties without risking involuntary homeless persons getting caught in the process?" WTF bourgeois CHAD MARLOW !?
    Solution: Send the crusties, oogles and homeless people (voluntary, or not) to the Bay area. Food Not Bombs & Homes Not Jails would like to help you and have your participation/ involvement.

  98. Wow. You are a ridiculously ignorant. Judging people you don't know based on the way they look. Would it be okay if you talked like that about black people, or mexicans, or homosexuals? African american gangs rape and rob people in NYC, so should there be laws targeting all black people? Just let people live their lives, its none of your business. Not all people who travel or as you call them "crusties" are out here by choice, or are violent, or have drug addictions. More of the so called "involuntary homeless" have those problems actually, and they get checks from the government while asking you for money, which all goes directly towards vodka or their drug addictions. All of you people are completely ignorant and idiotic and you shouldn't talk about things that you have no idea about.

  99. Chad,
    I seriously think that you need some help. I can see some of your points but you are simply making assumptions based on your personal experience and one web site. One web site it not research. You have nothing to compare notes to. Thats not unbiased. Regardless of whether or not you're right, what you are suggesting here is a rounding up of homeless people, stealing their things, and essentially accepting many of Hitler's ideals.
    I'm Just saying….
    Echo

  100. You guys got oogles confused with crusties.

  101. I know alot of really peaceful crusty kids, who actually dont even drink or do drugs. Ive also travelled around the country with some and know that this piece is BS. There is no "New" generation that is more violent, quite the contrary now that the old groups like FTRA are now either old or dead.

  102. This is called profiling. I find this article extreemely offensive.

  103. It’s sad to say but when I started traveling in the late 90s if someone was being a problem within the scene they would get the Shit kicked out of them and ran out of town, now I’m not saying we should start beating everyone up that acts a fool, I’m just saying it was a pretty efficient way a getting the undesirable kids to go back home.

    Also Latfo.com for Lols.

  104. Most are Caucasian …..cops in NY don’t give a fuck about white they are racist and targeting minorities.

  105. This article makes me sick. As a woman who came from a really screwed up place as a kid, I ended up on the streets living as 1 of these"crusties" for years, all starting as a teenager. I had no education, no place to go and was too young to even be employed. Where does one turn? Certainly don't want to band together with the old wino's under the bridge. What would they do to a 15 year old girl? Logical solution : band together with other homeless youth. Sure I developed a drug problem, I was filthy, I was begging, but who is anyone to condemn the "lifestyle" of a young woman in a situation like that? Most of these people turn to drugs and alcohol as a means for coping with the trauma and discomforts that come along with being on the street. These things are highly addictive. They also alter judgement which can lead to things like violence. Tell me, without parental guidance, nutrition, and rest, how would you react? Especially if you have come from an abusive or neglectful situation. I am sure there are plenty of people who live out on the street as a choice, but who is to say which ones? Just because a person may not be homeless in the place they are from, does not mean that they want to be on the streets. Also, touching on the dog subject – going to sleep on a NYC sidewalk without a watchdog sound pretty freakin' scary to me! Glad to say that although it took me over 10 years of homelessness to finally succeed at becoming a functioning member of society, I am 30 years old and I still have my pit bull. She's been with me since I was 17 and is lounging on her dog bed in front of the heater right now. I am thankful for all of the kind strangers that helped me out along my journey, and as for anybody closed minded enough to think that this proposal is a good idea…. well…. perhaps you might try going out on the streets homeless and broke for even a couple of days and tell us all how it went. Discrimination against anybody based on the way they appear is absurd. Have a little empathy, and don't act like a bigot.

  106. When I was travelling through Canada they had a program where we were paid $40 a day for collecting discarded syringes around the parks and alleys of Vancouver. I can tell you the way people treat you when they see you helping to clean up their community, gives you the respect for yourself and the city you are travelling through. It also helps people to see past the patches and dirt to see that we are real people. Additionally it also keeps the kids off your door steps and begging on the sidewalk. There are positive ways that this guys issues in the article can be addressed.

  107. Wow. I find it hard to respond anything more than that. Everyday I struggle just to survive in a world full of judgemental fucks like the supporters of this article. The person who wrote this is extremely misinformed. It appears that you talked with trashcan (due to the very innocent and NOT drunken photograph you have of him) andiI’m sure that he told you much more than what your opinionated story would lead on. Where is Trashcan anyway? I’m sure he’d have a comment about this. Why don’t you get bout in the “field” and talk to some of us before polluting the intranets with even MORE bullshit? Some of us…what did u call us? “Crusties” actually FEED your “legitimate homeless” ( do those 2 words go together? WTF?) Their hot meals everyday. You can visit freethefood.org next time you want to do some research. We live every single fucking day taking care of the bums who “need the money more than we do” because of course, they NEVER spend all their money on booze.. (!!!). So I’m going to stop now before I let a poorly written article actually piss me off.

  108. Let me, too, address my concerns in numbers.
    1- you are implying a tourists worth and therefor a persons in general is based on their hierarchical rank in a consumerist society
    2- clearly you have not been in the east village long. And I would consider you the “tourist.”. As someone who grew up on 9th & 2nd, I can tell you that a) [I was able to add letters after my numbers] shit used to be alot more violent. You said or did the wrong thing and didn’t matter who you were crusty or yuppie you’d have a smiley (go ahead look it up on your precious internet it’s there) coming down on your face before you could blink. And b) it was the “crusties” that were there long before you. When I was a kid it was not Young Urban Professionals living in the neighborhood, it was the puerto ricans and the punk rockers. And only after we (I’m using we as an identifier with the group not that I actually did this part because I was too young) started squatting the rundown buildings and fixing them up and then slowly start fixing up the neighborhood did the mayor see the potential for money and start taking the homes of those who could not afford to fight. So, point being my neighborhood not yours why don’t you leave if you don’t like it, and you will because history repeats itself and when it does the neighborhood would have “gone to hell” and you’ll add to the people pushing brooklynites out of their homes cause they can’t afford their rent.
    3- now let’s address “voluntary homelessness”. People become homeless for many reasons. In our community many chose to become homeless because fighting for your life on the street seemed alot more appealing than getting raped or beaten at home. Of course not the case for everyone some thought it would be fun to travel and when they want to stop they find they have no skills and can’t get work. Whatever the case, I have been homeless on and off for 13 years (actually quite possibly to the day now that I think about it oddly enough) because I was thrown out at 14 years old. And you could say new yorks been my home base. But I just spent the past two years here on the streets trying to get housing through vArious organizations and I mean TRYING, and after waiting all that time I never got housing. So it’s not that easy to just get off the streets.
    4-Texas does put up with this shiit. Go to Austin in the winter.
    5-no ones taking money from someone who can’t afford to give it. Just the fact your living in the east village is because you can afford to give it. When you go to the bar or out to eat are you realy comparing prices because you don’t have that one dollar. And hey, I love it when people give me food. Believe it or not we get hungry too. And alot of people who give money do it because it makes them feel good about themselves.
    6- anyone named trashcan is clearly not a creddible source
    7- by categorizing us as “crusties” (I am a long time member of this group but don’t call myself crusty although others do) you are basicLly making us our own race making your article one of hate. You are acting like a self righteous bigot.

    I could keep going but I’m not. I just felt compelled to tell a very small part from the other side of your one sided story.

  109. Misinformation spreads like a wildfire… eating the minds of those that fall into a whimsical idealism of a threat to their way. Eat a bag of “burgers from Seattle” chad. Your misinformed, hateful skrill is a poor excuse for literature, at best. The “clear apparent danger” venture is trifling and all the same sensationalism as a grandstanding bigot. What happened chad, did this diseased defiling “crusty” steal your thunder with little johnny down the street? Did the vulgar diseased whelp steal him from you chad? Please try harder to find a solution to your problems with those enjoying life, if its junk or not. What did they teach you as a child chad, the “police” will fix it? Find a real solution to you lack of apathy here, keep your law makers out of your petty squabbles.

  110. Travellers and hobos have been stigmatized since the late 19th and early 20th century. The stigma of lacking work ethic and morality created during that period gave rise to the stereotype that this group of people possessed the potential to be dangerous and wild because they weren’t conforming to what the upper class considered a fundamental American institution of owning a home, having a family and holding a 9-5 job. So it’s no surprise to me that this trope is still in effect and that Mr. Marlow is using it to write a subjective and prejudice article cloaked behind the guise of (bad) research. Unlike you Mr. Marlow, I have done extensive research on the subject, not to mention know quite a few travelers/ conducted interviews, and it baffles me when people like yourself continue to reinforce such master narratives. Most “crusties” are not broken, or a victim of mental illness or drug abuse, nor are they inherently violent or bad because they choose to live in a way that you don’t understand. It’s false syllogism to state that all travelers or “crusties” are violent because you’ve seen/heard an instance of violence among few. Violence isn’t a characteristic of any group of people, it is something that occurs across the board. Next time you want to write something use legitimate sources please. A blog as research would never fly in the academic world. I wish you wrote this last year because you would have been a perfect example of how gross rationalization perpetuate stereotypes for me to use in my paper.

  111. charlie dyer

    most people that say they are "involuntarily homeless" are lying because if they weren't they would have a job pretty quik i know ive been and still am what you call homeless (witch is the new nigger) im a traveler ive helped rebuild Nola (new Orleans) when the hurricane destroyed it and still your yuppie asses say i do nothing the people in Europe all are more political then everyone in America they are all shit heads lost fucking puppies Americans grow up talk shit to my fucking face for once instead of screaming "get a job" when you are in the safety of you car you wonder why the "crusties" are violent because of scared misguided people like you learn more about your country there have been travelers for years and years and years travelers discovered this fucked up country and i wish they didnt

  112. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I do think that you ought to write more on this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people don’t discuss these topics. To the next! Cheers!!

    My blog … pożyczki chwilówki przez internet

  113. Most of these comments are disgusting. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. As for you Mr. Marlow no amount of sophistry can justify your place as a representative of the city of New York, my home for 26 years

  114. lerelelelelele

    fuck USA and them stupid laws. fuck you also chad marlow and your stupid morals

  115. What a generalized piece of garbage. Not all ‘crusties’ are like this and that fact that you are treating us like some nehanderthal tribe to be studied via crustpunks blogspot disgusts me. That forum is meant for people with similar interests and networking, it is not to be used as a tool for discrimination.
    It is unfortunate these certain persons are acting in such a violent manner, however to say one group of people is a problem is counterproductive. In ANY group of people; there will always be a few bad seeds. Peraonally, I have never done heroin and I never will. To generalize and say we all are like this is ridiculous and enrages me. These people make a bad name for us and are just as dissapointing to the working class; the people in our scene that actually make the music happen.. Which is originally what it was about.

  116. These people are retaliating with violence towards the public because for years we have been treated lie some parasitic existence. Try being nice to them, you most likely will be surprised.

  117. I used to be a homeless crust punk (where the term crusty comes from) I was thrown out of my house at 16 living in drainage ditches and the only way I could make money was bumming it sorry but no one will hire you when you haven't showered in months and have holes in your clothes. Some people that are (crusty) just do it because they feel like it or think its cool but most choose homelessness because life on the streets is better than their home environment people shouldn't see them as a problem why is it that they lock dumpsters and pour bleach on the food in them is it illegal to eat if you don't have money why do they put bars across park benches is it illegal to sleep if you don't have money why isn't there a place for people who need a place to go. homeless shelters are a joke I dare you to spend a night in one.
    I have now gotten into school and have had 2 amazing children a job as a fire fighter and a beautiful girlfriend. but it wasn't easy and I took allot of understanding caring people to help me do this.
    so if you wan't to get rid of the crusties buy them a cheese burger talk to them get real perspective into there humanity and don't get all your information from a website allot gets lost in translation
    PS I still get in fights because of stupid close minded jackasses like your self that see me and start talking shit because of the way i look assuming that it reflects some character trait open your eyes we are all just human about time we start acting like it
    grow the fuck up and find a real problem to bitch about

  118. You've got this weird distinction in your head between "homeless people I pity" and "homeless people I don't like" and you're trying to write a law based on it? That's pretty messed up, bro. Also, the enforcement scheme that you describe would actually screw over a variety of people who live on the street, not just your hated crusties. A lot of homeless folks already have trouble proving ID, let alone providing a paper trail of their residence in the city. Your plan also gives police a blank check to arrest anyone sleeping on the street and then later release them if they can prove that they're kosher- much like the practice of issuing bench warrants for unpaid minor fines, it gives them an excuse to involve people and especially addicts with the (in)justice system.

    If you hate the violence and disorder that crustpunks can bring, crack down on violence and disorder. Cracking down on street sleepers is cowardly, weak and vile.

  119. Taking people's camping gear to pay a fine for sleeping on the streets, just because they can't prove adequate residence in your city? If you fall asleep on the sidewalk can the cops take your house? Of course not. But my gear IS my house. My cookstove, tent, blankets, and pack are HOME. Without them, my quality of life drops, I'm more vulnerable, and I'm much more dependent on strangers to get by (a very scary prospect for a young female traveler). I often travel with my (awesome, gutterpunk) partner and our dog, Kai. That dog is my best friend, emotional pillar, and the single greatest protector of my bodily security, not to mention up on her shots and generally a stellar lil citizen. But she's definitely not "licensed" in the state of New York, so if we were to say, pass through NYC to visit my grandmother (who has throat cancer upstate) they'd be able to steal my dog as well as my house in a matter of two hard-luck nights. If you think that wouldn't make you want to start a couple of street brawls you're lying to yourself. Plenty of 'moral' people become robbers, thieves and cheats when you take away their last lifelines and you probably would too.

    Humans have the right to migration. Many US cities have sleeping bans and other weird laws which effectively make it illegal and often criminal to live outside in an urban environment. These laws violate a number of basic human rights (remember, those are your rights too, whether or not you choose to use them!) but it's rarely talked about. Cities get away with it by providing homeless shelters, so they can't be accused of just rounding up the indigent without giving them options. What a lot of never-been-homeless people don't realize is that a shelter is NOT always a better option than the street, nor does its technical existence always make it possible for you to sleep there TONIGHT. They can be horrible places, and they are often full. Even if they weren't, I can still choose to sleep outside rather than in the proper, government-sanctioned, sleeping-while-poor facility, because I am a free human being and so are you.

  120. nobody wants to see the homeless crowding the street all over avenue a. this is a serious problem that should be adressed. i dont understand how the rent in the village is so high and the quality of life is so poor. it shouldnt be that way.

  121. This is stupid, many homeless people do not come from the city or area they are homeless in. They left places they were native to because of past legal troubles,debts,family issues, and other reasons. Many could also be said to be homeless by choice, or BY the choices they have made. There is no way to pinpoint how someone ended up somewhere in black and white terms. "Crusties" is just a stupid label to describe a certain group of homeless who travel, when there are said to be near 20,000 transients who move from state to state, which is a lot. Can you judge all of those people under one banner? The south wouldn't tolerate this, yeah, you know what they do? Throw their homeless in jail for laws that only apply to the homeless. I'm sure that's what all of you would want though, because you're safe in your polished expensive homes and aren't one of the criminalized communities in NYPD's eyes.

  122. N.Y.P.D. r racist against white people, poor, and twist laws to keep jails full so they can get $. From the feds. Chad you are discriminating and profile, just like pigs. Boston sucks and is full of people that have sadistic, selfish behavior. Beating up someone with their friends. They wouldn’t dear do it by themselves. Scared of a Lil pain. Raw-ink is an idiot. A crusty kid. Isn’t a crust punk. It’s called a gutter punk. And an oogle is no way like a crustie. A wing nut is a joke j cat. which is what you sound like. Making no sense. Your mind has been warped from propaganda. And lack of a will to evolve your thinking. Your scared your world which is held up by a monetary system will fail then your materialistic greed and worldly evils will be festering and benign

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