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.........That is some serious, serious, homeless people. Around 1mil. I had no idea that there are that many underground in N.Y. Man I'm glad I have been blessed.
Originally posted by WyrdeOne
You're oversimplifying a problem and issuing blanket statements contrary to reason and the experience of other people.
There have been several excellent documentaries about the underground city below NY, one was entitled Under Pegasus if I remember correctly, because the main access points are in Grand Central Station, which boasts a beautiful ceiling mural of the heavenly constellations, including, you guessed it, Pegasus.
I have known many a gutter punk during my years in Manhattan (I lived there for a good portion of my life off and on, and tend to gravitate towards the fringe), most of them are decent enough people once you get to know them, but they are incredibly distrustful of outsiders, of everyone actually. Just like in all communities, the homeless community has perverts and psychos who take advantage of children. The smart street kids learn quick to trust nobody, and always look out for number one. Would you counsel them to do any different?
The community below NY has been relatively accepting of documentary film makers, writers and researchers. It's common practice to hire a local guide to prevent problems, but I suggest you be very scrupulous in picking the right guide. And for God's sake, don't go down there sightseeing, it's not the goddamn zoo, it's a fallout shelter from an insane world. (ever tried making it a week in a NYC shelter, especially in incliment weather?)
The homeless down there are armed, they're cunning because their survival depends on it, and they're much better adapted to the environment than any rich kid or street cop, so they have the advantage. There have been efforts to clean the city out, all were complete failures, and did nothing but foster resentment. When subsequent mayors found they could not eradicate the homeless completely, they resigned themselves to simply forcing the majority of them underground. Some estimates place the number of people living UNDER NY, at about a million.
In closing, I've known some good kids who had to retreat underground because of weather, police, and general safety issues (the shelters are not safe, I repeat, NOT SAFE). They didn't do it because they wanted to, they did it because they had to. It was a tough decision, and these kids are undeniably brave for venturing into the darkness where grown, armed, trained men fear to tread. Some make a life for themselves down there, others die or are captured and abused.
It's a hard life. But you shouldn't say they're all anti-social and dangerous. No more so than your average New Yorker. The things they have to teach, many people need to learn.
What they are..survivors. And don't forget it.