Two girls placed flowers and a note a few days ago on the bench in Riverside Park near 75th Street where a homeless man used to sit, according to Gretchen Berger, who took the photos above and below.


An unidentified homeless man died on March 9 in the park, and it appears that it was the same man who would sit on this bench or another one on 71st for the last four years. He developed a quiet but important bond with locals who spent time in the park. Police have not identified the man yet, though commenters have said his name was Stephen.

Others have added to the memorial in the days since.


NEWS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. Gretchen says:

      And the outpouring continues today, April 13: the bench was literally overflowing with flowers, candles and other items.

    2. geoff says:

      i’m curious to know more about the “quiet but important bond” the homeless man established with the community. what was its nature?

      did people socialize with him?

      did people give him access to their bathroom/bath?

      did people feed him?

      what was it like?

    3. Jessica says:

      I spoke with him and brought him food which he thanked me for and seemed happy about. But day-in-day-out walking my dogs in the park, he generally avoided eye contact, never said “Hi” first, never moved to pet my dogs or engage in anyway.

      I think part of what drew people to him was that he sat outside in extreme weather and ignored everyone, even people who would say “Hi Steven” like me. Make whatever assumptions you will, since clearly you have no idea what we’re talking about, never saw the man or wondered about him and how to help. It was actually very upsetting to see someone who usually rebuffed a friendly “Hello” and who was sitting outside in dangerous weather. Sometimes it was like he was intentionally doing something dangerous – like walking a high-wire – and denying anyone’s ability to stop him. Taunting fate while so many people felt helpless to reach out.

      Your questions, geoff, could be construed as reporterly, but this probably isn’t a topic to troll.

    4. Wilfredo Ubardo says:

      I Just got back and was shocked by this sad news. Although we never spoke, I was always looking forward to see his expressionless grace sitting on that bench. In a weird kind of way I felt moved by him. May he rest in peace