Belnord Hotel Becomes Temporary Emergency Men’s Homeless Shelter

Photo by Nazim.

By Carol Tannenhauser

The Belnord Hotel, at 209 West 87th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway, has become a 149-bed “temporary emergency men’s homeless shelter,” according to a city official, who heard the news from the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). The manager of the hotel confirmed by phone that “the Belnord will not be operating as a hotel until further notice. It was taken by the city.” When asked why, he hung up.

Neighborhood resident Julia Vitullo-Martin notified WSR of activity at the Belnord around 11:15 a.m. Thursday morning. “Four busloads of people, mostly men & mostly unmasked, are pouring into the tiny, former boutique hotel,” she wrote.

Isaac McGinn, a DHS spokesperson would not confirm that the Belnord was indeed the site of a new homeless shelter, but emphasized that “the use of commercial hotels remains an essential part of our strategies for protecting the New Yorkers who we serve (from) the COVID pandemic. This includes our proactive use of hotels to protect some of our most vulnerable clients, such as seniors and single adults who we are relocating from larger shelters to ensure we can implement effective social distancing for those individuals who we are relocating as well as within the shelters from which they are moving.”

The shelter will be managed by CUCS — Center for Urban Community Services — a 40-year-old social services organization, which the city official praised.

The following is the official statement from DHS:

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 72 comments | permalink
    1. UWSbacksliding says:

      I noticed today that the Park West Hotel at 465 CPW at W. 107th St. is also now housing the homeless. This will not be temporary because civil liberty agencies are already filing cases in the courts that the homeless cannot be evicted later once COVID is under control. It will be very difficult for these places to be hotels again.

      The city is also buying low rent buildings and bring back SRO’s…..many on the UWS. 12 buildings already purchased for $145 million and 17 more next month.

      We have a weak, push over Community Board on the UWS and City Hall takes advantage of this by creating SRO’s and subsidize housing for the homeless, mentally ill, and drug addicts.

      • stevieboy says:

        Sounds like someone might be happier over on the UES.:)

        • UWSbacksliding says:

          It wasn’t like this when I moved to the UWS, so yes, let’s maintain a clean, safe area for all. I’m not against mixed income neighborhoods as long as residents are law abiding and respectful of others. Broadway is getting out of control.

    2. Jerry says:

      The city makes decisions about who lives in the uws and residents paying taxes / no one, is told about it. Nothing new.

    3. ConcernedUWSider says:

      @UWSbacksliding – I absolutely agree with you.

      People in this neighborhood, will you PLEASE voice your opinions to the Community Board and to Helen Rosenthal, Linda Rosenthal, Danny O’Donnell, Mark Diller?

      This is INSANE. We are overrun with shelters and our streets in the 90s and 100s are becoming a pig sty with drug users getting high on Broadway. I have seen this firsthand.

      Do you really want your children to see this? I noticed a man waving his arms and screaming at a little girl the other day.

      We are allowing this to happen by not speaking up!

      Please call the below members ASAP. Let them know we can NOT accept another permanent shelter residence in our neighborhood. We exceed all other Manhattan neighborhoods because we let this happen over and over again. This HAS TO STOP NOW and enough is ENOUGH for the Upper West Side. We are the laughing stock of Manhattan as we lay down and let the city walk all over us.

      Again, think about the children in our neighborhood if you aren’t worried about yourselves.

      Please call and let them know we will NOT accept this, please call right away and let’s stand up for ourselves.

      Helen Rosenthal: (212)873-0282
      Linda Rosenthal: 212-873-6368
      Danny O’ Donnell: 212-866-3970
      Mark Diller, Community Board:(212) 362-4008
      Gale Brewer:212-531-1609

      • lynn says:

        Just for the record, a group of men has been living on 72nd street btwn B’way and WEA for the several 2 years. Their base is the alcove of Gebhard’s which is right next door to Linda Rosenthal’s office. They move back and forth between the bench in front of the Emerald Inn (WEA) and the wood construction blocks in front of Joseph Pharmacy (B’way).

        I’d been making it a point to shop at Joseph’s during the pandemic but these men are getting so verbally and physically aggressive that I’ve stopped going there. The group includes the man everyone refers to as ‘the tie dye guy,’ and the man who does the chalk drawings on B’way, as well as the men who regularly accompany them.

        So, the problem is HOW do we help get these men off the street and WHERE do we house them if no one wants them in the hotels in the neighborhood?

        • HelenD says:

          I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better. The police don’t care, the reps on that list don’t care, and the businesses on that block ‘can’t do anything about it.’ I would think Joseph’s would be more concerned but obviously not, and owners of the bars might as well hire them as employees for the amount of time they spend sitting in front of each place.

          This all started with a homeless encampment under the scaffolding on the south east of Broadway in front of Citibank/and bus stop, and slowly spread over to WEA (different group of men), but also with scaffolding/and bus stop. If Rosenthal and her employees can walk through this mess every day and turn a blind eye then I don’t know where to turn anymore.

          • lynn says:

            I had meant to say they’d been out there for several years but it’s gotten worse since the scaffolding went up 2 years ago. I know it’s happening on other blocks in the neighborhood but how do we stop it, if as you said the people in charge aren’t paying attention? I only go outside if it’s necessary, but I always feel like I’m running a gauntlet.

      • Glen says:

        It is amazing that the UWS rolls over and takes this, time after time. Good luck putting something like this where I grew up in Astoria, or maybe out in Bay Ridge, or the Northeast Bronx. Those City Council reps would be up in arms. People would be screaming about property values, child safety, etc. But here…crickets.

        Stores and restaurants close all around us, supermarkets have become scarcer than hens’ teeth; Broadway is assuming a post apocalyptic demeanor and yet high density housing and homeless shelters continue to be pumped into the area. Crime seems to be up, graffiti is making a comeback with a vengeance yet Helen Rosenthal, et al fill our mailboxes with vapid “community updates.” I don’t understand any of this.

        • hym says:

          We all know why…it’s because the neighborhood is so goddamn liberal, you are labeled a racist/evil/uncompassionate the moment you raise your voice, and no one wants to be that person.

      • Fred says:

        I have emailed H. Rosenthal’s office May 13 to just ask about the Belleclaire…It has become a shelter and of course want the best for everyone, but homeless gatherings on the street 24/7 – many without masks – may not be the best for a neighborhood with many kids…I followed up with a couple of phone calls. No replies. Anyone knows how to reach her?

      • UWSbacksliding says:

        Great info! We need to stand up for the quality of life in our neighborhood. Other areas do this and it works.

    4. Sherman says:

      It’s a tragedy that a bunch of liberal bureaucrats are obsessed with turning back the clock and reverting to the bad old days of the UWS.

      Crime and filth are up and we have a Board of Ed intent on destroying the handful of decent public schools left in the city.

      Now beautiful renovated hotels in nice areas are being turned into “temporary” shelters for derelicts.

      Middle class families are fleeing the city and I hear a lot of buzz from friends and on social media that they want to as well. The city has lost its luster and nobody in their right mind would want to move in these days.

      Even when this pandemic ends the city will never recover from this liberal social engineering.

      • stevieboy says:

        After all of your reprehensible and racist comments regarding the Central Park dog walker situation who in their right mind would listen to what you have to say about anything in this neighborhood.

        You have revealed your true feelings and destroyed your credibility.

        p.s. You hear a lot of “buzz” that people are leaving?? We can only hope so…and that you will be joining them. Sounds like you might all be happier in the South or some other part of MAGA country.

        • Sherman says:

          Hi stevieboy

          Thanks for following my comments!


        • SophiaG says:

          You are a hero and a role model for us all! I look forward to your reasoned and logical comments. Thank you!

          • SophiaG says:

            Oh, my comment above is for Stevieboy!

            • stevieboy says:

              Thanks so much, Sofia.

              I am just trying to keep these guys honest and point out that this increasingly vocal minority (Trump supporters, racists, elitists, etc.) does not represent the UWS and it’s famously diverse, open-minded and caring residents.

              I have lived here since the 70’s and I am very protective of this community and what it has historically represented. These folks, who tend to be more recent arrivals and have a certain amount of wealth, don’t understand that this isn’t some elitist gated community. It’s the heart and soul of NYC!!

              It’s not for everybody. But I am glad that kind people like you are still here.:)

          • Michael UWS says:

            Yes steaming boiler plate liberal sentiment w advanced strain disaffective white guilt virus is just whats needed for fair disquisition of the quality of life issues on UWS and in WSR comments section. Please edify the readers with exemplative Citations of an alleged “vocal minority (Trump supporters, racists, elitists, etc.) [LOL] does not represent the UWS and it’s famously diverse, open-minded and caring residents.” Really? Fact is notwithstanding such inaccurate effusive anecdotal if diahretic pusilanmities and arm chair mischaracterizations the actual ‘minority’ is the radical liberal political class whose cheeks are gourged with corporate favors, campaign $ allowances and privileges. The real UWS (and humane) majority are rational UWSrs who indeed are through being morally dicated to, overly governed by inchoate, leftist activists mismanaging our neighborhood from the schools to the streets, reps that could not get ahead of a crisis if their lives depended on it, throwing UWS constituents crumbs while heeling to big money and political (hack) career advancement. Citing politics in this case is low level political farce something most state & national democractic (lack of) leadership excel in 3 years + ongoing. Rich, entitled grifters w life time FULL personal and family & healthcare pensions, lucrative corporate job placement advancement post term, the dems and their Epstein pals are an ignominious sad scandal coast to coast.  Smoke that in your pipe of fallacy boilerplate diatribes. That said bless you, and have a safe, healthy prosperous Summer, you and everyone dear readers of WSR the best nyc neighborhood journal. Thank you.

        • UWSman says:

          Wait a second, stevieboy. You claim to be protective of a diverse community by race-baiting and having zero tolerance for anyone who’s opinion differs from your own?

          I don’t agree with all the posts on this blog (some of Sherman’s among them), but do you even comprehend the irony of your crazy comment?

          Let’s be clear – you don’t speak for the community, you speak for yourself.

          • Leon says:

            I agree. I’m usually not a big fan of Sherman’s but I totally agree with him (though perhaps he could phrase it more delicately). The UWS does its fair share of helping out. At some point enough is enough. Our representatives are tripping over themselves to showcase their uber liberal values rather than looking out for the well-being of their constituents. I am well left-of-center compared to most of America (Vote for Biden!) but in this neighborhood I sometimes feel like a Republican.

            And yes, people are trying to get out of the city as quickly as they can. It isn’t just the UWS, but the deterioration of the neighborhood is making the decision a lot easier for us. Stores are emptying out, Carranza is destroying our schools, the streets are dirty and dangerous.

            My wife and I worked hard to extend ourselves to buy a place here a few years ago – we loved the neighborhood and thought it was important to live near where we both work. Now it seems like we will be working from home for a while and many of the amenities that drew us to the city (theater, sports, etc.) are gone, why should we stay? But unfortunately, we are stuck with a huge mortgage and I guarantee you no one wants our apartment because everyone else is also fleeing to the burbs.

            And thanks to stevieboy for his ignorant comment about going to the south. I have a lot of family in the south and there are plenty of good people there. Perhaps instead of making nasty, ignorant posts here, he should spend some time getting to know them. And perhaps working to get states like NC, GA and FL to vote for Biden.

            Stevieboy’s name is ironic as there was a poster here named dannyboy who sounded a lot like him and espoused the same knee-jerk liberalism. He would post constantly and try to drown out anyone else. Any relation?

            • stevieboy says:

              You say my comment is ignorant and then proceed to make my points for me. Thanks.

              By your own admission, you bought an apt here a few years ago. So, you had enough $$ to spend on NYC real estate (congrats on your success) and are a VERY recent arrival to our fair neighborhood.

              And now you are having buyer’s remorse because you got in over your head and the neighborhood isn’t fulfilling your suburban expectations. And we are somehow supposed to feel sorry for you or something? Maybe you can get a bailout from Trump?? haha

              Seriously, like I said before, NYC and the UWS aren’t for everyone. You have be tough and authentic to live and thrive here.

              Oh and you’re right, the “South” doesn’t have a history of slavery and a rich tradition of racism and nobody down there supports Trump…my mistake. (eye’s rolling out of my head)

              You, and the two or three like minded “conservative” dudes that post here, are really something.

              Calling out racism is not “race baiting” and YES, I have no tolerance for it and neither do others on the UWS. So stop threatening to leave NY because of all the liberals and minorities and immigrants…you won’t be missed.

            • Sherman says:

              @ Leon

              Yes, “stevieboy” is dannyboy! I was thinking the exact same thing.

              Not only does “stevieboy” obsessively post the same angry delusional left wing crap as dannyboy but he dropped biographical details that proves he’s dannyboy.

              Good catch!


            • stevieboy says:

              I remember DannyBoy well, as I said, I have been here for DECADES.

              DannyBoy, Bruce Bernstein and few others always did their best to counter these UWS newcomers who have gentrified our neighborhood.

              SHERMAN-do you ever get tired of being wrong?? It’s comical to me how sure you are of yourself (even touting “evidence”) only to expose yourself as being….well, just not that bright, to say it nicely.

              Anyway, I am not DannyBoy and if I was I would proudly say so….as would the real DannyBoy if you knew him at all. He was not the type to shy away from the truth or expressing his opinions.

              And if Danny or Bruce are reading this, God Bless!!! and Power to the People!!

            • Leon says:

              stevieboy: Your ignorant generalizations about people are the reason why we have Trump in the White House now – the rest of the country hates us because we generalize about them.

              I really don’t want to waste my time responding to you, but so you should know:

              – I am a registered Democrat who has never voted otherwise in my life. But I am a moderate, not an extremist like you.
              – I have lived in the neighborhood for 20 years. My wife and I scrapped and saved to finally buy an apartment five years ago. We have kids in neighborhood public schools, where we are very involved. My parents lived here before you were born and moved away. So don’t act like you are more entitled to live here than me or like you speak for the neighborhood.
              – Unlike you, who ignorantly stereotypes everyone in the South, I actually lived there. I interacted with liberals, conservatives, people in rural and urban areas, whites, blacks, etc. There is a lot of trouble in the history (and present) of the south, but there are also a lot of really good people there. So don’t generalize if you have never lived or spent time in a place. We have plenty of racism here too (see Cooper, Amy). This would be a lot better country if people from red areas were forced to live in blue areas and vice versa, rather than people like you who have spent your whole life in the shtetl of the UWS so generalize about the rest of the country.
              – the homeless situation in the neighborhood is out of control, and only getting worse. They are human beings and should be treated as such. But some of them need a lot of help and are not receiving it. So to plop them down in a largely upper middle class residential neighborhood without any support doesn’t help anyone.

              That’s all I’ve got. Say hi to your doppelganger dannyboy. And vote Biden, even if his VP is not liberal enough for you.

            • 123Train says:

              Stevieboy, since when is “diversity” another word for dirty streets, crime, and a crappy quality of life? It sounds like you’ve given up, just like those who have decided to leave. The only difference is that you have decided to stay, or perhaps you are forced to. Either way, no self-respecting person would be cheering for a decline in their environment the way you are.

      • Kat_77 says:

        I 100% agree with Sherman’s comments. People are most definitely planning on leaving the city & a lot of them already have. This city will never completely recover & be what it once was. If most people are forced to WFH they can move anywhere for half the COL. More & more people tell me with each passing day that their days in NYC are over. A lot of these people are native New Yorkers, all different ages & from all walks of life. The city no longer has the quality of life it once had.

        • UWSbacksliding says:

          Stevieboy – sounds like you would be happier in Seattle or Portland which are overrun with homelessness.

          Life evolves and moves forward. By living in the past and glorifying the “good ole run down 70’s,” you sound like a bitter old man. btw – if those of us sound like MAGA people to you, we are not. We are left of center, just wanting a decent neighborhood.

          • stevieboy says:

            Nobody glorified the 1970’s on the UWS…just stating a fact that I was here then. Born and raised UWSer! Were you even here then??

            And I am not a “bitter, old man” in fact I am in my 40’s and I am just angry. Angry at newcomers in the neighborhood who have barely been here long enough to order a pizza, and now they want to change things and impose their suburban lifestyle on the rest of us.

            I was reading about a similar thing happening in Texas where tons of Californians are moving there and bringing their liberal values to the deep south. Needless to say, it isn’t going over well with the locals there.

            Would you move to Harlem and then complain about all the black folks, or Chinatown is just too Asian?? Yet you decry the liberals on the UWS?

            Why did you all move to the UWS? Seriously, why would you move to the most stereotypical liberal neighborhood in the country and then scream and shout about it. It just doesn’t make sense.

            By the way, someone asked about my housing situation and I don’t, and never have, lived in a rent controlled building. I come from a very hardworking and business savvy immigrant family that always owned our apartments. Personally I just upgraded my condo on the UWS about 8 years ago. And I guarantee my mortgage is as big if not bigger than any of yours. Not to mention my property taxes, maintenance, etc.

            And even though I bought at the top of the market, I have no regrets…no buyers remorse…and I cherish everyday that I wake up in this amazing neighborhood. Too bad many of you don’t feel the same way.

            • ConcernedUWsider says:

              Stevieboy, I think that’s great that you upgraded your condo and you are also investing in this neighborhood by paying a mortgage. That’s wonderful. Personally I pay for a shoebox but I am happy on the Upper West Side (and hope to be able to live in a larger apartment one day!). I chose the Upper West Side because I do love the acceptance and the people are genuine. It is the people and the beautiful buildings that I have always loved. The point now is it’s become unmanageable for the excess of people that are on Broadway and elsewhere as described, that are walking around not working, drug using and mentally ill. It’s a big problem all over the city however the Upper West Side has taken more than their share and we did so because we are a wonderful caring people. It’s now time to let the other neighborhoods take some of the homeless.

              If this remains temporary, that’s fine. It’s that we don’t want this to be permanent because it is unmanageable right now. We will always be caring and we will always take those who need help but at this point it’s too excessive and that’s the situation; that is why I am so concerned.

          • Sherman says:

            Actually stevieboy (a/k/a) dannyboy would be happier in San Francisco, another bastion of coastal elite liberalism.

            I was there a couple of years ago. The streets were swarming with homeless. I stayed in a beautiful hotel and there was a giant homeless encampment right outside the entrance.

            • UWSsliding says:

              I’ve lived in various parts of the country and world. Too bad you haven’t. In fact, I live on the border of Harlem in a Dominican area of the UWS. There is more to it than the West 70s and 80s.

    5. L. Braverman says:

      Hmm… I don’t quite understand this. I can see giving (or lending) someone in need some temporary help, but this feels permanent.

      I worked hard, very hard, to get my apt.

      Sixteen hours a day sometimes, when I was lucky enough to get that opportunity, often working six, seven days a week, to put together a down payment. My first mortgage had a 13 3/4% interest rate. But finally I became a man of property; I had accomplished something… in Manhattan, which is expensive! So okay; it’s a 5th story walk-up & I’m on the top floor, but still…

      And now, others will get a hotel room or apartment for free… and I’m going to pay for it? Do these people work? And if not, am I also paying for their food, medicine and everything else as well? And do they then tell all their friends: “Yes! Hurry on over to NYC, it’s heaven!

      Meanwhile taxes shoot up on commercial and residential spaces, to pay for all of this?

      MY NYC RE taxes have almost TRIPLED in the last 10 years and now we’re going to provide free room and board in one of the most expensive cities in the world?

      And look to the future; NYC is going to be in some excruciating pain as people don’t walk but RUN away from the pandemic capital of the world, at the very same time that large companies are waking up to the fact that workers working from home are both more productive and cheaper at the same time, also calling in sick much less often, which is icing on the cake.

      And this is when we choose to give a free room and board commitment to people w/o money?

      I see the 1970s coming back with a vengeance, as both commercial & residential RE start to slide in tandem further and faster (they’ve already been going down for several years, at the same time that supply is still growing… remember that phrase about going broke in the 1930s? “Slowly at first and then all at once”)and, tone-deaf to developments, the politicians continue to overburden the productive elements of our society over the idle or sickly.

      Is there even a program to make these “vulnerable people” productive once again? Has it worked, or is it all feel good projects?

      Is Bill De Blasio the Mayor Lindsay for our time? Throwing money we don’t have at feel good ideas that’ll eventually bankrupt us… yet again?

      • J says:

        you’re 100% on point. People are finally seeing what DeBlasio and Cuomo are all about.

      • dc says:

        L., yesterday I saw a woman relieving herself on my block. The day before, my daughter saw a different woman doing the same thing.

        And, with the new property tax proposal on the horizon, the cost of living here will rise once again.

        I think I’m just about done.

      • UWSbacksliding says:

        Good question – are these people getting free housing in a program to help get them back on their feet?? Are there requirements on learning job skills or looking for work in order to remain there? So word spreads, become homeless and get a free place to live.

    6. M Taylor says:

      No masks, no social distancing in gatherings outside. Last bullet point broken already. I remember when this was an SRO in the ’80’s and ’90’s.

    7. alex says:

      this is gonna be great

    8. Drew says:

      How can we insure this IS temporary and not going to be made permanent?! We are overburdened as is and have beyond our fair share of supportive housing as a neighborhood.

      We are already going to be in a terrible financial situation. Why are we exacerbating that?

      I understand these are extreme times and we should all help however we can. It this IS in-fact temporary, than its great we can help people in need, BUT what’s to stop the DHS or the city from making this a permanent shelter? How can we prevent that from happening?

    9. Rob G. says:

      Absolutely pathetic. The city is determined to turn the UWS into one huge homeless shelter and we are powerless to do anything about it.

      • Sherman says:

        Actually, Rob G, there is something we can do about it – vote with our feet.

        More and more people are leaving the city because of shenanigans like this.

        The liberals and criminals and homeless can have the city to themselves.

        • Rob G. says:

          I would leave in a heartbeat, but unfortunately waited too long. Prices outside the city are crazy, and the value of my condo is now a big goose egg. And even if the city returns to normalcy, the UWS will remain derelict due to the permanence of all the shelters in the neighborhood, with more on the way. Decades of hard work down the drain. I envy all my renter friends that are all packing up and getting out for greener pastures.

    10. 123Train says:

      Get ready for a long haul here, folks. Remember Freedom House on West 95th Street? That was also a “temporary” shelter, which took the community years to rid itself of. And what did the city replace it with? Another shelter!

    11. dc says:

      This is in addition to the hotel on 77th street? Wow.

    12. ConcernedUWSider says:

      Please see the below ABC News article how they have basically made the Hotel Belleclaire into a homeless shelter where there are senior citizens living there for the last 40 years. Their lives are now more in danger from Covid-19 and they are the most vulnerable.

      Most importantly, please see Mark Diller’s comment in this major news article:

      –> Diller said there is no approval that’s required or solicited from the board for the hotels used for those without shelter.

      He added the community in the Upper West Side has long been a “welcoming home for a lot of social services,” including the Department of Homeless Services.

      “And I think a lot of us are pretty proud to do our part and, truthfully, a little bit more than our part,” Diller said. <–

      ** He basically just told all of NYC Services that we are happy to keep taking more homeless shelters and I won't fight it. **

      The city is going to use the pandemic to use every available hotel on the UWS that will become permanent shelters because they know we'll take them. There are 1000's of hotels in Manhattan to choose from and the UWS has already done their part.

      If everyone does a quick 5 minute calling campaign to our elected officials, who WE elected, and keeps the pressure on, 5 minutes every week to check on their PROGRESS in fighting this, it would help. It's what we can do to let them know this is not OK.

      Once again, Mark Diller basically just told all of NYC Services that we are happy to keep taking more homeless shelters and I won't fight it.

      It’s now or never. Please call them today.

      Mark Diller, Community Board:(212) 362-4008
      Helen Rosenthal: (212)873-0282
      Linda Rosenthal: 212-873-6368
      Danny O’ Donnell: 212-866-3970
      Gale Brewer:212-531-1609

      • UWSbacksliding says:

        Do petitions work anymore?

        If someone suggests a few scripts for a call, that may make is easier. Needs to sound intelligent and not whiny and NIMBY.

        • stevieboy says:

          “Needs to sound intelligent and not whiny or NIMBY”

          Your words not mine!!!! HAHAhaha Classic.:)

          Finally some self-awareness from this guy! At least you realize how unintelligent and selfish you sound (and are).

          God bless all the caring, empathetic UWSiders. This is, and always has always been, an inclusive community.

          • UWSbacksliding says:

            You ASSUME I’m a guy? How prejudice is that.

            • stevieboy says:

              That’s all you got?!?

              Come on, I expect better from you. You are making this too easy.

              See, I like substantive discussions whereas all these conservatives just like to complain about so called “political correctness”.

              By the way, “dude” and “guy” and many other words are used these days in a gender neutral manner…just FYI

    13. ST says:

      The city continues to load up the UWS with shelters and supportive housing. We have more than any other area in New York. Some proportion is in order.

    14. ST says:

      CB 7–worst possible community board in America. Ignores constituents totally. Useless apparatchiks. Ditto Helen Rosenthal.

      • Abdul Sayeed says:

        The national Republican Party is well beyond hateful. But people like Helen Rosenthal, Marc Diller, and other arrogant and imperial members of Community Board 7 are leaving rational Upper West Siders little choice but to vote all local Democrats out of office. (It is a bit naive to believe that petitions will change their mind set.) Unless another local party arises – Please, please! – we must seriously consider casting our votes for the local Republican candidates in the next election – for that is the only “message” our local Democrats will understand.

    15. Dan Jaul says:

      Have they considered using Trump hotels? They could more easily absorb the large numbers of people as well as the financial impact.

    16. B.B. says:

      Current listed rack rates for Belnord were low as $68/night. You can rest assured DHS/NYC is paying owners of that place far more to house the homeless.

      It is easy money for all UWS and other hotels that take in homeless, and owners likely aren’t bothered by future associations. They are making money from this hand over fist instead of sitting with empty rooms. If local community has issues, that isn’t their problem so likely thinking goes.

      Belnord already is tainted from a bed bug infestation issue a few years ago. To be honest we’re talking about budget accommodations here, not the Waldorf Astoria or Hotel Pierre.

      Finally as have stated frequently in past Belnord and other such accommodations once were “residential” hotels when they went up in early part of last century.

      By 1930’s and certainly after WWII tastes changed and tourists wanted something different, more upscale. If anyone has ever been in the Belnord they know rooms are *small*, and the place resembles exactly what it once was, an upscale bedsit or SRO.

    17. SophiaG says:

      Finally, we all get to enjoy the benefits of the policies we UWSers fought for so long and so hard. Long live the heroes and role models who brought us to this glorious time!

    18. denton says:

      In the 1970s, other than a few blocks on the Bowery, there was little to no homelessness. Because, here on the UWS in particular, economically stressed people were all housed in ‘welfare hotels’ aka SROs. I lived in one for a while. Life was good. I guess we are going back to the 70s, for better or worse.

    19. ConcernedUWSider says:

      @stevieboy, just wondering, is your apartment all paid off because you have lived here for 40 years (or is it only $1000/month or lower) that you no longer have to worry about making rent or mortgage payments? If this neighborhood declines because there are mentally ill and drug users causing problems on the streets, and our city council members allow more shelter people who DO NOT work at all, is that fair to us who work very hard to live here? I am not wealthy and I have paid rent for 20 years on the UWS, in a 5-floor walk up and work very hard to be here.

      We have accepted people overwhelmingly but it is not manageable any longer because we have hit our limit.

      People who do not have paid off apartments and work very hard to pay the rent deserve to live here too, without excessive mentally ill and drug users who are on Broadway all day, every day.

      If we are are all inclusive and if everyone cares, then they need to think of their fellow neighbors who live here and care about them too.

    20. Sarah says:

      Stunned at the simplemindedness of people who don’t realize that if we keep people crowded together in shelters they will be hotbeds of contagion, which will then spread back out into the community. YOU WILL BE AT RISK, TOO. Especially all the senior pearl-clutchers around here. People have got to be given room to distance themselves, not jammed together in spaces physically incapable of letting them stay separate.

      • UWSbacksliding says:

        Yes, this is true, but the city should equally spread out the shelters in ALL neighborhoods. The UWS is over capacity for this. That is all we are saying.

        • B.B. says:

          Will say it again and keep it short.

          West side of Manhattan from Chelsea through Hell’s Kitchen, UWS and right on up though Harlem once was full of these residential or low budget hotels. They were largely built from late 1800’s through late 1920’s before Great Depression hit.

          Many were torn down, but scores remain and have become anything from SROs/welfare hotels to budget tourist.

          Scan listing of hotels from this 1919 Hotel World book and you’ll see many familiar hotel names.

          • ConcernedUWSider says:

            @B.B. Thank you for this insightful information. If the budget hotels are taking advantage of the NYC government wanting to use their space and pay them while they have no tourists, then that’s what the hotel owners will do during this pandemic.

            I am wondering if there is a way to keep pressure on our NYC local ELECTED officials to stress and push back on the NYC government and DHS from constantly using the UWS budget hotels?

            If it is for 3-6 months because of the pandemic, then we’ll have to live with it but if our local elected officials basically state to the press that we are happy to keep taking more homeless and our local elected officials do not fight the DHS and NYC government, then we will keep having budget hotels that may take the NYC government money over tourists.

            I am learning as I go here so if anyone knows how this works and what we can do to prevent this, I would love to know. As I’ve said, it’s the excessive amount of homeless being placed here in our neighborhood and it is currently unmanageable.

            Can we strongly request our CURRENT local elected officials fight DHS and the NYC government to stop them from approaching our neighborhood to place people?

            Thank you for any insight!

            • B.B. says:

              These budget hotels are where they are, and that is the problem not just restricted to UWS but parts of Queens and Brooklyn as well.

              Residents of other areas have pushed back strongly and often violently at any efforts by city or anyone else to build “budget” hotels, and or homeless shelters/low income housing.

              Each time city announces plans to open/build a new shelter or whatever the local response is same; everything but pitchforks and torches as angry residents speak out against. Case in point city is building a new shelter on Staten Island that local residents are *NOT* happy about.


              Building a new hotel budget or otherwise is subject to zoning. Where such a property does not exist owners have file plans with city requesting a variance. That signals local residents, and results are as above.

              Only way city or anyone else can get away with new budget hotels is to take over an existing property. Then owners can do whatever they want as of right.

              Due to the byzantine, archaic and pro-tenant laws of NYC/NYS residents of SRO hotels (or any other for that matter) are in many cases protected by rent regulation. So the buildings cannot be emptied out easily, thus owners are “stuck” with those properties as they are.

              City/DHS long ago decided to make use of remaining SRO hotels and budget hotels for purposes of the homeless. They are the resources available until more other housing can be built, and many of them happen to be on UWS, so there you are.

              Then you have things like this:


              Far as housing homeless in hotels every nearly every city/state (especially those governed by liberal democrats) are doing same thing. FEMA is paying large portion of the bill during this crisis so it’s no skin off local politicians backs otherwise.


          • B.B. says:

            Notice on that listing provide in link is The Ansonia, which yes at one time had SRO hotel rooms like many others on UWS. In fact by 1980’s the place had seen better days and if it were’t for certain determined groups might have been torn down by owners.


    21. Linda says:

      So sad out with my family to clap for the essential workers and couldn’t be on the street (Columbus and 76-75) because of a ranting, aggressive man .you want to raise your kid in NY to be cautious but none of us should be in the position of being frightened and so directly intimidated

    22. Dom says:

      Much more of this to come. You can all thank De Blasio for this vile, retrograde mismanagement (which started before the Covid crisis), and of course yourselves for voting in his second term.

    23. Janis says:

      Feelings are fine, but they don’t keep our families safe, our homes and neighborhoods clean, and our investments in them at least the same value we all pay for rent or in mortgages.

      We moved here in the early 1983. We took a chance when people told us to “never move above W.86th St.”

      We stepped over hypodermic needles and crack vials, we turned our heads away when walking down streets and seeing hookers taking johns down the steps to lower levels of brownstones, as if that were private. (I can only imagine a 5 year old looking out their window at those goings on.) We watched as heroin addicts enjoyed their recent acquisitions and never quite fell down.

      I find it puzzling how several posters here talk about diversity, but then decide who should live here and who has no right to because of how they vote or how long they have lived here.

      Who in their right mind would not want safe streets, laws to be respected, walking down Broadway without being accosted by homeless or junkies?

      Who wouldn’t want to know that their child will be safe walking the four or five blocks to school?

      I love my apartment. My husband and I rented when we first moved to the City and to our surprise, two years later found that our building was going co-op. We worked at our jobs sometimes getting up at 3:30 to 4AM and putting in 14 to 16 hour days to make sure we could afford our mortgage payments, if Apple Bank deemed us worthy of paying the 12.5% interest rate.

      We are now retired and want to enjoy our waning years in a decent, comfortable, clean home and neighborhood.

      What we are seeing are politicians who, although we pay the ridiculously high tax rates, pandering to people who deserve help, but not without some sort of payback if they are able.

      And although I hate labels, all the above is the doing of our Liberal politicians and those who keep voting for them because, somehow, it makes their bleeding hearts feel better.

      I remember during the Giuliani days, speaking with a neighbor who, after the first term was telling me how the City had changed from when she moved here in the late 70’s. She told me how the streets were cleaner, the crime was down, she couldn’t believe the difference. She could walk down 42nd St and not be offered drugs, or tripped over vomit from junkies. When I asked her whether she would be voting for him for a second term. Her answer?

      “Oh no. I could NEVER vote for a Republican.”