The NYPD brought seven vehicles to line a block to get rid of just one homeless tent from the sidewalk in the East Village in Manhattan on Wednesday as part of NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ attempt to crackdown on homelessness.
A couple named James and Nico were living in the tent and told reporters they were offered a hotel room in exchange for leaving their tent. However, the pair said that the only reason they were given that offer was due to the presence of media and activists.
Adams, who has come under fire for his jet-setting and celebrity lifestyle recently, was not on site for the clear out but has instructed his administration to push to clear the city of homeless encampments as crime continues to spiral throughout the five boroughs.
Instead, the mayor was at the New York Yankees game on Tuesday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in their game against the Toronto Blue Jays. The previous evening he’d taken a seat at a star-studded fundraiser, along with the likes of Jeff Bezos, and hosted by John Mulaney, fresh off his trip to LA where he had an exclusive dinner with celebrities including Goldie Hawn and Paris Hilton.
On April 8, demonstrators, led by the housing advocate groups the Brooklyn Eviction Defense and the Rent Refusers Network, protested the sweeps in the East Village and shouted slogans like, ‘Housing is the solution to homelessness’ and ‘F*** Eric Adams.’
The crowd also cheered when someone on a bull horn shouted: ‘Eric Adams is a cop. Stop acting like an a****** and help your people. Help the poor.’
The protestors had previously helped the homeless in the area rebuild the encampments, twice, following sweeps by police and sanitation workers.
Adams, 61, has likened himself to a disciple of Jesus while defending the city’s actions, saying the encampments needed to be cleared to tackle soaring crime rates and preserve the ‘dignity’ of the homeless.
‘We are on the wrong road as a city,’ Adams said last week. We have tolerated homelessness, walked past our brothers and sisters who are living in tents on the street, and we’ve normalized it.’
I can’t help but to believe that if Matthew, Mark, Luke and John was here today, he would be on the streets with me, helping people get out of encampments.’
The city has cleared out more than 300 homeless encampments in less than a month following Adams’ vow to crackdown on vagrancy in the city.
The city said it has provided 350 new homeless shelter beds at existing shelters around the city to help accommodate the individuals being cleared from the encampments.
Although the sweeps are conducted with healthcare workers in tow to help guide homeless individuals to where they can go for help, many are reluctant to go to shelters, claiming they’re unsafe.
Meanwhile, Adams has spent plenty of time of late out on the town with the rich and famous.
On Monday, New York City’s party-loving Mayor Adams was rubbing shoulders with celebrities at a star-studded fundraiser which included the likes of Jeff Bezos.
Comedian John Mulaney, the night’s entertainment at the Robin Hood Foundation’s annual benefit gala at the Javits Center in midtown Manhattan, ripped into Adams, 61.
The Grammy-winning comic took aim at the mayor’s reputation as a jet-setting party boy, joking that he traveled so much he didn’t live in NYC.
‘I love Mayor Adams. He’s done so much good for the city that he’s thinking of moving here,’ Mulaney quipped.
Last week, the mayor has left his crime-plagued city to hobnob with billionaires and comedians on the West Coast.
The cop-turned-politician flew to Los Angeles last weekend for a three-day jaunt in Tinsel Town, he says, to drum up positive press and business for the Big Apple.
During his trip, which included catching Dave Chappelle’s show at the Hollywood Bowl, he was seen at a dinner at the hyper-cool, members-only San Vincente Bungalows hosted by top Hollywood agent Cade Hudson, according to Page Six.
Guest list of NYC Mayor Eric Adams’s super-secret L.A. Soiree
- CAA agent Cade Hudson
- Paris Hilton
- ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ actor Casey Affleck
- Goldie Hawn
- Sports agent Rich Paul
- Hollywood producer John Goldwyn
- San Vincente Bungalows owner Jeff Klein
- Former ambassador to the Bahamas Nicole Avant
- Kate Hudson
A source told Page Six that the soiree was ‘to welcome the mayor to L.A.’
Meanwhile, crime continues to rise across the Big Apple despite Adams’ promises to crack down on the already surging numbers under predecessor Bill de Blasio.
Through May 1, overall crime is up 41 percent in New York City from the same period in 2021. While murders are down 14 percent, robberies are up 44 percent and felony assaults are up 19 percent.
In January 2022, Mayor Adams unveiled a comprehensive plan to combat the surge in crime, which included increased foot patrols as well as the revival of a plain clothes unit named Neighborhood Safety Teams.
The mayor also launched his Subway Safety plan in February, which sent 1,000 officers with health care partners to crackdown on homelessness and crime in the city’s transit system.
Yet the initiatives have bore little fruits as crime continues to rise, with murder and rape being the only crimes to see a down tick between April 2022 and April 2021.
The NYPD reported 31 murders last month, a 38 percent drop from the 50 last year, and rapes fell by 6 percent, with 109 cases reported in April.
Adams’ jet-setter and celebrity groupie status seems to be at odds with his image of an outer borough guy, raised by a single mom who was house cleaner.
He’s talked about being beaten up by police before he went on to join the NYPD and rising to the rank of captain.
‘I am just a blue-collar guy scraping along,’ he once told Politico. ‘I’m potentially the first blue-collar mayor.’
But that hasn’t stopped him leaving his city and its problems behind to mingle with the stars.
During his most recent LA trip, he enjoyed dinner at the exclusive San Vincente Bungalows, hosted by top Hollywood agent Cade Hudson.
The San Vincente Bungalows, which was started by Klein in 2019, has a 750 members comprised of what the New York Times referred to as ‘apex predators’ like Steven Spielberg and Netflix CEO and husband of Avant, Ted Sarandos. The annual dues costing $4,200 for members over 35, $1,800 for those younger.
Screenwriter Jon Robin Baitz told the Times the décor was ‘a cross between a glorious English cottage, Bugsy Siegel’s hide-out and Bemelmans bar.’
The club is so private that camera lenses of all cell phones are covered with a sticker when members enter and photography is forbidden.
Adams has been known to attend Zero Bond, the downtown Manhattan members-only club.
He’s chided New Yorkers for staying in, saying the Big Apple has become ‘so boring’ in March.
‘I want to become a city of excitement again,’ he said.
The mayor also took heat from political pundits for jetting out of the city too often while the city suffers through a rise in crime.
He’s been to Miami, Chicago, Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Los Angeles in the first few months in office.
Adams sees no contradiction in stepping out at night and fighting crime in the city.
He combined the two themes recently at the ultra-swank Met Gala after returning from his L.A. trip.
During the red-carpet event, Adams wore a custom-made tuxedo jacket with the words ‘End Gun Violence’ emblazoned on the back.’
‘We need to keep that in the forefront as we enjoy the financial ecosystem,’ he told the New York Times.
‘Several people cautioned him against doing too many trips because it will hurt,’ Karen Hinton, ex-press secretary for Mayor Bill de Blasio, told NY1 News.
Adams also attended a tech conference held by Milken Institute Global Conference, but back home New Yorkers worried about the increase in gun violence.
While he was gone, a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found that his approval rating had dropped three points to 43 percent with 54percent of New York City voters saying he’s not doing a great job curbing crime.