The Real Deal New York

Are these the End Times (Square)?

42nd Street reverend calls panhandlers wicked
September 01, 2015 05:38PM

One veteran of Times Square is looking for a power higher than City Hall to fix Times Square, and he doesn’t mean Albany.

The Rev. Peter Colapietro, who spent 18 years starting in the early 1990s as the pastor of the Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church on 42nd Street, said he is beginning to lose faith that the neighborhood can purge its wanton elements without some sort of divine intervention.

“For the city to put up with this stuff is unconscionable,” Colapietro told DNAinfo. “To have this sleazy stuff going on where there are kids, it should not be going on in New York.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are looking for ways to deal with the topless women known as “desnudas” and other panhandlers who gather at the pedestrian mall at the Crossroads of the World.

Colapietro suggested neighborhood leaders take a page out of the Book of the Midtown Citizens Committee, a group he and others created back in the “Bad Old Days” to find creative ways to exorcise the area’s nefarious elements.

Some of their efforts included coming up with “horse diapers” that are still in use today, and to try to find technicalities the city could use to close X-rated booths.

“We suggested the booths be closed because they weren’t wheelchair accessible,” he said. “That one did not fly.”

Colapietro told the news site he believes that “Broken Windows” policing should be enforced. [DNAinfo] – Rich Bockmann