Blasting the city for neglect, Bill Thompson conducts inspection at Chinatown hovel

The entryway to the Sun Bright Hotel in Chinatown. Reviews on Yelp indicate the second-floor rooms are livable, but mayoral candidate Bill Thompson found the third-through-fifth floors in "deplorable" condition. Credit: Danielle Tcholakian
The entryway to the Sun Bright Hotel in Chinatown. Reviews on Yelp indicate the second-floor rooms are livable, but mayoral candidate Bill Thompson found the third-through-fifth floors in “deplorable” condition. Credit: Danielle Tcholakian

Following a horrific report in Sunday’s New York Post, mayoral candidate Bill Thompson showed up outside 140 Hester Street in Chinatown Monday afternoon to investigate the conditions of the Sun Bright Hotel.

According to the Post, men are living in hellish conditions on the third and fourth floors of the building in a “human kennel.”

Thompson and some first responders were able to gain access to those floors. Two female reporters and Thompson’s spokeswoman were denied entry.

A disgusted Thompson later confirmed the Post’s report, describing tiny chicken-wire-encased spaces about the size of a cot.

“Dirty isn’t even — it is filthy,” Thompson said. “It is filthy, it is disgusting.”

“In Puerto Rico, we have chicken houses where we house chickens,” interjected Israel Miranda, President of the Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Union. “The chicken houses in Puerto Rico look better than what they’re living in now.”

“The stench is severe,” Thompson added.

A 74-year-old resident reportedly told the New York Post that a dead body was left there for “about 15 days.”

“Hopefully the city starts to pay attention now, after two days of attention and publicity,” Thompson declared. “Hopefully they get something done here because it is disgraceful.”

Thompson said the Department of Buildings must respond immediately.

“If they don’t, it is an even worse outrage than what people are going through right now,” he said. “The conditions up there are deplorable.”

The Department of Building’s response to a request for comment on the Sun Bright Hotel was: “The Department is investigating.”

(Left to right) Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, Uniformed EMS Officers Union President Vincent Variale, and Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Union President Israel Miranda in the vestibule at 140 Hester recounting the "deplorable" conditions they witnessed. Credit: Danielle Tcholakian
(Left to right) Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, Uniformed EMS Officers Union President Vincent Variale, and Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Union President Israel Miranda in the vestibule at 140 Hester recounting the “deplorable” conditions they witnessed. Credit: Danielle Tcholakian

This is some tenth-level nation that allows its people to be treated this way,” Thompson fumed. “That’s not how we allow our fellow New Yorkers to be treated. Not like this.”

“To let human beings, fellow New Yorkers live in conditions like this…” Thompson trailed off. “This isn’t New York City.”

But according to Steven Goldstein, an EMS FDNY lieutenant, this is New York City.

Goldstein said that he’s been called to places like this before all around the city, including other places in Chinatown and in Brooklyn.

Mark Jack, 38, was staying at a YMCA in Flushing, Queens and had made a reservation on Expedia.com to stay at the Sun Bright, he said.

The employee staffing the front desk, however, would not allow him to see the room before he confirmed his reservation.

Watching a disgusted Thompson exit the building ruing the “disgraceful” living conditions, Jack uneasily reconsidered his reservation.

“They have my credit card,” he worried. “Expedia asks for your credit card.”

A man in a wheelchair outside who requested to be identified only by his first time, Michael, said he has lived there for almost 13 years.

“The roaches are tearing me up,” he said, anxious that he had just run out of roach spray. “They’re killing me, the flies and the roaches are driving me crazy at night.”

Michael, 66, said he pays $300 per month to live there. When he first moved in, the rate was $8 per week.

He said a senior citizen program on Mott Street is trying to find him a new place to live. He is diabetic, he said, and has had both of his feet amputated. The building does not have an elevator.

Michael said Thompson shook his hand and talked to him before the candidate went upstairs to inspect the premises.

“You think he’d make a good mayor?” Michael asked. “I think he’d make a good mayor, don’t you? You can vote for him, I can’t vote for him. I got a [criminal] record, I can’t vote.”

Michael dismissed assurances to the contrary, maintaining his criminal record bars him from voting.

“I wish I could vote, but I can’t vote,” he insisted. “I got too many arrests.”

The New York Civil Liberties Union confirmed that former convicts are legally allowed to vote in city elections as long as they are no longer on parole.

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Movies

Review: 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'…

The belated sequel "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" makes one question whether the first one may have been not so hot. Still, Eva Green vamping!

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…