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
News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.

NHL

Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

MLB

Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.