Letter From New York 07 17 15 On theft and homelessness at home…

It is the end of the week and in about an hour, I will walk the short distance from the office where I work and get on the train to head to the cottage for a full nine days of working from home. I am so looking forward to being there, to doing my work at the table on the deck, to watching the creek flow by while I am on my laptop or reading off my Kindle.

Today is the second sun blessed day in New York, bright, warm and lacking in humidity. I started the day with breakfast with my friend Nick Stuart, catching him before he leaves for a week in Southern California with his daughter, Francesca. Then I worked in the office, lunched at PJ Clarke’s with Maria Santana, a treasured member of the train community.

After lunch, I discovered one of my cards had been cut off. Someone tried to use my number at a Target in Brooklyn. The bank shut it down and I’m glad. Whoever was stealing my numbers was attempting to get away with almost $600.00 in merchandise.

It is a bane of the age, the electronic stealing of our credit card numbers, our identities, and our digital selves that are almost as close to ourselves as our physical selves. Ten years ago someone got my information and opened an account at Home Depot and charged almost $7,000 worth of goods without my knowledge. When Home Depot called me to collect, they realized we’d both been scammed but they were the ones who were taking the financial hit.

Stealing is not in my DNA. Too much guilt goes with it and was never worth it to me. But that’s not the way it is with some; they like the thrill of getting away with it, until, of course, they don’t. The brother of a friend of mine was like that. He went from state to state, scam to scam, until one day my friend had to visit her brother in prison. He never really changed.

It troubles me on some profound level and fills me with disgust. Once, years ago in Rome, I gave some money to beggars and they pickpocketed me. I lost about a 1000 lira but they left me my passport and credit card. My friends said it was ironic I was the one they targeted because I was the one who actually gave their begging hands money.

It was a mother and her little girl. And I suspect the little girl has grown up to be like her mother. It was the life for which she was being trained.

Last night, my friend Robert and I walked through the Garment District to a restaurant for some dinner and to watch a bit of the Tour de France. Robert commented to me that the number of homeless on the streets has begun to rise again. We passed dozens in just a few blocks.

Is the social safety net failing more than before? Are the police not working on the problem because they are annoyed with our Mayor, Mr. DeBlasio?   Robert is right though, when I think about it I have noticed more homeless and mentally ill folks on the streets. I wrote about one yesterday.

It worries me. Help is needed. Where is it?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: