Hell’s Kitchen is for the birds!
Brazen drug abusers are shooting up on West 56th Street between 9th and 10th avenues in a skeevy sidewalk set-up underneath scaffolding that includes a full clothes rack, several suitcases, an office couch, chair — and a large cage of feathered friends.
Neighborhood residents are crying fowl that cops — and the city — have allowed the encampment to fester.
One concerned neighbor posted on social media June 11 that the construction storage area-turned-campsite has “gotten even worse,” with at least three men and two women taking up residence.
“Four times this week on my way to work I’ve witnessed the ‘new’ homeless residents shooting up drugs, not even trying to hide it as I walk through. … needles in the arms, feet, legs. I have called NYPD and they said they can’t do anything unless they physically see these people shooting up. I’ve called 311, and they also said they have had multiple reports of people witnessing this.”
Echoed one commenter: “Ugh it’s a disaster, and it’s been there for at least 6 years (probably more).”
On Wednesday, The Post spotted two women at encampment. One was nodding off, apparently strung out. Her semi-lucid friend said she found the two “chickens” — which resembled a type of guinea fowl — in the subway. The woman declined to give her name.
“So now we have caged animals living on the street?” fumed longtime Hell’s Kitchen activist Marisa Redanty. “That’s cruelty to animals. This is outrageous that this is still going on. That another encampment is home to open drug abuse — and now they are victimizing animals as well.”
Redanty said the NYPD cannot solve this problem without assistance from the city Department of Homeless Services and Animal Care and Control.
In April, The Post reported Hell’s Kitchen residents feared a summer of the “living dead” as thousands of vagrants the city dumped in the neighborhood over the last year emerged from their homeless hotels.
The city announced that week it would deploy 80 cops to Midtown to combat vagrancy and safety issues, but some neighbors weren’t impressed.
“This is like whack a mole. One encampment is eradicated and another one pops up,” Redanty said Friday, adding, “the cops have made inroads but they have their hands full.”
One neighborhood insider snarked: “There was a war between [Mayor] de Blasio and the police. And the result is that the residents of Hell’s Kitchen were the victims. “
Redanty underscored that “walking by that kind of gauntlet every day, either to work or with your child, has contributed to people making the decision to move out of New York.” However, she vowed: “I’m not leaving. I love my neighborhood. I’m not giving up without a fight.”
The city Department of Homeless Services and NYPD did not comment.
Additional reporting by JC Rice and Kerry Byrne