Things are really happening over at the Umbrella Hotel in Kew Gardens. Things like shootings, raucous parties, drug use and prostitution — even the underage kind, according to the police.
And what’s City Hall’s answer? “We don’t have time for this.” At least that’s the word from state Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal, one of the area’s elected officials who’ve been begging the de Blasio administration for help in doing something about it.
Last week Rosenthal led an online meeting with various officials including a representative from the mayor’s Community Affairs Unit. Apparently it was a waste of time, as the city had “literally no answers.” The assemblyman called the meeting “an embarrassment.” Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz deemed it “a disaster.” And she summed up the situation well in comments to the Chronicle: “You have to make time for this. Child prostitution? You should be making time for this. Shootings? You should making time for this. Having no time is no excuse at all. It’s insulting.”
Capt. Antonio Fidacaro, commander of the 102nd Precinct, is stunned by the boldness of the people committing crimes at the hotel, which back in August he called his “No. 1 problem.” With cops out front all the time, he said, “You’d think ... that the crime would subside but it doesn’t appear that it has that much.”
Huh. Maybe the people making life miserable for the surrounding residents are aware of the disrespect for cops you can get away with showing these days. Maybe they’ve heard the anti-police rhetoric coming from many of our elected officials and academics and the media. Maybe they’ve seen the videos of arrests being disrupted by mobs of people. Maybe they know what a revolving door the justice system has become thanks to last year’s insane “bail reform” laws. There must be some reason they believe they can get away with gunplay, underage prostitution and whatever else right across the street from the criminal courthouse.
If Mayor de Blasio sticks to his usual formula, eventually something terrible will happen at the hotel, he’ll say it’s unacceptable and that we have to do better and then take shots at President Trump and the New York Post. But surely there’s a legal basis to close up the Umbrella. What we need here is an actual mayor.