From the Queens Courier:
When 38-year-old Joseph Moody moved to Woodside 20 years ago, day laborers waited for work on Roosevelt Avenue just as they do today. However, over time, the atmosphere of the neighborhood has changed, Moody said.
“As of late, the last 10 years, it has really been a problem,” he said, referring to men who catcall to women walking by and others who stumble around drunk.
“I find them to be a nuisance,” he said.
A particular group of a dozen men, who wait at 72nd Street, have clashed with local businesses, said several shop owners and employees who spoke only with condition of anonymity.
“I’ve been begging people to do something,” said one business owner who set up shop along Roosevelt Avenue 20 years ago and now is anxiously awaiting the end of the store’s lease to move to Astoria. The owner claimed that instead of seeking work, some of the men sell drugs and fake Social Security cards, harass women, and even destroy the property of storeowners who have complained about them.
“We really feel threatened. Even when the police come, we have to keep it all anonymous,” the owner said.
Last month, a graffiti tag, which read, “I’ll kill you,” appeared on the sidewalk in front of local deli, and local shops owners blamed the men who gather on the corner.
“Now we have to walk two blocks down in the cold just to buy a coffee or a gum because we can’t go across the street,” an employee said.
“There was a threat made,” said an employee of another store. “If you put that in the newspaper, they are probably going to set the store on fire.”
At another business near the intersection of 72nd Street and Roosevelt, the manager said, “They are always loitering there, leaving our entranceway dirty with food and cans.”