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The Strand Bookstore Soaking Homeless With Sprinkler System

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Photo by Brian Harkin
Photo by Brian Harkin

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Signs reading "Warning: Sprinkler System Will Run Periodically From 10:30 PM-9:00 AM" were placed under The Strand bookstore's iconic red awning, allegedly targeting the homeless who sleep outside of the store. A store employee wishing to remain anonymous told DNA Info, "[The sprinklers are] to keep people from sleeping out there. People used to sleep over there and in the morning we have to put out the book carts, so it was a little bit difficult and uncomfortable for some people."

"We used to be able to sleep over there," said Breeze Reavis, who regularly sleeps on the street around the corner from the Strand. "I was there the very last night that they allowed us to stay there. The cops came by and said, if we catch anybody sleeping here, they're going straight to jail. They put up a sprinkler system."

Michael Pilgrim, who sleeps across the street from the Strand, echoed the report: "Last time I tried to sleep under there, security came by and said, you gotta move before the sprinklers come on... If you're lying there and you don't know about it, everything is going to get soaking wet—all your personal belongings. You're going to freeze, basically."

As of this morning, the sign has been removed. Strand co-owner Nancy Bass Wyden told DNA Info she was "not sure" about the reason for the sprinklers. The store's manager pleads that the sprinklers are to clean the sidewalk.
· Strand Books Used Sprinklers to Douse Homeless, Employees Say [DNA Info]
· Ten Indie Bookstores that Make Up for the Demise of Borders [Racked NY]

Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 (212) 473-1452 Visit Website