Bushwick’s newest “hotel” is getting mixed reviews on Instagram. The “HOTEL METAL” is located just steps from the Jefferson L stop– inside of it, actually. The sleeping quarters, apparently set up by homeless people, are at the east and west entrances to the station on Wyckoff Avenue, “partially furnished” with metal futons, carts, clothes and refuse.
Heather Showstead, who manages local blog Bushwick Nation, posted a photo of the western entrance to Instagram the other day and sarcastically noted that the digs were “drenched in natural light and surrounded by restaurants, coffee shops, and nightlife” before imploring people to volunteer with or donate to Coalition for the Homeless. Stylist Kari Langslet also joked on social media that the painted-on price tag of $2,300 makes it the #cheapestrentintown. Other posts deplored the state of rent prices in the city.
It’s unclear who spray-painted the wall near the western entrance. When we were at the station, a homeless man was sitting on the futon in the eastern entrance holding the El Diario newspaper that had been lying in one of two parked grocery carts. Asked if he was living there, he responded, “Just for today.”
The booth attendant at the station’s Jefferson Avenue and Starr Street entrance said the homeless people occupying the east- and west-side entrances have been there since she started working there in January. She said that “everyday” they call the police and, when the weather is nice enough, the police move their things out onto the sidewalk, “but then when no one is looking they sneak it back in.”
“It’s a real problem,” she said, adding that she thinks the MTA should set up a shelter system. Because as Showstead noted in her IG post, HOTEL METAL as a solution is wrong and “Won’t last!”