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Protest Against Aguila Shelter Violations by Zishun Ning

August 13, 2015

Mark and I followed the tall guy chewing gum and the bearded guy onto the subway at the Jackson Avenue subway stop, shaming them as slumlords and child murderers every time more people got onto the train. Mark got off at 125th Street, leaving me alone with them. The tall guy got off at 96th Street, and the bearded guy got off at 42nd Street. I supplied them with plenty of details (unfortunately, I had not remembered Juan Sanchez’s name–the little boy who ate the rat poison), but people were asking me to spell Aguila and typing it into their smart phones. The two men said nothing, but looked like they were having the worst day of their life as Mark and I (and later just I) berated them about things they knew to be true (although from some of their murmuring to each other, they weren’t necessarily sure).

Aguila is merely the service provider to the shelter. The landlord is the Podolsky family, which got a big write-up in the December 2013 issue of New York Magazine:

Picture the Homeless will be having a sleepout in front of CEO Stuart Podolsky’s $5 million condominium at 117 East 57th Street on Thursday, August 20. Please join us and get a big crowd. We will be there from 5 PM until some time in the morning (except those of us who live in shelters and have to be back by 10 PM curfew). You might get a glimpse of David Copperfield, who lives a floor below.

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