New York City, U.S.A. Shrugging Off The Homeless

The nation's toughest urbanites lose patience with the down-and-out

At 5 p.m. the rush-hour ticket line at New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal wove through the customary wretched carnival of mendicants. One beggar twirled like a crazed ballerina from commuter to commuter, caressing people's shoulders and prodding their bellies with a beseeching hand. Another rolled his wheelchair up against the commuters' feet and tugged at their sleeves. A third stretched across a counter in a weirdly feline gesture, trying to intercept the change coming back to Mike Farrell, 50, of Ringwood, N.J. "No!" howled Farrell, loud enough to make heads turn. "It's the only way you can get through...

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