A well-known panhandler who plied his trade outside a Carroll Gardens subway station died earlier this month.
A memorial was set up near the steps leading into the Carroll Street station for Gilberto Medina, a wheelchair-bound, homeless veteran.
A single candle burned near bouquets of flowers and a dark photo of Medina. Notes from friends hung from the subway handrail, and curiously, someone had placed a plate of sandwiches on the sidewalk.
The shrine sat mere feet from where Medina had greeted work-bound straphangers for two decades.
“He was the greeter,” said resident Taylor Sanchez. “There was something great about descending the stairs to the subway station each morning and being acknowledged.”
Medina’s sudden absence highlights the love-hate relationship often associated with local panhandlers. Many can be a nuisance, but over time they grow inseparable from the corners they haunt — which is why residents are often touched when someone such as Medina is gone.
“This is so sad. We all liked him.” said resident Victory Stewart, seeing the memorial for the first time instead of hearing Medina’s voice. “People expect to see him.”
©2010 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.