I was over at The High Line earlier this week and noticed that the Parks department had put up signs warning visitors not to give to the monks who panhandle quite aggressively on The High Line.
The New York Times wrote an article about how the monks are becoming a problem again, harassing people for money/donations that go nowhere. This particular comment about how Parks department personnel picked out foreigners based on their willingness to talk to the monks was quite funny:
The men targeted out-of-towners, he said, adding that his office staff had a rule of thumb for watching the interactions: Each second a visitor was willing to talk to one of the robed men was equal to 50 miles away from New York City that the person probably lived. New Yorkers would not give the men even a second’s worth of their time, Mr. Hammond added.
Case in point: Don't give to these lying bastards.