Yes, Amy Aglar saw actual rats while taking the photo above.

Upper West Siders have a funny way of reacting to rats. It brings out our theatrical side. The “rat house” on 74th street inspired art. A construction site at 52 West 76th Street, however, is now inspiring a new kind of civic protest.

Joseph Bolanos, a longtime neighborhood activist, has been hanging “Rat Xing” signs on poles this week. Bolanos, who spoke initially to Gothamist, said that a construction site there has become a kind of nighttime playground for rats, and the city has done next to nothing to combat the problem. A rat academy a few weeks ago drew interested citizens who wanted to learn about pest prevention, but the people who actually show up to these things aren’t likely to be the ones who are leaving their trash out.

Construction workers also apparently didn’t do much to clean up their lunches, helping attract the rodents. “It was like a rat buffet,” he told Gothamist. One woman actually stepped on and squished a rat, says Bolanos. We’ve seen other construction sites with similar problems, including the “Rat Palace” of Riverside Park.

Rat Palace? Rat House? Rat Crossing? What a surge of creativity! Perhaps the rodents are the Upper West Side’s true muse.

Bolanos shot some video of the rats of 76th street below:

Let us know about your rat sightings in the comments below.

    1. Brent says:

      My wife and I have been seeing a lot of rat activity in Riverside Park. We go walking there 2-3 times a week after work and they run around like they own the place. We’ve also seen them in the garden on 90th and the volunteer said this has been the worst year.

    2. Spaghetti says:

      Thanks to the Second Avenue Subway construction, my east side block has been overrun with rats. Not just a few, but carpets of the critters every night. They’re sure to take up residence inside as the weather gets cooler. The city has done nothing here either.

    3. Tim says:

      While not in love with rats… they’re here cuz we are… leave them alone and they tend to leave you alone.. clean up better then they go away or lessen… But you will never get rid of rats in a city like NYC..