We read numerous bizarre, disturbing, and curious stories about the Upper West Side last week so you didn’t have to. Check them out below.

More Upper West Side buildings are switching over to cleaner heating oil, which is very good news for people who like to breathe. Heating Oil numbers 4 and 6, used all over the neighborhood, are some of the city’s nastiest pollutants, emitting more particulate matter than all cars and trucks in the city combined. Some of the big old behemoths on Central Park West recently agreed to make the switch. “Late last month, The Dakota, famous as the home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono (and Lauren Bacall, and Connie Chung, and past residents like Leonard Bernstein and John Madden, and too many other luminaries to list), applied for construction permits to begin installing a new dual fuel boiler system that can run on either cleaner-burning No. 2 oil, or even-cleaner natural gas. Similar conversions are under way at several of the Dakota’s close neighbors along Central Park West, including the equally luxurious San Remo, where apartment owners in recent years have included Bono, Steve Martin, Dustin Hoffman and Steven Spielberg.” To learn more, including how to help your building make the switch, click here. (Associated Press)

A woman was held hostage in two apartments, including one on West 92nd street, and forced to have sex with men, until she eventually jumped out of the window of one of the apartments. Her alleged assailants, Benjamin Gaston and Johnny Jackson, are now on trial. “The unnamed woman had gone last November to an escort job at an apartment on West 92nd Street and Columbus Avenue — only to have her ‘john’ steal her cellphone, money and identification, telling her, ‘You’re not leaving the apartment — you’re working for me and making me money.'” (NY Post)

More PCBs are leaking into Upper West Side schools, after the Department of Education failed to tell PS 87 about a leak. “P.S. 242, the Young Diplomats Magnet Academy on West 120th Street, had leaks of the carcinogenic chemical polychlorinated biphenyl last month, according to the Department of Education. P.S. 185, The Early Childhood Discovery and Design Magnet School on West 112th Street, had a leak in early March, the DOE said.” (DNAinfo)

The Central Park police precinct just reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation. (Metro)

A councilwoman was not sufficiently deferential to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a press release. Soon afterwards, Quinn cut money to the councilwoman’s district for seniors and kids. (NY Times)

After deal-making last week, Gale Brewer’s sick leave bill is likely to get passed after about three years of waiting on the speaker to allow a vote. The new bill could give nearly 1 million workers the chance to take up to five days of sick leave with pay under certain conditions. For years, Brewer and other council members had decided not to try to force a vote over the speaker’s objections. Quinn’s campaign donors and the mayor had opposed the rule, but her hand was forced after unions started to speak up in advance of the mayoral primary. The bill would take effect in 2014, but only if the economy reaches certain milestones. (Gothamist)

An “urban explorer” took photos of the Amtrak tunnel under the Upper West Side. “The Freedom Tunnel was named after the artist Chris Pape, aka Freedom, who spent decades creating graffiti pieces here, including this version of the Venus de Milo.  Besides attracting Urban Explorers, the tunnel remains an active canvas for graffiti artists.” (Curbed)

Below, check out a video of every time Woody Allen stammers in every movie he ever made, via Huffington Post. I know, it’s an acquired taste.

NEWS | 3 comments | permalink
    1. Bob Bennett says:

      It seems to me that many building on the UWS are switching to natural gas. I know that my building is. Con Ed recently put new, huge gas mains under West End Ave.,that I suspect inspired my buillding to make the change (It hasn’t happened yet). I’m happy about cleaner air, but should one of those mains explode, have mercy upon us.

    2. Nick10025 says:

      Re: Natural Gas. I believe several buildings in my area have been requesting con ed to provide service to support a dual fuel boilers in several large buildings. Hopefully the huge puffs of thick black smoke will soon be eliminated.

    3. patrick says:

      uh.. this story about chris quinn is from 2 years ago.