Top West Side Rag Comments of 2018: Celebrating Heart, Rage and Humor

By Carol Tannenhauser

Commenters are an integral part of West Side Rag, passing along knowledge, comfort, humor and (too often) vitriol. Commenters keep us on our toes and point out the (very occasional) factual or grammatical errors. Should they continue to be anonymous, as most are now? Should they be more strictly moderated to eliminate trolls, ad hominem attacks, and off-topic conversations? Comment in the comments!

Meanwhile, here are some of the most notable comments of 2018, in chronological order:

“who’s Phillip Roth ??”

– ron shapley, January 22, 2018 at 11:48 am

Morning Bulletin: Public School Frustration, Philip Roth’s Local Routine, Ice Warning

“UWSers, let this be a lesson to all of us who shop at stores like Trader Joes:They will take over. And then they will screw us. No wine? What’s next? No Kombucha? No avocado face scrub?! NO SIX PACKS OF UDI’S GLUTEN FREE BAGELS?
I say we take a stand and SUPPORT OUR LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD WHOLE FOODS. Let’s stand up for the little guy for once.”

– Upper Best Side, February 22, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Sorry W(h)iners, Some of You May be Disappointed by Trader Joe’s

“The failure to make every subway station ADA accessible is unacceptable and an insult to the 50+ million Americans with disabilities. Don’t be so fast to discount us. We deserve to have our rights acknowledged and honored! We are the largest minority group in America and the only one that anyone can unwittingly join at any time!”

– Steve, February 22, 2018 at 2:24 pm

MTA Releases Exact Dates and Specs of Subway Station Closures and Upgrades

“You know, sometimes the harshness of WSR comments saddens me, but I confess I find some of these hilarious. Who knows which are serious, which are jokes? All part of the human circus. Of which I am a member”

– Mark, March 9, 2018 at 8:05 pm

Jing Fong Reopens, Blaming ‘Harsh Winter Conditions’ for Closure

“That’s MY block. I’m so excited. What a joy to once again have a book store to browse in and read in and lounge in and print your very own books not to mention other books…. AND TO BUY real books. Thank you whatever Company you are.


– Jean Mensing, March 12, 2018 at 5:02 pm

ANOTHER Bookstore Plans to Open on UWS, as Shakespeare & Co. Plots Triumphant Return

“Opinions : the Dakota, vs. The Apthorp; vs. ,what were the apts. above Carnegie Hall ? How’re the Senior citizens who were forced out of : The Williams residence; the apts. above Carnegie Hall ? “The rent is too d-mn high”. Social housing needs better ways for many citizen-clients in N.Y.C.. n.b. a poem @ a Woman wanting a house…”

-Wendy, March 13, 2018 at 12:44 pm

The Dakota Sure Cleans Up Nice

“Rich people will live somewhere. They don’t disappear when you block a building in your neighborhood, you just push them somewhere else. Then people complain about gentrification and why don’t we have any more cheap, unique neighborhoods. The UWS has been pushing rich people into other neighborhoods for decades. We need to take the burden of some of that growth here.”

– Josh P., April 1, 2018 at 8:42 am

Powerful Forces Clash at Zoning Hearing Over Tower on Amsterdam Avenue

“You should probably not be so obnoxious when calling others obnoxious”

– OriginalMark, April 3, 2018 at 10:51 am

Opponents File Suit to Block Museum Expansion Approval, Saying It Will Cause ‘Catastrophic Environmental Damage’

“I grew up across the street from Murray’s. I have many fond memories of shopping there with my parents for a special lazy weekend brunch and the high holidays, going as far back as when I was a toddler, my dad letting me hold our numbered ticket as we waited in line, running my fingers along the square mosaic tiles (the gold ones were a particular delight) below the refrigerated display cases, lifting myself up on my tippy-toes, straining to see the fish lined up behind the glass. I’m 40 years old now, I live further uptown, but when I get the chance every so often I stop in for some of Murray’s best-in-the-world tuna salad or a bagel with vegetable cream cheese and nova. Oscar still remembers me and always asks, “How’s your mom?” It’s such a comfort that no matter how life changes, this same delicious food, the same warm staff, the same look of the shop and those same square mosaic tiles, they’re all still there. But now I can see the fish in the case quite easily, and I have to reach down to run my fingers over those gold mosaic tiles.”

– Brian, April 21, 2018 at 8:47 pm

Small Business Focus: Murray’s Sturgeon Shop

“Compared to what whites have done to deserve anger and distrust from blacks, what blacks have done to whites is a pretty damn short list.”

– Chrigid, June 2, 2018 at 2:39 pm

What’s It Like To Be Racially Profiled? Two Upper West Siders Speak Out

“The claim about humans being the only animal that kills for reasons other than food or defense is incorrect. Take cats, for example, in which the hunting instinct is independent of the hunger instinct. Even the most well-fed house cat will, given the opportunity, stalk, capture and then, with much apparent sadism, slowly torture to death its helpless prey. Cats are sadistic, ruthless creatures. That is the inescapable reality, hideous as it may be.”

– Realist, August 12, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Central Park Raccoon Distemper Deaths Climb; Did They Get it from Unvaccinated Dogs?

“I read WSR because my son lives on the UWS. I’ve always enjoyed the UWS when visiting. So I thought this paragraph from the NYT review was telling”
“In their complex relationship with restaurants, Upper West Siders live in what its myriad psychotherapists might call a double bind: They crave the wonderful places they imagine other neighborhoods possess in abundance, yet so often they cannot put down the home-delivery menu to actually patronize the restaurants that settle nearby. And so, the Upper West Side exists in a near constant state of unfulfilled restaurant desire.”

– Joe C., September 29, 2018 at 1:38 pm

The Tangled Vine Closes after Nine Years

“Oh sadness!
Can’t win for trying. It looked so nice I cried
Hope it is not serious and easily corrected
Kudos to Yoko for the beautiful murals.”

– Jan, October 15, 2018 at 11:53 am

72nd Street Subway Station Floods Days After Reopening Following Major Renovation

“Re: “where is the fight to stop supertalls?”
Ummm…at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 30th?
B.T.W.: Madison SQUARE Garden is NOT really “square”! It is a CIRCULAR building! Obviously another nefarious scheme by the Dishonest-Developers to confuse us NIMBY’s.
But fear not! Soon we shall be revolting! Actually, most of us already are.”

– N. Imbee, November 12, 2018 at 9:19 am

Billionaire-Building Shadows Creep Across Central Park; ‘Olmsted and Vaux Would Not Be Happy’

“I am ever so grateful to all the new people I met, that cared for Neil/Stephen during his time in the park. I feel like I have gained family!
While the end result to my story was not how I expected it, it is true there are many homeless people that are never found or identified, many families left to wonder what has happened to their loved ones. I’m not sure what is worse, The NOT knowing, or knowing?
But I can say this after this experience I will work with anyone, do whatever I can to help get these people homes or even there identity back. Neil’s Death is like a wake up call for me! Something, needs to change, I don’t know what yet, but I am confident that working with all these wonderful knowledgeable people we can make a difference! Neil, you are missed, loved & never forgotten!”

– Susan Hurlburt, November 11, 2018 at 11:49 am

A New Memorial Service for Neil Harris Jr., This Time With His Family

“These gigantors are part of the Bloomberg legacy. Once you allow one pencil building, how do you stop another, and another, and another? Answer: You don’t. There is no way of stopping the path our leaders have chosen for us. Welcome to the new normal in Manhattan.”

– Adam, December 3, 2018 at 11:44 pm

City Rejects Attempt to Stop 775-Foot Tower on 66th Street, As Officials Try to ‘Close Loopholes’

“All this talk about cashless restaurants and Chinese food is great and all but can we please focus on the issues that are really important to people in this neighborhood…..
When is the Popeye’s opening?!?!
I think we should probably have a Mardi Gras style parade down Broadway to celebrate. Who’s with me?
Les Bon Temps Rouler!”

– UWS_lifer, December 18, 2018 at 10:44 am

Openings & Closings: Another Van Leeuwen, Holy Schnitzel, New Thai Spot

“2019 Prediction: Most if not all of the empty storefronts will be occupied by dispensaries once Cuomo legalizes weed as promised. Its a win-win for everyone.”

– West88, December 24, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Openings & Closings: Joe & the Juice, Chocolate Works, Billy’s Bakery

NEWS | 13 comments | permalink
    1. Kathleen says:

      Thanks for this. I like reading the WSR, but the comments need to be moderated more. There are a few (and you know who they are) people who are consistently belligerent, nasty, and consistently unpleasant. How about editing or not allowing attack comments. It’s one thing to disagree with someone, it’s quite another to spew forth venom.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Venom was a fun movie.

      • Sean says:

        That seems to be the issue. I used to love the WSR because it kept me up to date on local news. But there is a core group of people who comment on nearly everything with a my way or the highway tone. I’ve tried to correct them with what I know to be true but they seem to forge ahead anyway. I’ve gotten a much clearer picture of who actually lives up here. It’s a neighborhood in transition. I just had no idea how nasty people on the UWS can be until now. I come here less and less.

    2. Mikey G says:

      I, for one, welcome our new UWS with Popeyes and dispensaries.

    3. Aviva says:

      I agree with Kathleen. There are some commenters on here that act like they own the UWS and know better than everyone else. It’s a tired trope and soooooo #firstworldproblems.

    4. Evan Bando says:

      It is hard to advocate censorship of any kind. But for the WSR it would be appropriate for the, hopefully, fair-minded and intelligent screener to not publish any comments that have even a whiff of contempt or derision or sarcasm for the Catholic, Muslim or Jewish religion. It happens here. And it should not.

    5. Dresden says:

      I’ve been attacked by Pit bulls in Riverside Park TWICE since July 2018. I also lost my 12.5-yr-old afghan to ANOTHER (formerly nice) Pit bull attack, a number of years ago, in Riverside Park. Every time I alert the Westside about these (or other people’s deadly attacks from Pit bulls), the Rag has found some reason to avoid publishing about it.
      These attacks are rising, and one reason is the the’No Kill’ shelters bring them in from other states, where they are unwanted. The BITE HISTORIES ARE WIPED CLEAN, and they’re rescued out to unsuspecting owners.
      It is well documented, that 67% of US human deaths by dogs over the past 13 years are by Pit bull types.

      • Yvette C. says:

        Give it a rest already. You’re the kind of person who gives a breed a bad name. I know of dogs who have been attacked by much smaller, “cuddlier” dogs. Any dog can attack. It’s the person who has the dog in his or her possession who’s the problem. Stop harping a about this. You’ve been doing this for years. You come off like a shrieking harridan.

    6. Ben David says:

      The comments on WSR represent one of the greatest principles of the U.S.: free speech!
      Sure, they should be moderated for outright racism, hatred, and pornography … but not based on political bias of the editors. For example, if you cover a crime story and the perp is an African American male or an Amish woman — say so. It is a fact of the story and can help the police identify a criminal. Happy New Year.

      • West Ender says:

        You misunderstand the First Amendment. It refers to freedom of speech against the government, not freedom of speech to saw whatever one wishes anywhere (e.g. a privately operated blog).

    7. Mark Moore says:

      I can unequivocally state that I am not in any way disappointed with Trader Joe’s. Practically everything I eat comes from there. (I’m pretty sure Mani is doing OK too. They seem just as busy as ever).

    8. Lori Klamner-Wood says:

      We are lucky to have access to a blog/news outlet for free. Please keep reporting on the changes in our neighborhood. If you are a long-time resident, try to welcome and get to know the newcomers. Keep a friendly vibe. We live here for the 2 great Parks, and the schools and transit and small businesses. Help keep the UWS vibrant! Be a “doer” not a kvetcher.

    9. Steve W says:

      Thanks for republishing my before/after photos of The Dakota’s new copper window cladding!