Morning Bulletin: New Rat Stats, Museum Questions Itself, Citi Bike Expansion

Lydia at the 97th Street Greenmarket. Photo by @sunflowersinnyc.

July 22, 2019 Weather: Stormy, with a high of 80 degrees.

Concerts, readings and many other local events are on our calendar.

More stats confirm what we’ve been reporting for years: rats run rampant on the Upper West Side. In fact, one in five complaints about rats in New York City is made on the Upper West Side, according to the data site Neighbors say that the Sanitation Department’s decision to remove wastebaskets from the neighborhood has added to the problem, though the Sanitation Department has said that its strategy tends to a lead to a decrease in trash. The Post says there have been 110 wastebaskets removed from the neighborhood in the past year.

The Museum of Natural History is asking visitors: is the Teddy Roosevelt statue on the CPW side offensive? And if so, what should be done about it? “With the president seated high astride a horse, flanked by a Native American man and an African man standing below, people who look at the statue often see a legacy of colonialism and a visually explicit racial hierarchy.”

Citi Bike is expanding to several new neighborhoods, including everywhere in Manhattan that didn’t already have it. Explore more of the city on a bike!

A report found that a city policy of allowing locals to get priority for affordable housing has added to segregation. “The findings by Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociology professor at Queens College, presented a far different picture than the one offered by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has touted his record on housing as he runs for president.”

NEWS | 55 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      “Affordable housing” is a scam that is costly and inefficient. The housing lotteries are rife with corruption.

      All these politically motivated attempts to provide “affordable housing” actually make the city far less affordable (except, of course, for the entitled and powerfully connected few who get these units).

      Any attempts to manipulate the natural market and engage in social engineering will inevitably lead to problems.

      DeBlasio has a disastrous housing record.

      • Sam says:

        Yes, de Blasio’s housing record is so disastrous that Albany just passed landmark protections for hundreds of thousands of elderly rent stabilized and rent controlled tenants. Unfortunately, all previous administrations couldn’t give a rat’s behind and allowed over 350K units to fall by the wayside.

        Yeah, disastrous.

        • Sherman says:

          Not every rent regulated tenant is “elderly”.

          In fact, many are young and wealthy.

          Furthermore, Albany’s passing of “landmark protections” will be a disaster for people without “landmark protections”.

          This legislation was motivated by political pandering rather than sound policy.

          And yes, DeBlasio has a horrible record.

          • ruth says:

            Actually some good news: several organizations of property owners filed a federal suit claiming (correctly) that the current rent control laws amount to seizure of private property without compensation.

      • Sarah says:

        No such thing as a “natural market” in housing. The creation and enforcement of property rights is itself an intervention of the state.

        • Dissident says:

          Back in the days when he was on the air in NYC, veteran radio personality Jay Diamond repeatedly argued that the NYC housing market, in which local residents must compete with rootless celebrities; royalty and other immensely wealthy foreigners, etc. for extremely limited real estate, cannot be considered natural. I agree. But rent control and rent stabilization, rife as it is with fatal flaws and failures, clearly cannot be considered the solution.

    2. UWS_lifer says:

      The reason the UWS is the rat capital of NYC is just geography. We are located in between Riverside and Central Park.

      More parks, more rats. I’ll take that trade off any day.

      • Freddy Love says:

        Regarding the Teddy Roosevelt statue, can we find some middle ground or an alternative to the statue? How can we recognize a prominent historical figure while being sensitive to UWSer’s feelings? One idea is to replace the statue with a Teddy Roosevelt teddy bear.

        Just work shopping ideas and open to suggestions, but it’s tough to find an offensive teddy bear.

        • UWS_lifer says:

          Someone below mentioned that they should put a big dinosaur, like a T-Rex, in the front. This is a good idea I think…kids love that kind of stuff.

          Also, move the TR statue inside. We can’t just “white wash” our history. This stuff happened. These people existed. It’s our history like it or not.

    3. Larry Lox says:

      Of course People will blame Mayor Deblasio but lets not forget that in 2003, Mayor-King Bloomberg canned 517 of our citys sanitation professionals. Honestly, we were better off with the mafia.

    4. CR says:

      We know exactly who’s clamoring for the Teddy statue to be removed. These ridiculous “progressives” like to spend day after day lamenting the GOP as fascists, a cut from 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 when, in fact, they’re the ones systematically calling for the removal and destruction of art, texts and landmarks they deem offensive. How ironic.

      • Cato says:

        Meet the new boss.
        Same as the old boss.

      • Dissident says:

        they’re the ones systematically calling for the removal and destruction of art, texts and landmarks they deem offensive.

        To say nothing of silencing and unperson-ing those who dare to dissent from what has long become an orthodoxy no less doctrinaire than any of those that said Progressives (i.e., the Totalitarian Left) pride themselves on opposing. I live each day with the uncomfortable awareness that the dissident voices I’ve come to so cherish could at any moment disappear into today’s gulag of de-platforming.

    5. B flat says:

      As a p.o.c. myself, I want the statue to stay. It’s a relic of our history with all that implies, and requires discussion, not suppression. Removing it to me is pretending the white man’s burden propaganda of the time didn’t exist, and makes it difficult to put our history in context. Plus I appreciate the tension between that statue and Frederick Douglass and Lincoln one block away.

      • Kayson212 says:

        Agree! Old movies went through this process several decades ago. For example, blackface scenes were deleted or some films kept off screens because they were so demeaning to people of color and a heinous marker in our cultural history. Later, the attitude transitioned to keeping and showing such material as-is precisely because it’s a reminder of those acts and attitudes. History shouldn’t be edited.

    6. Khanta Ford-Price says:

      Wonder when we’ll see AMNH asking visitors: “Are our admission fees to high? And if so, what should be done about it?”

    7. The W. 80th St. Bock Association/Billy Amato says:

      The Teddy Roosevelt statue at the front of The Museum of Natural History Should be replaced with either a dinosaur/tea Rex or better yet the Prehistoric Elephant of the Cenozoic Era. Also I think we should change the name of the Teddy Roosevelt Park to AMNH PARK.

      • Fed-Up With PC says:

        Re: “The Teddy Roosevelt statue … Should be replaced with either a dinosaur/tea Rex….”

        1.”TEA-Rex??” Would you seriously want to share TEA with a 40-foot-long 12-foot tall carnivorous Tyranosaurus (hence “T”) Rex ??

        2) As for Teddy Roosevelt: you would advocate relegating to the dust-bin of history a hero who was:
        1. our 26th U.S. President,
        2. 33rd NYS Governor,
        3. staunch Progressive,
        4. noted conservationist, and
        5. a man “generally ranked in polls of historians and political scientists as one of the five best presidents.” (Wikipedia)

        But, by 2019 Revisionist-history, this exemplary citizen, who died 100 years ago, was not “Woke” enough to please today’s self-appointed justice warriors!

        Shame !

        He is

    8. Rat A. Tooey says:

      To da Edita:

      About “the Sanitation Department’s decision to remove wastebaskets from the neighborhood has added to the problem,”

      Is sure IS a problem. Dem wastebaskets was our x-er-size, as we had to climb up to get food and den climb down. All dat climbin kept us trim. Now we’s dont get much x-er-size, and we’s gettin fat. Nobody likes a FAT RAT.

      and den “one in five complaints about rats…is made on the Upper West Side”

      Well, no big surprize dere. Dem fur-less tail-less bipeds complain about everryting, even about each other complainin!

      • your_neighbor says:

        Well said as always Rat A. Tooey

      • Dissident says:

        B.B. has posted about how the discontinuation of the use of COVERED trash cans and dumpsters has greatly exacerbated the proliferation of your kin, Mr. Tooey.

    9. Patrick Tucker says:

      Why should a few get artificially lower rates forcing market rates rent (like that I pay) to be higher. It should all be market rate. If you cannot afford it so be it.

      Folks act like living in Manhattan is some kind of birthright. Totally anathema to the American way of life.

      • Sarah says:

        “Why should a few get artificially lower rates forcing market rates rent (like that I pay) to be higher. ”

        Dude, 95% of all landlords will charge EXACTLY what they can get out of you, without any regard to what they may get from their other units. You think if they were allowed to charge several hundred dollars more to other tenants he’d cut YOUR rent? (Even if a person was so naive as to believe that, we know that’s not what happened. It’s not what happened when they abolished rent control in Boston/Cambridge in 1995.) Personally, I’d reserve Manhattan for people not born such suckers as to believe that their landlords will do anything except drain them as dry as they can.

        • Sherman says:

          @ Sarah-

          There are people – and their descendants – who have been living in apartments for decades because they are paying ridiculously low rents and have no incentive to leave.

          For the market to work efficiently there needs to be a healthy turnover of apartments. When someone leaves an apartment this increases supply, therefore lowering prices. Under the system we have today the supply is stifled, therefore increasing prices.

          Also, I remember when the rental market was deregulated in Boston. I recall reading predictions by “housing activists” and “progressives” that this would be a disaster and would lead to massive homelessness and dislocation.

          This did not happen.


    10. Kenneth says:

      NYCHA stores ALL it garbage from the Wise Houses on the West 90th sidewalk. NYCHA staff starts piling bags up at the curb within 30 minutes of the 4x per week DSNY pickup. There is garbage there 24×7. It’s disgusting and it’s a rat diner. Helen Rosenthal’s office states there is nothing they can do about it despite the fact that it would be considered illegal if done by a privately owned building.

    11. Daniel says:

      Regarding Rats–

      Rats prefer protein like meat and cheese, so wherever these are available, like near restaurants, Rats will be around. They nest in concrete crevices and also dig burrows in the earth, preferably under vegetation like English Ivy, Wintercreeper and Liriope. Having worked in both Central Park and Riverside Park, I can say that there are comparatively few rats in either park, probably because easy protein is scarce in large areas of these parks. Natural areas in NYC almost never have Rats. On the other hand, Verdi Square (72nd and Broadway) WAS a Rat haven. The Rats had lots of protein and abundant nest sites under the invasive Wintercreeper and English Ivy that used to dominate the park. In the winter of 2018, the Friends of Verdi Square was formed, and with NYC Parks, the groundcover was replaced with native plants. The number of Rat burrows has gone from over fifty to the occasional one or two, which NYC Parks deals with in a timely manner. Go by and check it out for yourself and if you like what you see, please let the Parks Department know and consider supporting the Friends of Verdi Square.

      • dc says:

        I’ve seen the progress at Verdi Square and am delighted! And the cute tables, too. Thank you to Friends of Verdi Square : )

      • Dissident says:

        Great news if rat infestation in Verdi Square has indeed diminished drastically thanks to efforts of Friend of VS. Kudos to them and hope their methods are adopted City-wide.

        (Note that visiting the URL with JavaScript disabled results in a blank page.)

    12. Jeff Berger says:

      The statue is not racist. It merely shows a man on horseback asking the locals for directions. The native american is just pointing him in the correct direction, as any nice local will do for a tourist.

      Seriously, can we stop the Stalinesque revisionism and go back to solving actual problems?

      Such as why do I get text message every day that a company is moving to Tennessee and creating jobs but NYC kicks out Amazon when they try to create jobs?

    13. michael says:

      People that refer to the statue as racist don’t have the faintest amount of academic knowledge about the Native American people and the role they played in the early Dutch colonies or America. Indeed, it’s not unlike people who claim that knowing 6 million Jews died in the holocaust represents an understanding of what actually happened in Nazi Europe in the late 1930s. A little knowledge of both historical facts, is in fact, dangerous. I concur with CR, I find it ironic that liberalism has historically maintained only two arms, Marxist/socialist and Evolutionist/fascist.

      We have bigger problems in this country and these discussions are nothing but a waste of time.

      • EricaC says:

        You are a card! Those are the only two arms of liberalism? Like the right has only gone for Nazism and Stalinism? (Yes, I know Stalin claimed to be based in Marxism, but anyone who knows history knows he abandoned Marxist principles in all but name.)

        Seriously, a little grandiose, aren’t we? Leaving out pretty much all the Western world in peacetime is a pretty good trick.

        Maybe the WSR should do some examination of which headlines bring out this litany of right wing paranoia, and which ones bring out the left wing paranoia, and try to avoid both.

        • michael says:

          The disastrous lack of historical memory in today’s society is responsible for the re-emergence of many of today’s woes – not the least of which are measles, antisemitism, and the weaknesses (read, intellectual failings) of liberalism.

        • Jen says:

          As much as I agree with the first paragraph of your post and many other comments in the past, I think your suggestion to monitor comments regarding different points of view is dangerous and violates free speech. We have enough insanity and overboard political correctness as it is. Shaming and labeling are gone overboard. We don’t need WSR to police comments to make sure they stay in the very middle.

          • Dissident says:

            @ Jen (July 23, 2019 at 7:28 am):

            From this and many other comments of yours, you would appear to be a member of what has become an endangered species: A reasonable Democrat. I wish you well.

            (And, if things continue at the present rate, perhaps we’ll meet at a re-education camp…)

          • Woody says:

            Posting on a blog is not a free-speech right protected by the Constitution.

            But I agree with all your other points that comments shouldn’t be moderated to achieve middle ground.

            • Dissident says:

              Posting on a blog is not a free-speech right protected by the Constitution.

              Jen’s actual words were merely “violates free speech”. I find it entirely plausible to construe that as referring to the spirit and larger principle of free speech, and not making any claims with regard to legality, Constitutional or otherwise.
              ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
              Concerning the de-platforming that I alluded-to in previous comments, I would like to add the following. The censorship and repression that I condemned is defended with the argument that those exercising it (i.e. Google; Facebook; Twitter; GoDaddy; Amazon; PayPal; the major banks, etc.) are private commercial entities. The reality, however, is that such titans of tech, finance and commerce have become monopolies. To be banned by or denied service from them is, effectively, to be silenced, excluded from the economy, and, in all too many cases, ruined. (Note, as well, the spectacle of witnessing the same people who have rarely, if ever, demonstrated anything less than zealous support for government regulation of private business, now suddenly, in defense of Woke Capital, singing the praises of laissez-faire. Rather amusing, I must say.)

            • michael says:

              Hopefully the poster realizes that the statement, “Maybe the WSR should do some examination of which headlines bring out this litany of right wing paranoia, and which ones bring out the left wing paranoia, and try to avoid both.” is in DIRECT OPPOSITION to liberalism, but one that is promoted regularly by liberals.

              Indeed, Liberalism has its strengths, not the least of which is individualism (see Mill, Locke, Smith) and in particular its position on freedom of speech and expression. Ironically, it is the now the left that is the biggest proponent of the “call-out” culture where opinions which are disagreed with are aggressively and systematically blocked and/or spoken words are now equated with “micro-agrssion” and violence.

    14. MB/UWSer says:

      Regarding the rat situation, why not compare the east side trash management and apply that plan to the west side trash management/rat situation? Hmmmm, I wonder if there’s a difference!

      • B.B. says:

        UES has their share of rat issues, you can check this by using the city’s “rat portal” map.

        Walk along Fifth avenue and or any of the blocks leading just off and you’ll see plenty of bait stations in front of properties.

        Parts of the east 70’s and 80’s from roughly Park Avenue to East End are full of rats.

    15. Paul says:

      Among other achievements TR was known for reading five books a day.
      That’s more than 2 of the last 3 presidents have read in their lives.

    16. Lars Larsen says:

      What is truly offensive at the Natural History Museum is the addition by architect Jeanne Gang that will soon deface this institution. In the 80s, the Whitney Museum dodged a bullet by pulling the plug on an egregious design for an addition by architect Michael Graves. Graves’ design seemed hip at the time but now looks like a disaster averted. Unless the Natural History powers-that-be come to their senses and do the same, future New Yorkers will look at Ms. Gang’s cartoon cave-scape and exclaim, “What on earth were they thinking?”

    17. Dissident says:

      In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.

      ~ Theodore Roosevelt
      (A composite of authentic representative quotes from the 26th President on immigration.)

    18. Sam Stein says:

      I believe in being politically correct….
      Move the Museum and leave the statue!!!

    19. Wijmlet says:

      The destruction of a beautiful park (TR Park, near museum) is offensive.

      The statue can be explained historically.

    20. Shalom Stavsky says:

      Please don’t take the Teddy Roosevelt statue down. This is part of our history, and most people (and I would bet most minorities, as well) are not offended.

    21. Judy Kass says:

      AMNH: Easy! Add 1 white man to statue.judy kass

    22. Judy Kass says:

      I meant another ethnicity.. not white

    23. N.N. says:

      I think it’s perfectly possible to contextualize the problematic aspects of the Teddy Roosevelt statue in an educational way, and there is not an obvious reason for taking it down as there is for removing Jim Crow-era statues honoring Confederates that were put up for the deliberate purpose of intimidating and terrorizing black Americans. That was never the intention behind this statue.

      That said, it should still be replaced with a giant dinosaur skeleton because that would be infinitely cooler.

      Or how about the obviously best compromise… Teddy Roosevelt riding a giant dinosaur skeleton!

    24. Manhattan Valley is a graphic example of ‘affordable’ housing programs that have reinforced segregation above West 96 Street and certainly east of Broadway. From Gale Brewer, Community Board 7, both the two City Council Members within the Upper West Side and the affordable housing advocates a solid policy, intentional or unintentional has been cemented into place. A policy that continually steers the impoverished into a compromised community, thus containing an economic and racial group of people.