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Saturday, August 1, 2009
Rats Invade Stuyvesant Town Oval
Above: There's a rat in that photo someplace. Can you see him hiding?
Alerted by a blog reader, who e-mailed me that he had seen near sunset at least half-a-dozen rats scurrying around the bushes on the northeast side of the Oval lawn in the vegetation island between the gravel path and the asphalt walkway, I braced myself for the worst and hurried outside with my camera to see if 1) I could verify the report and 2) take a photo of the revolting show of rat force.
Indeed, when I arrived I noticed at least two rats in that area darting from undergrowth to undergrowth, and a bit further away another rat. (I assume they were rats, as they were not sparrow-size like mice.) Unfortunately, the light at this time was poor and my camera not up to the task of taking clear photos of speeding or lurking rodents in the dismal light, so a better photographer with a better apparatus will have to get the job done.
Be that as it may, this is disgusting evidence of what the "planning" of the landlord, Tishman Speyer, has done to this complex. The allowance of large-size picnics and carefree eating on the Oval lawn (started by MetLife before they left and further exasperated by Tishman Speyer's open-to-the-public attitude toward the Oval), the massive infusion of vegetation which just harbors rodents and their families (which is why MetLife got rid of profuse vegetation in front of buildings), a weekly Farmer's Market at the Oval, and even the careless pickup of dog waste (rats find food in dog feces) are contributing to the infestation of rodents at the Oval, with, no doubt, an expansion of the rat/mice population to other parts of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.
It's really sad, but we are heading toward becoming a slum if something isn't done about this rat problem NOW. Shame on you, Jerry and Rob Speyer, for not having the foresight that this would happen and not doing anything much about it as the problem progressed through the months.