Seen & Heard: Congestion Pricing meeting tonight

The MTA is hosting a live YouTube meeting on the congestion pricing plan for Manhattan (60th Street and below) tonight, Thursday, September 23, 6-8 p.m. (click here to view meeting). You can read more here. I will also watch and report back.

The residents of Jay Street are taking matters into their own hands by organizing against rats. More TK on this, but they met this week (thanks to G. for the note) to develop a coordinated effort to reduce the rat population on the block.

The Pincus brothers, who own the Grand Banks among others, will reopen the former Holy Ground space underneath Bluestone Lane (109 West Broadway) as a subterranean oyster and cocktail bar. They were approved by CB1 for the liquor license in August; hours will be till midnight during the week and 1a on weekends. The committee members noted that the previous tenants caused problems for neighbors with poor garbage practices; the Grand Banks folks promise to do better.

Paisley, the Indian restaurant on Greenwich and Laight, has added daytime hours to the schedule. Lunch is Tuesday through Friday from noon to 2:30; brunch is Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3. Starting Oct. 10, they will also have a magician performing on Sundays from noon to 2p to distract the kids while the adults enjoy brunch.

Kamau Ware and Risë Wilson will discuss public art as an avenue for discovering and revealing untold histories on Friday, Sept. 24, 6p, at Belvedere Plaza, North End Avenue and the esplanade. Ware is founder of Black Gotham Experience, an immersive multimedia project that reimagines the spaces directly impacted by the African Diaspora as human stories. Wilson founded The Laundromat Project in 1999, an organization that connects artists and communities of color.




  1. My husband and I park on Jay Street and recently paid $1500 to fix our car after 14 rats nestled in our engine and ate through some wires.

  2. Re: rats- we started using mint scented trash bags at our building, and it definitely cut way down on the number of rats chewing through our garbage. NYC in the 70’s had an ad campaign, “Starve a Rat Today.” Cut off their food source and they will have to look elsewhere. Also, our system of using plastic bags for food waste & putting them out on the sidewalks for the rats is crazy!

    Not sure what do do about wiring, but I have seen mint spray for sale.

  3. It’s all over town. High 40s 10-11 Ave near Hudson. Family of them in residence in old tenement. Operating Corp never get door area to basement squared away so the big cracks in side walls and under door give them free run on the large black bags. Might give then a hint but damn things are wharf rat/cat sized so they’d just rip into any bags. Have seen ads for anti-rat bags but maybe only variation of mint idea.
    Scares hell out of club girls in late summer hours when they pass by and see the things up around curb side bags. Even the new amount of leashed dogs don’t bother them. Would think urine might bug them but hell no fear. Prob take more & faster bag removal by City would help. But service workers don’t go for the work anymore. Even USPS cutting service Oct. 1 due to so many things. Those lifer jobs going begging. City gonna get back to the 70s Fun City era.

  4. I have never understood why NYC cannot or will not mandate metal bins for all garbage pickup. I love this city but even in the best of times, the trash system ( leaving bags on the sidewalk) is disgraceful – and disgusting. Can anyone explain why we have such a dysfunctional system? Wouldn’t it be relatively simple to improve?

  5. Does anyone know if city residents will be exempt from the congestion pricing? It’s insane we will have to pay ANOTHER tax to live in the city, but I wouldn’t put it past them.

  6. Rats do eat through plastic garbage cans!

    They are survivors – both smart and persistent..
    In the past I’ve come across plastic cans in our building where rats have chewed straight through in order to get to the food – You could see the hole and uneven teeth marks around it

    Glad to see that people posting here are specifying metal cans.
    I doubt the city will mandate that even though it makes a lot of sense

  7. All rats welcome at Curb Side Dining should be the new Tribeca slogan. Curb Side dining is a double edged sword. Originally it was a temporary measure to help the restaurants survive. Temporary meant not much thought went into considering sanitation conditions under and around these wooden structures. DEP did not consider the flow of rain water along the curb or how the snow gets cleared from sidewalks and streets in a storm.
    So how can there even be ANY discussion about making them permanent when they have created a new set of city problems that seem to be getting worse the longer they’re up.
    Our quality of life has been diminished by the rats and they pose serious future health issues for the residents as we help the rat population multiply.
    These curbside and sidewalk structures stop the rain from reaching the corner catch-basins creating flooding for property owners who find the rain pooling and creating sidewalk leaks in the buildings vault areas.
    Worse yet is the rain deposits all the food and garbage that normally washes down the street’s curb, to right under these street side platform structures.
    DSNY – sanitation sweepers in the morning now just swing around the structures collection garbage only around the exposed curbs. No one cleans beneath the structures except the rats.
    Come here around midnight and the rats have parties every night dining at the buffet table beneath the structures. Then before the sun rises and as we sleep, they conveniently dig holes in the dirt between the beautiful flowers planted in wood planters, lay their babies in the dirt planters, and we are helping them multiplying better than ever.
    As a native NY’er I have caught my share of rats in snap traps and one thing I know is rats are smart and if you don’t put out the “you are not welcome mat” IE get rid of the loose food under the structures and get rid of the dirt planters they will never move on.
    Right about now you can witness the babies coming out of the dirt in broad daylight. I see evidence of this right on West Broadway between Duane and Thomas St where the rats run and play at night and have scared diners at Tiny’s, Max, Edwards and the
    Odeon. Check out Tiny’s planters in the morning and you can see the rat holes and the dirt on the sidewalk.
    FYI fall is the time rats move into buildings to escape the cold winter are you ready for that migration?
    I really think the city and CB1 need to think about the rats before voting to make these curbside and sidewalk structures permanent.
    Just an educated warning from
    kit kat

  8. we had so many rats it was getting out of hand. so we finally hired a company called Rat Trap Inc to place traps around our place. It is reasonably priced and its environmentally friendly – rats get trapped in a liquid solution and then the dead rats get collected by the company. if you want to know more let me know. here is link to the firm –

  9. When Warren Street was rebuilt a few years ago, the rat problem reached epic proportions. I have videos of rats chewing right through Mint-X bags. I have videos of rats crawling up the sides of metal bins, and making their way in through loose fitting tops. The EPA refused to let us put down any serious poison.
    I then suggested finding all the burrows and nests, and dropping dry ice into every open crevice. Dry ice is not poisonous, and dissipates within hours. However, since it is heavier than air, it displaces all the air in the burrows, and the rats simply die from lack of oxygen.