Showing posts with label rats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rats. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

These zine editors want your rat stories ('Don't call us gross')

Photo and interview by Stacie Joy

Signs around the neighborhood started appearing over the weekend, seeking stories about memorable encounters with rats in NYC. 

A rat zine? 

Curious, I contacted the folks behind the flyers. The two friends, a current and past (now in Williamsburg) East Village resident, wish to remain anonymous for now but agreed to discuss the project.  

So, how did this rat zine project get started? 

The project was born from a deep fascination with — and admiration for — New York City's most hated inhabitants. Independently, we both had spent the last few years taking photos of dead rats crushed into the city's pavement. After discovering this shared hobby recently, we decided to make a zine. 

In the process of doing that, we decided it'd be fun to supplement our images with true stories of rat encounters sourced from our neighbors. Over the last few days, we've been putting up flyers asking for submissions. Emails started flowing in immediately, both harrowing and kind of touching. People stopped us on the street to tell us about their favorite rat interactions, which is a cool way to meet strangers.

Why make a rat zine? 

Not to be too high-minded about a rat zine, but it really feels like the city is just teeming with untold rodent stories. Living in close proximity to these animals, who are nearly indomitable and cunning and heavily dependent on our inability to clean up after ourselves, is a big part of the collective New York experience. 

The inter-species arrangement is that we generally aim to avoid each other. When that social order breaks down, a good story often follows.

How can people get involved? What sort of material are you looking for? 

Anyone interested in sharing a particularly memorable rat episode should send us an email in the next few weeks. We like straightforward stories, but we're also open to other formats — if you're moved to translate your rat tale into a haiku, an illustration or a short play, by all means, go ahead. 

It's fun, and it's not gross. Don’t call us gross. Tell us your best rat stories!


Want to contribute? Send your rodent-related comics, poems, true stories, and songs to newyorkrathole ( It's old-school print media only: signs and a printed zine. There is no social media, although they concede there "may be an Instagram in the future."

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Today in photos of a dead rat, bottle of tequila and pizza box on St. Mark's Place

EVG reader Jackflashnyc assures us that this photo on St. Mark's Place just west of First Avenue was NOT staged. 

August in NYC. ❤️

Thursday, April 13, 2023

A 'rat czar' for NYC; the East Village still in the rat pack

The city announced yesterday that it has hired NYC's first-ever "Rat Czar." 
New York City Mayor Eric Adams ... appointed Kathleen Corradi as the city's first-ever citywide director of rodent mitigation, also known as the 'rat czar.' In this newly created role, Corradi will coordinate across city government agencies, community organizations, and the private sector to reduce the rat population in New York City — building a cleaner, more welcoming city and tackling a major quality-of-life and health issue. 
Corradi has experience in the field, previously working at the city education department, where she managed rat mitigation at public schools. According to Gothamist and other published reports, Corradi reports to Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack and will be paid an annual salary of $155,000. 

This news comes after last week's reports in which NYC named eight rat-prone neighborhoods as Mayor Adams seeks to control the rodent population. The East Village and Lower East Side were named one of the "rat mitigation zones" with "high levels of rat activity."
Per reports
"These neighborhoods were selected by the city based on a set of criteria that included the number of rat-related cleanup orders issued by NYC within the last year, rat-baiting visits by the city’s Health Department, rat-related 311 complaints, and NYC Parks-owned properties that have been considered susceptible to rat infestations." 
Of course, the East Village and Lower East Side were part of the city's $32-million rat cleanup efforts that then-Mayor de Blasio embarked on in the summer of 2017. Obviously, those efforts went well!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Do you have what it takes to be NYC's Director of Rodent Mitigation?

ICYMI. This was well-covered this past week (spotted first on Gothamist) ... sharing nonetheless since it involves a topic near and dear to all: RATS. 😍 

NYC is hiring a director of rodent mitigation. (Listing here.) 

Cutting-and-pasting from the job description: 
Do you have what it takes to do the impossible? A virulent vehemence for vermin? A background in urban planning, project management, or government? And most importantly, the drive, determination and killer instinct needed to fight the real enemy – New York City’s relentless rat population? If so, your dream job awaits: New York's Citywide Director of Rodent Mitigation. 

The Citywide Director of Rodent Mitigation is a high-visibility, high-impact leadership role with one of the most important tasks in city government — keeping the city's rats in check and on notice. Despite their successful public engagement strategy and cheeky social media presence, rats are not our friends — they are enemies that must be vanquished by the combined forces of our city government. Rodents spread disease, damage homes and wiring, and even attempt to control the movements of kitchen staffers in an effort to take over human jobs. Cunning, voracious, and prolific, New York City's rats are legendary for their survival skills, but they don’t run this city — we do. 

Reporting to the Deputy Mayor for Operations and in the Mayor’s Office at City Hall, the Citywide Director of Rat Mitigation is a 24/7 job requiring stamina and stagecraft. The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty, determined to look at all solutions from various angles, including improving operational efficiency, data collection, technology innovation, trash management, and wholesale slaughter. 
Salary range: $120,000 to $170,000. 

Sharpen up those résumés and LinkedIn profiles! 

Oh, and as Gothamist pointed out, this is not a NEW role necessarily: As deputy mayor, Joseph Lhota was designated rat czar in the Giuliani administration. 

Top photo on Avenue A from December 2021 by Derek Berg. Perhaps the creator of that sculpture has ideas for this job!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Multiple readers shared this clip via @whatisnewyork... someone decided to scatter the rats gathered in trashbags outside 13 (and 15) St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue...

Monday, August 22, 2022

Reminders: The Virtual Rat Academy for East Village business owners, gardeners and residents is TOMORROW

As a reminder... reposting this from Aug. 9...

Community Board 3, the Cooper Square Committee and the East Village Merchants Association are sponsoring a Virtual Rat Academy on Tuesday, Aug. 23 from 5-7 p.m.

You can register to learn about rat prevention methods via this link.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Here's info about a Virtual Rat Academy for East Village business owners, gardeners and residents

Community Board 3, the Cooper Square Committee and the East Village Merchants Association are sponsoring a Virtual Rat Academy on Tuesday, Aug. 23 from 5-7 p.m.

You can register to learn about rat prevention methods (here come the curbside dining comments!) via this link.

Friday, June 3, 2022

As the tree pit turns

Photo by Stacie Joy 

For those of you keeping tabs on the tree pit outside 185 E. Third St., here's the latest... building management has now covered the dirt with wire mesh, which will prevent rats from burrowing in the space ... while allowing for water to reach the tree roots, etc. 

Anyway, a better approach than the first rat-proofing attempt last month: covering the tree well in cement, which would eventually kill the tree. Multiple residents here between Avenue A and Avenue B called 311, and the city removed the cement within a week.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022


A now-viral video from the Tompkins Square Park dog run yesterday... when a rat decides to dart across the space amid several dogs ...

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

City frees tree entombed in concrete on 3rd Street

Photo from yesterday

As noted last Tuesday, to combat rats burrowing in the tree pit outside 185 E. Third St., building management decided to cover the space in concrete. 

Several readers had previously called 311 to alert them of this issue. (The concrete will inhibit the tree's ability to take in water and oxygen and could likely result in its death.) 

The city has since closed the service request on this block between Avenue A and Avenue B, noting: "NYC Parks performed the work necessary to correct the condition. We notified the building owner yesterday, ordering them to remove the concrete from the tree pit. The concrete was removed on Thursday, May 19, 2022."

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

A terrible way to try to kill rats

Updated 5/23: Several residents report that, via 311 calls, the city has removed the cement from the tree pit.

To combat rats burrowing in the tree pit outside 185 E. Third St., building management decided to cover the space in concrete.

As an unhappy resident here between Avenue A and Avenue B noted, the concrete will inhibit the tree's ability to take in water and oxygen and could likely result in its death.

There are better options ... which the city discusses via its online Rat Academy courses for property managers, business owners, etc.  Find other rat resources via the city here.

Thanks to Suzy Kunz for the photo. 

Friday, May 6, 2022

Farewell to the rat-infested tree pit of 5th Street

Workers tore up part of the sidewalk and the tree pit on Fifth Street just east of Avenue A along the Con Ed substation here...
Workers cut down the tree in recent months (last fall?). Not sure about the condition of the tree, but the roots had caused the concrete to lift. 

And anyone walking here at night likely saw the large rat population. We've spotted up to a dozen rats darting back and forth between the holes in the tree pit and underneath the fencing on the Con Ed building.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

DiGiorno Pizza Rat debuts in Tompkins Square Park

Hi. How has your day been? 

Meanwhile, as seen this afternoon from Tompkins Square Park. Hello DiGiorno Pizza Rat! 

(And thanks to Goggla for the clip!)


Wednesday, December 8, 2021


A dead rat sculpture on Avenue A near Ninth Street... artist unknown at the moment. 

Pic by Derek Berg.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Your chance to attend a virtual Rat Academy

Via the EVG inbox... Council Member Carlina Rivera's office and Community Board 3 are sponsoring a free Rat Academy tomorrow from 10 a.m. to noon. 

The virtual session will provide training for building supers and staff, residents, community gardeners, managing companies, etc. 

You can find the registration form at this link.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

A case of mistaken rat identity on the lawn in Tompkins Square Park

Today's video short comes from the main lawn in Tompkins Square Park, where the other day a young woman chased a rat, thinking that it was hers ... only to (spoiler!) discover a case of mistaken identity: This actually wasn't her rat!

 Thanks to @arigold for this selection via Instagram...

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Rats on 1st Street

An EVG reader who lives on First Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue shared a video from Tuesday evening... showing "the rat family that has taken over the sidewalk." 

Per the reader: "This area has always been a rat haven, but it has really gotten nuts since about early March." 

In the video below, the rats are seen moving back and forth in front of Abetta, the longtime boiler and welding service, and a stray bag of garbage. 

"Not sure where the garbage bags are from since it's not garbage day on First Street — nobody else has garbage out," the reader points out.

Some of the rats also jump up into the chassis and the wheels of the parked cars nearby. 

"At one point I counted 12 rats while filming these videos. There are even some cute little baby rats."

See for yourself...


Residents can file rat and mouse complaints with 311 here. Whether the city might take corrective action is another story...

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Big Belly trash cans go MIA around Tompkins Square Park

As you may have noticed, the city has removed the solar-powered, Big Belly trash cans around Tompkins Square Park. 

The plain ol' trash cans are now back on the corners, such as Seventh Street and Avenue A (above!) and 10th Street and Avenue A...
And Vinny & O shared these photos from 10th Street and Avenue B yesterday ... (that one outside Sheen Brothers seemed to be chronically full or on the fritz) ...
The Big Belly trash cans arrived here in July 2017 as part of the city's $32-million plan to combat vermin in rat-popular neighborhoods, like this one.

The Daily News previously reported that each can costs $7,000. Not sure how effective they are/were with trash piled atop the pricy cans (here and here, for example) or being out of order (here and here, for example).

The Big Belly receptacles remain inside Tompkins Square Park...

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Today in neighbors being neighborly

Spotted on a car windshield on Second Street at Avenue B:
"Just wanted to inform you that you have a rat in your car! Sorry about that : ( Your neighbors."
And it's not even the summer yet. By August the rat might be driving.

Thank you to Patty Rat for stopping to take the photo!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

We're going to need larger solar-powered, rat-proof trash cans

A reader shared this photo today from 10th Street and Avenue A.


And via Steven...