The End of Rat City

IMG_0272Kenan Christiansen The former capital of rats at 33 East First Street.

“It’s the most ratted place around,” the neighbors used to say, but that’s no longer true.

On May 13, a construction crew arrived at the empty lot of 33 East First Street with heavy gear and a back-hoe. Rubble and rock was dumped into the sink hole, jack-hammers hammered, ply went up all around, and by the hour of noon the capital of rats in the southern East Village had fallen.

For some 20 years the rats held sway there, and built up a mighty empire from the lowly abandoned lot. Even the taxi drivers who stopped to refill at the gas station across the street were careful not to venture too close to their lair. They seemed invincible, but now it’s all over.

On the construction permit posted on the fencing, it states that a concrete slab will cover the place, and as The Local reported back in February, that the Guggenheim intends to erect a temporary urban lab at the location. The locals will not soon forget the hoards that lived in burrows under the property. But rat lovers can rest assured that their furry friends are quite alright, and have simply moved on, probably into that collapsed building at Houston and Second Avenue.

From there they will likely intensify their operations, and continue to enjoy their favorite pastime: scaring the tourists.

RAT_CITY_FINAL-Slide07LrgPhoto Illustration by Tim Milk