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Video: Rats Again Run Rampant at Former Guggenheim Lab Site

About a dozen sightings in a little over two and a half minutes.

Cue “Return of the Rat” – the furry fiends are back on First Street.

Last summer when the BMW Guggenheim Lab took over an empty lot between East First and Houston Streets, near Second Avenue, even the project’s detractors begrudgingly gave it credit for cleaning up a longstanding rat infestation. Well, guess what? The rats are back.

A friend who lives a couple doors over from the lot, which is now a park hosting public programming, brought the rodent resurgence to our attention. (She didn’t want to be named lest she gain a reputation on the block as, well, a rat.) “They’ve steadily become more of a presence and now it’s threatening to be what it used to be,” she said, adding that she has started walking in the street again to avoid the stretch of sidewalk on the southern side of First Street, near Second Avenue, where the whiskered interlopers frolic.

Sure enough, minutes after The Local set up to film the rats on a recent evening, they were seen zig-zagging across the sidewalk every 20 seconds or so, scampering from underneath a set of trash containers to a pile of garbage bags across the way. Passersby shrieked at the site of the voluminous vermin. Before long, we bumped into Emily Armstrong, co-author of The Local’s Nightclubbing column and a longtime resident of the Lower East Side. “They’re back!” she exclaimed as she walked her dog on the block. Read more…

Butter Lane Ready to Serve Cupcakes Again

cupcakes, from butter laneAlexis Lamster

After a brief closure by the Department of Health, Butter Lane has once again fired up the ovens and is preparing to serve cupcakes. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health confirmed that the bakery was shut down yesterday for “extensive rodent infestation,” and that it passed a reopening inspection today. The Local just put in a call to Butter Lane, and an employee said that vanilla cupcakes should be ready by 2:30 p.m.

Video: Rats, And Then A Knockdown Fight In Tompkins

Justin Bagley Careful! There is some foul language in this video (originally picked up by Deadspin).

It’s two of the most common sights in Tompkins Square Park: rats and two guys ready to fight. Justin Bagley, who was on vacation from Milwaukee, was shooting a video on Monday of the scurrying rodents when he spotted two men nose-to-nose and ready to throw down. The brawl was over before it started: as you can see in the graphic video Mr. Bagley posted to YouTube, one swing led to a knockout.

“Totally random – it was crazy,” said Mr. Bagley, 28, who was back in Milwaukee today. “I was thinking, ‘Those are ratholes?’ Then, out of nowhere, all of a sudden the guy blasts him.” Read more…

With Hawks Grown, Rat Poison is Back in Tompkins

Tompkins Square Juvenile Red-Tailed HawkRobert Schmunk The Parks Department has begun placing rat poison in Tompkins Square Park, a measure it previously declined to use because of the presence of red- tailed hawks.

The city has unleashed a new weapon in the fight against the rodent menace in Tompkins Square Park.

After destroying rodent hideouts and deploying mint-scented trash bags, new garbage cans, and “Feed a pigeon, breed a rat” signage, this week the Parks Department began baiting the park with poison.

Previously, the Parks Department had said it did not use rat poison due to the danger it posed to the red-tailed hawks that dine on the critters. But now, new Parks Department policy allows the agency to use poison when hawks are not in the fledgling season, which is roughly from February to August. Read more…

A Minty Weapon To Combat The Tompkins Rats

The Truck of Mint-X Trash BagsTompkins Square Park Playground and Parents’ Association The truck carrying 5,000 mint-scented trash bags arrived at Parks Department offices in Lower Manhattan this morning.

A truckload of mint-scented trash bags have been donated to the Parks Department in the latest volley in the ongoing war against the rats of Tompkins Square Parks.

A spokesman for the Tompkins Square Park Playground and Parents’ Association, which secured the 5,000 minty bags, said that Mint-X recently made the offer to donate all the bags after seeing all the publicity the rats were attracting.

“If the rats don’t touch it, the Mint-X guy is looking at a big purchase from the city,” said the spokesman. “I’m hopeful that they’ll work.” He added that the bags should be in trash cans at Tompkins Square Park today. Read more…