Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Downtown Manhattan's Collect Pond Park Overrun With Rats (VIDEO)

Rats have completely overrun Collect Pond Park (map) a public park the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center has conceded is "part dilapidated plaza, part Department of Transportation parking lot."

Passing through the park last night across from the Criminal Courthouse in downtown Manhattan, an NYPD officer expressed resigned anger at the rats overrunning the park. "Look at that thing," he exclaimed, pointing and shaking his head in disgust, "it's as big as a cat!"

Collect Pond Park is effectively a rat zoo now. Watch the video below.

None of the rodents seemed to give a rat's ass about New York Assemblyman Sheldon Silver's declaring war on them. They gallivant through the park even when still light out, as it was when videotaping last night. Many have abandoned their normal modes of travel in subterfuge, and go where ever they want, whenever they please. There could have been well over 40 rats in the park last night. 

Collect Pond Park seems to be returning to its original state of 200 years ago, when it was a garbage and disease infested sinkhole. The sidewalks are cracked, broken, and sinking into the ground. Numerous benches are missing seating. Large swaths of paving stone inside the park have gone missing, and the landscaping consists mostly of dirt. Rats have created a network of tunnels underneath. The park is used by mainly by homeless and intoxicated peoples in the evening, and working class residents who work in the government buildings nearby during the day. Neither group apparently worthy of a cared for and landscaped park.

According to the LMCCC, the area is slated to receive a completely new $3.5 million park on the site. However, no estimated time was stated. Indeed, bids haven't even come back yet. It would be safe bet to expect a new park as soon as the block gets a new luxury condominium development.

UPDATE: The situation is even worse than imagined. It is a worst case scenario. At the park again on Wednesday night, I walked the perimeter and witnessed a guesstimate of 60 rats in the park running, playing, eating, hanging out, all above ground, without any concern. I have never seen anything like it in New York City, in such a public place.

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