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Vermin Got You Squirmin’? Here’s 10 Things We Learned at Rat Academy

Rat Academy graduates collecting their free rat-proof garbage bins. Photo: Shannon Barbour

In a city with as many rats as there are children, New York has taken on several methods of eliminating the pests from city streets, homes and sewers. Birth control, dry ice, and bait have all been employed to curb the ever-growing population. Just last month Mayor de Blasio declared a $32 million war on rats, which has already proven to be successful in the East Village. But rats aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and they’ve even been linked to a Bronx resident who was killed by leptospirosis this year. So last night, a few dozen New Yorkers scurried over to Midtown to attend the third annual Rat Academy and get schooled on all things vermin by a health department rat expert, Caroline Bragdon. Graduates of the talk, hosted by Council Member Corey Johnson, walked away with brand-new rat-proof garbage bins and two hours worth of rat facts. Here are 10 lessons we learned at Rat Academy.
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Artists and Latex Lovers Whip Out Their Pens at Kink ‘n’ Draw

Instagram: LatexBaroness.

Those in attendance at the most recent “Kink ‘n’ Draw” event got to feast their “lustful and perverted eyes” on latex-clad live models as they posed in erotic tableaux carefully designed by one of our favorite New York characters, fetishwear entrepreneur and kink advocate the Baroness.

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East Broadway Subway Station Is F-ing Disgusting, Pols Say

City DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg speaks with press.

A group of city officials and local residents gathered today at the East Broadway subway station as part of a publicity tour calling attention to New York City’s deteriorating public transit system.

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East Village Community Gardens to Host Screenings of National Security Docs

Does government surveillance really get your goat? (To be honest I have never really understood that expression but I am just going to run with it.) Is your ideal evening spent watching documentaries on the deep state? If so, then you’re in luck.

In a new film fest running today through Aug. 5 — ominously titled “Spy vs. Us” — the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) in the East Village takes on national security and the surveillance state. Even better, like last year’s MoRUS-sponsored film and theater festivals, this year’s festival screenings will occur in the lovely environs of several community gardens. Tonight’s opening screening takes place in the roof garden of Alphabet City’s fabled Umbrella House.

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Great Jones Cafe Reopens: ‘Reports of Our Demise Were Greatly Exaggerated’

We reported last week that beloved Cajun eatery and longtime Bowery hangout Great Jones Cafe was temporarily shutting down — and, according to cryptic information from an employee, would or would not return. Fearing that the Great Jones had become yet the latest victim of rising rents, New Yorkers swarmed onto social media to pay their respects and lament the loss of a neighborhood institution that has served as an indispensable cultural hub for local artists, musicians, and writers — some of whom, like Basquiat, have become quite famous.

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Brandon Harris Talks Gentrification, Race, and the Perennial Struggle of Making It in NYC

In his first book, Making Rent in Bed-Stuy (HarperCollins, 2017), New York-based writer and filmmaker Brandon Harris uses his memoir of “trying to make it in New York City” as the starting point for a complex, multi-layered discussion of race, class, and gentrification.

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Yuan Invites ‘Sophisticated Chinese Food Lovers’ to Slurp a Storied Rice Noodle

Yuan, on 2nd Ave.

Yuan, a new East Village restaurant specializing in Guilin-style rice noodle dishes, aspires to serve the “sophisticated Chinese food lover,” according to lettering on its glass storefront.

Currently in “soft launch,” the restaurant will officially open next Wednesday or Thursday, hot on the heels of 99 Favor Taste’s expansion to St. Marks Place.

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What’s Going On With the Great Jones Cafe?

Great Jones Cafe.

New Yorkers today learned some shocking news: beloved Cajun/Creole restaurant Great Jones Cafe will close tonight and may or may not reopen. Tipsters told EV Grieve that tonight would be the last night, but there’s reason to hope rumors of the 34-year-old Basquiat hangout’s death are greatly exaggerated. This evening, an employee at the Jones told Bedford + Bowery that it’s closing for a week; after that it will reopen — or not. More likely not, she said.

Messages left for owner James Moffett have not yet been returned. In April, the restaurant’s longtime GM, Bill Judkins, told EV Grieve that he was forced out when he couldn’t see eye to eye with his two partners, who “feel that the Jones needs to be changed into something more contemporary to appeal to the ‘new’ neighborhood.” The restaurant’s famous jukebox had been turned off, Judkins told Grieve.

In January of 2015, Judkins told Eater that the restaurant’s landlord was “a nice, old school guy,” and that there were still “a few years” left on the lease. Eater wrote that Judkins “doesn’t see things changing anytime soon, although he does admit to some ‘concern’ about what will happen in the future.”

We’re hoping the Noho fixture rises Lazarus-like from the dead. (I mean, where else can you get a proper oyster po boy around here? Served up by Pavement bassist Mark Ibold, no less.) But many are operating on the assumption that the restaurant won’t be coming back. They filed onto social media to pay their respects:

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Pour One of These Out for the Kosciuszko Bridge

The new brew. Instagram: nyccraftbeer.

After several weeks of delays the long-awaited demolition of Greenpoint’s old Kosciuszko Bridge began yesterday, despite the intercession of a band of sword-waving and wolf-wielding marauders. (The “new” Kosciuszko Bridge has been in use since April.)

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Pols Condemn Hit-and-Run Drivers After Weekend Deaths of Two Brooklynites

City councilman Stephen Levin speaks during press conference.

“There is a no more senseless or inhumane action than to leave a body in the street,” declared city councilman Ydanis Rodriguez at a news conference earlier today at the Greenpoint intersection where 27-year-old Neftaly Ramirez was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver early Saturday morning.

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This Mac-n-Cheese Burger Is the Latest Sign of the Apocalypse

Instagram: TheBedfordNYC.

Important news for decadent foodies, millenarians, and doomsday preppers: the latest sign of the impending apocalypse has come to pass. Following on the heels of Burger King’s “mac-n-Cheetos,” we now have another ungodly Doctor Moreau-style mac-n-cheese cross-over dish: the mac-n-cheese burger. And, just like the mac-n-cheese bagel, this grotesque beast was created right here in New York.

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