Call us crazy, but we've always found the stretch of East 1st Street between First and Second Avenues a rather pleasant byway. You've got Prune, of course—besmirched only by the Sunday brunching hordes—JoeDoe, and, oh yes, Tuck Shop, for all your Australian food needs. A portion of the block even opens to a park where gentlefolk play handball. Such delights!
And yet, one might be wrong. For lurking towards the west end of the block is a narrow empty lot at 33 East 1st—an open lot that is apparently the worst place in the Western Hemisphere. "You can smell it coming up the street," one local tells DNAInfo. "I really can't emphasize how bad it is now," says another. The problem? Rats—tons of freaking rats. More, per DNAInfo: "He explained that the rat problem is so bad that the television network Animal Planet even came to the lot recently to film a special on the rodents."
But hey, great news. The Guggenheim is considering installing a tripped-out, two-story temporary community space in the lot later this year. Theater In the Rat! We cannot wait.
· Rat-Infested East Village Lot to be Transformed by Guggenheim [DNAInfo]