By Gail Dubov, West Side Spirit Block Mayor
It may not be sexy, but in 2014, West 83 St. will be focused on rats! In our ongoing campaign to eliminate them, we are trying to recruit every building to participate in a city pilot program on composting. We've met with representatives of most buildings on 83 St. from Broadway to Riverside, and they all seem enthusiastic. Now we're waiting for each building to get owner or management approval for us to roll out the program. The larger issue is sanitation. With the composting program in place, we'll have all food scraps safely stored in rat-proof containers, unable to be gnawed through by their little greedy teeth! We are still waiting for buildings to officially sign up and hope the program can begin in the next month.
We've been mourning the loss of many of our mom and pop stores on Broadway. It seems like Broadway has become a street of national chains with few local owners and we're not happy about that. It takes away a sense of neighborhood charm when our shops resemble those across town or in a mall in the suburbs. There are vacant storefronts in the area that we'd like to see as pop-up stores. We've seen them downtown, adding vibrancy and creativity to a shopping area and we'd like to encourage them on the Upper West Side.
This year another focus will be to pull younger families in to the block association. Our broader dream is for a neighborhood that is safe, friendly and exciting to live in.