General Douglas T. MacArthur may have helped lead the United States to victory during World War Two, but the Midtown park bearing his name has proved no match for New York City rats.
MacArthur Park, located on an FDR service road near East 49th Street, is reportedly in the throes of a major rat infestation, after taxi and limo drivers spent the summer using the public space as a hangout spot between shifts, littering at will.
“The rodent infestation over the summer in MacArthur Park was horrible,” one traumatized woman told the New York Post. “East 49th Street is more or less rodent-free, but the park is still heavily infested.”
In other words, you may want to pick a different park to enjoy the warm weather this afternoon.
City officials recently amped up their efforts to fight New York’s resilient rat population after a study showed there are now twice as many rats as there are people across the five boroughs (sewer rodents are definitively NOT facing a housing crisis). So hopefully, they’ll send the rat SWAT team over to 49th St soon.
Until then, musophobes (yes, that's the real name for a fear of rats or mice) should check out NYC.gov’s interactive list of places with the most rat violations, and pretty much stay away from the subway all together.