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That Paris feeling…ugh! LES Dwellers video shreds mayor over sheds

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | “We’ll always have Paris,” Bogey told Ingrid Bergman in “Casablanca”… .

While some gauzily call New York City’s Open Restaurants program “just like Paris,” others, like the LES Dwellers, are just hoping we won’t always have it.

But Mayor Adams, on a recent tour of the East Village, said outdoor dining still serves a purpose, even after he recently lifted vaccine mandates for indoor dining.

“So, here’s the win,” Adams said. “Because of a great City Council, we have outdoor dining, we feel like Paris now. Paris feels like New York. So, if you’re not ready to come indoors, you could do it outdoors.”

But, as the dining shed opponents note, rats are also “doing it outdoors,” as in feasting on table droppings and garbage, thanks to Open Restaurants.

The LES Dwellers, whose leader Diem Boyd, is part of a lawsuit seeking to keep Open Restaurants from becoming permanent, made a video spoofing the mayor’s remarks.

The mayor and the D.O.T. commissioner share an outdoor-dining table as rats nearby chow down on food in the garbage.

The clip features Adams and Ydanis Rodriguez, the Department of Transportation commissioner, sporting red berets and moustaches and pedaling a bicycle built for two. D.O.T. has been overseeing the outdoor dining program, which, critics note, has seen almost no enforcement.

Andrew Rigie, the director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, also makes an appearance as a handlebar-mustachioed waiter standing beside dilapidated and gated-off dining sheds.

Meanwhile, in the short video, beret-wearing rats smoke Gauloises, gobble pizza, smelly cheese and, of course, french fries amid piles of garbage, washing it all down with filthy standing water from graffiti-strewn sheds, as a propane gas heater bursts into flames.

The City Council is currently drafting legislation for a permanent Open Restaurants program.

24 Comments

  1. Kibby Rose Kibby Rose March 18, 2022

    Thank you! I get so tired of hearing “it’s just like Paris.” The City of Light would NEVER allow such eyesores in the streets or on the sidewalks.

  2. LES3025 LES3025 March 18, 2022

    What is newsworthy about this?

    • The Village Sun The Village Sun Post author | March 18, 2022

      The mayor made a comment about a citywide policy matter and residents are voicing their disagreement with it by means of a creative video that they created. The majority of community boards in NYC are against making Open Restaurants permanent.

      • LES3025 LES3025 March 18, 2022

        Yeah, the mayor’s comments and CB votes are certainly newsworthy. But “local NIMBY makes video that gets a couple hundred views on Twitter” seems like a bit of a stretch. Slow news day, though, I guess. And baited me into engaging with it!

        • LES3000 LES3000 March 19, 2022

          You have a real hard-on for this group. You troll them across all the platforms. Kind of creepy and feels deeply personal.

          • LES3025 LES3025 March 20, 2022

            Wow, you read my posts across all platforms? And now you’re using an anonymous user name that’s a play on mine? Kind of creepy, buddy. Not sure why you have such an unhealthy obsession with me. You should get help for that.

            If you have read my posts, through, I’m not really sure why you think it’s weird that I would take issue with my neighborhood’s local NIMBY group when it’s covered in the local news sources I read. They’re advocating against all the things I post in favor of, so not really a big mystery why I might engage with that content.

          • JQ LLC JQ LLC March 28, 2022

            Of course it is. This troll sounds like a developer with money invested in these shanties and open welfare streets for rich restaurants.

    • JQ LLC JQ LLC March 28, 2022

      You’re so hysterically obtuse.

    • john rice john rice August 2, 2022

      Your quality of life must be great to not notice how this lowering quality of life for others.
      Or you can’t process anything unless it affects you directly. Empathy is not a word you understand to make such a comment. As George Orwell famously wrote in 1984, “Ignorance is Bliss.” Very common these day in our selfish times.

  3. Bartender Barry Bartender Barry March 18, 2022

    Another Covid variant is reported to be spreading rapidly in NY now so keep the sheds open since we may need them. I guess the people who want them torn down are also anti-vaxers who don’t believe Covid is real and also don’t need to make a living since they are rich ?

    • LES3000 LES3000 March 19, 2022

      You’re so right! The fully enclosed sheds with walls, windows, doors, roof, air con and no ventilation are going to protect us from the new variant.

      Get real!

    • john rice john rice August 2, 2022

      Yes we are very rich people who can’t afford to move for a better quality of life, better health and well-being. We are not anti-vaxers and supported open restaurants when THERE WAS AN OFFICIAL HEALTH EMERGENCY. Give me back my extended-unemployment Covid benefits and you can have your rat-filled sheds.

  4. Bowery Babe Bowery Babe March 18, 2022

    LES3025 – yes we are NIMBY’s because we can’t sleep, there is an increase of the rat population, the sheds are mostly ugly, they hinder garbage pickup, etc. I’m happy for anyone who is showing the real effect of outdoor dining on the average Joe in the East Village. You may live in the neighborhood but for sure you do not suffer from sleep deprivation because you probably live on a high floor of one of those ugly new buildings and your building staff takes care that you do not have to step over the extra garbage in front of your fancy building.
    Bartender Barry – I have had all of my vaccinations plus a booster and I’m certainly not rich. The sheds have made my life miserable.

    • LES3025 LES3025 March 19, 2022

      I mean basically yes? Diem Boyd doesn’t care about trash or rat issues. She’s just an anti-bar/restaurant NIMBY zealot. So if you share her politics then you are too. That’s not really a controversial take.

      I live in an older building and have plenty of sheds right nearby. It’s fine.

      • JSA JSA March 20, 2022

        LES3025,
        Do you not think people can have multiple opinions on a range of issues rather than be “demonized” as “something” (whatever the insult of choice is)?

        For example, Person A is a teacher, has kids, is pro-choice, supports unions, uses public transportation — and doesn’t like restaurant sheds; Person B has cancer, works to develop affordable housing — and is against restaurant sheds; Person C owns a restaurant but due to his space situation cannot have a street shed and his family owns a small retail shop that is hurt by an adjoining street shed — and so they do not favor restaurant sheds; and Person D sells luxury real estate, has a second home, has a car, supports LGBTQ issues — and loves restaurant sheds….(these are real profiles BTW)

        My sense from reading The Village Sun is that your priorities are restaurant sheds on the streets and luxury development are “good” and cars are “bad.”

        Nothing else counts?

        • LES3025 LES3025 March 20, 2022

          Sure, people have many things that go into who they are. And they can have opinions on things other than what they choose to focus on with their public platform. But when people have a public platform and use it to advocate for certain things, it is fair to think that those things are the issues most important to them, and it makes sense to judge them on what they say about those issues. So I guess that’s a long way of saying I don’t really understand what point you’re making.

  5. I live here I live here March 19, 2022

    The narrow avenues of LES are perfect for outdoor dining — but not for crappy, dangerous, unregulated sheds that hog the streets and sidewalks, make life miserable for residents, and block across-the-street views for pedestrians. There should be thoughtful rules about structure, placement, trash, noise, and safety, and the city should actively enforce those rules.

  6. LES3000 LES3000 March 19, 2022

    Damn this is really personal! Please get help for your unhealthy obsession.

    The parody video literally shows rats and trash. 🐀🗑

  7. Dalcini Dalcini March 21, 2022

    Paris has strict landmarking and they pump a lot of money into historic preservation. They also have free healthcare and education, and none of the upzoning BS.

    • LES3025 LES3025 March 21, 2022

      “And none of the upzoning BS.” Paris has nearly twice the population density as New York.

      • Terry Katz Terry Katz March 21, 2022

        Actually, Manhattan considered alone probably has about the same population density as Paris — Manhattan is certainly much more badly overdeveloped than Paris. However, when New York County (Manhattan) is added to Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, etc. (all of New York CITY as a whole), then you are probably correct that the population density could be half that of Paris. Of course, if you’re considering all of New York STATE, the population density is only a fraction of Paris.

        • LES3025 LES3025 March 21, 2022

          Manhattan has a higher population density than Paris, but it is also significantly smaller, both in land area and total population. I think it makes sense to compare city to city, where New York is significantly lower. Even within Manhattan, though, there are plenty of neighborhoods around or even below Paris’s density level (e.g. SoHo, Chelsea, Flatiron). The overall density in Manhattan is boosted by very high figures for the Upper East and Upper West Sides.

          There’s also no reason to treat Paris’s density as some kind of cap or ideal figure. New York is a bigger and more important city. Our economy sustains many more jobs. And regional transit is a lot worse in New York than in Paris, so it makes sense for New York City to be more dense rather than pushing that growth into the surrounding area (not to mention the tax benefits). On top of that, Paris is hardly a model since it is only marginally more affordable than New York. It has recently relaxed restrictions on development height (in other words, upzoning) in many areas that were holding it back.

          If you think Manhattan is “badly overdeveloped,” I suggest you consider moving to literally any other place in the entire country.

  8. Terry Katz Terry Katz March 21, 2022

    The difference is is that Paris has proper open-to-the-sky cafes, not squalid curbside sheds. It just goes to show that when United States people try to do something nice, it turns into an obscene nightmare.

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