In extremely local news, a rat infestation is slowly devouring Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, according to a report from the Brooklyn Eagle. I asked neighborhood residents, my mother and her boyfriend, to confirm. “Yes,” they say.
From the Eagle:
Supersized rats have been feasting on the all-you-can-eat trash buffet in front of Chipotle in Brooklyn Heights, but locals are the ones who’ve had their fill.
Have they? According to my mother, they have.
“Oh my god, yes, one almost knocked me over!” she exclaimed, in a phone interview. “It was zagging across the street, running right at me, it was huge and everyone was watching and screaming, and I was like, ‘WHOA WHOA WHOA!’”
Happily, the rat veered at the last moment. The story was upheld by my mother’s boyfriend, who alleges it is construction near the Chipotle, not the franchise, that has attracted rats. He stated he saw as many as 30 rats congregated on the street in the area after sundown.
“All of Brooklyn Heights is infested with rats,” he said. My mother adds there seems to be some sort of “vendetta” in the neighborhood against Chipotle.
A vendetta that the Eagle is supporting; they quote Brooklyn Heights resident William Taylor (no relation to me) who mentions the construction, but believes the crux of the issue is Chipotle’s waste management. The rats supposedly eat from the restaurant’s trash every night.
“With a constant source of food, I wonder how big the rat community has grown!” said Taylor.
The Eagle asked one interviewee for an approximate size of the ginormo rats infiltrating the area and say the width indicated was that of “a very large house cat…or a particularly well-stuffed burrito.”
According to this reporter, while we are what we eat, a rat is no burrito. Chipotle is a red herring. Let’s find the real culprit, before Montague street becomes one giant Rat King.
Updated April 25, 9:55 am:
Jezebel has received a statement from Chipotle’s PR and Communications Manager Quinn Kelsey, who says the Montague location is implementing secure garbage containers to thwart their rodent visitors:
We are taking steps to address this. Being a good neighbor is important to us. The trash disposal at our Montague Street location is consistent with local waste management standards. However, we are going to begin using secured garbage cans to help alleviate the problem. We are also hoping to meet with the developer and other local officials to ensure the situation is properly handled.
Now, let the chips fall where they may—into a secure garbage can—and see where the blame shifts!!!