Where the wild things are

The Upper West Side — Downtown is more suitable for the untamed.

The Upper West Side is a charming New York City neighborhood with brownstones, prewar apartment buildings, tree-lined streets and Central Park. We have everything needed for city living at its best, and still, it’s relatively quiet for Manhattan. Our pocket of the West End Historic District is far from exciting like other parts of the city, or the Upper West for that matter, so when a crime or the unexpected occurs, it’s worth mentioning.

Recently, my husband and I returned to our apartment from an out-of-town wedding around 1 a.m. As we exited the livery cab at the corner of 88th Street and West End Avenue, I detected movement out of the corner of my eye. Turning slightly, I saw a large furry creature digging like a rabid madman in the corner trash receptacle. Then I saw another! At first, I thought that I’d seen a couple of dogs, or perhaps large cats. But I was wrong.

In a split second, one leaped onto a tree, immediately followed by the other. These weren’t cats or dogs. One scurried up the tree trunk, while the other stopped, posed, and stared in our faces as we attempted to take photos to remember the moment. The masked beastie looked at us as if to say, “Hello, welcome to my tree. I’m your new neighbor.” These animals were wild indeed—they were raccoons. Apparently, the four-legged unfriendly critters have found a home on the Upper West Side. Not sure what they’re thinking. Downtown is more suitable for the untamed.

Just a few nights before, the police captured another wild animal on 89th Street. This one was larger in size, also unfriendly, but with less fur—it was a totally naked man. Surrounded by the NYPD during the interrogation process, the forty-something handcuffed male stood unashamed and vulnerable with all parts exposed. It wasn’t even unusually warm that evening, the heat wave had already passed.

What was his excuse? Perhaps he was heading back from a quick illegal dip in the Hudson and his swimming trunks floated off. Or, maybe he felt the need to make a statement about bottomless men, since topless women are considered legal in Manhattan. The man in the buff didn’t seem drunk, mentally ill, or rabid — and the raccoons didn’t either.

For more about New York, follow me on Twitter, or on Tracy’s New York Life.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.