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

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.