Bodega cats redux – In March 2020, just before COVID, I was bemoaning the loss of bodegas and mom and pop stores, first because they’re part of the fabric of our city, and then because where’s a bodega cat to go without a bodega. So I was pleasantly surprised to read online, in the Upper East Site, Elizabeth Blasi’s “Cat Not-So-Fancy: Bodega Cats of the Upper East Side,” with its photo array of resident cats in the nabe. There was 5-year-old Marshmallow, a calico, who resides at First on First Deli on First Ave between 90th and 91st Sts. And then, there’s the tuxedo-ed 11-year-old, Mr. Boo Boo, who has a shelf life with his 4-year-old “sister by adoption” Chloe, at the Logos bookstore on York Ave. between 83rd and 84th Sts. And then there are twin sisters, Lovely and Shy, who live at Pet Town on First Ave. between 87th and 88th Sts. My bodega cat was a big, fat guy who strolled the aisles of an Upper West Side bodega super mart. It’s great to see that there are still bodegas and bodega cats. Thanks, Elizabeth Blasi.
Good news for cats – Other states are following the lead of New York in banning cat de-clawing. Most recently, Wisconsin has joined at least a dozen other cities in the U.S and over 42 countries in tabooing the cruel procedure. NY has West Side Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal to thank for spearheading the outlawing of cat de-clawing.
Reader readback about “Parks and Re-Creation,” my recent column about Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and Ruppert Park – Here are two letters I received:
From Meryl Brodsky, Board of Directors, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza: “Arlene – You are more than a journalist. You are community activist par excellence. As a Director of the Board of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, I sincerely appreciate your efforts to help the park locate another great concessionaire. A social venue, such as a cafe, is vital to the Plaza. The Parks Re-creation pun is great but please accept my gratitude for this very good deed as well.”
From Stuy Town resident, Hazel Feldman: Subject: Hooray for Parks (and dogs?): “Arlene – I enjoyed your column. Lots to think about. Parks and all they offer are central to my own quality of life. That little cafe at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is one that I have enjoyed several times in warmer weather. Will look into that RFP. Confessing, although I’m not a full-fledged dog advocate, do not begrudge dogs nor owners from having space to network. I cannot find great pity for Upper East Siders thinking they lack green space. Have they noticed Carl Schulz Park! Parks, clean, safe and well maintained are essential to New Yorkers and so really pleased that you devoted your column to them. Good writing, good reading.”