The Rat King, Revisited

November 13, 2007 by
Filed under: Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

Anyone who has lived in southeastern Greenpoint for any appreciable amount of time knows who the rat man is. For those of you who don’t live in this hallowed corner of the Garden Spot, I’ll tell you. He’s the guy who lives in this house.

Kingsland Avenue Rat House

The reason he is called the rat man is he used to keep them as pets on his property. One person told me he even saw this dude’s cat and a rat eat out of the same food dish once. Amazing. Anyway, as you can imagine, his new neighbors took issue with his furry little friends and the lot was baited.

Kingsland Avenue Pigeon House

No worries, he has since taken to pigeons.


And they have taken a fancy to him.

Pigeons 2

It just goes to show that you can’t keep a good man down. I don’t know why there is all this talk of New York Shitty creating a Pigeon Czar. We already have one. His name is Vinny and he lives on Kingsland Avenue.

Miss Heather

P.S.: If the Park Slope pigeon killer is reading this you better watch out. When I tell the rat man about your antics, he’s gonna get super pissed. Don’t fuck with the rat man.


7 Comments on The Rat King, Revisited

  1. addrobinson on Tue, 13th Nov 2007 12:21 pm
  2. Its funny you know him as the ‘rat man’, because to me & my friends he is “The Pigeon Man”. I always just assume that he was feeding the Pigeons and the rats took care of what the birds left behind. I also find it very odd that you consider that area to be “southeastern Greenpoint”, in all the years I have lived here that is the first time I’ve heard anyone even use that term, let alone call that area it.

  3. missheather on Tue, 13th Nov 2007 12:28 pm
  4. Technically it is Greenpoint… albeit by three lots.

    What’s more, if you look back at old newspapers Devoe, Skillman, Frost, etc.,etc., were also considered to be in Greenpoint at one time. Strange stuff.

    In the case of the rat man, his avocation renders him a Greenpointer. The geography is coincidental.

  5. zeebah on Tue, 13th Nov 2007 3:31 pm
  6. Yep… if you talk to the old-timers, they’ll definitely tell you that part of the neighborhood is Greenpoint. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the rat man myself, but I have heard the stories!

  7. addrobinson on Wed, 14th Nov 2007 6:25 am
  8. That is interesting, but by that logic when you write about the area around Bedford and N. 7th shouldn’t you call that Greenpoint as well. I could be mistaken but I think I have seen you refer to that area as Williamsburg on more then a few occasions. I mean, it’s not called Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern for nothing

  9. Spanky on Fri, 16th Nov 2007 9:49 am
  10. Pigeons are flying rats.

  11. missheather on Fri, 16th Nov 2007 11:04 am
  12. You say that like it is a bad thing, Spanky.

  13. daskol on Mon, 19th Nov 2007 3:59 pm
  14. The “rat man” once put up a cute DIY bus station at the bus stop in front of his house. He put a few rusty folding chairs up and painted the MTA logo on them–was there for a couple of years.

    It’s not visible in the photos, but there’s a condo building on the other side of the rat/pigeon property that has two ground floor units whose “backyards” abut the property. Those units were vacant for years after the rest of the building, an early gentrification condo property, was fully occupied. They’re occupied now, and I would guess that they might have had something to do with the cleanup of the property, rather than those horrible and still vacant new condos.

    Guido, the mayor of Withers Street, will kick your ass if you refer to this area as Williamsburg. He might change his tune when it’s time to list his property.

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