NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Dining sheds in New York, laden with rat traps, have become makeshift toilets and places of privacy. It was shocking to see that these places have become safe havens for couples who want to cuddle and kiss. Video captured by a Greenwich Village resident, who was on his way to work, showed a man and woman in a dining shack on Cornelia Street making out in the cozy space, according to the New York Post.
The woman was seen performing oral sex in the video and when she realized she was being captured on camera, she looked up and said, “No!” Along with the couple, a man can be seen passed out in the dining room on the other side of the plywood barrier.
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On Wednesday August 3, 2022, the resident captured a couple kissing in the shed. However, the man only wore shorts and sneakers with bare chest in public. The resident who took the video said, “I couldn’t believe it. I was like Oh my God!” Asked about further developments, he said: “I didn’t stay to find out.”
The city’s Open Restaurant scheme, which was intended to boost the restaurant industry during the lockdown period, is now being challenged in two lawsuits. A complaint lodged by New York residents in October 2021 asked the court to permanently block expanded outdoor dining. In the case filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, it was stated: “Prior to its request to make the temporary open restaurant program permanent, (the city’s Department of Transportation) received thousands of complaints from residents about the noise, vermin, accumulation of garbage, overcrowded sidewalks preventing residents from accessing – all quality of life issues with a significant impact on the environment.”
According to the report, the last complaint filed in August 2022 claimed there was an increase in litter, vermin, drug use, graffiti, noise and awful smells in the boroughs. Some of the Second Avenue sheds in the East Village were found abandoned, consisting of dirty mattresses and trash.
Residents in their suits said other pandemic-era rules such as wearing masks, vaccinations and social distancing have come to an end since the outbreak subsided. They argued that there was no longer any reason to continue the program. There are also allegations that the structures are causing clutter on the sidewalks, creating a difficult atmosphere. Complainants claim that the mass of inebriated patrons creates such situations. This scenario is intimidating for young children and casual passers-by.
However, the Ministry of Transport is still evaluating the matter and has given some recommendations to the city council, who will decide to accept it and make the outdoor spaces permanent. In a press conference, New York City Mayor Eric Adams strongly supported the program and said, “We need to change…because some outdoor restaurants have become a hazard.