Wealthy Manhattans are not driven to madness by crime, but by all the rest of the shit.
Upper East Siders are littered with feces left behind by inattentive dog owners, and this “shit” hits the fan.
“The Upper East Side is supposedly a nice neighborhood, but it’s full of shit,” retired dentist Frank DeGaetano fumed Tuesday as he dodged a nasty patch of dog poop on the East 74th Street sidewalk.
“I have to keep looking down. You must watch where you are going. It’s like a maze. You must bypass or step over it.”
DeGaetano, 81, lives in Staten Island but says he has to deal with dog droppings when he visits friends on the Upper East Side “once or twice a week.”
He also blamed former Mayor Bill de Blasio for the mess.
“It got terrible. It’s getting worse and worse,” he said. “When [Rudy] Giuliani was the mayor, they cleaned him up. The day after de Blasio was elected, everything went wrong.”
Tatiana Shames, 51, from Brooklyn, who works for a family next door, says the distribution of poop is “very upsetting.”
“I walk a lot during the day and dog poop is everywhere,” she said. “Do you know how many times I have to clean dog poop off a stroller? At least three times this winter. I try to keep an eye on it, but sometimes you – how can I tell you? – in s–t.
Shames added: “Once it was on my shoes. I had to scrape it off with a stick. It’s really frustrating.”
Even neighbor dog owner Kevin Vincent, 43, said he was concerned about the situation when his Australian Shepherd Oliver sniffed a pile of feces that had fallen on a bed in John Jay Park.
“It’s about how much dog poop is around because there are kids around,” he said. “Dogs want the earth and trees, but there are many children who play and touch the earth and trees.”
Vincent added, “I clean up after my dog.”
Things got so bad that Councilwoman Julie Menin (Upper East Side State) on Monday launched a “Rein Your Dog” contest for a poster to be posted in her county.
“When I walk my 4-year-old daughter to school, we are literally jumping over the feces that are scattered all over the street in the Eastern 80s,” Menin told The Post.
“Personally, I have received hundreds of complaints every year at every community council meeting, and we hear a lot from school parents. It’s non-stop.”
The maximum penalty for not cleaning up dog droppings is a $250 fine, but enforcement remains with the city’s sanitation department, which said it only employs about 270 “civilian or security personnel” to conduct inspections.
Meanwhile, the Big Apple’s dog population is estimated at 600,000 by the City’s Economic Development Corporation.
During a City Council hearing earlier this month, Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch frankly admitted, “We don’t have an effective strategy.”
“Enforcement is not as productive as it could be because often when our law enforcement stops people for not cleaning up after their dogs, they say they don’t have ID,” she said. “And we don’t want to lock people up for it, because I think it would be inappropriate. But it’s a mystery. Because it’s a big problem.”