Oh Crap! Dogs Latest Scourge of Harlem Gentrification

Bad dogs! (CocteauBoy/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sugarhiccuphiccup/4824626444/lightbox/">Flickr</a>

The Times has uncovered an unseemly side to gentrification in West Harlem. No, not economic inequality, housing displacement or racist crime. It is something far worse: dog doodoo.

The area’s long-time residents have tried to pinpoint the source of the issue, considering anything from race to affluence for the effluence:

“I guess it’s the new thing,” said Eutha Prince, the community board’s district manager. “More and more you see expensive dogs walking around where you used to see mutts.”

Ms. Morgan-Thomas said the problem began gathering steam in the last four years, when more people began arriving in the neighborhood, bringing increased gentrification.

Harlem has, by its very nature, a racial underpinning, given that most longtime residents are black and many newcomers are white. But dog owners said that race played no role when it came to untended waste.

One superintendent brags about his fight against the dog droppings by sprinkling cayenne pepper on a patch of land. The area remained spotless. Maybe the secret is he buys his preferred condiment at Whole Foods.

mewing@observer.com Oh Crap! Dogs Latest Scourge of Harlem Gentrification