They Checked In, …And They Seem to Have Checked Out!

I’ve started to write this post many times only to decide that it’s a silly topic not worth addressing, but when I’m thinking about my everyday life growing up in SoHo, these little guys seem to keep crawling back into my mind, so here it goes—ROACHES.

If you lived in a loft in SoHo (and probably most other areas in New York City) in the 1970’s, cockroaches were pretty much a part of your nuclear family.  When I was little, every time I came home and turned on the lights, a swarm of cockroaches would scramble for cover.  There were so many that it sometimes looked as if the walls were moving.  I became so immune to their ickiness that I’d just run into the kitchen and slam as many with my hands as possible before they got away.  Gross, huh?  And probably none too hygienic either.  What was I thinking, that I was going to wipe them all out with my bare hands?

We tried Raid and insect bombs and roach motels and boric acid and nothing seemed to get rid of them.  And them Combat came along and seemed to do the trick.  Those little black disks you place behind counters and under the sink.  I’m not even sure how they work.  In any case, I don’t really know if it was the combat, but at some point, the roaches kind of disappeared.

I thought cockroaches were supposed to be able to survive a nuclear explosion.  What ever happened to them?  They used to be such a big part of my everyday life, and at some point they vanished into thin air.  I don’t think I’ve seen one in years.  Is this a result of “gentrification”?  Do the gentry naturally repel unwelcome insects (That’s what Giuliani seemed to think…)?  Is that why there are no mosquitoes in the Hamptons?  I know entire New York neighborhoods are still infested with them, but they seemed to have moved to the outskirts of the City, leaving (the new) SoHo unscathed.  I bet if they did a study, they would find that number of roaches in SoHo is inversely proportional to the number of investment bankers moving in.  Maybe the bankers PAID them to go away.  And, hey, I’m not complaining, just making an observation is all.


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