Fatbergs, Naked Tourists, Bedbugs: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

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Summer's almost over but that doesn't mean we can't have one last warm-weather, city-ruining hurrah. Let's check out some exhibitionist visitors to Barcelona, unwelcome new passengers on the NYC subway, and an airplane-sized mass of congealed fat moving under London. What's Ruining Our Cities? These guys are.

Fatbergs are ruining London

Radioactive pizza-eating reptiles are officially not the most terrifying thing one might discover in a city's sewer: A Boeing 737-sized "fatberg" was removed from London's other underground this week. The airliner consisted of "congealed fat, wet wipes, and other litter" which had been flushed down the toilet or shoved down drains and smooshed together until it clogged a 260-foot stretch of pipe. A team from Thames Water blasted the mass with high-pressured hoses for four days until it broke up. There are easy ways to prevent fatbergs from visiting your city, like, uh, don't pour your hot cooking fat down the drain? Flushing wet wipes, which, as we now know from consulting our own sewer expert, is a particular no-no. [BBC]


Naked tourists are ruining Barcelona

The European travel season has finally ended, which may spell relief for the residents of La Barceloneta, the community that fronts Barcelona's Mediterranean coast. In addition to the typical rise of noise and trash which accompanies the warmer months, in the last few weeks the area has been terrorized by naked Italian tourists who like to run through grocery stores. Residents are outraged and begging the city to crack down on this outrageous crime. To blame, according to several publications? The increase of Airbnb properties in the neighborhood. [The Guardian, Gawker]


Bedbugs are ruining the New York City subway

Our little bloodsucking friends are a fact of life in any big city, but perhaps you thought that New York's subways were the one place you might be safe from the scourge of bedbugs. Not really, says a report from the New York Daily News this week, which claims the MTA found bedbugs riding the rails 21 times last month, mostly on the N train. It seems to be some kind of epidemic, according to Joe Costales, a chairman with Transport Workers Union Local 100: "We've never had sightings to this magnitude. We've had isolated incidents in crew quarters, but it's no longer an isolated scenario. It's throughout the system." Just another good reason to get extra bundled up this winter. [NY Daily News]


Photo via Thames Water