New York — Joe Germanotta, the father of renowned pop artist Lady Gaga, has emerged as a prominent voice in a growing debate about the influence of migrants on the Upper West Side of New York City. Germanotta, 66, has expressed distress over what he perceives as disruptive behavior of migrants residing near his Upper West Side home and restaurant, alleging that the upscale neighborhood has been inundated with undesirable activities.
Germanotta, a longtime resident of The Pythian building on West 70th Street, has taken the lead in compiling a list of grievances voiced by local residents. He intends to present these concerns to lawmakers, the New York Police Department (NYPD), and homeless services as a form of protest against the alleged disruptions brought by the migrants.
“This situation reminds me of a New York I wouldn’t want my daughters to grow up in,” stated Germanotta, who is known for his two daughters, including the popular “Born This Way” singer, Lady Gaga. Germanotta has lived in The Pythian for 35 years, where he raised his family and established a restaurant in 2012.
Approximately six weeks ago, the Stratford Arms Hotel, located near Germanotta’s residence, was discreetly repurposed by the city as a shelter for hundreds of migrants. Germanotta described the operation as a “stealth operation,” with migrants being brought in discreetly in the middle of the night, much like a similar operation in Westchester.
Germanotta asserted that since the migrants’ arrival, the quality of life in the area has notably deteriorated. He described impromptu block parties, prostitution, catcalling of children, and the reckless behavior of e-bike and motor-scooter drivers as contributing factors to the disruption. He pinpointed the moment when approximately 500 migrants moved into the Stratford Arms Hotel as the turning point for the neighborhood’s issues.
To address these concerns, Germanotta has played a key role in the formation of the West 70th Street Association. This group, consisting of residents from Germanotta’s building and neighboring addresses, aims to advocate for increased policing and improved supervision of the migrant population. Germanotta’s claims include the depreciation of local property values and a detrimental impact on the neighborhood’s cohesion.
Germanotta proposed a balanced approach to the issue, suggesting the implementation of proper security measures, a police presence, and a code of conduct for the migrants. While he acknowledged the migrants’ presence, he urged for better management to prevent disturbances.
The West 70th Street Association has taken its concerns to city officials, including meetings with representatives from New York City Health + Hospitals Corporation [HHC], as well as plans to meet with key advisers and officials. Notably, Councilwoman Gale Brewer has organized 24/7 NYPD policing and confiscations of unregistered motorized scooters in response to the residents’ pleas.
Germanotta underlined that many residents in his building, primarily owners, feel their property values have been negatively impacted by the situation. He called for a form of compensation, suggesting tax rebates to address these losses.
Reflecting on the changes, Germanotta expressed his belief that he would have reconsidered raising his family in New York City if the current state of affairs had been prevalent during Lady Gaga’s upbringing.
The Post has sought comments from involved parties, including the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) and City Hall, to provide a comprehensive understanding of the situation.
Amid this debate, statistics from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University indicate that 66,117 migrants entered the US and listed New York as their destination in the first half of the year. Mayor Eric Adams’ office confirmed receiving over 90,000 migrants since spring 2022, with 57,200 migrants currently residing in 194 city-established shelters as of this week.