Posted on August 14, 2023

Lady Gaga’s Dad Rallies NYC Neighbors in Fight to ‘Manage’ Unruly Migrants at Hotel

Jack Morphet and Patrick Reilly, New York Post, August 9, 2023

Lady Gaga’s dad is leading the charge against unruly migrants living near his Upper West Side home and restaurant — griping they’re flooding the ritzy neighborhood with a constant stream of hookers and other bad behavior.

“If it was like this when my girls were growing up, I wouldn’t be living in New York,” said Joe Germanotta, 66, who is compiling a list of local residents’ concerns to take to lawmakers, the NYPD, and the homeless services in protest.

Germanotta has lived in The Pythian building on West 70th Street for 35 years — it’s where he raised his two daughters, including the “Born This Way” singer.

He also opened up a restaurant in the community in 2012.

About six weeks ago, the city quietly and quickly transformed the Stratford Arms Hotel — a residence hall for the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) down the block from Germanotta’s home — into a shelter for hundreds of migrants.

“It was a stealth operation. They were bused in the middle of the night, like when they flew them into Westchester, they didn’t want anybody to know what was going on,” Germanotta told The Post at his West 68th Street restaurant Joanne Trattoria. “It was all pretty rapid.”

Since the arrival of the migrants, the restaurateur said the quality of life in the area has taken a hit, with impromptu block parties outside the hotel that last into the early morning, prostitution, kids getting catcalled, and reckless e-bikes and motor-scooter drivers wreaking havoc on one-way streets.

“There’s now 500 migrants living in that dormitory. That’s when all the mayhem began,” said Germanotta.

Residents from Germanotta’s building — of which he is the board president — and three neighboring addresses have since formed the West 70th Street Association to lobby City Hall for more policing and better supervision of the migrants.

Germanotta claims the chaos has depreciated local property values and said it’s torn at the fabric of a neighborhood that was caught off guard.

“Hookers are coming and going. In the mornings, you see prostitutes coming out of the building,” he said.

“The worst part’s at night. The noise. It starts at about 10 o’clock, and it’ll go until 4 in the morning. Playing music and racing their motocross and motorbikes up and down the streets.”

Germanotta, 66, said girls as young as 14 are getting catcalled and residents verbally abused.

Now some people won’t even walk their dogs by areas where migrants have been hanging outside

“I don’t mind having them there. They’re gonna be there for three years. That was the contract, I understand. But at least manage it. Put the proper security in place, have a police presence and a code of conduct,” the popstar’s father said.

“They’re guests in our neighborhood, and they have basically taken over.”

Sidewalks that used to be mostly clean are now filled with trash, he said.

He was particularly troubled when he started seeing hypodermic needles.


He said there are about 500 migrants packed into 400 rooms large enough for just a bed and refrigerator. They share common bathrooms.


When the association asked HHC security to address the issues, they were told that what happens outside of the building is not their responsibility.

As soon as the migrants moved in, e-bikes and scooters suddenly packed the street’s sidewalks, none of which were registered, Germanotta said.

“They were racing up and down the streets in both directions on one-way streets, with no helmets, trying to push each other off the bike.

“[HHC’s] answer was, ‘We’ll build a bike corral.’ You’re just enabling ’em,” he added.