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Monday, August 18, 2008

The Ultimate Living Experience


Above: Stuy Town in better days. A security booth to the right of the fountain, typically manned 24 hours a day, is now gone, leaving the security presence in that area at an all time low. The Oval lawn was well maintained, but now is filled with pockmarks, exposed dirt, puddles and mud. Dogs, previously forbidden in Stuy Town, are now investigating and relieving themselves on the Oval lawn where lie itchy sunbathers, though dog walking on the lawn is against ST regulations. Aggressive noise from the continual construction work being done throughout Stuy Town and around the formally tranquil Oval intrudes from 7AM on.

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This is what the splash page of the official Stuyvesant Town website states about the complex:

"There is so much to love in Stuyvesant Town. With spacious and contemporary apartments, an unrivaled host of amenities, access to over 500 social events, and all within downtown's most desired location, Stuyvesant Town represents the ultimate living experience in Manhattan."

The truth is a bit different. The apartments may be spacious if you go by certain box-like Manhattan standards, but some of them became less so with the addition of pressurized walls (meant to fit in an extra bedroom) and then the removal of said walls because of building code violations, to be replaced by a newer plan that provides even less space for the living room, out of which the new bedroom was carved. As for contemporary, well, only your designer would know, but the buildings themselves are clearly project-like, inside and out, and poorly cleaned and maintained by understaffed workers. "Unrivaled host of amenities"--they haven't arrived yet, and from the looks of it, they will be a joke. (More on these amenities in a future blog entry.) "500 social events"? I have no idea where the landlord Tishman Speyer got this figure or what it constitutes. Perhaps TS just opened up Time Out Magazine and started counting any events listed there. After all, you do have access to anything in Manhattan, just as a transient does who lives in the Men's Shelter on 1st Avenue and 29 St.

So we have the lies and we have the truth. And the truth is pretty ugly, as this blog will reveal.

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