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All comments to posts have to await approval. Please be aware that, depending on when I'm logged onto the internet, it may take me hours, even longer, to moderate comments, so if they don't turn up in a speedy fashion, they are still in the queue. Comments that cross a line I'm not comfortable with will not get approved. Please note: Posts that overdo their passion and veer into name-calling or that make serious accusations without proof are going to have a hard time getting through.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Outrageous Lying NY Daily News Article on Stuy Town


NY Daily News real estate correspondent Jason Sheftell standing in front of a door that's a little more high class than the ones found in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village.

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If you live in Stuyvesant Town or Peter Cooper Village, you may be surprised to learn that we have 1) rent-controlled tenants and 2) that these tenants--or their rent-stabilized brothers and sisters--rent some apartments starting at $300 and up. Yes, $300. If you walk around the Oval, you also may be surprised to find out that it has "perfectly manicured lawns," and you also may be surprised that landlord Tishman Speyer has "improved community partnerships" and "upgraded playgrounds" (which were upgraded, but by previous owner, Met Life).

These fantasies and outright lies were put forth in today's Daily News by Jason Sheftell, the paper's real estate correspondent, in a shocking piece of puff that, while it gives nods to some of the complex's problems, manages to appear nothing less than a PR piece written by someone working for Tishman Speyer. Who knows? Perhaps Jason Sheftell is pals with Rob Speyer, or perhaps his friend is George Hatzmann, Tishman Speyer's Managing Director of NY Development, who is pictured in the article beaming in front of the Oval fountain, perhaps Sheftell wants some future job with Tishman Speyer, or just perhaps he doesn't know how to write a factual and accurate article on a community he is not a part of.

Whatever the story, shame on him, and shame on the NY Daily News for publishing something like this.

This pseudo-idyllic picture is particularly odious:

"Amid the controversy, children's laughter was all you could hear last Sunday at Stuyvesant Town's main square, called the Oval. Residents old and young sunbathed, played catch on perfectly manicured lawns, dipped their feet in one of New York's only large-scale fountains, shopped at an outdoor produce market, kibitzed on park benches and soaked in life at the greenest 80 acres of residences in all of New York City. You couldn't find disenchantment out there if you tried."

Who calls the Oval a "main square"? How many old residents does one ever see sunbathing? (I can think of only, at most, four, amid dozens upon dozens of young people.) Oh, and playing catch in the Oval, which is clearly not a perfectly manicured lawn (perhaps Sheftell was thinking of the artificial grass in the north playground?), is against Stuy Town rules, as is soaking one's feet in the fountain.

As for not finding disenchantment in Stuy Town out there (even if you tried)--did you actually try?

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Sheftell's article also appears online at:

http://www.nydailynews.com/real_estate/2008/09/25/2008-09-25_longtime_stuyvesant_town_peter_cooper_re.html

Contact for NY Daily News to voice your displeasure at the article and Mr. Sheftell:

Phone: (212) 210-2100
Letters to the editor: voicers@edit.nydailynews.com

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Sandman

The beautification of the 20th Street Loop continues, courtesy The Sandman:



Tenants nearby report that The Sandman comes at around 5:30 AM to loudly make his deposit. The price of beauty is never without cost.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rough Riders

So you are a landlord and want your grounds to look nice. You spend a good amount of money for maintenance. You want your property to look its best, not only for your tenants, but for the pride you have in the ownership of something that's attractive to look at. Well, if you were such a landlord, you wouldn't let your bozo golf cart/mini-vehicle riders do this to your grounds:





Some examples, and there are more, of the rough riders in Stuyvesant Town who mar any landscaping their vehicles cut through.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Stuyvesant Town Report Exclusive! Here's Mud in Your Eye!



Mud has arrived to the Oval. No, not the mud that's on the lawn, there's plenty of that to be sure, but Mud, the hipster "anti-establishment coffee machine of NYC's East Village." Since moving to Stuy Town many years ago, I've had the sense that Stuy Town is anti-establishment and now landlord Tishman Speyer has confirmed that by bringing Mud to our complex. Can't get any cooler than that. Thanks, Rob.

You can hardly miss the orange Mud truck as it sits on the south side of the Oval, right near the kid's playground. It was there yesterday, a bit vocal with its boom-box, but the music seems to be gone today, Saturday. (Damn, some senior citizen must have complained!)

Now, Mud can be a great idea, a great coffee, and I'm sure a portion of residents who find the coffee stores on 1st Ave or 14th Steet just too exhausting to walk to, will enjoy the perk of coffee and muffins at the Oval, as seen here:



.... But are we not losing sight of the fact that the Oval is now becoming a commercial property area? The forthcoming Oval "Essentials" are commercial ventures, hidden under the term "amenities," the Green Market is clearly a commercial venture, and now we are going to have an orange coffee/muffin truck standing at the Oval throughout the day. Nothing stops Tishman Speyer from putting in such movable commercial enterprises at other points in the Oval. (Though I do wonder about zoning laws.) Hey, wouldn't it be convenient to have a toilet paper truck at the north end of the Oval?! And what about a diaper truck on the other side of the above playground? Mom could really use that!

Mud also sells other stuff than just coffee and muffins:



No, those are not some resident's clothes hanging out to dry because the laundry dryers aren't working, those are cool T-shirts you can buy that look like you've worn them for ten years. Wearing these, Stuy Town hipsters can now pretend they are real "street" when they venture into the Lower East Side and meet up with fellow Yunnies and rich-kid NYU students who are also pretending they are street.

BTW, here is Mud's website. Now, tell me, ain't that cool?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Neglected Oval

It used to be the pride of Stuyvesant Town. The Oval. A central gathering place and focal point of a community. A fountain, a lawn, and an encircling border of trees, plants and flowers that made one feel so very separate from the madness of Manhattan. It was, indeed, an oasis. Tranquil and lovely.

This is what it was, but since Tishman Speyer took over as landlord of this complex, the Oval has been progressively neglected, so that now it is ugly beyond measure. Here is what Tishman Speyer's neglect has done to the Oval....

Flowers and plants were once abundant here:



And here:



And here, as in so many other places:



There was no bare ground here, just nice, well-maintained grass:



The lawn is now a tragedy. Even without rain, water bubbles up from somewhere below to infest the ground, which once upon a time was covered with, yes, nice healthy grass:





Overlooking the Oval is the new landscaping of dead trees and weird, excessive ugly plantings:



I have it from a good source that Tishman Speyer intends to deal with the Oval once other projects are finished. Once again, we will see workers slaving over an area of Stuyvesant Town, with the resultant mess and loss of access. Tishman Speyer has purposefully let the Oval deteriorate to open up the necessity of redoing the Oval. And yet it was so beautiful a few years ago, when MetLife's newly hired landscaper took to making the entire area aesthetically delightful. Responsible for the destruction of this artistic work, Tishman Speyer will attempt to give us a replacement. Given how horrid much of the landscaping has been under its administration, I can't say that any of us can look forward to what's ahead.