Saturday, January 24, 2009
I like Dan Garodnick, so this is not really a knock on Councilman Dan, but I have to say I found Dan's latest newsletter rather amusing. It's his "green" newsletter and touts the advantages of going green and explains how New Yorkers can go green. The problem is that most of us in Manhattan are limited by how far green we can go. We certainly can't install solar power on our houses--because we don't have houses. Yes, most Manhattanites live in apartment buildings, as I'm sure Dan realizes. So what's that diagram of a nice suburban house and a full page commentary on turning your house green doing in Dan's newsletter to Manhattanites? And why is Dan wasting a valuable resource on this, like paper, which mandated that some poor tree be cut down in some forest, probably in Brazil, probably by some cheap, malnourished labor force?
Going green is the latest fad. Going green may or may not work to protect the environment, but surely there are a lot of upstart businesses looking to make gold when the government pushes green and offers monetary advantages to do so. These business may go bust in ten years, but what the hell. Just like the boom of the dot com companies in the 1990s, these green companies see good and fast money to be made, so they are jumping on board. The quicker they can get on, the more gold they receive.
For landlords, like Tishman Speyer, going green may just be another way to lower costs for themselves and screw tenants in the process through MCIs and a reduction of efficient services. Going green will probably wind up costing the consumer more and the results won't be as good as getting by the old-fashioned way. Those CFL bulbs, for instance, do not shine as bright as regular bulbs--and they are a terrible environmental pollutant because of the mercury they contain. But they save energy and now are the offical light source of Stuy Town and Peter Cooper kitchens and bathrooms. (Hmm, I wonder if Tishman Speyer is using them in their new leasing office or in the Oval Essentials???)
Dan's green newsletter is toned in nice green colors. (Is using color environmentally safe? Surely it must be more expensive than printing something in black and white. Oh, I forgot, we the taxpayer is paying for this newsletter.)
You undoubtedly have gotten Dan's newsletter in your mailbox today or will be getting it next week. There are five nice photos of Dan, outside and inside the newsletter. Thankfully he's a fairly handsome guy, so no problems there. And, yes, there's that diagram of that suburban house, a house that I've yet to see in Manhattan.
The environmentally conscious Dan recommends that you recycle his newspaper. (The paper doesn't seem to be printed on recycled paper itself.) I think by recycling, he means we should throw it into the appropriate recycle bins in our buildings, rather than pass it around. I'm sorry, Dan, but I personally can't be bothered. Down the chute it goes, in the hopes that Tishman Speyer will be slapped with a fine for non-compliance of recycling laws. You see, we have some problems here in Stuy Town/Peter Cooper, and payback is always a pleasurable bitch.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
NY Post's Fredric U. Dicker reports that Caroline Kennedy will be the next Senator from New York, appointed by Governor Paterson to take over Hillary Rodham Clinton's place when Clinton assumes the Secretary of State job. Writes Dicker:
"The contenders based their conclusion on the view that Paterson, after nearly two months of indecision, would 'greatly embarrass' and 'entirely humiliate' Kennedy, anger her prominent political family and even offend President-elect Barack Obama by picking someone other than President John F. Kennedy's daughter."
Another theory has it that Paterson will secure the payback of political and financial support from the Kennedys once he is up for election.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Residents of the Oval were treated to a late morning wake-up call when the Mulch Machine began making a racket and turning discarded Christmas trees into mulch. A fun time was had by all. Well, not all, just a guy and his son, who understandably didn't hang around for too long. Very disappointing that no representative of Tishman Speyer turned up to celebrate, given the promotion of this "event." And no red Verizon table nearby to try to sell, for the hundredth time, Fios to residents. But I guess Verizon knew that MulchFest would be a dud.
Stuy Town's ornamental cabbages are now starting to rot so bad they are giving off a foul smell--of rotting cabbages or, if you prefer, old gangrenous socks that your grandma wore when she had an infection on her toes. Hold your nose while you pass by the ones in front of your building:
Of course, in many places there are few rotting cabbages left because mice and rats have already gnawed many down to stumps:
The discarded new trees made famous a day ago on the Lux Living blog are still around, as of Saturday morning:
I think that Tishman Speyer will want to remove these to an undisclosed location where they can die in peace. But as of now the death watch continues! Meanwhile, the above location has to be an awful eyesore for residents living in this part of the luxury complex known as Stuyvesant Town. Can you imagine paying market rate prices for this view:
And this says it all, I think. A Stuy Town sign/map looking as if it were in one of the most run-down, gang-infested projects in the Bronx:
Thank you Jerry and Rob Speyer for a job well done!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Ornamental cabbage and kale are traditionally used in the winter months for beautifying purposes during a time when other plantings would die. Tishman Speyer's gardener decided to spread cabbage and kale throughout Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village--but guess what? These winter plantings are now dying or being destroyed (eaten) by vermin during the night. Take a look at the cabbage patch near your building, or go for a walk around the Oval. You will see death and rot. A foreshadowing of things to come?
Because of the massive and wasteful gardening failure that we've seen in ST/PCV, I now doubt that Tishman Speyer will have the cajones to ask for a MCI increase for this tragic addition to the complex, though the company may still go for a MCI for the repaving of the loops. Stay tuned!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Town & Village is available in stores around the neighborhood. (The popular deli Lenz's always carries a good bunch.) And, of course, the newspaper is available through a subscription. In Manhattan, $12 for 52 weeks, $17 for 104 issues. Address is:
Town & Village
20 West 22nd St., 9th fl.
New York, NY 10010
Editorial and Advertising Offices number: 212-777-6611
A neighborhood newspaper is vital for the lifeblood of a community, so please support Town & Village.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
It's the start of a new year and a good time to look ahead to see what may be of import to residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. Hopefully, certain major problems of 2008 will not return in 2009--construction and road work noise, unnecessary and intrusive groundskeeping projects, noise from trash compactors--but other problems may remain and new ones could arise.
Crucial this year will be Tishman Speyer's request for MCIs. What will these be and will they be valid? Tenants certainly need to fight against any unnecessary MCI increases. There will be the electric metering project coming our way, of course, and tenants need to be alert here, too, as it's possible that, when everything is accomplished, tenants will be paying more for what they previously did not pay for (even granting a reduction in rent).
Tishman Speyer also needs to change its priorities for this complex. This change is critical. TS needs to stop trying to beautify the exterior of ST/PCV in an attempt to sell apartments at high prices and concentrate on the interior. Many buildings are filthy, with pealing paint on doors, smelly rugs in the hallways and elevators, piles of garbage overflowing the locker rental and recycling places, and firehazard dumps in storage rooms. Does your building look like a luxury rental area? Better still, does it look like it once used to look before Tishman Speyer became the landlord? If not, there's a problem. And Tishman Speyer has to correct this problem.
All of us here want to lead normal, peaceful lives where we are not harrassed or inconvenienced by the landlord or fellow tenants. Make this place work the way it should work, the way it once used to work, and everything should be fine. This should be the goal of not only Tishman Speyer, but the tenants as well.