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Management has two priorities: 1) Making sure money is made, hence upgrading and filling up apartments is their goal. "Amenities" are important in selling the place, though few residents use them. 2) If someone needs medical attention, Public Safety will be there, if alerted.

Quality of life issues are not that important, however. Things like the carpet rule or outsider dogs. These "rules" tend to be ignored, on purpose it seems. So you will see a lot that isn't taken care of properly, and complaints will be met with a creative excuse and a smile.

"Peace and quiet" must be a cruel joke, though this property is sold that way. There can be no peace and quiet as ALL apartments must be upgraded, which includes the installation of an AC unit below the window. Aside from the continual construction about the neighborhood, there is a new and noisy subway extension being built along East 14 st and the shut down of the L line. "Choosing" to live in NYC, now the newest mantra, is a fabrication when the talk is of ST and PCV, which was traditionally quiet, with no construction noise.

Though money was always important, it is now more important than ever. Money rules many things, as you will find.

At this point, 30 years into living here and seeing many things, I can state that Management and their reps are BS-ing us. I can't say that loudly enough: We are being BS-ed. I don't see any genuine change, though the "selling" of this place is intense. Few of the "rules" will be enforced, as Management doesn't want to lose customers or potential customers. Where personal integrity is a hallmark of an excellent management style, this integrity is not seen in enforcing some of the rules.

Our Tenants Association is, basically, null and void. Oh, it is still around, but it lacks the will power to confront much of anything. The TA will ask for your dues, however. By now, the TA is a charade.

About those "club cars" we see going this way and that way, and outside of Stuy Town or Peter Cooper Village:

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ex-Market Rate Tenant to Tishman Speyer and BlackRock

I received a message today from a former market rate tenant of Stuyvesant Town. It was sent as a comment to one of the blog posts ("Our Tenants Come First"), but it's certainly worthy to be brought out more into the open, as it addresses a critical issue in how the landlord deals with the market rate tenants in this complex when lease renewal comes around. So here it is:

As a market rate renter who recently moved out, I have to express my extreme irritation with ST on the move out of the complex. Comments before complaints:

- I always paid the rent on time.
- I was never a problem.
- I was happy there and the complex and my apartment were well maintained.

That said, here is what has happened:

- Stuy Town was essentially willing to lower our rent by around 10%, no more. They subsequently (less than a month later) lowered it by another approx 10% based on ads I have seen in the subway offering 2 months free. Apparently that is not being offered to good tenants.

- I wasted a ton of time just trying to figure out what the renewal would be if we stayed. ST, of course, made this extremely difficult by helpfully making the hours start at 10am to speak with a renewal person (Heather O'neill).
- Apparently the leasing office can't accept returned keys, which is a joke. I had to literally threaten them with making a stink in the leasing office before a "solution" could be found.
- ST just tagged us with almost $300 in "fees" for moving. There were two:

1. A $229.30 fee to replace a light fixture (a "globe"). It was broken and I never bothered to have it replaced. They had also given me a quote of $85 or $115 (I am not sure which) to replace it when I lived there. So ST is literally lying on the fees.

2. A $40.14 fee to pry a $15 taped mirror from the back of a closet. That might have taken 1 minute.

When I complained to ST, I was, again, helpfully referred to their legal department. I assume I will get screwed on these items. Give me a break.

I used to say good things about ST, but I won't anymore.

I understand that Tishman and BlackRock are underwater on their investment, I am sure many of these fees are designed to screw people as much as possible. That's fine, you are screwing yourselves long term, but of course you are so underwater you can't think straight.

I hope someone at ST is reading this comment.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting Something Right

While there is much in the complex of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village that is not going well, there are instances of something working very well. Though we may be prone to take the negative view, it would be disingenuous to deny that life in the complex can be quite good and enjoyable and that a portion of the landscaping has been a success. Now it's true that this success is generally in the areas that are more viewable by passersby and from the periphery of Stuy Town/Peter Cooper (useful for the sell/spin of the landlord), but the fact remains that for whatever reason the landscaping in certain areas is a clear improvement over what used to be here.

Case in point. Residents of Stuyvesant Town who've been around for more than five years in the complex and who walk along the 14th Street Loop have always seen the exposed grass area not far away from the flag pole as a baked earth, with little greenery evident. MetLife had the hardest time trying to make this region look green and nice and failed in every attempt I can think of.

Well, look at this area now:

Not perfect, but close.

It remains to be seen if the greenery here will be maintained or whether the area will fall prey, once again, to a baked earth brown. But so far, looking good.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Peek Inside College Life in Stuyvesant Town

Want to know what luxury living is like for NYU students dorming in Stuyvesant Town? Well, here are some photos for you.

First up, the interior of one bedroom, Ikea/Home Depot furnishings in place:

Next, we have the "living room." Note the pressurized wall to the right, the door of which gives access to another bedroom or what passes nowadays for a bedroom, but what used to be part of a standard Stuyvesant Town living room. I have no idea where the ventilation is in this area. If you notice the lack of rugs in both bedroom and living room (and connecting hallway), you do not get a prize but just a noisy neighbor.

After less than a year, when it's time to move on and look for newer digs, you can easily deposit your unwanted furniture on the street, as seen here on the 20th Street curb. Someone is bound to pick it up.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Our Tenants Come First" - Tishman Speyer

And now a word from Stuyvesant Town's landlord, Tishman Speyer:


With more than 4,000 tenants, Tishman Speyer views each tenant as a client and goes the extraordinary lengths to anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations. Property Management is committed to providing premium service in high-quality space so when a tenant has a choice of which building to call home, they'll choose a Tishman Speyer building.

Tishman Speyer has an in-house team of over 300 property management experts who oversee all aspects of our buildings' operations, including engineering, security, fire safety and cleaning. Our property management teams operate their buildings as if they are stand-alone businesses, with a focus on making sure that each tenant's needs are taken care of and that each Tishman Speyer property is maintained to the company's exacting standards.

To ensure that our properties are operated to the highest levels of professionalism, responsiveness and efficiency, Tishman Speyer integrates each building into our customized internal programs including:

* Internal Audit Program
* Tenant Satisfaction Survey
* Emergency Procedures
* Tenant Portal Website
* Electronic Work Order System
* Electronic Preventative Maintenance Program
* Standard Operating Procedures

With a reputation as a best in-class operator, we realize that the creation of long-term relationships with our tenants ultimately leads to the creation of value in our buildings and our assets.

All of which may explain why the world's top-tier tenants tend to be our tenants.


If you feel this information is inaccurate, you can contact Tishman Speyer:

Tishman Speyer
45 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10111
Phone: (212) 715-0315

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Pimping of Stuy Town?

A reader of this blog sent in the following photos of a supposed "legal notice" placed on an Oval lamppost warning Stuyvesant Town residents that the Oval grounds are being used for a TV shoot of a series produced by Style Kings Production, and that if you enter the area you approve to have your image used, etc., etc.

I wasn't able to find any information online about a "Style Kings Production," so at this point I'm assuming that this notice was put up by some amateur filmmakers (ie, film students) and that Stuy Town hasn't approved it. Hopefully this is not legit. Otherwise, another inconvenience as landlord Tishman Speyer keeps on pimping the complex.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Apartments for Rent -- PLEASE!

Tishman Speyer is trying its best to rent out apartments with various pimping methods that intrude upon the tranquility of Stuy Town residents and their weekends. Last week, management blocked the 14th Street Loop near the playground to put up a kid's tumble cage, with that one-year lease-free Mini Cooper nearby and a couple of large signs to get residents excited about getting friends to rent here.

Problem was that management did not (and refused to) put up a road block at the entry to the 14th Street Loop, causing irate drivers to back up and turn around when they came to the apex of the Loop and the blocking pimping activities there.

And today, a Z100 stall popped up at the Oval to pimp a free one-year lease of a Stuyvesant Town apartment to residents who, because they already live here, are ineligible for the contest!!! Or, more accurately, the pimping was directed at the non-residents from the Lower East Side who converge at the Oval (trespassing?) to sunbathe here and take up space that residents could use.

Lux Living Blog No More?

Readers of the Lux Living blog woke up today to find that the site now has a black on white message--ACTIVISM IS A THANKLESS JOB. The message hangs there for a few seconds to then glide into the front page of Stuyvesant Town's official website.

The person behind the blog (Lux Living, for want of a real name) had already stated a couple of weeks ago that the blog would be shutting down, or at least in some kind of hibernation, with occasion posts when warranted.

There will be, no doubt, considerable discussion as to what happened and if the recent barrage of rancorous comments on the blog, with a few commentators mercilessly and persistently attacking each other in the ugliest ways, was key in impelling Lux to post his message and supposedly sign off the way he did. Possibly, but it would have been easy for Lux to moderate the comments or, if he was going away or didn't have time to monitor the blog, shut down the comment section, leaving his blog posts still online. I think behind this all are reasons we are not privy to--though I have my suppositions.

Whatever the case, the blog can easily come back, as I'm assuming Lux Living hasn't deleted it, but has it stored in cyberspace and on his hard drive. So I think it's unwise to yet say RIP.

Having said all this, I'm sure that we all thank Lux Living for starting his blog and continuing on with it for as long as he did. Lux's posts were both witty and informative and shook up the management establishment. The blog was certainly the bane of Tishman Speyer. If Lux is really gone, obviously he will be missed.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Comments Rules

Comments have to await approval by the administrator of this blog to be published. Comments that insult another commentator, or that cross a line the administrator is not comfortable with, will not get approved.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Calling for a Moratorium on Dogs in Stuyvesant Town

It's become evident that landlord Tishman Speyer's dog policy for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village is not working the way it was intended. While most dog owners appear to follow the rules, there is a percentage who do not. Even with signs around the Oval that dogs are not permitted on the grass and in the flower beds, these self-involved dog owners flagrantly ignore the rules. I've actually seen a dog owner, a young woman, stand in front of such a sign at the gate of one playground and allow her dog to go in the plantings right in front of the sign and take a dump! Furthermore, the presence of unpicked dog crap and sticky smearing from sloppily picked up dog waste is increasing. The other day two turds were left on the gravel path that surrounds the Oval, just waiting for someone at night, when visibility is low, to get stepped on and trailed along the path.

For decades the previous owner of this complex, Met Life, maintained a no-dog policy. Aware of the problems that dogs could introduce into Stuy Town and Peter Cooper, Met Life determined that it was a quality of life issue that dogs not be allowed. Tishman Speyer, in search of tenants it could lure, changed the policy. And now we have the result.

Well, no one is going to take dogs away from their owners, but seeing as Tishman Speyer cannot enforce the dog rules it has, surely it is time to call a halt to introducing more dogs into the complex. The problems are not going to get better, otherwise, but much, much worse.

Below are a few recent photos that show what's going on in Stuy Town.

Hmm, the signs says no dogs on the grass, so the owner stays outside of the grass but let's his pooch on it!:

Fido taking a dump on the lawn. Yeah, from the condition of the lawn there, you won't be able to tell anything occurred, but still:

Can you smell what a dog owner is cooking for you? It's right there, waiting for you on the gravel path along the Oval lawn:

Non-resident taking a nice weekend stroll around Stuy Town with his pit bull or pit bull mix. I was actually heading his way and he exited at the Ave A entrance and headed home to the Lower East Side. Was he stopped by Security at any point in his leisurely walk? What Security?:

Ah, it was a beautiful Saturday in Stuyvesant Town! Just the perfect day to spend with your dog on the Oval lawn and ignore all the no dogs on the grass signs posted around the Oval and on the lawn itself:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Front Page Photo Captures Stuy Town Fountain No-No

The front page of the recent TOWN & VILLAGE newspaper (July 9 issue) showed a photo, taken by editor Sabina Mollot, of five young ladies dipping their feet/legs in the Oval fountain. Though the caption below didn't mention it, dipping one's feet in the fountain--or anything else--is prohibited by Stuyvesant Town rules. Had Security shown up (ha!) that would have been a priceless photo indeed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New York's New Senate Majority Leader

Surprise, surprise, it's Pedro Espada Jr!!!

Well, the Democrats have accepted him back into the fold after giving him an offer he just couldn't refuse. Espada is now, officially and once and for all, New York's Senate Majority Leader, the most powerful position in NY State after the Governorship.

This is also a notable hallmark for the Hispanic community. Or at least that's what Espada buddy, Senator Ruben Diaz, said when he took the Senate podium floor the other day:

"This is the greatest, biggest achievement our community has ever gotten."

I think we should be all proud of our State Senate and praise our new Majority Leader. Meanwhile, here are some instructions on tar and feathering:

In a typical tar-and-feathers attack, the subject of a crowd's anger would be stripped to the waist. Hot tar was either poured or painted onto the person while he or she was immobilized. Then the victim either had feathers thrown on him or her or was rolled around on a pile of feathers so that they stuck to the tar. Often the victim was then paraded around town on a cart or a rail. The aim was to hurt and humiliate a person enough to leave town and not cause any more mischief.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Learn How to Boil Water for $500

That's right. For $500 (or $450 for Oval Essential members) you can learn how to boil water from Food Network's Danny Boome at Oval Lounge starting August 3. No joke, too. Here's what it says on Danny's website:

Food Network Chef Danny Boome arrives at the Oval Lounge this August to bring his new Essential Cookery School to the residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. From boiling water to using fresh herbs, this 5-week course (10 lessons) will arm you with the philosophy, techniques and confidence you need to succeed in your kitchen.

Date: The course begins Monday, August 3 and runs every Monday and Wednesday through September 3.
Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm
Cost: $450 for Oval Members; $500 for non-members.

Reserve your place now through the Oval Amenities Office or on

Let's start saving now for this golden opportunity. Thank you, Jerry and Rob Speyer!!!

[Hat tip to Lois Aida at Lux Living's Blog.]

Saturday, July 4, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different....

Though the Oval lawn remains a disaster (and will probably continue to do so throughout the year), the flowers around the Oval provide a charming respite from the city and speak to what has been the best of Stuyvesant Town in years past and what continues to make residents feel that they are in an oasis in the middle of Manhattan.

Happy Fourth of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sloppy Work at Stuyvesant Town

A blog reader sent me the photos posted below. "Isn't Tishman-Speyer just doing a great job landscaping Stuy Town?" he asks. "I was just passing by the Ave C loop walking home and guess what I see? Giant holes in the sod that TS lad down. This looks really ugly and makes TS's landscaping look like it was done by an office temp with a bad attitude. Come on Tishman-Speyer, can't you lay down basic sod? It's not even growing grass. Zero effort involved and they still can't get it right. But we already knew that."