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Friday, May 29, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Peter Cooper Village Tour

The other day I decided to take a tour of Peter Cooper Village. Once upon a time, PCV was the jewel of the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village complex. The apartments are bigger than their ST brothers, and the landscaping was nicely maintained, though there was no impressive Oval area as there is--sorry, was--in Stuy Town. How does Peter Cooper Village look now, under Tishman Speyer's stewardship? Well, not that good. Just as in Stuyvesant Town, the plantings of last year have managed to bloom and become pleasant visuals, but much of the grass areas are poorly maintained, if at all, and the areas near the walkways are just patches of dirt now.

We start the tour....

Near PCV's sole playground, this is the way the front of 441 East 20 Street looks--looks like no one cares:

To the east of the playground, we see more of the lack of groundskeeping care, including a man-made cutway path that was never there before:

As expected, the entrance to Peter Cooper Village, off of 1st Avenue, looks lovely:

But go deeper into PCV and you find this, at 5 Peter Cooper Road:

Nearby is a part of the landscaping of the old Peter Cooper. Still going strong, thankfully:

Making a turn and heading to 531 E 20 Street, we are greeted by the slum look that Tishman Speyer has cultivated so well:

And here's Peter Cooper Village's unofficial dog run area. This may have been the place in which a security guard gave a smack down to a resident recently. Can you spot the resident's body imprint in the mud below?....

The front of 511 E 20 Street doesn't look too good. Wonder how many market-raters are paying top dollar for this gardening?....

And this says it all, I think:

Incidentally, nowhere to be found: the 100 cherry blossom trees that a champion of Tishman Speyer, who has been posting in the commentary section of the Lux Living blog, claimed were in front of a building in Peter Cooper Village. Absurd to even think this was ever possible.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Metro Sex Parties Invade Stuyvesant Town!

Now we're talking! Forget the dull alcohol-less Oval Lounge and meeting fellow dog owners in your stroll with Fido around the lawn. This is the real thing and a sure fire way to bring in the clientele Tishman Speyer has been advertising for.

In his walk into Stuy Town today, Stuy Town Reporter came across pink business cards inserted into the cars parked around the 1st Ave. Loop, right nearby the Concierge office, and strewn around the area. Here's one card Stuy Town Reporter picked up--just for journalistic purposes, of course.

In case you can't read some of the details.... "Metroparties" offers: (f/m) nude models/dancers, shows at site [Stuy Town site!?!?] or in limo, pub crawls/party bus tours, weekend long parties [much better than what Abigail Michaels can think up, for sure], novelty fun, etc. It's "the hotter way for adults to party."

Okay, you Stuy Town geezers. Viagra time!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Stuy Town Reporter took a tour of the complex this last week to check out how things are going in Stuyvesant Town. Thank goodness for nature and its resiliency. There's much welcome greenery now, and the lilacs are in bloom and smelling sweet indeed. A more careful inspection reveals, however, that Stuyvesant Town is not being cared for that much and that the best of what we see is chiefly the result of earlier efforts, with some patches of flowering plants sporadically added to make several barren patches look nice--initially.

Before we get to the landscape tour, let me mention that the problem of the nightly and early morning noise from three dumpsters on the east edge of Stuyvesant Town still exists. This abrasive and thundering noise is one violation after another. The fact that Tishman Speyer has gotten away with this for so long is a scandal. Dan Goradnick promised tenants that something would be done about this noise over a year ago (seems like two, by now), but still nothing has been done. Give Dan a call at (212) 818-0580, and ask him what's up.

Here are the three culprits:

Meanwhile, relief was supposed to have been an interior garage for the dumpsters that would lessen the noise considerably (or so the theory goes--I have my doubts). The garage certainly looks finished:

So what's the holdup?

My tour of Stuyvesant Town took me to the Management Office, where I noted that most of the monitors watched by security are of areas outside Stuyvesant Town, of the sidewalks that border the complex. Several monitors are set to the interior of buildings, but I was hard pressed to find any monitor that was focused on the grounds of Stuyvesant Town. (I maybe saw one.) This lack of monitoring the interior of Stuyvesant Town seems very peculiar to me, as it is precisely the interior of Stuy Town that is lacking in security overall. Oh, and here's my tour photo of the Security Booth in the Oval :


Now, to be fair, the guard booth is manned at times, and periodically one does see a patrol car or, gasp, security on bicycles. More frequent sightings occur whenever Lux's blog, or this one, notes a lack of security.

Though the lilacs are in bloom, the groundskeeping is rather shabby, particularly as one heads from west to east in Stuyvesant Town. Here's is the east end, an area that once housed the planting graveyard of Stuy Town:

You can see beautiful lilac bushes to the right, but a disaster everywhere else. Below, another area in the same region. Not so hot, is it?

Here's what you see if you enter Stuyvesant Town from Ave. B:

The back of 535 East 14th Street, below, looks like a slum. Welcome to Luxury Living, Rob Speyer-style!

But, guess what? The closer you get to the rental office on 1st Ave., the better and more attentive the groundskeeping. To the left is a lovely and lengthy row of lilac bushes:

The back of one of the 300 number buildings on 1st Ave. As expected, looking good.

But incompetency always wins. The Oval, once the pride of Stuyvesant Town, awaits its Farmer's Market:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Grab Your Ankles Time: Mac-Gray Raises Prices

Well, well, well. We shouldn't be surprised. Laundry prices in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village are about to go up. Yes, less than a year after many residents in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village were introduced to the new Mac-Gray energy-efficient washers and dryers (which replaced perfectly working new washers and dryers), rates are going up. You see, suckers, the price of $1.85 per wash/.80 per dry was just an introductory offer. No one told you that? Come on, that's the way business operates. Mac-Gray now has a better, more competitive rate for you coming June 1st: $2.25 per wash/$1.10 for your dry spin.

Oh, please understand that Mac is doing this because they are forced to as a result of "recent increases in the cost of natural gas, electricity, water and disposal." What's that you say? Natural gas prices have plummeted considerably since last year? Come on, give Mac-Gray a break! They have families to feed, too, and probably had to pay a bit extra to Tishman Speyer to get this sweetheart deal of being this complex's laundry company. (Oh, and don't bother asking who pays the electric bill.)

So, the "greening" of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village continues. Energy efficient crap that 1) saves Tishman Speyer money and/or makes money for the company or associates, 2) costs more for residents, and 3) just doesn't work as well as the non-green stuff.

Coming next: Energy-efficient showerheads that will provide a mist for 30 seconds before they automatically turn off. Go green!