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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, April 29, 2011

Lenz's Closed by Health Department!

Popular Stuy Town and PCV deli, Lenz's, has been shut down by NYC's Department of Health. Two official yellow signs were plastered onto Lenz's windows indicating the forced shut down. Meanwhile, a handwritten sign from Lenz's stated that the deli was "Closed for the Day--Cleaning!" That's an understatement.

Lenz's was already in trouble by receiving a "B" grade rating for its store. A re-inspection on Thursday, April 28th, determined that conditions inside the deli warranted its closure, with the deli receiving a whopping 70 points in this inspection. (The higher the points, the worse the conditions.)

Here's the official word from the Department of Health:

Violation points: 70

Establishment Closed by DOHMH. Violations were cited in the following area(s) and those requiring immediate action were addressed.

Sanitary Violations
1) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F.
2) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
3) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas.
4) Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies.
5) Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.
6) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.
7) Food contact surface not properly maintained.
8) Accurate thermometer not provided in refrigerated or hot holding equipment.
9) Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit.
10) Proper sanitization not provided for utensil ware washing operation.
11) Other general violation.

I suspected that Lenz's was over-peppering their food and that the pizza had extra ingredients!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter, 2011

Except for two photos, which are indicated as from last year, all photos were taken today, April 24th, Easter Sunday.

An Easter morning walk around Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town reveals the poor condition of many areas of the complex, particularly (and surprisingly) in Peter Cooper. In both properties one comes across many large patches of bare ground and wide man-made paths that residents prefer to use over the regular walkways. The general impression is that the money just isn't there to maintain the property grounds in consistently nice condition.

Here are photos of Peter Cooper Village, taken today:

And, now, photos of Stuyvesant Town:

Despite this depressing reality, another reality is seen. Some attention has been paid to the Oval area, with lovely plantings scattered about. This is still far, far removed from the days when this property was being prepared for sale (and looked its best), but it is an attempt to beautify the Oval grounds that former management Tishman Speyer nearly ignored.

As a reminder, here are two photos from the disgraceful Happy Easter 2010 of Tishman Speyer:

Now let's jump to the present, Rose Associates managing:

Disappointing is the obvious intention to not do anything for the south section of the Oval grounds in preparation for the Farmer's Market coming later in the year:

New grass struggles in birth. We'll see how much of a success this becomes once the Oval grounds are open to traffic and sunbathing:

Management is considering putting up chain-link fencing here and there. Such an action should be clearly done to prevent (or make the attempt to prevent) people cutting across grass areas of the complex--and not just the Oval. I also think it's a good idea to return to the days of hedges in Stuy Town/Peter Cooper to further block unwanted traffic flow. It would also be potentially beneficial to alert all residents that it's important for people to respect the grounds. Our grounds are vital to the look and feel of this place, and one of the great perks we having living here.

BTW, whose bright idea was it to wake everyone up at 10am this morning by having an Easter Concert for kids at the Oval? I guess some revenge on the party animals who returned past 2am last night and wanted to sleep till way past noon, but really.....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sorry, but the Security "Watchdogs" are NOT working, and other matters....

I was going to let commentary on Security's response to infractions of the dog rules in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village wait for a few more weeks, but I've had enough. Admittedly, there has been some improvement over previous manager Tishman Speyer's non-action in this regard. I've seen security "walk the beat" behind buildings on occasion and monitor dog walkers, and doing this in the morning hours (though not too early in the morning). But I've also seen instances where dog rule violations were occurring right near a security officer and he did absolutely nothing. I put this down to these officers being occupied with other, more important matters (like texting or placing those hideous dark-green barriers in the Oval), but today I witnessed a dog owner letting his unruly dog (who looked like some bull mix) run over garden areas of the Oval to include the area right by the guard-booth, and the guard inside (yes, there was one inside!) saw all this and did squat. Not one word.

This place is never going to work properly if this is the response we get from our security force, whether or not they are yet able to write tickets.

I return to my building and what meets me inside is filth, and hallways where the paint is peeling off doors and the rugs stink of use and whatever fluids may have been left there by man or beast.

Meanwhile the priority by Rose Associates is to push aggressively activities in the Oval Essentials. Better use that money (for instance, the costs of printing all those quality monthly Oval Essential booklets we get shoved under our door) to buy some paint and beautify the interior of buildings, no?

I'm just about convinced that Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village are doomed from an aesthetic point of view, and that the promises we have been made are just promises, made sincerely perhaps, but very wanting in the application department. Do any of us really think that the Oval lawn will regain its beauty with the current management already promoting public-access musical events for the summer and that Farmer's Market on the south side of the lawn? Does anything think that Security will start being diligent about dog rule infractions or bicycle riding infractions, the latter which management has been strangely--and tellingly--silent about?

During Tishman-Speyer's reign this complex started to rot. And now it's still rotting.

That's the way I see it, and many others who have lived here for years see it.

A restoration will be believed when we witness it with our own eyes, not before.