Sunday, June 26, 2011
Yesterday's "Battle of the Bands" at the Oval turned out to be a mellow affair, thankfully. No intrusive and noisy soundchecks that start two hours before an event, too. [I posted this before reading Lux Living's Facebook. It seems that some residents did complain about the noise level of the soundchecks. Adam Rose and Security Chief McClellan were, however, monitoring the sound levels and that seems to have worked. I certainly didn't hear anything excessive during the times I was at the Oval, before and during the event.] However, there wasn't much interest on the part of Stuy Town/PCV residents and Lower East Side residents who come here on the weekend. Crowds were very small, perhaps numbering 200 or so, with most already there earlier for picnics, sunbathing, etc.
Passing by the Stuyvesant Town rental office, one couldn't help notice that the crowds were there--packs of young folks with their daddies or mommies guaranteeing financial backing. A placard was placed inside the office promoting the Summer on the Oval events. So that's about the best giveaway that these events are meant to draw in prospective renters.
Meanwhile, bunches of these crowds head for the tour of a Stuy Town apartment and grounds....
And as they exit the back of the rental office, they are meet with beauty indeed....
A Garden of Eden, though, truthfully, the further you get away from 1st Avenue, the less of Eden you see.
Ah, but what do we have here, in back of the 400s of 14th St....
People sunbathing on the grounds (I guess, okay) and a Fido with them on the grass (okay? or not okay?). Well, certainly okay if one judges that a security guard (safety officer) passed by and didn't say a word.
You also may have noticed new dog signs around the complex about areas being not "designated" for dogs. Does this mean that other areas, grass areas, are designated for dogs? Why the new signs?
And, please, despite that lone security officer walking in the back of these buildings, the presence of walking security guards at all back areas of ST/PCV, with any regularity, is sorely lacking. I know I can't be just a magnet for seeing multiple dog violations when I step pass through areas of ST/PCV for just five minutes. The dog rule violators are still winning.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders struck a tentative deal on Tuesday paving the way for a vote on issues that affect millions of New Yorkers — renewing regulation of rent-regulated apartments, capping property taxes for homeowners and raising tuition at state universities — but reached no agreement on whether to take a vote on legalizing same-sex marriage....
The rent deal appeared to fall well short of what many Democrats and tenant activists had hoped for, though Democratic lawmakers will probably vote for it. And the modest strengthening of rent regulations came at a high price for Democrats from New York City — a commitment to pass a property tax cap, which many Democratic lawmakers fear will exacerbate disparities in education spending between wealthy and poor school districts.
The renewal of rent regulations would leave in place laws that allow landlords to deregulate apartments when tenants’ rent and income reach certain thresholds, but would raise those thresholds, to $2,500 from $2,000 in monthly rent, and to $200,000 from $175,000 in annual household income. Tenant advocates had sought for more than a decade to abolish the deregulation laws, and they hoped finally to achieve that goal under Mr. Cuomo, a popular Democrat.
The proposed rent deal also requires that landlords document more of the money they spend to improve rent-stabilized apartments before they can pass along those costs to renters.
But with Senate Republicans, whose districts have relatively few regulated apartments, unwilling to make further concessions, Assembly leaders appeared ready to settle for what they could get.
More at the above link.
As far as action on the Roberts decision, this gives a rundown (also linked on Lux's Facebook page):
The state legislature reached a tentative agreement to extend New York City's rent laws, but a cloud of uncertainty still looms over thousands of regulated units affected by a 2-year-old court decision that many hoped would be addressed during the session.
Sources said there were some discussions on how to deal with the fall out from a 2009 Appellate Division of New York's Supreme Court ruling that owners of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village had illegally deregulated units when receiving a tax break known as a J-51. That decision, which affected thousands of apartments beyond those in that sprawling complex, left the door open to reregulating units and reimbursing tenants for overcharges. But since then, neither the courts nor state housing authorities have reached any type of agreement about how to implement the ruling. A Republican senator introduced a bill that would have allowed landlords to pay the taxes while not repaying tenants for overcharges but it failed to gain traction.
“It was a disappointment that they didn't address the Roberts decision,” said Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, which represents landlords, referring to the common name of court ruling which stems from the last name of one of the tenants, Amy Roberts, who brought the suit. “”We really think there needs to be a decision by the Legislature since the courts don't know what to do.”
He added that the Legislature also failed to extend the J-51 program, which extends tax breaks for making building repairs and expires this December. Mr. Spinola hopes legislators will return later this year for a special session, during which the program can be extended. He added that legislators could also address the Roberts decision at that time.
Meanwhile, legislators agreed to grant some small increases in tenant protection as they extended the current rent laws. Presently, landlords can deregulate a unit when the apartment is vacant and rent goes over $2,000 a month or when a family's income goes above $175,000 and the rent is at least $2,000 a month. Under the deal, the rent limit increases to $2,500 a month in both instances and the family can earn up to $200,000 a year.
“The agreement is much better than it could have been,” said Maggie Russell-Ciardi, executive Director of Tenants & Neighbors, a tenant advocacy organization. “Of course, it wasn't everything tenants wanted."
In other developments, the Legislature also agreed to extend the 421-A program which gives developers temporary property tax exemptions to build affordable housing.
“We are obviously pleased with that,” Mr. Spinola said. “It is critical to get building going again.”
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Photos from Lux Living's Facebook.
Lux Living was alerted to a hate and vandalism crime that was committed, remarkably, still in broad daylight outside of 271 1st Ave, in Stuyvesant Town. Three white teens in sleeveless t-shirts (one of which had "FUCK YOU" written on it) spray painted, in fluorescent bright green no less, a swastika on a walkway and then a racist comment on a mattress left outside the building. The teens are probably Stuy Town residents or friends of residents.
You can read more about this incident by going to Lux's Facebook. The photos above are from Lux's page.
If you have an info, please call Stuy Town's Public Safety at 212-598-5233.
Several quick comments:
1) While we tend to bitch about the college/post-college crowd that lives here, I've always suspected that a portion of our "home-grown" tenants and their offspring are to blame for the crap that goes on here. If these kids are Stuy Town residents, this will affirm my suspicion.
2) Okay, how are those high-tech security cameras working for ya? How's the monitoring? If security can't catch these kids using these costly gizmos, it will be another pathetic sign of what's wrong with this complex.
3) If and when these kids are caught, they should be charged with as much as they can. They should also--and please let this happen--be forced to scrub CLEAN every inch of that paint from the walkway. And we, the tenants of this community, should be able to watch.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Sunday, June 5, 2011
The sound checks are already happening. The Green Market is here, the concert is here, the cautions that if you walk around the Oval, you may be used as a marketing gimmick on some video or photo are here. If you thought you could get some peace and quite amid nice Stuy Town greenery today, you were mistaken. Thanks, Rose Associates!
Why is it that managements past and present cannot understand that the biggest value of Stuy Town is that it is a refuge from the noise and crowds of the city? We don't need Green Markets or concerts here. That's not why, historically, people have desired to live here. Yeah, we know what the game plan is: Trying to make this place "happening" for the young people you are trying to bring in, but you are ruining it for the rest of us and, believe it or not, many young hipsters just don't give a damn about your concerts, Green Markets, Oval Essentials, etc. At most, they want to chill on the Oval lawn.
Give a loud concert on the Oval and you are, in effect, making people here a prisoner of it. Usually, with concerts, people elect to go to them; here they are trapped and must leave their homes if they live too close to the Oval area. Tishman Speyer was and Rose Associates is aware of this fact, but they don't GIVE A DAMN, because their primary motive was/is to sell this place. Again, thanks, Rose Associates!
Reminder: This is a residential area, not a concert venue.
I guess today, to get some peace and quiet, I have to head to Tomkins Square Park!