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All comments to posts have to await approval. Please be aware that, depending on when I'm logged onto the internet, it may take me hours, even longer, to moderate comments, so if they don't turn up in a speedy fashion, they are still in the queue. Comments that cross a line I'm not comfortable with will not get approved. Please note: Posts that overdo their passion and veer into name-calling or that make serious accusations without proof are going to have a hard time getting through.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Oval Grounds Changed Forever

Or at least until a new owner decides otherwise.

It's difficult to tell at this point just how the new graveling of the area that the greenmarket occupies, May through November for one day of the week, will look when the greenmarket is not present.  The damp weather these past days has also contributed to make such a determination problematic.

One thing is certain, though.  With the greenmarket getting approval in its current location by both our councilman Dan Garodnick and the TA (a tight partnership, for sure), the solidifying of the placement of the greenmarket at the southern end of the Oval grounds has reached finality.  The result is a new paving of gravel to cover the ugly patch of mud/dirt ground that was there, with this gravel now extending around the inner path of the grounds, to create a unified whole.

Another result, historically very important for Stuyvesant Town, is that we have officially lost a chunk of grass area that existed for decades in the Oval, an area that was taken over by the greenmarket for just 28 days of the year, leaving behind for the remaining 337 days a grass-less track of land to be used primarily by dog walkers as an impromptu deposit station for their animals.

In ye olde days, the Oval lawn had always been considered sacred, a piece of land to be cared for and nourished and enjoyed for its atypical "nature" beauty in Manhattan.  The first bit of permanent eradication of the ideal came when Tishman Speyer decided to widen the outlet of the path at its northwestern end, taking away a small piece of grass/planting grounds to make way for what was then trucks backing up to unload and load equipment for special events being held in the central Oval grounds. Next, post-Tishman Speyer, came the little guard booth doll-house, which mandated the removal of plantings and trees.  And now, the southern area of the Oval lawn, already decimated by Tishman Speyer with the introduction of the greenmarket, gets a more permanent marker and cut off.  I can't see what other area of the grounds will "go" in the future, but the opportunity exists, courtesy making anything zoned legally here because of "accessory use by residents and their guests."



My impression (and it can only be an impression at the moment) is that this southern area will be difficult to keep looking reasonably good, as the gravel used has a tendency to show every footprint and mark that goes over it.  Already, today, the gravel on the path looks a bit of a mess. Time will tell, though. Perhaps the gravel needs time to dry and adjust to weather conditions. [Update: This seems to be the case. The gravel along the paths is now clearly whitening.]




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Meanwhile, on my trek about the complex, I could not help but notice the damage done to the fencing posts around the west side of the path...


...and our old friend, the pressurized wall truck, showing up next to Stuy Town:



















UPDATE:  As I originally thought, there seems to be zero apparent influx of outsiders to the ST greenmarket.  I did two walk-arounds and didn't notice anyone carrying bought produce at the greenmarket out of the complex, except for a grouping of three older people who just headed along 14th St and not to the Lower East Side.  (I did notice, however, a young couple walking an un-ST type dog and leaving for the LES.)  Plus, there are no banners on the periphery of the complex announcing the greenmarket, unlike other years.  That's not to say they won't appear in the future. At this point, it appears the greenmarket is being used exclusively, or pretty much exclusively, by residents and their guests.

ANOTHER UPDATE:  A reader sends in photos of the signs that were out today at the greenmarket.






46 comments:

Anonymous said...

This serves as a permanent reminder of why not to vote for Goradnick for anything in the future and why we need to get rid of the disgusting and destructive regime of Rose Associates.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Please remember that that regime gets its orders from a higher entity.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I'd love to find the original quotes, but both Garodnick and the TA have made a consistent point down through the years that the grounds should not be altered or commercialized.

Anonymous said...

Today at the Greenmarket-zero signage stating that this market is for “residents and their guests”.

“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

Anonymous said...

They neglect, then destroy, then pave over a section of the park to cater to GrowNYC for 28 days out of the year? Bravo GrowNYC! Thanks for destroying OUR land!

Anonymous said...

Are you people insane? Sod is laid in about 2.5 seconds. Gravel is easily removed. Calm yourselves! This is NOT a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe your hyperbolic hysteria. The area can be restored in less than a day. Literally, restored in a day. You know nothing about horticulture.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Are you people insane? Sod is laid in about 2.5 seconds. Gravel is easily removed. Calm yourselves! This is NOT a tragedy.<<

Okay, I'll play along. So, are you saying that once the greenmarket leaves today the gravel will be removed and sod will be laid down? If not, then the gravel is here to stay. Or do you see the gravel as temporary? Please respond. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"I can't believe your hyperbolic hysteria. The area can be restored in less than a day. "

It will NEVER be restored. Don't you get that???

Anonymous said...

Temporary in that at some point, it can be easily replaced. And sod is often laid in the fall, so I suppose once the market is done for the season. But it is not a tragedy for someone to use the grass. It's not made of crystal and may not be touched. I don't get your idea of grass as this area that is for looking and not for using. It WILL get worn down. So I have no problem with the greenmarket being on the grass either.

Anonymous said...

"You know nothing about horticulture."

Then that's something we have in common with Rose Associates and its so-called "landscapers."
I also suggest that you know nothing about the history of this property and the history of the destructiveness of Rose Associates during its first go-round and now this one.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Temporary in that at some point, it can be easily replaced.<<

But will it? You say in the fall it can be replaced. To be replaced with what? Not grass. Perhaps a cabbage patch.

The point is that as long as the greenmarket is in its present location, the Oval grounds have lost a chunk of grass area that was once there pre-greenmarket. This will NOT change until the greenmarket is gone, which will NOT happen unless CW Capital has a change of heart or a new owner comes in to alter its location or do away with it. What you see now is permanent, with the exception of possible cabbage patch in the winter months.

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about, cabbage patch? You lay sod in the fall and lo and behold you have grass again.

I don't get your hysterics. This is not a tragedy. Grass can return anytime, but grass is not this special exhibit that we must look at. The market can go on the grass then. Grass gets used and smushed. That's what happens--it's not a statue to look at. It's grass, you use it.

You are making a big deal about nothing. Literally nothing.

And I am so psyched to see the greenmarket again! I was there this am along with a lot of happy social people. You should get out and enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

not sure dan gets the blame here. He's fighting a losing battle. Probably not getting enough credit (compromise) about the damn smell polluting trucks being gone. And are we really sure Rose gets orders from CWC on this? Really?

Or did you miss the $4 coffee and $4 cupcake?

Anonymous said...

Thanks to GrowNYC, we lose a portion of the lawn AND access to a playground? I'll never support them again!

Anonymous said...

GrowNYC is STILL advertising the greenmarket on their website. NOWHERE does it say it's not a public greenmarket.

Anonymous said...

"Temporary in that at some point, it can be easily replaced."

Kind of like tenants!

And our whole community...

Anonymous said...

The side of the truck reads "divideyourroom.com"

Should read "divideyourcommunity.com!"

Anonymous said...

I personally think the Greenmarket is great addition for the community and that the gravel treatment is a big improvement over the eyesore it has been the last few years. The oval is still quite large so I really don't see the problem.

I've been living here for 16 years and think what has generally been done to the greenery is great and a big improvement over what was here when I moved in.

I would appreciate it if you could focus some of your grumpiness towards the flea market and getting it back. Now that's a cause I'd support...

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Grass can return anytime, but grass is not this special exhibit that we must look at. The market can go on the grass then. Grass gets used and smushed. That's what happens--it's not a statue to look at. It's grass, you use it.<<

You really seem to be ignorant of the aesthetic and psychological need of grass that's not "smushed" with patches of bare ground, puddles, etc. Read up on it. And also check into gardening, and the pleasures one can derive from a well-maintained garden and grass area. You may have no problem turning the Oval grass area into a zoo, but others may.

Anonymous said...

I am a master gardener. Grass is not for show, it's for use. That is the modern view. It is unsustainable and a poor use of green space to restrict access to the grass (once it's grown). Indeed, it's pretty much antiquated and unacceptable to design green space with grass that can't be used.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I've been living here for 16 years and think what has generally been done to the greenery is great and a big improvement over what was here when I moved in.<<

I concur, and much of this was done during the first year of Tishman Speyer, before ownership here became a losing proposition.

BTW, no one is grumpy here, just realistic. The FACT is that the Oval grass grounds HAVE diminished in the last years, post MetLife. But it was a beautiful day in Stuy Town, no argument there.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Probably not getting enough credit (compromise) about the damn smell polluting trucks being gone.<<

And that's VERY MUCH appreciated.

Tommyboyardee said...

Closure notices for load in & outs, that the start of things, people, vendors generate trash, is this being handled? I find it ironic that gravel is necessary for healthy farm produce. The market is termed an event, so no bicycling during the event, for this I will embrace a complex wide farmers market event.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile , back at PCV there has been no grass seeding, virtually no planting and not even any mowing of the lawns. The grass in many spots is filled with weeds , except where there is NO grass.There are at least 2 mounds of dead leaves that have been enclosed by fencing and left to rot since last Fall. This failure to maintain traditional landscaping services is grounds for submitting a request for a rent diminution to the DHCR due to reduced services. This has been suggested to the TA on a number of occassions, all to no avail. I guess they are lasered focused on owning what is becoming more of a dump every week.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I am a master gardener. Grass is not for show, it's for use. That is the modern view. It is unsustainable and a poor use of green space to restrict access to the grass (once it's grown). Indeed, it's pretty much antiquated and unacceptable to design green space with grass that can't be used.<<

You're joking, right? First off, I haven't said that grass can't be used. The Oval Lawn is used, when it's opened up to the public. What we are referring to is the strip of area at the southern end that houses the greenmarket one day of the week. Right now there is zero grass there, so what's your pertinent point about grass needing to be used?

Regarding use of grass and what is or not acceptable, that's determined by the entity that owns the grass. There are many places in the city, and indeed in cities all across this country and the world, where grass is used for the simple pleasure of being appreciated visually. There's nothing antiquated in this view. Perhaps to YOU it's antiquated, because if you are a master gardener you seem to be employed by an entity or entities that considers such a use of grass wasted space. It's only wasted space for those that want to suck dry the commercial or "amenity" potential of any area where nature thrives.

Anonymous said...

No, it is the corporate real estate world that thinks grass is for looking and not using. PEOPLE think grass is for using and not selling real estate. You are very 1950s suburban in your landscaping view. Thankfully, Stuytown is no longer reflecting that mentality.

Anonymous said...

Grass is for using. However when there's 25-30k people on the property, if it's not cared for it gets ruined. Closing the oval off in order to prevent lazy people from carving cow paths through it was one of the good ideas they've implemented. Look at the horror show that is Peter Cooper Village. And it ain't cheap to live there!

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>You are very 1950s suburban in your landscaping view. Thankfully, Stuytown is no longer reflecting that mentality.<<

Why are you avoiding what I wrote before concerning what this discussion was originally about--the area at the southern portion of the lawn where there is NO grass? I already stated that the public uses the Oval lawn and didn't make any negative statement about that. I myself have used this lawn frequently in the past.

As to a 1950s view of landscaping, you are wrong. I already stated that many areas of the city/country/world value landscaping which doesn't allow grass being "smushed." I don't know what kind of master gardener you are, but, again, I suspect that you are employed (if that) by people for whom space Must Not Be Wasted. Good for you, but other people have a different sensibility, and there's nothing 1950s about it.

BTW, it will be interesting to see if your new Stuy Town will keep certain fences up to keep people off the grass and erect newer ones. What will you say then?

Anonymous said...

I am a master gardener. Grass is not for show, it's for use. That is the modern view. It is unsustainable and a poor use of green space to restrict access to the grass (once it's grown). Indeed, it's pretty much antiquated and unacceptable to design green space with grass that can't be used.>>

LIAR!!

Anonymous said...

Master Gardener - I hope you don't approve of the lazy, self absorbed MF'ers who wear trenches through the grass to avoid walking an extra foot or two along the paved walkways.

Anonymous said...

If you look at how the Central Park Conservancy manages their green space, you'd understand that grass has to be managed to be sustained. They limit the amount of access to their showcase green spaces like the Sheep Meadow and North Lawn, banning bikes from entering, ball games and limiting the hours of access. There's no way to maintain a lawn if it's constantly being walked upon, and the Conservancy fences off a great amount of their lawns.

That said, SHAME on Rose Associates for taking away green space from the Oval that has been there for over 60 years.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I'm toning it down now and will not pass comments that get too personal.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>That said, SHAME on Rose Associates for taking away green space from the Oval that has been there for over 60 years.<<

Let's not forget that Tishman Speyer made that space the overall grass-less mud swamp it turned into. Rose, understandably, wishes to make it more pleasing. As for the result, I invite everyone to go to the Oval and take a look.

Anonymous said...

In your post you said: Another result, historically very important for Stuyvesant Town, is that we have officially lost a chunk of grass area that existed for decades in the Oval, an area that was taken over by the greenmarket for just 28 days of the year, leaving behind for the remaining 337 days a grass-less track of land to be used primarily by dog walkers as an impromptu deposit station for their animals.

For decades, we weren't allowed anywhere near that grass. I'm thrilled that the greenmarket is back. I think it's a great service for the community.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

BTW, a note that posts that overdo their passion or that make serious accusations without proof or make satirical observations that some could take to be serious (yes, that happens) are going to have a hard time getting through.

Anonymous said...

I am with 2:47. So glad the market is here and so glad to feel something besides concrete/asphalt beneath my feet. The grass should be a place to nap, sit and chat, enjoy a beverage during a concert. It makes this place better, not worse.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>The grass should be a place to nap, sit and chat, enjoy a beverage during a concert. It makes this place better, not worse.<<

Few would argue against this. And I certainly haven't. But we've lost grass instead of gained it, with the market.

Anonymous said...

The pressure walls are back? They're illegal! Someone should send this post to the FDNY!!!

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Well, the truck is back. Who knows? Perhaps the driver loves this spot because it's close to Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't the NYFD or (?) ever inspected these apartments for pressure walls? There are over 11,000, i'm sure they know about this?

What does the TA say about NYFD regulations for these walls?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Management has stated that there are no pressurized walls (at least the ones they put in). All walls are walls, the permanent kind.

Anonymous said...

Management has stated that there are no pressurized walls (at least the ones they put in). All walls are walls, the permanent kind.>>

Management are liars. We all know that.

Anonymous said...

When did these walls become illegal? Last I heard FDNY gave the OK to 1 wall in each apartment. Trust me, I'm not defending them I hate them, but I did not know they became illegal. There is one in the apartment directly above me. If you walk around ST and look into living room windows you can see these walls all over the place.

Anonymous said...

What does the TA say about NYFD regulations for these walls?

LOl...whatever CW Capital or Rose Associates tell them to say, Duh.

TURNDOWNMUSIC said...

DID YOU READ THE ARTICLE about the complex who abused the J51 tax credit?

Paid it back to NYC and all is well. No penalty, no fine and no stabilized housing back.

wow.