Comment Policy

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.

NOTE: Comments reflect the opinions of the person writing them and should not be assumed to reflect the opinion of the blog. Because of the anonymous nature of the commentary, specific agendas can be pushed by a sole individual and may not reflect a more popular belief by the residents of this community.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Finally

























With the legality of the Stuy Town Greenmarket codified (yeah, I know) and, more importantly, with the prepping this complex is starting to get for an auction (to happen sometime in the future), work has begun on upgrading the ugly dirt patch along the southern end of the Oval park grounds that hosts, once a week when the season is right, the market.  As I wrote in a comment recently, it's time for residents to sit back and watch and possibly enjoy the show, as we will be seeing more changes, hopefully all positive, to PCVST.

Meanwhile, Playground 10, which housed the ice-rink, is still closed for "maintenance."  It's been about half a year since this popular playground has been used as a playground.



UPDATE: A reader sent in photos of the work that's progressing at the greenmarket area. Gravel, for one, is being poured over the ground, while pipes (drainage, electrical?) are being installed underground.



 The reader also added this musical commentary:



ANOTHER UPDATE: Rumors that the long patch of gravel will now be called "Dan's Way" or "Garodnick Boulevard" are unfounded.

A NEW UPDATE: Word is that the auction of PCVST is not coming any time soon.  We could be looking at something years in the making, after all legal stuff and arrangements have been settled.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

PCVST Living Photosets

















Official photo sets of our complex:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/61203979@N05/sets/

Looks very pretty!  BTW, one thing that I've noticed with my own eyes, and not just in going through these photos, is that many of the amenity indoor events (such as those that take place in Oval Lounge) are attended by older residents and seniors, sometimes exclusively so.

There's a "College - Apartments" set, too!  (And "College - Overview," "College - Amenities," "College - Neighborhood.")


One of the College Amenities....



Oh, and there's an "Oval Cafe" on the way, already rumored from the "refreshing" being done to Oval Lounge.

UPDATE: There's been some commentary about the carpeting that's shown, or not shown, in the official photos of PCVST.  The rule in PCVST is that all apartment areas, excepting bathrooms and kitchens, must have a carpet covering of 80%.  I checked the first photosets page and found only one photo that did not show a carpet.  See first photo below. All other photos I checked randomly showed carpeting, usually more than ads from Tishman Speyer used to show.





Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stuyvesant Town Newsreel


In case you haven't noticed, one of the sidebars on this blog is a Stuyvesant Town Newsreel.  Today's newsreel offers us two bits of interesting info.  The first is that the Oval concert events (which may or may not be open only to "residents and their guests") is already being promoted outside of Stuyvesant Town.... Check out this post at the Brooklyn Vegan website, titled "Blitzen Trapper tour includes a free NYC show in Stuy Town." The second interesting news informs us that Adam Rose, our manager, is armed and dangerous--at least only to bad guys and not, hopefully, to tenants.  The website Algemeiner carries a brief article--"Armed and Generous: The Jewish 1% Who Are Packing Heat"--and names Adam Rose, among a few others, who are "permitted to carry a loaded weapon around New York City."  (Not that he does.)  A New York Post article, the basis for the Algemeiner article, gives more names, including actors Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keitel, and Donald Trump and two of his sons. If one day I disappear suddenly and am never heard of again, check a smoking gun.  (That's a joke, folks!)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fencing Goes Up in Stuy Town

It's interesting idea, and some residents (concerned about the look of the grounds) have advocated it, so now Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village are going to get new fencing around many (?) areas.  I took a walk yesterday to see the work that's being done on the southwestern portion of Stuy Town, and came away with mixed emotions.  On one hand some type of fencing needed to be done so as to prevent residents and dogs from tramping through the garden areas (with the dogs relieving themselves in those areas); on the other hand, the fencing that's being put up is problematic for a number of reasons.  Since it's wire fencing, it doesn't look as handsome as chain link would, though chain link fencing would probably be too low to keep away residents and dogs. (The wire fence is about three feet high.) Also, the wire mesh that's used can be a bit unwieldy in putting up. A tour of the fencing confirms that the posting and the fencing have been done rather sloppily in places.  The following photographs show a job not that well done, with posts at slanted angles and the wire meshing bulging this way and that:








 Also seen in this area is white rope fencing, which I hope is temporary because it looks HORRIBLE:



















This is the way the fencing should, in general, look, with posts set relatively straight and the fencing visually unobtrusive:



















Just as it saddened me to see a fence turn up around the main Oval grass area, it also saddens me to see this new fencing, but the need for fencing is apparent when certain residents refuse to follow rules by keeping themselves and their dogs off the grass areas where they are not meant to be.  I see no other solution.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Green Market In, Food Trucks Out


As readers may know by now, the Green (Farmers) Market is returning to Stuyvesant Town in its previous location at the southern edge of the Oval grounds.  According to this week's Town & Village newspaper, the market "will go from being an event that's been open to the public to one that's for residents and their guests only."  Our councilman Dan Garodnick, who promised last year to work with management to place the Green Market in an area that would meet what was then considered proper zoning regulations, sent a letter to Amanda Burden, Director of the Department of City Planning, stating that "he considered the matter closed after working with CW Capital to find a way to bring the greenmarket back without its use being considered commercial activity."  Garodnick has had talks with both the Dept. of City Planning and the Department of Buildings, and has come to the conclusion, according to T&V,  that the zoning laws prevent "open commercial use" of residential property, but that "limited commercial activity in residential areas that are designed to serve as an 'accessory use' for residents and their guest only" are allowed.  At least now there is clarity (hopefully).

While certain readers may be disappointed in the obvious sidestep here, I am not averse to having the Green Market in its former place, as long as something is done aesthetically to the area it occupies one day a week. When the Green Market is gone for six days out of the week and permanently during the winter/early spring season, that area looks dismal, depressing and slum-like. It's also a haven for dogs to relieve themselves, so the sanitary conditions for placing food there seem suspect. Apparently management has looked into a solution, but nothing yet has emerged to rectify the situation.

Of course, readers will pick up on the tired old tale of activities being open to ST/PCV "residents and their guests."  We all know by now that Public Safety does not card people entering Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper (this complex is "public access," after all), and that outsiders have taken full advantage of the summer events here, as well as the Oval grounds for sunbathing.  I'm not that sure that outsiders really take advantage of the Green Market, however.  It's a small market, after all, and I don't see Lower East Siders trudging up blocks to pick out limited fresh organic produce or meat.  I could be wrong, however, and will check when I can. ;-)

In order to keep to the spirit of the law, CW Capital will not "market" the market as a public event. Expect to see signage that refers to the market being for "residents and their guests only."  I do have to note that at least one of the companies that will be at the market is promoting the Stuy Town market on its website in a way that suggests an invitation to outsiders.

The really good news is that the food trucks, which plagued that area of the Oval, will not be returning, except for special events.  In T&V, Garodnick commented, "There was just a level of concern that it was unsightly and made the Oval feel more commercial with corporate logos."  Dan must be reading this blog.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stuy Town Redo, Part 2 or... Wake up, TA!

Our Tenants Association and Councilman Dan Garodnick have put a lot of energy into the concept of tenant ownership of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, voicing an assured observation that surely now, with the real estate market in a slump (sorry, the slump has passed in Manhattan already) and a heavy debt leaning on the property, CW Capital, the company that represents the senior lenders in the first sale of this property, will want to eagerly jump on the opportunity being offered by the partnership of the Tenants Association and Brookfield for a tenant/Brookfield buyout of ST/PCV.

CW Capital, meanwhile, has remained impassive toward these approaches and is forging ahead on a master plan. Take a look at what's happening around here to get a clue as to what this plan may be.

Along 1st Ave., store fronts are getting a do-over:



There's significant grounds work being done at this moment in the south-western part of Stuy Town, surely foretelling what's going to happen elsewhere:









A push is being made to promote the complex's official social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and present a sunny outlook of ST/PCV for all the world to see:



And the Oval Essentials/Amenities are getting "refreshed".....



Oddly, many of these changes are being made on relatively recent changes...like when this property was being prepped for the auction block by MetLife. So this is Stuy Town/PCV Redo, Part 2. And if you think that CW Capital is putting all this money and effort into the property so that it can hand it over on a silver platter to the TA/Brookfield, I got all the bridges in New York to sell to you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What Zoning Regulations?



From the April 12 issue of TOWN & VILLAGE, Sabina Mallot reporting:

"Although the issue of zoning for commercial activity in the Oval at Stuyvesant Town was hotly debated as the weekly greenmarket concluded its business for the season last fall, the market is scheduled to return this spring.

"Farmers who spoke with Town and Village this week said they expect to return to their tents in the complex and a spokesperson for CW Capital confirmed that the market would be returning, and in the same area."

Read more in this week's issue of T&V. The newspaper tried to get a comment from Amanda Burden, the Director of the Department of City Planning (whose review--"advisory opinion"--stated that the Farmers Market, as well as food trucks, were not zoned for use at their usual spots on the Oval), but the phone call was not returned. Dan Garodnick, who offered to work with CW Capital and management to find an appropriately zoned place for the Farmers Market, was not approached for a comment apparently; neither was the Tenants Association.

The market will open earlier than usual it seems, beginning May 6 and continuing till November 18th.

UPDATE: Well, this is going to be the excuse (or the legal reasoning): The Farmers Market can be in the Oval, as long as it's an "accessory use" for residents and their guests. If it's promoted for outsiders to come in, or if outsiders use it, one could say the Farmers Market is not zoned for that use. So, I guess the powers that be can put in a bowling alley in the middle of the Oval, and as long as only residents and their guests would be able to use it, at the exclusion of outsiders, everything would be okay. Now I understand how zoning regulations work.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Just gettin' the word out to Stuy Town residents and their guests. Don't forget, we live in Manhattan....





ANOTHER UPDATE!: There's been some confusion about what Amanda Burden, director of the Department of City Planning, wrote in her response to Dan Garodnick's query about commercial activities and zoning in Stuyvesant Town. Here is a link to the Tenants Association post on this issue, which itself has link to her letter. On a side note, I may have made this mistake as well as others, but the Department of Buildings did not make an initial ruling on this. Garodnick was supposed to follow up his letter to Burden with a similar one to the Buildings Department, but a response has yet to be made public. Based on my query today to Gardonick's office, the "accessory use" concept may have come from communication with this department.

Monday, April 9, 2012

How Are Things Going?

First off, thanks for the messages about missing this blog. It seems like only yesterday (well, a week maybe) since I took a break, but I see that it's been much longer. I wish I could say I missed posting on the blog, but I didn't, and even now I'm kinda dismayed at starting up again because I already feel my posts will be negative ones, as I've seen nothing to particularly uplift me about this place for the last several weeks. Nothing has worsened at least. The bottom line is that money rules here, and there's just little of it for maintaining the grounds in an aesthetically pleasing way. I'm chiefly concerned about the grounds (forget about the fool's gold of tenant ownership here), as it is our park-like environment that makes Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper distinctive. Not the gimmicks that are thrown up now and then for show and a pleasing photo promo on Stuy Town's official website or commercial.

On the good side, there have been numerous tulip plantings about the complex....





And trees that were already planted years ago are blooming, or beginning to bloom, nicely...



But other areas of the complex are pathetic. I don't even know why this is cordoned off by string. Do we expect to see something beautiful arise here or has the Miracle Gro run out?



There are many areas around the Oval buildings that are nearly bare of any plantings or trees. Is something going to happen here or does it just stay like this? (I would at least suggest cactus at this point.)



The central Oval grass/plant area has been diminishing through the years, with the latest diminution being a result of the cute white guard booth put in last year. Because the field of vision from it would have been blocked by the plants/trees that were around it, those plantings were cut down and now we have more bare space:



And don't get me started on the disastrous, slum-like appearance of the earth dirt area that housed the weekly Farmers Market (which I'm sure will be back in the same place, despite the area not being zoned for a commercial enterprise).



At least the pleasing activities on Easter were geared toward families, and the hope is that their promotion will attract more families to rent here, but I do have to state that the band that was playing was dreadful or at least the sound system was awful. Why is noise the prime factor in selecting music to accompany an event in Stuy Town? The aesthetic in choosing what music is played (if it has to be played) is completely missing.

I did head over to Tompkins Square Park on Sunday and, as you can see by the following photos, the grounds-keeping there is--surprise, surprise--better than what we have. Their Miracle Gro hasn't run out.















BTW, I'm just catching up on the backlog of messages.