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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 26, 2013

PCVST's Newest Amenity

Can't say this is a surprise....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

If things aren't depressing enough....

An article in today's WALL STREET JOURNAL laid out CWCapital's plan for PCVST.

In a nutshell:

1) Hold onto the property for as long as possible, as CWCapital takes in huge fees for running the complex. ("CWCapital takes in $625,000 a month from overseeing the asset, with fees totaling $26 million since it first became involved in 2009.")

2) Keep on raising rents to make the purchase of the property more seductive to possible buyers. ("CWCapital believes it can raise rents on some units, boost the project's income and get a higher sales price, said the people familiar with its strategy. The company believes that process will stretch at least into 2014.")  The churning of apartments for ever high rents means a concentration on temporary student housing and the packing in of students into divided rooms to attain the highest level of rent. 

3) Sell when both numbers 1 & 2 have been suitably maximized, though a time limit is probably of import here.

So, where is affordable middle-class housing in all this?  Well, it's being systematically eradicated, with Mayor Bloomberg not on our side at all, and our councilman, Dan Garodnick, offering up the same-old, same-old tenant purchase of the property plan that will, if actualized, also eradicate affordable middle-class housing, though probably on a less speedier track. (If you think we already have serious divisions in our community, wait till the introduction of condo owners comes into the mix.)

I know I've said this several times before, but let me repeat it:  How is it legally possible for a landlord to divide up apartments with partitions/walls and have work orders state that there is NO change in occupancy? (Sample here.) How is it possible that the spirit of rent stabilization is being raped by the landlords, current and past? (What a cruel joke that the churning of PCVST apartments is happening to, yes, "rent stabilized" units.)

I just don't see why certain companies are not being sued, why certain people are not in jail, while the only ones left to suffer for the actions of these companies and individuals are the tenants themselves.

Shame on those who could have done something, but did nothing. And are still doing nothing.

Those who can't access the WSJ article can find it in a commentary on the TA Facebook page: 

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Meanwhile, this is how the luxurious Peter Cooper Village is looking these days.  (Thanks to a reader for the photos.) 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Not to Worry, PCVST, Our New Amenities Will Make You Happy

Dear Peter Cooper Village resident,

Have you been down in the last few months because of the lack of a laundry room or a proper garbage disposal facility?  Have you felt a growing sense of despair when you walk outside on a joyous spring day and instead of seeing lovely blooming flowers and ever-expanding greenery, you see mud and huge bins that contain who knows what inside them?

Well, not to worry, because this is the latest update from your landlord:

Hurricane Sandy left extensive damage in its wake throughout the tri-state region, and the impact on our community was particularly severe. Our team continues to work each day to restore the PCVST community to its full capacity. In addition to our restoration work, residents should expect other post-Sandy improvements that will benefit the entire community . We are exploring new possibilities for amenity facilities aligned more closely with resident needs. 

We are working to identify ways to expand our ever-popular Oval Kids programming, and are preparing to begin the re-construction of our Fitness Center. Oval CafĂ© re-opened in April in time for the spring season and has a new and improved menu that we hope everyone in the community will enjoy. 

We ask for your continued patience as we work to fully rebuild from this historic disaster.

Please don't ask if the expansion of the "Oval Kids programming" will mean free stuff for ST/PCV kids.  (BTW, I smell the intrusion of Stuy Moms here.)

The update also includes info about the forthcoming "Spring Carnival" that "will welcome the spring season...on Sunday, May 19th."  Curious, because spring arrived on March 20th this year, while summer arrives on June 21st.  So, the Stuy Town/PCV "Spring Carnival" is actually much closer to the summer than the spring, which we will have had for two months when the landlord (and Lady Maya) welcomes the spring season!  Now that's just plain screwy!

There is some good news, however:

This summer you may notice a change from last year largely based on feedback from our residents. This year we will have fewer outdoor concerts and will start Movies on the Oval earlier in the evening so they are more accessible for our younger residents and end earlier to limit disruptions. You will also notice expanded kids programming and new Community Center events.

Well, at least the Community Center events have to free. No?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stuy Town Squirrels - Our Friends and Neighbors for Decades

First, the middle-class is being displaced from Stuy Town/PCV, and now the squirrel, if certain Stuy Moms could get their way.

Breaking News: Under advisement and a certain amount of pressure from a cadre of Stuy Moms, management will water lawns, plants and trees with dog urine, as dog urine is, insists the group, a great fertilizer. ST/PCV dog owners are requested to bring their pooches to the newly constructed Stuy Dog Urine Station at Oval Cafe, where dogs will be assisted by cafe staff to pee against a special artificial fire hydrant that collects urine in a detachable reservoir attached to the device. The Stuy Dog Urine Station is for residents and their guests only.

Meanwhile, aware of the push to either starve ("no nuts for you!") or get rid of the squirrel population in ST/PCV, a group of the most aggressive squirrels, pictured below, are banding to form a "protection committee."

This could get ugly.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Lawyers in the Roberts Settlement Case Charged up to $890 an Hour

If you read the proclamations of joy coming in about court approval of the settlement of the Roberts case, be aware that the joy may be because the lawyers on the case were charging up to $890 an hour.  (This according to the recent Town & Village, who had this info on the last page of their lead-off story, "Court Approves 'Roberts' Settlement. Justice praises both sides for turning 'slug fest into love fest.'")  No wonder the lawyers weren't all that eager to get the case resolved as quickly as possible.  It's almost shocking that they still are not going at it.

I was not part of this settlement, but I do wonder how anyone can say with a straight face that the settlement does anything positive for affordable middle class housing and the sanctity of rent stabilization laws, which have been abused and raped by the landlords here ever since Met Life stock went public.  It's great that a portion of tenants will be getting refunds (average check: $3,200), but their newer rents may erase those refunds very quickly.  And paying $4,500 for a two-bedroom apartment is not affordable middle-class housing.

Once again, the people making out the best are the lawyers.  But you knew that would happen.

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I do have to note that our Councilman Dan Garodnick was pretty slimy in his official statement about the court approval when he wrote that there were "no objectors" to the final settlement.  Well, there were, but they eventually removed their objections, probably due to some pressure for them to do so or opportune "second thoughts."

Here's the objectors original contention:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Odds and Ends in Springtime

So, how are we doing?

Residents and their guests (or anyone else for that matter) can now partake of the Oval Cafe once again.  The patio seats and tables have been changed, slightly for the better, as well as some of the interior seating. Now it looks more like a pseudo-Martha Stewart stepped in, briefly, to oust much of the Kubrick design that was there before. Expect the students who can't use Oval Study anymore to fill up the seats here all day.  Free Wifi is being pushed, as well as a new menu that has, yes, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches!

You can also pick up your "loyalty card" from the Cafe.  Yes, it sounds somewhat Soviet Bloc totalitarian.

For you old geezers, you may want to sit outside because whoever manages the cafe has decided to have music played inside that no one over 25 will appreciate.  Bad move and surely distracting to any students doing homework, too.

And why does the poster artwork for the cafe show coffee that looks like mud or a mixture of concrete ready to be poured?  What an unappetizing, even disturbing, retching graphic.

Lady Maya must know something about the coffee being served at Oval Cafe, because she's been spotted, once again, picking up her java at Starbuck's on 1st Avenue, rather than partaking of the mud brew at the Cafe, which surely is just for the peasants and market-rate paying suckers living here.

* * *

It seems that there are quite a few familiar things in Stuy Town that are not working properly.  The place is falling apart, I tell ya!  The Oval Fountain, the pride of Stuy Town, has still not functioned since being turned off in the winter, though workers are trying to make a go of it.  Perhaps today the fruit of their labors will gush forth.

And the clock at Playground 12 is not working well either:

And don't even mention the persistent major troubles at Peter Cooper Village, post Hurricane Sandy. 

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Hey, another commercial activity spotted!  Yes, it's Super Soccer Stars coming to Playground 10.

Yes, pay your dues and then come one, come all (of Manhattan) to Stuy Town. No need to be a resident or a guest, it seems.  Older residents may remember the times when all sporting activities for PCVST kids in the complex were FREE!  But that's terribly old-fashioned and, just like lawns, not with the times.  Thank you, Councilman Dan Garodnick, for you flexible stance on commercial activities in Stuy Town!

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I realize that an editor wants the paper she's working on to have a lively Letters Column, but did Sabina Mallot have print that idiot letter from "Name Withheld," whose suggestion is that "in the interest of diversity, we should ensure that at least 10 percent of the customers of the farmers market reside outside of ST/PCV itself."  Yes, you read right.  Outside of ST/PCV.  This person is either a shill for management or the farmers market, a troll just trying to provoke or have a good laugh, or possibly someone with one screw in New Jersey and another in Staten Island.

* * *

So, the post office at 14th Street that serves the Lower East Side and Stuy Town (Peter Stuyvesant Station) is going to be banished some time in 2014.  This post office, with its rude, fat-ass, lazy-ass tellers and one Asian chic who can barely speak English (at least she's not abusive) is THE WORST POST OFFICE IN THE WORLD.  A nightmare whose entertainment value is limited to the comments it gets on Yelp.  I only regret losing the mail delivery person I have now, but probably the delivery people will be the same, just working from a different location.

There's an attempt afoot to save this post office, but I would only be for it if we could get rid of its unfriendly, unhelpful and unknowledgeable staff.  And you know that's never going to happen given the power of the Postal Union.  No private company would tolerate such workers, and we as the public shouldn't either.

Though it will be a hassle to walk to other post offices when necessary, it's good riddance to the Peter Stuyvesant Station, I say.  Perhaps, on its last day of operation, we should organize a celebration outside by the public it has mis-served.  I'll bring the champagne.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"In 2006, 28% of the apartments there were rented at market rate. Today it's 50%...."

Fascinating, yet depressing, interview with Charles V. Bagli, author of the just-published book "Other People's Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made".

The interview, as well as the book probably, really makes you hate the real estate people, banks and politicians who screwed up Stuy Town/Peter Cooper Village. I've stated this before, but I just don't understand why some people are not in jail because of what happened and what is happening.


The book is available at all fine book stores, and also for hardcover at $15.98 and for $14.99 Kindle edition.