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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Seriously, Folks, What Do We Do?

So this morning I had two confrontations with dog owners.  One guy had his dog right in the middle of a flower patch.  As I was walking by, I told him his dog is not supposed to be there, so he smiles stupidly and sticks his tongue out at me.  Naturally, this caused me to hurl some choice words at him, and he stuck his tongue out again, which I answered back with even more choice words, and the smile was at least disappearing from his face as we parted.  The next guy had no leash on his dog, so once again, the scene developed into a verbal confrontation.

This was not a confrontation this morning, but...as I was walking by the guard booth a female dog owner had her dog leash extended almost right across the walkway, while nearby another female dog owner had her dog in "the garden."  I looked to the guard booth, and the guy sitting there had his nose buried in--yes, you guessed it--his cell phone, completely oblivious to anything going on right before him.

The above are just examples of relatively minor quality of life issues that grate, at least for me.  What pisses me off probably more is that Public Safety is so lackadaisical in enforcing anything in this complex. It's been that way for years. What generally happens is that there is an initial enforcement of the rules, but give it two weeks or so, and the rules seem to start evaporating, at least where enforcement is concerned.  Talking to Stuy Town's Security Chief, Bill McClellan, doesn't help either in the long term.  I've already visited him twice during Tishman Speyer's reign, basically with the same concerns and observations and suggestions (such as having Public Safety walk around the complex rather than sporadically drive around the Oval and loops).

Again, the above dog-related matters are relatively minor when compared with such issues as noise, non-working laundry rooms and elevators, and the garbage we see both inside and outside buildings. People's frustrations are at a high, as evidenced by the recent fiery Town Hall meeting with general manager Sean Sullivan.

The question becomes what can we really do in the face of these quality of life issues?  It's obvious that the landlord isn't too concerned about them (other than the bad press they may provoke), so we--the tenants who care--seem to be on our own, both as a group (the TA) or individually.  And I'm not looking for the answer being ownership of this place.  That may or may not happen (and chances are very good that it won't happen).  I'm asking about now, not some time in a nebulous future.

I hate to become a person who just doesn't care about PCVST, who just puts blinders on to make things less annoying or upsetting.  I don't think I can ever become such a person.  But I wonder how many of the more permanent residents of this complex who used to care have just given up.

So what do you do to keep sane and calm here?  That is, if you care about this place.

Meanwhile, here's a new rule:  Bike riding is now forbidden around the Oval.  The signs are up at all the entry points. We'll see about enforcement.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's Saturday morning, and the coaches and kids are screaming again, 13 floors down in Playground 10. WOO WOO! A 4 year old kicked the ball... EVERYBODY SCREAM!!!! And little Spot the dog is all happy - bark, bark, bark. I'll admit, it's freaky the way the noise travels up, down and around the Oval, but that's the world we've got here. And I must listen to every bit of it 13 floors above. I remember when weekend morning were lovely and quiet in Stuy Town.... Oh how I miss those days.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

You mean the commercial venture in Playground 10.

Anonymous said...

I saw a guard in front of Playground 10 stop someone on a bike a few weeks ago. I don't understand why bikes are more dangerous near the fountain than elsewhere, though.

As for how to deal with the dog violators, we could form a tenants patrol. In pairs or threes, we could station ourselves near entry points to deter outsiders. We could walk the property, stopping people before their animals do their business where they're not supposed to. We could photograph people who don't clean up after their dogs. With everything that Management hasn't done, vigilante enforcement seems to be what's left to us.

Anonymous said...

How about STPCV Citizens' Patrols? We'd need reflective vests (like crossing guards), whistles, and firm voices and conviction. Most important would be for people to actually show up for their shifts beyond the first week. Show PS how it's done. It could work...

Also, start taking pictures of the offenders. Post them on the new PCVST Pinterest page or on their FB page (Though you'll be banned right after they take them down). Send pictures to Sabina. Send them here (to STR) or to ESCAPE STUY TOWN... ANYWHERE that they will cause the greatest humiliation. [*NOTE: Remember to blur the faces of the humans but to leave all other identifiers (the dog & the scofflaw's clothing) pristine.]

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I saw a guard in front of Playground 10 stop someone on a bike a few weeks ago.<<

Last week, by what used to be Oval Film, a PS officer stopped two Asian delivery guys on bikes. However, he did nothing to regular ST riders.

Anonymous said...

Stuy Town Reporter: +1! I only wish it weren't true.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I've thought about a Stuy Town/Peter Cooper Village Citizens' Patrol, but I think it would quickly be banished by the landlord. And there'd be a hell of lot of confrontations that could escalate to fistfights.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Great minds think alike (11:24 & 11:28)!

Anonymous said...

How could they be banned? It's a constitutional right to assemble. With more than one person patrolling I think it unlikely to escalate to blows. Were it only one patroller, perhaps. With two or more, the embarrassment factor would be enough to cause the offender to correct their behavior and then slink away, hopefully chastened.

Plus, how would our group be any different than any other "club?" Would a CHESS CLUB be banished? A BOOK CLUB? This is a QOL CLUB. Can't really see the problem here.

Anonymous said...

Chief McClellan needs to do his job and make sure his officers do their jobs. Security officers with their eyes and concentration stuck on their cell phones is not acceptable. That is not what they are paid to do.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Plus, how would our group be any different than any other "club?" Would a CHESS CLUB be banished? A BOOK CLUB? This is a QOL CLUB. Can't really see the problem here.<<

This reminds me of something. A while back there used to be a woman who held Tai Chi sessions on the Oval Lawn. Her classes were small and FREE, a gift she was giving to a few Stuy Town residents. I used to speak to her on occasion. The last time I spoke to her, a year ago, if not longer, she said that management approached her, concerned about her classes. Management tried to get her to be part of the amenity system (possibly Oval Gym) and do things "legal." The inference was that her free Tai Chi sessions on the Oval were somehow not welcome and possibly against some rules.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday early PM, on the fenced off lawn just off the PCV road, near the water fountain where a lot of old people were sitting to catch some sun and in full view of the main security booth, a young male jogger hopped over the fence to sit on the grass and do his stretching exercises. On another day, someone else further down the road lifted her (leashed) dog over the fence so the dog can go just inside, on the grass. This week, in almost total darkness, 2 young men were practicing shots in the LOCKED PCV basketball court, in full view (so to speak) of the main security booth. This week, a woman comes with her leashed dog into the tiny confines of our laundry room (should we have to put up with dogs there too now? It's chaotic enough on most days in those pits we call laundry rooms in PCV). A couple of my neighbors habitually take their dogs off the leash as soon as they step inside our building. The rules are for those who obey rules.

Mark said...

How many years have we been having the dog and bike conversations now? I don't know why they pretend to have dog rules - or any rules for that matter - because they are either arbitrarily enforced, or not enforced at all.

I have a small dog, walk her on a legal leash - not the 20 foot invisible trip cord - and pick up after her. Almost daily I come across people who think it's OK to let their dogs, both large and small, run around off-leash. The worst area is where the tennis and bocce ball courts are parallel to 14th by Avenue C. There's a group of older residents who hang out there and let their dogs run free. "It's OK! He's friendly!" Friendly or not, if their 80 pound dog pounces on my 10 pound dog she's going to be severely injured. Of course when I remind them their dog should be on a leash they get hostile and tell me to mind my own business. My dog's safety IS my own business.

This attitude of people doing whatever they want, whenever they want takes away from what little sense of community we have left. We are 30,000+ people living right on top of each other. Have some respect for your community and neighbors, please.

Anonymous said...

If she wasn't charging, then she wasn't ILLEGAL. They simply tried to monetize her & were likely bullies about it!

Anonymous said...

STR, Regarding CWC's approaching the T'ai Chi Facilitator, specifically, and other matters, generally, I've included the following excerpts from the US Bill of Rights (US Constitution):

First amendment:
Protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, and assembly. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person's practice of their religion.

The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint.

The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message.

The right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression.

The right to assemble allows people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes. Implicit within this right is the right to association and belief.


Thus, we can have our little "club" with little fear of banishment. They haven't a legal leg to stand on. (Hippity hop...)

Anonymous said...

http://escapestuytown.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

You need the old-time women who were around when my son was a kid. If a toddler was on the grass, they'd terrorize the poor child. They didn't travel in packs. They were bold and outspoken and they acted and enforced rules on their own! They patrolled on foot and were more effective than Security is these days.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Around lunchtime I was passing through the Oval twice and must have seen at least five bike riders going through parts of the Oval. One guy was even on the Oval dirt path that's hedging the lawn! I didn't see one bike rider get off. Some enforcement! (As predicted.)

Anonymous said...

@STR, why that's SHOCKING! I say, simply shocking! (not)

Anonymous said...

Sad day- but we all saw this coming. The one issue that did us in - dog ownership- where rules are not followed or enforced. I go out n can get into 3 arguments within 5 minutes. What to do??? Not sure but something needs to be done now. The conversion is unlikely any time soon n we must address QOL issues so we are able to enjoy PCVST . The beauty of this place is fading quickly. We must resuscitate it!!!! Maybe a patrol is the answer or a meeting with Security???? We must move fast before the demise of STPCV .

Anonymous said...

STR keep up the good work. You are our only help. Let's try to get more people on this site. Thanks STR .

Anonymous said...

Nothing is going to improve unless the tenants organize some action. that is simply the obvious truth

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>STR keep up the good work. You are our only help.<<

Thanks, but I'm just a guy with a blog. The TA is the only help, I think, but even they are limited in what they can do.

Anonymous said...

Dear STR. I feel your pain. Looks like the powers that be are finally getting to you too. Take a deep breath. There's really nothing much we can do. Remember, they OWN this place. It's their ball. They can do whatever they frigging want. Don't let these guys give you a coronary or a stroke.

Take a walk over at the river. Laugh at the idiot inconsiderate a-holes that live here.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

STR at least Escape Stuy Town is up and running again. Perhaps they can lighten your blogging work load.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Re: a "citizens' patrol"... Here's why I don't think it would work.

Example: There are two guys who walk their dogs into Stuy Town from 1st at the 1st Avenue Loop. Sometimes together. They look similar to their dogs. At least one of the dogs is a pit-bull/pit-bull mix. They come into Stuy Town just to walk their dogs and have them take a crap on the property. (I don't know if they clean up after their dogs.) Okay, so now you have a citizens' patrol waiting at the edge of Stuy Town. One of the members of the patrol states to these dog owners that only PCVST registered dogs are allowed in the residence and that, furthermore, pit-bulls/pit-bulls mixes are not allowed whatever the case. The dog owners reply: "Fuck you/Mind you own business/What's it to you/Whatever" and proceed into Stuy Town. What does the citizens' patrol do then? Take photos? Call Public Safety and wait till Public Safety arrives on the scene, if they arrive at all?

And what's the aftermath if PS does get there in time? The same dog owners come back the next day, and now they are pissed at the citizens' patrol. "If I see you again, I'm going to get you, motherfuckers!" shouts out one of the enraged dog owners, his pit-bull edging toward a kneecap. What does the citizens' patrol do then? Take photos? Call Public Safety?

You see, a citizens patrol has no power, no teeth. To even be minimally effective it has to involve Public Safety, which may feel that a citizens' patrol is encroaching on its territory and an insult to its own quality of patrolling.

Someone should approach Chief McClellan and see what he thinks. My bet is that he'll brush away the need for such a citizens' patrol. CWCapital certainly wouldn't go for it, as it would be bad publicity for residents to need to patrol the property themselves.

Commentator 12:06PM is right: It is Public Safety that needs to do its job. The PS officers are the ones trained and with authority, not residents of the complex. And if there's too little of them (weren't some laid off a while back?) then more should be hired, because the complex is woefully understaffed with them, it seems, or else a bunch are taking some longtime breaks in some building.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Take a walk over at the river. Laugh at the idiot inconsiderate a-holes that live here.<<

I jog and go to the gym to release the stress. And do a few other things. ;-)

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>STR at least Escape Stuy Town is up and running again. Perhaps they can lighten your blogging work load.<<

The more, the merrier!

Anonymous said...

How long is management going to take to fix
the clock inside playground 12?

Anonymous said...

I loved living in PCV, but I have to say that at six weeks post-move, I feel it was the best possible decision.

Here's the thing about warring with rule breakers: Never start a war you're not willing to do ANYTHING to win. I wouldn't take my chances against a-holes with pitbulls.

My suggestion would be simply to get out. The writing is on the wall and things have shown no sign of improving. Life's too short to live in a battleground. I've never slept more peacefully since I left PCV. (And no, I don't think I'm entitled to cheaper rent than anyone else in this city.)

Anonymous said...

I stay sane and calm because 3/4 of what you complain about doesn't bother me, in the least. I live in NYC and this is exactly how I want my neighborhood to be.

Anonymous said...

If one of you came up to me and wagged your skinny finger at me, I'd laugh in your face.

Anonymous said...

When you see what a total drip we have for a Property Manager, it's no wonder "Security" are an apathetic, lazy bunch. Chief McClellan really should make sure they do their job, but they probably have very low morale, considering there have been lay-offs and they are dealing with idiots who really need babysitters or dorm nannies.

Anonymous said...

The security people need to enforce the rules, it's the only way. Word would quickly spread around if people start getting summonses and warnings. I know for a fact that when Mr. Adam Rose was alerted by a resident that dogs were being allowed to urinate against our front doors, he posted security officers a few yards away and put a stop to it. Other dog walkers were tracked to their apartments and an officer knocked on the door and told the dog owners to be decent neighbors. Another dog owner was given a summons for letting her dog off the leash (the security officer was on "dog duty" nearby, that's how brazen some dog walkers are!!!!). When this started happening, all within one week and all in the same area of PCV, word got out quickly and everyone in this area was suddenly behaving. I now miss Adam Rose.

Anonymous said...

A citizens' patrol can inform outsiders that they're not welcome here and can take photos. In a perfect world, photos of anyone who doesn't clean up will create a file that PS can refer to. A citizens' patrol can call PS to alert them and give descriptions. Even if PS doesn't respond all the time, the report will send a message to offenders. With time, repeat offenders and outsiders may decide that coming onto our property isn't worth the hassle. Right now, the inconsiderate dog owners know that they can do pretty much what they want with impunity.

Anonymous said...

I am a frequent visitor to Waterside Plaza. I am always amazed how well run the place seems to be. Security is very visible and they go into action very quickly. I have even seen them go after kids who were being too loud while playing in the plaza. Anyone who loiters or "hangs out" on the foot bridge is quickly asked to move along. No dogs and no bicycles allowed. The few run-ins with security that I witnessed did not involve arguments or back talk with security officers. Reminds me a lot of how STPCV used to be. Things in STPCV aren't hopeless; security needs to be allowed to go into action. The laws and rules are there, all they need is enforcement. On top of foot and car patrols, cameras and card keys make culprits easily traceable. Things can be controlled, the will has to be there.

Anonymous said...

Can someone, please, repair the clock in playground 12 ?

Anonymous said...

Waterside Plaza is a gulag. The apartments are nice and quite roomy inside, but it is a cold and sterile concrete landfill, detached from the rest of the city. I will say this, their laundry rooms are vastly superior to ours. But they are not affordable anymore--they opted out of Mitchell-Lama over ten years ago, so it's quite expensive. Like any high rise door man building.

Anonymous said...

Outsiders ARE welcome on the property. It's not a gated community. I used to walk through and sit here all the time before I lived here.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I don't know about how much outsiders are welcome to use the property, but you are correct in that it's not a gated community and anyone who is in here should be obeying the rules.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you're saying STR. However, the problem with these self absorbed, idiot dog owners is not as difficult to solve as you may think. All one need do is introduce consequences and, as has been pointed out by others already, there currently are none. This is why I'm a bit perplexed by your resistance to a conversion. It's really the only hope we have (admittedly, there are no guarantees). Allowing dogs in the complex was indeed the worst possible decision ever mad here and one that we will probably never fully recover from.

Anonymous said...

There's an article in the NYP about the titfest in Playground 10. What is it about the word "Playground" that these women don't understand? It's a playground for children, not a spa. In most playgrounds around the City, adults without children are not allowed in. Do these women have pedophilic impulses inasmuch as they like to show tit and ass to little kids? It's a children's playground for crying out loud. Get the fuck out of it, tramps!

Tommyboyardee said...

I intentionally make the bikes come to a stop, however how can one enforce rules when the biggest violators are the service men in golf carts, earth movers, street vehicles.

Regarding the noise from children playing in playgrounds, dogs barking, organized events sanctioned or not, these complaints come off as petty. If young ladies wish to suntan in an open playground meant children's sports, perhaps a few balls to the face will make them move. Perhaps an older pervy male tenants group that can stand and leer at the sunbathers, cameras are welcome

Anonymous said...

Seems like you just need to chill out. Some rules are a good thing, but I think you are far too conscious of them and who is breaking them. Instead of getting upset why don't you take some deep breaths... try yoga or meditation. Have you heard the expression "live and let live?"

Stuy Town Reporter said...

"Live and let live" is the excuse of people who have given up caring or who never cared in the first place. Anyone can get a free pass with the "live and let live" excuse. And, yes, I'm well aware that our problems in PCVST are not ones equal to the traumatic issues of life, but they are important in terms of Quality of Life. I don't want to be woken up at night because of noisy neighbors, I don't want to dodge piles of dog crap as I walk about the complex, and I want to enjoy flowers and plantings that are not trampled by dog or man. "Live and let live" is not an option.

Anonymous said...

@5:16PM, oh right, yoga, meditation and cheap philosophy like "live and let live", that will make it all better. I'll try your advice next time I accidentally step in some dog poop.

Anonymous said...

Majority of Public Safety officers are NYC Special Patrolmans. They have the right and are trained to make arrests and write summonses for numerous things such as bike and dog laws. The problem is even though they have this ability management and head of public safety frown on giving residents a hard time let alone a ticket. Public safety has to eat shit no matter what. Me personally can't get mad if an officer is on a phone here and there. Cell phones/Smart Phones are apart of society now. NYPD cops are always on the phone either while driving or on foot so can't break public safety's balls over it. Overall though at least for the oval area they do need more officers. 1 officer at the booth can't see the entire oval area and see every bike and dog violation. Hire more and pay them more and they'll maybe be more stricter.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe the controversy over playground #10. Since the lawn has been unavailable to tenants who might want to take some sun, I find it incredible that moms are up in arms about women in bikinis. No wonder why American men look at women as sex objects if their mothers are so uptight over their boys seeing a women's body Maybe these mothers should be raising their children to admire the human body. I just witnessed a young mother taking her young boy to the corner of the playground fence and allowing him to urinate through the fence into the bushes. And a young recreation worker told me someone had their child urinate in front of him. As a women I find this more disgusting and offensive than a bit of a breast being revealed to the youngsters.