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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good:

Some of the landscaping is attractive. Of primary importance has been the fencing off of grass areas. Remarkably, a few months ago, several letters to Town & Village complained about this fencing, stating that children were not able to go on the grass as they had previously. I've never seen children play in these areas, but I have seen dog owners take their dogs in those areas, so I suspect these "think of the children" letters were camouflage for annoyed dog owners. That said, it is now getting to the point where the fencing is unfortunately overused, albeit still understandable. Fencing was even put up in the slopes around the 20 St loop, used during snow days as sled hills by children. We'll see how CWCapital deals with this Stuy Town tradition. Think of the children.



The Bad: 

In my tour of the western end of Peter Cooper Village, I had intended to only take photos of the landscaping, but came across a long series of doggie poo-poo along the path loop that's close to the Public Safety booth. My guess was about a dozen lumps and smears. One really had to watch where one was going. Disgusting. I've written about this before (many times), but it should be repeated: If CWCapital doesn't deal effectively with the dog situation in STPCV, this place will always look and feel like a slum.



The Ugly:

While there are areas where the landscaping is nice, the Oval area has suffered most with bad decisions and lousy aesthetics. There used to be nice foliage about the Oval, but now there is minimalist crap.



 I'm not impressed with the new landscaping near the main entrance to Peter Cooper Village. Pleasant hedges once surrounded the grass area, but now there is planting that appears spiky and harsh. The eye does not move along these plants with pleasure. The soul is not calmed, the spirit is not uplifted.

 
When I took this photo in the morning inside the new Starbucks at the corner of 23rd St and 1st Ave it was filled with students. I saw only one older person, proving that the complex has indeed become a dorm.  (These are not even "young professionals," as evidenced by the myriad of backpacks and casual attire.) The "ugly" part is not that, however, but the interior design of this Starbucks, which is sterile and dark. (The photo is brightened up with a flash, and the walls not seen are black.) The Starbucks lower down, between 1st Ave loop/16th Street, has gone through a redesign that is similarly ugly. Good for Dracula and Halloween, but cold and inhospitable, with a large communal wooden table that destroys one's individual space. Not a good place for STR to hang his hat and relax.


28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of the fences, and I hope they stay up long enough for all the new plantings to establish themselves and for the ground cover to spread. Although I miss all the grass, I see the merit in ground cover that's lower maintenance and discourages dogs. At least it's green, not brown and dying. I've seen small areas that have been bordered with cobblestones set on end, which should discourage PS from driving over them and leaving tire tracks--PS is the worst offender in PCV. They ran over every possible edge, destroying what little grass was left, leaving deep tire tracks that filled with water in storms. The old chain fences protected the grass from vehicles. Some of the landscaping is not inspired, but on the big lawn in the photo, an oak tree that came down in a storm (Irene, I think) was finally replaced. The area near the 22nd Street security booth is still pretty ugly, and I don't think there are plans to improve it. It remains to be seen how good the grass from the pellets looks when it comes in.

Anonymous said...

How does Starbuck’s interior design relate to the truth about this complex?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

1) Starbucks is part of the retail complex of STPCV.

and, most importantly,

2) this is my blog and I can write about anything I damn want!

Lois said...

STR! You rock!

Anonymous said...

LOL! You tell 'em, STR!

Anonymous said...

Stuy Town Reporter, your title The Good, The Bad and the Ugly was perfect for this post, and you broke it down perfectly.

I concur on most of your points, and fully agree that the new Starbucks belongs in your 'Ugly' category, as it is indeed a component of the retail complex of STPCV. You also said: this is my blog and I can write about anything I damn want!

Kudos to you... the Starbucks interior design does relate to the truth about this complex!

Anonymous said...

“I saw only one older person, proving that the complex has indeed become a dorm. “ CWR/CR should just add a “Hall” after every PCVST address and be done with it. BTW, did you all see that post on the official PCVST FB page, the sickening love letter about how wonderful the Oval CafĂ© is, how she called our community “the compound”? What are we, the US Embassy in Bagdad? What are the US Marine guards?

Anonymous said...

Well said, STR! It certainly is your blog and no one can tell you what you should or shouldn't write. If they don't like it, they can leave the same way the came!

BTW, I have seen people lift their pooches over the fences so that they can relieve themselves! We have such entitled assholes here!

Anonymous said...

"I'm not impressed with the new landscaping near the main entrance to Peter Cooper Village. Pleasant hedges once surrounded the grass area, but now there is planting that appears spiky and harsh."

When I moved to PCV, that large green lawn was bordered by ivy at the very outside, next to the paved path. Then TS ripped out the ivy and put in a yew border on the inside, along the trees. From the trees to the walkway was grass (for about five minutes). The lawn was repeatedly dug up for soil testing and never graded properly, causing mini swamps after it rained. Most of the yews kept dying and were ripped out, leaving gaps in the border. And the grass turned to dirt under the assault of dogs and pedestrians. It got to the point where people would move in by carrying their sofas and cartons across the lawn. This is a real improvement.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Mr. "How does Starbuck's interior design relate to the truth about this complex?" returned again, this time letting his feelings fully out. Curious that he keeps on trying to get his hater messages through with very little success, but he keeps on trying. A smart person would just give up and move along. Or perhaps start his own blog, if he has the will.

Anonymous said...

Where does Starbucks get off charging so much for coffee that tastes like it has been left on the burner overnight? I have never tasted such bitter, burnt coffee in all my life! They could use it to fill the potholes in the streets because it is like tar. Gimme a nice mug of Chock Fulla or Folgers any day, brewed at home at a fraction of the price Starbucks charges for its swill. I think these people pay for the "free" wifi and name recognition because they have more money than sense. In the NYC of the 70s and 80s there used to be loads of Greek diners that served up a cup of coffee (with refills if you really wanted to bounce off the walls) that made your eyeballs stand to attention and set you up for the day or revived you after a hard day. I miss those places so much. There was also a chain called "Zum Zum" which sold the best hamburgers in the world and the greatest coffee and it was inexpensive and the coffee shops had the greatest ambience. NYC has changed a lot over the last few decades, but that doesn't mean it has improved.

Anonymous said...

MetLife's groundsmen kept the property in tiptop condition with just those little chain fences and it was really beautiful here. I know that dogs were not allowed, and maybe that is why it was so nice, but we had respect for the property and were proud of it. Call me an old fart (and you will), but I really miss the days when STPCV was a jewel of a place and people were really proud to live here.

Hippo said...

The main issue is the lack of respect the transients have for the community not the interior design of Starbucks. If I were planning to live here only a year or two, I might not really care about my neighbors. After all I would be gone so what difference does my behavior make? I can deal with the dog sh*t, the piss an condoms in the stairwells, the noise at 2:00...love those booming basses, the clomping high heels on the rugless floors, but, please, have the decency to NOT leave your smelly garbage outside the carriage room doors for all to smell and see. The social contract has been broken. How sad! A little respect for each other people. It goes a long way.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I have a hard time with Starbucks coffee, even decaf. Harsh and bitter. They made a "blonde" roast that was milder. I get my coffee at Lenz's. $1 for a small size. People piss away a lot of money at Starbucks, and if you're a student one wonders where you get that money from--mommy and daddy?

Anonymous said...

The only shit stains I have a problem with are the really big ones: Andrew MacArthur and Brian Moriarty. The gruesome twosome have devalued this property by filling it with reckless, destructive college kids and stripped away the staff needed to maintain the buildings. Nobody in their right mind would buy this collection of flophouses.

Anonymous said...

STR: If you have a problem with Starbucks, don't go there! If you can't aford Starbucks, continue to get your 1$ cup of coffee at Lenz's. This is all about the "haves & the have-not's".
And you made it very clear to everyone which one you are. I am very proud of my parents. They are both professionals, worked hard in school, worked hard and long hours.
They did very well in life. I hope I can do half as well as they did. I will be proud to give my kids money for Starbucks coffe or anything else they may need or want.
You are such a little man!

Robert Oneill said...

STR,
I grew up in Stuy Town and have lived here 35/37 years. I'm also the owner of a dog; my wife and I always clean up after her and I share your frustration that *some* dog owners don't clean up after there dog. I would say this is the exception, not the rule. If I were to see one not clean up after their pooch, I would say something. The choice to allow dogs was made by Tishman; many including myself feel this is the only good one they made. My dog and I are here to stay..

Anonymous said...

"... this place will always look and feel like a slum. ..."

Really? I don't think this place looks or feels like a slum or anything close to it. But I agree STR that these images of unkept sidewalks are indeed BAD. CWCapital gets an "F" grade for sidewalk sweeping and cleaning as required by law of property managers. Stains, smears, and spills are left for days only to cook in the sun or wash away partially if it rains. Cmon CW - get on it.

Anonymous said...

First, thanks for this post. Perfect timing. Glad you've come over to PCV. Your documenting is great.
Second, please keep this up. I know all the interested real estate parties come to your site.
Third, I can see the PCV area from the guardhouse to the little fountain. Compared to how this looked under Tishman-Speyer, the new landscaping is a vast improvement. I look forward to the area being completely finished & all the old ugliness gone. I generally agree that a lot of the landscaping looks nice. I am greatly surprised and pleased at how much of the grounds have been fenced off. I think CW has seen that anything that isn't fenced off gets ruined by dogs & dog owners.
Last, yes...what you've shown is correct. Dog mess. Mess on the walks and in any area that hasn't been fenced off. There's a reason for this. While ST grounds were worked on, most of PCV grounds were not. So with all these open areas, people brought their dogs over here...like they were walking in the country. I've seen people from buildings west of 1st Ave between 22nd to 23rd, exit their buildings and make a beeline with their dogs straight for PCV. So I'd like to know...now that there are relatively few areas where dogs can relieve themselves (areas which could be watched), what does CW intend to do to ensure that dog owners follow the rules? Because clearly many of them don't.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I will be proud to give my kids money for Starbucks coffe or anything else they may need or want.<<

I see I hit a sensitive nerve.

Anonymous said...

" I will be proud to give my kids money for Starbucks coffe or anything else they may need or want.
You are such a little man!"


LOL ! Made my day... call us when you have enough money to pay your own rent !!

Anonymous said...

" I hope I can do half as well as they did. I will be proud to give my kids money for Starbucks coffe or anything else they may need or want."

Give them what your parents obviously did not give you: CLASS! You won't be able to, though, because you cannot give something you do not possess.

Anonymous said...

Some parents give their children anything they [think] they need or want because they haven't got the time, interest or intelligence to give them what they truly need - character, self-reliance, self-esteem and a sense of respect for others. These things plus a firm but gentle discipline, amount to LOVE. A child that was loved and felt loved would not make the kind of statement that 1:02 AM wrote. Shame on his/her parents. They may be successful professionals, but they failed as parents. To think that drinking Starbucks is the sign of being a "have" is really, truly pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Starbucks is not worth the money. The coffee is ok but the experience is comparable to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Anonymous said...

"This is all about the "haves & the have-not's"."

That's so funny! Can't figure out if this guy is serious or satirical. Maybe in some backwood places drinking Starbucks is considered a status symbol. But then, having matching shoes is considered a status symbol in some places. smfh.

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase “Rain Man”, Starbucks sucks! Of course, the transient, supported by their parents, hick Bro/OMG crowd, like that Anony 1.02 AM, loves their chain stores, as does Bloomberg and his sidekick, Amanda Burden. Jeremiah Moss’s Vanishing NY blog has documented this quite well.

“It makes sense that Yunnies would be attracted to the consistent and the gratifying. Chain stores like Starbucks and Walgreens promise both--the Yunnies always know what to expect and are rarely disappointed. The giant condo complexes they live in offer round-the-clock services and gratify their infantile needs.”

Anonymous said...

My goodness! A bit harsh you think? Shaming someone's parents for being successful and patronizing Starbucks? Oh maybe this person's comment was a joke? Weirrrrrdddddd .....

Anonymous said...

Much as I hate Starbucks' swill, I love the CEO of that company and his conciliatory views on the current impasse between the President and the repugs.