The truth about a complex built for veterans and the middle class and how it has evolved through the years to become one of the more interesting and controversial of New York stories.
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Yeah, some of our residents will be happy, as will Blackstone and Rick and Company, but this is not good news for us tenants who have seen this city "blossom," with prices to match. Perhaps it doesn't matter to you. Fine. Life goes on.
Another part of New York City will be gone.
A Morton Williams will take over. Expect major renovation, closure, and an opening with special sale items to get us interested. And then expect, after a little while, the prices to go up.
We know what the answer is via Management: they are legal, at least within this community. But hold on. Doesn't the city say something different?
Most of us residents have been passed by a Club Car, going whichever way, with or against PCVST traffic. There is one usually parked off the Leasing Office to take people around if the apartment is a distance away or for some reason such as walking is too tiring. And we have seen Club Cars head against the traffic and even cross a red light on one of the "islands." (One would think that an island is already city property, as is the area between PCV and ST.)
One of my issues is with these Club Cars (sometimes called "Golf Carts"), which, btw, were never used in the "old days."
This is another region of the country, but:
"A golf cart is a vehicle with three or more wheels, goes only 15 mph,
holds only two persons and golf equipment. An electric cart, or
‘low-speed electric vehicle,’ is a ‘motor vehicle’ by definition used to
transport persons or materials. It can go up to 20 mph.... No motor vehicle can be driven on a public sidewalk. A golf cart is
only allowed on the sidewalk in the immediate area of a golf course and
then only to cross from one portion to the other."
What vehicles cannot be registered or operated on New York State sidewalks, streets or highways?You cannot
register or operate any of the motorized devices from the list below on
any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area in New York
State that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You may be arrested if
Motorized Scooter - a device with a
motor attached and a handlebar for a standing rider. An example of a
motorized scooter is the device called the Go-ped®.
- a small, motorized device with two wheels and created for off-road
use. A mini-bike doesn’t qualify as a moped, a motorcycle or an ATV.
Off-road Motorcycle (Dirt Bike)
- A motorcycle designed for use on off-road trails or in off-road
competitions. Unless exempt, these vehicles must be registered as an
ATV. See register an ATV for more information.
- a small, motorized device with four wheels, created for off-road use.
You can’t register a go-kart as a motor vehicle or ATV because a
go-kart doesn’t have the same equipment.
(also referred to as Golf Car or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) - a
small motorized device with four wheels designed to carry people. You
can’t register a golf cart as an ATV. Many low speed vehicles are
similar in appearance to a golf cart, and can be registered and driven
on New York State highways. 1
- a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted
bicycle doesn’t qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV
and doesn’t have the same equipment.
For a low speed vehicle to be registered in New York
it must meet federal motor vehicle safety standard 500 (49 CFR 571.500)
its maximum performance speed must be certified by the manufacturer
it must appear on the list of approved limited use vehicles
can contact NYS DMV Technical Services (518-474-5282, select option #4)
to determine if a particular LSV or LSVT is certified and approved.
I was up early today in the complex and checking things out, past 7am until around 8:40am. Today is the day that finally Blackstone and PS will actively address the dog lanyard issue (again). This is what is saw:
There were no foot patrols around the perimeter of PCV and ST. I counted 10 non-lanyards and 2 lanyards inside PCV. The PS officer inside the large booth at PCV was engrossed in a paper, probably the Daily News. I stopped counting lanyards soon thereafter. I did see a PCVST patrol car going up the 1st Avenue island a bit later, as well as two police traffic cars. These were near 14 St, where I was heading from PCV. Incidentally there is a gathering of dog-owners at the PCV "park"--south end, and the entire faux marble building entrances at PCV are stained with dog-urine. No PS presence when I was there.
Turning the corner at 14th, then going into ST at the Ave A entrance. I was not counting by then, but I saw dog owners with lanyards. I saw no one entering the neighborhood at that time from outside. Again no PS foot presence.
I sat at the bench near the PS office. One riding bicycle passed me by. No PS foot presence or awareness, though the bike passed by the PS office. I guess the monitors can pick him up, but so what?
I have photos, which I may post. Busy day, so things have to wait a bit.
Incidentally today is Friday, so parking tickets are being written along the 1st Avenue loop for a limited time.
I spoke to the Big Boss the other day at the "Oval Office" meeting (held at the Oval from 5pm to 6pm). By now, I think I've spoken to all the major bosses at STPCV.
So, in light of that and their understanding, I am closing this blog....
Ha, ha.... Fooled you on that one. This blog remains, of course. There are problems that must be addressed, though I'd love to just take photos of the flowers and present them to the readership. The "good news" is management is aware of these problems and is working on them or some of them. At least that is what is said, and we will have photos to prove or disprove it. Why the TA is not doing this, I don't know.
It is the policy of management not to have someone representing management on the blogs, or at least the official TA one. This policy I think is wrong. Having someone, not to battle with tenants, but to speak openly and truthfully, even if it is to say, "I can't address that right now" would do a lot to diffuse any situation. Residents need to be informed. Unlike the Public Safety officer I spoke to not too long ago, who was forceful about "social media" and that no one official goes there. Do know that management is at least aware of the TA Facebook and its comments. Even that knowledge is a big relief.
I recognize that it is not easy dealing with as many tenants that we now have. Even 5,000 less of years back can be difficult. But nothing is easy, and life can be difficult. I've worked in companies where some of the workers are just there to collect a pay check and nothing more. To them, the least amount of work is best--and a union will back them up. And, that was years go, before the advent of the cellphone.
On and off, I've been a member of Oval Study. (I actually do some of my best STR pieces from this spot.) Frankly you can throw all of the books out, as no one reads them, but people, and not just students, use this area to study or write. That said, the presence of the cellphone has done much to change the habits of certain help there. I remember a time (I think it was before Abigail Michaels entered the picture) where the "help" used to be senior citizens or close to them from this community. The place was run like a charm. No cellphones. Try that policy now: No cellphone while you are on the job!
While the help is different from person to person, I've found that some are more interested in the cellphone and their own communication than what happens outside, in the patio, which is their responsibility, not mine or the Oval Study members. Instead of engrossed by their cells and facing the other way, they should be checking to see if someone has sat in the patio to eat lunch or whatever. And the residents (maybe? who knows?) can plead ignorance all they want, but a very clear and large sign states that they have no purpose if they are not members. And you have clear and large signs taped on the tables, at least last year. A simple "Pardon me..." will do much. Yes, these residents will frequently respond: "Oh, I didn't know..." Though at least two very clear signs tell them not to be sitting there without going inside and showing their membership.
Much like this, the cellphone is used at the guard booth where a PS officer should be stationed. How many times have I seen a PS officer on his cellphone and not looking to check the lanyards or the bicycles running around his area, two big problems here. If I see that, others can see it, too. The idea becomes that PS doesn't care and is more interested in, here we go, collecting a pay check and nothing more.
I did an experiment a few weeks ago. I saw very visible dog crap, not picked up, by the "no dog" sign around the Oval pathway. I'd say about four hours went by and the dog crap was not picked up! Unless they were in their own head space, everybody must have seen it and no one called it in? Finally, after my "experiment" was over and I was back in Stuy Town, I called PS, but it shouldn't be me, a resident, to call. It should be the workers, porters, etc. of STPCV who are concerned and call it in. Four hours and counting! What about the unpicked dog crap, very visible, near the corner of 1st Avenue. Why should I or any resident call it in? What are the workers or porters doing? Collecting a pay check and nothing more? And what about these property managers, the small ones that are in charge of this building and that one? Where are they? Are they still around? Don't they see?
A portion of people will try to "get away" with not following the rules. It's been that way forever. (Jaywalking, anyone?--which I have done myself.) But it is up to the representatives of Blackstone--yes, from the lowest to the highest--to make sure that this property works for all of us.
Having trouble getting motivated or want to increase your
activity level for the summer? Asser Levy’s onsite gym and swimming pool has
personal trainers to help you reach your goal. Nicknamed “the Prison Gym,” your
personal trainer could be black or Puerto Rican, but that’s just to get you
motivated the Asser Levy way. If you don’t lift those 100-pound barbells, you get
laughed at and called a pussy. So stop by Asser Levy and talk some shit to the
guys in charge and you are in! Rates are real cheap, too, not like those for the
girlie men and little drama queens across the way in Stuy Town.
Also join us at McDonald’s, at 23 Street near 1st Avenue,
this coming Friday. We are partnering
with Belch and Feel Good, and will have live singing from the homeless who come
here daily to take up space and perfume the air. There will be a live, as
opposed to dead, demonstration of how to find an empty toilet when you need to
take an hour or two. Make a Big Mac part of your weekend routine.
It's has been a long time coming. We think. But this could be old, like from last year. Currently there is a screen shot of "Dog Registration Enforcement" in our community that could very well be an official posting or letter sent by Blackstone last year.
In which case--forget about it! The dog registration and lanyard policy has not been enforced.
This is the policy that has been posted on the TA Facebook the other day, May 4th 2017:
This is the policy of last year:
I will not address the 8,000 dog owner "stops" and PS's "full year of enforcement" yet, and I will not address at this point the "new" dog policy, if it is indeed new.
Just a moment ago, I heard the loud sound of a lawnmower cutting the grass
in front of one of the buildings. Which brings me to talk about noise, firstly:
As you know, this property is all about noise. Thankfully, I live in a relatively
quiet apartment with only the occasional click-click of high heels above me.
And, yes, I've gone upstairs. For me, it could be far worse, as my former,
former tenants (all guys this time) would come in at all hours of the night and
made sure that their neighbors heard it. They even laughed about the noise they
were making. They didn't care.
So noise, of the apartment kind, is variable. You can luck out or go through
hell. And all AirBnb should have adequate carpeting per one's lease. As far as
Public Safety goes, reports are that their response is variable, too. You may
get a PS officer coming over, but by the time he comes over the noise could be
gone. The rule is that a neighbor's noise has to be distracting inside your
apartment, so expect a visit from PS.
I did call PS recently for another complaint and they did come over
and listen to a visiting dog left alone in an apartment and barking away
But there is another noise: the noise of apartments getting "refurbishes,"
which includes the new placement of an air conditioning unit. This necessitates
a good amount of drilling. Look around, there are few apartments that have this
new unit below the window. This refurbishing will never stop. The noise created
is just tough luck for the other tenants. Blackstone, the owners of this place,
has to keep on going and drilling.
This leads me to Blackstone. I don't consider Blackstone my enemy. They have
a job to do and so they are doing it. And I have contact information for
Blackstone on my front page, and I will have more. That said, I've found
Blackstone not as responsive as I would like. I'm being nice when I write that.
On March 27th, I emailed Nadeem Meghji of
Blackstone (firstname.lastname@example.org), providing links to
a few pages on the TA and my blog that I had hoped would be convincing.
Mr. Meghji was very nice and friendly to us at the tenant meeting when
Blackstone got this place. I got zero response, however, so I emailed April
5th the big boss and CEO at Schwarzman@blackstone.com.Almost immediately, I got a response from Paula Chirhart at
Paula.Chirhart@Blackstone.com, who told me that she works with the public
affairs team and closely with the Stuy Town team. She promised to discuss my
concerns with the internal team. I have not heard again from Ms. Chirhart, but
I assumed something was said to the internal team.
Regarding lanyards, which per rule of over a year ago
will have non-lanyard people walked of the property (don’t laugh; that is what
is said), I have phoned Rick Hayduk once, no response, and I phoned twice last
week Jonathan Foux, the director of marketing at Stuy Town. No response,
either. I did the latter after I saw big photos outside the leasing office
proclaiming Stuy Town with these photos that go against or ignore the carpeting
rule. The receptionist inside the leasing office was nice, but instantly cold
when she found out what my issue was. I could have died right then and there,
and she would have done nothing.
Incidentally, before this, I spent a very frustrating
time on the phone talking to two PS officers, who insisted that the lanyard
rule was being enforced and that I didn't know what went on with the monitors
who followed the non-lanyard people. To say that blood was shooting from eyes
after this conversation is not far from the truth.
So far I have been at three of the 13 precinct meetings
for neighbors in the area. The chief of PS has been at all three, and Rick at
one. I presented photos which showed the ice cream truck on the corner of 1st
and 14 Street, this after calling 311 got me no place fast. Sometimes the truck
is there, sometimes it is not. I don't know how the truck can be blocking the corner view and have its engine running and
stinking up the place, but this has happened and I'm not satisfied with the 311
I continually see bicycle riding around the Oval and
non-lanyard dogs being walked, even by dog-owners who live in this property. I
will always admit when I see differently. I have seen PS around the Oval, but
not all the time and sometimes it takes a long, long while for one to show up,
if ever when you are there. I have seen PS stop a bicyclist, usually a delivery
person but this very infrequently. Typically to do that there are two PS
officers. My assumption is that they do not "harass" residents, but
just the Mexican or Asian delivery people. Again, very infrequently. And I have
seen PS officers give parking tickets every week or so around the loops.
This is just a report. I’ve not given up (fat chance of that happening) and will pursue
this, and other concerns, in the months to come. I've said this before and it
is important: Believe what you see and not what they (Management or PS) tell
you, as they are good at avoidance and telling half-truths. You know the truth.
I'm not saying that they are lying, but they have a job to do. Your job is different.
I'm sure to become a major pain even more. And all I want is the rules to be obeyed. Ideally, I am working for Blackstone (but not getting a salary). I doubt that they look upon it that way, or at least their representatives here.
It is amazing to me that no one from Blackstone, unless they do not want to read the Facebooks or sites that mention their name frequently, is ignorant of what goes on here, in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village.
But that is the word. "We haven't heard anything," or "Our PS department is aware and checking up on those who disobey the rules. Don't worry. Aren't the flowers nice?"
They (Blackstone and/or their reps here) wish any issues to go away, and for us, the troublemakers (so they think about us) to disappear.
But photos will prove that something is happening. And the city does have its rules. The push may take some time and some of it will not be successful. We, the tenants who care, are the David here and not the Goliath.
For your enjoyment (?) here are a couple of photos I took yesterday and today....
Update an hour or less later:
This came up for me, not only today, but the other day. Yeah, it's algorithm stuff, but still... What is being sold to me?
4/6/2017. Take only an interest in the "new" signs which were posted. Now, back to the old rules.
Posted the other day:
So, as of today, the new signs say that the Oval is be enjoyed. Apparently the lanyard rule (you know the one that says without a Stuy Town lanyard dog owners will be walked off the property) is still causing Public Safety some discomfort, as they never enforce it, BUT... the "no bicycles" riding around the Oval, which PS didn't enforce, is gone, though the old signs are still up. Yes, now you are allowed to ride your bicycle as long as it is at slow, safe speeds, a rule that is so nebulous as to be laughable.
So you may as well take things in your own hand--or rather management can take things in their own hand. They own this place!
So bike riding is permitted. I suppose dog shit and streams of urine are permitted too, as there is a lax attempt at enforcement. And watch out for those club cars! Speeding, laughing, the workers inside are having a good time getting from here to there, even if it is to the leasing office. Pedestrians (what's that?) beware! Outta the way! Blackstone is here!
I admit that a part of this is self-serving: I go to Associated almost daily. I go to buy the things I need to exist. I also go to Gracefully, and aside from their lunch (high-priced but still good), I don't buy their other food stuffs, which I find particularly high-priced. Nor do I have the credit card to take out and have this food stuff part of a bill I don't see until next month. And I see a lot of credit cards in Gracefully. A lot.
People in Stuy Town and vicinity are, generally, like me regarding Associated. It is not perfect, and the aisles can get very tight, and some of their fruits are high-priced, but you can't keep away the people who buy at the store. (See the threat of a winter storm and witness the stacks on the shelves quickly disappear.)
Associated is heading to be closed because the store can't afford the higher rent that is asked of it by Blackstone. The store is willing to pay more, but too much they can't afford. And, on purpose it seems, Blackstone is asking too much. Blackstone wants a higher priced store in there, one that will cater to their new demographic: young, wealthy, upscale. Associated doesn't fit that picture.
The loss of Associated is just one more step in the disappearance of the "mom-and-pop" store in Manhattan. Just in the past months I have seen these mom-and-pop stores close near me, even more than they did before. It is at a point where desperation seems to set in. Perhaps desperation is part of the plan. If you can't afford New York, what are you doing here?
But you're chosen the wrong person to play with. Something like this makes me more committed, not less.
I will not be banished. I will buy at a higher price what I had paid less for, but my money supply for other items is dwindling, as I'm sure yours is, too, unless you are wealthy.
The loss of Associated is one more step in the loss of New York.
I'm very tired of hearing how wonderful this place is and how the grounds are well-kept and how we, as tenants, should be thankful to Blackstone and Company. Being pissed off right now, I won't mention names. But I will show some photos I took this morning.
This is just a small sample, and covers just the walk I take in the morning/lunch time. The Oval Fountain area is a mess, with non-removable graffiti on the bench and beyond it, though the rest should come off with the rain. I saw a bicyclist riding around the Oval, too, and took a photo. There actually was a PS officer in the small booth this time, but did he say anything? No.The dog shit and reside dog shit stains are there to seen. And the urine streams. Remember, this is what I witness almost every day. Now you see it, too.
If you are like me, you have greeted another set of rules, called "courtesies," just like I have. I read the first rule, and then my eyes glazed and I went about my own business.
Once again, Blackstone and our dear Rick have decided to add more rules to Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. It would be laughable if it weren't so tragic by now. Of course, the rules that are posted already are basically ignored. Just in the last day or two, I have seen the bicycle rule of no riding around the Oval continually broken, the lanyard rule never enforced, and non-PCV dog owners walking past the occupied large booth in PCV while the PS officer inside ignores the dog owner, who goes out and past 1st Avenue to his home. Well, at least there is a PS officer in that booth, because in the small one at the Oval a PS officer is generally not around at all. And if he is, he is looking at his cellphone.
Aside from malcontents on the TA Facebook, the organization itself has done nothing.
Now if you and/or your family make a minimum of $84,150, you may be in luck! Your "affordable" Stuy Town apartment may be a reality, just check the details. And it helps if you have more money and maybe more occupants, but that's another story. (Quotes are not meant for editorial purposes, but just to highlight the advantages.)
Some of the work, I will do for you, being a nice guy.
Now what is interesting is that your lease demands 80% floor covering with a carpet. Don't forget, I am just reporting the facts:
The Five Stuy Cafe is lovely, but just be aware of the dog piss on the stone barrier, seen here, and the piss and refuse in the walkway.
Yes, it appears you can have wallpapering, just be sure to okay it with the landlord! Remember, when you move out, you have to take down this wallpaper and revert your apartment to its original state. There is cost involved, but, hey, you've got the money as someone who can afford an affordable apartment in Stuy Town.
Now a lot of what we see is taken by a drone. Oh, oh... This is what I read:
Remember the attention our community (troublemakers) has with a drone? Well, Stuy Town must have gotten a special dispensation because they are advertising, quite openly, "Stuy Town Drone Video" on their website. Way to go, Blackstone!
Anyway, hurry, hurry! You may have an affordable apartment in Stuy Town soon!