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.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday - September 17 - A Disaster?

Okay, several things happening. I don't want to post individually on the main page, so I'm putting all this together. You can make larger by just clicking on the photo.

I took my morning walk and this is what I saw:

This is a shot of my floor. The rugs are a disaster, as you can see. No matter how many times the floor is cleaned, the markings still come up. This is what I see every day when I leave my apartment.

I walk along the 20th Street Loop. It is already past 9am, closing in on 10am. (The "garbage" is still there at 11am.) This is what I see:

Now I'm at the jewel of this complex -- Peter Cooper Village:

Relief! Some nice flowers along the 1st Avenue entrance:

But, as I head back, I spot that Ess-a-Bagel uses motorized bikes to deliver. I knew this, of course, but this is a nice photo. (Looking at the photo, what else do I see? A fire-hydrant covered by the bikes.)

What else do I spot as I head inside? All over the new big signs telling riders not to ride their bikes inside the Oval is this new sign:

Yes, you are on camera and your life, photo-wise, is in somebody's hands. These signs can be debated legally, but, right now, whatever.

It's humid, so I go to Oval Study to work. (Yes, I periodically belong, as I have no AC in my apartment.) What do I find there? No ventilation! Inside, it is like a locker room, if not worse. So I drudge over to Abigail, the company that is responsible for Oval Study. The explanation? "You are the first person..." And: "I will inform somebody on Monday."


So I head back to my apartment. The front door which greets me every day:

Perhaps it's best to go to Chinatown today?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New BIG Signs Come to the Oval, But...

Here are some of the signs. You can't miss them. Impossible. Almost intrusive.

I figured that this was a good idea, as some are not seeing the original much smaller signs, or so they say. Plus, it is a shaming sign, so large....  So I waited a few minutes.... Two moving bicycles go by and the people head to Oval Cafe. I decided hell's bells, I may as well ask them why they passed the BIG signs that are now at all points of the Oval. I was nice and just doing my STR duty.

The response: Aside from one of them, the male, getting instantly belligerent, the response was because they, the bicyclists, are "defiant." A few other words were spoken, which I won't get into. ;-)

Anyway, I decided to walk around and check out the other signs. I saw two speeding bicyclists around the Oval, one of whom was a delivery person. The BIG signs were ignored.

Okay, so I'm about to head home and what do I spot? A woman leaving the Oval Fountain area...with her dog.

BIG signs, but I guess they are not working right now.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

September 12 - Polls Open for City Council

To use old Brooklyn talk, they are called "bums." Not all, but a lot of the politicians running for local office, and, for me, the ones who are running to replace Dan Garodnick in this district. I've had it with hearing and spamming from most of them. Yeah, I know the line. You are a smooth talker and have a response to everything, from "Yes, I agree with you" to "I'll look into it." I'm more than tired of politicians saying what the people want to hear.

Money for this, money for that. Quality education, affordable housing, the subways running well--we have all heard the talk and the talk keeps on coming. "A chicken in every pot" still works, it seems.

To remind people, it was the City Council who voted a hefty pay raise for themselves. They and the people who come after them are not going to give away that perk. You, as a citizen, are paying for it. Some citizens can well afford it, as they have lots of money, but some can't. If the news reports are right, a lot of people are living paycheck to paycheck, with no "nest egg" to keep them afloat even for a month.

Politicians realize this, but still they will smooth talk you and let you hear what you want to hear.

But take a look around. Is this what you like? If you have no complaints, you are wonderful and the kind of tenant a landlord would want.

But if you look around and see Quality of Life problems, if you see high-rise condos going up and up, if you see New York disappearing for the usual high-price non-NYC box, if you see the REBNY rule, if you see no solid TA, then you may have an issue.

Out of all the local candidates to replace Garodnick, I see only Barry Shapiro as someone who can fight for tenant rights around here. He has tried to deal with some of the issues and has posted on various blogs about them. I'm sure that Barry Shapiro has differences with me, but that is not why I would want him to win. I am assuming that mountains will not be moved, but a serious attempt will be made to move them. The other ones who are running are posers to me.

Maybe I am wrong, but that's the way it appears to me.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Small Favors

TG, that we have those carts that residents can use!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Fiasco

I'm going to write a new post here detailing what I consider "The Fiasco," which is the work stoppage, mandated by the DOB (Department of Buildings) at Peter Cooper Village, and the official explanations that happened afterward. Naturally, and not unusually, both the our TA and our councilman Dan Garodnick got on board as quickly as possible to make it seem as if they were the ones behind the work stoppage. I consider both of them to be worthless nowadays to tenants, but there they were, trying to shine the spotlight on themselves, rather than the high-level of noise and dust that tenants had to endure around the new refurbished apartments.

Update 8/24/2017:

While I will get to the Fiasco soon, I want to reiterate that Management is concerned primarily with filling these apartments and having these apartments filled with as many people as the can--legally, but that another story. In searching this blog, I went back in time and came across this, in February of 2016. The posted email is a response by General Manager Rick Hayduk to Barry Shapiro, who is now running for our councilman:

>>We'll be introducing a new process to identify registered dogs (see the attached photo) thus enabling Public Safety Officers to clearly approach offending dog owners. The registration will hang from the leash handle; clearly identifying the dog as registered.

If the dog is not registered by May 1; a summons will be issued at the point of contact. If we learn the dog owner is not a resident, they will be escorted off the property.

Yes, enforcement has been lax but in defense of our team, they would have had to stop every dog owner because the registration tag could not be seen. The new process will allow the rules to be enforced.<<

A "summons will be issued at the point of contact".... If the owner is not a resident, "they will be escorted off the property." (BTW, the May date is of last year. There was a similar warning this year.)

Who are you going to believe?  Management, Public Safety? Or your lying eyes?

The above message is an insult to everyone here, if they care. Perhaps some people do not care or don't want to be bothered. Blackstone and their representatives here are counting on that: a lack of caring. If few people care, Blackstone wins. If there is no TA or an inefficient TA, Blackstone wins.

Update 8/27/2017:

This is a long post, so bear with me.

The question of lying vs. incompetence has been raised. My impression is that the representatives here of Blackstone, and even the "big chief," have been lying to tenants. Now what is a lie:

According to the defintion (and I am using, but others will do also) a lie is a deliberate false statement with an intent to deceive. It can also be something intended or serving to convey a false impression. There are also other definitions, but you get the picture.

While calling someone a liar is, in my book, one of the worst things one can call someone, aside from calling someone a murderer, rapist, etc. You just don't call someone a liar and to their face.

However, unless there is the very fragile case made for pure incompetence (and one would have to ask why they are incompetent), it seems clear that Blackstone's representatives here are indeed liars. They serve one god: the god of selling apartments here. All other items--though I am sure these items they would like resolved--can take a backseat. Hence, the lie.

We as tenants have been lied to.

I've gone through many past postings and I continually see a landlord's lie. These lies are even posted on the TA Facebook by a few members. Unfortunately, the TA is remiss at dealing with these lies and the liars.

I will point out the various deceptions. But the lack of enforcement of the lanyard rule, a rule stressed by this complex's manager a year apart, has already been written about. Check above.

Update 8/27/2017 - same day

So I checked the work order downstairs on both the M and T levels. Before I get to that, let me repeat one email I sent. (I sent several.) These mails were CCed to various people. One of my recent letters was sent to these people:

Debra Sabatino, Michael Prince, Rick Hayduk, Stephen Schwarzman.... Apparently CCed by Rick was PS chief, McClellan. My message was mainly to reiterate that I had not found the current DoB postings on work being done on two floors. This letter was dated August 8:

>>Once again, I see no DOB filing for the work that is being done on 522 East 20 St. (3RD FLOOR). I believe that is the number. It has been 2 weeks, at least, since I was assured that new DOB filings were put in and were to be posted, but I've checked both the T and M levels even this morning and so far there is no up-to-date filings that include the 3rd floor.  And I believe the 1st floor also needs them, since there is already one apartment that has its door sealed with plastic.<<
Rick responded to this and another email sent by me on August 14th that the up-to-date work permit was being waited for and that, besides, MetLife had requested a "building specific" rather than a "apartment specific" work order. This latter information is all and good, but all such notices carry an end term, so what MetLife did, though of some interest, is not to the point.

So I checked today and, yes, there are new DoB work permits in place. What is the starting date? August 24th. Let me repeat that: August 24th. That is the date that the work permit, waited on, covers all floors in this building for partitions and the work on wet walls. Unless I am wrong, the start date does not cover the work being done on these other floors before that date, WORK WHICH WAS ALREADY OCCURRING.

We know that Management was "caught" doing work on Peter Cooper Village apartments before a proper work order by DoB was in place.

UPDATE 9/1/2017:

This is basically retread of a comment I made in another section, but it is now on the front page here:

From the TA Facebook, the start:

"Intriguing development. A Stop Work order, citing 'work being done in a dangerous or unsafe manner' has been issued by NYC Buildings Dept for the PCV apt attached to mine (bedroom & bathroom). For the past few weeks I have been living with the noise nightmare as the apt gets reconfigured. It seems to me that the noise has been worse than the previous renovations I've lived through. To reconfigure a one bedroom, the old kitchen became a second bedroom. A new kitchen has been created in the living room and supposedly a wall had to be removed/moved. Any ideas what could be dangerous and unsafe."

Part of another post:

"But, to summarize: Electrical work without permit, plumbing work without permit, wall construction without permit."

A response from "Peter Stuyvesant":

"The TA is releasing the following statement: When tenants reported to the Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association that no permits had been posted for certain apartment reconfigurations underway in Peter Cooper Village, the TA pursued the issue with the Department of Buildings, City Council Member Dan Garodnick, and management. The DOB deputy commissioner confirmed that permits were needed for each unit being reconfigured and work should not be performed without permits unless they were both obtained and posted.

On Friday, August 18, DOB inspectors came to six Peter Cooper Village buildings to review units that had no permits. The inspectors ultimately issued 15 violations for five units (electrical, plumbing, and general) as well as four stop-work orders. The violations carry fines.

In the follow-up with management, the TA was told that, unknown to StuyTown Property Services, the Construction Manager started work on several units before permits were issued and neglected to notify SPS. SPS conferred with its reconfiguration consultant team to determine what had happened.

When the violations are 'cured' and permits issued and posted, work will resume.

Council Member Dan Garodnick commented: 'Thank you to the Tenants Association for their keen eye and advocacy on this, and to the DOB for responding to our request for an investigation. We expect management to play by the rules, and regardless of how they allowed this to happen, they to need deliver on their commitment to correct this practice immediately.'"

As you can tell, both the TA and our friend Dan sought to take center stage on what was illegally happening at Peter Cooper. The residents who had this noise and filth contacted the DOB and they should be applauded. Despite a general feeling of apathy around here, the residents did something to make sure Management heard about the problems: they alerted the DOB. Now, this will not stop the noise and filth, but it put a temporary halt that is legal from the city's point of view.

There are various laws that the city has which Management has decided not to be worried too much about since they "own" the place. It is up to residents, myself included, to make sure these city rules are followed.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words. But Does Anyone Care?

"To help the City's fight against bedbugs and to avoid a $100 fine, seal any mattress or box spring in a plastic bag before putting it out with your regular garbage for bulk collection. You can get large plastic bags at department stores, home improvement stores, and moving supply centers."

Sunday, August 6, 2017

What? Not One Official Takes a Tour?

The photo below did not turn out well, as far photo quality goes, but you can see what met my eyes, this time in the early Sunday afternoon, west side of the 20 St loop. This sight meets residents daily. BTW, mattresses that are not disposed of properly are a violation of city law. Many mattresses that I see in Stuy Town are NOT disposed of properly, and no one, in an official capacity, seems concerned these days.


The "other half" living at the Hillman housing cooperative, not far away from Stuy Town, on the East Side:

Friday, July 28, 2017

Teens allegedly beat man before midnight in front of 531 East 20 Street

Stuy Town or Peter Cooper address, July 12th, reported online by Town & Village:

The TA, our TA, is silent so far. So is Management.

*          *          *

Updated: 7/19. As we wait to hear more about the hockey stick beating, it's it apparent that some residents do not travel about the city to see how other people may live. For instance there is this place, on the West side, which has some strange rules:

This may be the same community. Or one which is close by. Take a look inside. Does it remind you of our own?

 They even have a church!

The greenmarket is on the sidewalk. A novel concept, that.

More of the greenmarket:

A view of the community outside:

Monday, July 10, 2017

A New Phase

I've noticed that the TA Facebook, which is usually different than the TA itself, has voices that are not pleased with the way this property is run and the general inactivity of the TA. I applaud these voices And, yes, I am aware that these voices can get a "personal" message from a "Peter Stuyvesant" to basically behave, whatever that can mean.

What these voices and the many comments I receive on this blog tell is that certain residents are dissatisfied, even pissed, at the way this property is run.

I do not fault Blackstone for buying and running this property. I do fault them for not making sure that several quality of life problems are followed. It seems that Blackstone has a priority where the selling of rooms (and the more rooms, the merrier) is its top priority, but that certain "quality of life" issues are not that important, and can even be ignored. Even the attention paid on the greenery and the constant landscaping has its selling motive, as does the "new" playground. All of us can see the problems of this complex. There is no need to bullshit us, but generally these activities are meant for prospective buyers rather than those who already have signed on the dotted line. And meant for some who have signed (not all students, as can be the current meme) who are satisfied to have their expenses somehow justified.

Now let me state that I want the same things that Blackstone can want if we are talking about quality of life issues:

Case in point is the lanyard rule: I chose this one because its lack of enforcement is so obvious after TWO posts from General Manager Rick Hayduk. The messages, a year apart, say the same thing. Basically, if you don't have a lanyard and you are a legal resident, you will be shown where to get one; and if you are not a resident, you will be escorted off the property with your dog or dogs. I will not debate or argue whether 8,000 lanyard stops have been made in a year. A LOL will suffice as my answer.

Some people are afraid, and some have lost faith. And some don't care. And, yes, there are some residents who can go the opposite way, and want less rules and more "we can do what we want." We should also understand that most people do not want to get involved. Management is banking on this.

If you are senior, this is your chance, however. A senior vs Blackstone is very bad publicity. Yet if you are a senior, you must follow certain things....

Unless you have a hidden property in the Hamptons, unless you do criminal activity, you will be okay. Do not be bullied into thinking that you have no rights and that you have to be thankful of having a place over your head.

Also don't be bulled into thinking that you are alone. Yes, you can see many residents with oversized dogs, no lanyard stops, residents eating right next to a dog urinating or defecting, with no apparent concern. You will see residents willfully ignoring "the rules" and laughing in the process. Other residents can join in. Even worse, you will see Public Safety and Management not care too much about certain rules.

Please remember that you are not alone. Others feel the same way that you do. But it doesn't help the residents who care to be angry about the infractions to the point of fury.

For a while, I stepped "out of the shadows" to experience more of what the people representing property have to say. I've spoken to most of the "big boys" around here (and, yes, most of them are male), and they can know my identity if it's that important to them.

There is a saying, "Don't get mad, get even." I don't particularly like the "get even" part, because it sounds like payback, but I do like the gist of the message: which is not to let this place negatively affect you, but rather to do what you can to make sure certain rules are followed. Rules, incidentally, that Blackstone champions on its website and/or rules that are dictated by the city. Acknowledged that the city can be another major obstacle. Again, Management is banking on this, and you walking away.

So what do we do?

Keep a note of the infractions, the official response given, etc.

Know to that this phase will not be easy. (And I say this to myself, too.)

We have examples of residents who have won. Incidentally without the TA or our councilman.

Though she may wish to be "in the shadows," Caryn Chow won a legal battle against Management (CW Capital at the time) when she was able to prove that this complex was not providing the quiet, proclaimed by Management, that she needed to do her daily work.

Siddharth Dube also won a legal battle by suing the dog owner that put his dog's life in jeopardy. Both Chow and Dube won, though we can debate the monetary awards that were given. You can win, too, but only if your reasoning is documented, as are the responses.

In reviewing the above post, I came across the following on the TA Facebook, kinda hidden away but pertinent. From ex-resident, Siddharth Dube:

(I spent literally months and countless thousands of dollars on a law suit and on attempting to get PCVST's Rick Hayduk and council-member Dan Garodnick to merely have the dog that mauled my old Lorca muzzled, a reasonable and humane solution... but to no avail... so I've moved.... I hope you will all turn to Dan Garodnick to have the city law improved so that pet owners are held strictly liable. Why do NYC and NYS still have antiquated laws when other states have reformed pet laws? Come on Dan Garodnick I and others expect more of you. Senator Brad Hoylman you too -- your office didn't even bother to follow up. and  )

I don't know the current Management's take on these things, but it is very possible, that they are not sweating too much as long as the bottom line of selling rooms looks good. The individual lawsuits will go away, they reason, and they can keep on selling rooms to prospective tenants. And the selling of rooms is what they are most interested in.

My advice is to read and check what your lease says, to read the rights that you as a tenant have, and to try to "deal" with these infractions in a non-confrontational and possibly cheerful manner. The angrier you get, the more weaponry they have against you. If you do the opposite, it will get them...angry.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

RGB Lower Manhattan Public Hearing - June 14, 2017 - Part 3


Other parts available at that link.

Also, news from the TA:

Tuesday, June 27, the Rent Guidelines Board will vote on increases to leases that renew starting October 1. If you’re paying a preferential rent, this increase will apply to your higher, legal rent.

5:45 p.m. Meet on the corner of 23rd St. and First Ave. to walk to the rally
6:00 p.m. Rally on 25th St. and Lexington Ave.
7:00 p.m. RGB votes at Baruch College's Mason Hall, 23rd St. and Lexington Ave.

HOW MUCH ARE THE PROPOSED INCREASES? The chair of the RGB has proposed a range of 1%–3% for one-year renewal leases and a range of 2%–4% for two-year renewal leases. BUT THE RGB CAN STILL VOTE FOR A ROLLBACK OR A FREEZE.

The RGB knows that even though landlords’ costs are projected to up, FOR ELEVEN STRAIGHT YEARS their profits have increased.

Rent increases are forever. Join the TA to demand a fair deal for tenants.

Note: If you plan to take the 23rd Street SBS crosstown, you should get off at Third Avenue. There is no stop at Lexington anymore.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Yes, It Is a Construction Zone

Hot on the heals of the TA informing us that Blackstone is constructing new apartment configurations in Peter Cooper and that the noise level in various parts of the complex has risen, I have decided to name all the current projects and soon to be projects that are going to be inside or near this community. I will be adding as warranted. Above you see, the view pictured above is from inside Gracefully. No doubt you have seen this scaffolding, the putting up of which is noisy, all over the complex, to include scaffolding atop Oval Stuy, right by Oval "Office," along 20 Street, etc. I know the mandated reason, but does this work have to be done in the summer months and at the hottest, most humid time? Expect an MCI, by the way. Blackstone, therefore, is not crying too much.

Aside from this, there is the work being done on condos along 14th Street. Then there is the normal noise intrusion of barking dogs, the noise which is sharper and louder than children at play. Certain residents even encourage their dogs to bark/play with other dogs, oblivious that their dogs may be disruptive, but just "cute." There is also the noise one hears from inconsiderate neighbors. For some residents, this noise is a nightmare.

There is the continual noise of refurbished apartments. Any time you see the "old" AC unit, know that when the tenant moves out, that window unit will be replaced by one positioned below the window. More noise. A lot of it, to include the "normal'" noise of refurbishing an apartment.

The construction on Playground 7, which when finished will have an outdoor gym, continues. Obviously, this construction is noisy.

There is the noise and smell coming from diesel cleaners who go around the property, usually the Oval, and clean the walkways, which are used by STPCV vehicles, too. Though we have been promised the old-fashioned rakes, know that air leaf-blowers continue. They can be very noisy, particularly in the early morning hours. And new, but very loud lawnmowers! This after a promise by Rick (yeah, I know) to have the property use those quiet old-fashioned lawnmowers.

Speaking of which, though they are not noisy, the club cars running around the complex seem to be increasing. Apparently they can go either way, so watch out. I'm sure if these cars could fly, they would.

I have lived here from about three decades and have never seen it this bad.....

*          *          * 

Update 6/22: Adding "music events" at the Oval, to include other "events," like free movies. But this music today was particularly loud and abrasive. Way to go, Rick and Blackstone. About 100 people, if that, listened to this music.

*          *          * 

Update 6/23: Gee, I knew I forgot something. The tree and branch cutters. We have a lot of trees and branches, and they have to be cut, if not taken out of living. More noise! Buzzzzzzz.....

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dividing Up Apartments To Get More Rooms

Certain Stuy Town apartments have been "divided" to give rooms an extra "room." We have talked about this, but now a "pilot" program is being introduced into Peter Cooper Village.

The TA has woken up, it seems, and this is their latest:

New Reconfiguration of STPCV Apartments

StuyTown Property Services recently informed the Board of Directors of the Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association that they are  embarking on an “experiment” to reconfigure vacant apartments. Although construction has already begun, StuyTown Property Services has not yet notified the community.

The new program will convert 40 vacant Peter Cooper Village units by turning the kitchen of a one-bedroom unit into a bedroom and moving the kitchen into the living room; combining adjacent one- and two-bedroom units to form a three-bedroom unit; and reconfiguring adjacent one- and two-bedroom units to create a three-bedroom unit and a studio. The new program will continue to divide Stuyvesant Town living rooms of 75 vacant apartments to provide an additional bedroom at the expense of living and dining space.

The Board of Directors of the Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association opposes the reconfiguration of the Stuyvesant Town apartments, which reduces living rooms to foyers in order to increase sleeping spaces. The arrangement, which degrades the time-tested, well-designed layout, will likely result in an increase in the existing transient rent-a-room lifestyle. This is the antithesis of the original concept of our community. This reconfiguration will most certainly exacerbate the dormitory and churn effects which tenants have been objecting to since subdivision of apartments began. It will add further pressure to our aging infrastructure. It will continue to destabilize our once-cohesive community.

However, we consider that, with the exception of the studio apartments, the reconfigured Peter Cooper Village units may attract long-term residents, the stated goal of both management and the Tenants Association.

The Term Sheet executed by the City and Blackstone when the latter purchased the property states in part:

"The agreement protects both the current tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, as well as the Property’s legacy as a home for moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers for the generation to come. The Purchaser and the City are committed to the good stewardship of this unique community, and its long-term viability.

"In addition, the Purchaser intends to maintain the unique characteristics of the Property . . . by creating an environment that is conducive to residents establishing a long-term connection to the community."

The Tenants Association believes the terms and the spirit of the purchase should preserve the functionality of the original Stuyvesant Town living spaces in order to maintain, not violate, a viable and gratifying living experience in an unusual urban setting.

*          *           * 
Right now, I do not have plans of these or Stuy Town rooms, but it appears that Management is creating more space by actually giving less space. More to come.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Life in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village

A photo here and a photo there. To be updated with more photos.

Yes, there is a rule of NO riding of bicycles around the Oval. Trust me: there is that rule. The barriers at all points of entry to the Oval tell riders of the rule and everybody else who can read.

But unless you run over a Public Safety officer, chances are no one cares....

And, yes, they are riding right by the "guard" booth. 

Difficult to see because I couldn't focus in time, but this is something one witnesses ALWAYS: dogs being walked without those PCVST lanyards. All this despite the second warming by our Manager, Rick Hayduk, which has followed the first warning given a year ago. No one cares, including, it seems, Rick and Blackstone itself. A rule that is not enforced, no matter what is said. And, yes, I know about "the monitors."

Don't ask, don't tell...

Every Friday, Public Safety closes the 1st Avenue Loop to ticket cars parked illegally during that time.... And I do hope that dog is very nice, but he is kinda eyeing me in a persistent way....

We hear a lot about this place being noise free. That is one of the selling points of this complex. But residents can hear many things aside from the sounds of birds in the morning. Yes, it is a "construction zone." Of course, the noise depends on the job being done and its duration, but apartments will be "upgraded" forever, bit by bit.... This photo also clearly shows the bicycle barriers and the ever-present sign that warns bicyclists not to ride around the Oval.

*     *     *

Update, around 11am.

It's not all tears. There is laughter, too. As when at a certain season (which just happens to coincide with the closing and then opening of colleges), moving trucks start appearing in Stuyvesant Town. Oh, for a fee Oval Something-or-Other will provide all the material you need to get you the hell out and another sucker tenant coming in at an even higher price for a PCV or ST apartment.

All good things must end. So enough laughter. Serious stuff coming up in the next update.

*     *     *

Update, around 1:30pm.

Do you play chess? Well if you do, you may want to bring your own chess board. Photos of our chess tables between Five Stuy Cafe and Oval Studio....The term "elbow grease" has probably not been heard because when the tables are cleaned, in response to the complaints of residents who are not all pigs, we get a spray of water from one of those diesel-spewing and smelly vehicles.... And whose bright idea was it to put a garbage can near the tables? Doggie do-do and urine go so well with breakfast or lunch.... And let's not mention just how new these tables are or their benches! Oh, okay, we can mention that, too.

*     *     *

Update, around 8pm.

Things like this greet me in the morning. Left behind by pigs. There's no other word for them.

Below. Unattended. "Sorry, we haven't seen your package anywhere."

"It is a sandbox for my little one, isn't it? Anyway, I pay too much rent to be bothered by soil or plants! Maintenance will clean it up. And, by the way, what's it to you?"

Maybe more updates tomorrow.