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Management has two priorities: 1) Making sure money is made, hence upgrading and filling up apartments is their goal. "Amenities" are important in selling the place, though few residents use them. 2) If someone needs medical attention, Public Safety will be there, if alerted.

Quality of life issues are not that important, however. They tend to be ignored, despite "the rules." So you will see a lot that isn't taken care of properly, and complaints will be met with a creative excuse and a smile.

"Peace and quiet" must be a cruel joke, though this property is sold that way. There can be no peace and quiet as ALL apartments must be upgraded, which includes the installation of an AC unit below the window. Aside from the continual construction about the neighborhood, there is a new and noisy subway extension being built along East 14 st and the shut down of the L line. "Choosing" to live in NYC, now the newest mantra, is a fabrication when the talk is of ST and PCV, which was traditionally quiet, with no construction noise.

Though money was always important, it is now more important than ever. Money rules many things, as you will find.

At this point, 30 years into living here and seeing many things, I can state that Management and their reps are BS-ing us. I can't say that loudly enough: We are being BS-ed. I don't see any genuine change. Sorry.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Boss of CompassRock (A Blast from the Past)

As long as the bile level has been raised with converse about Bloomberg, we may as well look at another favorite subject.

 

It seems he already knew that PCVST was on his plate. (The video was uploaded February 8th, 2012. CompassRock took over management of PCVST on September 1, 2012.) And to remind folks, CompassRock is a subsidiary of CW Financial, as is CWCapital. So a lot was in the works behind the scenes with this newly-formed, untested company. The aim for CW: to reduce management costs (by about 33%) and acquire a greater hand in leasing and marketing.  How do you think CompassRock has been handling the job?

BTW, a short while back there was a question on the TA Facebook about Woodward (the boss) being sued by his former company, Laramar. Here is that article, but I wasn't able to find if any resolution developed.

 http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.com/article/20120328/CRED03/120329779/laramar-sues-ex-ceo-over-loan

And let's not forget Woodward's admission that he has no solutions for PCVST's quality of life issues:

http://stuytownreport.blogspot.com/2012/08/compassrock-admits-it-has-no-solutions.html

Don't Let the Door Hit Your Ass on the Way Out


He could have done much to sustain affordable middle class housing in Manhattan and, particularly, in Stuy Town/Peter Cooper Village, but was, in reality, an advocate for big real estate concerns and his fellow wealthy buddies who want more and more pieces of the dwindling New York City pie. And, yes, he was supported in most things by a subservient City Council, which should share the blame. True, he did some good things, but he was devastating for the middle class and did considerable damage to the soul of city.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dog Yoga Coming to the Oval


Residents have been wondering for a while what will take the place of the amenity space that was formerly Oval Film, and then a Security Office after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  We can now report the inside scoop: Oval Pooch will open up in the Spring of 2014.

Oval Pooch will have doggie daycare and offer the best artisanal treats for Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village dogs. But the primary focus and promotion will be on daily dog yoga classes, where adorable fidos will be able to practice various twisting and stretching poses with their owners.

Cost of membership has not been determined, but reports suggest that this amenity will be the most expensive one yet, going well beyond the rate charged parents at Oval Kids for Apple Seeds staff to amuse and take care of their children. CWCapital figures that there are enough suckers new residents with deep pockets who will want to take advantage of this very exclusive amenity.  "Residents of Stuy Town will be able to stand out from all other residents in the city with the use of this new and exciting amenity," affirmed Thaddeus Bone, head of the Department of Better Ideas at CWCapital, the special servicer that controls STPCV.

CWCapital will promote dog yoga heavily in their advertising, in the hopes of acquiring more dog owners as renters. The city's dog owners typically feel pressure from non-dog owners in the rest of Manhattan whenever they go outside with their pooches. Some STPCV dog owners feel this heat from the residents here, but a new program, "Let My Dog Pee," will begin to be enforced in a couple of months by STPCV's crackerjack safety officers, with tickets handed out to non-dog owners who harass fellow residents with dogs. "We realize that there is a problem with some residents who complain about the shit and piss all over this place," said I.M. Brown, CompassRock's Spokesman on Dog Affairs. "These residents should simply keep their comments to themselves and not bother dog-owners.  Shitting and pissing on the grounds is allowed. We welcome it, as a matter of fact, and see it as a symbol of residents using the park-like grounds as they were meant to be used."


Speaking of dog excrement, dog poop will also be collected in special bins at Oval Pooch to be layered as a compost element in the many planting beds around the complex. "It's a win-win situation, for the dog and dog owner, and the environment and the complex," stated Brown.

"CWCapital has determined to make Stuy Town/Peter Cooper Village the friendliest dog habitat in Manhattan," added Thaddeus Bone. "We realize that we have failed to make this place a welcome environment for humans, so we may as well put a focus on dogs; they are much easier to deal with and don't belong to a dog tenant association and don't have surly, old-fashioned attitudes about Stuy Town and PCV. Anyway, this place has gone to the dogs, so we may has well make the most of it."

Thursday, December 19, 2013

STPCV TA Facebook Postings Exposing Troublesome Incidents


Yeah, I've been reading the posts on the TA Facebook page that are revealing, in an ever-increasing pattern, the methods that CWCapital/CompassRock may be trying to use to intimidate and ultimately oust long-term residents inhabiting non-renovated apartments (ie, truly rent-stabilized apartments with a considerably lesser rental fee): a notice of a speedy lease termination for having an extra wall put up that has already been removed, crafty apartment inspections that make note of peeling paint with potential legal problems to follow, the casual allowance of partying and noise from loud "neighbors" that make a living hell for other tenants.  Meanwhile, for over 18 months management has been incapable of removing "drug and alcohol induced squatters" in an apartment, residents who have been escorted, in handcuffs, out of their apartment several times by police. (Gee, I wonder if they reside in a renovated apartment that generates a high rental?)

Of course, all of this could be the result of the incompetence of management. After all, many tenants have been receiving faulty late payment notices of their rent.  Something is amiss. Things are not working well.  Is this an insidious, well thought out policy or just plain mismanagement?  It could be both.

Before their posts are removed, you can also find non-TA posting residents expressing their anger at managment on the official page of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village:

https://www.facebook.com/PCVST

UPDATE: Very much worth reading and pertinent to the above:

http://mamamilkandme.com/2013/12/19/my-home-in-jeopardy/

Friday, December 13, 2013

New York's Politicians Have Been Failing Us for a Long Time


 The view from Central Park will never be the same.

NY's politicians have been failing us for a long time, and that includes our city councilman, Dan Garodnick, who has received truck loads of money from real estate and who, along with his fellow city council members, still upholds "air rights," which makes possible the disasters we are seeing pop up all around Manhattan.  And who are the tenants for these high-rises? The mega rich who will not be spending much time in the city, and many of them, foreigners. Don't be surprised if the buyer of STPCV turns out to be some foreign company or a conglomerate that includes a foreign company whose interest in this property will be to bulldoze its buildings, getting rid of its middle class residents in the process, and put up similar high rises. The city may even offer up tax breaks for this screwing.

Not breaking news, but a good summary of what's been happening to this city, as affordable housing and the middle class are disappearing:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/12/new-york-high-rise-boom/4005289/

The disparity between rich and poor is underlined at the end of the article:

And at a time when more than 51,000 people — 21,000 of them children — spend the night in city homeless shelters, the contrast between penthouse opulence and street-level poverty is as dizzying as any view of Central Park.

One57, which broke ground during the recession, will receive tens of millions in tax breaks designed to encourage construction, which critics say would have occurred regardless.

"We're used to inequality in New York," says Benjamin Dulchin of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, an advocacy group. "We're not used to it being subsidized by the taxpayers."


One player not mentioned in this article, and in other such articles, is an entity that used to have a significant hand in New York's construction business:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/mafia5.htm

I wonder if we are still paying dues.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Perhaps This Will Help Us Cope with CWCapital and Future Landlords



http://politicker.com/2013/12/pols-begin-push-to-legalize-marijuana-in-new-york-state/

...or it could make us, as tenants, simply complacent and accepting of everything, including a new candy store at the Oval.

Friday, November 29, 2013

CWCapital/CompassRock Post Thanksgiving Day Special--With Respect to Tenants

So, you've had a wonderful Thanksgiving and went to bed late, full of good cheer, turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and drink. What better way to greet the next day than being woken up by workers drilling and pounding in your building or nearby!  And if you think you'll get any peace the rest of the day--you are wrong! Remarkably, work on the new Public Safety center continues on the day after Thanksgiving. Perhaps work will continue on Saturday, too. Black Friday, indeed, for those who live within earshot.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, 2013!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM STUY TOWN AND PETER COOPER VILLAGE SQUIRRELS:


HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM CWCAPITAL, COMPASSROCK AND FAZIO TRAINA LANDSCAPE SPECIALISTS:


And HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM STR:



Coming Soon! Celebrations around the Stuy Town Christmas Tree in which children will make a wish to Santa for a better looking Christmas Tree:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Breaking News: No MCI Rent Bill Increases this December

Both the TA and CWCapital (PCVST Living) have released brief notifications stating that residents will not see the scheduled MCI increases in their December rent bills, increases which are postponed until January. Both parties say talks are ongoing between them, with CWCapital adding that the DHCR is also involved.

The Destruction of the Oval






There is a "golden age" to everything, it seems. Regarding the Oval, it appears clear that the apex of its charm and beauty has now passed, never to return. When Stuyvesant Town was built, the Oval was bare necessities, with a promise of more luxuriant things to come, as trees and bushes would grow to fill out the plain landscape. In the decades that followed, the Oval still maintained its relative plainness, but was, at the very least, a handsome, peaceful sanctuary from the rest of Manhattan and the city's "rat-race" vibe. In prepping the complex for sale, Met Life made significant upgrades, and turned the Oval into the best it has ever looked. Garden areas at the crescents and near the Oval lawn flourished, and an impressive fountain replaced the Plain Jane that existed there before. Under the reign of Tishman-Speyer, the gardening went through several transitions, some of them positive.  More dramatically, however, four amenity buildings were carved out of Oval buildings.

Concern was raised that the amenity spaces were introducing elements into the Oval that should not be there and that, for the first time, a financial resource was being created in this green sanctuary that went against the "free for all residents" tradition of Stuy Town.  Yet, even with these four amenity spaces, the Oval still managed to retain a good measure of its sanctuary feel, in significant part because the lush landscaping hid most of these spaces from many points of the Oval.

Tishman-Speyer then introduced a new feature to the Oval: the Sunday greenmarket, which necessitated a loss of a chunk of the southern end of the Oval lawn, made permanent later by a surface of gravel. Food trucks were also introduced to the Oval, sometimes on a daily basis, effectively marring the sanctuary ideal of the Oval. Residents (who cared) made noise about both the food trucks and the greenmarket, and for a while, it seemed as if the pushback to the commercialization of the Oval was working, with the city taking a serious look at Stuy Town's zoning. Then came capitulation, with our councilman Dan Garodnick, who initially made a strong case against the commercialization of Stuyvesant Town, declaring that he was satisfied with city's requirement that commercial spaces were properly zoned if meant exclusively "for residents and their guests." Garodnick considered the matter resolved.

This capitulation meant that the new landlord, CWCapital, was now free to introduce more commercial projects into the Oval (wink-wink "for residents and their guests"), and we got the Ice Rink, a commercial venture that took away a free playground space with artificial turf for many months out of a year.

Recently, CWCapital has gone after the Oval with a vengeance. It removed and ripped out all the lush garden areas of the Oval and replaced them with low plantings placed far apart. Whatever "sanctuary" aspect of the Oval remained was now seriously debilitated and on life support.  One couldn't feel separate in the Oval space at any point. Everything, from our project-like buildings to the Oval amenity/retail spaces, was in clear view.

And now CWCapital is taking an aggressive step in the further destruction of the Oval. It is creating, remarkably, a new building, or building extension, at the Oval for the Public Safety department that will, I believe, destroy whatever sanctuary feeling the Oval is still holding onto. The Oval will not be an oasis in Manhattan anymore, but a part of no-space-unused, commercialized, well-trafficked Manhattan. And what will house the amenity space currently being used by Public Safety? If what I heard from a couple of CWCapital bigwigs who were standing near it gets actualized--a retail space, though it may be coated with a different, less abrasive tag.  Hmm, maybe we can see a small convenience store, meant for residents and their guests? Or a mini-beer hall that would be popular with our student population? Or, why not a 7-11? They're popping up all over Manhattan, so why not here?

It's obvious that getting the most money out of the Oval is the goal. And has been the goal for a while.

One can say, with considerable despair and regret, that once the changes to the Oval will be finished some time next year, we can declare the Oval dead or at least skeleton of what it once was, a mocking display of the avarice and insensitivity of the landlords who were supposed to be its stewards, but who turned out to be its ravagers and destroyers.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Message to Management


 Dear CWCapital/CompassRock:

Please try to clean the walkway around the Oval.  At this moment there are at least three separate clumps (that's clumps, not stains or residue) of dog crap along the western side of the Oval.  I didn't dare take a walk on the eastern side, so there may be more.

Does anyone in your employment check the state of the walkway?

Also bicycles are currently whizzing by around the Oval.  Is there anyone available to make sure these cyclists get off their bicycles?

Hello?  Management? Is anyone there?

Friday, November 15, 2013

CWCapital Intends to Stay On for at Least 2 More Years

At least that's what an article in Town & Village reveals inadvertently. The article describes CWCapital's plan of redoing all the hallways in PCVST.  New carpeting, baseboards, and a paint job for "an updated and clean look." This work is expected to be finished throughout the complex in two years.

Dear Lord.....

Monday, November 11, 2013

Another Threat

Over a week old and not concerning Stuy Town, but concerning our councilman, Dan Garodnick and sleazy real estate....  Makes for incredible reading and an understanding of the links between real estate and politicians.

Some people in the real-estate industry have a message for Manhattan councilman Dan Garodnick, in whose hands the future growth of Midtown East resides: Slowing things down will not be good for your citywide aspirations. 

Much more here:

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2013/10/8535298/real-estate-industry-links-midtown-east-garodnicks-political-future

Sunday, November 10, 2013

CWCapital's "MCI Help Center"

From the TA:

Owner’s “MCI Help Center” Will Help Owner More than Tenants

CWCapital has set up an “MCI Help Center” in Peter Cooper Village. Make no mistake: this is not a tenant-friendly helping hand. The thrust of this help center is to rope in the confused, the scared, and those who may think CW’s offer is generous or worthy of serious consideration.

According to the Tenants Association’s attorney, there are powerful reasons why you should not sign CW’s offer:

• The proposed agreement is illusory, deceptive and unenforceable.

• The language of the form encourages acceptance while the Owner holds a trump card of unilateral termination.

• The agreement appears to be an attempt to intimidate those tenants who support the TA’s challenge to the MCI’s, by penalizing or diminishing their rights, in direct violation of §230 of the Real Property Law.

Furthermore:

• There is no explanation that the retroactive portion of the MCI orders is subject to the 6% annual cap, making it appear that the 35% will be an immediate windfall. (A PCV tenant has done the arithmetic on the MCI for the Security System and Video Command Center and finds that signing on to the management offer would save $1.60 a month.)

• The Owner’s offer to withdraw its appeal of $15 million of MCI costs that the DHCR did not approve is almost meaningless—it consists of sales tax, which can never be included, and other costs DHCR almost never approves.

• Roberts tenants were never served with MCI orders at all. Therefore, there is no present obligation on the part of the Roberts tenants to pay any increase, and no reason to sign.

• Tenants give up the right to file a PAR to challenge the validity and accuracy of the MCI costs.

• Tenants give up the right to challenge the Rent Orders in an Article 78 proceeding.

We need volunteers in front of 360 First Avenue starting this Monday to hand out a copy of Tim Collins’s letter and Public Membership Pledges to passersby or those who want to access the MCI Help Center at these hours:

Monday, November 11: 5 p.m.–8 p.m.Tuesday, November 12: 8:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.Wednesday, November 13: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.Thursday, November 14: 5 p.m.–8 p.m.Friday, November 15: 8:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

At least there is this...

If you don't like what's happening on the ground, then it's good to look up:






Friday, November 8, 2013

BREAKING: A Worried CWCapital Rushes Delivery of Offer to Tenants

According to an online article in this week's REAL ESTATE WEEKLY, CWCapital, the special servicer who is running this property (to the ground), was going to make public to tenants its offer at reducing retroactive MCI charges at the "beginning of next week."  Well, it seems the company and its accountants and lawyers have been working overtime, because tenants are getting, in the early morning hours of Friday (even before the leaf-blowers start), this offer slipped under the door. Undoubtedly this hectic activity signals the worry that CWCapital has over tenants going to court over the new MCIs and that the process could take years to work out, years that CWCapital, which wants to sell the property next year, doesn't like to have. In plain words: We have this despicable landlord by the balls.

How despicable is CWCapital?  This is the company that tries to squeeze every cent out of tenants, that fills apartments with transient students, and has tried, with some success, to rip apart this community through a variety of divide and conquer tactics. This is the company that raised rents mid-lease on "market-rate" tenants. This is the company that said of the unfortunate tenants in PCV whose buildings were affected by Hurricane Sandy, and who were not getting proper services ("basement access, laundry rooms, intercoms, trunk rooms, security, and even elevators", TA report), and who sought a temporary rent reduction, that they were “petty and mean spirited” and that “tenants seek to transform these events into an opportunity to profit.” These are same bastards who now charge you $75 to have your door opened in case you get locked out. These are also the same bastards who do not paint your hallways or clean your buildings or our exterior walkways with regular proper care, but somehow have enough money to spend on a revolving door concept of "landscaping" that has, in the Oval, ripped out beautiful trees, flowers and plants to replace them with a disheartening bare, institutionalized look. This is the same company that doesn't care if it wakes you up in the morning for construction work or leaf-blowing or whatever the hell they want to do.  This is a company that doesn't care about you, the middle class, but would be delighted if you left so they could further raise the rent of your apartment, and would celebrate any incident, death included, if it meant getting an old apartment renovated to a new one so that an extra couple of thousand dollars could be added to the rental fee.

And now this company wants to make you an offer.

 

The second page deals with the waiver, 35% of the retroactive charge, and how much that would be for your apartment.  I found this amusing, though.  CWCapital wants to "allow our community (italics mine) to move forward."


So don't forget to sign those pledges (see below). And let me repeat what I wrote in that introduction:

CWCapital is very worried about tenants getting together on this issue, which is why they will be making another sleazy offer soon to lower the temporary retroactive charges as they keep, of course, the MCI charges that will permanently burden your rent bill and, furthermore, provide a greater increase in your rent when you renew your lease. Affordable middle class housing is in serious trouble in PCVST, and we must take a united stand against the tactics that are directed toward eliminating such housing and forcing middle class tenants to move out. 

UPDATE: If you filed an appeal of the MCI orders with the TA or individually, and you accept CWCapital's offer, you will accept withdrawing from the appeal with prejudice, meaning that will be legally forbidden to refile forever.  

2nd UPDATE, from the TA:

On Friday, Nov. 8, many of you received a second offer from CWCapital to reduce your retroactive charges by 35% and withdraw their appeal to collect $15 million of MCI costs that the DHCR denied. Accepting their offer means that you would have to agree not to appeal the MCI orders, which means you would not be able to participate in the Tenants Association's own fight against the MCIs.

The TA is in consultation with its counsel and will be advising tenants what to do. In the meantime do not agree to the terms of CWCapital's letter until you hear from us.  We will get back to you as soon as we can.

To all of you with printers:  Please help the TA spread the word to residents who are not on our email list or who do not have computers.  If you can, please print this message out and slip it under the doors of others on your floor. Thank you.


Tangential Update: Not part of the above, but just a note that we are still losing this city to monied real estate and housing for the mega-rich. How did this monstrosity get approval?...

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/narrow-tall-approved-city-article-1.1486771

And more dispiriting info:

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20131016/BLOGS03/131019925

I hope these are the final F.U.s from the Bloomberg era, but I fear it may not be so.

SIGN THOSE PLEDGES - LAST COUPLE OF DAYS!!!

It is important for tenants who care about their own affordable housing to sign the Public Member Pledge for the TA to represent you in the fight against the avalanche of MCIs and retroactive charges we have received. Time is of the essence now, as the TA has to file on Tuesday. (Don't forget that Monday is a holiday, Veteran's Day.) CWCapital is very worried about tenants getting together on this issue, which is why they will be making another sleazy offer soon to lower the temporary retroactive charges as they keep, of course, the MCI charges that will permanently burden your rent bill and, furthermore, provide a greater increase in your rent when you renew your lease. Affordable middle class housing is in serious trouble in PCVST, and we must take a united stand against the tactics that are directed toward eliminating such housing and forcing middle class tenants to move out. Please read the following that was posted on the TA website to understand the current situation:

Next Steps for MCI Rent Increase Orders and Summary of 11/2 Meeting

Links to forms and where they go can be found at the end of this post.
On Saturday, November 2nd, More than 500 tenants packed the IS 104 auditorium for a briefing on the TA’s pushback against the MCIs, a caution about CWCapital’s “Trojan Horse” offer to tenants, an update on where SCRIE/DRIE tenants stand, and how signing the Public Member Pledge and joining the Tenants Association can strengthen our challenge of the DHCR orders. Read on for details.


Request for Reconsideration
At the November 2 standing-room-only meeting at IS 104,  the Tenants Association’s attorney, Tim Collins of Collins, Dobkins & Miller, arrived carrying a 15-pound stack of papers. They represent our Request for Reconsideration, which challenges DHCR’s failure to acknowledge or give consideration to Mr. Collins’s general and specific objections to the MCI application, which were served on DHCR on May 14, 2012. He also reviewed general MCI procedures. A complete set of the handouts given out at the meeting included a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) covering the MCI process, which may be found in the list of links at the end of this posting.


CWCapital’s “Offer” to Tenants
Referring to the letter from CWCapital that was slipped under all residents’ doors the evening before Saturday’s meeting, Mr.Collins pointed out a major catch in management’s “offer” to reduce the amount of retroactive charges to monthly bills for residents. By agreeing to such an arrangement, he noted, an individual tenant would also be agreeing to forgo all rights to challenge any of the MCI orders. He emphasized the need for solidarity among tenants and urged everyone to join the Tenants Association (if you are not already a member) and to sign the Public Member Pledge (PMP or pledge) (if you have not already done so).
Joining the TA and signing the pledge authorizes the Tenants Association and its Board of Directors to represent signees in responding to the DHCR claims and stay the collection of retroactive charges. Again, residents who were not at the meeting can find these documents in the list of links at the end of this posting.
The need for tenants to work together as a unit in order to fight the MCIs effectively was echoed by Council Member Dan Garodnick in discussing CWCapital’s Friday letter. He reviewed the history of the five MCIs that have hit Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in quick succession and spoke of the previous attempt by the TA to mediate them via a three-way meeting it arranged with CWCapital, DHCR, and TA leadership.


SCRIE/DRIE Exemption from MCIs Is Not Automatic: A Special Form Is Required
State Senator Brad Hoylman addressed the need for tenants eligible for the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program or Disabled Rent Increase Exemption program (DRIE)  to file an Adjustment to Abatement Form in order to ensure they are exempt from MCI increases. These forms should be filed with the SCRIE Unit at the NYC Dept. of Finance. The SCRIE and DRIE forms can be found by clicking the link below, visiting the NYC Department of Finance website, or by phoning them (see the list of links below).


Legislative Options
State Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh discussed legislative options available to ameliorate the effect of the unjust MCI law.Part of a larger rent regulation law, they have been the subject of a political battle between landlords and their allies on one side and tenant advocates and your elected officials on the other. Assemblymember Kavanagh and Senator Hoylman, with the support of your city and federal elected representatives and the Tenants Association, have fought to strengthen the rent laws in a variety of ways. Some of these changes deal specifically with making the MCI system fairer to tenants. These include: mandating that MCI rent increases end as soon as the landlord has collected the amount spent on work actually done, listing MCIs separately on the monthly rent bill and ensuring that annual increases in the base rent are not also applied to the MCI charges, prohibiting any MCI charges if a landlord has outstanding hazardous violations, and better defining and limiting what work can qualify for MCI increases so they only cover the cost of actual enhancements or upgrades, not merely repairs or replacement of existing services.


Why It Is Important for Tenants to Sign a Public Membership Pledge
Mr. Collins, emphasizing the connection between the pledge and the filing of a Petition for Administrative Review (PAR), explained that the Rent Stabilization Code (RSC) provides that the filing of a PAR stays the collection of retroactive MCIs (although not the prospective charges) until the PAR is decided. The signed pledges will be used in a consolidated PAR.
If the DHCR fails to rescind the recent rent increase orders as requested by Mr. Collins, tenants who sign the pledge will be protected from retroactive charges while the PAR is being reviewed. Tenants who do not sign a pledge will be exposed to the retroactive portion when it begins to be collected. PARs can sometimes take years to decide, so it is likely that people who do not sign up will be paying the retroactive portion unnecessarily while the PARs are pending.


Special Cases Calling for Individuals to File Their Own PARs
While individual tenants can file their own PARs, there is strength in filing as a group.  However, there are tenants who may have a special case and should file an individual PAR.
For example, one tenant in Peter Cooper Village received two Orders, one showing her apartment as having four rooms and the other showing her apartment as having three rooms. This contradiction can be raised in a PAR challenging the assignment of increases where four rooms were claimed if, in fact, the tenant has only three.
Other tenants who took occupancy after the MCI applications were filed in 2009, but were not informed of a specific pending MCI application in their initial leases, will want to file individual PARs. They will have to attach a copy of their initial lease showing that the date of the lease postdates the application date of the MCI and that it does not reference that the MCI is pending and notify the tenant that it will be applied to increase the rent when decided. 
None of these PARs needs to be elaborate. Just follow the instructions carefully and attach a brief but clear explanation of your objection with evidence demonstrating the error. A copy of the PAR form can be found in the group of links below. 
Note again, however, that we do not advise filing individual PARs unless you have special circumstances. Such PARs could hinder the ability of the Tenants Association to achieve effective results for everyone.


List of Links to Forms (Where they Go) and Phone Numbers

The following resources below can all be found here in this (PDF) file:
Agenda for the 11/2 Emergency Meeting
TA Membership Application
Public Membership Pledge (PMP or pledge) [Page 3]
Letter from local electeds to DHCR Commissioner
MCI Frequently Asked Questions from our local electeds
The MCI Application Process Explained (this item prints on 8.5” x 14” paper)
SCRIE and DRIE Adjustment to Abatement Forms are available here:

SCRIE Adjustment to Abatement
DRIE Adjustment to Abatement

Those without computer access may phone the NYC Department of Finance at 311 to have the Adjustment to Abatement Forms mailed to them. Or you may visit the SCRIE/DRIE walk-in office, 8:30am - 4:30pm, at 66 John Street, 3rd floor, in Manhattan.  Alternatively, tenants without computers and printers may visit Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh’s office, weekdays from 10am to 6 pm to pick up the SCRIE/DRIE forms.  His district office is located at 237 1st Ave at 14th Street in Room 407 and the office phone is 212-979-9696.

[NOTE: Due to time constraints, membership pledges should now be dropped off at the drop boxes at Zeichner Liquors at 16th & 1st, Adriatic Pizzeria between 18 & 19 on 1st or Rite Way Pharmacy bet 21 & 22 on First.]

For more about file PARs (although we want to do this with a single master PAR for most):
DHCR Fact sheet #18 here: http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/factsheets/orafac18.htm
PAR form here: http://www.nyshcr.org/Forms/Rent/rar2.pdf

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Saturday Tenant Association Meeting Concerning MCIs

The crucial summary from the TA meeting:

The TA lawyer, Tim Collins, believes the MCIs will be rescinded because the DHCR seems to have mistakenly not taken into account the objections already filed by the TA's lawyers. This doesn't mean we still won't get hit by the MCIs at a later date, so that battle still continues.

The retroactive charges, if they stand, will only be collected in percentages at the end of the payment for the regular MCI charges.  I'm assuming this means after the initial costs are met, as these charges, if they stand, become part of one's rent in perpetuity.  But the message one should take away is that no one will be compelled to pay a lump sum now or in the future of these retroactive charges.

Those seniors who are under the SCRIE program or disabled tenants who are under the DRIE have 90 days to apply for a waiver from the MCIs. Contact the TA to help you fill out this waiver.

Everyone who has received a MCI is strongly urged to sign a Public Membership Pledge, which gives the TA the right to represent you in its fillings.  You can opt out whenever you like.  Form below.  Click on it to make it larger:


From Edmund John Dunn's post on the TA: >>The form can be sent via snail mail to ST/PCV-TA, P.O. Box 1202, New York, NY 10009-1202. Alternatively you may fax to (866) 290-9036 or drop a copy off at any of the TA’s drop boxes located on First Ave at Zeichner's Liquors, Adriatic Restaurant, TD Bank or Rite-Way Pharmacy. Please put on the envelope or fax over sheet, Attention Public Membership Pledge Form”. Please download the form and the sending instructions and forward to people not on FB or to those who do not have internet access."<<

The TA meeting will be available as an audio download soon.

My comments: The meeting had an overflowing of capacity, a splendid sign that tenants are up in arms over these MCIs and the insulting and threatening letter CWCapital slipped under everyone's door on Friday. The TA lawyer made a good point about the possible impetus for CWCapital to engage with the TA on these MCIs, as, if this matter gets taken to court, the length of the legal process will disrupt the ability of CWCapital to sell off PCVST.  The reason these MCIs have arrived now appears to be due to the long time it took to settle the Roberts case.  That case needed to be resolved first.

I had to wonder if the current lawyers for the TA are the same ones who dealt with the Roberts case, as that case did not go so well for affected tenants in certain areas.  I was amused by the slams against big business and real estate while Dan Garodnick, who has accepted significant donations from both, was sitting right there without batting an eye.  Truthfully, Bill de Blasio has also accepted such contributions.  Hopefully both politicians will not favor "The Man" too much in their future decisions and be stridently aggressive in saving the middle class in New York.

Worse. Speaker. Ever.  Congressmember Carolyn Maloney who popped in at the end and didn't seem to be aware of what the meeting was about, but who managed to, once again as she always does, talk about something else, this time the Tea Party (!), the recent government shutdown, and cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program.  Thankfully, her remarks were very brief.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

BASTARDS

click to make larger

As I began to read this, I thought that finally CWCapital is beginning to show some humanity and that this was an important step at reconciliation with the community the company has been ravaging.  When I finished reading, blood was shooting out of my eyeballs, and I could only think: "BASTARDS, BASTARDS, BASTARDS."  What evil, loathsome, manipulative people these are.  I didn't think it was possible for CWCapital to stoop much lower than it has in tenant relations, but it seems to be able to plummet, very easily, to lower and lower depths. The outrageousness of CWCapital threatening tenants if tenants decide to appeal the MCIs. And, yes, this was pushed under everyone's door in anticipation of the TA meeting tomorrow. What BASTARDS.

To repeat a posting below: The Tenants Association will hold a meeting this Saturday, November 2, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, in the auditorium of Simon Baruch Intermediate School 104, East 20th Street between First and Second Avenues. Topic of discussion: the MCIs, of course. [And, now, the above letter, for sure.] TA lawyer Tim Collins, our councilman Dan Garodnick, our state assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and State Senator Brad Hoylman should be present.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The MCIs



This may turn out to be a pinned post during this time when we are being hit with one outrageous MCI after another. At this point, I would strongly urge everyone to follow the TA Facebook page and also the TA website for the latest information. Also, if you haven't donated to the TA, please do so. It is CRUCIAL that we stick together to fight these MCI charges and retroactive payments which are going to financially burden the true middle class among us. I'll be posting more on this entire matter in the near future.

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If you get a MCI letter, the TA requests that you fill out the following simple forms:

If you live in Peter Cooper Village:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EU11i3F4pP7bS1874A8mQj1Mn3Ma-ME21jBjBWRmMMg/viewform

If you live in Stuyvesant Town:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16AnfkNH-V9dqPuvOg1k3wxKxOVCJRYduWs06hT3olDA/viewform 



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10/28/2013.  Do our filthy rich landlords really need MCIs to improve PCVST?  Or is it just a way to pass the buck to tenants while making their property more valuable, with the ability to promote "luxury" housing and sell rentals at higher and higher prices?  Why are middle-class tenants here paying for their own removal and destruction?  I can see the value of MCIs for struggling landlords who must, somehow, improve their buildings, but is this true in reference to Tishman-Speyer and CWCapital regarding PCVST?  With all the wasteful money being spent on landscaping? And "events"?... The Ice Rink?  And why are the new rents, with the added MCIs, solidified without being rolled back once the MCIs are paid for?

This is a beautiful scam for our landlords and others like them.  Get tenants to finance unnecessary upgrades to a property and then sit back and watch the rents increase.  No wonder these guys have shit-eating grins when photographed.

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I keep reading on the TA Facebook about Pataki, Pataki, Pataki whenever pro-landlord legislation is mentioned.  Well, Pataki hasn't been in office since 2006. Here are the governors that followed him--all Democrats, btw: Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson, Andrew Cuomo.  Guess when Tishman-Speyer bought PCVST?  2006.  Since then we've had the progressive and deliberate eradication of the middle class in PCVST, and our position here is getting worse every year.

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Although I have some doubts about Bill de Blasio on some major issues, I think he may be the last hope of the middle class in Manhattan--if he keeps to his promises and let's his "radical" temperament take precedence. Mayor Bloomberg has been not only useless but harmful in keeping the middle class in Manhattan, and our City Council weak and too pro-real estate.  And, yes, I include our councilman, Dan Garodnick, in that mix.  What's necessary is a bold, uncompromising revolution in how this city deals with real estate entities and affordable housing, a revolution which de Blasio can possibly lead. If he goes soft or, worse, caves in to the real estate lobby, we and New York have had it.  Finito, Benito.

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10/28/2013 Evening Update:  Town & Village reports on the MCIs.


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10/30/2013 Update: The Tenants Association will hold a meeting this Saturday, November 2, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, in the auditorium of Simon Baruch Intermediate School 104, East 20th Street between First and Second Avenues. Topic of discussion: the MCIs, of course.  TA lawyer Tim Collins, our councilman Dan Garodnick, our state assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and State Senator Brad Hoylman should be present.  Seating is first come, first served. I expect to find out just how we are going to get screwed and why.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Red Flags in a Yelp Post About PCVST



The Yelp page for Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town is typically overflowing with negative reviews, but here is a positive one.  But perhaps management might be concerned about a couple of red flags exposed by the poster....

As a dental student, PCV is a prime location to NYU College of Dentistry. My building is located on 23rd St & 1st, the school is located on 24th & 1st. You can see how close I am to school. I do agree with Lauren B. that the subway is a bit of a walk from this location but I also wonder why she lived so far to commute to work.

Sure PCV is about $2600/month for a one bedroom but you must also take into account the location, amenities and size of the apartment. PCV apartments are mansions compared to the standard NYC apartment. I live in a one bedroom apt shared between three others (yes, there are a total of four roommates and yes, we are each paying around $650 per month for rent!!). We converted the ginormous living area into another bedroom. The wall cost $1600 (split between four) leaving us a living room that's the size of a standard NYC apartment.


Hmm, what are the chances management's Legal Department will look into this?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Another MCI Coming...for Girl Watching???



Reports from the TA indicate that another MCI is coming, this time for the "TV/Security System and Video Command Center."  Now is this the same Video Command Center that has proven useless to prevent any crime that occurs here, discouraged true crime prevention in putting boots on the ground, and that we found out a couple of years ago "monitors" the bathing beauties at the Oval Lawn during the summer to the delight of Public Safety?  Are tenants suppose to be paying for this???

UPDATE: I have to stress how outrageous is this MCI.  This Video Command Center has never been proven to deter crime.  In fact, there have been numerous recent reports of bicycles and mail/UPS packages being stolen, and I've yet to hear of the Video Command Center finding out who these culprits are. The only benefit these cameras have is that they take a photo (a hazy one at that) of a perpetrator if he is in the vestibule or elevator. But this is after the fact. The crime isn't stopped. On top of that, residents who used to go the management office were able to see just what is being looked at by the security staff: SpongeBob SquarePaints, Craig's List and, the hot show, Stuy Town girls in bikinis and micro-skirts and shorts.  Plain and simple, tenants should not be paying for a useless, and misused, Video Command Center.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

UPDATE on INTERCOM MCI


ST Video Intercom MCI Update: DHCR's Order Contains Reversible Error

The Tenants Association is challenging the enforceability of the DHCR Notice that increases monthly rents by $12 to $15 a month for the video intercom installation.  The orders were received by residents of a number of Stuy Town buildings the week of October 7th.  According to the TA's attorney, Tim Collins, DHCR has made what is called a "reversible error," a legal term indicating that the ruling is incorrect and requires further action by the agency.

None of the orders acknowledges or gives consideration to Mr. Collins' general and specific objections to the application, which were served on the DHCR on May 14, 2012.  

Our attorney has advised that this type of error is not unheard of and DHCR should promptly rescind the orders and correct its error by considering our objections and giving notice to the owner's attorney.  We will file "Requests for Reconsideration" due to "irregularity in a vital matter" as well as Petitions for Administrative Review in the next few weeks.  

As a consequence, there is no need for tenants to file separate individual PARs at this time.  However they should retain any document received regarding this (or any other) MCI.  We will provide further updates as our efforts to stop the Video Intercom rent hike continues.  

Inasmuch as CW's own counsel was copied with the timely 2012 submission of our objections, the Tenants Association asks that they recognize DHCR's error and refrain from implementing the Rent Increase Order in the December 2013 rent bills."

The Tenants Association will continue to scrutinize every MCI Application for accuracy and fairness.  If you have not done so already, please send us your docket number for this Rent Increase Order by completing the form here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Full Service and Available 24/7



I'm assuming well-paid people actually write these things.  But do they read and understand them? Here's a flyer that's being handed out in PCVST by or for Ms. Shields, a "Concierge Relationship Representative" for Time Warner Cable.  That's a suitably impressive title for New York's yunnies, which makes me and I hope true New Yorkers want to gag, but does Ms. Shields, or her copy writer, actually mean: "I am full service and am available every day 24/7 for anyone to contact me"?

[Flyer courtesy a posting on the TA Facebook.]

Saturday, October 12, 2013

De Blasio and Affordable Housing

I'm not a fan of aggressive government intrusion to "balance" things out, but Bloomberg took this city way too far in one direction and now it's push-back time, understandably. 200,000 units of affordable housing is the goal with De Blasio.  I hope he considers saving the affordable housing that exists, but is lessening, in PCVST.  Much cheaper to save what's there, than to build from scratch.  (Though there is no job creation in doing that, of course.)


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, October 11, 2013

What Now?



Posted in the comment section of the official Facebook page of PCVST, and surely to be deleted, but not here:

Dear PCV/ST owners: you are human trash. You who are now in charge did not spend any money installing these video intercoms back in 2009. Now you want to collect in perpetuity for something you expended no effort or money in creating? You want to charge my family of four $840 and then an additional $15 a month because of some crap that no one asked for and an owner OTHER THAN YOU installed? You want to line the pockets--nay, stuff the pockets of your tiny cabal of bigshots at the expense of hundreds of NYC families, thousands of individual tenants? I got two words for you. Back down. And then I have two more.

Reached 10 11 13 16 19 22 "likes" before being deleted, a very high number for a "like" on that page.

I have to tell you that I'm getting very pissed off at what I've been reading on the TA and PCVST Facebook pages about how CWCapital/CompassRock is handling issues these days. I alternate between simmering rage and tears welling in my eyes at the incidents of pure heartlessness and ineptitude coming from management. One poor woman and her family are close to becoming homeless. This is what she posted on the PCVST Facebook page:

I was informed by the leasing office as of yesterday, LEGAL dep. is refusing to approve my application for apt in PCV and i can't even get in touch with them as to the reason why. Our leases are signed and certified rent checks and money orders are submitted, key cards made and key pickup already scheduled. My current lease is up October 14 in Stuyvesant town. The accounting department continues to clear out rent checks 3 weeks after submission. How am I being penalized for the accounting department continuing to submit inaccurate rent statements. As of right now my family is without a home in 5 days and all my money is in leasing office in the form of certified checks made out to PCV ST. Now the apt is back on the market, no home in 5 days. 


If you, CWCapital/CompassRock, can't do your job properly, then move aside, as quickly as possible, and let someone else take over.  And quit sucking people dry of all their money at every single "opportune" step.  And have some decency, too, when you deal with tenants.  How can you sleep restfully at night knowing what you are doing to this community???

UPDATE FROM THE TENANTS ASSOCIATION:

HCR Issues Rent Increase Order for ST Video Intercom

The Rent Order increases the legal rent for residents of Stuyvesant Town by an average of $12-$15 per month. The TA will challenge the MCI by filing a Petition for Administrative Review. We need your help to do this.

We know of several buildings that received the MCI Order yesterday. We are in the process of contacting our attorney to evaluate this Order and have notified our elected officials. We will get back to the community after discussion with counsel.

In the meantime, when you receive this Order, it is vital that you hold on to it as we will need a copy. Then read our Knowledge Base article on what to do next at this link: http://stpcvta.org/kb/entry/14/. Also, please send us your docket number (top right hand corner of form) by clicking here.

Mounting a challenge will engender legal fees. We fight for all tenants, so if you have not yet joined the Tenants Association, please consider doing so now. If you are already a member, please consider a special additional contribution.


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PLEASE: WE NEED YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Your Tenants Association is run exclusively by volunteers.
Please help defray the cost of legal, professional, communication, and meeting expenses by joining us or renewing your membership today. To save time and effort, donate online. Or mail a check payable to: ST/PCV TA, P.O. Box 1202, Stuyvesant Station, NY 10009-1202. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stuy Town Promotes Itself as a "New York Destination"



Well, we knew it all along. The promotion of events in Stuyvesant Town extends beyond the residents (and their guests) who live here.

Remarkably, whoever wrote the text for the Welcome page of the official web presence of PCVST, basically admitted this with the line: "From the many social events, seasonal greenmarket and ice rink, live music and movies, Stuyvesant Town is a New York destination." Yes, "a New York destination."  So come on in all you New Yorkers.  And welcome!!!

Much of the rest of the text is laughable bull, given the reality of true "luxury living" in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village. (Are the basements in PCV all fixed, btw?) The Oval is described as an "ideal place to picnic and lounge with friends and neighbors while enjoying some of the best entertainment and activities in Manhattan." Really? The "best entertainment and activities" are here, at the Oval?  I guess watching a baseball game on a blow-up screen with poor resolution and lighting is considered the tops in entertainment amenities here, but I'd think New Yorkers are more savvy than to consider this anything but a low-class, cheap "amenity."  Even residents are more savvy, as these ludicrous entertainment activities rarely exceed an audience of fifty, if that.

Of course, it's stressed that PCVST is pet-friendly, which brings in dog-owners, but is a red flag to those who do not want to live in a community with an abundance of dogs and dog refuse and barking.  So expect more dog-owners to arrive here and less non-dog-owners.

PCVST is also considered by the writer "one of Manhattan's most desirable communities," which goes against the persistent, never-ending attempt to get residents to sign up friends for bonus fees starting at $500. If it's so desirable, why the need for this program?

I couldn't help but laugh at the parenthetical mention of "wine refrigerators," an obvious hoped-for seduction to the same breed that will spend $6 for a cup of burnt coffee at Starbucks and consider their lifestyle upscale because of that.  Go to Lenz's or McDonald's for your coffee, you yunnies.  Save your parents at least five bucks a day!  They worked hard for it!

Meanwhile, at PCVST's official Facebook page, the commentary continually reveals the truth about living here and dealing with the powers-that-be....

"I'm extremely frustrated with Stuyvesant Town right now. I have been calling Accounting for a week, hours a day, trying to fix my October rent bill. My roommates and I have left countless voicemails about this serious issue, and no one has responded."

"I have tried to contact accounting several times regarding a detailed accounting history because there are strange charges on our bill, and nobody has responded. We are getting more and more frustrated by the day."

"You sent me a totally wrong bill on Friday and the due date is tomorrow. I've been waiting on hold for 40 minutes. Moving here was the worst decision I've ever made."

There is one (and just one) pro-management post that I will not quote in full so as not to embarrass its writer, who claims that the Oval Cafe provides "the best cappuccino, espresso, regular coffee and of course FOOD. It all taste devine [sic]. Grateful for our management for providing the best."  With that last sentence, I suspected that the comment was a crafty put-on (particularly as the writer describes PCVST as a "compound"), but now I don't think so.

And on a final note: Yesterday I was in the right place at the right time and overheard four suits near the former Oval Film talking, with one of them pointing to that Oval space and stating: "Retail."  Whether or not that space will become "retail," it's obvious that these boys consider all the amenity spaces as "retail." But you knew that.

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.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Bloomberg Era is Just About Over


He may still have to face a run-off, but unless something unforeseen happens, Bill de Blasio will be the next mayor of this city (after defeating the Republican challenger, of course).  I don't expect anything to change regarding Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, but at least we should have someone in the office who will have more concern for us, and the middle class, than the Little Napoleon, Bloomberg.  There's the probable possibility that things will get worse in the city, for everyone, but Bloomberg took things too far in terms of dictating how New Yorkers should behave and in providing the rich with an open hand in removing the middle class to replace it with their own wealthy class and high-rises and exclusive restaurants. Thankfully, Christine Quinn was humiliated by her poor showing. I would like to see any politician who supported a third term for Bloomberg and themselves get booted out of office, but with a generally apathetic citizenry that's not about to happen.  I was hoping Spitzer would win against Stringer, as I think the latter is a typical ineffective politician who talks out of the both sides of his mouth, but I certainly realize why people wouldn't vote for the former "john" who is not exactly Mr. Lovable.

Onward and upward.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

No Dogs Allowed in the Oval


Anyone who appreciates and sits around the Oval will realize the truth of what I'm saying: The Oval has become one big receptacle for dog urine and feces.  Urine streams run across the walkway, and dog crap smears (or worse, unpicked dog dumps) layer the same walkway.  On certain days, you can't avoid the noxious smell arising from these deposits.  At the Oval Cafe dogs are not allowed on the patio, but you wouldn't know it, considering that dog owners frequently violate this rule, with no one caring for the most part.  Today I even spotted a pooch on one of the stone chess tables near the cafe, the little one's ass firmly planted on the board, which later will be used by adults and children as a food table.

Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village will always be slum-like unless the dog situation is not altered, irregardless of how much "lipstick on a pig" landscaping is done.

Of course, we are dealing with a basic situation that dogs are allowed in STPCV.  This change, instituted by ex-landlord Rob Speyer, has been devastating to this complex, plunging it in a few years into slumhood and a further division among tenants.  There appears to be no solution.  But, perhaps, there is a solution.  And even more than one.

Firstly, CWCapital should seriously consider a moratorium on new dog ownership in the complex. The big problem with that is that its enforcement would be lax, so realistically a moratorium could only be a symbol that more dogs will not be allowed in STPCV.

Secondly, CWCapital should seriously consider banning dogs from the entire Oval, period.  Just as the riding of bicyles is not allow along the walkway, neither should dogs be allowed.  At the very least, this would free the Oval from the urine and shit stains and their accompanying smells.  It would also mean that dog owners would not be tempted to break the dog rules at the Oval Cafe or place their dogs on chess tables and have them urinate around those chess tables.  It would also mean that those living about the Oval would not be bothered at all times of the day, including early morning hours, by the piercing barking of dogs who are socializing with each other.  Of course, as with everything here, enforcement would have to be tight and it usually isn't.  But the persistence of Public Safety in this matter, with guards posted periodically about the Oval, should make an impact.

Thirdly, CWCapital should consider a further extension of the banning of dogs in the complex, moving acceptable dog areas to the perimeters of the complex, even to the street.  The back areas of STPCV are continual dumping grounds for dog urine and feces, too, and the noise of barking dogs in the early morning hours are as equally, if not more, disruptive to tenants who may want to sleep past 7am.

Ultimately, whoever will wind up owning this complex will have to address the dog situation and institute some firm rules and provide enforcement of those rules.  The dog population in STPCV is increasing rapidly.  If nothing is done, pretty soon this place will be for the dogs.  Unfortunately, it's probably for the dogs already.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Slum Town 2

Once in a while I write that I have never seen Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village look so bad, and I'm here to state it again.  What a pitiful, persistent downward spiral.  This late morning I took a walk around the Oval, which, yes, has never looked worse.  The minimalist landscaping is a joke, revealing the project-like environment we live in wherever one looks.  Just as bad is the profusion of dog urine and crap residue, with the accompanying pungent smells.  As predicated some time ago, things will get worse with this situation as more and more residents acquire dogs and walk them around the Oval.

So here's some of what I saw in just one tour of the Oval walkway.  What a disgrace.

 Several dog crap smears, one near the garbage can and smaller ones beyond it.

 Someone didn't pick up after their dog, no doubt a cute little pooch judging by the shit left behind.  Right near the Greenmarket area, too. Enjoy your vegetables and artisanal cheese tomorrow!

 More from the Greenmarket area.  BTW, even though signs are posted at the Greenmarket stalls warning dog owners not to let their dogs near the food, dog owners still let their dogs sniff at the fruits, vegetables, artisanal cheeses, etc.  Surely a health code violation, but who the hell cares.

No, it's not spilled tea.

Dogs love to piss against the stone block retaining walls around the Oval.  Wherever you see a dark area on the wall, that's where the little (or big) pissers go to relieve themselves, causing a flow of urine to trail across the walkway.

Another trail of stain and pungency.

Near the guardhouse. It has to be some kind of spill.  Has to be. I've yet to see a dog large enough to produce something like that.  But--wait--are elephants allowed in STPCV?

I think the next logical step is to allow us human beings the same rights as dogs have to piss and crap around the Oval. I know some human pissing and crapping is already happening in the stairwells of STPCV buildings, but still...sometimes it's too much to hold it in before one gets to a building.