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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New York City Is Closed Until Further Notice

Sorry, but residents can suck it up, of course.


"Hey, lady, at least it's nicely arranged for you to go through."

"What's your problem? Always complaining! What's wrong with it, anyway?"

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

STR Has Had It

Yes, this is a nasty place. Don't let them tell you otherwise. Don't believe that New York City was always like this. When? Where? I'm not talking about Times Square or the Lower East Side.

Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village, the latter the "jewel" of the complex, were dreams that many wanted to live in. People had to wait years to get into this complex, it was so good to live here and to raise a family here. Don't believe differently. They, the new masters, are lying to you. They want you to believe that the noise and the pollution was always here, because "it's New York." Don't believe their lies.

Not the first time, I was chased around this complex in the morning because of the noise and smell of continual zambonis running around and trying to clean the filth that is here. I was chased by the continual noise of leaf-blowers, with their attachments that spew dirt and dust while trying to clear the area of debris. And they (Management) is full of excuses. If you call, you will hear these excuses over and over again, unless you are persistent, then they will get annoyed at you.

Take it from me, and from the residents who have lived here for years, it was never like this.

They value "Peace and Quiet." Don't believe them. They are just selling to the masses outside. If I am chased around the complex, looking for a restful place to read or meditate or whatever, then the probability is you are too.

I wish I could move, get out of here. Financially, right now it is not doable.

But, believe me, this place is nasty. And it seems to be getting worse.

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.