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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.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Variety is the Spice of Life

Taken in the last couple of days. Everything on the "service road" is considered Blackstone property, which I guess includes all the Citibank bicycles, the cars, etc. The images speak for themselves, of course. And in case you didn't know the history here: Peter Cooper Village was considered the upscale version of Stuyvesant Town. No more if the photos say anything. Urine all over the entrances, and concrete streaks and other quick fixes all over the place, to include gouges. I would not be proud of any of this, but I am me and not our masters.
















The last photo: It appears that a senior gave up.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Blackstone Territory in ST and PCV

According to Debbie Sabatino, the Senior Manager of this property for Blackstone and the complex's resident relations, the territory owned by Blackstone extends to the sidewalks and service roads around the perimeter of STPCV. The "islands" are the actual concrete surroundings beyond service roads, which are owned by the city. So when you see Blackstone's many club cars on the sidewalks or "service roads," they are under the control of PS. This is what is told me, and until the city says something different, it appears that what you may be seeing outside STPCV is actually owned by Blackstone.

I know that the stores around the perimeter are rented by Blackstone and that the little flower areas around the perimeter are cared for by STPCV workers, so the response makes some sense.

However, I must warn that this issue of who owns what on the perimeter is not resolved by me, nor should it be resolved by anyone else. Is PS or Blackstone responsible for the ice cream truck that stands and stinks with constant exhaust the "service road" at the corner of 14 and First Ave.? That is a for instance, and there are a few others.

Now, according to Sabatino, the club cars must obey certain rules, such as not going against traffic. I see these club cars going against traffic frequently, even on Blackstone's loops, but this is the problem: In order for PS to do anything a resident must report this and the time so the monitors, which take pictures, can be checked. Okay, okay, I see you rolling your eyes, but that's what is said. I'm just reporting at this point.

We now know what the official stance is.

Update: You may want to watch this and pay attention to who owns the curb:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stuy Town, Wednesday, May 24

I don't know if this is it, but the benches were "cleaned" around the Oval Fountain:




This is what greets me in the morning, among other things....



Update: May 25, about lunch time and since the morning:




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Associated with be Gone...

I don't know what to say. As someone who appreciates some of the low sale prices Associated has, as someone who shops there every day it seems, I regret that Associated has lost.

The news is on the Town & Village website:

https://town-village.com/2017/05/23/morton-williams-stuy-town-associated-space/

Yeah, some of our residents will be happy, as will Blackstone and Rick and Company, but this is not good news for us tenants who have seen this city "blossom," with prices to match. Perhaps it doesn't matter to you. Fine. Life goes on.

Another part of New York City will be gone.

A Morton Williams will take over. Expect major renovation, closure, and an opening with special sale items to get us interested. And then expect, after a little while, the prices to go up.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Club Cars -- Are They Legal or Illegal?


We know what the answer is via Management: they are legal, at least within this community. But hold on. Doesn't the city say something different?

Most of us residents have been passed by a Club Car, going whichever way, with or against PCVST traffic. There is one usually parked off the Leasing Office to take people around if the apartment is a distance away or for some reason such as walking is too tiring. And we have seen Club Cars head against the traffic and even cross a red light on one of the "islands." (One would think that an island is already city property, as is the area between PCV and ST.)

One of my issues is with these Club Cars (sometimes called "Golf Carts"), which, btw, were never used in the "old days."

This is another region of the country, but:

"A golf cart is a vehicle with three or more wheels, goes only 15 mph, holds only two persons and golf equipment. An electric cart, or ‘low-speed electric vehicle,’ is a ‘motor vehicle’ by definition used to transport persons or materials. It can go up to 20 mph.... No motor vehicle can be driven on a public sidewalk. A golf cart is only allowed on the sidewalk in the immediate area of a golf course and then only to cross from one portion to the other."

Now this is what the city, via NY state, says:

https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/motorized-devices-cannot-be-registered-new-york

What vehicles cannot be registered or operated on New York State sidewalks, streets or highways?You cannot register or operate any of the motorized devices from the list below on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area in New York State that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You may be arrested if you do.
  • Motorized Scooter - a device with a motor attached and a handlebar for a standing rider. An example of a motorized scooter is the device called the Go-ped®.
  • Mini-bike - a small, motorized device with two wheels and created for off-road use. A mini-bike doesn’t qualify as a moped, a motorcycle or an ATV.
  • Off-road Motorcycle (Dirt Bike) - A motorcycle designed for use on off-road trails or in off-road competitions.  Unless exempt, these vehicles must be registered as an ATV.  See register an ATV for more information.
  • Go-Kart - a small, motorized device with four wheels, created for off-road use. You can’t register a go-kart as a motor vehicle or ATV because a go-kart doesn’t have the same equipment.
  • Golf Cart (also referred to as Golf Car or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) - a small motorized device with four wheels designed to carry people.  You can’t register a golf cart as an ATV.  Many low speed vehicles are similar in appearance to a golf cart, and can be registered and driven on New York State highways. 1
  • Motor-assisted Bicycle - a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle doesn’t qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and doesn’t have the same equipment.
For a low speed vehicle to be registered in New York
  • it must meet federal motor vehicle safety standard 500 (49 CFR 571.500)
  • its maximum performance speed must be certified by the manufacturer
  • it must appear on the list of approved limited use vehicles
You can contact NYS DMV Technical Services (518-474-5282, select option #4) to determine if a particular LSV or LSVT is certified and approved.

Friday, May 19, 2017

And so?

I was up early today in the complex and checking things out, past 7am until around 8:40am. Today is the day that finally Blackstone and PS will actively address the dog lanyard issue (again). This is what is saw:

There were no foot patrols around the perimeter of PCV and ST. I counted 10 non-lanyards and 2 lanyards inside PCV. The PS officer inside the large booth at PCV was engrossed in a paper, probably the Daily News. I stopped counting lanyards soon thereafter. I did see a PCVST patrol car going up the 1st Avenue island a bit later, as well as two police traffic cars. These were near 14 St, where I was heading from PCV. Incidentally there is a gathering of dog-owners at the PCV "park"--south end, and the entire faux marble building entrances at PCV are stained with dog-urine. No PS presence when I was there.

Turning the corner at 14th, then going into ST at the Ave A entrance. I was not counting by then, but I saw dog owners with lanyards. I saw no one entering the neighborhood at that time from outside. Again no PS foot presence.

I sat at the bench near the PS office. One riding bicycle passed me by. No PS foot presence or awareness, though the bike passed by the PS office. I guess the monitors can pick him up, but so what?

I have photos, which I may post. Busy day, so things have to wait a bit.

Incidentally today is Friday, so parking tickets are being written along the 1st Avenue loop for a limited time.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Off my chest...

I spoke to the Big Boss the other day at the "Oval Office" meeting (held at the Oval from 5pm to 6pm). By now, I think I've spoken to all the major bosses at STPCV.

So, in light of that and their understanding, I am closing this blog....

Ha, ha.... Fooled you on that one. This blog remains, of course. There are problems that must be addressed, though I'd love to just take photos of the flowers and present them to the readership. The "good news" is management is aware of these problems and is working on them or some of them. At least that is what is said, and we will have photos to prove or disprove it. Why the TA is not doing this, I don't know.

It is the policy of management not to have someone representing management on the blogs, or at least the official TA one. This policy I think is wrong. Having someone, not to battle with tenants, but to speak openly and truthfully, even if it is to say, "I can't address that right now" would do a lot to diffuse any situation. Residents need to be informed. Unlike the Public Safety officer I spoke to not too long ago, who was forceful about "social media" and that no one official goes there. Do know that management is at least aware of the TA Facebook and its comments. Even that knowledge is a big relief.

I recognize that it is not easy dealing with as many tenants that we now have. Even 5,000 less of years back can be difficult. But nothing is easy, and life can be difficult. I've worked in companies where some of the workers are just there to collect a pay check and nothing more. To them, the least amount of work is best--and a union will back them up. And, that was years go, before the advent of the cellphone.

On and off, I've been a member of Oval Study. (I actually do some of my best STR pieces from this spot.) Frankly you can throw all of the books out, as no one reads them, but people, and not just students, use this area to study or write. That said, the presence of the cellphone has done much to change the habits of certain help there. I remember a time (I think it was before Abigail Michaels entered the picture) where the "help" used to be senior citizens or close to them from this community. The place was run like a charm. No cellphones. Try that policy now: No cellphone while you are on the job!

While the help is different from person to person, I've found that some are more interested in the cellphone and their own communication than what happens outside, in the patio, which is their responsibility, not mine or the Oval Study members. Instead of engrossed by their cells and facing the other way, they should be checking to see if someone has sat in the patio to eat lunch or whatever. And the residents (maybe? who knows?) can plead ignorance all they want, but a very clear and large sign states that they have no purpose if they are not members. And you have clear and large signs taped on the tables, at least last year. A simple "Pardon me..." will do much. Yes, these residents will frequently respond: "Oh, I didn't know..." Though at least two very clear signs tell them not to be sitting there without going inside and showing their membership.

Much like this, the cellphone is used at the guard booth where a PS officer should be stationed. How many times have I seen a PS officer on his cellphone and not looking to check the lanyards or the bicycles running around his area, two big problems here. If I see that, others can see it, too. The idea becomes that PS doesn't care and is more interested in, here we go, collecting a pay check and nothing more.

I did an experiment a few weeks ago. I saw very visible dog crap, not picked up, by the "no dog" sign around the Oval pathway. I'd say about four hours went by and the dog crap was not picked up! Unless they were in their own head space, everybody must have seen it and no one called it in? Finally, after my "experiment" was over and I was back in Stuy Town, I called PS, but it shouldn't be me, a resident, to call. It should be the workers, porters, etc. of STPCV who are concerned and call it in. Four hours and counting! What about the unpicked dog crap, very visible, near the corner of 1st Avenue. Why should I or any resident call it in? What are the workers or porters doing? Collecting a pay check and nothing more? And what about these property managers, the small ones that are in charge of this building and that one? Where are they? Are they still around? Don't they see?

A portion of people will try to "get away" with not following the rules. It's been that way forever. (Jaywalking, anyone?--which I have done myself.) But it is up to the representatives of Blackstone--yes, from the lowest to the highest--to make sure that this property works for all of us.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Asser Levy is Open Too -- and has a Swimming Pool!


Having trouble getting motivated or want to increase your activity level for the summer? Asser Levy’s onsite gym and swimming pool has personal trainers to help you reach your goal. Nicknamed “the Prison Gym,” your personal trainer could be black or Puerto Rican, but that’s just to get you motivated the Asser Levy way. If you don’t lift those 100-pound barbells, you get laughed at and called a pussy. So stop by Asser Levy and talk some shit to the guys in charge and you are in! Rates are real cheap, too, not like those for the girlie men and little drama queens across the way in Stuy Town.

Also join us at McDonald’s, at 23 Street near 1st Avenue, this coming Friday. We are partnering with Belch and Feel Good, and will have live singing from the homeless who come here daily to take up space and perfume the air. There will be a live, as opposed to dead, demonstration of how to find an empty toilet when you need to take an hour or two. Make a Big Mac part of your weekend routine.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Dog Lanyard Rule -- Enforcement?

It's has been a long time coming. We think. But this could be old, like from last year. Currently there is a screen shot of "Dog Registration Enforcement" in our community that could very well be an official posting or letter sent by Blackstone last year.

In which case--forget about it! The dog registration and lanyard policy has not been enforced.

This is the policy that has been posted on the TA Facebook the other day, May 4th 2017:



This is the policy of last year:


I will not address the 8,000 dog owner "stops" and PS's "full year of enforcement" yet, and I will not address at this point the "new" dog policy, if it is indeed new.

Oh, and tell me what the date of this was:

http://stuytownreport.blogspot.com/2016/02/general-manage-rick-hayduk-responds.html

Monday, May 1, 2017

Report: May 1, 2017


Just a moment ago, I heard the loud sound of a lawnmower cutting the grass in front of one of the buildings. Which brings me to talk about noise, firstly:

As you know, this property is all about noise. Thankfully, I live in a relatively quiet apartment with only the occasional click-click of high heels above me. And, yes, I've gone upstairs. For me, it could be far worse, as my former, former tenants (all guys this time) would come in at all hours of the night and made sure that their neighbors heard it. They even laughed about the noise they were making. They didn't care.

So noise, of the apartment kind, is variable. You can luck out or go through hell. And all AirBnb should have adequate carpeting per one's lease. As far as Public Safety goes, reports are that their response is variable, too. You may get a PS officer coming over, but by the time he comes over the noise could be gone. The rule is that a neighbor's noise has to be distracting inside your apartment, so expect a visit from PS.

I did call PS recently for another complaint and they did come over and listen to a visiting dog left alone in an apartment and barking away perpetually.

But there is another noise: the noise of apartments getting "refurbishes," which includes the new placement of an air conditioning unit. This necessitates a good amount of drilling. Look around, there are few apartments that have this new unit below the window. This refurbishing will never stop. The noise created is just tough luck for the other tenants. Blackstone, the owners of this place, has to keep on going and drilling.

This leads me to Blackstone. I don't consider Blackstone my enemy. They have a job to do and so they are doing it. And I have contact information for Blackstone on my front page, and I will have more. That said, I've found Blackstone not as responsive as I would like. I'm being nice when I write that.

On March 27th, I emailed Nadeem Meghji of Blackstone (meghji@blackstone.com), providing links to a few pages on the TA and my blog that I had hoped would be convincing.  Mr. Meghji was very nice and friendly to us at the tenant meeting when Blackstone got this place. I got zero response, however, so I emailed April 5th the big boss and CEO at Schwarzman@blackstone.com. Almost immediately, I got a response from Paula Chirhart at Paula.Chirhart@Blackstone.com, who told me that she works with the public affairs team and closely with the Stuy Town team. She promised to discuss my concerns with the internal team. I have not heard again from Ms. Chirhart, but I assumed something was said to the internal team.

Regarding lanyards, which per rule of over a year ago will have non-lanyard people walked of the property (don’t laugh; that is what is said), I have phoned Rick Hayduk once, no response, and I phoned twice last week Jonathan Foux, the director of marketing at Stuy Town. No response, either. I did the latter after I saw big photos outside the leasing office proclaiming Stuy Town with these photos that go against or ignore the carpeting rule. The receptionist inside the leasing office was nice, but instantly cold when she found out what my issue was. I could have died right then and there, and she would have done nothing.

Incidentally, before this, I spent a very frustrating time on the phone talking to two PS officers, who insisted that the lanyard rule was being enforced and that I didn't know what went on with the monitors who followed the non-lanyard people. To say that blood was shooting from eyes after this conversation is not far from the truth.

So far I have been at three of the 13 precinct meetings for neighbors in the area. The chief of PS has been at all three, and Rick at one. I presented photos which showed the ice cream truck on the corner of 1st and 14 Street, this after calling 311 got me no place fast. Sometimes the truck is there, sometimes it is not. I don't know how the truck can be blocking the corner view and have its engine running and stinking up the place, but this has happened and I'm not satisfied with the 311 response.

I continually see bicycle riding around the Oval and non-lanyard dogs being walked, even by dog-owners who live in this property. I will always admit when I see differently. I have seen PS around the Oval, but not all the time and sometimes it takes a long, long while for one to show up, if ever when you are there. I have seen PS stop a bicyclist, usually a delivery person but this very infrequently. Typically to do that there are two PS officers. My assumption is that they do not "harass" residents, but just the Mexican or Asian delivery people. Again, very infrequently. And I have seen PS officers give parking tickets every week or so around the loops.

This is just a report. I’ve not given up (fat chance of that happening) and will pursue this, and other concerns, in the months to come. I've said this before and it is important: Believe what you see and not what they (Management or PS) tell you, as they are good at avoidance and telling half-truths. You know the truth. I'm not saying that they are lying, but they have a job to do. Your job is different.