Letters to the editor, Nov. 3

Keep Pavilion for public, not restaurant

Re: “Looking Ahead” column, T&V, Oct. 27
I’d like to second Wally Dobelis’ suggestion that the “proponents should give up” on the idea of turning the Union Square Park Pavilion into a restaurant.

What the Union Square Community Coalition (USCC) and others want is to dedicate the pavilion as a sheltered recreational adjunct to the adjacent playground. Along with its historical function as the site of political activities, the Pavilion has had a long time recreational use, though the Parks Department tends to ignore this fact. Even when Parks allowed the building to deteriorate, a parents group utilized the pavilion for birthday parties, rainy day play and other activities.

This kind of use is happening now at Manhattan’s other Pavilion – in Columbus Park – where recreational activities for all age groups are provided. The heavily used Union Square playground has virtually no facilities for older “middle-aged” children or for those with physical disabilities, and since the Parks department destroyed the small sandlot playground that ran parallel to Union Square West, there is no space to provide such services. We desperately need Parks to “give up” and return the Pavilion to its traditional recreational use.

Carol Greitzer
The writer is a former member of the City Council, representing the park and surrounding areas.

T&V readers weigh in on planned ice rink

Re: Question asked on Town & Village’s Facebook page, “What do you think of the planned ice rink for Stuy Town?”

This is an idiotic idea. The fact that it may have charges attached to it defies belief.  The additional fact that it may be open to non-residents boggles the mind.

These monies could be much better spent in cleaning up the buildings; perhaps investing in a coat of paint; calling in an exterminator to get rid of the burgeoning vermin population. This once garden spot – A Park Runs Through It used to be a slogan – is turning into an increasingly commercialized venue. The presence of food trucks on the property is ridiculous. We are surrounded by eating establishments of varying kinds.  We don’t need them on the premises.

You also solicited opinions (on Facebook, asking what types of events residents want to see) on A) Concerts, B) Theater, C) Children’s activities and D) None on the above.  I opt for D but will make an exception for C in moderation.

This is a haven on repose in the hustle bustle of the city. The management has definitely lost sight of this.

Judith L. Swearingen, ST

I very much welcome the plan for an ice skating rink in Stuyvesant Town.

I think it will be a great addition to our complex, and one that adults will be able to enjoy.

As for the concerns of those expressing fears about “noise and garbage,” please remember this is an ice skating rink we are talking about – not a coal mining operation.

John Hackett, ST

Seems to me, turning the turf playground into a winter wonderland ice skating could potentially be a good thing. An ice skating rink could give a great outdoor recreational facility in the dead of winter when there is little else to do. As to the people who are already complaining in advance about noise, do they really think skaters will make more noise than kids playing touch football and soccer?

There are some cranky people who will call in a noise complaint in mid-afternoon if their upstairs neighbor drops a sock on the floor. Clearly they’d be better suited to a gated community in Florida than apartment living in a dense urban environment.

Of course, more realistically, there is a problem with people being displaced from one of the few decent sized active recreational areas in Stuy Town/Peter Cooper. What happens to them?

Can new field be created on the Oval to handle the displaced sports?
Other key questions: Will the ice skating rink be free or very reasonably priced? And will it be for residents and their guests only as it should be? Could they make certain hours for very young and then maybe do evening skating for teenagers under the lights? Could residents form hockey teams to play on it in certain hours? Will they give skating lessons? At what price?

Done wrong, it could come off as another money grab by an absentee landlord catering to its wealthier newly-arrived lux living tenants.
Done right it could be an added value for a large part of the community. Let’s hear more about the owner’s plans to see whether it is a money grab or a really creative use of space.

Sean O’Ceallaigh, ST

I am a resident of Stuy Town and on a nice day I am regularly walking in the Oval with my coffee in the morning or just enjoying the nice day. I see the people gathered and many have toddlers and young children engaged in sporting activities. It’s a pleasure to see children outdoors rather than using the Xbox.

I think an ice rink is a great out of the box idea. So you’ll probably hear some children’s laughter and excitedly expressing themselves. I also believe that such a venture must be accompanied by security on-site, in order to prevent anyone not authorized to avail themselves of using the ice rink.

Besides, it’s not a year round rink and what a great experiment! If you remember years back when soda machines were placed by the playgrounds, all the complaints and issues which never materialized, nor did the customers. We should give this a try and during the holiday season the rink should pipe in some holiday/fun music – not too loud please.

Vincent Rosiello, ST

In a Town & Village article (10/27/11) on the planned ice rink for playground 10, Adam Rose says, “It is important to note that this is an amenity for our families… a wonderful new amenity for residents and their guests.”

No, Mr. Rose. An amenity is peace and quiet — with trees, grass, benches — inside the hubbub of a densely-packed metropolis.
An amenity is an idyllic park-like, non-commercialized Oval and free-range playgrounds.

An amenity is socializing outdoors with friends, family, and neighbors without amplified sound.

An amenity is the occasional special event, like the kids’ Halloween festival or the much-missed Stuy Town flea market.
Those are the amenities that Stuy Town is uniquely capable of offering… everything else we can get by simply walking out of the complex. And one more thing: How loud are the “amenities” outside your own home?

Sheila Keenan, ST

On every imaginable online forum – including various ST/PCV-related Facebook pages and blogs – and on the Letters to the Editor page of Town & Village itself tenants are up-in-arms. The straw that has finally broken our backs is the coming pay-to-play skating rink being built in playground 10 in Stuyvesant Town. Tenants want to know what the zoning regulations for the interior areas of STPCV allow. Skating rinks, food trucks, Greenmarkets, tables hawking Verizon and Zipcar?
The ever-increasing, non-stop commercialization of the Oval, resulting in the loss of the peace and quiet that was one of the reasons many of us originally moved here, is terrible and sad.

If there is any hope of stopping the many commercial activities that are negatively affecting our quality-of-life here, we need to hear from the leadership of the ST-PCV Tenants Association and Councilman Garodnick as to whether or not CW Capitol and Rose Associates are within their legal right to impose these kinds of unwanted activities on us.

In order to take legal action, we need to know whether or not these activities fall outside of the zoning regulations for the interior of the property or not ASAP.

The Board of Directors of the Tenants Association and Councilman Garodnick were all elected to their offices because we expected them to assist us in exactly this kind of situation. I will not vote for any of them again – or rejoin the Tenants Association – if this issue is not addressed by them immediately… and I am not alone in that sentiment.

Name withheld, ST

4 thoughts on “Letters to the editor, Nov. 3

  1. i don’t see how a ice skating rink is any different then a basketball court.

    people claim that they are up in arms? over this? maybe you should be up in arms over more pressing matters like how water is turned all the time…

    but really living in stuytown is a blessing.

    • I assume most of you do not live overlooking playground 10. The noise building the rink has started at 8am and and the banging continues now. It will probably take until opening day to finish then we will have to put up with the noise , music and flood lights thru Feb. After that another 3 weeks of the thing being taken down. Does that seem fair to anyone. I might as well set up a tent in Times Square and live there. We have no peace and quiet any longer. It is just plain wrong.

  2. I don’t think that those of us concerned about noise from the ice skating rink mean the sounds of children (or adults) at play or enjoying themselves. It’s the sounds of generators, ice-cleaning machines, and amplified music that is the question, particularly if you live right next to the ice rink. Sound carries and is often louder on the higher floors than it is on the ground, even with the windows closed. Plus the ice rink is open 6 hours a day weekdays–through dinner, homework, bedtime for little kids–and 12 hours a day on weekends–many folks’ only time off. That’s a lot of intrusive noise to have to accommodate, even on Christmas.

  3. In addition to calling 311, you can also file a 311 noise complaint online, either through the Department of Environmental Protection or through links in the Noise FAQ. Here’s the link:

    If you scroll down to the bottom of the FAQ, there’s a section called “You might be interested in.” You can click on the noise for ventilation, for example, and that will let you file a noise complaint.

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