Post-Storm and Recovery Information from Dan Garodnick

The following message has been sent out via email by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association.

Please verbally share this information with your neighbors.

—-

Dear Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Neighbors:

I know the last 24 hours have been tumultuous for our neighbors, and I hope that this email provides answers to some if the most pressing questions. I will continue to update you as I learn new information about utilities, property cleanup, and City services.

When will we have electricity back?

Best estimate, according to Con Ed, is this Friday at the absolute earliest. That is with crews working around the clock between now and then. A more likely scenario would be sometime over the weekend. None of this is set in stone, however, as these things frequently take more time than anticipated. Con Ed is officially saying “3-5 days.”

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Hurricane Sandy update: Con Ed alerts for this eventing

As of shortly before 5 p.m., the wrath of Hurricane Sandy knocked out electrical service to 68,700 people, Con Ed reported, and the number is likely to grow, as heavy winds knock trees into overhead wires.

The utility said it is also monitoring flooding conditions that could be at their most severe tonight. Con Edison has notified Manhattan customers from 36th Street south that the company may have to shut off their electrical service if the underground electrical equipment becomes inundated with water.

At 5:50 p.m., Stuyvesant Town sent out an emailed notice to residents to not use elevators and to stay in their apartments. Residents with special needs are asked to call public safety at (212) 598-5233.

Con Edison has also cut steam service to 140 customers in Manhattan. If steam pipes become inundated in water on the outside, the difference in temperature can make them dangerous, the utility warned. Stuyvesant Town lost steam service this morning.

Con Ed customers can report downed power lines, outages, and check service restoration status by computer or mobile device at http://www.conEd.com. They also can call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

At 3 p.m. Janet Handal, president of the Waterside Tenants Association, said, “We expect to lose power at some point this afternoon.”

Handal said she opted to stay put, despite the fact that Waterside Plaza is in Zone A, a mandatory-evacuation area.

“Biggest concern here is storm surge flooding which will flood our garage and the elevator shafts, which is what happened with Irene,” she said. “We have been told that Con Ed will shut down the power about 6 p.m. They have shut down three out of four elevators at this time.”

 

 

Hurricane Sandy alerts re: openings and closings

A shop on First Avenue is ready for Sandy.
Photo by Michael Alcamo

At this time, the mayor has announced that schools will remain closed tomorrow as will after school programs, PAL programs, senior centers and libraries.

During a press conference this morning, Bloomberg explained that there would be “no chance” that mass transit would be running in time to serve the city.

Emergency shelters, however, have been open throughout the city with the current total of people in them at 3,900. The total number of pets at this time is 73, the mayor said, and the emergency shelter closest to the Stuyvesant Town/Gramercy area is Baruch College at 155 East 24th Street.

Waterside Plaza, which is in the mandatory evacuation Zone A area, has been evacuated, although, as noted by the property’s general manager Peter Davis this morning, management can’t force people to leave, nor can police. However, he said residents seemed to have mostly been cooperative after management sent out robo-calls reminding residents that Mayor Bloomberg ordered the evacuation.

Last year, Waterside Plaza experienced some flooding due to Hurricane Irene, and management is bracing for flooding this time as well.

Campos Plaza is also in Zone A. Bloomberg said earlier that the city was running buses into the city’s public housing developments that were in the evacuation area, but that the service wouldn’t be offered for much longer.

“The City is running buses for the next hour or so but that’s going to stop because it just becomes too dangerous to run the buses,” the mayor said in an official statement.

He added that the city had placed flyers, knocked on doors and made phone calls to reach

All is quiet on the Oval on Monday morning.
Photo by Michael Alcamo

people in every NYCHA development since Friday. Additionally, police were at the developments telling people through loudspeaker that they had to evacuate.

Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village is not in an evacuation area (the properties are situated in Zones B and C though the FDR Drive is in Zone A). However, ST/PCV buildings had hot water shut off this morning as a result of ongoing Con Ed emergency work.

Council Member Dan Garodnick alerted residents via email last night that CW Capital/CompassRock had added extra personnel to the property to prepare for the storm.

For those who have yet to do their hurricane shopping, Gristedes on First Avenue is still open. An employee there said the store was out of batteries, but there was still plenty of water. She added that it wasn’t known yet how late the store would be open. An employee at Associated Supermarket on 14th Street told Town & Village shortly before 1 p.m. that the store had just closed, but that the staff hopes to open tomorrow. Nasser Hashesh, owner of Lenz’s Deli on East 20th Street, said his store is still open for business and still serving food. Since Stuyvessant Town is currently without hot water, employees were heating water “the old fashioned way” to wash dishes and the store just got a delivery of bottles water this morning. Hashesh said the store would probably remain open tonight until 7 or 8 p.m.

This morning truly seemed to be the calm before the storm throughout the Stuyvesant Town area, as photos sent in by readers have shown the Oval empty except for a security officer and determined joggers who still conducted their workouts around Stuyvesant Square Park.

If anyone would like to share their Hurricane Sandy photos, please email them to editor@townvillage.net or share them on the Town & Village Facebook page. Please specify if you do not want a photo credit.

Latest ST/PCV hurricane alert from CWCapital/CompassRock

CW Capital/CompassRock has just sent out the following resident alert via email:

IN PREPARATION OF THE IMPENDING HURRICANE, PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING UPDATES AND REMINDERS:  

MANAGEMENT IS TAKING ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS TO MAINTAIN VITAL PROPERTY SERVICES. WE HAVE SECURED EMERGENCY GENERATORS FOR THE WATER PUMPS IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN DOMESTIC WATER IN CASE POWER GOES OUT.   

CON EDISON ADVISED US THAT MAIN STEAM VAULTS IN OUR AREA HAVE BEEN SHUT DOWN. THIS WILL RESULT IN LOSS OF HOT WATER UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. THIS SHUTDOWN WILL NOT AFFECT COLD WATER AT THIS TIME.  DO NOT VENTURE OUT UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.  

 

THE MANAGEMENT OFFICE LOBBY IS CLOSED – 

– FOR MEDICAL EMERGENCIES, PLEASE CALL 911

– FOR RESIDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS WHO REQUIRE ASSISTANCE, PLEASE CALL PUBLIC SAFETY AT 212-598-5233 OR PRESS OPTION 2 

– MANAGEMENT WILL BE RESPONDING TO EMERGENCY MAINTENANCE REQUESTS ONLY, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE  

 

PLEASE CONTINUE TO REFER TO THE OEM WEBSITE REGARDING CITYWIDE ALERTS AND UPDATES: 

http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/home/home.shtml  

  
AS THE STORM PROGRESSES AND WE HAVE NEW INFORMATION TO REPORT, WE WILL UPDATE OUR WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA: 

https://www.facebook.com/PCVST 

https://twitter.com/PCVSTLiving.  

 

YOUR COOPERATION DURING THIS STORM IS APPRECIATED.  

Storm preparation message from Council Member Garodnick via the ST-PCV Tenants Association

The following message has been sent out via email by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association.

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village
Tenants Association
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Important Message

from Council Member Garodnick On Storm Preparation

PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL

Dear Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town Neighbors:

I just spent the last few hours with our neighbors at Waterside Plaza, who happen
to live in Zone A, and are being evacuated.  While Peter Cooper and Stuyvesant Town
are in Zone B and not subject to mandatory evacuation, please remember that we are
right on the border of Zone A, making us particularly susceptible to storm surge.

The most immediate known effect will be the loss of steam, and thus, hot water.
Con Edison has indicated that it is going to cut off steam as a precaution.  This
will result in the loss of hot water until further notice.  This shutdown will not
affect cold water at this time.

I have spoken directly to the leadership at CW Capital, and they advise that they
have added additional personnel to the property to prepare for the storm.  They
also have implemented an emergency phone notification system. To add or update your
phone or email I encourage you to register at www.pcvst.com [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017U4_9CaQLRsZRA-oZ1lFI-zaYnbaa_0oJnXQh3lTs_1F8dPtYXK-d0LoMvgaIvcd6XDzwoLpGBlhCELoE6VSKMxD7Yz9BwDtp6HQIUubA7a8a7XbZgQuuer3cxRPAj2SxFhcc9_6EDkZub43jbRlTVMc3mXs-xTTvh_VKx9aWlyN-fm7eWbuVANRSyEO2M-ARCM_zxyPSG3hnrO1xuxh1UnOpMUNVNjcA3pIP6JKLjWJXSumU7_JxA==]

This email is designed to answer the most frequently asked questions from residents.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When will the storm hit?

As of the time of this email, the storm is still expected tomorrow, with the heaviest
rain occurring in the afternoon/early evening.  There is a flood watch in effect
from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon. Stay tuned to the radio and TV for
updates.  Online, you can also monitor the latest official information from the
City at www.nyc.gov/severeweather.  [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017U4_9CaQLRtIVQwB8M54UZ1swABKq03Ch4U6ZYWdE4VzK4qWtrhd7Srpz8Gk1sRnL2NSnmq71oH4Llf06Zo1kRyct3ptPeEBDIRNJwmbNqojktqZ8tI17IS8DQ8oXpUAEdkjbMBSUriLtwLQP8hxpQOrgtFcyiJVClwHDqL4fnPW2VBuEkuLy7Qg2KBzhuHQ2apvW3H7AYiQUpuiA535mt6pm-tVrnAYkp3EfTj1hTzIYlIgd6wtYmMPQdGT2tx-kyuXoCHA75fPbE_MChiYktk56BriROT7E2CwAk6ZtKBnVbnCTFYLv9L4CtOnk0NH]

When will I know if I need to evacuate?

Residents of Zone A – which does not include Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper —
are subject to a mandatory evacuation by order of the Mayor by 7:00 p.m. today.
Any further evacuations will be communicated on television, on radio, on the www.nyc.gov
website, as well as via the Office of Emergency Management’s “Notify NYC” system,
www.nyc.gov/notifynyc.

At this time, residents of Zone B (including Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper) are
not required to evacuate, but are encouraged to make contingency plans to stay with
friends or family further inland in case the storm worsens.  Some residents are
even acting on those plans in advance of the storm.  (Flooding in our area would
not be without precedent.)

If I need to leave my home, where should I go?

If you are subject to a mandatory evacuation, you should try to stay with a friend
or family member who lives outside the flood zones.  (Residents in mandatory evacuation
zones are required to leave their homes by 7:00 p.m. today).  The city evacuation
centers are also available to you.

Where is the nearest evacuation center, and when will it open?

The nearest evacuation center for Stuyvesant Town / Peter Cooper Village and Waterside
Plaza is Baruch College (155 East 24th Street).  Evacuation centers are already
open.   I went over to Baruch earlier today, and they are open and ready for evacuees.

Can I go to an evacuation center even if I don’t live in “Zone A” area?

Yes.  Evacuation centers will not turn anyone away.

What should I bring with me if I evacuate?

Prepare a “go-bag” for yourself so that you are ready if you need to head out in
a hurry.  Make sure to include in it copies of important documents in a portable
waterproof container (insurance cards, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.).  A go-bag
should also include an extra set of house keys, credit/ATM cards and $50 to $100
cash in small denominations, bottled water and nonperishable food such as granola
bars, a flashlight, up-to-date medication information (the medication each member
of your household takes, why they take them, their dosages, and doctors’ names and
phone numbers), and contact and meet-up information for your household.

What should I do with my pet?

Pets with owners will be allowed at evacuation centers.  In the meantime, create
a go-bag for your pet in case of emergency.  This should include “comforting” toys
or treats; a current color photo of you and your pet, in case you are separated;
and a cotton sheet to place over the pet’s carrier to keep it calm.

Am I safe to stay in my Stuyvesant Town or Peter Cooper Village building if there
is flooding outside?

Yes.  Your safest place during this storm will be to stay at home, unless the City
issues a mandatory evacuation for Zone B.  Residents are advised to stay home, with
adequate supplies.   Traversing the property presents additional risks because there
are many trees, whose branches are vulnerable in heavy winds.

If the bottom of my building floods, is it safe to stay on the upper floors?

Management advises that it is safe.  The buildings’ basements have flooded in the
past, and they feel confident that there are no structural concerns that arise from
basement flooding.

Will the gas and water work in my building if there is a power outage?

Water pumps will not work in the event of an outage, and water tanks in ST/PCV buildings
frequently drain from use within 2-4 hours of an outage.

It is advised that you take steps to ensure that you have adequate drinking water
in advance of a power outage.  Aside from purchasing bottled water, some people
fill water jugs or other containers to ensure that they will have enough water around.
And you should not wait until the last minute to do this.  One gallon per person
per day is recommended.  Management does not expect any issues with the gas in the
event of an electrical power outage (though stove-top ignition lighters may not
themselves work).

If the building floods, is it safe to drink my tap water?

Yes.   The City will advise residents publicly if there is ever any concern about
the safety of drinking water.

Will we lose power if the building floods?

Not necessarily.  According to management, insofar as flooding does lead to a loss
of power, it is usually caused by flooding in and under the streets, where Con Ed
runs its power lines.

What else should I do in the event of a power outage?

Con Ed advises that you turn off all lights and appliances to prevent overloaded
circuits when power is restored.

Because of the electronic keycard system, will we be able to get in and out of our
buildings?

There is a 72-hour battery backup for the keycard system.

Are tenants on upper floors supposed to take shelter on floor 10 or lower?

That recommendation is meant more for large high-rises; residents should be safe
in ST/PCV buildings.  To the extent that there is any concern, it would be about
the potential for water to infiltrate on the lowest floor of the building, not the
highest.

What’s going on with our cars?

Garages 3, 4 and 5 are most at risk of flooding, because they are closest to Zone
A.  Management is asking the users of those garages to move their cars out of those
garages.  Garages 1 and 2 had some flooding in past storms, so users of those garages
also may want to move their cars to higher ground.

In summary:

For your home:

Keep enough supplies in your home to last for at least three days, including

water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries and a first aid kit.  If power
goes out, we will lose access to running water, so you want to fill your bathtub
with water (for bathing, or to flush toilet), and maintain extra bottles of water
or pans with tap water in your kitchen.

Secure your home:  close and lock all windows and doors, draw all shades, close
all blinds and drapes.

Place folded towels on window sills to absorb any leaking water

During the height of the storm, stay away from windows and do not use elevators
unless absolutely necessary.

If power goes out:

–Turn off all lights and appliances.

–Avoid opening your freezer or refrigerator.  Most freezers will keep food frozen
for at least 24 hours

For your car:

Quik Park recommends that customers with cars parked in garages 3 and 4 move their
vehicles off-site to an area outside the flood zone by Monday at 8AM.  Call Quik
Park at 212-614-5895 for more information and options

Parking on the street carries risks from flying debris and extreme flooding.

Going outside:

If you don’t need to go outside, don’t.  The City shut all parks today at 5pm because
of fear of the risks presented from falling branches.  The same concerns are present
in our community, which has many mature trees.

Closings:

The MTA has suspended all service, with subways ending service at 7pm and buses
at 9pm tonight.  Until then the MTA has increased service to assist with the evacuation.

All public schools are closed tomorrow, Monday, October 29th.

All Senior Centers are closed Monday and Tuesday, October 29th and 30th.

*For up to date information on the storm, call 311, visit www.nyc.gov, or tune into
TV and radio broadcasts.

*Call PCV/ST Public Safety if you need assistance or to report an emergency on the
property.

*Call Resident Services at 212-420-5000 to report a maintenance emergency.

*Check back at garodnick.com [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017U4_9CaQLRs6CuxXmZUwkG4jwEHor1EfP8jNfln632yomyw25ORdODmhRxNFCcD_pFoHri2Hqgxv_NbTkQ1f7QIVKFZ2uZv4IfKgJz6QHNj0cK8HBWG6DDPvsdg3UaBARZWoU4J36VpbeqbZ8eKE2M-hlmx4uGhuJJ47mrDkurUn9bIVlFVenQ4o5Ddf0J_KffV0XuvYuQ26xsTN1siuQ1m5IIFCeziPh-6v5hVIh5d0U9kGnqL2lA==]
for more updates.

Stay safe,

Dan Garodnick

PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO YOUR NEIGHBORS

Hurricane Sandy Alert (Update: City evacuation zone map)

The Office of Emergency Management is monitoring Sandy.

According to New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, at the time of this posting, Hurricane Sandy is moving northward off the southeastern U.S. coast., but its precise track is still unknown. Additionally, though the effects of Sandy on the city are also still unknown, high winds in excess of 100 mph are expected.

On Friday afternoon, CW Capital/CompassRock issued a resident alert regarding hurricane Sandy. Residents should expect to get the notice under their doors.

Management is asking that residents take the following precautions and maintain: water, non-perishable food, a battery operated radio and a working flashlight and extra batteries, rather than candles.

Residents are also being asked to make sure cell phones are charged and check in on neighbors.

Other precautions include closing and locking windows and shades, keeping folded towels on window sills to absorb leaking water and staying away from windows.

Residents who park in Stuyvesant Town Garage 3 or 4 should move their vehicles somewhere outside the flood zone by 8 a.m. on Monday, October 29.

More information can be found online on the website of the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Updates will also be posted on the Stuyvesant Town website.

Con Ed has also issued an alert, with the following safety tips:

If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all downed wires as if they are live. Never attempt to move or touch them with any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or water.

Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you’re in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.

If your power goes out, turn off all lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.

Avoid opening your freezer to see if food is still frozen. Every time you open the door, room-temperature air enters and speeds the thawing process. Most fully loaded freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 36 to 48 hours; half-full freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.

UPDATE: The city has issued a map of evacuations and non-evacuation zones, the evacuation zone being A. Zone B faces a “moderate” risk of evacuation. The closest shelter is located at Baruch College, 155 East 24th Street. The map can be viewed here. To see what zone your building is in, visit the Office of Emergency Management’s Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder. 

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 25

Conversion would bring back stability

To the Editor:

After the ST/PCV Tenants Association’s recent mailing to residents explaining that it will be taking its plan for a rental or purchase conversion plan directly to bondholders, two long-time neighbors asked me why a conversion was needed at all – why Stuy Town and Peter Cooper can’t just go happily on as an all-rental community. The answer is pretty simple: Because MetLife sold us to Tishman Speyer for $5.4 billion dollars (most of it borrowed.)

As Tishman Speyer learned in its brief, turbulent few years as owner – there is no way that the income from rent-stabilized apartments can support maintenance along with payments on that huge debt. So while it’s possible that we could remain an all-rental community, there is no way that we can remain an affordable all-rental community.

Unless we tenants can gain control of our lives – which is the goal of the Tenants Association-Brookfield plan for a condo conversion with the option to remain a stabilized renter – the future looks grim for those of us who love this place.

If CW Capital chooses to sell to another Tishman-like real estate operator, the new owner must make a concerted drive to increase revenues by replacing rent-stabilized residents with those who can pay market rates. Long-time residents would face renewed harassment to drive them from their homes and, if they managed to stay, would be surrounded by crowds of eight or nine young people jammed into the two-bedroom market-rate apartments it takes eight or nine of them to pay for.

The other destructive possibility is that a new owner would view our wonderful parks and playgrounds as potential profit centers with who-knows-what-kind-of commercial development consuming some of these 80 prime New York acres.

I’ve lived here for 51 years and, like many others, would love to recapture those happy days when we were a family-oriented community of rent-stabilized tenants, when there was one porter per building and the parking garages charged $35 a month.

But Met Life built this community as a kind of public service to returning World War II veterans. Met’s little Eden was a unique, historic and not-to-be-repeated event that we lucked into. No profit; they just needed to break even.

We can’t go back to the good old days, so let’s move forward to a return to stability. Someone who understands these things explained to me that the TA-Brookfield conversion plan would produce that stability by lessening dependence on rental income to cover operating costs and debt payments.

In addition to the upfront capital Brookfield can provide, the many current residents and outsiders who would value ownership of their homes would also help produce the capital needed to maintain the property and to lower the size of a new mortgage, making a structurally sound and affordable combined ownership-rental community possible into the future.

Soni Fink, PCV

Note: The author of this letter is a board member of the Tenants Association, though she is not writing on behalf of the TA. Continue reading

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 18

Garodnick: Tenants have moved on

The following is an open letter from Council Member Dan Garodnick to Charles Spetka, CEO, CW Financial Services LLC.

Dear Mr. Spetka:

Ten months ago, the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association announced that it had partnered with Brookfield Asset Management to put forth a plan to buy the property on behalf of the tenants that would satisfy CW Capital’s obligations to its bondholders.

Since that time, the TA/Brookfield partnership approached you many times and has even proposed to you an offer structure that has the potential to satisfy your obligations in full.  For reasons not at all clear to me, CW Capital has not yet given the tenants and Brookfield the necessary information to develop their structure into a formal bid.  While you may not share a commitment to this community beyond your own short-term interests, I would expect that you would not willfully pass up an opportunity to satisfy your bondholders.

After decades of peace in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, the last six years have brought conflict, upheaval and instability.  While we cannot point fingers at CW Capital for creating the problem, we certainly can fault you for prolonging it.

Accordingly, I write to advise you that we are going to pursue this issue directly with your bondholders; with Wells Fargo, the trustee and master servicer of the CMBS trusts; with Fortress, your parent company; and with the relevant rating agencies.  To the extent that CW Capital cannot see the wisdom of having this conversation with an organized community that has secured a capital partner prepared to get you a full recovery, perhaps these others will.

Of course, to the extent that you wish to engage directly with the tenants in furtherance of their plan at any time, I am certain that their door will be open.

Sincerely,

Daniel R. Garodnick  Continue reading

Art in Odd Places arrives on 14th St.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By Sabina Mollot

On Friday, the eighth annual Art in Odd Places (AiOP) festival kicked off on East 14th Street, with about a dozen artists and performers taking over the entrance and sidewalk in front of Campos Plaza.

The festival is scheduled to run through October 15 and features a total of 112 visual and performance art projects taking place between Avenue C and the Hudson River. Its creator is teaching artist Ed Woodham, who this year chose the theme “Model” for the festival, with 14th Street taking on the role of the world’s longest runway.

At the opening event, much to the delight, amusement, indifference — or in a few cases horror — of passerby, the festival’s costumed participants danced, played music, created portraits, or, depending on the act, either interacted with event goers or completely ignored them.

Two-man act Brian and Ryan (last names Black and Bulis respectively) were the latter sort, as they were far too busy communicating with one another on their plastic cup phones and towering helmets.

Interfaith minister Rev. Lainie Love Dalby, who was also wearing a hat taller than she was, was the former type of performer as she offered blessings to passersby.

Dalby, who’s also known as the “Lady Gaga of Consciousness and Spirituality,” explained, “I mix the sacred and pop culture in my work.”

The blessings included a bit more touching than one might expect on the street from a smiling stranger, as well as a splash of rose and jasmine scented essential oils, but interestingly no one seemed put off by the intimate ritual.

In fact, Stuyvesant Town resident Irmgard Taylor, who attended AiOP after reading about the event in T&V, seemed delighted at having received a blessing on the street.

“This is wild,” she said. “A lady gave me a blessing and then she sang, looking at me.”

Taylor added that even though she lives across the street, she’d never stepped foot in Campos Plaza before.

“I can’t believe I’ve never been in this place,” she said. “This is such a neighborhood thing.”

A Peter Cooper Village resident, Council Member Dan Garodnick, also stopped by for a while after picking up his son Asher from daycare.

The father and son seemed especially interested in watching a group of dancers, who normally do their “B-boy” style routines on the subway, performing on the sidewalk.

“We just stumbled upon this,” Garodnick said, “but this is really one of those quirky New York events that makes the city great.”

Interestingly, the dancers’ group, called Acidic Soul, wasn’t even supposed to be part of the event. The scheduled artists were actually two Kansas City men who designed the robes worn by the performers, and they were originally planning to wear the robes themselves. However, when the duo spotted Acidic Soul’s members dancing at Grand Central station on Thursday, they asked them to join forces.

“They look much better than we do,” said Dylan Mortimer, one of the artists on the project called “Safety Robes.”

The garments were actually choir robes made from the orange material used in vests worn by safety workers, and depending on how they’re worn and where, could make the wearer look like he’s either directing traffic or giving a blessing.

Another one of the artists making her way around Campos Plaza was Lulu Lolo, whose art project was “The Gentleman of 14th Street.” Clad in a tux and top hat and even sporting an upturned mustache, Lolo said she was inspired by the defunct tradition of tipping one’s hat. Having had interacted with a number of people that way since the event began, the performer (an AiOP old hat herself) said people seemed to appreciate the old-fashioned gesture.

“People have been taken by surprise,” she said. “Everyone’s so into their technology, but people want to be acknowledged.”

Along with Lolo, other performers milling around included Jerome Porsperger, who was conducting a symphony that only those who donned a pair of headphones could hear, a dancer under a tent-like blanket moving to live music and a masked woman painted green who was letting a few giggling girls write on her body.

While strolling through the odd art in her normal place, DeReese Huff, president of the Campos Plaza Tenants Association, remarked, “It’s a great thing they’re doing here.

“It’s a little weird,” she added, “but it’s great. As you can see the tenants are loving it.”

For more information about Art in Odd Places, visit artinoddplaces.org or for real-time schedule information, see the event’s Twitter feed @artinoddplaces.

ST ‘purse snatcher’ arrested

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

On Friday, 25-year-old Jonathan Fernandez was arrested for allegedly snatching a woman’s purse in front of 447 East 14th Street. Police collared him after ST/PCV security officers saw him entering Stuy Town a second time.

The robbery took place in the early hours on September 29 when the victim, a resident of Peter Cooper, told police that she was standing outside the building while talking on the phone. At 12:45 a.m., she said, a man wearing a grey-hooded sweatshirt hit her in the back of the head and grabbed her purse, which contained a wallet, debit card, Kuwaiti and Canadian driver’s licenses, U.S. and Canadian Social Security cards, a touch pad and a Canadian resident card.

The woman told police that she did not get a good look at the person who hit her, but Fernandez was arrested for the robbery last Friday after Stuyvesant Town security examined video of the incident and later recognized him in the area again, 13th Precinct Deputy Inspector Ted Berntsen said.

According to William McClellan, the security chief at ST/PCV, officers saw the suspect enter the property and followed him to 23rd Street, where they confronted him and alerted the 13th Precinct.

“Law enforcement arrested the suspect and charged him with the robbery at PCVST, as well as several other robberies in the neighborhood,” said McClellan in a written statement. “The Public Safety officers involved in this case did an outstanding job and this is a stellar example of the work our department does to help keep the residents of PCVST safe and secure,” he added.

(Editor’s note: This robbery was first noted on the Stuyvesant Town Report blog. On the week of the incident, police wouldn’t disclose information on it, citing the open investigation.)

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 11

Why Obama caved

I’ve just learned that blind people can ride bikes. That’s right. They’re riding blind. They use a technique called “echoing,” which is what bats use to direct their flight so they don’t crash into cave walls, people on bikes or politicians in debates. So  “blind as a bat” is no longer negative or pejorative. Bats are sensitive to sound, and so am I. The President must be sensitive as well. He didn’t want to come out of his cave.

I’m sensitive to the sound of the voice as well as the rhythm. Watching the presidential debates, I was tempted to change the channel. I even checked the TV Guide to see what else was on, but no, I stayed with the debates and Romney’s irritating voice. Never mind what he was saying, things like Obama care is bad but Romney care is good. Impartial fact-checkers have proven these plans are essentially the same, but Romney says his plan was right for states but not for the entire nation. I’m tired of hearing about states’ rights. If it were up to the states, we’d still have slavery. And guess who wouldn’t be Mr. President?

So I wasn’t listening to what Romney was saying (I knew it would be the opposite of what he said yesterday.) but rather to how he said it. He must have been anxious to be seen as “presidential,” whatever that means, but did he have to be so wired, as if he were on some kind of high?

If he were in a street brawl, he’d be the guy to throw the first punch while his opponent was taking off his jacket with his arms trapped behind his back. Mitt’s voice made me want to scratch myself. It made my heart race. Why was he so agitated? Did he spend the night before the debate in Starbucks, sampling everything they make? He was jumpy and relentless as he went on the warpath, and he couldn’t be stopped by the mousy moderator who caved and let Mitt run the show.

Now I can understand why Mitt was quick to criticize the State Department for trying to smooth over the eruption caused by the anti-Islam video that was purportedly the reason behind the Libyan ambassador’s death. It’s because this is Mitt’s nature: He’s quick on the draw, the better to make money on the stockmarket. If you thought George W. Bush was a cowboy, meet quick Mitt.

He makes Bush look like the cowboy in “Brokeback Mountain”. Mitt is more like the quick-fingered Richard Widmark shooting an opponent in the back or pushing a woman in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs. The President, however, looked uncomfortable like he was in a coffin. And I know why. Mitt’s voice, his secret weapon, shot the President down as he cringed behind the lecturn as if he was in the back seat of a car or a box seat at the theater.

If Quick Mitt is elected president by voters blinded by a win-by-any-means mentality, who have nothing to gain and everything to lose, we’re in trouble. There’re no weapons in the White House, but there is a phone that Mitt could use to quickly give a final, fatal order. Or he could spare the generals the sound of his frantic voice and just press that red button on his desk. What a sound that would make!

John Cappelletti, ST

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Op-Ed: History of local Sanitation Dept. garage

This op-ed was written by Lou Sepersky, the community historian for the 6th Community District. He was originally appointed to that position in 1999 by then-Borough President C. Virginia Fields and has been reappointed ever since.

EMS ambulance on East 26th Street (approximately where the garage would be built)

Town & Village’s page one story (Sept. 20) on the proposed construction of a Department of Sanitation (DoS) garage on 26th Street east of First Avenue, on the Bellevue Hospital Center campus, has a very definite Town & Village root. And a lesson that needs to be learned for future public projects.

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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 4

Beautiful day at the Farmers Market

To the Editor,

Another beautiful weekend in Stuyvesant Town, and another great opportunity to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market. Local farmers were out with organic eggs, cheeses, breads, Macouns and Jonagold apples, not to mention organic turkey sausage, cinnamon apple pork sausage, cider donuts, jams and jellies, and Finnish flatbreads.

Congratulations and thank you to those tenants who stood up to the naysayers in the Tenants Association who wanted to shut down the market.  Special thanks to Council Member Daniel Garodnick and his staff who worked out a fair compromise with the City’s Planning Department to keep the market in place for tenants and their guests.

Truly, there is nothing that a small group of committed individuals cannot accomplish.

All tenants are encouraged to support our local farmers in the weeks to come, and enjoy end of the season fruits and root vegetables.

Name Withheld, ST


Busted FDNY units pose danger to residents

(Left) Emergency unit with Fire Department emergency push button and Police Department emergency push button (Right) Emergency unit

Having subscribed to Town & Village for well over 35 years, it has always been a newspaper that served this community by printing pertinent articles dealing with the social and public safety of its citizens.

I have written numerous letters to a Mr. Gerald Neville, who is the director of communications for the New York City Fire Department. These letters, I am sad to state, prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Fire Department’s infrastructure is in hazardous condition, which greatly affects the public safety of our citizens.

My credibility is based upon the fact that I have had over 30 years as a professional engineer in the construction field, working for the NYC Housing Authority, the Department of Education, the NYC Comptroller’s Office and the Department of Transportation.

Fires are the worst type of destruction because they are never extinguished without horrendous damage and death. The NYC Fire Department infrastructure must be maintained in perfect condition, so as to ensure public safety. Sincerely,

Louis Buffalano, ST