Letters to the Editor, Apr. 4

Don’t kick nonresidents out of greenmarket

To the Editor,

Six months ago, the Tenants Association said it was taking our case “directly to the bondholders.”

Instead, we learn this week that the TA is again fighting the farmers market, this time demanding the equivalent of a “gated community” – to prevent non-residents from enjoying our farmers market and purchasing fresh zucchini, blueberries, Finnish rye bread, cage free eggs or wild flounder.

In the words of New York City law, the farmers market can be held on the Oval because it is an “accessory use” which is “substantially for the benefit of residents and guests.”

If 10 or 20 people come in from East 12th Street, we should welcome them with open arms, not make them feel like second-class citizens.  If we let the TA have its way, soon, the TA will be demanding identity cards from anyone who wishes to play basketball or to sit quietly by the fountain and read a newspaper, or sunbathe on the Oval lawn.

In fact, we need more diversity in the farmers market, not less.

We should be encouraging neighboring apartment complexes to patronize the farmers market, so that our farmers will sell more produce, not less produce. In the interest of diversity, we should ensure that at least 10 percent of the customers of the farmers market reside outside of ST/PCV itself.  We should treat these customers as our guests and make them feel welcome. As long as the market is “substantially for the benefit” of ST/PCV residents, it can remain as long as we want it to.

If the TA dislikes fresh fruits and vegetables, and wishes to spend its time and energy on a quixotic effort to ban the farmers market, then it is more than welcome to shop at The Associated.

Yours sincerely,

Name Withheld, ST

SBS ‘not in service’

To the editor,

I wonder if anyone can explain to the dozens of those waiting on First Avenue for a local M15 going north-bound why they must watch so many buses race by — express “select buses,” others with signs saying “next bus please” or “not in service” — either completely empty or half-empty?

As the fairs rise, so do the tempers of passengers in waiting.

Robert Kaplan, PCV

Kudos on columns

Dear T&V,

This is to commend Wally Dobelis on his usual fine job in the February 14 issue on the life and political career of Mayor Ed Koch. Well done, Wally.

Maria Rocha-Buschel also deserves some praise for the great series “Shopping Local.” Thanks, Maria.


Richard Luksin,
Minneapolis, MN

26 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor, Apr. 4

  1. I totally disagree about the greenmarket being open to all or even being there at all. There are greenmarkets in the vicinity that we and our neighbors could go to. There is one at Tompkins Square and one at Union Square. Stuyvesant Town is a residential property, not a commercial property. The greenmarket is in violation of the zoning laws. It is also an annoyance to people who live near it and have to listen to the trucks rolling in and out on Sunday mornings. The Oval has been ruined by the commercial activities it has been used for and the people who live on the Oval have had their peace and quiet (which they have a legal right to) taken away. I don’t think we need more and more people from outside traipsing all over the property. We have insufficient security as it is and they are diverted from the real job of keeping tenants safe while they are protecting the damn greenmarket. Aside from that, I have checked it out and found the produce to be inferior and the prices high.

  2. I think it should be open to all as well. That would give tenants the right to sue the landlord and the city. Thanks to Dan Garodnick and the Tenants Association for foisting this crap on us. STPCV would be a much better place without either Garodnick or the TA!!!!

    • I cannot agree to those sentiments re: Garodnick and the TA. I would like to see the greenmarket gone, not them.

  3. To the person who wrote the letter who wants the Greenmarket open to all. 1. Full disclosure please, do you have a financial interest in GrowNYC ? 2. You obviously do not have a clue or care about the NYC noncommercial zoning law which governs the interior of Stuy Town. Since you do not care about the zoning law, I can’t wait to open, in the apartment right next to your apartment, my Albanian fusion restaurant which will be open to all. “TA will be demanding identity cards from anyone who wishes to play basketball or to sit quietly by the fountain and read a newspaper, or sunbathe on the Oval lawn.” In this case, you are truly clueless. PCVST has publics access to its grounds, walkways, benches outside the playgrounds, etc. That is the law, it goes back to the time when this place was built, anyone can walk into PCVST, anyone can sit on a bench outside the playgrounds. The Oval lawn technically could be limited by CWC to residents and their guests only but CWC chooses not to do so. What CWC can do (and does) is limit access to the playgrounds since they are private and they are listed as so and ID’S are now checked at the basketball playgrounds since there was violence by non-tenants at one and over use by non-tenants at both so that tenants were not able to use them. OK, you want them open to all, YOU can provide the financial resources to have their upkeep and care, carve that expense out my lease. In fact, why don’t you open your apartment to all the “guests” so that they can use your bathroom? Why have CWC follow ANY of the NYS RS laws at all? Lease renewal? Drop dead. The T&V has had ridiculous or self-serving letters before but this one is in the top ten of all time.

    • I think there is a simple solution here. CWC could relocate the Green-Market to one of the basketball courts, and then it could ask for IDs at the entrance to the basketball court. Why doesn’t someone propose this to the powers that be?

  4. I wholeheartedly support the Greenmarket–it is one of the best ways to get up on a Sunday in the summer and enjoy the Oval. The benefits are numerous: It really contributes to the sense of community; it’s a gathering spot; it’s not “commercial” in the strict sense as much as a weekly event and an opportunity to support local farmers while chatting with your neighbors; it’s a vibrant, wholesome and important amenity; and it contribute to our long-term environmental and physical health and our future. I feel puzzled by the residents who don’t like it, and it’s so sad they use words like “ruined” and “inferior” “crap” and “id cards” to describe a farmers market that provides such a valued service, has some of the best whole food around, grown locally and usually organically, fresh as could be, and generally makes New York City a better place. The detractors clearly have their own ax to grind (and by these oddly paranoid comments, think anyone who supports it is from management or has some financial stake). But to so many of us, it’s part of what makes living in Stuyvesant Town so great. I can’t wait for it to open again!

  5. Anyone remember when MetLife put a Milk vending machine at the Oval end of Playground 9 ? It created a huge outcry. Residents who weren’t here before the commercialization of the Oval space have no reference to what things were like before they got here, but it puzzles me that those who support the activities in the Oval like the greenmarket can’t understand how disruptive it is for the tenants in the surrounding buildings. It means that they are subjected to the noise of the trucks unloading their cargo at the break of dawn on a SUNDAY morning. How agreeable would you be to sacrificing one morning of your sleep-in time every week ? I don’t think anyone objects to a greenmarket, they just object to it being outside their apartment windows. There could be space made along the river, or by Asser Levy place that could service both the Stuvyesant Town, PCV and Waterside residents as well, and eliminate the excess noise and traffic on the Oval every Sunday.

    And as far as the “tenants and their guests” issue, just wait until the 14th Street corridor is developed over the next few years. The projects that will fill the spaces between 1st Ave and Ave C will bring thousands of new residents, eager to appropriate the grounds of Stuyvesant Town as their own. We’ll see how quickly people change their tune when that happens.

    • Well, I guess you, Annoy. 3.32 PM, were NOT at the Community Center during hurricane Sandy as I was while Dan was coordinating volunteers like me (I am also a TA member) who went to PCV buildings that had no power with MREs and water to check on every apartment. It’s always about YOU, all the time, isn’t it?

      • Edmund, You’re an idiot who has no idea what he is talking about. Dan Garodnick and you as a member of the TA have ruined STPCV for ever. There is no hope of it coming back to its once great past. However, you are correct I was not at the Community Center. I was too busy helping the elderly in my building and surrounding buildings in ST (who by the way were never visited (not once) by anyone from the TA or Garodnick’s office) to go and help in PCV. Your last comment is too stupid to even bother with so I won’t.

  6. We’re all entitled to our opinions. I value the TA and Dan Garodnick. I don’t like the greenmarket and think it is a messy operation that mucks up the Oval and disturbs people who live near it. To each his/her own. I’ll just continue to go to Union Square farmers’ market and support Garodnick and TA.

  7. Dan is wonderful, as is the greenmarket. I live right above the loop where the farmers park and unload, I sleep with the windows open, and it’s in no way disruptive to my sleep, though I do tend to get up around 8-8:30 on weekends. And when I do wake up, I’m happy to see them out my window. They dress up the oval with their pretty stands full of colorful vegetables…on a sunny Spring or Fall day, it’s a delight!

  8. Remember your fondness for commercial ventures, Dan Garodnick and the TA when the new owner decides to chop the oval into a Walmart and a hotel. Then thank Dan and the TA for opening that Pandora’s box just to suck up to the prospective seller. Remember, Dan’s former law office is set to make a fortune if Brookfield deal goes through. is that what you want to sell out the oval for? Dan’s law firm? A Walmart or hotel? Not me, but I guess like Edmund from the TA said above It always about YOU, all the time isn’t it? Sorry, I am so selfish but I did not want the Oval commercialized so Dan Garodnick’s campaign contributors can make a fortune!

  9. Dan and the TA helped for the photo op. Many others helped because it was the right thing to do. Even without the photos or the recognition.

  10. I think that if people are going to be abusive and call other posters names (like “idiot”), they should at least have the courage to use their real names.

  11. Frances, I agree with you in principle about posting under real names (and I am NOT the anonymous who called Ed an idiot, nor do I think we should be calling people names to counter opinions we don’t agree with). However, I do know that there are a few residents, members of the TA, along with a few board members, who go out of their way to take reprisals against people who they don’t agree with, reported them to management, publicly jeering them on other pages and blogs, etc. The TA as a whole has gotten a bit insular, toxic and even gossipy about residents–not just generally, but against specific residents they don’t like on other Facebook pages and blogs, ridiculing them, posting spoofy photos as if they are those residents, and even saying rather crude things about them and their children.

    I’m afraid I don’t trust this TA leadership to look out for my or many of the current residents’ interests–indeed, I’ve seen a couple of the TA board members, who I won’t name now, but I don’t think should run again, participating in the gossiping and badmouthing above, and I wouldn’t want them to use their power or networking to target me because of my opinion, whether it be supporting the farmers market or some other issue. But I certainly commend and respect your bravery in posting under your real name, and I wish the atmosphere weren’t as backbiting as it is now. I just don’t want them messing with my home or family, as I have seen them do to other people on other venues. I apparently am not the only one who feels this way (besides the anonymous doing the insulting above). It is a shame, but partly a product of the modern day Internet communications, I guess, which has caused general decorum and politeness in society and the way we talk to each other online to fall by the wayside. I’m sure things weren’t this unfriendly before the Internet.

    • Holy Hannah! I’m getting out of this discussion now! I never heard of all this stuff about the TA before! I don’t subscribe to Facebook and never will because it seems to me that it does more harm than good and exposes people to all kinds of invasions of privacy and even makes some people the targets of crime. I’m not active in the TA, but I send in my subscription every year. I appreciate their efforts to keep the property affordable and up to a decent standard. I wish the TA was larger and had more power than it does because we RS tenants need someone on our side. By saying that, I don’t wish to sound like I am against market rate tenants, but we all know that New York City landlords would love all of us rent stabilized tenants to go away. They don’t care how we go, they just want us to go. Getting back, briefly, to the original bone of contention: some folks love the greenmarket; some folks hate it. I hate it along with all the other commercial enterprises that have changed the character and ambience of the Oval. That’s just me and I can and do choose to stay from it. At least they don’t make us shop there!

    • Interesting how you ignore the fact that Edmund called out anonymous before anonymous responded in kind. Yet you and Frances are calling anonymous the “insulter” when it was Edmund who attacked one person’s opinion regarding Garodnick and the TA with his usual pro TA nonsense. Check the TA facebook site or sites like DNA or EV Grieve where Edmund routinely says the same line about anyone who disagrees with the TA’s stance, “its always about you all the time…blah, blah blah”. He did leave out his usual tactic of calling everyone who is against the TA stance a narcissist so I guess he did refrain himself this time. Get your facts straight before you start pointing fingers.

      • I don’t have access to facebook and haven’t read the other blogs you speak of. I just was addressing the insult on this blog.

      • I do apologize for my ending sentence to Anony 3.32 PM , in hindsight, it was out of line. So Ebele N, what’s your stance on the GreenMarket’s current location on the Oval? And what’s your alternative to the TA? And since you just blasted me, why not show your entire last name?

  12. I agree with Anonymous — why not just write a letter to the Town & Village and ask them to with-hold your name? The T&V will gladly print a letter from a bona fide person and will withhold their name as a courtesy, for all the reasons expressed by Anon-10:35 PM above.

  13. To Anonymous 2.51 PM, the idiot responds. I volunteered at the Community Center on the Saturday post Sandy when Stuy Town had power back (but not heat) but PCV still had no power. I was assigned two PCV buildings to do follow ups after the initial volunteer response, coordinated by Dan and the TA, to reach out to all tenants (not just the elderly) by knocking on every tenant door. At the time I volunteered, there was at least 10 other volunteers (mostly early 20 something’s) who were waiting for assignments as well. The assignments were well coordinated by Dan’s staff and after completing my assignment, I reported back my findings to Dan’s staff (and to PS directly since that was a senior issue that needed attention ASAP) where they were dutifully recorded by laptop. Dan, in this case, truly “walked the walk”. I knocked and rang doorbells for every apartments in the two buildings I was assigned. For 70% of the apartments, there no response but of the 30% that did, they were every grateful and told me that they had been reached out to before by a volunteer. “(who by the way were never visited (not once) by anyone from the TA or Garodnick’s office)” Are you saying that Dan and the TA lied? I guess the TA also lied about the volunteer effort made (which I was a small part) of checking every PCVST staircase door for fire code violations. “Dan Garodnick and you as a member of the TA have ruined STPCV for ever.” Oh really now. I guess Met Life (when they went public), TS, the unregulated financial services industry (read the just-published book “Other People’s Money” by Charles V. Bali) and now CWC, had nothing do with that ruination? Or the regimes of Giuliani, Pataki (especially Pataki) and now Bloomberg ? I am far from a Dan Garodnick apologist. Like James Roth’s letter in the 5/12/2012 T&V (you can find the whole letter at T&V blog by using the internal search engine), I disagreed with Dan’s solution to the Oval GreenMarket. I will copy and post Mr. Roth’s last paragraph in that letter: “During his tenure, Council Member Garodnick has, generally, represented the ST/PCV community well and has done many good things on behalf of it. His acquiescence in CW and Rose’s charade to continue the presence of the greenmarket on the Oval is not one of them and will only embolden the property’s current mercenary management to create more Oval annoyances, of course — wink, nod – for “residents and their guests only.” Case in point, the 100% commercial enterprise, Super Soccer Stars, that is now taken over playground 10. Full disclosure, my TA volunteer efforts have been sporadic at best, the TA itself is far from perfect but they are only as good as the volunteers who offer their services. BTW, what’s your name again, I did not catch it?

    • My last two cents worth: During the Sandy situation when we had no power, heat or way of knowing what was going on except by listening to the radio, someone from the TA knocked on my door on two separate occasions asking if I was ok and did I need anything. I was ok and didn’t need anything, but it was nice to know that someone cared. Some of my elderly neighbors received those emergency ration things from them and were very glad of their help.

  14. Dan Garodnick and the TA opened the door to commercialization inside PCVST, period. They could have opposed it but the TA was more concerned with becoming owners, (as if any TA board members would have any say after the sale) and Garodnick is looking for payback for his law firm and the hours they put in on this issue despite not being asked to get involved by a majority of the tenants, just the board and Garodnick approved this. I am sure there will be additional lawsuits and hurdles if CW Capital were to choose Brookfield’s plan because of Dan and the TA’s involvement. Nonetheless, they did nothing to stop it and as the dog owners are fond of saying “you can’t go back from here”. If Dan Garodnick and the TA are saying they visited every apartment then yes I am saying they are liars because they never rang my doorbell or at least a dozen others (mostly elderly who were shut in) in my building and adjourning buildings. However, there were no cameras in my building so we never expected to see Dan Garodnick.

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