Letters to the Editor, Aug. 15

Fences ruin Stuy Town’s open setting

My family and I have a long history in Stuyvesant Town. My grandparents moved into Stuyvesant Town in 1947. My parents moved here as well in the 1980s. I grew up here.

Recently my friends and I went on a tour with the intention of moving in. I was upset to see they have fenced much of the grounds with tall fencing. It was surprising to see given the fact there had been no fences up for the past several years. I grew up here when the lawns were strictly off limits.

It was a fantastic change taking down that old-fashioned barrier chain link, and in effect getting rid of old fashioned thinking that lawns were off limits. My friends and I spend a lot of time outside and I have a dog. We can’t afford to live near Central Park. And if we did certainly we would not be fenced out of it.

I asked the leasing agent about the fencing (hoping it is temporary) only to receive an evasive response.

The Stuyvesant Town website specifically states “Manhattan Living With An 80-Acre Backyard” and “… live in a park — to live in the country in the heart of New York.” Paying market rates I would expect access to this park. The Oval lawn is nice if you don’t mind being elbow to elbow with hundreds of people.

After a little research I found out the owners are fencing in the lawns and gardens to possibly sell the property in the near future. By making the grounds look more manicured maybe they will get more money? In the meantime they have indefinitely ruined the best feature of living here: the open setting. By that I mean the views (now obstructed) and freedom to step off the sidewalks and respectfully enjoy the open spaces.

L. Platt 

Grounds were never intended for dog use

Re:  Letter, “Fences harmful to older dogs (and owners)”, T&V, August 8

As a native New Yorker growing up in a pet-owning, dog-loving family, I learned at an early age to “curb” our dogs so that they relieved themselves in the street, close to the curb, and not on sidewalks or grass. At one time,  “Please curb your dog” street signs urged NYC residents to do this.

Given the proximity of many Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village residents to two avenues and three cross-town streets, it’s hard to understand the letter’s claim that the recently installed fences force dog owners to cross several lanes of traffic to get to local parks where their dogs can defecate or urinate. Or why parks, sidewalks and lawns are even considered as toilets for dogs.  As for older or ailing dogs with elimination problems, just as with puppies, using the indoor pads available at any pet store is a must.

M. Cooper, ST

Too much traffic… on the sidewalks

My elderly aunt has lived in Stuy Town for decades. Recently she has complained about the traffic on the sidewalks.  I tried to correct her and said ‘You mean the roads?’ But she was emphatic that it was the sidewalks.  She said that it is impossible for her to step out of the way since the sidewalks are all “fenced in.” And that vehicles follow closely waiting to get by her making her very uncomfortable.

So on my last visit we walked the grounds together and I found that the sidewalks were under constant use by security cars, trucks, and several different construction vehicles. The problem is that when they come by, they leave literally only a few feet left for the pedestrians, and sometimes only inches. In the past we could step off the sidewalks to let the vehicle pass but now the fences prevent that.

It is really a safety hazard when people are fenced in with motor vehicles and silent electric bikes with no way to step to safety anymore.  I also noted several places where the new fences had been hit by motor vehicles taking out the strong pipe fence posts.

It seems to me that my aunt is correct. The fences are creating a real safety hazard as they now force people — young and old to share the sidewalks with all manner of vehicles. And some vehicles are driven quite fast, which is intimidating to those who cannot move quickly or step aside due to the fence construction. Not to mention the drivers who are distracted by cell phones and texting. This is another example of management not thinking about the residents’ well-being.

Name withheld

More East Side music memories

Dear Mr. Dobelis,

I loved your column in the June 22, 2013 issue. I too have fond memories of the Fillmore East.

In ’67 I began working at the East Side Bookstore on St. Marks Place between Second and Third Avenues. It was the hippest — by far — bookstore in NYC. It was right next to the Electric Circus, at a time when Nico and The Velvets had basically stopped playing there.

One day six different people came in asking for a new publication out of San Francisco called Rolling Stone magazine. No one had heard of it, but one of the people had a copy with her. It was issue number one. It was a newspaper back then and sold for 25 cents. I made a few phone calls and located the distributor who had managed to place it in one — and only one — newsstand. I ordered 100 copies. This became the first bookstore to carry it and we sold all 100 copies in a few days.

Some months later, Jay Benson walked into the store. He was one of a group of friends I grew up with in Stuyvesant Town. We went to different high schools and when we graduated in 1963, we lost touch with each other regretfully. And there was Jay, now an English teacher, and one of the doormen who worked at the recently opened Fillmore East!

Man, did I see a lotta great shows there. It was nice to be reminded of the great concerts. Thanks for the memories.

Richard Luksin,
Minneapolis, MN

3 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor, Aug. 15

  1. So let me get this right “Name Withheld”, you think the problem is that there are fences to protect the grass, but you don’t think there is a problem with scores of vehicles driving on the sidewalks ?? Wouldn’t it be better to eliminate the vehicles AND preserve the landscaping ? I grew up living in Stuyvesant Town, and respected the fact that we weren’t allowed on the grass. If you put those low chains back in place today, FEW people would respect them. After the fences were removed, the deterioration of the landscape was quick and profound. It became quite clear that taking away that protection was a very, very bad idea.

    • I agree with the above. As a longtime resident I was pleased when they removed the low chains, but in short order, the landscape became a sea of mud everywhere. People destroyed the grass by strolling across the lawns rather than walk on the pavement; food deliverymen on bikes taking short cuts left muddy ruts, and dog owners had Fido relieve themselves on the grass rather than walk a few steps to the curb. So I’m all for green grassy lawn, even if they must be protected by fences.

  2. Didn’t Stringer support the overturning of term limits and the metastasizing of NYU in Greenwich Village? He is a political hack and needs to go away. I will vote for Spitzer. The mere fact that so many politicians and Wall Streeters hate Spitzer (i.e., are afraid of him) means he is doing, or has done, something right.

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