Fed up by basketball noise, ST man aims to get rid of playground

Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 11 (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

When Stuyvesant Town management announced last year that the sports tent, which had been installed at Playground 11 for a couple of winter seasons, would not be returning, the news was sad to local sports fans but a relief to others. One of the reasons for the oversized tent’s discontinued use was that its usage didn’t justify the energy it took to heat it, but another reason was neighbors’ complaints of noise.

One of the residents who’d been affected by the noise was psychotherapist Stuart Levinson, who said his eleventh floor apartment directly overlooked it. However, even with the tent gone, according to Levinson, the noise from the playground’s basketball courts, is not.

Recently, Levinson, who was also very vocal about his dislike of the tent, started a petition to ask StuyTown Property Services to get rid of the playground as well. Instead, he suggested, the space could be used for a community garden. The petition, which he sent to Town & Village, was signed by 30 people, all in his building, 285 Avenue C.

Levinson has been living in Stuyvesant Town for two years, which is when he married his wife, a resident of 20 years. So, he acknowledged, many of his neighbors have been living in the community long enough to either not notice the noise, anymore, or not care.

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Letters to the editor, Apr. 28

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Constant dribbling driving me crazy

Re: “Blackstone looking at ways to reduce noise,” T&V, Mar. 17

You were concerned enough to recently publish an article regarding the noise nuisances at Stuyvesant Town.  I am hoping you can stay on top of this.
It is outrageous to me that two full court basketball courts exist, from 9 a.m. to dusk (Playground 11), daily, directly below my building, 285 Avenue C, and several other buildings around the courts.

I am hoping you will continue to publish articles, op-ed pieces, etc., confer with our Tenants Association, and everything else possible to get them to severely cut the hours of operation, e.g. weekdays and weekends noon to 6 p.m.,  to eliminate one full court basketball court and add a second volley ball court, enforce a specific closing time by security, only allow one guest per resident, and enforce signs indicating no undue shouting, screaming, and cursing, which carries up to everyone’s windows.

I have spoken with at least 20 people in my building and others who feel the same as I do, that this is a clear noise nuisance, and violates the rules and regulations of our lease re: quiet enjoyment/noise.  To cater to a maximum of 25 kids and teens who use Playground 11 at any given time, compared to 30,000 residents, and eight 12-story buildings around the courts is simply absurd, inconsiderate, and off the charts.

Every weekday after work and all weekend, we are forced to listen to constant dribbling basketballs, shouting, screaming, cursing, clapping, etc., that under our lease, falls under “unreasonable disturbances…which are excessive and sustained for a long period.” If possible, I would have the basketball courts completely removed, and let them use the public courts which exist throughout our area.

We do not live on a college campus, school setting, country club, sports club, etc., and deserve as much peace and quiet throughout the day as logically possible.

Stuart Levinson, ST

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