In Spite of Hurricane Sandy Struggles, Stuy Town Will Still Get Its Despised Ice Rink This Winter

6405350071 3755d96a61 z In Spite of Hurricane Sandy Struggles, Stuy Town Will Still Get Its Despised Ice Rink This Winter

A popular amenity. (Marianne O’Leary/Flickr)

Hurricane Sandy turned Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village into hell in Manhattan for almost a week after the power went out. Sure, much of downtown was a disaster zone, to say nothing of the devastation in the outer boroughs, but Stuy Town had some particular, peculiar problems. Most notably, all the hallways are interior, with no windows, so it was impossible to get around. What’s worse, the locks on all the doors are electronic, so anyone could have been lurking in the darkness.

Fortunately, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have returned to a sense of normalcy now that the power is back, as the management has been detailing in a serious of lengthy email updates to residents. Unfortunately, one of the things tenants might have hoped Superstorm Sandy would have washed away is still coming: the ice rink.

Rinks have become all the rage in recent years, not only in Central Park and Rockefeller Center, but everywhere from the Standard Hotel and W Downtown to McCarren Pool in Williamsburg. Stuy Town was no exception, and last year the management installed a rink, too. They saw it as an amenity for tenants, but naturally those persnickety residents, many of whom have been in full-on revolt ever since the complex was sold to Tishman Speyer, hated it.

There were the crowds, the noise and fumes from the generators and the loudspeakers blaring music at all hours. It was anything but a winter wonderland.

Well, now, just as the lights and locks are back, so, too, is the ice rink, as a note near the bottom of the latest resident update explains.

PCVST Ice Rink: PCVST’s seasonal ice rink, operated by Ice Rink Events, will open this Saturday, November 17th at 11am. Residents are invited to enjoy free admission all day this Saturday. For operating hours, lessons, and other details, please visit pcvst.com. For additional information, please contact icerink@pcvst.com.  The completion of the ice rink was accomplished using separate outside contractors and did not impact any of our on-going restoration efforts.

So please, don’t complain that those outside contractors could have been put to better use putting the complex back together. The rink is an important part of the complex, and it is here to stay, so it needs just as much resources as the boilers and the grounds.

Update:As a number of commenters have pointed out, the utilities are indeed spotty for some residence, meaning those outside contractors might well have been put to better use than building an ice skating rink. That is one frigid move, Stuy Town.

Comments

  1. Edmund Dunn says:

    This playground noise logic is rather silly. There are 15 playgrounds in PCVST that were included in the original construction of this community. The ice rink was built on Playground 10, a playground that had artificial turf(ruined after the first rink season and which then needed major repairs) that was used for soccer practice and other organized recreational activities. This playground was open as a FREE playground, open to residents and their guests,365 days a year. Very few tenants here has ever complained about playground sounds unless there was fighting as was reported at playground 9 before ID checks were initiated. Generators, compressors, ice maintenance machines and piped in music are in no way equal as a noise comparison to children and adults enjoying playground activities (I live facing playground12). In addition, this ice rink was sneaked under the non-commercial zoning law of the interior of Stuy Town as a resident “accessory”. It was created by the CW Capital CEO (who does not live here) because his KIDS thought it would be a good idea. Basically a stealth commercial enterprise that has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial and personal resources away from needed maintenance and public safety expenditures, especially post Sandy. Let me remind everyone, that this vast expenditure of funds being spent for this “winter wonderland “is in a FORECLOSED property.

    1. tina says:

      Hundreds of thousands of dollars spent? I don’t think so.

  2. Gracie says:

    The total cost of building and maintains the rink over the season is over 500k. This was discussed to death last year.

  3. tara says:

    Actually, I live here and almost everyone I know loves the rink. The kids are really excited and it makes for a great family activity. The “complainers” are probably the same ones that chased out our greenmarket, making fresh wholesome food available to all. Some people will complain no matter what, just tired of them ruining things for the rest of us!

  4. Mike Akerly says:

    For those suggesting that “hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent” on this project, I have a question. Are you able to confirm that these funds have been expended by the landlord (i.e. the “foreclosed” party Mr. Dunn refers to in his above comment)?

    I would suspect that the right to operate the skating rink was licensed to an outside operator who is paying for the privilege of operating the skating rink. If this is accurate, the overtones in the above article would be entirely misleading and inappropriate as they were clearly intended to suggest that scarce resources could have been better directed.

    If anyone can confirm the facts either way, it would certainly help to better understand what occurred here.

  5. Gracie says:

    Why were all the previous comments, including the comment left by John Marsh, President of the Stuy Town Tenants Association, deleted???

  6. Robert says:

    I live here too, and I don’t know who this reporter is speaking to. It seemed to me the consensus last year was that the rink was a huge success. Music “blaring” late into the evening? Music stopped at 8 PM, and could barely be heard outside the rink. Fumes from the generators? I live right next to the rink, and I never noticed any fumes whatsoever. And crowds? It was actually a very eclectic group of residents and friends, 65 year old grandfathers, some teens, and 4 year old kids. Yes, there was a huge uproar before the rink commenced operation…but the complainers largely shut up once they saw how innocuous the rink was. Seriously, the Observer must have come across some old crank with these complaints. I’m almost 60 years old, and I sure found nothing whatsoever offensive about the rink.

  7. Stroller Mom Fighter says:

    “Tara” stop spreading your nonsense here and on the TA Facebook page. Start caring about other tenants’ needs instead of milking your own sense of entitlement. Maybe if you stopped drinking so much boxed wine you’d grow a few brain cells.

  8. Mom Zombie says:

    I can’t wait for the ice rink to open and my little Tonya Harding can put on her skates and strut her stuff! “Brats on Ice is going to be marvelous this year. If other tenants still don’t have power, gas, heat or hot water, well, it’s their own fault for not planning ahead and buying a second home in the Hamptons to escape to, like my husband and I did. We shouldn’t have to suffer as a result of their failure to plan ahead for the hurricane.

    And another thing — PLEASE move out of my way, people, when I’m pushing my Prada stroller with screaming twins in it. I’m sick of having to bash into you while I’m on my way to the ice skating rink and Tampon Hut. WHen I’m forced to constantly hit selfish pedestrians who won’t move their lazy asses so I can pass, it creates scuffs on the stroller that isn’t covered in the Prada warranty. Thanks in advance.

  9. Jeanne says:

    Tara the Greenmarket was not forced out,it is gone because they need the manpower elsewhere after Sandy.

  10. Edmund Dunn says:

    As usual, the pro rink tenant response here was the rather childish mantras of “I love the rink”, “old cranks” and “whiners”. Of course the construction and maintenance of this major facility (materials, labor, energy, etc.) in Manhattan would be in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars, this is rather obvious. As per the deleted John Marsh post, this issue was very contentious, resulting in a 50/50 split for and against the rink. The anonymous pro rink posters never really address the NYC zoning and DHCR decreased building-wide service (a formally free playground taken out of service) issues. As John March pointed out in a TA FB post when this issue first went live, it is very difficult for a tenant to receive a rent reduction by applying for a reduction of services. The DHCR is very friendly to the real estate lobby due to years of Pataki political appointments . This also holds true for the enforcement of the NYC zoning laws due to Bloomberg’s BFF of the real estate industry at any cost to promote his vision of “Dubai on the Hudson”. The RS tenants’ rights are usually on the losing end of any fight against the industry, excepting the recent J-51 Roberts ruling. However, due to the stalling of the CW Capital and the tacit approval of the pro real estate judge in charge, justice delayed has been truly justice denied in this case. By the way, CW Capital found the resources to plaster the outside perimeter of our project with banners promoting to outsiders this “Winter Wonderland” with the usual small print caveat of (always good for a laugh) “residents and their guests “but they did not find the resources to reply to my plumping request where I stayed home yesterday waiting in vain for the plumber to come during the assigned 4 PM-9 PM window. This is a rather minor inconvenience versus those tenants who are still in need of vital services post Sandy but I think it makes a point.
    Foreclosure-Definition-The legal process by which an owner’s right to a property is terminated, usually due to default. Typically involves a forced sale of the property at public auction, with the proceeds being applied to the mortgage debt.

  11. Escape Stuy Town says:

    The original plan for the rink was that it was to be open until 9PM every night blaring music from a sound system. Maya Autret who is responsible for Stuy Town’s other gimmicks has a lousy track record when it comes to controlling the volume of her events. There were so many complaints that Chief McClellan showed up to one of her rock concerts in the Oval with a decibel reader and found that, yes, it was WAY too loud and adjusted the volume. So the idea of turning over a sound system and ABBA records to Maya made a lot of us who face the rink uneasy. That’s the only reason the music is not an issue.

    Regarding the compressor, they deemed that too loud as well which is why a wooden shed was built around it to contain the noise. Perhaps Richard doesn’t live 75 feet from the rink as I do but even with the shed I can still hear it loud and clear in my apartment. Lucky me.

    There also was concern for crowds because Stuyvesant Town was advertising the rink to people off-property, a DIRECT violation of the zoning laws they are already dangerously close to violating. The only way the rink is “legal” is that is must remain open ONLY to residents and their guests.

    Mind you none of this is really done for the tenants, it’s all for marketing. If they really had the community’s best interest at heart they’d fire Maya because her events and gimmicks are polarizing and divide the community. The beauty of the parks is the parks themselves. We don’t need rinks, rock concerts, illegally broadcast NFL games on inflatable TVs, race car tracks or any other of her horrid ideas. Leave the parks alone already.

  12. I live in StuyTown and I love the rink. I never used it, but it looks nice when I’m walking around the Oval, and I always pretend like I’m going to make plans with friends to use it.

  13. Edmund Dunn says:

    “I live in StuyTown and I love the rink. I never used it, but it looks nice when I’m walking around the Oval, and I always pretend like I’m going to make plans with friends to use it.”

    If this is parody, then I apologize. Otherwise, checkmate.

  14. Liz G says:

    I must say I love the rink as does my entire family. What were are very disgusted with is the cost of use. Last year was expensive enough but this year they raised the prices 45 percent and they give you one free our an entire week to use the rink. I find that absurd. They have a special deal to buy 4 for the price of 3 but they delayed the opening because of Hurricane Sandy and never gave us any advance notice so nobody could group up to buy 4 instead of the 2 most needed. Therefore everyone lost up to 75 bucks each and that just goes into the hands of the owner once again. Had they sent us all this information in advance we could have grouped up. Additionally, because of the delay we lost a few weeks on the pass but they don’t care. They seem to think that all of us have money to burn. Disgusting. The anger I saw yesterday at the rink was palpable.