There’s never a shortage of stories about negligent apartment managers and landlords, and the overlords at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have proved that they are not the exception. As charming as this 25,000-resident complex in the East Village seems with its brick exteriors and tree-lined paths, everything is not peachy-keen. Read More
By Jess Schiewe 7/24/12 7:18pm
By Jess Schiewe 7/03/12 12:20pm
Celebrate Independence Day this year by spending your money on unnecessary displays of affection for our dear country. Be independent! Spend frivolously! Extra points for buying things that were made in the U.S. Read More
By Jess Schiewe 7/02/12 12:57pm
The City Council’s public hearing on New York University’s Village expansion plan drew a crowd on Friday that was notable for both its size and its star power— Matthew Broderick offered testimony on the neighborhood’s quickly eroding quirkiness—and its eagerness to communicate its distaste for the controversial project.
In fact, the City Hall hearing filled up so fast that eager attendees had to line up outside the door, waiting until someone left the room before they were allowed to enter. The Observer watched as one sign-bearing group debated queuing up in the punishing heat before deciding against it. Read More
By Jess Schiewe 6/28/12 1:20pm
Finally! Speciality summer camps for all the weird kids who’d rather destroy the capitalist system or work on their stock portfolios than sit on logs and make lanyards.
Here are our very favorite New York–area summer camps. Read More
By Jess Schiewe 6/25/12 4:12pm
Last Friday morning, Felix Guzman woke up early, grabbed his fishing pole, and headed over to the East River for some catch and release fun. For 40 years he has lived in the same building on Academy Street in Inwood and in that time he has “seen a lot.” So when he got back to his apartment around 11 am and saw that his street was teaming with newscasters, elected officials, cameramen, and local community members, he wasn’t surprised. They’d been there before. “It’s always been tough here,” Mr. Guzman said. “I’m glad they’re doing something about it.”
The building in question was 552 Academy Street, a crumbling 72-unit brick building located across the street from Mr. Guzman’s apartment. A year ago he had stood outside and watched as dozens of tenants dragged their belongings onto the sidewalk, confused and frightened and wondering where they would relocate to next.
The building, the city told them, was unsafe, which was why they had to vacate the premises. Although Mr. Guzman had never been inside, he heard rumors that at times the units lacked gas, running water, and electricity. “This is what happens when you get these slumlords and all they care about is the money,” Mr. Guzman said, referring to the building’s landlord, Rachel Arfa, whom the City blames for the hazardous conditions. Read More
By Jess Schiewe 6/18/12 5:19pm
If Gracie Mansion were our friend, we’d lightly slap her face and tell her to snap out of it. “Put down that compact mirror, girl,” we’d chide. “You don’t need botox or permanent eyeliner tattoos. You look great as is. Don’t go changing yourself for some man.” She’d then probably start crying and wailing, “Why, oh, why doesn’t he love me?” at which point we’d start feeling awkward and might hand her a box of Kleenex to shut her up.
Because the thing is, we don’t know why Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t love you, Gracie. We don’t know why he refuses to live inside your beauteous walls (well, maybe we do), but the thing is, changing how you look won’t help. It won’t bring your man home. You’re wasting your time, squandering your money, and becoming a cliché. And yet, we know you won’t listen to us. We know you’ll do it anyways; we know you’ll have your kitchen remodeled.
And whatdoyouknow? We were right. Read More
By Jess Schiewe 6/15/12 4:23pm
Historic designations are like monkey traps (yes, these exist): they work in the beginning, but eventually their intended targets learn how to out-smart them. Case in point: development in Tribeca.
For years, the neighborhood’s “historic designation has helped preserve [Tribeca’s] architectural character and low-density environs,” the Wall Street Journal writes, but developers are increasingly finding ways to get around the zoning restrictions. Spurred in part by buyers’ high demand to live in the low-density, somewhat remote area, brokers and developers have lined up a number of new projects that are set to open in the next 18 to 24 months. While some of these new projects are loft and warehouse conversions, most of them are ground-up construction projects. And boy are there a lot of them.
By Jess Schiewe 6/15/12 1:43pm
Five-hundred years ago, Council Member Stephen Levin would have rode in on a horse, tooted his trumpet, and read from a really really long scroll. But instead, he held a hearing.
“The community wants to know why it has taken this long to move these open space projects forward,” he said in a press release decrying the city’s slow action on a slew of promised parks in his district. Read More
By Jess Schiewe 6/14/12 2:44pm