We are two tenant associations who joined together to defend ourselves against a corporate real estate investment hydra that seeks to expel us from our homes in order to maximize their profits.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Population Growth

There has been a surge in the population of NYC apartment insects here on East 4th St with the warmer weather of the Spring. We have not had any exterminator services for some time now. Its that time of year when the Water Bugs come out and take to flight. Ugh, yes they do fly.

Water Bug

The continuous construction on East 4th St has shaken things up in the insect world here and they are running amok. Been seeing a lot of these critters in the next picture when its damp and rainy, as it has been the past week. These are Siverfish.


Some of the new high rent paying tenants are having problems with these insects too. Obviously the bugs don't discriminate between the overpriced rentals and the rent stabilized. They harass all the tenants. The big fear is of course Bed Bugs. 118 East 4th had them a few years ago under the AJ Clarke Mgmt. It is a big concern now with Magnum because of the transient nature of the buildings human inhabitants, created by the sky high rents. It has been observed that one of the newly renovated apartments in 120 is being used as a sort of Hotel room. This particular apartment seems to have a new "tenant" every couple of days. It's a point of concern, not only who are these strangers coming and going every few days, but which stranger will bring in the Bed Bugs. Only a matter of time.

Bed Bug

I have personally seen 2 of these beasts in the past few months with the relentless construction. This is a centipede. They can attain a length of 2 inches. I killed one that was that large. You hit it with something like a shoe and it breaks into pieces. Each piece squirming and crawling in different directions like a horror movie. You know, you shoot up the monster and all the broken pieces re-animate into more monsters. Disgusting. Makes my skin crawl. I did a little investigating on these creatures. They like the damp, so one will not really see any in the summer, unless you live in a ground floor or garden apartment. Centipedes are carnivores that eat other insects like the smaller roaches, spiders, and silverfish. They are beneficial, unless you've seen one race across your apartment and up your bed spread and make itself a home under the covers. The info on how to get rid of them is to dehumidify, and remove  their food source..... the other insects currently running amok on East 4th St. One more thing I read. They have a nasty bite, bit like a bee sting. Somewhat venomous too, if their fangs can break your skin. Ugh, so much venom, its as if we live in Australia or something.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

And the Beat Goes On

At 435 East 12th Street, a Ben Shaoul building, management's note to tenants read: Stay out of the building for one week.
Firemen rescued a tenant from the 4th floor with a cherrypicker because there was no staircase to the ground floor.
A stop work order and violation was issued; repairs were ordered immediately.

Read the FULL STORY here: http://www.thelodownny.com/leslog/2012/04/firefighters-pluck-woman-from-tenement-after-staircase-is-suddenly-removed.html

Mail Service Update

Not getting any. The new mailboxes failed the USPS inspection. They were installed to high and had to be lowered 6-8 inches. We at OE4 assume they will require another inspection. How long that will take is an unknown. Its been over a month without mail service. We image it will take another month or so until mail service is resumed.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yes, Another Fire

Saturday April 14th the fire trucks were again on East 4th St. The tenant that was grilling with a BBQ on the roof of 120 was at it again. The tenant's conversation with his guests included the virtues of truffle oil and put more lighter fluid on the BBQ, despite the fact that the smoke alarms were sounding off. The same fireman that was in charge last week for the same issue was here again. The tenant told the fireman that its in their lease that they can BBQ on the roof of 120. The fireman said he never heard of such a thing and put the kibosh on it. Here is a page from the NYFD website concerning fire rules and safety.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No Mail Update

We finally had an inspection of the new mailboxes, by the USPS. Looks like it was a Fail. I went to pick up my mail and the info I got at the PO on this situation is that the boxes are too high. They need to be ripped out and reinstalled lower. This is often the case with Fortune East LLC. Work done wrong. Work repeated. Lots of unnecessary dust and mess. Health and Hygiene put at risk.

I think we have been without mail service for about a month. Other Fortune East buildings on East 4th Street have been without mail service for far longer. I know for a fact that some of the new tenants, the one's that pay the skyrocketing rents are getting PISSED. The rent goes up and the quality of life goes down. Its the new paradigm here in the East Village. It may be an old corporate strategy, make them pay MORE for LESS. 

Tenants at 50, 54 and 58 E. Third St. banding to together in face of building sale

Tenants at 50, 54 and 58 E. Third St. banding to together in face of building sale

Monday, April 9, 2012

Help finish 'Astor Barber All Stars'

Help finish 'Astor Barber All Stars'

Choices: Colors and Cattle Pens

Could these multi-colored stripes at 120 East Fourth indicate Fortune East/Magnum in the process of choosing a new color for the building's exterior? For a company whose interior color-decor uniformly includes only light gray, dark gray, and black, it is unlikely they mean to keep all these colors on the facade.

However, no expert color-choice could change the oppressive feeling of the courtyard at 118 East Fourth. Long ago there was a tree here, and the call of bluejays. Fortune East/Magnum, according to their want, has made it into denuded, subdivided, unpleasant tiny pens that they advertise to prospective tenants as "exclusive outdoor patio/space/private courtyards". Only cattle or other prisoners would recognize these as the outdoors.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

East Village/ Eastern Europe

These are 2 photos a friend sent to me of our block on east 4th street in 1978. The building on the left with the 3 steps up is 118. The next one in is 120 East 4th. I moved in round this time and I recall the neighborhood having a feeling of Eastern Europe before the Wall came down. I think it had more charm, style, and culture back then. Quite a bit of personality and possibility. 

Check out the frame and wire coverings over the windows of the street level apartments. Those tenants kept chickens in there. They sometimes ran around in the back courtyard. Little mocha colored wild looking chickens. They often got loose and ran up the stairs. For some peculiar reason they terrified the 3 drag queen prostitutes that lived in #18. There were rumors of Santeria rituals run amok in the building. One thing I'll say for those chickens prowling the building, is that there were far fewer water bugs creeping about than there are now. The garbage was more neatly organized and tidy than it is currently. Just noticed that. I don't know who the dude is in the pic but he reminds me of that famous photo of James Dean, except in this scenario his back is to us and looks like he wants to get the hell away. 

This is across the street. All I can say is damn, the design and shapes of the cars look so nice compared to the design of the cars of today. Now I'm not pining for the past. The now is great, but the current now is being whitewashed and the culture is fleeing the suburbanization of the city. The EV was like those cars back then. Now its sort of soft and blobby like car design today. Can't tell one car from another. No personality. I wouldn't mind the return of hard lines, color, and some of those wild mocha brown chickens too.... with today's technology and the internet.... Ugh! think of the possibilities.