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.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

No Turkey

Six weeks and still counting without cooking gas. Looks like a no turkey Thanksgiving Holiday. Actually its probably going to be a no Thanksgiving Holiday of any sort this year.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Westminster Management made a visit to the building during the day on Friday the 13th, bearing gifts. There were 4 WM executives bearing hotplates, explanations for the gas (waiting on Con Ed inspections), effuse apologies and a passionate desire to right all wrongs/repairs immediately. They said they would be starting immediately and working this weekend. They handed out free hot plates to the tenants that were at home. Those of us that work during the day did not receive one, which is OK because we all had to buy one a month ago when all this started. Here is a photo of one of the free Hotplates.

Looks nice, but those of us that have been using a hotplate burner for a month now find them to be problematic. A tenant's quote...

  "the deluxe version: the double burner. I now have 3 burners. Not that I will be able to use them: even one burner trips the circuit breaker if anything else is on."

We all have had the circuit breakers trip in our apartments with the hotplate cooker. Gotta unplug nearly everything else and keep a sharp on it. It seems most of these electrical problems are in the Stabilized units due to neglect and careless mismanagement. There was an electrical fire in the walls in July of 2014. The FDNY did a fine job of snuffing it out, but they had to nearly destroy 2 of the market rate apartments to do it. The firemen kindly but urgently told tenants to pack things you will want to keep if the whole building goes up. They said to pack and stand by. Very SCARY. We were lucky, but its only a matter of time until some other neglected electrical wiring goes off. This fire hazard is a danger to all. I hope all tenants have some kind of renter's insurance. If there is another fire and one must use the fire escape to flee.... well just look at the pictures below.

I think these photos say it all.  Not only do these wires pose a deadly threat to the tenants, they also pose the same threat to any emergency response teams like the Police or Fire Dept. The FDNY are our friends. They have had to make multiple visits to 118 and 120 East 4th St the past 2 or 3 years. We have no Super, so the FDNY unfortunately has to put out all sorts of fires that a Super's daily work routine might prevent. These wires are part of the legacy left behind by the Ben Shaoul regime.

We'll pray that all the hot plates in use don't trip all the circuits at once and set the building ablaze. The FDNY can only do so much to protect the citizens in the neighborhood.

Not sure how long this process will take. Some of the tenants in stabilized units were told by the plumbers working on the gas lines that their stoves were too old and would not work with the new gas lines. One can easily envision a scenario where the building is hooked up with gas and the stabilized units go without new stoves or cooking gas. I would like to think that Con Ed would not allow that to happen.

Another tenant quote regarding the hot plate gift.

"I think I said to Jamie that the distribution of hotplates made it look like we were in for a long wait on gas. his reply was that it was all up to Con Ed now."

Monday, November 2, 2015

Still No Gas

We have been without gas since Oct 13. It is now Nov 2. There has been some work on the problem. Plumbers in the building today. Checking out gas lines in all the Apts. Making repairs. We may be getting close. Very hard to know for certain. Westminster Mgmt has had no contact at all with any of us as far as I can tell as I write this post. No communication. No leadership. There is actually no management of any sort, in this building at all.