MINUTES OF MEETING NOVEMBER 16, 1998
The meeting took place at 110 Cabrini Blvd. and was called to order at 7:20 p.m. 11/16/98. Present were the following residents of member buildings: Adria Quiones of Nagle Apartments Corp.; Geri Hopkins of Ft. Tryon Corp.; Julie Gillis of Pinehurst Owners Corp.; Sarah Morgridge of Chittenden House; Michael Klein and Michael Zamm of 720-730 Ft. Washington; Peggy Morrissey, Helen Sokolsky and Roger Tashjian of Cabrini Terrace; Sarah Hoffman and Michael Augenblick of 255 Cabrini Condominium; Suwineetha Gunasekora of 66 Overlook Terrace; Elizabeth Lorris Ritter and Marcella Calabi of Castle Village. Also present were Commercial Associate members Caroline Brown of William B. May Company and Yvonne Cespedes of Stein-Perry Real Estate.
The October minutes were approved with minor typographical corrections.
Adria asked for recommendations concerning managing agents; Sarah noted the usefulness of preparing a written summary of each interview for comparisons sake when making the decision.
The topic of the year 2000 problem also came up; all co-op and condo owners are urged to press their vendors for evidence that they are prepared to do business in an orderly fashion on 1/1/2000. Very small companies with a few employees are likely to handle the transition well, and very large companies are investing significant dollars in the appropriate software; it is the middle-sized vendors that we should be worried about. The latest industry estimates are that as many as 60% of mid-size companies are not on schedule with preparations for the transition.
Mike K. said that he personally covered up the graffiti on the stone wall along P.S./I.S.187th and Ft. Washington, and he wished that 900 West 190th would do its part to clean up graffiti on their property. Representatives from that building took note.
Beth Am has joined as a new Commercial Associate member.
There was an extended discussion about whether and under what circumstances HHOC should share the mailing list with other organizations. It was agreed that HHOC would give mailing list information (addresses only, no phone numbers), on a case by case basis, for notification of community events etc. by appropriate neighborhood/ civic associations, with an agreement that the other organization will use the information only for agreed-upon purposes and not let the database go into other hands, and a coded label included in the information to track any abuses. Stein-Perry will receive one set of mailing labels to advertise an upcoming event of interest to mortgage-holders.
Beth Am Temple at 178 Bennett is inviting the neighborhood to a dedication of the new Hebrew School on 12/19, morning service 9:30 a.m.
The Cornerstone Center is looking for a superintendent; the person filling this job would get a free apartment. Contact David Munoz 923-5757.
Dime Savings Bank met with the Washington Heights/Inwood Development Corp., HHOC and area real estate agents to scope out the hood. Dime is interested in increasing their mortgage and business lending in WH/I, and also is looking at possible locations for a branch in this undeserved community. (There are fewer banks here than anywhere else in Manhattan, and no banks east of St. Nicholas.) The meeting included extensive discussion of the entrepreneurial strength of this community, quality of housing stock (rental and co-op) and a two-hour driving tour from 155th Street to Sherman Creek.
Vest Pocket Park:
Tom Navin has had several meetings with Departments of Transportation and Parks/Recreation regarding planning and design. Both agencies approve of the overall concept, with some modifications for safety. Construction is anticipated to begin in Spring '99.
Media coverage of the neighborhood:
The NYTimes article, using the nickname Hudson Heights was a big step in the right direction of media coverage. The poor photography was lamented; Elizabeth said that the Times used census-track maps to define the area, explaining why Overlook Terrace was not included in the map of the neighborhood. The idea of a downtown media symposium was floated, but in fact that already exists in the form of Uptown Treasures Day. This past September, WABC did a great news report about Washington Heights; Mike A. will attempt to locate this and link it to our website.
Car Thefts: seem to be on the rise again. Peggy agreed to draft
a letter to the 34th Pct. to demonstrate that we are not willing to let
Traffic and Pedestrian Safety: Attention was focused on Overlook Terrace. Productive brainstorming led to clarifying the multiple problems that create unsafe conditions on this street, and possible solutions for each problem. Sarah agreed to draft a letter to NYC Dept. of Transportation outlining these ideas.
Also, HHOC received a letter concerning a hit-and-run by a delivery bicycle on Cabrini Blvd. The letter called for efforts by the police to apprehend the cyclist and for better enforcement to prevent such accidents in the future. Elizabeth agreed to attach a cover and forward the letter to the precinct.
Outreach to the Cloisters and Ft. Tryon Park Cafe: Marcella reported contacting Tim Riley at the Cloisters about working together to enhance the connection between the museum and this neighborhood. It was agreed that John Betancourt, proprietor of the Ft. Tryon Park Cafe, should be included in outreach to commercial neighbors. Mike K. will get info from Julie and make contact.
HHOC Folders: Julie and Marcella agreed to discuss this topic outside of the meeting, to get distribution rolling. Elizabeth asks if anyone has a copy of the flier distributed by the Hudson River Merchants, with the list of all 187th Street merchants on the back?
Task force re security north of PS 187: agreed to meet again.
187th Street: Mr. Sam Rosenberg, landlord of the building containing Helenes and the shoe repair shop, is to be applauded for the fresh paint and curtains.
Bulletin Boards on the north face of the Hilltop Pharmacy wall: Marcella and Elizabeth will look for the HHOC clean-up-after-your-dog poster to post. After much discussion it was agreed that HHOC would suggest to Tom Navin, the designer of this upgrade, that (1) if it is possible, within the parameters of his design priorities, to add another bulletin board, HHOC would pay up to $125 for the materials; and (2) we would like him to consider a bench that is sectioned by armrests or otherwise impossible to stretch out on.
Merchants Association: HHOC continues to be stymied by the sense that the Hudson River Merchants Association is losing steam, without knowing how to help. Roger suggested another wine-and-cheese gathering like the one that got things started a year ago. Another idea was to invite all the merchants to the January HHOC meeting, in hopes that they will tell us how we can best support them. This was agreed to; Marcella will draft invitation.
The next meeting was set for TUESDAY DECEMBER 15th at 7:15 sharp in
the Castle Village Community Room, 110 Cabrini Blvd. NOTE: TUESDAY NOT
MONDAY. The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.