Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Early Music Performance Jan. 7, 2020 - Come!

You’re invited to a pre-recording rehearsal of


an early music string band

Tues. ,January 7 at 7 PM
in our Community Room

With our own Patricia Neely (viola da gamba), 
Judson Griffin (baroque violin), 
Malgorzata Ziemnicka (baroque violin), 
Lawrence Lipnik (viola da gamba) 
and two guest musicians.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Happy Holidays!

from the

Central Park Gardens 

Tenants Association 

to you –

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving 2019!

Sabrina Ripke photographer

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Summary of the Nov. 13, 2019 meeting / Newsletter

Announcement:  Free Taiji ("tai chi") classes are starting on December 6th in our Community Room on Friday mornings.  9 AM for advanced beginners, and 10:15 AM for beginners.  This is thanks Sol Magzamen, a volunteer with Bloomingdale Aging in Place.  All tenants welcome - but please email CPGTenAssoc@gmail.com if you're interested.  Sol wants to email all prospective participants.

Climate is in the air (and the soil and the water and . . . .)  

Rubbo [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

9-10 AM - Advanced Beginner
10:15-11:15 AM - Beginner
in the Community Room

taught by Sol Magzamen, a volunteer with  Bloomingdale Aging in Place.

If you’re interested, 
please email CPGTenAssoc@gmail.com.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Nov. 13: NYC's new Climate Mobilization Act and Us.

On Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Hear Council Member MARK LEVINE 
on the new law, and ask your questions!

NYC's Climate Mobilization Act

In April, the NYC Council passed the Climate Mobilization Act, capping emissions from buildings over 25,000 square feet.  It sets fines if landlords miss targets. BUT much of  it doesn't apply to buildings with rent regulated tenants. 
Learn how it affects us - and what else we can do to make our homes more energy efficient. 

8 PM - Nov. 13, 2019
in the Community Room.

Bring a neighbor!

(If you don't live in the building, please RSVP to 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Summary of the Sept. 18, 2019 Meeting and Newsletter

The General Tenants Meeting began with a moment of silence for neighbors we have lost since the last meeting, including Na'ava Ades, Richard Jordan, Carlos Martinez, and Ana Soto. 

Since there was only a single candidate for the opening on our tenant association's executive committee, we acclaimed Andrew Dubin a new member. 

Building issues:

Food waste collection:  If you leave your food waste in a plastic bag (except for compostable bags that you buy), it can't be easily composted. So please dump the contents of your plastic bag into the brown compost bin, and put the empty plastic bag in the small (non-compost) bin next to it. Then close both bins to prevent bugs.

©Susan Susman October 4, 2019

The elevators continue to be a mess.  Please report all problems on a requisition slip at the front desk so there's a written record.

The garage has been filled to way over its legal 114-car capacity.  The NYC Depart of Consumer Affairs issued a violation, and the tenant association contacted ICON.  As a result, the situation has improved. If you see overcrowding again, file a 311 complaint and send the complaint number to CPGTenAssoc@gmail.com.

Tenant movement issues:
  • Housing Justice for All (the coalition that brought us the new rent laws, with the help of the "No IDC NYC" group that changed the State Senate), is launching its 2020 campaign on Wed., Oct. 16 at 6 PM at Washington Irving High School, 60 Irving Place (near Union Square).  We're a member, so you are invited.  If you'd like to participate in HJ4A's weekly phone calls, contact CPGTenAssoc@gmail.com.

The New Rent Law - Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA) of 2019. 

Talk about knowing what there is to know!   Legal Aid Attorney Ellen Davidson gave a wonderfully clear presentation based on these slides that she printed out and distributed.  
Some things are answerable. (Click on "read more" for the well-presented Park West Village Tenant Association summary of the new law and more.) Ellen was recently awarded the NY County Lawyers Association’s Public Service Award for her work on this new tenant bill.

She explained that while the State Legislature passed the statute that the governor signed into law, there are two other sources of law:  the administrative agency (NYS Homes and Community Renewal) that enacts regulations to interpret the statute, and court decisions, all yet to come.  Tenants in Housing Justice for All (HJ4A) are working with DHCR (part of NYS HCR) to draft the regulations.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Thursday, September 12, 2019

DHCR posts new lease rider and new rent law summary

The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), which oversees the rent laws, has posted  on its website: 

So far, Stellar has been renewing stabilized leases using the OLD rent rider.  The new one will be binding since that goes along with the 2019 changes in the rent laws.  This rider also shows how market tenants trying to get back into rent stabilization can calculate what their stabilized rents would be.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Wed., Sept. 18 at 8 PM: Know Your Rights!


as a rent stabilized or
unregulated tenant

In June 2019, NY State passed landmark legislation establishing the strongest new protections for rent regulated and market tenants in a generation.  Learn about how the new laws will affect us, and get answers to your questions. 

Speaker:  Ellen Davidson
Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society, and Board Member of Tenants & Neighbors

at our

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
8 PM
in our Community Room

with election of a replacement executive committee member. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Sad News: Ana Soto has died

Ana Soto lost a long battle against lung cancer when she died on August 17, 2019.  

Ana had been a floor captain here for many years, and was the person who designed many of our Pot Luck flyers.   

Our condolences go to her three daughters,  Natalie Jimenez, who lives in the Bronx, and Michelle and Jennifer Jimenez who remain in Apt. 5V.  

Visitation will be held Wednesday, August 21, 2019 from 9-10 AM at the Sisto Funeral Home, 3489 East Tremont Ave., Bronx, NY.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Church of St. Benedict , 2969 Otis Avenue, Bronx, NY 10465 at 10:30 AM. Interment will follow at St. Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx.  Click here to send flowers. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Tenants Meeting Sept. 18, 2019 - Your rights under new rent laws


as a rent stabilized or
unregulated tenant

In June 2019, NY State passed landmark legislation establishing the strongest new protections for rent regulated and market tenants in a generation.  Learn about how the new laws will affect us, and get answers to your questions. 

Speaker:  Ellen Davidson
Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society, and Board Member of Tenants & Neighbors

at our

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
8 PM
in our Community Room

with election of a replacement executive committee member. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Sad News: Richard Jordan has died.

The Central Park Gardens Tenants’ Association
mourns the loss of our long-time Board and Executive Committee member and friend

who died on July 9, 2019 after fighting long illnesses.

We offer our condolences to his wife Patricia, their daughter Orisha, their extended family, and their many friends.

Richard (Duke) Jordan, Jr. lived with his family here for over forty years. In addition to serving on the executive committee and board of the tenant association, he was a floor captain until his death.  He also served as a member of the tenant association’s legal committee before the building left Mitchell-Lama and on 5 boards of St. Phillips’ affordable housing.  In this career, Rich was the National Director of Urban Services for Boys & Girls Clubs of America (formerly Boy's Club of America). An accomplished musician, he was a consultant in Urban Planning & Youth Development to the federal government, the National Commission on Youth and Voluntary Action, the MLK Commission, the MLK Center for Youth and Non Violent Action, the International Council of Churches, the New Cities Corp. and the governments of the UK, France, Canada and Germany and others.

A memorial to celebrate his life will be in August, with further details to be announced.

Tremendous Victory for Tenants in Albany!

After years and then finally months and weeks and days of tremendous pressure by tenants, and a change in party-control of the NYS Senate (yay, elections!), we now have the 

The new law will change many things state-wide for tenants.  Instead of making it easier for landlords to replace lower-paying tenants with higher-paying tenants (a great investment tactic for hedge funds), the new law makes it easier for tenants to keep their homes.   The summary below is not complete and is not legal advice. (See some other summaries here and here.)  In addition, the laws no longer have an automatic sunset date.  They are permanent (which is probably why landlords have filed suit in federal court to undo the rent law changes). 

Learn more about the new law at our next General Tenants Meeting on Wed., September 18, 2019 at 8 PM in the Community Room with Legal Aid attorney (who played a big part in creating and promoting parts of the bill)  will be here. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Write Albany to urge they pass all 9 Housing Justice for All bills

Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay
If you didn't get a chance to sign and send postcards,  click on the blue links (one at a time) for each of the names,  Then send them the text below.   Or you can call:   518-455-4100 and ask for Speaker Heastie and tell him to support all 9 bills.

Senator Brian Kavanagh
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Possible text (or write your own!)  :

Dear ____________

As a tenant, I count on your supporting all 9 of the bills to protect tenants, including extending rent protection statewide to communities that choose to invoke it, and eviction solely for good cause, combined with limited and reasonable rent increases.  Finally, we need an end to MCIs and IAIs that invite promote scams and permanent rent increases.  

Thank you.

[your name and address] 

Friday, May 31, 2019

End Individual Apartment Improvement Increase scams!

The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development and Housing Rights Initiative have a new report explaining the scams of Individual Apartment Improvements in the context of rent regulation in NYC.  It's clear and detailed.  Read it!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Sad News: Na'ava Ades died on May 20, 2019.

The Central Park Gardens Tenants’ Association
mourns the loss of our long-time Board and Executive Committee member and friend


who died on May 20, 2019 after fighting the good fight.

We offer our condolences to her friends and family Regina Schaefer, Jerry Tersoff, Ariel Zimmerman, Richard Hansen, Paula Gorney, Rebekka Hye-Knudsen, and others.

The graveside funeral will be at 

11 AM on Thursday, May 22, 2019 

at the Mount Hebron Cemetery, 130-04 Horace Harding Expressway, Flushing, 11367, in Queens, 

followed by a 

gathering in her apartment, 12K, from about 1 to 4 PM.  

Monday, May 20, 2019

A WONDERFUL Pot Luck Party

How wonderful was our Pot Luck Party on May 18th?  


We celebrated our building's 50th year in style with beautiful decorations by Lydia Pitsirilos, with the help of her Stephanie Pitsirilos and Cyrus Boquin.  The room was set up by a bevy of workers including Joan Browne, Debbie Gonzalez, Letty Orellano, Jerry Pirog, BonesRodriguez, Claude Saucier, Maxine Soares, and Cary Webb. 

Joan Browne
Ernie Faison
Lydia and Alexandra
Visitors were greeted by Joan Browne, Ernie Faison, Alan Fox, Helen Merber, and Cary Webb, who collected contributions, gave out name tags, and directed food contributors to the right areas.  Food was collected and set out under the direction of the three POT LUCK PLANNERS,  Debbie Gonzalez, Lydia Pitsirilos, and Maxine Soares, with Tish Howard and Laura Kahn.  

The Children's area was set up by Bones Rodriguez and Laura Valpey, and staffed by them and Nick and Kova Fahey, with the help of their children Pike and Poppy Joy and Ellie.

Denis Hayward
Nat Dixon

Bobby Moorhead and
Nat Dixon
Our DJ Bobby Moorhead provided the music, with an additional jazz saxophone performance by Rev. Nat Dixon.  (Nat is selling CDs for $10, with $5 going to the tenant association.)
Bobby Moorhead and mother Carolyn
Sue Susman MC'd
Barbara Geller, Laura Koulish, Jerry Nadler,
Sal Conzalez, Maxine Soares
Congressman Jerry Nadler came to reunite with old friends:  When he was District Leader of Community Free Democrats, he and the late Ivan Merber and Ruth Ellin, and the very-much present and active Helen Merber, and Bonnie Fine, and others founded our tenant association.  Jerry spoke about CFD's aim of empowering tenants and then segued to a discussion of Washington, where the House Judiciary Committee is insisting on its duty of Congressional oversight. 
Kathie,Bones,Bobby,Yolanda,Nat, Jerry,Ed, Nick, Justin...

And we talked with State Senator Brian Benjamin 

Richard Meza, Jerry Nadler, Bonnie Fine

BBonnie Jerry Alan Paul Millie Donna . . . 
Sen. Benjamin and Steve Koulish
Kathie Murray and Debbie Gonzalez

Lydia, Geri, Rhonda, Linda, Nick, Laura, Bonnie

Elna Jones

and with each other 
Emmanuel Cochran, Sandra Richardson,
Jesse and Nilsa Palmer, Mrs. Meza,   
Monica Jenkins

Frank Leonardo and daughter

Lauren Washington Dawn Sprauve, 
Lindsay Brockington

We watched a photo montage put together by Frank Leonardo of our building's early days and our families in earlier years - as well as a short documentary made by Scott Morris showing actors Ruth Ellin (our former Tenant Association leader) and her husband David.  

We celebrated the children and grandchildren who grew up here, including

Korinne and Lukas Arenas; Nicole Barton; Tony Greer; Markees Boisseau; Stacey Brandon; Jodi, Lindsay Brockington and Joelle Brockington, Emanuel Cochran and Brittony Johnson; Luciane de Andrade and Sophia; Chris Delgado and Tracy Saez; Ayana and Nathaniel Dixon; Diana Donato; Melanie Eversley; Celeste, Juliette, and Jewell Hewitt-Duval; Gabrielle Everett and Jonan; Angel and Christopher Feliciano; Jason Geller; Luis Gonzalez; Carlos and Raymond Gonzalez; Miranda Goodstein Hodge; Aurora Granberry; Katie and Nicky Hayward; Rachel Hydell and Christine Murray; Nataley Jones; Orisha Jordan; Gabby Kahn; Sean Khan; Lisa  and Jeremy Koulish; Bleu and daughter Clementine Lanza;  Chris and Elsie Madera and Elsie's daughter; Eva Marie Malone; Elsa MacDonald Gonzalez; Steven and Jonathan Martinez; Alina Melendez; Alec Merber and daughters;, A-Leaha Mobley, Bobby Moorhead; 
Scott Morris, Alec and Helen Merber, Lindsay Brockington
Scott Morris; Allegra Neely-Wilson; 
Roie Opperman; Krystina, Olivia, Julian, and Eric Orellano; Pascale, Antonella, Katiana, Jean Joseph, and Carlyn Leon; Stephanie, Alex and Liza Pitsirilos and granddaughters Eliana, Amelia Alexandra; Sushama Prasad, Anthony Bonano, Suleika and her daughter Audre; Janak Ramakrishnan and Shantha Susman; Billy,  Louie and Taisha Ras; Bones and children Pike and Poppy Joy Rodriguez;  Christine Rodriguez; Marlin Rodriguez; Matthew Soares; Dawn Sprauve; Marina Squerciati; Jerome Smith; Marie Stewart and son Tyrone; Eduardo Tavarez; Rafi Torres; Michael and Christopher Tsukuda; Cary Webb, Anastia, Hillary and her baby Helena. 

Aaron Ganaway with wife 
Hillary Webb and 
baby Helena
And we ATE (and shared with the guard, thanks to Pat Jordan).

Lavina Edwards and friend Doris
Thanks for:  

Salsa  and corn chips – Joan Browne
Cheese and crackers – Bonnie Fine and Carl Field
Vegetable platter – Mona Leon
Tomato, mozarrella and basil – Nick and Laura Panaro
Guineitos en escabeche (green bananas in vinaigrette) – Stephanie Pitsirilos 
Raw vegetable platter – Sam Welch and Natalie Gravate
Deviled eggs - Bonnie von Dohren

Cheese and peppers – Beatriz Zapata

Bread /Pizza
Two kinds of corn bread - Eva-Marie Malone   
2 large pizza pies - Chariss Boisseau

Kale and tomatoes- Laurie Barton
Hearty green salad – Chariss Boisseau
Big green salad – Shelia Friedling
Asian salad - Barbara Geller
Tossed salad – Zena Gonzalez
Bean salad – Jerry Pirog and Florence Jackson
Potato salad – Lydia Pitsirilos

Veggie dumplings – Nick, Kova and Ellie Fahey
Vegetable dish – Debbie Gonzalez
Candied yams - Pat Jordan
Bok choy and mushroom sauté- Tommy Leonardo
Grilled vegetables – Lydia Pitsirilos
Stir-fry of asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower – Lydia Pitsirilos
Stringbeans Madras – Sekhar Ramakrishnan
Okra with onions - Sekhar Ramakrishnan
Broccoli poriyal with coconut - Sekhar Ramakrishnan
Vegetable dish – Marie Squerciati
Vietnamese spring rolls – Wini Villanueva, Denis Hayward
Stephanie, Liz, Jurency, Luciane
Jerry Pirog, Alan Fox

Pasta/ Rice
Yellow rice – Laurie Barton
Macaroni  and cheese – Norma Dixon 
Pasta salad with chicken – Melanie Eversley
Macaroni and cheese – Tish Howard
Pasta salad with roast broccoli– Marie Squerciati

Corn bread (two types) – Eva-Marie Malone

Meats/Sea Food
Lemon/pepper grilled chicken – Laurie Barton
Bolo Salgado de Frango  – Jurency de Andrade
Pork and veggie dumplings – Nick, Kova and Ellie Fahey. 
Double pork roast – Barbara Garson
Ceviche de camarones - Monica Jenkins, Richard Meza and Maria Meza
Rotisserie Chicken - Elna Jones
Shrimp dumplings – Ed and Lora Kahn
Soy sauce chicken - Ena Malone
Paul Fischer and Carl FIeld
Baked chicken – Letty Orellano
Vietnamese chicken – Jerry Pirog and Florence Jackson
Turkey chili – Kathie Murray
Chennai Chicken – Sekhar Ramakrishnan
Jerked chicken – Maxine Soares
Yucatán slow roasted pork – Nadine Welch
Garlic roasted chicken - Marlene Williamson

Iced Tea – Jodi Brockington
Soda or juice – Donna Brown
Coffee and tea – Joan Browne
Seltzer, grape juice, colas (regular and diet) – Rosa Delgado
Sodas – Milly Matos
Fruit punch – Marlene Melton
Orange juice – Sue Susman
Sodas – Vernon Smith
Ice – Laurie Barton

Clementines, grapes, bananas – Maria Acevedo  
Cake  and Pie – Laurie Barton
Sheet cake – Paul Fischer
Flan – Elsa Gonzalez
Key lime pie – Nadine Welch and Justin Heyman
Fruit Platter – Steve Koulish
Lemon coconut cake - Brenda Marshall
Flan – Maritza Martinez
Brownies – Allegra Neely-Wilson
Cake– Roie Opperman
Pastries – Prudence Opperman
Cookies - Bonnie von Dohren

And then the clean-up crew began its work with Melanie Eversley,  Debbie Gonzalez, Denis Hayward, Lora Kahn, Kathie Murray,,Lydia Pitsirilos, Vernon Smith, Maxine Soares, Wyona Purcell, and more. 

[If your name and what you brought, or how you helped are missing or incorrect, email CPGTenAssoc@gmail.com]

(c) All photographs copyright of Debbie Gonzalez 2019 or Laura Koulish 2019.