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Home Local Business Stores in the Rye, New York Area "Pour" Job Protecting Purchase Street Eateries: LETTER

“Pour” Job Protecting Purchase Street Eateries: LETTER

In a letter to MyRye.com, Robert Piovesan says two Purchase Street businesses were put in jeopardy by poor planning.

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September 4, 2011

To the Editor:

Sept 3 2011 another picture perfect Holiday Saturday in Rye. A day store Owners dream to wake up to. Armed and ready to serve their customers, they get in early to make sure that everything is prepared for when the first customer walks through the front door. This is a day especially made for the stores that serve food. For 2 such stores, Poppy’s Café and Upper Crust Bagels, who open at 7 AM and the rest of the stores on Purchase St that open later, the beautiful gorgeous day they thought was going to be a busy one for them, instead turned into a nightmare. The nightmare caused by a bunch of INCONSIDERATE people that run this city. Whom may I add is voted in by these store Owners and their customers.

As we all know in this town, there has been work going on fixing the sidewalks. Putting bump outs and new sidewalks on the corner of Purchase and Locust Sts. Now when all of this work first started, the work was being done at night.  Now on this picture perfect Holiday Saturday, Purchase St was closed to all traffic. Why? Because someone in City Hall told the people doing the work that it was ok to do the work on this day. And from what I hear, the people doing the work said they couldn’t get the cement on a Friday night.  Really? How did they get the cement they needed all the other nights they worked? Now, this probably would have been a less of a nightmare if City Hall would have done what they are supposed to do. Inform the Store owners that this was going to happen.  At least the Stores might have been able to be better prepared. Or since Poppy’s and Upper Crust are closed by 3:30 PM, why couldn’t this work been done in the afternoon? But as usual, City Hall disregards the needs of the very people who keep this town running. And of course when you need to find a Council Member, none are to be found. Why?  Because they are out enjoying their Holiday weekend! Some Owners called the Rye Police Dept only to be told that they THE POLICE were never informed of this either and that there was nothing they could do.

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To get into the stores, the workers put planks from the street to the front doors. If you have ever tried to walk on these planks you would know that they are NOT safe and they bounce as you walk on them. Is this a way for a City to treat its Senior Citizens who want a cup of coffee or a bagel? How about a family with small children? Did ANYONE in City Hall realize or care that someone could have gotten seriously injured?

All I know is that if not for the Loyal Patrons of these stores fighting their way to get that cup of coffee, a lot of these stores would have had to close. And because this City has allowed landlords to charge outrageous rents, some of these store Owners need every penny they can make.

So the question remains, WHO in City Hall is responsible for such a reckless and uncaring action as this. The NIGHTMARE on Purchase St.  Stay tuned because there will be a Council meeting that will be what I suspect a NIGHTMARE for the inconsiderate people who run this town.  

Robert Piovesan
Cedar Place


  1. Robert:

    I understand your frustration, but your comments sound like you need a dose of reality.

    “[B]usinesses were put in jeopardy…” Are you serious? Yes, it wasn’t the ideal solution but to use the word “jeopardy” is a little dramatic, don’t you think?

    “…since Poppy’s and Upper Crust are closed by 3:30 PM, why couldn’t this work been done in the afternoon?” Oh, so now we are going to re-arrange an entire construction crew to accommodate two (out of 30) businesses? Wouldn’t the other businesses along Purchase Street have an issue with that? And this would cause the crews to work Saturday evening, thereby increasing the cost.

    You also sound surprised/disappointed that the police were called and stated that there was nothing that they could do about. What do you think the police can do? Arrest the workers? Order them to stop?

    “…And because this City has allowed landlords to charge outrageous rents…” Robert, perhaps we should cap the amount that landlords can charge – just like they do in Communist countries.

    “WHO in City Hall is responsible for such a reckless and uncaring action as this. The NIGHTMARE on Purchase St.” Robert, I have a feeling that it might be the same person(s) who allowed 90% of the project to be done at night (so as to keep disruptions to a minimum), even though (as hopefully you can imagine) this has increased the total cost of the project significantly.

    Robert, in the end, instead of condemning City Hall, perhaps they deserve the benefit of the doubt. Do you think a city official decided to “screw” the merchants? Or do you think that there was some logistic issue that required this? Perhaps Hurricane Irene caused a disruption. Perhaps something needed to be completed so that the next phase could be completed? Possibly to minimize disruptions when schools open.

    Your letter sounds like the typical hysteria from someone who is “outraged” at something but doesn’t take the time to consider if there were other issues that came into play. I have no idea why the work was done during the day. I think I can safely say that it is not a conspiracy. Can you?

    P.S. For your next Letter to the Editor, please put the thesaurus down…

  2. Who is to blame? Its City Hall, the City Manager and City Council. These are the same people that were not prepared for “Irene”, failing to impose a mandatory evacuation of areas that traditionally flood, putting citizens and rescue personnel in jeopardy. It was black and white, “Irene” was coming our way, yet the City of Rye was blindsided once again, Indian Village submerged what a surprise. Where was the “swift water” training and equipment that the Police Commissioner and Pickup promised the last time rescue personnel had to wade in sewage infested water? That must have been cut out of the Police Budget to save money, don’t worry its only money. Instead Police Officers, Firemen, Department of Public works employees, just in their regular uniforms, were up to their armpits with no protection at all. Reverse 911 sent out by the Commissioner only creating more confusion than actually doing any good, again not a clear and concise decisions that could have cost someones life in the rescue phase. The Police Commissioner and City Manager again failing to do the job they are paid to do, to actually make a good decision. Back to Purchase street, what a great idea to extend the crosswalk, anyone notice that the Fire trucks located at Locust Fire house can not make the turn in either direction from Locust to Purchase street? No cement on friday night? that sounds like one of City Halls typical responses when challenged for their questionable decision making. Why would they care about those two business’s? they bid out these projects to companies that could care less of the impact their actions or inactions have on the surrounding business’s. It’s amazing that people are actually shocked when they call the Police department and they don’t even know the protocol, the same Department that had a “No Confidence” vote for Connors. If the members of the department don’t have confidence in the Police Commissioner shouldn’t that worry the public for which he is employed? Lastly, when Channel 12 respond to the Indian Village disaster scene is when all the “dry” politicians, Asatrino, French, surround the cameras for a photo opportunity, taking all the credit, while the people that did all the real work are now in jeopardy of sewage water born pathageons that they potentially been exposed too.

  3. With Pickup, French and Connors leading this City we can only expect failure, basically Rye can’t get out of it’s own way with these decision makers. If you question theirs actions and or inactions they attack you and your message by labeling it “hysteria”.

  4. Avg Citizen,

    Had the people “RESPONSIBLE” for this debacle… mainly, Scott Pickup & City Council really cared about a “vigorous & vibrant” downtown this would not be a topic!!!

    This project is an embarrassment to say the least, from the very beginning it was never done with the proper safety precautions!
    They continuously leave unused equipment in valuable parking spaces for days! they left equipment in the crosswalks for no reason! Purchase street looks like a freaking war zone, there is ZERO attempt to keep the ugliness to a minimum!
    There was a Nixel notice sent out that this work would be done at night from 8/12-817….no notice of the delays, no notice of closures, no notice of any kind!!!
    A main business street closure on a Saturday in the middle of the day w/NO NOTICE to the RPD…..WHAT TOWN DO YOU KNOW OF THAT PULLS S*** LIKE THIS???

    As a resident, why don’t you try and block your street for any reason w/no notification to the RPD and let us all know how you make out!!!

    Are you aware that 1/2 the businesses this closure affected were out of power for 4 days because of the storm….and then comes along the City to stick to you a little bit more…HOW NICE!

    And yes, if only 2 businesses are affected, there should be a FULL ATTEMPT to keep the loss to a minimum in the very least…..1 business or several they all deserve the same!!!!

    I heard comments from S.Pickup like….”we can’t tell everyone”, “one pedestrian was injured already”, “this isn’t safe, we didn’t have a choice”, “it is being done w/pedestrian safety in mind”…… AND I HAVE A BRIDGE FOR SALE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Do I think City Hall woke up and decided to screw the merchants…NO, but I do think they do what ever they please and do not take into consideration who they are hurting w/their PATHETIC decision making!!!

    And as usual, it is you who needs the “DOSE OF REALITY” Avg. Citizen!

    Since you seem so eager to be on the other side of this why don’t you go to the Council meeting on the 14th and defend their decision as the merchants let them have it???

    P.S. For your next letter, don’t write one!

  5. I have lived in Rye for almost 15 years. I am still considered an outsider by many. I would like to voice my opinions about this blog. 3/4 of Rye is away on Labor Day weekend. Because of the terrible weather we have had this summer, the sidewalk repairs are taking much longer than we were told. If I were a business owner, I would rather the sidewalk be repaired on a quiet Saturday than on a regular crowded Saturday. How much business did they lose when most of the town was away?
    We are blessed that we live in a community right on the water. In the 15 years I have lived here, there have been 4 or 5 floods. Hurricane Irene was huge. I read newspapers and I listen to weather reports. I take necessary precautions. I got 5 or 6 messages from the City of Rye to vacate my home by 5pm on Saturday. I listened and I took my family to a hotel for the night. For my neighbors that had to be evacuated by boat, shame on you. We were warned several times that we were going to be hit by Irene. Why would you stay and put your family and others at risk. Please do not say that the city didn’t warn us. The head of the Buildings Department died probably because he had a blockage but the stress my neighbors gave to this man who probably hadn’t slept in days because of the hurricane was very sad. We are very blessed in this community but why do we always have to sound like cry babies? If you watch the news, people in other communities have lost everything and have no means to replace their possessions.
    It is easy to blame the city on all of our woes, but they are not the reason landlords charge so much, they do not sit around and do a rain dance so that our community becomes flooded again. If we worked together instead of pointing the fingers of blame wouldn’t that be better?

  6. Honest Citizen,
    I can honestly say you are partially correct….Vinny was a great guy, he took his job very serious and we were all blessed to know him and have him working for us.
    You are very correct when you mention your neighbors, they very much so contributed to his stress, very sad and very true. I know this because now that my shop is dead smack in flood central (Indian Village) I have the dubious pleasure of listening to some of the BS from a small group of tenants from Highland Hall!!!

    We should all be helping each other rather than damning each other…..not excluding City Council & City Management!!!

    What took place over the weekend was a crime, an embarrassment and without doubt could have been hands down handled much differently!!!!

    Sorry you missed the beautiful weather Labor Day weekend here in Rye. If you were here on Purchase you would have witnessed the busy buzz, sorry to disagree w/you on this, but it was quite busy and the decision to do what they did was a pathetic and poor one to say the very least!!!

    In the very least the Business owners should have been given a 24hr notice of the street closure! Why do you think they didn’t inform their PD, if they had then they would have been up against the Business owners they so chose to stomp on!!!

    One of their silly excuses was IRENE made them do it…..WHAT A JOKE!!!


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