Friday, August 20, 2010
Roosevelt Island Tram Return Of Service Date Delayed Until October 16, Take Virtual Ride - Manhattan Tram Station Token Booth In Dumptster, Say Bye
Nighthawks Outdoor Movie Post post earlier today, the tentative return date to service of the Roosevelt Island Tram will be pushed back again from September 25 to October 16. According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
We have a tentative date of October 16th for the Tram to return to service.Earlier this week, Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy sent in these last pictures of the Manhattan Tram Station Token Booth before it goes to meet it's final fate
No, the RIHS does not want to adopt this. I went by 60th Street yesterday and spotted the Manhattan Tram Station Token Booth in a dumpster on the street.More Token Booth Dumpster images from Ms. Berdy.
A rather inelegant end to an old friend. How many of us have stepped in to warm up in the winter or cool off in the summer? (Your names will not be revealed).
Here's the plan for Roosevelt Island and Manhattan side Tram station improvement's to begin once the Tram is back in service and a 3d You Tube Video from Fire Line Studios.
Wulfgar's On The Tram - Nighthawks With Stallone Concluding the Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movie Series On Saturday - Tram Returns 10/16
The 2010 Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series concludes on Saturday, August 21, with the showing of my favorite Roosevelt Island action/thriller movie, Nighthawks, starring Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams and Rutger Hauer at Firefighters Field. The film starts at approximately 8:30 PM.
The theme of this year's outdoor movie showings are films that were shot on Roosevelt Island.
What's Nighthawks connection to Roosevelt Island? Do you even have to ask? If you do, Mr. Peels Sardine Liqueur explains:
... There’s a terrific chase through the subway and, what most people probably remember about the film, a long, very well-done hostage sequence filmed on the Roosevelt Island Tram, a location also used in SPIDER-MAN but since this is all actually filmed there (no blue screen work) it plays extremely perilous and suspenseful....
Maybe the cast filming the remake of Arthur on Roosevelt Island today will show up for the movie.
Also, I learned yesterday from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez that the previous tentative date of September 25 for resumption of Roosevelt Island Tram service has been pushed back. From Mr. Martinez:
We have a tentative date of October 16th for the Tram to return to service.UPDATE 2:50 PM - Even thought the Tram is out of service, you can still take a virtual ride and remember what it is like or see what you are missing.
Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Responds To Blackwell Park Assault/Robbery & Attempted Jump From Roosevelt Island Bridge
The 8/18-19 daily Roosevelt Island Public Safety Report indicated the following two incidents:
Robbery/ Assault- PSD arrested a subject.and:
Aided/EDP- A male threatened to kill himself by jumping off of the R.I. Bridge. PSD, NYPD and EMS responded. Male was taken to the hospital by EMS. No injuries.I asked Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Director Keith Guerra to provide additional information as to what happened during these incidents. Mr. Guerra responded:
ROBBERY/ASSAULT: 2 victims- both off-islanders-and:
At 7:30PM, an anonymous male reported to PSD that numerous males were using weapons to harm others near Blackwell Park. A canvass of the area was conducted. One of our officers made contact with one assault victim (who also had his back-pack taken). He gave a description of a subject, and was observed by another officer attempting to flee the Subway area, and was taken into custody. While in the station-house with subject number #1, PSD located the 2nd assault victim.
The subject in custody was identified by a witness of the incident, along with three others (not yet apprehended). The subject that was in custody is 15 years-old. One of the wanted subjects is 17 years-old, and the age of the remaining two males is unknown at this time.
The arrested subject was charged with-- Robbery, Assault with intent to cause injury with a weapon, Gang Assault, resisting arrest and Harassment 2nd degree; physical contact.
One victim refused medical attention (RMA) and the other was transported to the hospital.
Aided Case-Suicide Attempt: At 2:59AM, a 30 year old island resident attempted to commit suicide by jumping off 36th Ave bridge. The DOT employees observed and detained him on the Vernon Blvd. side of the bridge and alerted PSD. PSD responded to the location. NYPD was also on scene. The Aided was transported to Hospital.The Public Safety Reports for the most recent week are posted daily on the blog's middle sidebar.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Remake Of Arthur With Brand, Garner & Mirren Filming At Roosevelt Island's Goldwater Hospital Taking Up Parking Spaces Unavailable To Residents
Did you notice the yellow signs with a directional arrow pointed towards Goldwater Hospital and the word "Set" on it plastered near the Roosevelt Island subway station and other Southtown locations today?
Wonder what it was all about?
Well, here's the dish - a remake of the movie Arthur
starring Russell Brand, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner is filming on Roosevelt Island today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday). According to Inside Movies Moviefone:
... The original 1981 comedy - which earned four Oscar nominations - starred Dudley Moore as Arthur, a boozy playboy who is set to inherit a fortune if he marries an heiress his family thinks will make something out of him. But he falls in love with a working-class woman (Liza Minnelli) and turns to his valet (John Gielgud) for help when his family makes him choose between money and love.A knowledgeable Roosevelt Island source reported earlier today:
Thirty years on, Brand will play the loveable wealthy drunk while Helen Mirren does her take on the Gielgud role by playing Arthur's longtime nanny. Elsewhere, Jennifer Garner plays the well-off heiress that Arthur doesn't want to marry (Nick Nolte is her dad), while Greta Gerwig (Greenberg, The House of the Devil) will be the poor girl Arthur falls in love with...
Arthur is filming inside the hospital only, but their vehicles are parked on the street around Goldwater. They had a tentative scene planned along the west waterfront but alas, the creative juices of the director led them to an alternate location. All the stars' trailers are in one of the Goldwater lots. They'll be here today and tomorrow- Sun-up to sun-down basically.
There were plenty of vehicles from the production company parked all along the East Channel Road and Goldwater Parking lot.
It's unfortunate that film companies receive greater parking consideration and courtesy from Goldwater Hospital than that
received by Roosevelt Island residents who would like to park their cars in this area during weekends when, as reported in previous posts, this area is practically deserted.
Will East River Ferry Service Make It's Way To Roosevelt Island Or Are We In For Just Another Tease? Like 1981 -2010
You Tube video of New York Water Taxi leaving Fulton Landing underneath the Brooklyn Bridge
The 8/17 New York Post reported on a New York City pilot program to bring ferry service to the East River next year with a possible stop at Roosevelt Island.
... The city issued a request for proposals yesterday for a Williamsburg ferry landing, part of a plan to bring water taxis to the East River.Roosevelt Island residents have been teased before with the prospect of ferry service only to have nothing come of it.
It's part of a pilot program that will begin next spring after a one-year delay.
The ferry would also make stops at Northside and Greenpoint.
Officials are also conducting studies to decide whether to add ferry service to La Guardia Airport and Astoria in Queens, and 125th, 20th, 75th and 90th streets along the East River in Manhattan.
They're also looking at the possibility of ferry service to Roosevelt Island and Coney Island...
NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin has been a long time advocate of Roosevelt Island ferry service. I asked Ms. Lappin's office if they had any new information regarding the possibility of Roosevelt Island ferry service. I received this response:
We don’t have any definite information right now. The study is continuing. However, Council Member Lappin has been pushing to make sure that Roosevelt Island is included in any and all discussions about the future of ferry service in New York.Roosevelt Island Octagon building owner Bruce Becker has been very involved in trying to bring ferry service to a dock near the building he owns. I asked Octagon building representative John Renner if he was aware of any progress in bringing ferry service to Roosevelt Island.
Mr. Renner replied:
We were disappointed that the City the was not able to deploy the funding secured for the Roosevelt Island dock by elected officials in time for the ferry to be in service during the tram outage. We are very interested in advocating for Roosevelt Island to be included in the proposed East River pilot program and encourage all interested parties to help get the message out.More on the background regarding Roosevelt Island ferry service here
Also, check out this 1981 NY Times article describing NYC seeking private operators for a Roosevelt Island ferry service from an earlier post. Sound familiar?
No matter how advantageous ferry service would be for Roosevelt Island, let not forget that it has limited passenger ridership capacity - 149 per NY Water Taxi vessel, would probably dock at Roosevelt Island no more than once an hour and at the Octagon, far from the Tram and Subway transportation hub. Also, unless the operational costs of the ferry were subsidized by the City, property owners or some combination, the price per ride that had previously been discussed was approximately $5 not including any necessary transfers to a bus or subway.
Still, if New York City is to have a water transportation system on the East River, it would be ridiculous not to include Roosevelt Island.
UPDATE 4 PM - RIOC Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez adds:
I read the NY Post article. It seems that the Mayor's Office is restarting its 5 Borough Ferry Plan. At this time, RIOC has not had any recent discussions about a ferry service for Roosevelt Island. I will reach out to our contacts with the City to learn more about what they are now planning to do with the ferry service.
Sell Your Gently Used Roosevelt Island Children's Clothing At Manhattan Park Consignment Purchasing Session This Sunday
Just a heads up that my wife Tanya and I will be hosting a purchasing session for the Brooklyn children's consignment store Monk's Trunk on Sunday, August 22, 3:30-6:30 PM. 20 River Road, Apt. 7M. See below for details, we'll also be putting flyers with details up today in the MP laundry rooms as well.More details below:
Feel free to contact me ahead of time with any questions!
SELL YOUR KID’S CLOTHESIf only they took Adult clothing as well.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 22 • 3:30–6:30PM
(718) 398-9324 • 20 RIVER ROAD, APT. 7M
MONK’S TRUNK CONSIGNMENT is seeking gently used children’s clothing (2T to size 8) for our startup shop, in Brooklyn. If you have items in excellent condition, bring them by our drop-off spot. We’ll buy what we can use and you can either take home the rest or we’ll donate it to charity.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Beautiful Nightime View Of East River Waterfront And Manhattan From Up On The Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Rooftop
One of the great things about living on Roosevelt Island is the view of the East River waterfront and Manhattan Skyline. It's a beautiful night out tonight particularly high up on the Roosevelt Island Riverwalk rooftop. Every time I come up on the roof, I am amazed at how special these views are.
Riverwalk Bar & Grill First Roosevelt Island Anniversary Party - Congratulations And Keep Up The Good Work!
Last Sunday the Riverwalk Commons was alive with good cheer and plenty of happy people
as the Riverwalk Bar & Grill owners celebrated their one year anniversary of being open for business here on Roosevelt Island by thanking their customers with a fun filled day of partying .
Besides the good food and drink, there were inflatable rides for kids to enjoy
and a chance to demonstrate your inner Strong Man by ringing the bell with a good THWACK.
One of the highlights was certainly the opportunity many Roosevelt Islanders took to drop Jon, Alphonse and Sal into the Water Dunk Tank
although some got suspicious when they hit the target and no dunking occurred. I know I hit the middle of the target on my first throw and Sal did not drop.
But there was no rigging of the Dunk Tank ( I think) and the boys did go into the water quite a bit.
It was all for a good cause as the money raised at the Dunk Tank went to the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association.
Afterwards, the Riverwalk Bar & Grill owners had this to say:
Unfortunately, not everyone had a great time. One resident commented on this prior post (#1) of being unable to participate in the festivities:
Thank you everyone who came to celebrate our 1 year anniversary with us. We had a great time with you all and look forward to the start of year 2 on Roosevelt Island at Riverwalk Bar and Grill!
There was an event in The Riverwalk Common today hosted by Riverwalk Bar and Grill. Flyers were posted around the island for what appeared to be a community event with rides and games for children of Roosevelt Island. However, at the bottom of the flyer, the fine print stated that only those with arm bands could participate. Furthermore, the only way to acquire an armband was to have bought a children's meal at Riverwalk Bar and Grill in the last few weeks, with window to obtain one ending yesterday...However, I think this comment reflected the more common experience of the day:
... I’m sure that many children, whose parent didn't read the fine print, did end up disappointed and not understanding why they were excluded from riding the rides with the other children...
I wanted to the owners of the Riverwalk Bar and Grill.I agree.
My kids had a blast, 4 hours of non-stop fun. As a matter of fact when we left my children thanked me for the "best day ever!!"
I thought it was a very kind and generous gesture to your customers and this community. As a matter of fact i can't tell you how many residents i ran into who where really impressed with your generosity. The renting of the common area from RIOC, paying for extra PSD, the extra staff, All the rides, the free food and refreshments, the dj, the giveaways and not the least you donating your time and effort to a local charity.
As for getting a wristband, i had no problem buying a kids meal as advertised in the wire and on the posters and even here on this blog. I also saw people buy bands the day of the event.
Congratulations on your first year, and thanks for being a part of the community.
NYPD Transit Canine Unit Training On Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station - Meet Canine Officer George
Did you notice alot of police activity at the Roosevelt Island F Train subway station this morning and wonder what was going on?
Not to worry. Although there was an unattended bag on the steps leading down to the subway,
nothing bad happened. It was part of training exercises being conducted by the NYPD Transit Canine unit for new human recruits which also included an obstacle course at Firefighters Field for their canine partners.
Watch this You Tube Video from Inside The NYPD for additional interesting information on the NYPD Transit K9 Unit and check out this site for some history on the Unit.
I am going to be meeting with new Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President/CEO Leslie Torres tomorrow.
Responding to my question as to how her her week as RIOC President went, Mr. Torres answered last Friday:
My first week has been a whirlwind of activity, filled with meetings with staff, developers and Roosevelt Island residents. I have met with so many people who are dedicated to Roosevelt Island and making the Island a great place to live, work and/or visit. It has already proven to be incredibly inspiring experience. A great first week indeed.If you have any questions or comments for me to pass along to Ms. Torres, please send me an email or write a comment to this post and I will do so.
UPDATE 10:20 PM - A Reader would like to know from Ms. Torres:
Even though I do not live on the island anymore, I do have a vested interest since it was where I grew up and still have many dear friends that live there. My question would be, how do you plan on bringing the entire island together as a united community as it once was? From what I see and hear from current residents, each building seems to have their own agenda as opposed to working together as the community that it once was. I would also suggest allowing small/family owned businesses open up in the MANY empty store fronts as opposed to corporations (eg Starbucks). Allowing families to own island businesses speaks volumes. Last but not least, SAVE THE GREEN KITCHEN (aka Trelis)!! It is an institution and the heart of the island!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Roosevelt Island Master Plan Drawing From Architect Philip Johnson Up For Sale - Read First Main Street 1973 Report Of Roosevelt Island Dedication
Image of left, Raj Ahuja, John Burgee and Philip Johnson in 1987 from NY Times Via Atlanta Journal Constitution
Interested in Roosevelt Island history?
According to Architectural Record, among the drawings from architect Philip Johnson's archives being put up for sale is his Roosevelt Island Master Plan drawing.
The NY Times has more on the Phillip Johnson archive sale including:
A huge and previously unknown trove of archival material from Philip Johnson’s architectural practice — including his hand-drawn sketches for towers that helped define postmodern architecture — is to be put up for sale by one of Johnson’s former partners, who has had them in storage for years....and:
... Mr. Robinson was especially struck, he said, by the degree to which the drawings concern themselves with the surrounding context.Below is very first issue of the Roosevelt Island Main Street newspaper (via RIOC) with a front page article and pictures of the 1973 dedication of Roosevelt Island including the receipt by Philip Johnson of a Diamond Jubilee Award for his work on the Roosevelt Island Master Plan by then Mayor John Lindsey.
“Nobody thinks of Johnson as a planner,” Mr. Robinson said. “They think of him as an antiurbanist. He really was concerned with how life interacted with these buildings. You get elaborate plans for walkways, roads, the works.”...
Roosevelt Island Dedication 1973 Main Street WIRE
RIOC, (the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp) is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the signing of the Roosevelt Island Development Plan and has more on the Island's development history here.
For more information on Philip Johnson, check out this You Tube Video of Philip Johnson interview from American Architecture Now.
Update On Confusing Roosevelt Island East West Channel Road Parking - Signage And Sidewalk Markings To Be Installed
An update to August 9 post regarding visiting friends of a Roosevelt Island Riverwalk resident who received parking tickets for leaving their cars on the East West Channel road just south of 405 Main Street despite their being no signage prohibiting parking in that area. The Riverwalk resident wrote:
Some friends decided to visit Roosevelt Island this weekend, and parked their cars on the the east-west cross street directly south of 405 Main (the new Riverwalk Crossing rental building). This street has absolutely no signage concerning parking; attached are several photos as proof. My friends were shocked to have each found $115 parking tickets upon returning to their respective cars a few hours later...I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez about the parking signage situation and followed up with:
Just following up on earlier inquiry regarding parking tickets received on East West Channel Road by the Tram Station mentioned in message below.Last Friday, Mr. Martinez replied:
Can you clarify what the situation is regarding parking at that location and whether tickets should be issued where there is no visible signage.
The north side of East/West Channel Road is designated as a delivery area for building 6. Unfortunately, the contractors for Riverwalk did not install the proper signs or sidewalk markings. I will have it done early next week by RIOC staff. I have instructed PSD not to issue any tickets until we have the proper signage.
I have asked about the south side of the street and will report when Mr. Martinez replies.
UPDATE 8/19 - Mr. Martinez provides answer to south side of East/West Channel road parking:
Prior the Tram shut-down, parking was not allowed on the south side because it was used as a bust stop for the Red bus and the Q102. Now the area is used as a construction staging area.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Don't Get Stuck In Trash Sucking Roosevelt Island AVAC Underground Garbage Collection System - It Could Kill You Says Engineer
A reader sent in this link to an article in today's Wired Gadget Lab about New York City's Trash Sucking Island - which is, of course, referring to our own special Roosevelt Island pneumatic tube underground garbage collection system. From the Wired Gadget Lab:
The system of pneumatic trash-sucking tubes running beneath the surface of New York City’s Roosevelt Island is either a quirky relic or a glimpse of the future, depending on how you look at it.
A network of 20-inch tubes takes garbage from the island’s 16 residential towers, collecting from every floor, to a central collection point where it is compacted and trucked off the island. It is at once a simple and elegant solution to gathering trash, and an aging and complicated beast that needs a lot of upkeep.
“I can’t run the system right now, I got guys in the pipe. It would kill them,” said sanitation engineer Jerry Sorgente. “We have contractors here from Sweden. They crawl through the pipes, find holes and repair them...
The Roosevelt Island Automated Vacuum Assisted Collections Facility (AVAC) was the subject of the recent Fast Trash exhibit at the Gallery RIVAA. Watch the simulation of garbage hurling through Roosevelt Island's underground tubes as it makes it's way to the collection facility.
Also, more information about these types of automated garbage collection systems from the the contractors, Envac.
Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Park Party/BBQ Broken Up By Public Safety Department Late Saturday Night - Separate Report Of Guns Unfounded
I asked Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Director Keith Guerra what was going on Saturday night at Lighthouse Park.
I understand there was a late night party/BBQ at Lighthouse park last night.
Were there any problems or incidents?
The 8/14 - 8/15 Public Safety Report indicates:According to Mr. Guerra:
Investigation- NYPD responded to Light House Park for a report of males possibly with guns. PSD also responded. A search was made with negative results.
These two are separate incidents.
There was a call to NYPD regarding Firearms, which was Unfounded.
There was also an unauthorized party at Lighthouse Park, which was broken up by our Department without incident.