Thursday, September 17, 2020

Roosevelt Island Community Volunteers Organize Weekly Friday RIDA Food Pantry For Neighbors Feeding Up To 200 Families - Delicious Dishes Prepared With Food Pantry Items

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Wendy Hersh reports; 

RIDA will be having our weekly Friday Roosevelt Island Free Food Panty tomorrow, September 18 at the Carter Burden RI Senior Center (546 Main Street) 4 - 6:30 pm. We'll have lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and non-perishable items.

If you are in need of food, please feel free to come on Friday. Everyone who needs is welcome. You MUST wear a mask, bring ID and your own bag or cart. Line starts at 546 entrance way.

Last Friday, Roosevelt Island resident and NYC Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteer Frank Farance gave a tour of the Food Pantry operation and explained the logistics involved in organizing the weekly food pantry.


After the tour, I spoke with RIDA President Wendy Hersh, the main organizer of the Roosevelt Island Food Pantry. Ms Hersh reported the Food Pantry serving as many as 200 families and described the Roosevelt Island Food Pantry volunteers as:

... just neighbors who want to help. Mostly old timers who have been here for a while. This is what community is all about...


Ms Hersh was very appreciative  and thankful for the assistance offered to the Roosevelt Island Food Pantry by: 

and shares these pictures of dishes prepared with food from the Roosevelt Island Food Pantry.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Chabad Of Roosevelt Island Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur Schedule, Socially Distanced High Holidays Services With Meaning And Melody - Shofar Blowing Sunday September 20 At Eleanor's Pier

The Chabad Of Roosevelt Island invite you to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur High Holiday Services:

Socially Distanced High Holiday Services with Meaning And Melody.

No Affiliation Necessary/Traditional and Inspirational Services/

Warm and Friendly Atmosphere/Special Children's Program/

Masks required/ Indoor and Outdoor space available

Location Roosevelt Island Cultural Center, 548 Main Street use the red stairs behind Pup Culture
Below is the Chabad of Roosevelt Island Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services schedule including the Shofar blowing 5 pm Sunday, September 20 at Eleanor's Pier.

For more info, email or visit the Chabad of Roosevelt Island web site.

Nechama Duchman adds:
If anyone needs anything specific to enhance their High Holiday celebrations, feel free to contact us.
Shana Tovah!

New Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch Looks Almost Ready To Open, But When Exactly Will That Happen - Resident Asks For Temporary Grab And Go Book Service At Current Library

When will the new Roosevelt Island NY Public Library finally open is a question often asked by residents

Plans for the new Roosevelt Island branch library on the first floor at 504 Main Street were first announced way back in July 2012 but construction did not start until October 2018. At that time, residents were told to expect substantial completion of the new library by December 2019. As we know, that has not happened due to a variety of delays and then the Coronavirus Pandemic shutdown.

Last week, I asked a NY Public Library spokesperson:

It looks like Roosevelt Island Library is almost done.

Any status update on when it may open?

The spokesperson replied;
The Roosevelt Island Library renovation continues to move forward. At this time, the Library is also assessing the current branch reopenings and we haven't confirmed future openings as yet. But I will keep you posted on any updates!
Roosevelt Island resident Matt Katz made this request to the NYPL:
As we Roosevelt Islanders await the completion and opening of our new branch facility, our old, store-front branch remains empty. Some branches have been reopened for grab-and-go service but not ours. I would remind you that Roosevelt Island has a large disabled and senior population (including me) that is disinclined to use public transportation off the Island but desperately needs library services. Our tiny branch will be replaced by a new, spacious, modern facility but, in the meantime, it is the perfect size for folks to pick up books they have ordered on-line. Won't you consider making this temporary service available to my 14,000 neighbors until the day we celebrate the grand opening of our new Main Street branch?
A library spokesperson replied:
Thank you for contacting us about the reopening of the Roosevelt Island branch. As you may know, the Library is implementing a cautious and phased approach to reopenings in an effort to protect the safety and health of patrons and staff. The Roosevelt Island Library is in a unique situation in that staff are also currently working towards the completion of the renovation of its new branch, which we expect to reopen in a couple of months. In preparation for the reopening of the new Library and considering the precautions needed to safeguard the community against COVID-19, the Library is taking extremely measured steps and as a result we're not able to confirm the branch's immediate reopening at this time. I understand that this is a difficult response to a very important question. But, please know we understand that Roosevelt Island Library patrons are greatly anticipating its reopening and staff are also eager to return to the Library and serve the community.
Resident Judy Berdy shares these photos of inside the new, not yet open,

Roosevelt Island NYPL branch.

Below is NYPL January 2016 presentation on the new Roosevelt Island branch library

Roosevelt Island Library - FINAL Presentation 1/2016

and video of the presentation.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Roosevelt Island Residents Get No Relief For Years Of Very Loud Noise Pollution Coming From Big Allis Ravenswood Power Plant Across East River In Long Island City - Can Anybody Help?

A Roosevelt Island resident asked today:

Did anyone else hear the loud, continuous rushing noise several days ago which seemed to be coming from the off island power plant? We assumed it was coal or some other solid material running through the outside conveyor belt, perhaps into a large cargo ship. It was very loud however and lasted on and off for hours.
Others did hear the noise. The Twitterverse recorded the noise coming from the Big Allis Ravenswood Power Plant

last Saturday evening.

The loud noise from the Ravenswood Power Plant has been bothering Roosevelt Island residents on and off for yearsIn July 2019, former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal thought the problem was solved:
... Several people have investigated the noise complaint and the power station believes the noise is coming from a faulty compressor that is scheduled to be repaired by the end of this week. Good news!...
and also in 2019 a Ravenswood spokesperson added:
... As best as we can tell, the noise came from a vacuum truck, which can be noisy. This is not frequent, but we have now advised the contractor that this work should only be performed during daylight hours going forward.

This specific information is very helpful for us to fix these situations. We appreciate the opportunity to address them....
But it was not solved and the noise pollution from Power Plant has been going on since at least 2011.

The Big Allis Ravenswood Power Plant across the East River from Roosevelt Island is owned by LS Power, having purchased the 1.1 million square foot Long Island City facility in 2017 from TransCanada for $167 million according to The Real Deal.

Meet Jax Schott, Roosevelt Island Resident And Island Om Yoga Studio Owner Opening This Winter - Teaching Outdoor Yoga Classes Now

In March 2019, Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Master leaseholder Hudson Related announced that local resident Jax Shott signed a lease to open Island Om, a 1,975 square foot Yoga Studio and Wellness Center, in the Rivercross building at 521 Main Street. Island Om hoped to open in Fall 2019 but there were delays and then the Coronavirus Pandemic shutdown causing more delays.

In the meantime, Ms Shott has been teaching Yoga Classes outdoors at various Roosevelt Island locations.

Sanskrit Saturday! Utkatasana - Thunderbolt Pose,” or “Powerful Pose.” Its Sanskrit name comes from the words “utkata” (meaning “powerful” or “fierce”) and “asana” (meaning “pose”). We had a beautiful turnout with the @rivercrossnyc community, who showed up once again, strong & fierce for a special Yoga class on the River. As yesterday marked the 19th anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11, we were reminded that even though we are once again in unprecedented times, we can rise from the darkness and shine our light when surrounded by community. @mstda_ri had little ballerinas & Capoiera adjacent from us, and all I kept thinking of is how alive the Island is, on multi levels, multi generations, we represent strength, community, and light thru these uncertain times! #utkatasana #sanskritsaturday #fiercecommunity #yogaeverydamnday #yogaflow #yogaglow #keeponmoving #mstdakeepsmoving #outdoorclasses #socialdistancing #nystrong #yogastrong #yogapractice #yogaposes #yogateacher #rooseveltislandlove @rooseveltislandlove @rooseveltislander @roosevelt_island_fan_page
A post shared by Island Om ( on

Last Saturday I spoke with Jax Shott after she finished a class on the Rivercross Lawn.  Ms. Shott describes her outdoor Yoga classes and new indoor Yoga Studio & Wellness Center opening this winter in Rivercross building.

More info at Island Om Facebook and Instagram Page or

Monday, September 14, 2020

RIOC Board Meeting Today September 14, Presentation Of Proposed Budget For 2021-22 Fiscal Year Main Item On Agenda - Spending Down, Revenue Down, Staff Reductions, Increased Expenses To Pay For Roosevelt Island Youth Center Services And Personnel

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet 5:30 PM today, September 14, via video conference. You can watch the Board meeting here and ask questions or share concerns about Roosevelt Island during the opening Public Session before the start of the meeting. Sign up to speak here.

The meeting was postponed from September 10.

The main item on the Agenda is presentation of the of Proposed Budget for fiscal year 2021-22:



5:30 P.M.

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

III. Approval of Minutes
1. July 2, 2020 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
2. August 5, 2020 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

IV. Old Business

V. New Business
1. Presentation of Proposed Budget FY 2021-22
2. Acting President’s Report
3. Committee Reports
a. Audit Committee
b. Governance Committee
c. Operations Advisory Committee
d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
4. Public Safety Report

VI. Adjournment
Click here to review the RIOC's Proposed Budget.

According to the Proposed Budget (Page 1-4):

Friday, September 11, 2020

Roosevelt Island Remembers 9/11/ NYC World Trade Center Towers Attack19 Years Ago Today

Hard to believe that it's been 19 years since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center Towers,

Pentagon, and the downing of Flight 93 in Shanksville Pennsylvania.

The World Trade Center attacks looked like this from Roosevelt Island on September 11, 2001.

Main Street Wire Image of 9/11 Smoke Burning From World Trade Center by Vicki Feinmel/Linda Heimer

Below is the Roosevelt Island Good Shepherd Plaza 9/11 Remembrance Tree

and Memorial Plaque

that honors Roosevelt Islanders who died in the terrorist attack:
Ed Beyea,
Anthony J. Fallone,
Taimour Khan,
Scott Larsen,
Kevin J. Smith and the firefighters who were based on Roosevelt Island
Deputy Chief Ray Downey,
Deputy Chief Charlie Kasper,
Battalion Chief John Moran, and
Battalion Chief John Paolillo.
Roosevelt Island also remembers former RIOC Public Safety Department Chief Jack McManus who died this year after a long battle with 9/11 World Trade Center related cancer.

Watch the 19th anniversary 9/11 commemoration ceremony

and the Tribute In Light tonight.

UPDATE 10:15 PM - Tribute In Light seen from Roosevelt Island tonight.

Roosevelt Island Postcard Writing Event In Support Of Democratic Party Battleground State Candidates Sunday September 13 At Good Shepherd Plaza Picnic Tables - Meet Postcard Organizer Kim Moscaritolo, 2021 NYC Council Candidate To Represent RI And UES

If you are interested in local and national politics, join the postcard writing group meeting Sunday  September 13 at the Roosevelt Island picnic tables in Good Shepherd Plaza behind the Chapel (543 Main Street).

Kim Moscaritolo, a Democratic Party candidate to represent Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side in NYC Council District 5, is organizing the postcard writing event. According to Ms Moscaritolo:
So we're writing postcards to voters. Some will be going to voters in Iowa in support of Democratic candidate Theresa Greenfield for Senate. Others will be going to voters in Florida, encouraging them to request their vote by mail ballots. We had a similar event on the Upper East Side last Saturday and it was a big success...15 volunteers showed up during Labor Day weekend to help.

My goal here is to engage folks on Roosevelt Island who want to get involved in the election, but don't know where to begin. And if we can encourage folks to buy some food or drink at a local Roosevelt Island business, all the better!

You can sign up here for the postcard writing event.

Ms Moscaritolo is running to succeed current NYC Council Member Ben Kallos who cannot run for this seat again in 2021 due to  term limits. Mr Kallos is running for Manhattan Borough President.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - F & E Train Service To And From Manhattan, 20 Tram Passenger Social Distancing Limit Enforced, Ferry Route Extended To UES And Citibike Too - Wear Your Masks To Travel Safely For You And Others, $50 Fine If No Mask Says MTA, What About RIOC?

According to the MTA, there is Roosevelt Island F Train Service to and from Manhattan this weekend. Also, Roosevelt Island E Train service to an from Manhattan.

There is a Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin 20 passenger Covid-19 Social Distancing limit.

Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule which now extends to East 90th street on the Upper East Side.

Also, Roosevelt Island has a new transportation option with the recent addition of Citbike docking stations.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket September 11 - 17 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons, Nutritional Tips & Social Media Facebook And Instagram Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket

invites you to check out their September 11 - September 17 Weekly Flyer for Product Offerings, Specials & Sales items

Click here to visit the Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket web site for online shopping, delivery options, digital coupons, weekly flyer and more.

Follow Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket on Facebook

and Instagram too.

Will Roosevelt Island Farmers Market Be Able To Move Back To Cold Weather Home At Motorgate Plaza Currently Occupied By Citibike Dock? Confident It Will Happen Says RIOC President

For many Roosevelt Island residents, the Saturday Farmers Market is a beloved member of our community - a place to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and other items from the various vendors and a gathering spot to meet and talk with your neighbors.

Recently, concerns have arisen that the Farmers Market might not be able to move their site back to Motorgate Plaza when the weather starts getting colder because of the Citibike docking station located there earlier this spring.

Haki Compost Collective Helps Bring Weekly Big Reuse Food Scrap Drop Off Site Back To Roosevelt Island Starting Saturday September 12 Next To Farmers Market - Would You Like To Help Volunteer?

As reported September 4:

According to Danika Lam of the Roosevelt Island Haki Compost Collective:
Composting returns to Roosevelt Island with the reopening of the weekly food scrap drop-off site (FSDO) starting Saturday, September 12 from 9am–2pm, at its summer location adjacent to the farmers market near the yellow vents. Grab your kitchen scraps and a mask and come on down! Social distancing measures will be observed.

This composting initiative is made possible by our friends at Big Reuse, RIOC, and community volunteers like you. To help ensure the continued success of this program, we encourage you to join us in the newly-created Haki Compost Collective to assist with future collection and outreach. Express your interest in volunteering by filling out our interest form at:
Follow us on Instagram @hakicompost for updates.

Ms Lam, the former Roosevelt Island Grow NYC Compost Coordinator, adds:
Over the last several months, a few of your dedicated neighbors and I have been hard at work figuring out how a sustainably-minded community like ours could keep up with composting. Recognizing that success could only come from a collaboration of the community, we decided to start Haki Compost Collective, an informal group of Roosevelt Islanders active in supporting compost initiatives...

Haki, in Lenape, means Earth as well as dirt, ground, and land. This name was given to us by the Lenape Center, who supports our stewardship of this land. You can learn more about the Lenape Center at
If you're interested in volunteering with the Roosevelt Island Haki Compost Collective, please click here and fill out form....

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Up Close Look At Wonderful World Of Roosevelt Island Insects

According to the Roosevelt Island Twitteverse:

Governor Cuomo Says NYC Restaurants Allowed To Resume Indoor Dining September 30 At 25% Capacity, What Will This Mean For Roosevelt Island? Granny Annie's Irish Bar Expects To Open In A Week Or Two

NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday:

The State will allow indoor dining to resume in New York City at 25% capacity with strict restrictions on September 30....

What will this mean for Roosevelt Island?

According to Granny Annie's,

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Day The U.S. Was Shot In The Back - RIRA Children, Youth & Education Committee Chair On Shooting Of Jacob Blake, Creates Art To Keep Pledge With Roosevelt Island Youth On Addressing Systemic Racial Injustices

Inspired by the June 3 Roosevelt Island March For Justice organized by Roosevelt Island young people, Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Children, Youth & Education Committee (CY&E)) Chair Adib Mansour pledged earlier this summer:

...  RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee stands with you, demanding a permanent change and a better future for EVERY youth and citizen. I pledge that this committee will always be learning on how to bring change and increasing racial equity in our community and our city. As the chair of RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee I am making the commitment that we will be engaging in activities and actions that support our black youth and make sure that we are addressing systematic racial injustices. As part of that pledge, our meeting will be held in 2 weeks time to brainstorm and generate an action plan....
Among the activities organized by Mr. Mansour were a Roosevelt Island Youth Virtual Conversation on Racial Justice and a series of lessons on Black Artists Through History.

Following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha Wisconsin, Mr Mansour adds:
The Day the U.S. Was Shot in the Back.

As I made a pledge to the youth of our community that the RIRA Children, Youth & Education Committee I chair will do everything to shed light on racial injustice in our country, how can I turn a blind eye to an event that symbolizes this injustice?

I wanted to share this piece I created after Jacob Blake was shot 7 times in the back, in front of his children. In the art I created, our flag is backwards and riddled with 7 bloodied bullets.

This is not an event that affects only Kenosha, Wisconsin, but the entire country. We must stand up to racism and shout at the top of our lungs: Black Lives Matter. What is sad is that, according to Wisconsin Lt. Governor Barnes, "Jacob Blake was trying to deescalate a situation in his community”.

It broke my heart when the first thing Jacob did when he saw his mother in the hospital is cry, the he said “ I am sorry.. I don’t want a burden on anybody. I want to be with my children. And I don’t think I’m going to walk again, Mom!” This will stay embedded in my mind for the rest of my life. Justice and equality must be unequivocal, right now.
Here's more on the shooting and remarks by Jacob Blake from his hospital bed.

Also, after the shooting of Mr. Blake, Roosevelt Island held a silent Black Lives Matter March from Good Shepherd Plaza to Manhattan Park.

And video from the June 3 Roosevelt Island March For Justice.