Monday, February 24, 2020

Roosevelt Island Student Environmental Heroes Giving Away Free Reusable Bags Wednesday February 26 At Local Foodtown Supermarket - NYC Plastic Bag Ban Starts March 1

The New York City Plastic Bag ban begins Sunday March 1.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Children, Youth & Education Ad Hoc Committee Chair Adib Mansour reports:
As you may already know, plastic bags will be banned in New York City as of March 1st. RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee has been teaching the youth at the Child Center of NY about sound environmental practices. They have become Roosevelt Island’s:
“Environmental Heroes.”
 Come join our youth at the new FoodTown and receive a free reusable bag, donated by the generosity of:
Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Ben Kallos, RIOC President Susan Rosenthal.
Wednesday, Feb. 26 - 3:30 PM at Roosevelt Island FoodTown

NYC CBS New York reports on the NYC Plastic Bag ban including views from both supporters and opponents of the plastic bag ban

Roosevelt Island Foodtown supermarket owner Nick D'Agostino

Friday, February 21, 2020

Long Time Roosevelt Island Residents Give Very Favorable Reviews To New Foodtown Supermarket - Many Shopping At RI Supermarket For First Time In Years, It's Becoming A Community Gathering Spot

What do you think of the new Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket,

located in the former Gristedes space, that had it Grand Opening on February 7?

So far, every person I've spoken to has had very positive reviews about our new Foodtown Supermarket.

For example,  a 30 year Roosevelt Island resident told me she would never visit the old Gristedes store and would drive off Roosevelt Island to do all her grocery shopping but after visiting the new Foodtown supermarket is:
... grateful that the store has opened up because now I can stay here and enjoy shopping on the Island....  People want to be able to shop and afford to have good food. To be able to work their budget out and include nice food. It's a great start...
A 47 year resident said the recent Foodtown Grand Opening was like a neighborhood:
...reunion seeing so many faces you have not seen in a long time...

Another resident says the new Foodtown Supermarket Cafe is becoming a community gathering spot -  and likes the good cup of coffee for $1.50.

Roosevelt Island Soup Lady Sells Vegetable And Vegan Soup Every Saturday At Farmers Market And Now From Brand New Online Store - Chicken Noodle & Matzo Ball Soup Too

The Roosevelt Island Soup Lady, Margo Reiss, sells her delicious vegetable and vegan soups every Saturday at the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market.

The Roosevelt Island Soup Lady

now has an online shop

Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, Watch Video Of MTA Presentation On Roosevelt Island Subway Service

According to the MTA there will be Roosevelt Island F Train service

 to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Winter Schedule. 

During June 13,2019  Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book spoke about Roosevelt Island F Train subway service. Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Roosevelt Island Celebrates Black History Month With Art, Poetry Readings, Song & Dance, Watch Video Of Wonderful Performances - More To Come With RI Youth Center Black History Month Program Saturday February 22

Roosevelt Island celebrated Black History Month earlier this month with a February 8 presentation of art, poetry reading, music  and dance at Gallery RIVAA. Among the wonderful performances were poetry readings by:

  • Ebonie J. Williams - What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black by Margaret Burroughs and
  • Harold Thomas w/ guest of Lord, Lord Why Did You Make Me Black by RuNett Nia Ebo.
Take a look and listen.

Roosevelt Island Black History Month Celebration continues on Saturday February 22. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
The R.I. Youth Center will host its 2nd Annual Black History Month Celebration on Saturday, February 22nd at 4 PM inside the multipurpose room located at Sportspark (250 Main Street). The free event will explore pieces from the recent New York Times article: The 1619 Project, and how this event still has an impact on African American culture today. Through live performances, artwork and poetry, participants of the youth center will explore important points of African American history, highlighting their struggle for freedom and equality while also showcasing their many accomplishments. This event is open to the public.

Here are more scenes from the February 8 Roosevelt Island Black History Month Celebration - The 1619 Project: Still Marginalized at Gallery RIVAA - including more music and dance.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Watch Fascinating Video About The Natural World Of Roosevelt Island From 1609 To Present Day By Local Resident & Urban Naturalist Jack Burkhalter At Engage RI Environmental Understanding Meet Up - What Is Your Favorite Roosevelt Island Green Or Outdoor Space And Tree?

Engaged Roosevelt Island hosted a February 12 Meet Up for Environmental Understanding which included several wonderful presentations about Roosevelt Island's natural history, flora and fauna wildlife habitat as well as examples of residents:

... working together to create, restore and maintain natural habitats for all...
Local resident and urban naturalist Jack Burkhalter treated the Engage RI Meet Up audience to a fascinating presentation on the Natural World Of Roosevelt Island from 1609, (then called Minnahanonck Island - meaning Nice Island - by Lenape Native Americans) to the present day.

Watch video of this very informative presentation by Mr. Burkhalter on the Natural World of Roosevelt Island.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Roosevelt Island Homeless Issue Growing Concern Among Frustrated Residents At Lack Of Solutions - Community Member Has Idea For Showers, Bathrooms, Laundry & Social Services At Unused Coler Hospital Space

Reported previously on Roosevelt Island residents increasing concern and frustration with:

... a growing homeless population and no social service to speak of....
A long time member of the Roosevelt Island community puts forward an idea for discussion about the issue of homeless people on Roosevelt Island.
Recently I have been thinking about the growing transient and indigent population on the Roosevelt Island, both from the perspective of humane relief and from the perspective of the new issues imposed on the community -- community outreach and community response. I was entering the subway when the odor was overwhelming. I covered my nose and was reprimanded by a young woman for a lack of compassion. The cause of the odor this particular day was someone, a gentleman, I have often helped. I understand both concerns: the social justice concern, that every human is entitled to adequate shelter, and the pragmatic concern, that people fear the health/hygiene issues and related costs.

In response, I have tried to find a middle path that might address both the humanitarian concerns and the added cost imposed on a community, when there is a growing homeless population (I will refer to the latter in economic terms, as externalities, as such costs are shifted to the public budget, which is already stretched thin).

Recently a suggestion was floated that unused space in the hospital at the north end of the Island could be repurposed for beds. The community responded that this could create greater crime and health/hygiene issues. Too often public shelter facilities do not adequately address the longer term impact on the surrounding community. There are meaningful rights on both sides, and both need to be discussed and respected.

However, this proposal offers the opportunity to craft a modest solution: the unused hospital space could be repurposed to provide two showers, lavs, laundry and lockers. The facility could be open initially two days a week 8:00am to 8:00pm, and supervised with two personnel (a cleaning employee and a manager). Public Safety could be present to prevent potential victimization of the guests. Individually packaged toiletries could conceivably be solicited as "charitables" from corporate manufacturers. Towels would have to be worked out (as these present a hygiene issue). Los Angeles has pioneered a successful shower on wheels program through the work of private individuals. This could offer a model for humane relief throughout the city.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Roosevelt Island Non Profit Organizations Interviewing With RIRA Committee For Slice Of RIOC $150 Thousand Public Purpose Funds Pie February 18 & !9 - Applicant Calls For Changes In Pitting Groups Against Each Other In Selection Process

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), Public Purpose Funds (PPF) interviews take place Tuesday, February 18 and Wednesday February 19. Below is the  PPF interview schedule.

Interviews will take place over two nights in Good Shepherd Community Center - 543 Main Street. Applicants will have 20 minutes to present the projects for which Public Purpose Funds (PPF) are being requested.

It's True, Roosevelt Island Is A Magical Little Island - Captured By New Resident's Tram Sketch And Nighttime Tram Aerial View Video

Jessica Klein is a recent arrival to Roosevelt Island and a talented sketch artist. I and several other residents noticed and liked her Roosevelt Island Tram  sketch social media post

I asked Ms Klein for info on the sketch. According to Ms Klein:

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day - Was That A Heart Shaped Cloud Seen Over Roosevelt Island NYC East River Waterfront?

What a great gift for Valentine's Day - A heart shaped cloud over Roosevelt Island?

It's a wonderful thought, but not really.

Roosevelt Island Residents Working Together To Create, Protect, Restore, Maintain, Our Healthy Natural Habitats For All - It Takes Only One Person To Say I'm Going To Do Something

Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn Founder Christina Delfico reports on the February 12:

Engaged RI: Nature Meet Up for Environmental Understanding continues the conversation with local islanders thanks to Cornell Tech's Opportunity Grant from Cornell University's Office of Engagement Initiatives for a year of planning to promote environmental understanding and boost sustainable practices on Roosevelt Island.
There were many wonderful presentations at the Engaged RI Meet Up on Roosevelt Island natural history, habitat and wildlife (Stay tuned for videos) as well as a presentation by Green Roosevelt Island Neighbors (GRIN) founder Anthony Longo who described:

Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, E Train Service Too - Watch Video Of MTA Presentation On Roosevelt Island Subway Service

According to the MTA there will be Roosevelt Island F Train service

to and from Manhattan this weekend. E Train Roosevelt Island weekend service too.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Weill Cornell Medicine Postdoc Pub Talk At Roosevelt Island Nisi Restaurant Bridges The Gap Between Scientists And Science Curious, Good Food And Drink Too - Watch Video Of Postdoc Talia Mota Talk On HIV Cure: Captain Of The Immunoligical Space Ship

The Postdoctoral Association of Weill Cornell Medicine hosted their fifth neighborhood Pub Talk event at Roosevelt Island's Nisi Kitchen on Tuesday February 11. According to Post Doc PubTalks:

Postdoc “Pub Talks” are a series of events featuring the research of postdocs from Weill Cornell Medicine designed to engage both fellow researchers and science enthusiasts from around New York City! Presenters discuss what they are doing in the lab and clinic to advance the scientific frontier in biomedical research.

What is a postdoc?? A postdoctoral scholar, or “postdoc” is a temporary mentored research position held by an individual with a doctoral degree. Postdocs engage in research and training that allows them to acquire the professional skills necessary to pursue a related independent career.
The subject of last Tuesday's Postdoc Pub Talk was
The Inflammation Situation: Tales From Immunologists
beginning with Postdoc Heidi Meyer introducing the event, speakers and explained the idea behind the talks is to share ideas about the Postdocs research and to bridge the gap between scientists and the science curious. Also, to have a good time with food and drink.

And a joke from Ms Meyer - What kind of flowers do bacteria like? The answer is ..... Watch the video to find out.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Welcome New Roosevelt Island Resident And Storyteller - You're Invited To The Meth ... Stories You Won't Hear On Public Radio, On Febraury 15

You never know where you may meet an interesting person on Roosevelt Island. While waiting on cashier's line at the new Foodtown supermarket last weekend, I started a conversation with person in front of me about the improvements to the store. Turns out the person,  Teddy Angelus, is a new Roosevelt Island resident and has an interesting story - in fact he is a Storyteller - and invites you to his Storytelling Show.

According to Mr Angelus:


Roosevelt Island Rooftop Bar and Ground Floor Restaurant Opening This Summer At Cornell Tech Graduate Hotel, LA Based Hospitality Team & NYC Natives Med Abrous And Marc Rose Named Operators - We Hope You Turn Space Into Your Living Room Says Graduate Hotel President

Roosevelt Island residents have been eagerly waiting for news on the rooftop bar and ground floor restaurant scheduled to open this summer at the nearly completed Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel on the Cornell Tech Campus.

Here you go. According to a Graduate Hotel spokesperson: