Thursday, December 5, 2019

Come See The Roosevelt Island Holiday Tree Lighting And Santa Claus Tomorrow Night At Rivercross Lawn - Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Carolers At F Subway Station Too

Tomorrow is one of the best night's on Roosevelt Island - the annual Lighting of the Holiday Tree and arrival of Santa Claus at the Rivercross Lawn.

Here's the Tree Lighting countdown from last year.



According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RICO)

Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony

Come join RIOC and the entire Roosevelt Island community at the island’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 6th, 7 PM at the lawn south of Rivercross.

Island residents will be able to enjoy a night of holiday music and celebration, featuring The Funktion band, island community performers, hot beverages, warm cookies, raffle prizes, goodie bags and maybe even a visit from a special guest from the North Pole!

Also, don't miss the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Carolers at the subway station tomorrow evening and later at the Tree Lighting ceremony.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting Last Night Lacks Quorum Again - Farance Says We Need To Do Better, RIRA President Shinozaki Blames Him For Creating Toxic Atmosphere

Last evening's Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council meeting was revealing of the long standing problems associated with the community organization.

For the third month in a row, the RIRA meeting lacked a quorum of members - only about 7 members showed up.

RIRA Common Council Alternate Frank Farance addressed those members present during the Public Session noting that there are problems with the organization that need to be addressed. He said December's meeting is the sixth this year without a quorum of Common Council Members present and added:

... we have to operate better....


RIRA President Lynn Strong-Shinozaki took strong exception to Mr. Farance's remarks blaming his behavior for the organization's loss of members and creating, what she describes as, a toxic atmosphere. Mr. Farance objected to Ms. Shinozaki's characterization and recited long standing complaints by him and others over lack of transparency, mismanagement of Cherry Blossom Festival and failure to properly inform RIRA members about recent financial mismanagement allegations



Following the contentious back and forth, Mr Farance left and Ms Shinozaki continued speaking with the remaining RIRA members, though this was not a formal meeting due to the lack of a quorum. Ms Shinozaki presented her President's report and various other issues including affordable housing and meeting with Roosevelt Landings new ownership/management. 



RIRA is in real trouble and its a shame because despite much dysfunction, at times they do some worthwhile and important activities and representation for the Roosevelt Island community.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Graduate Hotel President David Rochefort Presents Overview Of Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Hotel - Opening Planned For Summer 2020, Rooftop Bar And Ground Floor Restaurant Operator To Be Named Shortly, Local Job Fair In Early 2020

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse asked when will the Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel on the Cornell Tech campus open?


During the November 12 Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Community & Construction Task Force meeting, we learned that the 18 story, 224 room Graduate Hotel,


with a ground floor restaurant and rooftop bar, currently under construction


will open in the summer of 2020 (The adjoining Verizon Executive Education Center is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2020).


Graduate Hotel President David Rochefort presented an overview of the Hotel Project to the Task Force.

Mr Rochefort reported:
  • The single restaurant and rooftop bar operator will be named shortly, Mr Rochfort said he hopes "people turn the spaces into their living room."
  • The Graduate Hotel expects that 90% of guests will arrive by Public Transportation, either F Train, Ferry,Tram or ride sharing services.
  • Graduate Hotel will have over 75 positions and will conduct Roosevelt Island job fairs for local residents in first and second quarter of 2020.
  • Highgate Hotels with over 20 thousand NYC hotel rooms will be the Hotel Operator
  • Eco-Friendly Hotel Practices.

Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Graduate Hotel


Here's full Task Force discussion with the Graduate Hotel President David Rochefort.



Prior to Mr. Rochefort, speaking Cornell Tech Director of Design and Construction Diana Allegretti described construction of the Graduate Hotel.



Stay tuned. More info on the Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Graduate Hotel to come.

You're Invited To Engaged Roosevelt Island Hot Chocolate Community Conversation on Local Sustainability Practices And Zero Waste At The Sanctuary Event Space December 11 - Also, Grow NYC New Host Of RI Food Scrap Drop Off Next To Saturday Farmers Market

Engaged Roosevelt Island is hosting a free Hot Chocolate conversation

for residents to discuss local sustainability practices at The Sanctuary event space


on December 11. You're invited.

According to Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico:
Engaged Roosevelt Island - FREE 12/11 Hot Chocolate & Conversations 4:30p-7p

Cornell Tech received a grant that spearheads a year of community planning to promote environmental understanding and boost sustainable practices on Roosevelt Island - which basically means designing a healthy and beautiful neighborhood that is kind to us and the earth. Whether you attended or missed the Engaged RI kick-off event on Zero Waste at the Tata Innovation Center last month please Save the Date and stop by The Sanctuary next week to continue the conversation - Wed., 12/11 from 4:30p - 7p for free Hot Chocolate and to share your ideas and to learn more. Short presentations will happen throughout the event.

This is a Zero Waste event so please bring your own mug (extras will be on hand as well).

We are excited that RIOC, RIRA and the Cornell Cooperative Extension NYC are on board, and local groups like Open Doors, Roosevelt Island Library, the Senior Center, the Garden Club, GRIN, Girl Scouts and many other groups, local buildings and businesses and islanders are already working to keep the neighborhood clean and green, so please join the conversation.
Ms Delfico adds:
Schedule Change Notification

Roosevelt Island Food Scrap Drop-off

Starting on Saturday, December 7th, the new hours of operation for the Roosevelt Island Food Scrap Drop-off will be on:

Saturdays, from 9:00 AM-1:30 PM.

Starting on Saturday, December 7th, this site will be operated by our partner organization, GrowNYC. For more information about GrowNYC Compost Programs, please visit grownyc.org/compost.

We are truly grateful for the outstanding efforts that members of the Roosevelt Island community have made to live more sustainably and help rebuild NYC’s soil. To find more drop-off locations near you and other ways to compost your food scraps, please visit nyc.gov/dropfoodscraps.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

It's Getting Cold, Roosevelt Island Winter Coat Drive Now Thru December 28 - Please Drop Off A Gently Used Winter Coat At RIOC Public Safety Department For A Child Or Adult Who Can Use It

The weather is starting to get cold and winter is coming soon.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department:

The Public Safety Department is hosting its annual NY Cares Coat Drive. This program has brought warmth to many needy families during our frigid winters and it is with this thought in mind that we ask the Roosevelt Island Community to step up to the plate once again by dropping off a gently used winter coat.

Donated coats will be accepted at the Public Safety Department
550 Main Street
24 Hours a day.
Now until December 27th

We thank you and your family for your continued generosity.

Have a wonderful holiday season.

For more information, please call 212-832-4545



More info on NYC Cares Winter Coat Drive here.

Monday, December 2, 2019

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Nellie Bly Memorial Town Hall Meeting December 3 - FYI, Roosevelt Island Designated Historic Site In Journalism With Plaque At RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) will be hosting a community Town Hall meeting tomorrow evening, December 3, starting 6 PM at Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street) to discuss the details of the planned Nellie Bly Memorial with artist Amanda Matthews.


As reported last October 16:
... The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) has selected Amanda Matthews/Prometheus Art to construct the Nellie Bly Monument on the northern end of Roosevelt Island at Lighthouse Park. The sculptural installation will be known as “The Girl Puzzle” and invites the viewer to experience many facets of Nellie Bly’s talent, conviction and compassion. The ground-breaking journalist and women’s rights advocate exposed the horrors of the Blackwell Island Insane Asylum in 1887 on Roosevelt Island.

“I am proud of the selection committee’s dedication to choosing such a passionate artist to honor the accomplishments of a woman who was truly ahead of her time,” said Susan Rosenthal, President and CEO of RIOC. “The committee, made up of RIOC employees and community leaders, unanimously selected this bold installation that will not only represent Nellie Bly’s time here, but her impact on the world.”

The installation will allow the viewer to enter a long walkway where they will encounter four, seven-foot-tall female faces, representing different ages and ethnicities, cast in bronze. A fifth face at the far end of the walkway will represent Nellie Bly. Each face will show the depth of emotion and the complexity of being broken and repaired, which was significant to the conditions Ms. Bly encountered when she posed as a mental patient to report on the conditions inside the mental hospital where the Octagon now stands. Construction of the installation is scheduled to be completed in the Summer 2020.

“It is my great honor to represent Nellie Bly’s life and legacy,” said artist Amanda Matthews, “and to celebrate her passion for diversity and inclusion. Her voice remains timely and significant today.”...
Did you know that due to the work of Nellie Bly and Charles Dickens, Roosevelt Island has been designated as a Historic Site In Journalism by The Society of Professional Journalism  (SPJ)with a memorial plaque located at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitors Center Kiosk? According to an August 8, 2017 SPJ release:
... Judith Berdy, historical society president; Rebecca Baker, SPJ president-elect; and Andrew Seaman, SPJ Ethics Committee chair, will discuss the historical significance of the site during the dedication at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday (Aug. 13) at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society’s Visitor Center kiosk.

"All of New York City obviously has a romantic history with journalism, but no other place has captured my attention more than Roosevelt Island.” Seaman said. “Each time I visit, I can't help but think of Nellie Bly's journey to the 'madhouse' and her contributions to the profession. I'm so happy that the Society of Professional Journalists decided to recognize Roosevelt Island with this honor."

The Octagon, which is located on the north end of the island, is an ornate stone building built in 1841 to house psychiatric patients in its two L-shaped wings. Patients brought to the island by boat were separated from the rest of society in what Charles Dickens referred to as a “lounging, listless, madhouse air.”...

... Since 1942, SPJ has honored the people and places that have played important roles in the history of journalism through the Historic Sites program. Some honorees include: Freedom’s Journal, the first Black newspaper published in the United States, and The Wheeling Intelligencer, the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in West Virginia.

See a complete list of past winners – and the 2017 winner -- here.
Here's the August 13, 2017 dedication and plaque unveiling



of Roosevelt Island as a Historic Site in Journalism by the SPJ at the RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk