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Friday, May 17, 2019

Help Save A Life - Roosevelt Island RIRA & RISA Blood Drive Advanced Sign Up Saturday May 18, 25 & June 1 At Good Shepherd Plaza Farmers Market - Blood Donation On June 8 Roosevelt Island Day

You can help save a life by donating blood.

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be signing up volunteer donors at Good Shepherd Plaza next to the Saturday Farmers Market tomorrow and the next 3 Saturdays for the annual Roosevelt Island Day June 8 Blood Drive hosted by the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA).

According to this year's RIRA Roosevelt Island Blood Drive Committee Chair Janine Schaefer
RIRA Blood Drive

Sponsored by Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) and hosted by Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA)

The Blood drive is a big part of Roosevelt Island Day and has been an annual event for years. Volunteers will be sitting at Farmer's Market every Saturday from May 18th until the day of the event June 8th, to help people to sign up to donate in person from 10am to 4pm at the Community Room Senior Center 546 Main Street.

RIRA donated 36 pints of blood positively affecting the lives of over 105 New Yorkers in June 2018. If each donor this year brings a colleague, a family member, a friend or foe. We can double these results.


All donors must provide identification and should eat and be well hydrated prior to blood donation. Appointments are appreciated, but walk-ins welcome.

There is also a link for making online appointments for donating blood during the June 8 Roosevelt Island Day.
Here's a report from 2018 Roosevelt Island blood drive including video explaining how to donate

by two of the RIRA volunteers, Frank Farance and Bafode Drame.

Please help if you can - Donate Blood

Must Be Heaven? Good News For Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - F Train Service To And From Manhattan, Both Tram Cabins Working And East River Ferry Service For Fourth Weekend In A Row

Good news, for the fourth week in a row, Roosevelt Island residents will have weekend F Trains running to and from Manhattan, both Tram Cabins operating as well as the East River Astoria Route Ferry service.

The new NYC Ferry 2019 Ferry Summer Schedule starts Monday

as well as service to the Brooklyn Navy Yard on the Roosevelt Island Astoria route.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Giant RI Monument Eyesore Returns To Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza After Repairs, Ugghhhhh - 3 Month Trial Period Over, Let's Get Rid Of It Or At Least Move To Middle Of Island For Tourist Instagram Photo Moment

Sadly, the Giant RI Monument Sign in front of the Roosevelt Island Tram Station that was removed for repairs several weeks ago returned yesterday

so that tourists can take pictures for, as described by Hudson Related and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), an "Instagram Moment".

The Giant RI Monument Eyesore was installed in October 2018 against the objections of many residents - though there are some residents who say they like it. As reported at the time:
... Hopefully, this Gigantic Eyesore, initiated by Roosevelt Island real estate developer Hudson Related, and opposed by the Roosevelt Island Residents Association, will be removed at the end of the 3 month trial period....
The  3 month trial period is over. It's up to the resident RIOC Board Members on the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee to decide if the Eyesore stays or goes. Make a decision.

Or at least try moving it to another Roosevelt Island location such as Blackwell Plaza

or Mediation Steps

where it does not obstruct sight views and might encourage tourists to visit the middle of the Island for their Instagram Photo.

2 Canoes Paddling East River Passing Roosevelt Island This Morning - Nice Way To Commute, If Roosevelt Island Had A Kayak/Boat Launch Dock

Spotted 2 canoes paddling on East River passing Roosevelt Island this morning.

Next time the F train subway and Tram go out of service, maybe we can all

hitch a canoe ride

across the East River.

Would be great if Roosevelt Island could get a kayak/canoe dock. In 2012, RIOC issued a Request For Proposals for a Kayak/Rowing facility but that did not work out well.

At least for now, we can kayak across the river in Queens at the Long Island City Community Boathouse at Hallets Cove at Vernon B'lvd and 31st Avenue and

Roosevelt Island Original Pioneers And Long Time Residents Planning September "The Rock" Reunion 2019 At Lighthouse Park - But Stumbling Block Is $7,500 Permit Fee Sought By RIOC, Planners Requesting Waiver Fee As In Previous Years

Roosevelt Island original pioneers and current long time Roosevelt Island residents are planning a reunion at Lighthouse Park for September 7.

150 - 200 people are expected to attend the event. But a problem has occurred obtaining a permit for the reunion from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC).

I asked RIOC President Susan Rosenthal and RIOC Directors:
I am preparing a story about an upcoming reunion of current and former Roosevelt Island residents planned for this September at Lighthouse Park. 200 to 300 people are expected to attend.

I'm told that RIOC is seeking $7,500 as a permit fee from the group of current and former residents to use Lighthouse Park for their reunion. I'm also told there were previous similar reunions of this group and that no permit fee was required.

is this true?

Any statement from RIOC regarding why a permit fee is being charged and why in the amount of $7,500?
RIOC Community Affairs Supervisor Jessica Murray replied:
RIOC is conducting internal discussions to evaluate and decide upon fee structures for these types of activities. We will communicate with the applicant and the community as soon as possible. RIOC is committed to supporting community activities at all of our island amenities.
Long time Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance shares this message he sent to RIOC President Susan Rosenthal:
... We'd like to have the permit fee waived, as RIOC has done in the past, including SPP and FFP (before it was developed), Lighthouse Park, Blackwell Park (a tree was planted Paula Spiaggia, in Memoriam, at that event), and the Meditation Steps.

One of our parks Capobianco Field is named after one of us originals Tony Capobianco, and his children are part of our reunions. Brian Dorfmann, whose chess table is in Al Lewis Park, was one of us "originals". Judy Berdy and David Kraut are of us "originals". The original movie "Fame" featured Island residents, as Performance Arts high school (along with other specialized schools) had many students on the Island (and PS/IS 217 graduates, too) -- and they return for Roosevelt Island reunions. There have been reunions in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017.

We started planning this reunion in 2018, and Larry Slade contacted RIOC, and RIOC suggested Lighthouse Park for this kind of event (as it worked well in the past). Larry applied for the permit the first day it was possible to apply (February 1, 2019) for the event on September 7, 2019. The insurance was already purchased on February 1, we're about 200-300 people looking to have a picnic, as you can see in the following video.

Here's a video of one of the songs that us musicians played, "Born On The Bayou" (Credence Clearwater Revival - CCR, a 1960s band), and if you watch the first 2 minutes you can see the RIOC tents ... this was a pretty pleasant event.

Each reunion, we have a slideshow presentation from our community and history on the Island and, unfortunately-but-inevitably, a longer "Necrology" segment of the presentation. Here was the RI Blog's coverage in 2010:

I ask that you waive the fee so we can commit to planning for this site, and not have to look for another site. Thank you.
Here are some scenes,

courtesy of Mr. Farance,

of the 2010



Lighthouse Park.

And here's some scenes from the 2009 Reunion

and what it was like living on Roosevelt Island

in 1980.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Get Your Tickets For People Of Platonovka: Actors At Work Based Upon Chekhov Play - Presented By Mihut Studio Founded By Local Roosevelt Island Resident At Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliiance This Weekend Friday May 17 to Sunday May 19

Roosevelt Island resident Mihaela Mihut is an actor, teacher and founder of the Mihut Studio,  This weekend, Friday May 17 - Sunday May 19 the Mihut Studio is presenting People of Platonovka: Actors At Work hosted by the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (548 Main Street).

According to the Mihut Studio Facebook Page:
‘People of Platonovka; Actors at Work' is the first project that will be presented by an ensemble of actors from the Mihut Studio.The creative process began at the 'Mihut Studio' classes, held at Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance on Roosevelt Island. The rehearsal process was and will be uncovered and explored in depth throughout the journey of various individuals guided by the Mihut Method Acting Technique.

For the first time the audience will be able to witness live character exploration within the guise of an official live performance in May. Performances will be held on the 17th, 18th and 19th of May 2019 at Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA).

Cameras will follow talented, successful, yet perhaps lesser known, as well as 'known' artists from different backgrounds, showing their personal struggles, with life, family, facades, habits, showing their personal fears, doubts, hopes, dreams, as well as the intrinsic passion underneath that sustains them towards exploring the characters as part of the production. Ultimately it is a celebration of life in spite of all the obstacles an artist faces on and off stage -- in search of the characters. All will be revealed.

For the first time, the actors work is being shown in service of the story, with the awareness that the work is never complete. There is no 'final destination'. Within the process of our continual striving of Chekhov's characters -- we present to you this production.

The Mihut Method technique; an interpretation and adaptation of Strasberg’s Method Acting Technique, has assisted in the process of self-discovery for many artists of different backgrounds, to create memorable characters, both on stage and in film. The technique reflects and guides this process and replicates real, surprising, dynamic human behavior. Throughout this process the Mihut Method challenges a worldwide audience to recognize and connect with its own humanity.

'People of Platonovka; Actors at Work' is based on Chekhov’s ‘Platonov’, and is the first showing in which actors run into the obstacles of themselves as well as their characters in order to illuminate the work of the actor as well as the story. The element of ensemble, a defining feature of the work, is fully present in this play.

‘Mihut Studio Classes’ are for artists of varying levels and artistic backgrounds – amongst them are actors, writers, directors, dancers, along with other professionals -- sharing their journey with the common goal of reaching their highest human potential.
Performances are:
  • Friday May 17, 8 PM
  • Saturday May 18, 2 & 8 PM
  • Sunday May 19, 7 PM
General Admission - $20
Seniors & Students - $15
Click here to purchase tickets.

Prior to a People of Platonovka; Actors at Work rehearsal last week, Ms Mihut prepares and describes her acting training methods

and shares snippets

from the play's rehearsal.

Here's more info on the show and to purchase tickets.