Friday, January 4, 2008

May be Easier Getting off of Gilligans Island then Roosevent Island on Saturday

Getting off Roosevelt Island this weekend is going to be difficult and frustrating because there will be no F train service to Manhattan and there will be a film shoot using one of the Tram cabins between 12-6 PM on Saturday.

According to the MTA F train service advisory:

Manhattan-bound trains run on the V from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts
Weekend, Jan 5 - 7
12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

How does this affect my trip?
~~ Trains skip 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av-63 St, and 57 St.

~~ For service to these stations, take the F to 47-50 Sts and transfer to a Queens-bound F.

~~ For service from these stations, take a Queens-bound F to Roosevelt Av and transfer to a Manhattan-bound F.

Why is service being changed?
We are making electrical improvements to ensure that trains continue
to operate safely along the F line.

RIOC's Tram service advisory states:

Tram Advisory

On Saturday, January 5, a film crew will be occupying one tram car from noon to 6pm. There will be NO DISRUPTION in tram service, but please be aware that a film shoot will be taking place.

I asked RIOC President Steve Shane the following question? Given the increased tram ridership caused by the lack of F train subway service will the film shoot be cancelled if it interferes with Tram ridership? He replied:

We will do everything to accommodate. The priorities are passengers
first. The film crew understands, but you can appreciate how
inappropriate it would be to cancel them at the last moment when they
have incurred the cost and expense of set up, both for personnel and
materials and paid RIOC for that privilege. We have chosen a time when
we expected ridership demand to be at a fairly low ebb. We do not
control the MTA but will be cognizant of the need to accommodate.

The constant hassle to find a reliable transportation means on and off Roosevelt Island sometimes makes it feel as though Roosevelt Island residents are members of the S.S. Minnow Crew and are waiting to be rescued from Gilligan's Island along with Gilligan, The Skipper, Mary Anne, Ginger and the rest of the gang.

You Tube video link is here.

Wall at Roosevelt Island's Renwick Ruin Smallpox Hospital Crumbles

Via Gothamist, a portion of the Renwick Ruins at Southpoint Park has collapsed:

A well-known ruin is crumbling. According to Roosevelt Island Historical Society president and historian Judith Berdy, part of the north wing of the Smallpox Hospital collapsed about a week ago. She writes, "The rest of the north wing especially the front is in danger of coming down any time... [The Roosevelt Island Operation Corporation] is working with TPL, the Southpoint park developers to find a way to do emergency stabilization of the rest of the building... Please encourage RIOC to do all possible to save the rest of the building."
Image is from Gothamist.

UPDATE: From NY Times City Room Blog:
Preservationists, who have been trying for years to salvage the building, disclosed the damage on Thursday and expressed outrage and heartbreak that what should have been an 11th-hour rescue had turned instead into a last-minute crisis.

“This is a real failure of stewardship,” said Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy. “They shouldn’t get by, saying, ‘We don’t have enough money’ or ‘It’s too late.’ They should bring in the cavalry and fix this important landmark.”
Under the current master plan for Southpoint Park by the Trust for Public Land, the ruin would be stabilized, though the building would not be rebuilt. There is $12.9 million available for the entire first phase of park development, which is to begin this year, of which $4.5 million has been set aside for the stabilization project.

And Mr. Shane said that the salvage of the latest collapse would have to come out of that money. “I can’t spend budget dollars I don’t have,” he said.
Architectural Blogger Tropolism writes:
Anyone who has visited the asylum knows that the old building is little more than a ruin, stabilized by luck, some steel, and a lot of ivy. And some theatrical uplighting. Which made the idea of preserving it something short of silly, both from a cost standpoint and a use standpoint. It's frankly more interesting as a ruin...turning it into a building again would make it bland again.
Roosevelt Island 360 has statement from RIOC President Steve Shane and and Andy Stone of the Trust For Public Land.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Compost Recipe for Roosevelt Island and NYC Apartment Dwellers: Food Scraps+Shredded Newspapers+Water+Red Wriggler Worms=Street Trees

An environmentally conscious Roosevelt Island resident sends in this idea:

i wonder if anyone else thinks about collecting kitchen scraps to compost? I have tried this but it means schlepping garbage on the subway or tram to the greenmarket in Union Square, where there is a collection stand several days a week. The people who collect there give the scraps to people who process, then use the resulting compost to fertilize farm soil

Benefits are less garbage in landfills and constructive use of our waste - and a chance to step out of our collective throw-away mentality without much effort. It isn't hard to save kitchen scraps (only those without fats - like potato peels, coffee grounds, eggshells...) what is hard is getting them to someone who can make use of them. I know there are industries who collect scraps - I wonder if there would be enough interest to get them to come here and pick up our collective contribution of kitchen scraps?

Inuit and other pre-industrial people traditionally gave the bones of then animals they consumed back to the earth/sea as a way of appreciating the gift of their nourishment.
If the idea of composting your scraps using the worm recipe in your apartment is less than appealing, perhaps an arrangement can be made with the operators of the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market to collect material for composting.

For more information on composting visit the New York City Compost Project and the Lower East Side Ecology Center.

Also, while on the topic of garbage, Roosevelt Island's uses a unique pneumatic garbage collection system. From NYU's Portfolio reprinting an article from The New Yorker:
The A-Vac, on Roosevelt Island, is New York’s only pneumatic garbage collection system. Designed in the late sixties to accompany the island’s Mitchell Lama housing developments, the system works like this:18-inch-wide pipes run under all the high-rises on Roosevelt Island. When people throw their waste down the building’s chutes, it piles up for several hours, until a trap door opens, sucking the garbage into a pipe. While air is blown out one end, valves on the other open to allow the intake of air at selective points. This creates a pressure differential that propels the garbage through the underground pipes at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour.

When the garbage resurfaces, it is at the A-Vac center, a squat three-story building at the island’s north tip. The pipes climb to the building’s ceiling, and dump the trash into two upside down silo shaped cyclones, which spin and then slide it down chutes into container bins. The whole vacuum process takes 10-15 minutes.

You Tube video link is here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Customers Throng Opening of Roosevelt Island's New Restaurant - Nonno's Focacceria

I never in my life thought I would write these words but here goes.
I tried to get into a Roosevelt Island restaurant this afternoon for lunch but it was too crowded. Every seat was occupied and there was a long line at the counter for the opening of the much anticipated and long awaited Nonno's Focacceria at 455 Main Street (212-753-2300 or 2307).
I look forward to going back later today.
A great big WELCOME to Roosevelt Island for Nonno's!!!
Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk buildings now have a Starbucks, Duane Reade, Italian Restaurant (Nonno's) and a soon to be open Japanese restaurant. Piece by piece Roosevelt Island's Berlin Wall is falling.
Image is of the lunch time crowd at Nonno's.
UPDATE: Returned to Nonno's later in the day. Had a spicy buffalo chicken wrap. It was very good. Will definitely be back for more.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Yuppies Invading Roosevelt Island - Oh My!

More today from New York Observer on Roosevelt Island. The headline reads:

Roosevelt Island Is Dead! Long Live Roosevelt Island! 'Yuppies' Have Moved Ashore in Search of Food
While the development of fair-market housing has certainly widened the gap between the 10,000 original residents of what was once dubbed "welfare island" and the occupants of the 1,500 new luxury apartments completed in the past two years, the gentrification of Roosevelt Island has been a gradual process. The island’s much hyped transformation began in 1989, when RIOC green-lit the first market-rate rental development, Manhattan Park, and did not accelerate until RIOC approved two luxury residential complexes in the middle of the past decade—the nine-building Riverwalk development and the Octagon, Becker and Becker’s 500-unit rental development at the site of the former New York City Lunatic Asylum in the Northtown area.
More on this next year.
Image is from Men Style.
UPDATE 2/10/08 - Roosevelt Island affordable housing at Southtown's Riverwalk buildings?

A Roosevelt Island Wish for a Happy and Healthy New Year to All

It's almost New Year's Eve which brings to a close the year 2007 with the promise and hope of a better 2008 for all. Let's celebrate that wish with a party and a traditional last song from Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes together with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band at Cleveland's Agora Club from 1978.

We're havin' a party
Everybody's swinging
Dancing to the music
On the radio
So listen, Mr. DJ
Keep those records playing
'Cause I'm having such a good time
Dancing with my baby

Lyrics are by Sam Cooke.
You Tube video link is here.


Roosevelt Island Receives Curbed Awards for Art & Urbanity

Who would have thunk it? ? Curbed has awarded Roosevelt Island 2 of its 2007 year end awards for Art & Urbanity.
The Encampment came in second place for "Awesomely Absurd Art Project of the Year" behind the Red Hook submarine and ahead of Long Island City's floating tree.

But the big winner was the proposed skyscraper at Southpoint Park by Italian architectural students that Curbed refers to as "The Roosevelt Island Tower of Death" and which:
might be the finest architectural vision for New York City, and Roosevelt Island in particular, we've ever seen. You must watch it immediately, and this must be built. Make it so.

More here on the proposed skyscraper for Southpoint Park.
You Tube video link is here.