Friday, June 6, 2008

Weekend Roosevelt Island F Train Subway is Normal but Next Week May Be A Nightmare!

Image of Calgary skyline from Listverse

I apologize for the lack of recent posts but I have been in Calgary Canada for the last few days and internet access has been spotty. Despite my distance from Roosevelt Island, I am pleased that The MTA is reporting normal F train subway service for Roosevelt Island this weekend but be aware that starting Monday June 9 at 10 PM and continuing through 6 AM Thursday June 19 the Roosevelt Island Tram will be shut down for track rope slipping.

RIOC President Steve Shane reports in his 5/31 Main Street WIRE column that:
... RIOC will run two buses to Queens Plaza every half-hour during weekday morning rush hours (6:00 - 10 AM). There will be no evening rush hour pickup at Queens Plaza.
Is this what we all have to look forward to at the Roosevelt Island subway station next week?

You Tube video of commuters fighting their way in and out of the Shanghai subway.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Psycho Killer Shoots Roosevelt Island Cormorants Resting On What East River Rock Islet?

Image from David

A reader asks if anyone knows the name of the rocky outcropping just off the tip of Southpoint Park and slightly north of U Thant Island (also known as Belmont Island). It was the subject of an earlier post, Psycho Killer Visits Roosevelt Island - Shoots Cormorants, describing David Byrne's bike trip to Roosevelt Island when he shot the above photo of Cormorants lounging on the rock.
Took the Roosevelt Island tram instead ... , and rode down by the abandoned lunatic asylum. There was no one around. From the tip of the island one has a great view of the UN building and a rocky island filled with cormorants — an odd sight for NYC.
I don't know the name but could the rock islet be remnants from Roosevelt Island's Delacorte Geyser?

Image by Judy Seigel

Concerning the larger U Thant or Belmont Island, it was the site of a daring, others might say stupid, nighttime East River raid during the 2004 Republican national convention. From Wikipedia:
During the 2004 Republican National Convention, NYC artist and film-maker Duke Riley, who has traveled to various "abandoned" islands around the New York City area, rowed a boat with a friend and a bottle of rum [1] to the island under cover of darkness, proclaimed it a sovereign nation and hoisted a 21 foot long pennant depicting two electric eels from the island's tower. On their return voyage in daylight, they were apprehended by a United States Coast Guard boat, but were not arrested.

You Tube video of Duke Riley - Belmont Island S.M.E.A.C.C.
Riley was also responsible for the Red Hook submarine last summer.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

East Side Parents Don't Want Their Kindergarten Kids Rezoned and Shipped to Roosevelt Island

Image of Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 from Geocities

The NY Sun is reporting today that:
With more families seeking to enroll children in public schools than many swiftly developing neighborhoods appear ready to accommodate, the Department of Education has quietly begun to explore a third-rail option: rezoning.
This may lead to the possibility that some families in the new Midtown East luxury condos having to send their children to nearby underutilized schools, such as Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 instead of the highly sought PS 116, and they don't like it.
"Frankly, telling a kindergarten parent that you're going to ship their kid to Roosevelt Island is not going to help you make friends and influence people," Ms. Silver said. "Why don't you send them to Princeton? It's crazy."
From the perspective of Roosevelt Island children going to PS/IS 217, an influx of new students may be the only way to secure more resources and programs for the school. More information on Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 is available here.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sarah Jessica Parker's Early Years on Roosevelt Island - Utopia or Penal Colony?

Image from the Independent

Sex and the City, HBO's hit TV series and current weekend box office winner, is an urban New York City fantasy for a certain type of shoe loving, cosmo drinking, smart, independent working woman. But, as reported in the British Independent, for Sarah Jessica Parker the series star and a Roosevelt Island pioneering resident in the 1970's:
her New York, like that of many New Yorkers, is one that is no longer quite there. "You know, when I arrived in the city in 1976, New York was, financially, a wreck," she remembers. "But, to me, it's the New York that Matthew and I literally try to find every day of our lives. It was the best place in the world. It was literature. It promised everything. And for someone who loved food and smells and stimulation, who was rocked to sleep by the sound of taxis -- well, there's just so much money now, and the city is so affluent, and all the colours, all the shops, the look of a street from block to block is just terribly absent of distinguishing coffee shops, bodegas. All of that stuff that made it possible to live in New York is gone." Even Brooklyn is "very chic" now, she adds. "I guess there are places in Queens that are affordable."
Regarding Roosevelt Island:
Her family camped out on Roosevelt Island for a time: "It was meant to be a Utopia," she says. ("It was slightly like a penal colony," recalls her brother Pippin, a playwright and director.) But it was Woody Allen's "rarefied and special" Manhattan that Parker was seeking, a fantasy she had picked up from a mother who kept up her subscriptions to New York periodicals even when they were living in the Midwest.
Roosevelt Island - Utopia or Penal Colony - still the same question thirty years later. Take a look at this 1980 video of what life was like for early Roosevelt Island residents.

You Tube video of Roosevelt Island: An Island Place