Friday, September 25, 2009

Roosevelt Island On The Web Links

Roosevelt Island on the Web Links as appearing in the September 26, 2009 Main Street WIRE.

Roosevelt Islander
- Remembers 9/11/01
Roosevelt Islander - Eastwood Submetering Halted
RI 360 Twitpix - Tram Riders For Bloomberg
RI 360 Twitpix - Landscaped Tram Plaza Fountain
NYC 10044 - Main Street WIRE Eastwood Submetering Coverage
Public Service Commission - Decision on Eastwood Electricity Submetering
Micah Kellner - Statement On Eastwood Electricity Submetering Decision
Daily News - Roosevelt Landings/Eastwood Submetering Stopped
Roosevelt Island Dogs - Eastwood Residents Refuse To Lose On Submetering
Roosevelt Island Listings - Free Classified Marketplace For RI
Lateral Window - Lives Across From Beautiful RI Church -
RIOC - Board Meeting Webcast
You Tube - Ride the Roosevelt Island Tram
You Tube - More Roosevelt Island Tram
Retro Info - Chanting Across the East River From RI
Daily News - New NYC Green Buildings Include Octagon
The Indypendent - Mannahatta , A Natural History of NYC & RI
Frugal NYC - Visits Roosevelt Island
NY Magazine - Nepalese Runner Mistakes Roosevelt Island For Manhattan
WebEcoist - Vertical Urban Farm Proposed For Southpoint Park
UGO Movieblog - Jennifer's Body Director Says Roosevelt Island is Fantastic
Goy Vey Girl - Bewitched By Roosevelt Island
Diary of a Freelance Makeup Artist - Spa Day At Coler Hospital
Abbie Road - RI Shana Tova, Happy New Year
Blog of the Courtier - Tiny, Little People RI Main Street
You Tube - Life & Death, Short B & W Film

5K Run Or Walk For Congo Women Race On Roosevelt Island Takes Place On Saturday Morning

Roosevelt Island will be the venue for a 5k Run or Walk For Congo Women Race this Saturday morning.
When we Run for Congo Women, we are sending a simple message: Congolese lives matter. The lives of Congolese women are significant. The lives of Congolese children are precious. They have waited far too long. They are worth our effort. We are running to help. Join us!
Registration opens at 8:30 and the race begins at 9 AM. More registration information available here.

The You Tube Video below explains what Run For Congo Women is all about.

RIOC issued the following advisory regarding the event:
On Saturday, September 26th, a 5K race will be taking place around the perimeter of the island.
Traffic between 475 Main Street and 425 Main Street may be delayed between 9am and 9:30am. Please plan accordingly.

We appreciate your cooperation during this time.

East River Security Precautions For United Nations General Assembly Meetings Causing Roosevelt Island Traffic And Safety Headaches

Image of United Nations From Soutpoint Park By Natasha

A Roosevelt Island resident sent a message expressing concern that the health and safety needs of Roosevelt Islanders are being neglected by the raising of the Roosevelt Island Bridge for non - essential boat traffic during the UN General Assembly Meeting currently being held. She was fearful that emergency vehicles such as ambulances and FDNY trucks would be delayed traveling to and from Roosevelt Island resulting in a tragedy due to the Roosevelt Island Bridge not being accessible during these openings.

I asked RIOC President Steve Shane to comment and he replied:
Since any such raising of the bridge is for the short term of the passage of the vessel and this displacement takes place during UN week only, RI should, in my opinion, like the rest of New Yorkers discomfitted by traffic diversions, wailing sirens, usurped restaurants, etc., bear up while New York City serves its function as capital of the world. Emergency services are all well aware of the issues of the RI bridge and, as they have in the past, prepare to meet the exigencies as they may arise. Hope that they do not.
RIOC coordinates with the City's emergency services. Specific contingency plans are in place.
Every year, at this time, the same concerns arise and so far, all emergencies have been met.
Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Frank Farance commented:
I'm not sure RIOC has direct control over the bridge, however RIOC does have contacts in the City government (Rosina can help?).

On Tuesday, the bridge was opened for approximately 30 minutes between 14:15 and 14:45. Although one sailboat had gone through early on, the bridge was kept open for another 15 minutes when there was no river traffic in either direction for as far as the eye could see. PSD Director Guerra told me that a half dozen officers were late for the 3-to-11 shift because of the extra long bridge opening.

We really need to investigate why the bridge is being operated so poorly.
To which RIOC President Steve Shane replied:
We have lodged an inquiry through the OEM to discuss the procedure.
Yesterday, Mr. Farance did some investigating and found the following:
Attached, please find five photos at approximately 16:42 today:

1: Looking northbound on the East Channel (the bridge had just closed), there is no river traffic causing the bridge to open.

2: Looking southbound on the East Channel, there is no river traffic.

3: Impact on Roosevelt Island, cars are backed up ...

4: And backed up ...

5: And backed up as far as the eye can see.

Mr Farance continues:
As I've stated previously, the bridge remains unnecessarily open -- there is no river traffic causing the bridge to open.
Below is the initial message I received from the Roosevelt Island resident that started all this.
There's More!

Because of the UN General Assembly meetings this week, Homeland (In)security and the NYC DOT are making boats go down the East Chanel of the river. Because of this, the Roosevelt Island Bridge is opening and closing every time a boat goes by.

Today when I came home from grocery shopping in Queens, I couldn't get on to the island for about 15 minutes because the Roosevelt Island Bridge was raised to let a boat go by. It wasn't a commercial boat either: it was a small boat that may have been a pleasure boat. However, there was an ambulance ahead of me with his lights flashing: he couldn't get on to the island because the bridge was raised! I only hope that nobody's life was threatened because an ambulance couldn't get to them. And what if there were a fire and our neighborhood fire deparment, located across the river in Queens, couldn't get on the island quickly enough?

There are about 12,000 residents and workers here. At the time of another UN meeting, I contacted my state assemblyman, Micah Kellner, about this issue. He replied that I should be proud and honored to have the UN here! Now truthfully, as I am a senior citizen, my thoughts were, as I watched the blinking lights on the ambulance ahead of me, if I had a heart attack or terrible accident and died because an ambulance couldn't reach my home, would he tell my kids they should be honored that their mom died while the city was protecting the likes of Momar Kadalfi, Hugo Chavez or Achmadinnerjacket?

Seriously, has anyone in NY government bothered to try to think like terrorists to understand that endangering 12,000 people on Roosevelt Island, in the hopes of keeping a terrorist with a bomb on a boat away from the UN, by sending them down the river on the other side of this island, is not how to prevent an attack? First, there's a major power plant (Con Ed/big alic) across from the UN. If a terrorist with a bomb or a missile wanted to, he could blow up the power plant and cripple the entire city, or worse, take down the 59th St bridge from underneath. Second, once the boats get to the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, with the right kind of missiles or ammo, they can still attack the UN or FDR drive. Who knows what kinds of things these maniacs have up their sleeves or in their backpacks (which I'm sure that nobody is inspecting, nor do they have to take off their shoes)? Maybe I read too many John LeCarre, Ian Fleming or Robert Ludlam books??? Maybe, instead, the people who are supposed to protect us should start reading and using their brains! Oh well, closing southpoint park and stationing State Department personnel there is a solution, right? Especially as RIOC does thank us for our cooperation!

And why aren't backup emergency services stationed on Roosevelt Island during this period? Oh, they're missing in action because nobody bothered to arrange for our protection...after all, it's an honor and just a minor inconvenience not to have an ambulance or the fire department reach our residents while the pleasure boats go by! Besides, it's not their yob!

So the answer about how to protect the UN is not simply rerouting water traffic to the other side of the river and endangering our lives. Instead, either have the Coast Guard and NYPD turn away all boats on the east river during these times, or only let those which have a reason to be here, such as delivering fuel to the power plant or first responders such as a Fire Department scuba diving team, have passage. The rest of the boat traffic should be turned away or sent down the Hudson River. Period.

Thank you for your cooperation!

(Mrs.) Raye Schwartz
Roosevelt Island, NY
Mrs. Schwartz urges others who agree with her to contact Roosevelt Island's elected officials and express these concerns.

Mr. Shane previously addressed issues of emergency services during time periods when the Roosevelt Island Bridge was out of service.

After A Ride On The Roosevelt Island Tram What Can Visitors Do And How Will They Know They Can Do It? Signage Needed!

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Tram Ride

Main Street WIRE Editor Dick Lutz forwards excerpt of blogger Ghostbusters post concerning routine problem of visitors enjoying the ride from Manhattan on the Roosevelt Island Tram but when they reach Roosevelt Island not knowing what else, if anything, there is to do here. From Ghostbusters:
... We make our way to the Roosevelt Island Tram and I enjoy stunning views from a cable car. Not so comfortable with heights, Sue sits next to someone who subjects her too a loud & smelly fart. There is not a lot on Roosevelt Island apart from people with missing limbs, so after a short photo oportunity we head back. It doesn't cost us a thing as it's included on our 7 day Metro Card....
Mr. Lutz comments:
Perfect illustration of why signage is needed at the Tram and subway.
As a suggestion for these visitors, in addition to walking along the Roosevelt Island waterfront promenades to either Southpoint or Lighthouse Park, you can have a quick bite to eat at the new Riverwalk Bar & Grill, enjoy some Italian food at Nonnos Focacceria, Sushi at Fuji East, drink and sit outdoors at Starbucks or stop by the Trellis Diner.

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society Kiosk provides some valuable information for visitors but it is not always open. RIOC has produced an excellent guide as to what to do on Roosevelt Island as well.

Make sure you watch the You Tube Roosevelt Island Tram Ride. It is terrific and one of the most realistic videos of a Tram Ride that I've seen!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thrilla Night On Roosevelt Island With Michael Jackson

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Thrilla Tribute

Some young Roosevelt Island residents pay tribute to Michael Jackson with their own unique version of Thriller.

Looks like they are from Manhattan Park. Didn't realize so much talent resided there.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gallery RIVVA Art Workshop Classes Start Saturday, September 26 - Explore Your Creative Talents

Image From Gallery RIVAA

Received the following message from Gallery RIVAA regarding art classes that they will be conducting free of charge.

Sounds like fun and a great way to meet some new friends and neighbors. Why not check it out?
There's More!

Here is a description of the upcoming Art Workshops being conducted by RIVAA Artist/Teachers

Do not be frightened by the descriptions as each participant will be taught on their level and ability, while at the same time being introduced to art concepts that will help you to produce a personal piece of artwork and perhaps give you skills to further appreciate art that you might view in museums and galleries.

No prior art training is required.

Materials will be supplied.

All workshops take place at the Sportspark Art Studios behind the tennis bubble.

Any questions call Gallery RIVAA at 212 308 6630


Saturday, September 26th

11 -2


The general notions used in visual art expression. Composition, underlying structure, integrated spatial organizations, linear flow, part vs whole, etc.

The main components for creating an image: Form, Value, Color and Composition.

Drawing as the linear representation of subjects. The three modalities of line: Contour Line, Crosshatched Line and Gesture Line.

Positive and Negative shapes; the grid of lines to help integrate all elements in a composition.

Reducing objects to the basic geometric shapes of: sphere, cone, cylinder, pyramid, rectangular solid.

Value: light- dark relationship; three tones patterns and value scales,

The workshop will use still life objects for drawing studies and models for figure explorations and portraiture.


Saturday, October 3rd



Color – the esthetic, emotional and spiritual value of color.

The seven components of light as color – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Study the Color Wheel comprising Primary and Complementary colors. Study Warm and Cool Colors, Intense and Muted Tones. Learn the two main methods to gray down (Tone) the colors. Learn how to organize a palette. Learn color relationships and how to contrast colors.


Saturday, October 10th

11 -2

Drawing and Painting


Use of vertical and horizontal lines; proportions and measurements. Value scales of light, middle and dark tones. Workshop will use a model for figure drawing and portraiture. The model in motion will be studied for balance, structure and gravity. The poses will explore action, sitting, arching, gesture and character.


The symbolism of color and its importance in our lives.


Saturday, October 17th

11 – 2

Drawing and Painting

Pastel Technique:

Learn about different kinds of pastels (soft and hard).

Learn about colored papers for pastels and how to paint a landscape in pastels including luminosity, cool and warm colors


Learn about flat and modulated surface, texture, vibration, impasto, transparency and how to use varnishes.

Explore the psychological, esthetical and social-spiritual aspects of the Visual Arts. No art experience necessary for any of the workshops and all materials will be supplied.

Monday, September 21, 2009

$1000 Monthly Electricity Charges No Longer Feared By Roosevelt Island Eastwood Residents As Public Service Commission Halts Submetering Attempt

Image of Eastwood (Roosevelt Landings) from Bridge and Tunnel Club

Some good news for residents of Roosevelt Island's former Mitchell Lama Eastwood buildings, recently renamed Roosevelt Landings by Urban American (the new owners). The residents will not have to pay submetered electricity charges which some feared could reach as high as $1,000 per month.

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) handed these residents a tremendous victory in the ongoing battle to stop Urban American from imposing unfair electricity submetering charges. According to Assembly Member Micah Kellner, who has been leading the fight against the unjust imposition
of electricity submetering:
"I cannot thank Chairman Brown and the Commissioners and staff of the Public Service Commission enough for today’s groundbreaking decision to permanently stay the submetering orders for Roosevelt Landings, Frawley Plaza, Metro North, and the Alpacas I&II.

“Initially when I challenged the PSC’s approval of submetering at Roosevelt Landings, the PSC issued a temporary stay. Now that the Commission has made that stay permanent, tenants can rest assured that they will not be subjected to any submetering scheme without their full consultation and basic tenant protections to ensure they are not unduly burdened.

“The PSC’s decision today promises a brighter future that doesn’t pit tenant rights against environmental goals—it proves that we can do both. The protections won are meaningful acknowledgements of what has been a deeply flawed process from a tenants’ rights perspective—and while more needs to be done, there is no question that we are moving in the right direction.

“The Commission’s order addresses the need for tenants to be protected from illegal eviction proceedings that are too often brought over unpaid utility bills. It also acknowledges that asking tenants to use energy more efficiently means requiring landlords to give tenants the tools that make this possible, such as installing thermostats in electrically-heated buildings.

“While I am pleased with the victories won today, more work needs to be done to ensure that tenants are treated fairly. Some of the requirements do not go far enough—for instance, I do not believe that submetering should ever be allowed in the minority of buildings left in New York City that use electic heat. At a minimum, I will continue to push for the metering of electric heating to be separated out from other electrical uses.

“Also, while this order relates to four specific buildings—creating tremendous precedent for future cases—the reality is that these basic tenant protections should be clearly written into law so that all New Yorkers share the same rights and are governed by the same rules".

The 9/18/09 Daily News reported on this decision by the PSC:
... When they received mock bills last year many were shocked to discover their monthly power bills could be up to $1,000....

"Our goal has always been to provide greater efficiency ... in order to reduce our environmental impact," said Douglas Eisenberg, Urban American's chief operating officer.

But Assemblyman Micah Kellner (D-Manhattan)"You can't ask someone to freeze to death because the heating system in the building is old and inefficient," said Kellner.

Under Thursday's ruling, Urban American could still sub-meter the complex if it installs thermostats in every unit, makes the complex more energy efficient and can prove tenants will not get unreasonably high bills.

"We need to ensure that low-income residents are not unduly harmed by electricity bills when buildings are submetered," PSC spokeswoman Anne Dalton said....

The full text of the PSC decision is here.

More information from earlier posts available here on Urban American's attempt to impose submetering electricity charges on Roosevelt Island's Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings residents.

UPDATE - 9/22/09 - The Main Street WIRE has more coverage on Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings electricity submetering issue here.

Roosevelt Island Dogs has statement by Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings tenant leader Joyce Mincheff.
Thanks for the credit but there are so many unsung heroes that they're just too numerous to mention!

There's all those folks who took action and placed the pink piglets in their windows, provided the board with data and helped keep the building informed by posting information and placing flyers under each apartment door on multiple occassions!...