Thursday, December 24, 2009

Things To Do This Weekend In New York City & Roosevelt Island - Renaissance Christmas Music, Lights, Kwanzaa @ AMNH & Chinese Food

You Tube Video Of Dyker Heights Brooklyn Christmas Lights

Looking for fun or interesting things to do on Roosevelt Island or in some other part of New York City this Christmas/Kwanza/Winter Holiday weekend? Here are some ideas,

On Friday, Christmas day, there's Early Music New York's A Renaissance Christmas at the Cathedral Church Of St. John the Divine:
... Director Frederick Renz has selected caroles, noels and motets dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, that emanate from sacred and secular rituals across Europe. Celebrate the twelve days of Christmas in the candle-lit, holly & ivy festooned Cathedral!
On Saturday, go take a look at the marvelous Dyker Heights Christmas lights in Brooklyn from 83rd - 86th streets between between 10th - 13th Avenues. According to the NY Post:
Even Rockefeller Center has nothing over this Brooklyn neighborhood during the winter holidays.
Dyker Heights, which is world-famous for its magnificent Christmas light displays, certainly isnt cutting down on electricity this season because of a dwindling economy.

A stroll through its snow-powdered streets last night offered onlookers a chance to see jaw-dropping light displays including, life-sized singing choir boys and glowing angels and, of course, dazzling Christmas trees...
You can go yourself or take a tour with A Slice of Brooklyn though the tours are sold out this weekend but available for Monday and Tuesday.

You Tube Video of Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

On Sunday, visit the American Museum of Natural History for their all day Kwanzaa Celebration:
A vibrant cultural festival of African and African-American music, dance and crafts that commemorates the seven principles of Kwanzaa at the American Museum of Natural History. Kwanzaa Spirits 2009! is a feast for the soul and senses. Celebration highlights include performances by:
  • International Steel Drum Orchestra (ADLIB), showcasing a variety of styles including calypso, sosa, and jazz
  • Restoration Dance Theatre Company under the artistic direction of Karen Thornton-Daniels
  • Award-winning Vy Higginsen’s Gospel for Teens Choir
  • The electrifying Balance Dance Theatre under the artistic direction of Obediah Wright
There's always Chinese Food on Christmas.

You Tube Video of I Eat Chinese Food On Christmas

On Roosevelt Island this Holiday weekend, the Farmers Market is open on Saturday as usual as is Gallery RIVAA, the Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association.

Another suggestion - RIOC has produced a great self guided tour map (PDF File) of Roosevelt Island for any visitor or resident looking to stroll the Island and learn something more about it.

The MTA is reporting no Roosevelt Island F Train subway advisories this weekend and neither is RIOC with Tram advisories.

Track Santa Claus This Christmas Eve With NORAD & Google - Hey, Santa & Reindeer Spotted Over Roosevelt Island Using A Tram Sled

You Tube Video Showing NORAD Tracking Santa Across China

Reports are coming in of the Big Fella, yep, that's right, Santa Claus himself making his way around the globe. According to Mashable, it's now easy to track Santa's route:
Want to know Santa’s whereabouts this Christmas Eve? Well, Google has you covered. The company has been helping NORAD track the man in red since 2004 — the bi-national U.S.-Canadian military organization had been tackling the task all on its lonesome since 1955, when a Sears and Roebuck magazine ad accidentally instructed readers to call NORAD instead of the real hotline...
Wow, I'm looking out my window now - Can it be? I think I see Santa flying over Roosevelt Island and the Queensboro Bridge.

Roosevelt Island Reindeer Driven Tram (more info here)

You can track Santa's route at the Official NORAD Santa Tracker.

Hope you've been good this year.

You Tube Video of Sanat Claus Is Coming To Town

Live version of Springsteen's Santa Claus Is Coming To Town here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Reports 12/8 Thru 12/22 - Deceased Woman Found, Teen Suicide Threatened & Pregnant Woman Helped

Roosevelt Island Winter Coat Drive Image From RIOC Public Safety Department

The most recent Roosevelt Island 24 hour Public Safety Report is posted daily on the blog's inside right sidebar, just below See Click Fix Roosevelt Island. Listed is a daily log recapping local incidents the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department responded to the previous day.

RIOC is also posting the Daily and November Monthly Roosevelt Island Public Safety Incident reports on their web site. A breakdown of Roosevelt Island Public Safety incidents by location and category (the Blotter) for the months of November 2009 is available as well.

Below are the Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Reports for December 8 - December 22, 2009. Incidents include:
  • Possible Burglary (12/8)
  • Beer Bottle Thrown From Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings (12/9)
  • Temporary Tram Outage (12/10)
  • Disorderly Conduct By Group (12/11)
  • Motorist Stopped, Disorderly Conduct- Pepper Spray Used By Public Safety (12/12)
  • Female Teen Threatened Suicide (12/13)
  • Inappropriate Touching of Female (12/14)
  • Assisted NYPD In Off Island Investigation (12/15)
  • Young Woman Found Dead At AVAC Yard (12/16)
  • Tenant Harassed By Another Tenant (12/17)
  • Water Leak (12/18)
  • Assisted Woman In Labor (12/19)
  • Electric Gristedes Sign Letter Catches Fire (12/20)
  • Public Urination (12/21)
  • Dog Barking Excessively In Apartment (12/22)
12/8/09 7:00 AM to 12/9/09-7:00 AM

Aided- An ill person was taken to the hospital by EMS.

Investigation/Possible Burglary-At an apt. No forced entry. reported who relieved a fellow diplomat reported that the apt was open and all furniture missing. PSD, UA and NYPD responded. NYPD filed a report and advised reporter to contact other diplomat who had resided in apt.

Domestic Dispute- Between Mother and Son over Christmas gifts. PSD, NYPD responded and filed a report.

Found Property- a ring. It was secured in PSD.

12/9/09-7:00 AM to 12/10/09-7:00 AM

Aided- A Coler Hospital patient fell from his wheelchair in the street. EMS responded and lifted him up. He refused transport and went to Coler Hospital.

Reckless Endangerment- Beer bottles thrown from a building. Reported by UA. PSD conducted a search of possible subject and responded to an apt. Resident there stated he was alone and did not throw anything and he refused to allow PSD to enter apt.

Investigation- An Island resident came to PSD to make a complaint. But when asked to provide information of the complaint by 2 PSD officers she refused and became irate. PSD checked the floor she resides in and all was in order. Tenant left PSD.

0700 hrs 12/10/09 - 0700 hrs 12/11/09

Investigation - Resident reported to PSD of a unknown condition. PSD made search of area with negative results.

Domestic Dispute - PSD with NYPD responded to an apartment for dispute. NYPD filed Domestic Incident report. No injuries or property damage.

Alarm - PSD responded to an alarm. PSD along with employee checked inside and appeared in order. Alarm was turned off.

Tram Temporary Outage - Tram employee called PSD to report that the tram was out of service. Condition was corrected and tram resumed service.

Possible Aided - Home Attendant notified PSD that her client was not answering his door. Super opened door and tenant was not home.

Investigation - PSD received complaint of bike chained to a pole. Chain was cut and bike was brought to PSD. Owner picked up bike.

Aided - PSD along with super checked apartment for tenant. Apartment was checked and aided was not home.

EDP - PSD responded with NYPD for possible suicide called in by aided's doctor. Aided was not home, but entered PSD later stating she was ok.

Aided - PSD was notified by aided that he was not feeling well. EMS responded and transported aided to hospital.

Dispute - PSD responded to group home for dispute between two teenagers. Both parties were spoken to by PSD and the teenagers went to their rooms without further incident. No injuries reported.

EDP/Aided - PSD observed female walking in the middle of the street. Female was incoherent and brought to PSD. NYPD and EMS responded. Aided was transported to hospital for evaluation.

12/11/09-7:00 AM to 12/12/09-7:00 AM

Dispute- Report of two male youths fighting in an apt. PSD responded youth stated that they were play fighting. No injuries. Reporter to notify the group home headquarters.

Aided/EDP- female walking in the middle of the street and interfering with traffic. PSD Officer approached male who was incoherent and irrational. EMS transported her to the hospital.

Aided- a Coler Hospital patient in a wheelchair was screaming that it was too cold outside. PSD responded and notified EMS. EMS transported aided to the hospital.

Domestic Dispute- Between husband and wife a day ago. NYPD responded and filed a report. PSD was not notified at time of incident. Wife did not want husband in apt. Matter was referred to UA Management.

Aided/DOA- Home attendant called various times to reach the client in his apt. But there was no answer. UA and PSD responded and resident was unresponsive. EMS responded and declared he was deceased. Medical examiner removed the deceased. NYPD secured the apt.

Smoke Condition- Tenant reports smell of smoke in apt. PSD responded and detected odor of cigarette coming from the bath room vent. Matter referred to UA Management.

Aided- A male Coler Hospital patient felling ill. EMS responded and transported him to the hospital.

Trespass/Open Container- Three subjects arrested by PSD.

Disorderly Conduct/Refusal to move- PSD responded for a disorderly group. All left but one subject who after several requests refused to leave. He was taken into custody and arrested.

There's More!

12/12/09-7:00 AM to 12/13/09-7:00 AM

Aided- An ill person was taken to the hospital.

Car stop/Disorderly Conduct- Motorist committed a moving violation and was stopped by PSD. Motorist refused to comply several times with PSD and PSD Sergeant to provide his documentation. Motorist became disorderly with PSD Officers and started screaming. He was sprayed with Pepper spray. EMS and NYPD responded. Motorist refused transport to the hospital. He was issued three summonses.

Verbal Dispute- Between a RIOC Bus driver and a passenger over the fare. Passenger reached over to the coin slot and removed a coin then left. PSD responded and filed a report. No injuries and NYPD refused.

Harassment- Between two females. Subject threw water at the victim and fled. PSD responded and conducted a search with negative results. No injuries. NYPD refused.

Criminal Mischief- A hole in the wall of a hallway of a building. UA was notified and made temporary repairs. Permanent repairs to be done on Monday 12/14/09. NYPD refused. PSD responded and conducted a search with negative results.

Smoke Condition- A tenant accidently burnt food in the apt. PSD and UA responded. the windows were opened in the hallway to air out the smoke. No injuries and no property damage. EMS refused.

12/13/09-7:00 AM to 12/14/09-7:00 AM

Aided- Male had a mild allergic reaction. EMS responded and he refused transport. he stated that he was fine.

Aided- Elderly female fell from a two foot latter and sustained injury to her ribs and a laceration to her right leg. EMS responded and transported her to the hospital.

Aided/EDP- A female teen stated to her adult sister that she wanted to kill herself with pills. NYPD, EMS and PSD responded. Female was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Harassment- Between two female tenants. PSD and NYPD responded. NYPD filed a report.

Aided- An ill female with chest pains and difficulty breathing was taken to the hospital by EMS.

12/14/09-7:00 AM to 12/15/09-7:00 AM

Aided- An ill person was taken to the hospital by EMS.

Investigation- RIOC parking sign removed by Grestedes Super Market employee. PSD responded and retrieved the sign and issued summonses to vehicles illegally parked at the loading dock. Employee warned and admonished on removing the sign.

Forcibly Touching/ Harassment-Adult female resident reported an adult male known to her was intoxicated and touched her inappropriately. No injuries. NYPD refused.

Aided- Gold Water Hospital Patient in a wheelchair fell. PSD and EMS responded and lifted him up onto the wheelchair. He refused transport to the hospital. No injuries.

Aided- An elderly female resident felt ill. EMS transported her to the hospital. Later her daughter came into PSD and was notified.

12/15/09-7:00 AM to 12/16/09-7:00 AM

Aided- Youth fell in the street and sustained a small laceration to the left knee. She was escorted to the father at the Motorgate Garage. Father refused EMS and to provide any on information.

Possible Aided- a Social worker requested that PSD check on a resident. PSD responded and he was not home. The Visiting Nurse of New York manager located him at the hospital.

Possible Aided- Food left front of apt. UA Super requested PSD respond to check on the tenent for concern that the per son may need medical assistance. Tenant not home and UA locked and secured the apt door.

Vehicle accident- Between 2 vehicles. One was parked the other struck it while parking the vehicle. No injuries. Minor damage to the parked vehicle. NYPD filed a report. The insurance company was notified.

Water leak- At two apt in the East Wood. No damages. UA notified and willconduct repairs later this morning. 12/16/09.

Aided- An ill person was taken to the hospital by EMS.

Unsecured Door- At the Child School. Search conducted with negative results. No one inside and the school was in order. Later NYPD responded with PSD and the alarm had ceased.

Police Investigation- PSD assisted Police on an investigation regarding a matter off Island.

12/16/09-7:00 AM to 12/17/09-7:00 AM

Aided- An ill person was taken to the hospital by EMS.

Minor Vehicle Accident- Between 2 vehicles minor damages. No injuries reported. EMS and NYPD refused.

DOA/Investigation- PSD responded to a report of unresponsive adult female. EMS and NYPD responded. EMS transported the female to the hospital. At the hospital female was declared deceased. NYPD detective conducting an investigation.

Noise Complaint- PSD responded and heard noise. Tenant did not open the door. Matter referred to RY Management.

Aided- An ill person was taken to the hospital by EMS.

Smoke Condition- Tenant accidently burnt food in an apt. No injuries and no damages. EMS refused. Hallway windows opened to air out the smoke.

0700 hrs 12/17/09 -0700 hrs 12/18/09

Harassment - Tenant reported to PSD that another tenant was harassing her. PSD responded and conducted search with negative results. Complainant refused NYPD report.

Lost Property - RIOC bus driver turned over property to PSD that was left on the bus. Property was turned over to owner.

Property Damage - PSD officer parked PSD vehicle and when he returned notice damage to vehicle. Photos were taken.

Aided - Tenant was not feeling well and transported to hospital.

0700hrs 12/18/09- 0700hrs 12/19/09

Aided- Male has stomach pains, called EMS, being transported to hospital.

Water Leak- PSD, building manager and service responded to apartment for water leak, leak was coming from master bedroom toilet, service turned water off, service secured door.

12/19/097-:00 AM to 12/20/09-7:00 AM

Harassment- Between 2 neighbors. No injuries. NYPD refused.

Investigation- A person subletting for another allegedly took jewelry NYPD responded and classified job as grand larceny.

Harassment- Youth congregating in the hallway PSD responded and youths were gone.

Aided- a woman in labor was taken to the hospital by EMS.

12/20/09-7:00 AM to 12/21/09-7:00 AM

Minor Fire- A letter in the electric Gristedes sign caught on fire. Employees extinguished the minor fire. FDNY responded. The cause was electrical and occurred due to the snow. No injuries.

Verbal Dispute- Over the purchase of a jacket. Jacket returned. No injuries. NYPD refused.

Harassment- Between 2 residents. PSD and NYPD responded. NYPD referred complainant to court to obtain an order of protection.

Alarm- At the Post office. PSD and Postal Police responded. Interior and exterior in order. Faulty fire alarm. General Manager to reset the alarm.

Larceny- A Digital camera removed from a vehicle. NYPD refused.

12/21/09-7:00 AM to 12/22/09-7:00 AM

Aided- An ill person was taken to the hospital by EMS.

Vehicle Accident- A motorist struck a metal railing in the Motorgate Garage. No injuries. Damage to the vehicle and to the metal railing. NYPD and PSD responded. EMS refused.

Urinating in Public- Two subjects issued summonses by PSD.

Domestic Dispute- Between a female and her boyfriend. No injuries. PSD responded. NYPD filed a report. Male escorted out of apt.

Unsecured Premises- At the Chapel Recreation Center. PSD responded and conducted a search with negative results. All in order. the door was locked and secured.

12/22/09-7:00 AM to 12/23/09-7:00 AM

Aided- An ill person was taken to the hospital by EMS.

Barking Dog- Two complaints of a dog barking excessively in an apt. PSD responded and confirmed complaint. No answer. Dept of Environmental Protection notified via complaint.

Lost property- A job Identification card on Main Street.

Aggravated Harassment- Between two tenants. PSD responded. 911 notified for NYPD.

Aided/Disabled Wheelchair- A Coler Hospital patient's motorized wheelchair break locked up. this caused Coler Hospital Police notified. PSD responded and pushed wheelchair to a bus stop. Minutes later the wheelchair was operational. Coler Hospital patient went to Coler Hospital.

Unsecured Door- a mail room door of a building. PSD checked and interior in order. Postal Inspection Dispatch notified.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

MTA Proposes To Cut Free Student Metro Cards - Help Roosevelt Island Students By Signing Online Petition Urging Restoration

You Tube Video Of NYC Kids Close To Losing Free Metro Cards

The Huffington Post reports:
The cash-strapped agency that runs New York City subways and buses is considering a proposal to end the more than 60-year-old practice of giving free rides for schoolchildren, a move that could cost half a million students nearly $1,000 per year in transportation fees.

The proposal before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board to end free rides for schoolchildren has parents wondering how to get their children to school...
According to the NY Times:
... The cuts to the student subsidies for the MetroCards are not yet final. The M.T.A. board will have a public comment period over the coming weeks, and then another vote early next year. If the cuts are approved, the 584,000 city students who receive free or half-fare MetroCards would all receive half-fare cards beginning next September. In September 2011, they would pay full fares — nearly $700 for a school year at current rates....
Also, from the NY Times:
... The proposal has been seen by some as a negotiating tactic, and some observers argued that the authority was within its rights to stop financing a program whose costs were once shared by the city and the state; in recent years, those government subsidies have flat-lined or disappeared.

“This is something the city and state should pay,” said Nicole Gelinas, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. “It’s education spending, not transit spending. I think it is a pretty clever way to pressure the city and state to stop hiding their own budget problems in the M.T.A.”...
Governor Patterson is urging the MTA to reconsider cutting out free student Metro Cards. According to NBC New York:
...“If revenues come back in January, more so than we are predicting… if the upturn in the market is significant enough, the first thing I will do with added revenue is target them back to the MTA in order to relieve the young people from losing their MetroCards,” Paterson said during an appearance in the Bronx Tuesday.
“I would urge them [the MTA] in fairness to take another look at their plan and see if there’s another way to work it out. I just think that the last thing we want to do is to charge the children for the MetroCards to go to school,” he said. “But I do understand, not so much the decision making, as much as the difficult circumstances that the MTA is experiencing.”...
Roosevelt Island 360 does an analysis of what doing away with the free student Metro Card might mean for Roosevelt Island families.

A reader forwards us this online petition asking MTA Chairman Jay Walder to restore free student Metro Cards and seeking signatures.
To: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Jay Walder
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
347 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Walder:

Hard working parents and students should not be punished for the MTA�s poor planning and mismanagement of its budget. The proposal to cut the free and reduced fare Student MetroCard program as a means of balancing the MTA budget is unacceptable and should be taken off the table immediately.

The free-fare student program accounts for less than 2% of the total MTA budget, and the State has not pulled its weight to fund this program as promised. However, eliminating such an important program to close a relatively small gap would be extremely shortsighted and detrimental to New York City�s future. While other jurisdictions rely on a yellow school bus to get their children to school, in New York City the yellow MetroCard is our school bus, which 400,000 students rely on every day to travel to school and participate in after-school activities. Cutting the Student MetroCard program is not the answer to the MTA�s budget shortfall, and we will not stand for its proposed elimination.

The MTA must act responsibly and consider a wide range of budget solutions before placing this financial burden on parents and students. We urge you to withdraw the MTA proposal to cut the free and reduced fare Student MetroCard program.


The Undersigned

So far, there are 5562 signatures.

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin Designs Revealed While Workers Surf The Current Tram High Above Manhattan And The East River

Image of Workers On Top of Moving Roosevelt Island Tram From Restless

Are you ever sitting in your office or wherever you work and feel like going for a walk? If you go for that walk, I doubt it is as dramatic as these Roosevelt Island Tram workers going out for a walk on top of the moving tram as it makes it's way across the East River. From Blogger Restless:
... I noticed that the tram going toward the island was not only stopped, but two men were dangling off it, a few hundred feet above ground. And they were still climbing around outside as it started moving...
In a few months (March 2010) the tram will be out of service while undergoing a modernization program and both cabins will be replaced. No longer will the cabins operate in sync with each other but will make their way back and forth to Roosevelt Island independent of one another. Here are the latest pictures of what the new Poma designed Roosevelt Island Tram Cabins will look like.

The exterior

and interior

as well as some earlier drawings.

And the new Manhattan Tram station during the day

and night.

Also, the Roosevelt Island Tram Station.

There have been several postponements of earlier planned starting dates for the modernization project. If it does start as planned this time, hopefully, the Tram will be back in operation by September 2010.

UPDATE - 12/22 - RIOC President Steve Shane adds:
To the blogger about the mechanics outside the Tram, they were on the tower superstructure. The only time they ride the tram on the outside is when going to or coming from a particular tower for maintenance or inspection.

Please remember that we have decided to not proceed with the station improvements until after the tram is back in operation and we then can make sensible decisions about available budget and plan for upgrades. The existing concept renderings of station improvements, while very attractive, are on the shelf until further notice.

Saturday Afternoon Winter Baseball On Roosevelt Island And Then Came The First December 2009 Snowstorm

Roosevelt Island Winter Baseball

As I was walking past Capobianco Field heading towards the Farmers Market on a cold, blustery, pre-snowstorm Roosevelt Island Saturday afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the familiar cracking sound of a ball hitting a baseball bat.

Hitting Gounders

As I turned towards this unexpected sound I saw two bundled up kids, one hitting ground balls to the other at shortstop.

Conference At The Mound

I asked the batter why they were playing in such cold weather and he responded as if I was crazy to ask such a question:
We Like Baseball
Who knows, maybe future Derek Jeter's are playing right here on Roosevelt Island?

A couple of hours later came the snow. Below are scenes from a December 2009 Roosevelt Island snowstorm.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Following December 2009 Snowstorm