Friday, February 26, 2010

Roosevelt Island On The Web Links

Roosevelt Island on the Web Links as appearing in the February 27 2010 Main Street WIRE.

Roosevelt Islander - Tram Shutdown On Schedule For March 1
Roosevelt Islander - Riverwalk Developer RI PS/IS 217 Principal For Day
RIOC - February 2010 Board Of Directors Meeting Web Cast
RIOC - February Governance & Operations Committee Meeting Web Cast
RIOC - RI Public Safety January Blotter
Roosevelt Island Listings - Chemistry Tutor
RI Gifted & Talented Class- Weekly Highlights
RI Historical Society - Unusual Roosevelt Island Movies
Silly Infos - Old Picture of Blackwell House
Curbed - Roosevelt Islanders Now Jesus
NY Press - RI Commute Includes East River Walk
Yfrog - Iphone Google Map Advises East River Walk To Manhattan
WPIX - Video Of Roosevelt Island Tram Closure
NewYorkology - Roosevelt Island Tram Suspension March 1
Craigslist - Early Childhood Teaching Jobs With RI Bright Horizons
Brownstoner - Riverwalk Sales Improve After Construction Complete
Gothamist - RI Tram Grounded
American History - Dickens Visits Blackwells (Roosevelt) Island
Objects Building Situations - Patti Smith & Robert Maplethorpe Visit Roosevelt Island
Vpike - RI Panoramic Street Views
PamsVulcanTweet- Walk On East River To Manhattan
Daily Wildcat - Drives By Scene of Spiderman and Dark Water
If I Didn't Care - Roosevelt Island Unexpected Arousal
A Brooklyn Lad - Nice Place To Visit If You Like Seagulls
boiteaoutils - 1992 Kawamata Southpoint Park Art Installation
NYFreecycle - Used Compost Turner For Sale
TravBuddy - Reviews Blue Room Bar Near Tram
Unrealilty Mag - Remembers Roosevelt Island Nighthawks Movie On Tram
Spencer Mccormick - Floating Roosevelt Island Desk
Ifreelance - Roosevelt Island Tram Cartoonist Sought
Matters - Orphans Internationa'sl Jim Luce
A Photographers Argot - On The Roosevelt Island Tram
You Tube - View Of Tram From Riveralk Building During Snowstorm
You Tube - Tayta's Roosevelt Island Revenge In The Snow
You Tube - Roosevelt Island Twisted Traceurs Parkour Training
You Tube - Christianne Celebrates Birthday On Roosevelt Island
You Tube - Roosevelt Island Snow Angels
A Hardy Developers - Blackwell Game Developer

RIRA President On Roosevelt Island Tram Shutdown, Robots's Kids Workshop & Upcoming RIRA Meetings

Image of February 2010 RIRA Meeting

Roosevelt Island Residents Association President (RIRA) Frank Farance sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
1. Transportation Problems with Tram Shutdown. We’ve heard from RIOC that everything is going smoothly. I’m sure there will be some glitches, but I don’t see any right now. Former RIRA President Matt Katz has been looking out for the school children who return home by Tram in the afternoon, and RIOC has made a bus available.

2. Robots' Kids Working on a Window Display for Merchants. The kids have the robots moving at their command (most of the time), and they are working on more advanced computer skills (e.g., using a camera and displaying information based on external events) and their estimation efforts (e.g., estimation, trial, and error). As a demonstration of their work, they will be using some real-life events (data on bus and subway schedules) and displaying them for the community. With the help of the Boy Scouts, there will be displays in some of the merchants’ windows to show expected bus schedules (Red Bus, Q102, RIOC shuttle bus, F train) and any alerts/exceptions. While the kids are having terrific fun and learning lots, you might actually find their displays useful or entertaining. We’ll try it for a month and get feedback. In my last column, I forgot to mention that we meet on Thursday evenings 6:30-8:00 on the second floor at the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (506 Main Street).

3. Upcoming RIRA meetings. Upcoming RIRA meetings. The next Common Council meeting is March 3 at 8:00 p.m. in the Good Shepherd Community Center, lower level. Former RIRA President Steve Marcus is chairing the Public Purpose Funds Grant committee, and will present their recommendations to RIRA for discussion, approval, and forwarding to RIOC.
The RIRA President's message is also published as the RIRA column in the 2/27/10 Main Street WIRE.

Roosevelt Island Black History Month Celebration- Take A Musical Journey With Motown Records Tomorrow Night 8 PM At Good Shepherd Community Center

RIOC Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder invites all residents to a Roosevelt Island celebration of Black History Month on Saturday February 27 (tomorrow) 8 PM at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).
This year's celebration, in partnership with the Roosevelt Island Senior Association, will take you on a musical journey through the evolution of Motown Records. A unique era of music that transformed the face of popular culture against the backdrop of a revolutionary era in American history. Listen to classic Motown hits played by the "Pocket Change Band".

Immediately following the show, there will be a reception inside the community room, lower level, where you will have the opportunity to sample Soul Food prepared by Riverwalk Bar and Grill and meet the artists and performers of the program.
Reacting to the snow, Ms. Wilder adds:
Hopefully the snow will not get in the way of you making it out to the Good Shepherd Community Center to see a fantastic Motown Review event in celebration of Black History Month this Saturday at 8pm. The event will feature live music and a free sampling of Soul Food catered by Roosevelt Island's own Riverwalk Bar and Grill. has more on Black History Month:
... The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures....

Due To Heavy Snowfall RIOC Advises to Avoid Roosevelt Island Parks & Open Spaces Due To Possibility Of Falling Branches

Received the following snow advisory from RIOC:

The heavy snowfall has accumulated on the trees throughout Roosevelt Island thereby creating a potentially dangerous condition in the parks and open spaces. Please avoid such areas while the RIOC Grounds and Facilities crews complete their snow removal duties.
Please be careful - this is a serious warning. A man was killed yesterday by a falling tree branch as we was walking in Central Park. According to DNA Info:
CENTRAL PARK — A man was struck and killed by a falling tree limb as he was walking through Central Park during a snowstorm Thursday, police said.

Elmaz Qyra, 56, from Brooklyn, was struck by the branch from an elm tree near "Literary Way" in the park on E. 67th Street, near Fifth Avenue, according to police.

A 911 caller told authorities around 3:30 p.m that the man was sprawled on the ground with severe wounds to his head, officials told the New York Times. The man was declared dead at the scene, according to police....

Last Ride On The Roosevelt Island Tram At 2 AM Monday Morning - Come Party At Riverwalk Bar & Grill And Take Last Historic Ride

There are certain milestone historic events in which one would like to be a participant. The final supersonic flight of the Concorde, last home game at the old Yankee Stadium, final flight of the Space Shuttle and fall of the Berlin Wall come to mind.The voyage of the Titanic - well probably not the Titanic.

Another historic occasion will take place this weekend and it will be on Roosevelt Island. The final ride of the Roosevelt Island Tram will take place Monday morning at 2 AM. Come celebrate this historic event of the Tram's retirement with the folks at the Riverwalk Bar & Grill as we take the last ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram. Should be lots of fun.

This is how they celebrated the last Tram ride at Jackson Hole Wyoming. An example for us?

You Tube Video of Last Tram At Jackson Hole

Take a look at this great CNN You Tube video profiling Roosevelt Island Night Tram Operator Michael Fitton (Hope I got his last name correct). He'll probably be one the operators on the last Tram ride.

Also, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued the following press release on the Tram Modernization:
Roosevelt Island Tram Undergoing Major Modernization
March 1 – September 2010

(Roosevelt Island, NY, February 25, 2010) – The Roosevelt Island Tram will close on Monday March 1, 2010, for a complete overhaul. This unique public works project is scheduled to be completed by September 3, 2010. New Yorkers are encouraged to enjoy the last opportunity to soar 250 ft. above the East River and take in spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline from the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway, before service is suspended for six months. Power to the old Tram will be officially switched off at 10 AM, Monday March1, at the Roosevelt Island Station. Sunday, February 28th will be the last day to ride the old Tram. Tram riders can enjoy the 4.5 minute, 16 miles per hour, 3,100 ft. ride from 6 AM Sunday, February 28th through 2 AM Monday, March 1, 2010, when the last Tram ride leaves the Manhattan Tram station. Service on the new Tram is scheduled to be restored by September3, 2010.

Specifically, the Tram Modernization Project will:

• Increase reliability.
• Extend service for 30 more years.
• Permit each tramway cabin to operate independently in the event of: maintenance, malfunction, and adjust for ridership variances during peak and non-peak times.
• Avoid high level emergency rescue operations as the rescue system will be integrated into the Tram’s basic operations. In the event of a malfunction of any component or power failure, the cabin cars can be brought back to the nearest station using redundant power and motive systems,
• Reduce downtime for maintenance and repairs. One lane can be shut down for repairs while the other lane can provide uninterrupted service.
• Reduce maintenance and operating costs.
• Improve the quality of travel, providing a smoother ride under high winds due to the new wide track rope gauge.
• Bring even higher levels of energy efficiency through the use of State-of-the-Art technology.

Roosevelt Island’s Aerial Tramway system, serves more than 2 million riders a year. The Tram began service in May 1976 serving New Yorkers well beyond the 17 years it was expected to operate. Built as the first urban mass commuter tramway service in the world,the Tram was expected to serve only as a “stop gap” until long delayed subway service was provided to the new residential community being developed on Roosevelt Island. Stephen Shane, RIOC President and Chief Executive Officer said that “Called futuristic when installed in 1976, the Tram modernization project will make this the foremost aerial Tramway system for the 21st Century. Once the overhaul is completed New Yorkers can count on fast and energy efficient service and the most beautiful commute in the City for at least the next 30 years.”

This major, one-of-a-kind, public works project is budgeted for up to $25 million, funded by a $10 million RIOC appropriation and a $15 million State appropriation. During the six-month project, alternative transit from and to Roosevelt Island will be provided by the MTA Subway F line, the Q102 bus and special RIOC red bus shuttle service. Check for transportation alternatives and project updates.

Since it began operations in 1976, the Roosevelt Island Tram has attracted much acclaim and interest. Passengers marvel at the breath-taking views of the Manhattan skyline -- in particular the United Nations, Chrysler, and Empire State buildings -- and the boats traveling the East River below. It has been featured in numerous movies, including Nighthawks, City Slickers and Spiderman, among others.

The Project Team consists of:

• Owner: Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York (RIOC).
• Owner’s Representative and Construction Managers: LiRo Engineers, Inc.
• Owner’s Engineer: Parametrix, Inc.
• Design-Build Contractor: Pomagalski, S.A. (Poma).
• Civil and Structural Engineering Design Consultants to Poma: Thornton Tomasetti,
• Fabricators and new Tram Manager: Leitner-Poma of America, Inc.,
• Local Subcontractor, Fabricator and Erector: Metropolitan Walters, LLC,.
• Demolition and Civil Construction: Coppola Paving and Landscaping Corp.

For more information about the Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization Project, please visit or contact Rosina Abramson, RIOC V.P. for Planning and Government Affairs at 347 398 2238.

About The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York (RIOC) is a public benefit corporation and a political subdivision of the State of New York. Since 1984, RIOC has been responsible for realization of the 1968 Roosevelt Island General Development Plan (GDP). New York State implementation of the GDP arises from a 99 year lease from New York City to New York State for the development and operation of the 147 acres comprising the former Welfare Island, located in New York City’s East River. For more information, please visit
and a Project Briefing.
RITram Briefing

I inquired of RIOC President Steve Shane:
It has been suggested that RIOC consider operating the Tram for free on Sunday, it's last day of operation - similar to what occurs on Fourth of July when fireworks are viewed from Southpoint Park.

Any chance of that happening?
Mr. Shane replied:
We considered it, but all it does is promotes the MTA to which most transfer freely after swiping on RI or coming back, without the revenue realization to RIOC. If there were no swipe, no free transfer.
Next six months of the Tram Modernization Project should be very interesting. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's A Friday Night Cello Extravaganza At Roosevelt Island's Good Shepherd Community Center Presented By Rosemarie & Robin Russell Concert Series

Image from R & R Concerts

The good folks over at the Rosemarie & Robin Russell Family (R & R) Concert Series are putting together another night of free classical music here on Roosevelt Island this Friday, 8 PM, at the Good Shepherd Center (543 Main Street). It's a Cello Extravaganza with music by Haydn, Bach, Marc Summers, Traditional Indian Ragga and more. Performers include:
  • Amy Sue Barston
  • Jane Cords O'Hara
  • Iris Jortner and
  • Kate Springarn
Previous Roosevelt Island classical music concerts presented by R&R have received fantastic reviews by those attending including:
  • "This event is comparable to a performance at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful concert with our community."
  • " I am a Computer Scientist and [I] like jazz music. I play piano and couldn't resist going to a free concert on my Island. I really enjoyed the Hungarian piece from Kodaly and the introduction of the movement was really appreciated. I remembered the imitation, the question-response and the improvisation techniques Iris mentioned. Wonderful piece of music and interpretation. I loved it, please continue."
  • "Wonderful music and musicians. It's rare to hear string trios; that was a real treat. I like the balance of Baroque, classical and contemporary pieces. Church acoustics were just right - not too echoey for the selection they played. And it was free! Great turn out; great flyers; great musicians! Thank you!!".
  • "The Chapel of the Good Shepherd is a better place to hear (rather 'experience') chamber music than Carnegie Hall. It is close to ideal. More chamber music, please.".
  • "Who would believe there was something to do on Roosevelt Island besides eating...and going to sleep?".
Don't let the snow keep you from attending.

You Tube Video of Yo Yo Ma Plays Prelude to Bach's Cello Suite #1

UPDATE 3:15 - Due to the weather the Cello Extravaganza Concert has been cancelled. From R&R Concerts:
Unfortunately tonight's Cello Extravaganza is postponed due to the weather. All the performers were not able to get to New York today.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
We are attempting to reschedule for the evening of Sunday, March 7. We'll e-mail you when a new date is confirmed. And you can also check our web site at

UPDATE 2/27 - From R&R Concerts, last night's:
concert is rescheduled for Sunday, March 7 at 8 PM.

Report From RIOC's President - Tram Shutdown March 1, Red Bus Shuttle Schedule, Budget, Grog Shop & Other Roosevelt Island Issues

You Tube Video Of Cable To The Sky (Jackson Hole Tram Replacement)

RIOC President Steve Shane sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents. Mr. Shane updates us on:
  • new RIOC Board Nominees,
  • March 1 Tram shutdown,
  • Red Bus Shuttle schedule during Tram Outage,
  • Southpoint Park, FDR Memorial,
  • Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix Ramp problem,
  • Artificial surface for Octagon Playing Field,
  • Public Purpose Fund process,
  • RIOC 2010 -11 Budget,
  • Blackwell Park Master Plan,
  • Motorgate Credit Card usage,
  • Mitchell Lama Privatizations,
  • Grog Liquor Shop Tax seizure and
  • upcoming future events.
February 25, 2010

1. Board of Directors: Next meeting on March 25 at 9:30 AM. The last meeting on February 18 featured RIOC’s newly seated Directors Margie Smith and Mike Shinozaki and the assumption of the Chair by Brian Lawlor, acting Director of Housing. Extensive discussion of the Tram shutdown, ferry service and privatization to affordable housing for the remaining WIRE buildings.

2. Tram:
A. On schedule for shutdown after this Sunday on Monday morning, March 1 at 2 AM (3 Days!!!) and reopening by September 1, 2010. The plans for crane usage, street closings (including the upper ramp of the Queensboro Bridge), permitted times, traffic control and safety precautions, all as submitted to the Departments of Buildings and Traffic have been reviewed and permits were issued this week.
B. Shuttle Red Bus service to Queens Plaza (to accommodate handicapped access) during week day morning rush hours is scheduled, starting at 7:00 AM, running until 9:30 AM, operating every half hour, departing from the west side of East main Street outside the Riverwalk Bar on the hour and half hour, Senior Center (546 Main) 5 minutes later and across from PS 217 five minutes later. Shuttle bus service into Manhattan will operate on the hour starting at 10 AM, same pick-ups, returning from Manhattan on the half hour. Passenger drop off will be in front of PS 217, Good Shepherd and Riverwalk Bar. The Manhattan stop is the west side of 2nd Avenue, at the northerly end of the 59-58th Street block. No shuttle into Manhattan during afternoon rush hours 3PM-6 PM EXCEPT there will be one bus into Manhattan departing the Island at 3:30 PM and picking up in Manhattan at 4 PM to accommodate returning school children. Resumption of hourly service into Manhattan at 7 PM and returning until 11:30 PM. Weekends, shuttle service into Manhattan starting at 10 AM, hourly throughout the day until 11:00 PM, same pick-ups, returning on the half-hour with the last at 11:30 PM. See the schedules posted on RIOC’s web site and on in the posters throughout the Island. Note that if the F train is not in service, the frequency into and out of Manhattan will be increased to every half hour. Fares will be $1.00, with Seniors, Disabled and Children (5-16) at $.50. The MTA will continue to operate the Q 102 bus on the Island on its published schedule. Starting in April, there will be a route change to eliminate the alternating loops to Coler and Goldwater for those who would use the Q 102 and its transfer into the Metrocard system. Regular Red Bus service will continue on the Island, but because of the increased construction activity at the Tram site and the elimination of the Tram stop during the outage, all regular Red Bus service will run a continuous loop southbound along the East Drive, stopping at Riverwalk Bar, then looping around to the front of the subway station to resume a northbound run. Those that want to disembark for the subway at Riverwalk Bar may do so; those who want to ride around to the subway may stay on a stop and do so. All southbound buses, including the Octagon Express will make a stop at PS 217 for those wanting to board a bus at the Q102 stop.
C. Exploration of possible ferry service during the morning rush hour concluded with the Board’s consideration and conclusion that it was not economically appropriate. Sic transit (? LOL).

3. Southpoint-FDR Memorial: Legal work on NYC Funding and Development agreements continues. Construction is likely to start in the Spring, after execution of final documents by the City, RIOC and the Developer. We met with State Parks to discuss methodology for future maintenance. Whether State Parks contracts with RIOC or does the work itself is being considered by State Parks. RIOC has budgeted out the performance specification and will be revenue/expense neutral whichever way is finally determined. A $2 million endowment was received by State Parks. The Governor’s proposed Budget contains the re-appropriation of $4 Million of State funds.

4. Projects:
A. The contract for engineering study of the status of the helix leading to the Island from the Bridge is let and work is underway.
B. Octagon Soccer Field resurfacing: Approved by the Board on January 14th, contract execution and commencement of work are imminent with the melting of snow.
C. AVAC, Sportspark, fiber optic cabling, Good Shepherd HVAC, Octagon sewer, street lighting, tot lot improvements, etc. all keep engineering very busy.

5. Public Purpose Fund: Seven (7) applications for the 2010/11 cycle were submitted. Completed applications were delivered to RIRA for review and recommendation to the Board in time for consideration at the March meeting.

6. Budget: The proposed 2010/11 Budget has been published and posted on RIOC’s web site for public review and comment before formal presentation to the Board for adoption, as it may be amended, at the March meeting. RIRA and other interested parties are welcome to review, comment and raise questions as part of the process. We have tried to set forth the detail of the assumptions that are part of the exercise and have made the projections for 15 years, subject to the inevitable infirmities of far off estimates. Both operating and capital budgets have been set forth. We made a presentation to RIRA. The Audit & Finance Committee of the Board is holding a meeting at 5:30PM on February 25 to examine and discuss the proposed budget. The WIRE published its synopsis of the Budget in the February 13 edition at page 10, but please note that in the 3rd line from the bottom, the variance in income from the 2009/10 budget is a positive (not negative) $304,584 or a positive (not negative) 16.6%. Also, to make clearer, the note as to the Projected Actual revenues for 2009/10 being increased by the one-time payment in lieu of mortgage recording tax for the Octagon, should be repeated as a similar note to attach to the comparative reduction in percentage revenues for the 2010/11 budget both in the first line, last column and the 3rd line from the bottom, last column.

7. Blackwell Park: Community participation in the planning process continues, with a “less is more” conclusion. Other features desired are set forth in the resolution from RIRA. Good job by all.

8. Credit cards use at Motorgate: As soon as the mechanics of establishing a local bank account and entering into a credit card processing agreement are accomplished, transient parkers will be able to use credit cards to pay the parking charges at Motorgate. Soon, we hope.

9. Privatization of Mitchell-Lamas: With the extensive discussion and debate at the Board meeting to express the sense of the Board for ground lease extensions, RIOC has taken a step forward in preserving the long term affordability of the portion of the housing on the Island represented by Rivercross, Island House and Westview. Much work and many details remain to be resolved with the other governmental agencies who are stakeholders in Roosevelt Island. Stay tuned for developments.

10. Grog Shop: Sadly, completely outside of the ability of RIOC to influence the outcome, the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance has shuttered the Grog Shop for non payment of franchise and sales taxes. Until the matter is resolved, RIOC has no access to the premises and unless quickly resolved, will have no alternative to commencing legal proceedings to terminate the lease and recover possession, a typically long and expensive litigation process. We are well aware of the loss of an important service establishment and will do everything possible to facilitate a favorable resolution for the Island residents.

11. Community Events: Upcoming are the following:
A. Black History Month-Saturday February 27 at 8pm Good Shepherd Community Center. This year's celebration, in partnership with the Roosevelt Island Senior Association, will take you on a musical journey through the evolution of Motown Records. A unique era of music that transformed the face of popular culture against the backdrop of a revolutionary era in American history. Listen to classic Motown hits played by the "Pocket Change Band". Immediately following the show, there will be a reception inside the community room, lower level, where you will have the opportunity to sample Soul Food prepared by Riverwalk Bar and Grill and meet the artists and performers of the program.
B. Women's History Month -A Celebration of Women Composers-Saturday, March 13th at 7:30pm Good Shepherd Community Center. An educational musical program led by the all women chamber ensemble, L'Ensemble highlights women composers both historically and present day. Reception immediately following the show inside the community room, lower level, where you will have the opportunity to meet the artists and performers of the program.
C. Easter Egg Dying-Saturday March 27th, 2pm-4pm on Riverwalk Lawn.
Come out and dye eggs for the upcoming community Easter Egg Hunt. All Ages welcome. In case of rain, we will meet at the Riverwalk Bar and Grill (425 Main Street).
D. Easter Egg Hunt-Sunday, March 28th, 1:30pm- Ages 2-4; 2:30pm- Ages 5-12;
At Blackwell Park-In association with Riverwalk Bar and Grill.

Whatever your interest, come on out and participate.

Finally, no matter the snow and deluge, spring is coming.
This message also published as the RIOC column in the 2/27/10 Main Street WIRE.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Local Photography Student Sought For Roosevelt Island Parks & Recreation - Did Amy Poehler Start This Way?

You Tube Video of Parks & Recreation

Are you interested in working with some of the wacky folks over at Parks & Recreation? No, not the one on TV with Amy Poehler but our very own Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Parks & Recreation Department.

They sent me the following message:
RIOC's Parks and Recreation Department is looking for a local photography student to collaborate on an exciting web-based project commencing this spring. For details, please contact Donna Masly at or 212.832.4563.
Could be fun.

Roosevelt Island Youth Program After School Cookshop Classroom - Register Today Kids

New Red Bus Schedule During Roosevelt Island Tram Outage - Additional Stop At Seniors Center And Extra Red Bus For Returning 3:30PM Manhattan Students

The Red Bus Schedule to Queens and Manhattan during the Roosevelt Island Tram outage has been revised as shown in the image below. The new schedule includes an additional Red Bus Stop at the Seniors Center at 546 Main Street and a 3:30 PM weekday bus shuttle from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan with a return from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island at 4 PM.

Revised Red Bus Schedule Image From RIOC

The additional afternoon bus shuttle was scheduled for the returning school kids. According to RIOC President Steve Shane:
Since the 3:30 bus was added at the special behest of Matt Katz for the returning kids from school, please do whatever that can be done to get the word out to the community. I am presuming that during the months of July and August, will not be necessary as the school kids will either be away at camp or in any event, not attending a Manhattan school.
Everything else is the same.

During rush hour weekday mornings, the Red Bus Shuttle will pick up passengers in Southtown near the Riverwalk Bar & Grill on the half hour starting at 7 AM until 9:30 AM, stopping 5 minutes later at the Seniors Center (546 Main Street), 5 minutes after that at the Q102 stop across from PS/IS 217 and then proceed to Queens Plaza South and Jackson Avenue where residents can take the E, G, R, V, 7, W, or N subway lines. The shuttle bus trip to Queens subway will take approximately a half hour from Southtown.

During non-rush hour weekdays, the Red Bus Shuttle will pick up passengers in Southtown near the Riverwalk Bar & Grill on the hour starting at 10 AM until 2:00 PM, stopping 5 minutes later at the Seniors Center, 5 minutes after that at the Q102 stop across from PS/IS 217 and then proceed to Second Avenue and 59th Street. Return trips from Manhattan will be on the hour starting at 10:30 AM until 2:30 PM. The shuttle bus trip to Manhattan will also take approximately a half hour from Southtown.

Between 3-7 PM weekdays there will be no Red Bus Shuttle service to or from Manhattan due to rush hour traffic, except for the 3:30 PM school bus shuttle to and from Manhattan. The Red Bus Shuttle will resume at 7 PM to Manhattan on the hour until 11 PM with returns from Manhattan starting at 7:30 PM until 11:30 PM.

Weekend Red Bus service to Manhattan will be on the hour starting at 10 AM until 11 PM with return trip on the hour starting at 10:30 AM until 11:30 PM.

Regular Fares will be $1, Seniors, Disabled and children 5-16 years of age 50 cents.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Any Interest In A Roosevelt Island Public Compost? Food Scraps, Dirt And Worms Equals A Little More Green

You Tube Video of New York City Composting

Received the following question from a Roosevelt Island Southtown resident:
Would you know whether there is a public compost on Roosevelt Island? And if not, who would be the contact person to ask if this could be initiated?
Collection could be easily organized during the Saturday Farmers Market session.
Very much looking forward to hearing from you.
It's not the first time a resident has been inquiring about establishing a public compost for Roosevelt Island. In 2008 a reader asked:
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 green market 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
Commenting on the post, Roosevelt Island 360 reported:
During the non-Winter months we bring our biodegradable fruit and vergetable scraps to the RI Garden Club. They do not want any paper, meat, or fish scraps. Contact Ron from the club to see what can be done or if there is a need during the Winter months.
Earlier today, I asked RIOC President Steve Shane and VP Of Operations Fernando Martinez:
I received an inquiry from a reader regarding composting food scraps on Roosevelt Island. Do you know if this is done on Roosevelt Island? I think the Octagon has or had such a system set up but I believe it is just for their residents.

Would RIOC be able to or interested in establishing a compost system on an Island wide basis?
Mr. Shane replied:
I suggest they contact the Garden Club. We are just finishing up a training series with the Cornell School for our grounds personnel and perhaps it might be considered in the future. We already have a rodent problem to which we pay a lot of attention and one must be careful, especially in our marine environment.
Here's some more information on Composting and the Roosevelt Island Garden Club.

UPDATE 4:30 PM - Mr. Shane forwards this message from RIOC's Parks and Recreation Manager Michael Smith on Roosevelt Island composting:
I totally agree. That's definitely not the type of composting we would want on our Island. Our composting for the future will consists of saw dust and leaves.
I followed up by asking Mr. Shane:
Thank you for forwarding Michael's email message.

What is Michael referring to when he says "it is not the type of composting we would want on our Island"? The You Tube video or something else.

Also, he mentions that there are plans for future composting. What are they?
Mr. Shane replied:
The raw vegetable product which would attract/feed our indigenous rodent population. We are looking at leaves, sawdust composting at some appropriate site, as yet undetermined.

Whole Foods Market Coming Close To Roosevelt Island On 57th Street & Second Avenue - Just 2 Blocks From New Roosevelt Island Tram Station

Image From 250 E 57th

This post from August 2008 reported via NY Observer that Whole Foods signed on as the anchor retail tenant for a new mixed use development project to be located only minutes from the Roosevelt Island Tram Manhattan Station on 2nd Avenue and 57th Street. A Fine Blog via Curbed reports that demolition has recently begun on the project.
... It has begun, finally! The public/private venture of RFK (Robert K. Futterman) at 57th Street and Second Avenue is underway in earnest!

... As for Whole Foods? It looks pretty solid at this point, at least if you take the 250 East 57th Street website at face value.
Image Of Future 2nd Avenue 57th Street Whole Foods From A Fine Blog

According to Crains New York, the Second Avenue & 57 Street Whole Foods will open in in 2012.
... Whole Foods is planning to open in two years at the corner of East 57th Street and Second Avenue, a location considered too far south to impact the neighborhood....
Whole Foods close to Roosevelt Island in 2012 - just about the time that the Roosevelt Island Tram resumes service following the completion of the Modernization Program. (Just kidding about the Tram - It is supposed to be ready for service in six months, late August/early September 2010).

Now, if we can get a Trader Joe's close by - that would be heaven!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Resolution On Blackwell Park - Community Consensus Is Keep Green & Less Is More

Aerial View Image Of Blackwell Park From Judith's Gallery

What's going on with the Blackwell Park Master Plan? The last we heard was that any plan was on hold by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) until a consensus was reached by the Roosevelt Island community through the Blackwell Park Task Force operating under the auspices of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA).

Blackwell House and Park

Below is Roosevelt Island's community consensus on Blackwell Park Master Plan in the form of a RIRA resolution.

Let it be known that the following Action was taken at a Meeting of the Common Council of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association on February 3, 2010:

Adopted by the RIRA Common Council – February 3, 2010

Whereas the Roosevelt Island community was invited to participate in the conceptual planning for Blackwell Park, and

Whereas a small Task Force, including two RIRA delegates was convened last July for that purpose, and

Whereas that Task Force has expanded to include more Islanders who are stakeholders in the Park and/or experts in various aspects of park planning, and

Whereas that expanded Task Force has coalesced into the Blackwell Park sub-committee of the RIRA Planning Committee with Matthew Katz and Judy Berdy as co-chairs, and

Whereas the sub-committee has been asked to present its findings to Rosina Abramson and RIOC, therefore

We resolve that the following conclusions be factored into the conceptual and design planning for Blackwell Park:

• That changes to Blackwell Park be considered more as renewal and maintenance upgrading rather than rethinking a park that has served the needs of Islanders well for decades. Less is more.
• That the Blackwell Park project be considered in the context of Roosevelt Island park planning as a whole and that budgeting for this project be considered as just one component of the Island’s capital needs.
• That the two basketball courts remain in their current positions and will be accessible and barrier-free. The area between the courts will contain spectator seating.
• That the playgrounds for both older and younger children will be in such proximity to one another that parents can monitor children in both from a single vantage point. This flat area will include seating and stroller storage for those supervising children in the playgrounds.
• That a water fountain for children to play in must be included.
• That the entrance to these playgrounds will be within Blackwell Park rather than at the periphery for safety and within a controlled space.
• That the wholesale moving or removal of mature trees will not be considered but that other landscaping, such as trimming back hedges, will be accomplished.
• That the significant slope of the area will be utilized to provide green space for mixed use and to provide an appropriate sledding hill. Slopes will be wheelchair accessible.
• That, to accommodate surface tree roots, an appropriate surface will be found to replace concrete walking areas.
• That areas adjacent to the East Channel steam vents will be set aside for exercise equipment.
• That no overpass should be considered to the East Channel Promenade.
• That an ADA/Landmarks Commission compliant, barrier-free ramp for disabled access to Blackwell House, similar to “Plan A” (as presented to the sub-committee) but including additional area for plantings and endorsed by RIDA, will be included.
• That the “Kiley Bosk” area just north of Blackwell House will have room for future food service, including tables and chairs.
• That bathroom facilities will be a part of the final plan, either within the Park or adjacent to it at 504 Main Street, if a use for this building that would include public rest rooms can be arrived at prior to the drafting of construction plans.
• That components of the old Tram, to be replaced starting in March, will be use to create an industrial sculpture facility preferably at Motorgate, but in any event, will not be placed in Blackwell Park.

That the committee shall be included in all subsequent planning stages such as design and construction elements.
Here's some additional information on Roosevelt Island's Blackwell Park Master Plan situation.

Google Maps Suggests Walking Across East River During Roosevelt Island Tram Outage & Watch Tram Cabin Removed From Jackson Hole Cable

Roosevelt Island Tram Image From RIOC

One week left to go before the Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization Program begins next Monday morning starting with the Tram's shutdown on March 1 at 2:00 AM. With the Tram not scheduled to resume operations until late August (hopefully), Google Maps has another commuting suggestion besides the F train, Red Bus and other previous discussed means of getting off of Roosevelt Island - walking across the East River.

According to this Tweet from PamsVulcan:
The map on my iPhone has great faith in me - directions to walk on water from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan
Image By PamsVulcan From Yfrog

Google Maps shows that it will only take two minutes to cross the East River. Lots of luck if you try this.

Ever wonder what it takes to remove the Tram Cabins from their cable? Well, this is what it looked like when the Jackson Hole Wyoming Tram Cable cars were taken down while that system was updated.

You Tube Video of Jackson Hole Tram Cabin Removal