Saturday, November 20, 2010

Roosevelt Island On The Web Links

Roosevelt Island on the Web Links as appearing in the November 20, 2010 Main Street WIRE.

Roosevelt Islander - Public Safety/Youth Center Basketball Game
Roosevelt Island School G&T Class Blog - PS/IS 217 Art Residency Program
RIOC - Audio Webcast of Real Estate Development Committee Meeting
RIOC - Community Outreach Basketball Game
RIOC - Organizational Chart
RIOC - Director Terms & Bios
See Click Fix - Reporting System Welcomes Roosevelt Island
Roosevelt Island 360 - Can Giants Settle On Roosevelt Island
Picasa - Roosevelt Island Youth Program Visits Big Apple Circus
Judith's Gallery - Tram Pictures On Marathon Sunday
Curbed - Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin Lettering Font
NY Times City Room Blog - Takes A Ride On New Roosevelt Island Tram
Gothamist - Tram Cabins Passing Over East River
Curbed - Music Video Tribute To Roosevelt Island Tram
Heavy Lift - FDR Memorial Blocks Get Lifted
A Girl Bakes In New York - Roosevelt Island Farmers Market Red Velvet Cupcakes
Minneapolis Star Tribune - Roosevelt Island, a Planned Utopian community?
Innovations Harvard - Roosevelt Island Parking Sensors
Elephant Journal - Roosevelt Island Football Lessons From the Dalai Lama
A Nation Of Moms - Roosevelt Island Teacher Plays Children's Music
Queens Crapper - Are RIOC and Battery Park Authority Still Needed
PM Forum - Poma Works On Tram

Friday, November 19, 2010

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Soccer Playoffs & Championships - Season's Over - Great Job By All Involved, Players, Coaches, Parents and Youth Program - Basketball's Next!


The Roosevelt Island Youth Program Soccer season is now over after completing their playoff and Championship rounds the past two Saturdays. I attended portions of games on both weekends and was greatly impressed with the quality of play exhibited by all the teams from the very young kids


to the older kids and teens


as well as the good sportsmanship displayed


and the participation of adult coaches and spectators.

Here's the final soccer recap of the season from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Inc.
Super Championship Saturday

November 13th, 2010

The Season has come to a close on an outstanding day with picture perfect weather. We could not have asked for a better day to play soccer, we were blessed with a great field and we had great weather all season long which helped make this season one of our best. Most importantly, we had a great group of coaches who volunteered their time to make our program a great success. The Roosevelt Island Youth Program Executive Director Charles DeFino, RIYP’s Board of Directors, James “Jimmie” Herlihy (our Soccer Coordinator) and the parents of the 265 youth who played want to thank everyone for your hard work and time.

Congratulations to our Champions!!!!!! 

Minors - Royal Blue beat Light Blue.  A hard fought game which ended in a shootout with Royal coming out on top. Both teams had rookie coaches who did a great job. The Consolation game between Grey/Red was won in the second over time by Grey so we had a shoot out and a double overtime win - not bad at all.

We hope all our new coaches got bitten by the bug and will come back next year. Your enthusiasm and hard work showed yesterday and  all season in the way your teams played.

Juniors - Royal Team beat Red in an awesome match won in double overtime. This match had it all including bouncing goals, headers and some dead on shots. A truly classic moment was when after a hard fought game the Enama twins embraced each other, a sign that these kids get what the league is trying to teach and this type of sportsmanship was shown throughout the day even at the awards ceremony when sportsmanship and most valuable awards were given out. The Consolation game with Grey winning over Light Blue was also a tight match with some very good passing and scoring. Grey got the win after going the entire season without a victory -  great coaching job keeping these kids spirits up all season.

Both the Minors and Junior Divisions coaches did an outstanding job, the foundation laid by these coaches will only enhance the level of play in the future.

Senior Division - Light Blue Tsunami produced an undefeated season with 4 ties.  They played great soccer and were a pleasure to watch beat an always improving Grey team. Crisp passes, new plays every week and a team that definitely took on the personalities of their coaches. The Consolation Game was also a great game to watch the teams playing their hearts out! The Royal team won in the second shootout 1-0.

This was a great season. The coaches worked hard, the staff of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program and our Soccer coordinator James Herlihy were up to the task and we ended the season by giving out 325 trophies, 460 hot dogs, 2000 chicken nuggets and over 600 drinks to players and their families

Basketball Next

Here are some more images from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program playoffs and championships.

More pictures here too and previous reports from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Soccer Program.

Hudson/Related Companies One Of The Two Master Leaseholder Bidders To Take Over Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Stores - Is Capitalism Finally Finding It's Way To Roosevelt Island

 RIOC President LeslieTorres (left) & RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin (center) at Real Estate Committee Meeting (public in background)

Updating earlier post on Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Committee Meeting held last Wednesday regarding Main Street Master Leaseholder RFP, I have confirmed that Hudson/Related Companies, developers of the Southtown Riverwalk buildings, are one of the two bidders. David Kramer of the Hudson Companies informed me that the Hudson/Related team has made a bid but declined to reveal specific details, leaving that up to RIOC to decide how and when to make the information public.

It is impossible to make any judgements about the proposed Main Street Master leaseholder without knowing the specific details of any of the bids and who the second bidder is (some members of the public attending the meeting speculated that the second bidder was the Rivercross Co-op, though not confirmed), but it is great news that an experienced and well qualified private sector real estate organization such as Hudson/Related has decided to participate in the process and may eventually take over the Main Street retail corridor from RIOC (a NY State Public Benefit Corporation) which does not have the expertise to be in the retail management business.

The Hudson/Related team did a great job in bringing quality retail services to Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk Commons area with national chain brands Starbucks and Duane Reade as well as local stores such as the Riverwalk Bar & Grill, Nonno's Focacceria and Fuji East Japanese Restaurant.

View Larger Map

It is exciting to think that Hudson/Related, or some other private sector developer might be able to similarly revitalize Roosevelt Island's current Soviet era looking Main Street. Stay tuned - slowly, but surely, Capitalism and the 21st Century are finding their way to Roosevelt Island.

Main Street Image Of Roosevelt Island Is The Village From Glark

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Center Kiosk Opens Next Week - See The Renovations and Buy Roosevelt Island Stuff

Image of Restored RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk From Judy Berdy

The newly renovated Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitors Kiosk is just about ready to open. RIHS President Judy Berdy reports:

The RIHS Visitor Center Kiosk will be open within the next week at the RI Tram Plaza.

The Kiosk is featuring new articles including great new tram design tee-shirts and caps.
Soon to arrive are new tram jewelry, old and new tram models.

Favorite gift items including our book "Images of America- Roosevelt Island' and "Images of America-Queensboro Bridge", F subway train models, lanyards and tote bags are back.
Visitors Center Kiosk Interior Image From Judy Berdy
Stop by and we will have great holiday gifts for everyone.
Ms. Berdy also shares a slide show of photographs from the Visitors Center Kiosk renovation from start to finish.  Ms. Berdy adds:
... new exterior lighting was installed outside the kiosk. We have 4 uplight spots highlighting the north and south sides. It makes the building gorgeous glowing in cream color and copper.
More on the Visitors Center Kiosk and it's interesting history here.

UPDATE 6:10 PM - Pictures of caps and Tee Shirts from RIHS
caps $18-  tees $15- sizes kids s m l xl adults  s m l xl xxl xxxl

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Tram Resumes Service Soon After Thanksgiving, More Parking Spaces, Email Complaint System, Roosevelt Island Projects & Upcoming Events

Image of RIOC President Leslie Torres

RIOC President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
Date: November 17, 2010

It finally looks like autumn on Roosevelt Island. The foliage is now a mosaic of orange, yellow, and red and preparations are being made for the approaching holidays. I have been fortunate enough to see the fallen leaves in our soon to open Southpoint Park, which opens early spring 2011, as well as the FDR Memorial, currently under construction. The views and natural environment in those parks is magnificent and they will be a wonderful resource for residents in the near future.

Next-door to the upcoming parks, the Aerial Tram’s beautiful new cabins now wear Roosevelt Island’s name. They have been running back and forth to Manhattan as the New York State Department of Labor completes final testing and inspection this week. Feedback from licensing agencies has been very positive and all parties involved hope for passengers to be shuttling across the East River soon after Thanksgiving.

This season will have lots to celebrate. The Annual RIOC Tree Lighting at Blackwell House Plaza is Friday, December 3rd at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome; bring an appetite for holiday treats and warm up with hot chocolate and cider. Also, be ready for a photo with Santa who may drop by with little gifts for all kids.

Best wishes to all our Roosevelt Island family. I wish you all happiness and health while you enjoy your visits with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

Projects Underway:

Good Shepherd Side Door Replacement Stained Glass Repairs - The side entrance door has been replaced, making general access to the building easier and safer. Though currently grey primer in color, they will be returned to their R.I. Red glory shortly. Access policies and procedures have not changed. We also removed two stained glass side windows in the chapel for repair which have since been reinstalled.

Main Street Parking - 34 new parking spaces have been added to Main Street next to the subway station as part of a pilot parking program that will test electronic devices that monitor parking spaces and relay availability information. Data is then transmitted wirelessly in real-time to smartphones, dynamic street signs, websites or handhelds. Using this information, drivers are led directly to available parking. Public Safety is also assisted in enforcement, policy, maintenance of roads and parking. If the pilot is successful, the system may be applied throughout the Island. Main Street’s West Road along the southern Promenade has been routed to accommodate the additions so that traffic is one- way northbound. Installation of electronic sensors began November 17.

Motorgate Parking Garage Refurbishing - Beginning on Friday, November 19th the entire 7th floor is available for parking followed by rooftop parking access the following week.

Octagon Field Border Landscaping - The trees removed during the soccer field restoration have been replaced by ADM Landscaping. They include five Honey Locusts, five White Fringetrees, three Sweetgums, six Red Oaks, three Golden Raintrees, eight Panicle Hydraneas and one Flowering Crabapple.

Public Safety HVAC roof equipment sound attenuation - An acoustic enclosure has been designed and bid. RIOC will bring a recommendation to the Board for approval in December to proceed with this project.

Z-Brick Resetting - Between 9/1/10 and 11/15/10 approximately 7,200 square feet of z-brick pavers on Main Street were reset, thus helping to eliminate pot holes and low spots that are a hazard to vehicles and pedestrians. We plan to ask the Board for approval of additional funds to continue these efforts in the early spring.

Projects in the Pipeline:

AVAC Undergroud Piping - During inspection of the system piping the “moles” from ENVAC (Swedish AVAC manufacturer) discovered seriously worn areas in the 20” diameter piping under Gristedes and in the east-west run between Roosevelt Landings and Capobianco Field. RIOC has received a proposal from ENVAC to protect the wear areas by welding steel plates inside the piping. Excavation and pipeline replacement in those areas would be far more expensive and disruptive. RIOC will be making a recommendation to the Board in December to proceed with the ENVAC proposal.

Events, Recreation, & Community:

Roosevelt Island 311 Email Complaint System - We have now implemented a new email comment service, Roosevelt Island 311, which will allow residents to contact RIOC on any island related issue. Whether it is a question, complaint or hazard that you may see while walking down Main Street, we advise everyone to email us at RI311@RIOC.COM so that we can address your issue in a timely

RIOC Community Office Hours - Residents are invited to come to the RIOC office at 591 Main Street on Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. to bring any concern or issue to our RIOC representative. For more information, please call 212-832- 4540.

Parks and Recreation - RIOC has implemented a new hotline for general parks and recreation information which can be reached by calling the general RIOC line (212-832-4540 ext. 504). It includes updated info on the tennis courts, Sportspark programs, special schedules for holidays, field rental procedures, and guidance for filming, photography, and special event permitting. As always, you can continue to check the website for last minute changes to expanded pool, ping-pong and basketball hours at Sportspark. Also, check out the exhibit in Sportspark which traces Roosevelt Island’s founding and development. The exhibit was curated by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society using materials from the RIOC archive.
A version of the RIOC President's column also appears on RIOC's web site and the November 20, 2010 Main Street WIRE.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Civil Air Patrol Program Comes To Roosevelt island - Learn To Fly An Airplane, Earn Pilot's License & Gain Valuable Leadership and Emergency Services Skills

Would you like to learn how to fly an airplane, earn your pilot's license and gain valuable emergency service skills? If so, an exciting new program coming to Roosevelt Island with the Civil Air Patrol may be of interest to you. Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Compliance Officer Sylvia Feliciano explains:
Please be advised a new and wonderful opportunity, for both children (ages 12 - 18), and adults, is coming to Roosevelt Island. The Civil Air Patrol (CAP), a U.S. Air Force Auxiliary program, will be forming a squadron on Roosevelt Island.

The Civil Air Patrol provides opportunities and exposure to skills and resources for cadets and senior members. For instance, cadets (ages 12-18) will learn how to fly an airplane, and with dedication to the program, can earn his/ her pilot's license. they will also be provided with aerospace education and will learn emergency service skills. Likewise, as senior members, adults will be trained in many of the same skills. Senior members are also provided with leadership training.

The program also provides opportunities to earn scholarships, compete in national competitions, along with an array of other benefits.

For more information on the Civil Air Patrol and the benefits it provides, please visit

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Lt. Colonel Van Don Williams, via email at
Ms. Feliciano adds:
I am a member and have been since last year. I've seen firsthand how cadets benefit from the skills and resources CAP provides. The aerospace education is fun and interactive. To know children can learn how to fly an airplane was unbelievable to me and I know the children on Roosevelt Island will definitely benefit from the program and have fun with it; most importantly, they will learn and take away much from it. I am ecstatic knowing the program is something they will be able to be a part of.
Ms. Feliciano should be commended for initiating this great new program for Roosevelt Island.

Here's a small sample of the Civil Air Patrol Cadet program.

You Tube Video Of Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program

RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting Today To Review Roosevelt Island Main Street Master Leaseholder Proposals

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.

The agenda for the meeting will be:

1. Review of the Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc. Report on the Commercial Master Lease Proposals; and

2. 2. Extension of Trellis Lease.
More on the Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Request For Proposals here.

An audio webcast of the meeting will be made available soon thereafter (usually with 2 business days).

UPDATE  11/18 - The Jones Lang LaSalle representative reported at the Real Estate Committee meeting that there were 2 bidders for the RFP. After reporting the number of bidders, the RIOC Real Estate Committee went into executive session and the public, including me, were asked to leave. The reason given for holding the rest of the meeting in Executive Session was so that no confidential information be made public that could impact any negotiations between the Master Leaseholder bidders and RIOC/Jones Lang LaSalle. No other information regarding the Master Leaseholder RFP was provided by RIOC.

Also, Trellis did not get any lease extension at this time. Questions remain regarding Trellis complying with previous fire safety and ventilation issues and need to be resolved by Trellis before any lease extension can be considered by RIOC.

More later.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Roosevelt Island Community Outreach Basketball Game Between Public Safety Department And Youth Program - Great Initiative, But Where Was The Rest Of The Community?

Pre Game Pep Talk By Chief Guerra (holding Basketball)To Both Blue & Grey Teams

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Director Keith Guerra reports:
On Thursday, November 11th, the Public Safety Department and the Youth Center hosted it's 2nd Annual Connect  Basketball Game.  The game was held at the Roosevelt Island Sportspark Complex and featured some of the neighborhood's most talented ball players.  Players from the PSD merged with those from the community to play a very balanced and exciting game.  The Gray team was victorious by a score of 62-59 over the Blue Team.

Many thanks to Charlie and Steve from the Youth Center for their involvement.  Thanks also go out to Millie Reyes, our Crossing Guard and Michelle Williams, our Youth Officer for distributing the much needed refreshments.
Mr. DeFino Standing On Far Right Next To Chief Guerra

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Director Charlie DeFino adds:
Once again the Roosevelt Island Youth Program and Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department collaborated by bringing young adults, youth center staff and public safety officers to attend our second special get to know each other basketball game at Sportspark on Thursday November 11th followed by some good old fashioned getting to know each other over refreshments and food provided by RIOC.

This program will be on-going and will evolve to other areas outside of basketball to continue it's mission of "Connecting" the community, public safety and youth center.
The Community Outreach Basketball Game was originally intended to be played between members of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department and parents from the Roosevelt Island Youth Center. I think when the parents realized the game was going to be played full court

 Grey Team Taking Ball Up The Full Length Of Court

instead of half-court they had second thoughts about making that long run up and down the floor and decided to let the kids play instead.

The game was well played with some great shots made



and jockeying for position to get some tough under the board rebounds


which sometimes resulted in a trip to the foul line.


At the final buzzer the Grey Team won 62 -59 over the Blue team, the players lined up to shake hands and congratulate each other on a well played game.


Good job by the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department and Roosevelt Island Youth Program in helping to establish relationships between their members. Also, I was pleased to see RIOC VP Of Operations Fernando Martinez at the game lending his support to the community outreach initiative. This can only help our community.

I did find it concerning that there was not much of a showing of Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) delegates or other members of the public present to root on the players and support this joint initiative by the Public Safety Department and Youth Program to better relationships in our community. I often hear complaints at RIRA meetings that the Public Safety Department only gets involved with members of the community in an enforcement capacity and does not engage on a positive basis with Roosevelt Island young people. Well, in this instance the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department, Roosevelt Island Youth Program and those who played in the basketball game stepped up to help improve our community. RIRA and the complainers did not.

Perhaps the new RIRA Common Council Delegates and other members of the public were not aware of this event. Hopefully, they will be for the next Community Connecting event.

New York Times Reporter Takes Test Ride On New Roosevelt Island Tram

Image From John Fischetti

Following up on yesterday's Roosevelt Island Tram lettering post, it is clear that one need not be a Roosevelt Island resident to be interested in the progress of the new Tram. An Upper East Side reader sent in the above Tram picture taken from his Manhattan apartment and a New York Times reporter took a sneak preview ride on the new Tram with a POMA representative (contractors for the new Tram)

The NY Times City Room Blog has more on the new Tram.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lettering Placed On Roosevelt Island Tram Cabins - Service Expected To Resume End Of November Pending Safety Inspection Certificate From Department Of Labor

The date for the return of the Roosevelt Island Tram is getting closer and closer. As reported last week, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) VP Of Operations Fernando Martinez informed a gathering of Southtown residents that construction is nearly complete and the last remaining item to accomplish before the Tram can resume service is obtaining approval from the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) whose inspectors will be on Roosevelt Island this week performing safety certification inspections. Mr. Martinez believes that subject to the DOL's safety certification, Roosevelt Island Tram service will resume by the end of November.

Take a look at the picture above taken yesterday by Roosevelt Island photographer Duc Le and figure out what is now different about the new Tram Cabins?

Yep, that's right - the lettering is now on the Tram Cabin doors and it says ROOSEVELT ISLAND - not, thankfully, RIOC.  The Tram lettering work began last Friday afternoon

and was finished later that evening. Mr. Le reported:
Tonight, I took this shot of the tram just seconds after the construction crew finished placing the lettering.  Another step closer to launch, hopefully!

On Sunday afternoon the Roosevelt Island North

 Image Of Roosevelt Island North Tram Cabin

Tram Cabin with lettering made one of several test runs across the East River to the Manhattan Station at Second Avenue and 60th Street.

Hopefully, we can come up with better Tram Cabin names than just North and South.

By way of the timeback machine and World NYC Subway, here's what the Roosevelt Island Tram cabins looked like in 1976.

1976 Roosevelt Island Tram Image From George Cuhaj Via World NYC Subway

1976 Roosevelt Island Tram Image From George Cuhaj Via World NYC Subway

1976 Roosevelt Island Tram Image From Matt Richman via World NYC Subways

To commemorate the new Roosevelt Island Tram, replica Cabin T-Shirts are now available at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitor Kiosk.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another New Vendor For The Roosevelt Island Farmers Market - Red Velvet Cupcakes & Rice Pilaf

Image of Vadim & Friends At Roosevelt Island Farmers Market

The Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market continues to expand with new offerings and vendors. Vadim (pictured on the right) and his friends are offering Red Velvet cupcakes and what I think was a rice pilaf dish. They also provided their own music.  I did not try the Red Velvet Cupcakes but I did sample the rice pilaf and it was very tasty.

Blogger, A Girl Bakes In New York, makes the Red Velvet Cupcakes and writes:
... I've also recently been commissioned by a coworker to make 100 cupcakes for selling at his stall at a farmer's market on Roosevelt Island this weekend....
... The cupcakes for Roosevelt Island are red velvet (this flavor continues to haunt me) with cream cheese frosting, and will be decorated with a red "RI" for Roosevelt Island (but whenever I see it abbreviated I keep thinking Rhode Island...).  Red and white are the colors because according to my coworker, red and white are the island's colors.  Probably because of the Roosevelt Island Tram...
Stop by and say hi to Vadim and his friends next Saturday at the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market. Let me know how the Red Velvet Cupcakes taste. If they come up with a cupcake with a peanut butter filling - count me in to buy several.