Saturday, May 14, 2011

No Manhattan Bound F Train Subway Service From Roosevelt Island To Manhattan This Weekend - RIOC To Run Tram 24 Hours and 2 Tram Cabins From 12 PM to 7 PM

As reported in post earlier this week, there will be no Manhattan Bound F Train Subway Service from Roosevelt Island this weekend

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced that they will be running two of the Tram Cabins at certain times during the weekend.

This weekend (12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, May 14 - 16), Manhattan-bound F trains will run via the M line from Roosevelt Ave to 47-50 Sts. The Manhattan-bound F train will not stop at the Roosevelt Island Station.

RIOC will provide 24-hour Tram and Red Bus service during the weekend to minimize the inconvenience to Island residents.

There will be 2 Trams running during the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM on Saturday and Sunday. At all other times that weekend, both Trams will run at 15 minute intervals.
UPDATE 5/15 - Roosevelt Island Resident Carol Elbaz was on a crowded Tram Saturday morning before both Tram Cabins were in service, took this picture

and asks: 
Tram packed over capacity. Is this legal.
UPDATE 7:10 PM - A reader commented:
Love this blog, but leaving that comment with the photo is misleading, and potentially upsetting to people who don't know any better...

There is a digital readout on the tram operator panel, in large red numerals, of the tram passenger weight, given in percent. Even on mornings when the tram is _packed_ with people (ie no strollers and no bikes) the readout is rarely above 50% capacity.

So, chill out. The tram is not being overloaded!!! :)
Another reader adds:
The tram has weight sensors and would not run if it was overloaded. How did the poster of the picture know it was over capacity?
I don't think the photo or the comment is misleading. It may be factually wrong in terms of the crowded Tram being over capacity but overcrowding is certainly an impression of some Roosevelt Island Tram riders.

I have heard similar comments regarding Tram overcrowding during certain times from many other people. The way to counter these claims is for RIOC to provide additional information explaining to the riders of the Roosevelt Island Tram what procedures are being maintained to insure the proper operation and safety of the Tram such as the weight sensors mentioned by the two readers above.

I took the Tram over to Manhattan earlier this afternoon. Here's the crowd waiting at the Roosevelt Island Tram Station

and inside the Tram Cabin on the way to Manhattan

this afternoon with both Tram Cabins operating. The Tram operator did leave several people at the Tram Station on this particular trip explaining that the Cabin was at full capacity. I don't know if the weight sensors were used by the Tram Cabin Operator to determine the Cabin was full or if it was just because nobody else could fit in.

On another Tram topic, has anyone else noticed that the Tram appears to be making the Trip back and forth at a slower speed recently?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Jerry Seinfeld's First Television Comedy Routine Joked About Roosevelt Island Tram - A Terrific Amusement Ride For New York City

Did you know that the Roosevelt Island Tram was the subject of Jerry Seinfeld's very first television comedy routine?

You Tube Video of Jerry Seinfeld's Roosevelt Island Tram Joke

According to the NY Times Art Beat:
... Among the video clips that will appear on that site is a recording of Mr. Seinfeld’s very first television appearance in 1977 on “Celebrity Cabaret,” a comedy series that was recorded in New York and syndicated nationally. In that clip (which you can see below in a less-than-pristine format), a bespectacled Mr. Seinfeld – about 21 or 22 at the time, and far less polished than we’re used to seeing him – tells an embryonic joke about the Roosevelt Island Tramway and the New York-based amusement-park rides it might inspire....
Here's a quick one minute trip on the Tram from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island. Sometimes, near the Tower's, the Tram does shake a bit giving the sensation to some of a Roller Coaster

You Tube Video of 1 Minute Tram Ride

but, I agree with this young man's description of the Tram
... it is beautiful, what a sight...

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Tram Poem

Gowanus Music Club Comes To Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk Commons Tomorrow May 14 With 10 Youth Rock Bands and 2 Dance Groups - Same Day As Health & Fitness Day, Can We Handle All This Activity? Sure, We Can

You Tube Video Of Gowanus Music Club

It looks like there will be a lot of excitement and activity on Roosevelt Island tomorrow, May 14. In addition to all of the festivities surrounding Roosevelt Island Health and Fitness Day, the Riverwalk Commons will be the site of a live music and dance showcase from the Gowanus Music Club. According to Mommy Poppins:
10 youth rock bands from the spring semester along with  2 local dance troupes: Niall O'Leary's Irish Dance Troupe and Brooklyn's Dancewave company will be featured in the showcase.  There will also be food and beverages.
Rain date is Sunday, May 15th.
More on the Gowanus Music Club from their web site:
GOWANUS MUSIC CLUB strives to give kids, ages 8 to 16, an opportunity outside of the classroom to play music together in a friendly, safe and productive environment. We instruct kids both individually and as a group on their chosen instruments. Our goal is to help students develop ear training, write songs, and “rock out” together as a band. Beyond that, GMC strives to foster the kind of confidence in kids that inspires them to make positive choices, build strong creative expression, and seek collaborative relationships...
Two fun Roosevelt Island Saturday events.

Roosevelt Island Health & Fitness Day Saturday May 14 - Come Outdoors, Greet Your Friends, Meet New Neighbors and Have Some Health Fun!!!!

Image From RIOC

The Fifth Annual Roosevelt Island Health & Fitness Day takes place tomorrow, May 14 at Capobianco Field, Sportspark and the Child School Gym (566 Main Street).  There will be exciting and fun activities for kids and adults of all ages including Basketball Tournaments, Ice Skating, Rock Climbing, Ping Pong, Pilates, Spa Treatment, Health education and much, much more. Here's a list from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) with some of the activities planned.
Kids Activities

Kids’ activities include rock climbing, Pee Wee Tennis with Joyce Mincheff, a Kite Flying workshop with Curtis Jones, inflatable games and more!

Youth & Adult Health

The Spa Experience will be offering free back rubs.

Coler Goldwater Hospital is providing a blood pressure check, Wii Balance Training, Back Care, Upper- extremity strength testing and Nutrition Education activities.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering will be offering information about cancer and MSKCC.

Epilepsy Center for New York Presbyterian Hospital and HealthFirst will also be present.

Youth & Adult Fitness

Classes include Pilates with Karen Mann, Yoga with Deborah Orenstein, Tango with Leonardo & Olga, Island Bootcamp with Keisha Fuller and Aerobics with Barbara Parker as well as Zumba, hula hoop aerobics and spin classes.

Shakil’s School of Martial Arts will be performing a karate demonstration and teaching Self Defense Techniques for Seniors.

The Sportspark pool will be open and offering free recreational swimming, water aerobics and a chance to swim with the Marlins Swim Team.

Pet Activities

Bring your pet to Health and Fitness Day for free pet portraits, “Ask A Vet,” low-cost microchipping and more.
The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will have their own "Cafe" for the Day:
Come enjoy healthy food and snacks at our out door Cafe. This is a RIRA sponsored and the money you spend will go to helping us create new and exciting things on Roosevelt Island. Open from 10am-4pm on Sat. May 14th.

You will find us right next to 566 Main Street and our Skate RI. Once you are done skating come and have a bite with us and your friends. You don't have to skate to come, just come hungry.
More on the Ice Skating from RIRA:
When: Sat. May 14th come join us for a family event as part of Health & Fitness Day. We have 6 sessions starting at 10am on the hour till 3pm

Where: 566 Main Street

What: If you have skates it is free, we are asking if you can to make a donation to RIRA. If you don't have skates we are renting them for $10 per session. Come have fun with your family. Enjoy the first ever Skate RI.
It's a real fun day so come on out and have a good time like these folks did at last year's Roosevelt Island Health & Fitness Day.

Basketball Tournament

Ping Pong tournaments

Rock Climbing
Hackey Sack
Hula Hoop Demonstration


More pictures from the 2010 Roosevelt Island Health & Fitness Day here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Can Two Maple Trees At The Entrance To Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park Be Saved From Cutting Down? Here's A Sneak Peak At What Southpoint Park Looks Like Just Before It's July Opening - Hopefully

Image from Reader of Maple Trees At Southpoint Park Gate Entrance In Danger of Being Cut Down

I received the following plea from a Roosevelt Island resident hoping to save two Maple Trees in Front of the East Side entrance to Southpoint Park.
Down at the new Park, at South Point, I believe they are calling it Wild Gardens there are 2 beautiful Maple trees left untouched by the bulldozers. A lot of wildlife has disappeared since all the park construction as well as the beautiful trees and bushes that were down there....well, I have attached a picture of 2 Maples trees that are there at the left of the big new black iron gates as you approach the entrance...they are such nice trees. If you go down there, they have placed some rusted iron columns at the entrance to the gate, maybe an artistic touch, not sure, but the trees are so perfect right there at the gate.

They are so beautiful framing the entrance to the park is on the South Eastern side if you walk down behind Gold Water Hospital. The trees have been there many years and I hear they are tearing them down in the coming days...they have leveled every other tree and bush down there...I wonder why they would tear down 2 beautiful trees that frame the entrance to the park?

Several of us that are concerned about the trees being torn down. If you could post the picture and maybe just shed some light on saving some of the natural and wild trees and fauna at the new park that would be so cool.

I notice how barren and sterile the 1st part of the park looks, no shade to sit under, no fountain sending water up into the sky, not benches or places to have a picnic ... Have you been down there and check it out?

I hope that those 2 Maples that have been there 20 or 30 years will continue to live and provide shade and beauty to not just us that live here, but for others to visit and see and provide many memories about people meeting at the Maple tree on Roosevelt Island.
The reader's message was slightly edited by me.

After receiving the reader's message, I took a walk down to Southpoint Park. The gate was open

and a Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officer was stationed just outside of the Gate. I asked the Officer for permission to enter so I could take some photos but the Officer politely informed me that I could not at that time.

I did manage to take some photos of the new Wild Gardens/Green Room Park from just a couple of feet past the gate and did see some wildlife, these geese,

young trees and

and a grass lawn

as well as the two Maple Trees just in front of the Southpoint Park entrance framing the Citigroup Building in Long Island City.

Another reader asked when Southpoint Park was scheduled to open. I replied:
The northern portion of Southpoint Park, called Wild Gardens Green Room, is scheduled to open in July.

The southern portion of the Park, site of the Kahn/FDR Memorial, is not scheduled to open for at least another couple of years.

Did this post on the opening of Wild Gardens.
I am very much looking forward to the opening of Wild Gardens/Green Room on Roosevelt Island, although I think it may have a different name now but am not sure about that.

Here are some more pictures from just inside the gate of Southpoint Park and leaning over the top of the fence on the Western side of the park.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No Elevator Service Available at 63rd/Lexington Ave F Train Station Platform and No Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Service To Manhattan This Weekend

I noticed the elevator at the Lexington/63rd Street F Train downtown station platform was out of service yesterday. A flyer taped to the wall next to the elevator door indicated that the elevator will be out of service until May 13.

However, according to the MTA's Elevator and Escalator Status page, service on the Lexington/63rd Atreet F Train platform elevator will not be restored until May 17 (Click on image below to Enlarge):

Upon realizing that there was no elevator service at the Station, this gentleman was not very happy.

Although many of the Roosevelt Island residents who use this station can easily exit the Lexington/63rd Street Station via the escalators and stairs, there will be some of our neighbors who are disabled, elderly or traveling with strollers who will not be able to use the Station as long as the elevator is out of service.

Also, the MTA reports no Manhattan bound F train service from Roosevelt Island this weekend starting at 12:01 AM Saturday to 5 AM Monday May 14 - 16.

With A Tip Of The Hat To Jon Stewart, Here's A Roosevelt Island Moment of Zen

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Moment of Zen

More Zen-A-Day Moments here and from Jon Stewart as well.

Take a deep breath now.

Feel better?

Beginner Gaelic Lessons Today, Irish Folk Dancing Next Wednesday Plus More Classes and Events at the Roosevelt Island Public Library - Learn to Call Signals in Gaelic Like Peyton Manning

You Tube Video of Peyton Manning Signal Calling in Gaelic

NYPLteens tweets:
Want to know what “Slán Go Fóill” means? Come learn Gaelic and find out! Roosevelt Island - 4:00.
Beginner Gaelic lessons are being taught today, 4 PM, at the Roosevelt Island Public Library (524 Main Street):

Haileo and Slán Go Fóill: Gaelic for Beginners

From hello to goodbye, learn one of the oldest languages in Europe from skilled instructors. No need to kiss a stone before you start to gab. Conducted by The Irish Arts Center. For ages 12 to 18.
Next Wednesday, May 18, the Roosevelt Island Library will be teaching Irish Folk Dancing:
Get into the spirit of the Céilidh with traditional Irish music and dance. Learn the steps and show off your skills! Conducted by The Irish Arts Center. For ages 12 to 18.
More information on upcoming events at the Roosevelt Island Public Library here.

Update on Last Saturday's Roosevelt Island Bladder Cancer Awareness Walk

Image of Roosevelt Island BCAN Walkers at Lighthouse Park from William Baldwin

An update on last Saturday's Roosevelt Island Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) Walk from it's organizer, Roosevelt Island resident Vashti Livingston:
The BCAN(Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network) Bladder Cancer Awareness Day 5/7/2011 was great. 48 people participated and we raised about $5000 to date. Visitors came in from Florida, CT, NJ, and PA and New Yorkers who had never been to Roosevelt Island and were totally charmed by our unique part of New York.  Thanks to our sponsors ZFlow and Riverwalk Bar and Grill.
Image of Roosevelt Island BCAN Walkers at Riverwalk Bar & Grill from William Baldwin

More information of Bladder Cancer Awareness available here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Who Wants Some Roosevelt Island Ice Cream? Mr. Softee Is Waiting For You At The Tram Plaza -But Where Is The Good Humor Man?

Image of Mr. Softee Ice Cream Truck at Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza

If you are in the mood for some ice cream as you get off the Roosevelt Island Tram, why not order a cone

or some other tasty treat from the Mr. Softee truck parked at the Tram Plaza like these folks did yesterday afternoon.

Even in colder weather, outdoor ice cream is still good.

You Tube Video of Ordering Roosevelt Island Ice Cream

When I was a kid many years ago in Brooklyn, no sound in the summer was as welcome as the ringing bells of the Good Humor Truck as it turned the corner on my street

You Tube Video of Chicago Mr. Humor Truck

or the Mr. Softee Ice Cream Truck Jingle.

You Tube Video of Mr. Softee Jingle

Everything stopped. No more playing punchball, stickball or any other street game as we asked our parents for money so we could buy some ice cream.

Here's one more piece of ice cream nostalgia from a time long ago.

You Tube Video of Good Humor Ice Cream and Toy Truck

Did you hear that Mickey Mantle just hit one in the Bleachers!!!!

Roosevelt Island Summer Jobs Available for High School Graduates and College Students - Get Those Applications in Fast

You Tube Video on How Economy Effects Roosevelt Island Teens

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres May 6 report indicated:
...We are Hiring To help keep this Island beautiful throughout the summer, RIOC is once again recruiting for temporary summer staff positions. These opportunities are perfect for college students and graduating high school seniors. The minimum age requirement is 17 years. The positions will run from May 16th through September 9th, 2011.

We have several positions to be filled in a variety of departments, and are looking for hard working, energetic and upbeat candidates. Some of the work will be manual, and most will require working outdoors for the duration of the summer. Prior experience in gardening, cleaning, construction or manual labor is a plus, but not necessary.

We encourage Roosevelt Island’s student residents to apply. Interested candidates may apply through the Youth Center, by dropping a resume off at RIOC’s administrative office at 591 Main Street during business hours, or by e-mailing a resume to
I sent the following inquiry to Ms. Torres yesterday.
I understand from your most recent President's report that RIOC will be hiring high school graduates and college students for summer jobs on Roosevelt Island.

Can you provide any additional details as to how this process will work and the hiring procedures.

There was a concern expressed last year by some Directors that any RIOC summer jobs on Roosevelt Island give priority to Roosevelt Island residents over family, friends, relatives of RIOC, other State agencies or anyone else.

Can you advise how many summer jobs are available and if local Roosevelt Island residents will be given priority.
Earlier this morning, RIOC's Director of Human Resources replied:
In response to your e-mail inquiry to RIOC President, Leslie Torres regarding the hiring of seasonal workers, please be advised that RIOC follows all Federal, State and local equal employment guidelines when recruiting for all available positions.

There is no preferential hiring nor are positions held for any persons. All applicants who meet the requirements of the available positions are given equal opportunity. In the case of RIOC’s seasonal hiring, young people meeting the requirements from all over New York City and State are interviewed and several are subsequently offered positions.

RIOC uses various sources for recruiting to maximize the pool of available applicants, including those available on Roosevelt Island.
I responded:
Thanks for the response and here's a follow up.

I understand that RIOC must comply with all federal, state and local hiring laws and that if Federal, State and/or City money is being used to pay for seasonal summer workers then the opportunity to be hired for the jobs should be open to everyone.

However, if the funds for these seasonal summer jobs comes solely through RIOC, why should Roosevelt Island high school graduates and college students not get priority over others?

If the funds for the Roosevelt Island summer jobs comes from RIOC, is it legal to give priority to Roosevelt Island residents? If it is legal, why would RIOC not give such priority to Roosevelt Island young people?

Also, can you advise how many positions are available.
followed by RIOC's Human Resources Director:
Please be assured that RIOC's intention is to afford these employment opportunities to the most qualified candidates possible.  Whether they be RI residents or otherwise.  We fully intend to employ those RI residents who apply for and meet the minimum qualifications of the positions available.

The total number of positions is approximately 20.
If you are a Roosevelt Island High School graduate or college student looking for a summer job, get those applications in fast.

Bicycle Stolen at Roosevelt Island Subway Rack, Males Arrested For Fighting in Public, Unfounded Investigation of Marijuana Possession and March Roosevelt Island Public Safety Blotter

Image of Roosevelt Island Subway Bicycle Rack

The 5/8 - 5/9 Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Report indicated:
Larceny-PSD filed a report.
I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Director Keith Guerra for additional information. Mr. Guerra replied:
The Complainant reported that she parked her bicycle (valued at $120.00) on the Bike Rack at the Subway Station on Saturday, May 7th at approximately 10:00am. Upon her return to the island at approximately 9:00pm, her bike was gone. She reported this to PSD on Sunday, May 8th.
I also inquired of Director Guerra about these other incidents from the 5/3 -5/4 Public Safety Report as well:
Arrests- Subjects arrested by PSD.


Investigation-Realtive to known subject.
Director Guerra responded:
In reference to the first incident, two males were arrested for fighting in public and issued summons.

The second incident involved the Investigation of Possession of Marijuana on Roosevelt Landings Property, which was unfounded.
Below is the March 2011 Public Safety Blotter which provides more detailed information on Roosevelt Island Public Safety incidents for that month including:
  • 3/31 - 563 Main Street - Female victim advised unknown person emailed her using a friends name asking for money. Victim sent over $7,000 to unknown subject. Victim went to 114 Pct for report.
  • 3/10 - S/O 1 Main Street - While on patrol four vehicles pulled up to location wanting to speak with union workers. R/O advised the group to disperse that they were not authorized to enter. Group complied with lawful order.
  • 3/5 - 531 Main Street - Dispute between leaseholder (male subject) and tenant (female victim). R/O responded to location where victim stated she feared for her safety. Victim collected her belongings with R/O present. Subject wrote victim a check for the rent and security deposit return and victim returned the key.
  • 3/31 - 531 Main Street - Reporter advises of alleged individuals gaining access to her apartment illegally, placing electronic shock devices in her bed and theft of personal property. NYPD refuses to take report. Reporter has made this complaint on several occasions. Forwarded to building management.
  • 3/4 - 580 Main Street - Raw sewage coming out of bathtub and toilet causing damage to rugs. Super on scene to correct the condition.
  • 3/2 - 465 Main Street - Unknown subjects covered parking sensors with paint. Search of area for subjects yielded negative results. Condition to be corrected.
  • 3/11 - 546 Main Street - While on patrol unknown individuals threw a bucket of water on and
    yelled profanities directed at R/O from the stairwell of location. Search of area yielded negative results and
  • 3/14 - 560 Main Street - Victims advised while they were sleeping unknown individuals entered their apartment taking several electronic items. Victims also advised they left their apartment door open. NYPD on scene for report.
March 2011 RI Public Safety Blotter

The January - March 2011 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Monthly Statistics are here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Did You Know That Roosevelt Island Looks Much More Clear If You Wear Crizal Lens?

You Tube Video of Crizal Lens Commercial on Roosevelt Island

A reader sent in this commercial for Crizal Lens shot on Roosevelt Island.

No Stovetop Cooking For You If You Live In Roosevelt Island's Westview Mitchell Lama Building - Gas Service May Be Interrupted for Up To 2 Months, But At Least RY Management Will Provide Hot Plates

Image of Dual Burner Hot Plates  From GE Housewares

An outage of gas service for residents of Roosevelt Island's Westview Mitchell Lama building is scheduled to begin May 18 and may last as long as two months according to the Notice below sent by Westview's RY Mangement Co last week. The Notice states that there will be no cooking gas available during this time but RY Management will provide residents with dual burner hot plates. Click on the Notice to enlarge it.

I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez for a comment. Mr. Martinez replied:
I have a call in RY Management. Jennifer Jones will not be back in the office until Tuesday.

Image of Westview Entrance

The Westview Task Force (WVTF) representing the building's residents issued the following statement:
Dear neighbors,

The Westview Taskforce will be meeting with RY Management next Tuesday, May 10th to discuss the “Gas Outage” plan, tenants concerns and alternatives. Our goals are to understand the reasons why this is being done and come up with a less intrusive plan.

We will communicate the results of this meeting immediately following the meeting.

As usual, we will post updates on our Website as well as in the billboard in front of the doorman station.

Thank you for your patience and continued support.

Now, in addition to the lack of Verizon FIOS service and the long awaited elevator renovations, it looks like Westview residents will not be cooking any dinner parties at home in the near future.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Born On The Bayou - Roosevelt Island Style With the Original Kids From the Rock All Grown Up

You Tube Video of Born on the Bayou from 2010 RI Reunion

Let's end the weekend with a little bit of music from the Rock Reunion 2010, the annual return of the original Roosevelt Island teenagers from the years 1976 - 1980 to the place where they grew up.

They may have grown up on the East River, but they do a pretty good job with Born on the Bayou!!!