Friday, May 20, 2011

Invitation To Little League BBQ and Free Child ID Cards From Roosevelt Island Youth Program and New York Life On Saturday May 21

 Image From Saw Mill Club

Received the following invitation from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program:
The Roosevelt Island Youth Program and New York Life would like to invite you to our Roosevelt Island Little League Barbeque on May 21, starting at 11 AM. Come join us for some great food, a few laughs and great weather!

As part of the event, New York Life will be providing FREE Child Identification Cards for families as well as some tips on how to save for your child's college education and protect your family.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Event will take place at Capobianco Field across from PS/IS 217.

More information on the New York Life Child ID Program from this You Tube Video

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Brings Synthetic Ice Rink To Health & Fitness Day

Image from RIRA's Lynn Strong-Shinozaki

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Social, Cultural and Educational Committee Chairperson Lynn Strong-Shinozaki shares these pictures of RIRA's Skate RI event that brought ice skating on an EZ Glide synthetic ice surface to the Child School's Gym during Saturday's Roosevelt Island Health & Fitness Day. Skating was free but there was a charge if you rented skates.

Image from RIRA's Lynn Strong-Shinozaki

According to RIRA President Matt Katz

 Image of Mr. Katz at Skate RI

speaking at last night's RIOC Board meeting, over 80 skaters

Image from RIRA's Lynn Strong-Shinozaki

used the synthetic ice rink which raised over a thousand dollars for RIRA.

Mr. Katz also thanked RIOC for it's contribution to RIRA's Skate RI. Other RIRA members expressed to me frustration and disappointment that Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk, Manhattan Park and Rivercross building managements did not provide any support or assistance to RIRA's Skate RI event.

RIRA is exploring a return engagement of Skate RI.

A concern was raised by several people that when falling on the synthetic ice surface,

 Image of Skater Falling at Skate RI

an oily residue remained on the person's skin and clothes. When I mentioned this to Ms. Shinozaki, she told me that the residue was glycerin and perfectly safe. However, according to a My Backyard Icerink review of synthetic ice surfaces:
... Avoid silicone or glycerin solutions....
Something for RIRA to consider if Skate RI is to return.

For comparison purposes, here's the outdoor synthetic Polar Ice Rink at the American Museum of Natural History.

You Tube Video of American Museum of Natural History Synthetic Ice Rink

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Authorization To Enter Into Roosevelt Island Main Street Master Leaseholder Agreement With Hudson Related Approved By RIOC - Will Take Another 4 to 6 Weeks To Execute Final Contract

Image of May 2011 RIOC Board of Directors Meeting

At yesterday's May Board meeting, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors  approved this:
Authorization to Enter into Master Sublease Agreement for Main Street Retail Space with Hudson/Related Realty
The deal is not yet done. The final contract has still to be executed which RIOC CEO Steve Chironis

reported will take another 4-6 weeks. No other terms of the deal were publicly revealed during the Board meeting in addition to what has been previously reported - a 30-year lease on Main Street's approximately 100,000 square feet, Hudson-Related would guarantee RIOC the existing revenue it collects from the Main Street stores (about $900,000) and split any additional income and Hudson Related would invest capital in the physical appearance of Main Street.

Mr. Chironis added that Hudson/Related has committed to RIOC that they will reach out to the community for ideas about potential new retail uses and commercial tenants. Here is RIOC's Retail Consultant Report detailing many of the ideas from the Roosevelt Island community for Main Street stores.

The Study concludes (Page 38) that the following types of retail tenants would be most appropriate for Roosevelt Island's Main Street:
1. Green Grocer
2. Ice Cream Shop
3. Specialty Cheese Shop
4. Seafood Store
5. Bakery
6. Pizzeria
7. Florist
8. Restaurant
9. Butcher
10. Home furnishings store.
RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin, pictured below in center, emphasized the benefits to Roosevelt Island of having an experienced private sector retail developer controlling Main Street retail instead of a government entity such as RIOC. No longer will a prospective tenant for a retail space on Roosevelt Island have to suffer through the cumbersome procedures of the Public Authorities Act, put up with any political machinations or smoke and mirrors said Mr. Kalkin. He added, if you run a good business, you can get the new space.

RIOC Director David Kraut, pictured above at left, stated that the Hudson/Related real estate team are very smart at what they do and expressed concern that those negotiating on behalf of RIOC are up to the task of insuring that RIOC gets a good deal, noting that in his opinion, the development agreement with Hudson/Related for Southtown Buildings 3-4 were "much too cheap" from RIOC's perspective.

Mr. Kraut, Mr. Kalkin and the other RIOC Directors unanimously approved the Roosevelt Island Main Street Master Leaseholder resolution making Hudson/Related Developer David Kramer, who was sitting in the audience, a happy man.

Also present, and making his first appearance presiding over a RIOC Board meeting was NY State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner/CEO and RIOC Chairperson Darryl Towns. Commissioner Towns is pictured below, on right, with RIOC President Leslie Torres and RIOC Board Director Michael Shinozaki.

A web cast of the April RIOC Board meeting should be made available within a few days.

Scenes From A Rainy Roosevelt Island - I Hope The Rain Is Over For Now and Here Comes The Sun

Image From Tatiana Muzica

I am sick and tired of the rain and hope it is finally over. Unlike me, our special Roosevelt Island Rain Photographer Tatiana Muzica really likes the rain and

Image From Tatiana Muzica

shares these Roosevelt Island rainy day scenes.

 Image From Tatiana Muzica

Earlier this week, Ms Muzica sent in these two pictures

Image From Tatiana Muzica

Image From Tatiana Muzica

and this morning Heather Mill Tweeted the existential question:
fog is so thick i can't see manhattan from roosevelt island. if i can't see it, does it mean it doesn't exist?

Ms. Muzica made this excellent Roosevelt Island Rainy Days and Nights video. It almost makes me like the rain.

Rainy Days and Nights from Tatiana Muzica on Vimeo.

But, I prefer the sun. Hopefully, Here comes the Sun and it stays around for a while.

You Tube Video of Here Comes The Sun

New York Junior League Free Tennis Program For Roosevelt Island Kids 5-18 at the Octagon Courts Starting 3 PM Today - Just Bring Your Sneakers and a Smile

Image of Octagon Tennis Courts From RIOC

The New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL) is conducting a free tennis program for kids between the ages of 5-18 at Roosevelt Island's Octagon Tennis Courts beginning later today, Thursday May 19 and Friday May 20, from 3 -6 PM. Starting next week, the NYJTL Octagon Tennis Court program will be given on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3-6 PM through June 24.  According to the NYJTL:
The NY Jr Tennis League's free tennis program for children aged 5 through 18 will roll out its new Spring format on Thursday, May 19th. at the Octagon Park courts. The Spring program, which will run until June 24th, will utilize the new "10 and Under Tennis" format promoted by the USTA. Court size and ball speed are scaled down for pint-sized participants. The overall tennis program will be offered for all ages of children, 7 to 18, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This season, there will be no Tuesday or Thursday programming hours. Programming on Wednesdays will also include 5 to 7 year olds from 3:30 to 5 PM.

Children do not need equipment, just sneakers and a smile! The NY Jr. Tennis League is made avaialble free of charge through the generosity of Council Member Jessica Lappin, Council Speaker Christina Quinn and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. For further information, call League headquarters at 718-786-7110 or log onto NYJTL.
More information on NYJTL Community Tennis Program here.

The NYJTL Roosevelt Island Octagon Tennis Court Program had been delayed from a May 2 start because the Courts were reserved for the use of a private school - the Chapin School until yesterday, May 18.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Roosevelt Island 2011 Outdoor Summer Movie Schedule At Firefighters Field - Southpoint Park Outdoor Movie Site Is Missed, Here's The Latest On Site's Wild Gardens Park and Kahn/FDR Mausoleum Construction Projects

Image of Roosevelt Island Outdoor Movie at Firefighters Field From JoAnna Lopez

Received the following listings from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announcing the schedule and films selected to be shown this summer at the Roosevelt Island Outdoor Movie Series shown at Firefighters Field.
6/25/11 - Iron Man 2 (Rain Date: 7/3/11)
7/9/11 - The Goonies (Rain Date: 7/17/11)
7/23/11 - Star Trek (Rain Date: 7/31/11)
8/6/11 - Up (Rain Date: 8/14/11)
8/20/11 - Tron (Rain Date: 8/28/11)
9/3/11 - The Incredibles (Rain Date: 9/4/11)
The Firefighters Field location is a nice venue for outdoor movies and certainly convenient to get to but the Southpoint Park location where Roosevelt Island movies were originally shown was a fantastic site for watching outdoor movies and enjoying the NYC skyline and waterfront views.

Image of New York City and East River Waterfront View during prior Southpoint Park Movie Night from Fresh Air Flicks

Southpoint Park is currently closed while the Wild Gardens/Green Room section of the Park on the north end and the Kahn/FDR Memorial Boondoggle on the south end are being built.

 Image of Southpoint Park From Improv Everywhere

Wild Gardens/Green Rooms is scheduled to open this summer in July and Kahn/FDR in a couple of years.

Here's the recent state of construction for the Death Box/Mausoleum portion of the Kahn/FDR Memorial at the southern tip of Southpoint Park which blocks and destroys this previous great panoramic NYC skyline and waterfront view from Southpoint Park.

Image of Kahn Death Box Room from FDR Four Freedoms Park

More pictures of the Kahn/FDR Memorial Boondoggle construction here and here as well as this image of what the area used to look like before construction on this waste of tens of millions of taxpayers dollars (and some private donations) began.

Southern Tip of Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park in 2008 from Walking off the Big Apple

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Job Available For Bar/Restaurant Manager At Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk Bar & Grill - How Will Dirty Fork Be Handled?

Image of Outdoor Seating at the Riverwalk Bar & Grill

Anyone interested in a job as a Bar/Restaurant Manager at Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk Bar & Grill? According to Craigslist:
Sports Bar/ Restaurant in need of a manager to work 5 days a week including weekends, 40-50 hours /week. Bar is on Roosevelt Island, nyc...
Click here for more information.

The key question for the new manager is how will a dirty fork situation be handled?

You Tube Video of Monty Python's Dirty Fork Sketch

John Cleese never fails to crack me up.

Approval of Main Street Master Leaseholder Among Agenda Items For May 18 Meeting of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Meeting - Shock and Awe Us With Some Good Stores Hudson/Related

Main Street Image Of Roosevelt Island Is The Village From Glark

As reported in this previous post from the April 2011 Meeting of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors:
Hudson Related just named as Roosevelt island Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder at RIOC Board of Directors Meeting.

More details to come.

UPDATE - 11:10 PM - The Wall Street Journal reports that RIOC:
... intends to award a 30-year lease on the state's approximately 100,000 square feet of retail to the team of Hudson Cos. and Related Cos., which would share income with the state agency....
... Hudson-Related would guarantee the state agency the existing revenue it collects from the property—about $900,000—and the developers would split additional income with the state, people involved in the deal said. The team would also put new money in to modernize the retail.

"We're gonna do shock and awe," said David Kramer, principal at Hudson. "The retail space hasn't gotten the time and the attention and investment it needs."...
... Thank you Mr. Kalkin for your hard work.

Now, hopefully, please, Roosevelt Island's Main Street retail corridor may sometime soon no longer look like East Berlin before the fall of the Wall or a replica of a dreary, depressing street in the former Soviet Union. It's up to you David Kramer and Hudson Related. Don't let us down.
RIOC will be holding it's May 2011 Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday May 18 starting at 5:30 PM. and among the items on the Agenda is:
2. Authorization to Enter into Master Sublease Agreement for Main Street Retail Space with Hudson/Related Realty
The decrepit state of Roosevelt Island's Main Street Retail corridor may soon be over with RIOC's removal and replacement by an experienced private sector retail developer to control Main Street retail development. As soon as more details are available concerning Hudson/Related's plan for Main Street Retail, they will be posted on blog.

The May RIOC Board meeting is being held at the Manhattan Park Community Center instead of the Good Shepherd Community Center.

Prior to the start of the Board meeting there is a period of time for members of the community to comment and ask questions of the Board Members. According to RIOC:
A 30-45 minute public comment period wherein those who sought to address the Board would have pre-registered, with time for any speaker limited to two (2) minutes. Pre-registration would be accomplished by addressing RIOC at its web site or in person at RIOC's office prior to the day of the meeting. Public comment should be for the purpose of receiving comment, not to engage in debate or colloquy with board members. The Chair would control the time and limit for each speaker.

By scheduling the public comment period as above, the town hall style session following alternate Board meetings should be obviated. The RIRA meetings now held the evenings before each Board could function as the equivalent of a town hall meeting, with Board members attending as they wish, but with the expectation that a senior RIOC staff person would also attend to answer questions on Agenda items.
Note that RIOC requires a member of the public to sign up at least a day before the meeting in order to be recognized to speak during the public comment period. So, if you have questions or statements regarding anything concerning Roosevelt Island - the Mains Street Master Leaseholder, Red Bus, Main Street, Coler Goldwater Plans, Tram Operations, Parks, Dog Poop, anything at all - make sure to sign up here.

Below is the May 18, 2010 RIOC Board of Directors Agenda:

MAY 18, 2011
5:30 P.M.1

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of Minutes
1. April 6, 2011 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
1. President's Report
2. Authorization to Enter into Master Sublease Agreement for Main Street Retail Space with Hudson/Related Realty LLC (Board Action Required-Materials to Follow)
3. Authorization to Enter Into Contract with Steve DeSisto General Contractors, Inc. for Resetting of Z-Brick Pavers (Board Action Required)
4. Authorization to Enter Into Contract with Quintal Construction, LLC for Pothole Repairs (Board Action Required)
5. Authorization to Enter Into Contract with SASCO Builders, Inc. for Retaining Wall Construction at Capobianco Park(Board Action Required)
6. Authorization to Enter Into Contract for Tram Station Restroom Renovation (Board Action Required-Materials to Follow)
7. Authorization to Enter Into Contract for Sidewalk Construction and Bus Stop Relocation (Board Action Required-Materials to Follow)
8. Authorization to Enter Into Amendment of Contract with Saratoga Associates in Connection with Blackwell House Interior Restoration Project (Board Action Required)
9. Authorization to Enter Into Contract with CNA Enterprises, Inc. for the Good Shepherd Community Center Plaza Restoration Project (Board Action Required)
10. Presentation of the FY 2010-2011 QTR 4 Procurement Report
11. Committee Reports
a. Audit Committee
b. Governance Committee
c. Operations Advisory Committee
d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
12. Public Safety Report
VI. Adjournment

1 The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period, which is not a part of the RIOC Board Meeting.
A web cast of the RIOC Board Meeting well be made available a few days after the meeting.

UPDATE 5/20 - More here.

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Commendations and Promotions Ceremony - Congratulations and Thank You For Your Service

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra reports:

On Friday, May 13th the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department hosted it's 4th Annual Commendation/Promotion Ceremony at the 591 Plaza.

One of our very talented island resident's, Lauren Abdul, started us out by singing the Star Spangled Banner.

Officers Ingrid Veras,

William Dentone

 and Rodell Lindsey

 were promoted to the Rank of Sergeant. Officer David Vernet was promoted to Detective.

Officers Steven Cohen and Michelle Williams were presented awards with 20 years of Service to the Roosevelt Island Community.

Several of the PSD Officers received commendations in the categories of Excellent Service Award, Meritorious Service Award and Medal of Exceptional Merit. These commendations were given for a variety of different Calls for Service ranging from an arrest involving a firearm to assisting a young girl who broke the femur bone in her leg during one of the snow storms.

A special Award of Appreciation was also given to Charles Abdul for assisting the Public Safety Department in foiling a Vandalism Caper on the island.

Mr. Fernando Martinez, Vice President of Operations for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation commended the Officers for the wonderful job they do.

Officer Edwin Negron of the 114 Precinct Community Affairs Unit said a few words of praise and encouragement. He also commented on the great relationship we have in serving this community from a Law Enforcement perspective.

All in all, it was a wonderful ceremony and I thank the entire force for keeping this neighborhood one of the safest in the city.
Another officer {Kionna Wray - Updated 12:30 PM} was given a commendation for completing courses on sign language so she could better communicate with hearing impaired people and the officer provided those assembled with a brief demonstration.

 Congratulations to all the Public Safety Officers and thank you for your service.

More scenes from the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Commendations and Promotions Ceremony below.

The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Commendation and Promotion Ceremony was held last Friday starting at 5  PM which was the final day of National Police Week. In order to get greater participation by the Roosevelt Island community in next year's Commendation and Promotion Ceremony, perhaps RIOC will consider moving the date to Roosevelt Island Day when more members of the public are available to attend.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Manhattan Skyline and East River Waterfront On A Rainy, Dreary Day As Seen From Roosevelt Island

Image From Tatiana Muzica

It's supposed to rain all week.

More Roosevelt Island images from Ms. Muzica here and from previous posts.

Another view of foggy Manhattan from Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park.

UPDATE 5/17 -And view of the Queensboro Bridge from the Roosevelt Island Tram window through the rain drops

Image From Tatiana Muzica

Roosevelt Island Health & Fitness Day - Fun and Informative Day For All Who Attended - Great Job

You Tube Video of Dancing at Roosevelt Island Health & Fitness Day

Despite the overcast sky and cool weather on Saturday afternoon,


the Kites were flying and Roosevelt Island Health & Fitness Day was a fun and informative day for everyone who attended. Days like this are what many are referring to when they describe the neighborhood and small town nature of the Roosevelt Island community.

Kudos to the staff of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) for their work organizing Health & Fitness Day.

Here are some scenes from the 2011 Roosevelt Island Health & Fitness Day.

Basketball Tournament,


with trophy's,

Palm Tree Climbing,

Ping Pong on new permanent outdoor tables,

Stationary Bicycle Spinning

Aerobic Exercise (whew, I got tired just watching them and the bike spinners)

Inflatable Playing Spaces

Kite Flying

Hula Hoops,

More Dancing,

Ice Skating courtesy of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA)

Click Here For More

and falling.

RIOC Staff dedicating the new outdoor Table Tennis/Ping Pong Tables to George "The Chief" Braithwaite" and presented him with an appreciation plaque.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Table Tennis Dedication To The Chief

There was food being served

Back Rubs,

as well as Health, Fitness and Safety information from Coler Goldwater Hospital,

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,

New York City Fire Department,

Roosevelt Island Marlins Swim Team,

the Run For the Congo Women's organization,

Health First insurance coverage information and

beauty tips from the Mary Kay Skin Care Lady.

Information and greetings were also available from the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association

and the FDR Hope Memorial Committee.

Here are some more scenes from the 2011 Roosevelt Island Health & Fitness Day.

In addition to Roosevelt Island Health & Fitness Day, another event took place on Saturday with the Gowanus Music Club band's and dancers performing at the Riverwalk Commons.

 I caught some of the performances and they were all excellent. Here's a You Tube video of one.

The Gowanus Music Club event appeared primarily intended as a marketing draw for getting people from outside of Roosevelt Island to see the Riverwalk apartments. Nothing wrong with that. I hope they do more events during the upcoming summer as has been done the last several years with the Roosevelt Live series.

UPDATE: 5/18 - Advised by Hudson/ Related that they will not be doing the Roosevelt Live Series this year.