Saturday, June 11, 2011

Scenes From 2011 Roosevelt Island Day - Petting Zoo, Games, Rides, Treats, Blood Donations, Friends, Neighbors, Family Fun & More

Despite the overcast skies, threat of rain which later turned into a misty rain and cool weather, Roosevelt Island residents came out to Good Shepherd Plaza earlier today to take part in Roosevelt Island Day 2011.

Here are some scenes.

The petting zoo

with ducks,

a turkey and


as well as a pony to ride.

There were spinning rides for little kids,

those a little bit older

and inflatables to jump on.



 and cotton candy were offered

and accepted

as was candied apples.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Council Members had caps and visors to sell

and parents were able to obtain Child ID's for their Kids.

Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney visited the Roosevelt Island Blood Donors,

met with constituents and

and then tried to hail a cab.  Actually, it was not a cab but a car.

No doubt about it, the 2011 Roosevelt Island Day was a very nice day.

More Scenes from 2011 Roosevelt Island Day

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres reported that today's Roosevelt Island Day was sponsored by;
...Roosevelt Island Youth Program, Urban American, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, Island House, Island Kids, PS/IS 217 PTA, Rivercross, RIRA, RISA, RIVAA, Roosevelt Island Living Library, and Westview.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Main Street Retail On Roosevelt Island Takes One More Step Closer To The Future - Hudson/Related Master Leasehold Retail Team Takes Tour This Afternoon

As reported in this May 19 post:

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...
Today, a team from Hudson/Related including Hudson Principal David Kramer and a group of engineering, retail and architectural professionals were on Roosevelt Island

 Image of David Kramer (in blue shirt) and Hudson Related Main Street Retail Team

getting the lay of the land.

Mr. Kramer, pointing towards the future of Roosevelt Island, started out at Starbucks

and then led his team north towards Main Street

stopping at Good Shepherd Plaza on their tour down Main Street.

Knowing that I was present, Mr. Kramer jokingly, and I repeat jokingly, referenced that Best Buy or BJ's would fit in well at Good Shepherd Plaza.

Again, before some people may get upset, it was said in jest.

Below is a letter from the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee to Mr. Kramer in regard to the future of Main Street Retail.
Dear Mr. Kramer,

We are writing you on behalf of the Island Services Committee of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA). We are spearheading our committee’s effort to ensure that the voices of our community regarding desired new businesses are loudly heard. Aaron Hamburger, our committee chairman, suggested we contact you as Hudson's point person for the Roosevelt Island Main Street master lease agreement.

We are aware that the RIOC board has approved Hudson/Related as the leaseholder for the retail space on Main Street and that you are waiting on a contract to be executed. We, as representatives of residents on the island, wish to extend our congratulations to you and your company and look forward to working with you on a process that we believe will create a thriving commercial corridor for our community. And we are glad to know that a familiar face will be responsible for helping shape the future of Roosevelt Island for years to come.

In the very near future, we hope to have the chance to meet with you and to discuss how RIRA and other key stakeholders can partner with you so we can ensure that the needs of our diverse community are met. Similarly, we recognize an objective of your company is to identify the businesses that will be most patronized – and therefore successful – on Roosevelt Island.

Please contact us at your earliest convenience so we can begin a dialogue between RIRA and Hudson/Related on move toward a very exciting future for our community.


Alex Fletcher and Max Long

Common Council Representatives

Members, Island Services Committee

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA)
Mr. Kramer replied:
Great to hear from you, and I’ve cc’d my colleague Andrew Jackson, who will be the point person for us.

We will reach out to you sometime after July 1 to meet and talk and strategize and kickstart our island listening tour.

Best, DK
When will Roosevelt Island residents start to see improvement on Main Street? I don't have an answer for that yet. The deal has still not been completed. The contract has still to be executed though I am advised that will be finished shortly.

One of the best things the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) ever did was to get out of the retail business and select a private sector Real Estate Company to operate the retail portion of Main Street. Of course, that does not mean that I or anyone else will agree with everything that Mr. Kramer and Hudson/Related do on Main Street but it does mean that competent real estate professionals will be in charge of bringing stores to Roosevelt Island and managing the retail component of Main Street instead of government bureaucrats.

UPDATE 6 PM - I want to emphasize this point made in previous post:
RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin, chair of RIOC's Real Estate Committee, initiated the Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder proposal way back in 2007 when he was a Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) member.  Mr. Kalkin should be congratulated for his vision, hard work, and perseverance in shepherding the Main Street Master Leaseholder concept through to completion despite many obstacles including the fierce opposition of the previous RIOC administration.
Former RIOC President Steve Shane expressed his reasons for doubting the concept of a private sector Master Leaseholder for Roosevelt Island's Main Street in this 2009 post:
The issue is one of service to the community. Rental income to a master leaseholder(now RIOC, but in the hands of a commercial real estate operator?) is not the overriding consideration. So, retaining control of use, both kind of service and income group serviced, with rent adjustments for necessary providers not otherwise able to afford competitive rents (see, for instance, difference between nail salon servicing market rent ladies and one servicing Section 8 ladies, a bread store or a fish market probably can't make it here) (see the last big dustup over chain stores vs. mom & Pop stores), etc, etc, wherein the quality of life as perceived by the Island residents (and of course as effectuated by dedicated RIOC with the advice and suggestion of RIRA)) is the highest priority, not the return to a commercial real estate operator.

The usual market place dynamics are not applicable here because When faced with the reality that there is less than 20,000 sf of vacant space, hard to imagine the master leasee who would want this problem for the sandwich profit it might make of $1-2/sf/year. No one can break the Gristede's lease or any of the other existing leases. I doubt the community would want RIVAA Gallery to be ousted from its space. Boy Scouts, batting cage, Thrift Store, etc.
Mr. Kalkin, thank you for your hard work and demonstrating that a private citizen with a good idea can work hard, overcome entrenched political inertia and make a real positive change for the community in which he lives.

Good job.

Torrential Rain Storm Yesterday Caused Gully Washer On Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk Commons - Did You Get Soaked Too?

Hey, did you get stuck in last night's torrential rain storm or did you miss it?

Roosevelt Island resident Jason Eng shares this picture of the runoff from the rain coming down the slope of the Riverwalk Commons towards the F Train Subway Station and comments:

It's a gully washer!
Image From Jason Eng

I was not quite sure what a "Gully Washer" was so I looked it up. According to, a Gully Washer is:
A heavy rain shower that occurs suddenly, possibly creating a flash flood.
For Roosevelt Island, that's what we got last night - a Gully Washer. I got absolutely soaked as I made a mad dash home from the subway station up the Riverwalk Commons sidewalk through the Gully Washer but I am glad that the storm cooled things down a bit from yesterday's very, very, very hot weather.

NYPD Transit Canine (K-9) Unit To Establish Temporary Agility Training Course At Roosevelt Island's Southtown Empty Lot

Aerial View of Empty Southtown Lot - Home of Future Riverwalk Buildings

Yesterday, I inquired of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
As per the attached picture, the temporary Southtown lot has been cleaned up quite a bit. Is anything going on there? What, if any, are the plans for it's use?
Mr. Martinez replied:
The southern lot will be used by the Tram operations as an employee parking lot and as a temporary staging area until we can find a permanent home for the equipment in the containers.  The northern lot will be used on a temporary basis by the NYPD Transit K-9 unit.  As you know, they currently train and patrol on RI.  The unit will establish an agility course at the site for training purposes.  NYPD may start training in late June or early July.
Image Of NYPD K9 German Shepherd Officer George At Roosevelt Island Subway Station

More on the NYPD Transit Canine unit from earlier post.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Roosevelt Island Day 2011 This Saturday June 11, Games, Rides, Petting Zoo, Concert, Blood Drive, & Plantings - Small Town America In The Middle Of New York City - Fun For The Whole Family

Click On Image to Enlarge via Roosevelt Island Youth Program

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres reminds us in her recent Community Report that this coming Saturday is Roosevelt Island Day.
Roosevelt Island Day:

Come out on June 11th and show your Roosevelt Island community pride by helping to keep the Island green and beautiful at this fun FREE event! Activities begin at 9AM with an ongoing tradition of community-wide flower planting. Starting at 12PM there will be more to do and see, including amusements, games and rides for the entire family, and the popular petting zoo. The event concludes at 6PM with a concert on the Good Shepherd Plaza.

Sponsored by Roosevelt Island Youth Program, Urban American, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, Island House, Island Kids, PS/IS 217 PTA, Rivercross, RIRA, RISA, RIVAA, Roosevelt Island Living Library, and Westview.
Also, don't forget that you can help save as many as 3 lives by donating blood during Saturday's annual Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Roosevelt Island Blood Drive.
The blood donations will take place on Roosevelt Island Day, June 11, at the Seniors Center, 546 Main Street from 10 AM - 4 PM. You will be treated very well.
Roosevelt Island 360 made this video of the 2008 Roosevelt Island Day.

Roosevelt Island as small town America in the middle on New York City.

Tell RIOC President Leslie Torres What The 10 Best Things About Roosevelt Island Are - She May Put Your Choice In Her Next Community Report

Image of RIOC President Leslie Torres

Received the following message from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder;

Hope this email finds you well.

Summer is almost here! For Leslie Torres’ next column in the Wire, we are compiling a list of top 10 things to do on Roosevelt Island this summer. We’d love to get your input.

Please send us your recommendations for places to visit or activities happening with your group or organization between mid-June and August. We’ll compile a list of the ten most common recommendations for the column. If there's more, I'll expand the list.

We’ll also include the top ten list on the Tram and our website and will explore other ways to let visitors know about all our Island has to offer.

There is much to do on the Island during the summer and we want to be able to get the word out to residents and visitors.

Please forward all input no later than Friday, June 10th. I look forward to reading your recommendations.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Garbage Bags Strewn In Front of Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Crossing Building On A Hot Day - Welcome Sight For Those Getting Off The Tram

Image of Garbage Left On Sidewalk of Riverwalk Crossing Viewed From Tram Station

Is there any reason why Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk Crossing building management (Related Management) at 405 Main Street should be leaving their garbage piles out on the street during the day, particularly a very hot and sunny day like today? Could be a sumptuous feast for the Roosevelt Island Rat population.

I saw the pictured garbage pile at approximately 3 PM today on my way to the Tram and it was still there at 6:30 PM.

Image of Garbage Left On Sidewalk of Riverwalk Crossing Viewed From Tram Station

In the past, the buildings waiting until evening to put out their garbage to be carted away. Why the change?

UPDATE 6/9 - Hudson/Related's David Kramer, developer of Riverwalk Crossing, responds:
Thanks for the post, and we can obviously do better. I've spoken to our management team; we're undertaking some staffing changes starting June 22 which should improve the situation.

Someone Just Caught An East River Fish Dinner On Roosevelt Island - Even If You Don't Catch Any Fish, You Can Have a Wonderful Time Says Friend Of Joe

Yezid Acosta shares this picture of a big fish caught recently on Roosevelt Island and notes:
Someone Just Caught An East River Fish Dinner On Roosevelt Island
There are a number of people who fish on Roosevelt Island like the guy in Mr. Acosta's photo and this gentleman.

You Tube Fishing With Joe Video

As Joe's friend says of Roosevelt Island fishing:
Fishing is something everyone should do and everyone enjoys. Even if you don't catch you can see from my face that I am having a wonderful time fishing.
Others enjoy fly fishing from Roosevelt Island's Lighthouse Park and

Randy Kadish Fly Fishing East River From Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Park Facing Queens

write interesting stories about the experience:
... I rolled out of bed, ready to battle with striped bass. Instead of armor, I took my fly-fishing equipment and headed out the door. Less than an hour later I walked to the north end of Roosevelt Island, and into a scene as beautiful as any in La Mancha. I was in Lighthouse Park. The small park was named after a tall, narrow, stone structure that I knew was not an evil giant...
More on Roosevelt Island fishing from previous posts here.

MTA Releases 2010 Subway Station Ridership Statistics - Roosevelt Island F Train Station With 2,580,031 Riders Increasing 37% Over 2009

Roosevelt Island Rush Hour Subway Platform During Tram Outage First Day

The MTA recently released subway station ridership statistics for 2010. According to the MTA:
... Subway ridership consists of all passengers (other than NYC Transit employees) who enter the subway system, including passengers who transfer from buses.  Ridership does not include passengers who exit the subway or passengers who transfer from other subway lines, with the exception of out-of-system transfers; e.g., between the Lexington Av/63 St F station and the Lexington Avenue N Q R/4 5 6 59 St station, where customers use their MetroCard to make the transfer...
How did Roosevelt Island's F Train Subway Station ridership fare compared with the 422 other New York City subway stations surveyed by the MTA? According to Gothamist:
...Surprising nobody, the two busiest train stations in the city are Times Square (58,422,597 riders in 2010) and Grand Central (41,903,210 riders). 34th Street Herald Square, 14th Street, and 34th Street Penn Station rounded out the top five.

The biggest single jump in ridership in a station that wasn't recently reopened (i.e. Cortland Street) was the currently closed Elder Avenue stop on the 6 line, which saw its ridership jump 39 percent to 2,864,031 in 2010. The Roosevelt Island F station, which was dealing with a down Tram, also saw a massive jump of 37 percent in ridership in 2010 to 2,580,003 straphangers.

And for all you hipsters out there, the Bedford L stop saw a jump of 9.7 percent to 7,418,203 riders annually—making it the 46th busiest stop in the system. ...
Below are the Roosevelt Island subway station ridership statistics since 2007:
  • Year 2007 - 1,874,023
  • Year 2008 - 1,929,468
  • Year 2009 - 1,875,228
  • Year 2010 - 2,580,003
  • Year 2009 -2010 Change - 704,775 - 37.6%
  • Rank - 180
and the rest of the 422 NYC Subway stations surveyed.

Have you ever wondered how subway service came to Roosevelt Island in the first place? Here's a fascinating video via Second Avenue Sagas showing how the F Train came to Roosevelt Island by way of the 63rd Street Tunnel.

You Tube Video on Making of East River Subway Tunnel via 2nd Ave Sagas

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NYPD Officer Assigned To and Patrolling Roosevelt Island Every Day But Not Yet On Permanent Basis - What Happened Last Saturday Night, Was There A Main Street Brawl?

 Image From NY Daily News

Here's the latest on efforts to again have a New York Police Department officer permanently assigned to Roosevelt Island.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matt Katz asked 114 Precinct's Deputy Inspector Stephen Cirabisi:
Dear Inspector Cirabisi:
 The RIRA Common Council will meet on Wednesday, June 1 for the last time until we resume after Labor Day on September 7.  Can you tell me whether an officer has been assigned permanently to patrol Roosevelt Island on the four to midnight shift?  I would love to share that good news with my colleagues before we disband for the summer.  Thanks and best wishes,
          Matthew Katz
          President, RIRA

Inspector Cirabisi At Speaking at April RIRA Meeting

Inspector Cirabisi replied:
Hello Mr. Katz, As of now there is not a steady officer assigned but there is one assigned everyday on the 1500x2300 shift. We try to keep the same officer as much as possible. You can be assurred that there will be an officer patroling the island everyday on this shift throughout the summer. If you have any other concerns please let me know.
Comments to post earlier this week on RIRA's June Public Safety Committee Report noted here and here that a brawl involving as many as 20 people may have occurred on Main Street near the Public Safety Office last Saturday at about midnight - after the NYPD officer's tour ended.

Yesterday, in order to verify the accuracy of these reports, I checked the Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Reports for the weekend and found nothing to suggest such an incident took place.(The Daily Public Safety Reports are posted on the middle sidebar of blog).

I then sent the following inquiry to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez and Public Safety Director Keith Guerra:
I received reports, including these two emails below, regarding a brawl/ fighting incident that occurred on Main Street last Saturday night around midnight.

I can find nothing on the Public Safety Reports for the weekend to indicate this occurred.

Was there such a fight and if so, can you provide information on what happened?

Below are the reports I received about the incident.

There was a serious incident on Main Street, just about in front of the Public Safety office, at about midnight Saturday. Looked like about 20 people involved in a fight, at least one taken away in handcuffs, several NYPD cars came screaming down the street.


What ever it was, it was loud, big and for a few minutes, very threatening -- I was awakened from sleep by the noise and I am not even on Main Street.
Called RIPSD and phone rang at least 30 times - I figured they already knew. Could see from my apt that many of the folks involved were running away as NYPD approached.
Summer is here and this will not be either the first or last incident that we will need to know more about...

Thank you.
As of this afternoon, I have not received any response to my inquiry so I followed up with this:
 Will there be a comment from RIOC regarding report of a fight involving approximately 20 people in front of Public Safety Department last Saturday night around midnight that was described in email below?

If this fight did occur, was it included in Public Safety Incident Report for that day? I did not see it listed. If not included, why not?

Thank you.
I did receive this announcement today from Mr. Guerra:
As part of our pro-active Community Outreach program, the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department will be hosting it's second Gang Summit on Thursday, June 23rd from 6:30pm-8:30pm.

We will be bringing in renowned gang expert Ron "Cook" Barrett, who will put on a fantastic presentation on Gang Recognition and Awareness.

Please pass the word regarding this summit, as we feel that everyone in attendance will get something out of this very informative program.

Thank you and hope to see you on 6/23.
Mr. Cook has previously conducted a Gang Recognition and Awareness Program on Roosevelt Island. More information on Mr. Cook's program available from earlier posts.

UPDATE 6/9 - At 4:16 PM yesterday, Public Safety Department Director Guerra sent the following message:
... As for the alleged fight, I already sent you an explanation.
I replied:
I never received any explanation regarding the alleged fight.

Can you resend please.
Mr. Guerra responded that he sent the same message to RIOC VP of Operations Fernando Martinez who received the message. When I asked Mr. Guerra to resend his explanation, he did so immediately. Here is his explanation for what happened on Saturday night.
The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department was called to the front of 540 Main Street for a large crowd.

Apparently, {Name Deleted}  who had been arrested last week, got out of his car to confront a group that was in front of the building. More people came over, and the noise level elevated. By this time PSD & NYPD officers were on the scene. The crowd was dispersed by all of the Officers on the scene. No arrests were made and order was restored.

{Same Name Deleted} then claimed someone had driven his car away from the scene, and wanted to file a report for Grand Larceny Auto. Witnesses, however, stated that the person who drove his car away was, in fact, with {Same Name Deleted}. A report was taken for Grand Larceny Auto anyway, and that was reflected in the 24 Hour Report.
(Note that this Blog's policy is not to publish names of those arrested before their case is adjudicated. That's why the name in Mr. Guerra's statement is deleted. In my view, the name of an arrested suspect does not add to the substance of a story and can harm that person unfairly if subsequently not convicted)

I also received this account from Roosevelt Island resident Arlise describing what she saw last Saturday night.
I returned to the island and had just reached Blackwell House when people began running as if for their lives. One woman yelled as she ran by to not walk down Main Street because a gang of kids are fighting and they might have guns. I've lived on RI for over 35 years and this was the first time ever, ever that I was afraid to walk down Main Street. A kind gentlemen over 6 feet tall walked with me until I reached my building.

Tonight's Letters From The Almshouse Program From the Roosevelt Island Historical Society Cancelled

Received a message from Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy that the Letters From The Almshouse Program scheduled for tonight at the Roosevelt Island Public Library has been cancelled.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the RIHS program scheduled for the RI branch on Tuesday has been cancellled.
Thank you for your understanding.

Dogs No Longer Allowed On Roosevelt Island's Rivercross Lawn, Will Banning Be Obeyed By Dog Owners/Walkers, and Enforced - Is Riverwalk Commons Dog Ban Next?

I was walking past Roosevelt Island's Rivercross Building last Sunday afternoon and noticed this gentleman walking his dog on the Rivercross lawn.

Image of Rivercross Lawn Dog Ban Being Violated

Apparently, he did not see, or chose to ignore, the new sign posted on the Rivercross Lawn

banning dogs from the lawn.
No Dogs Or Pets Allowed On Grass Or Field Areas

The issue of Dogs on Roosevelt Island was raised during the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) May 2 Public Safety Committee Meeting:
Member brought resident complaints about the amount of dog feces that is not being picked up by walkers, as well as individuals who are walking dogs off the lease {leash}. One member mentioned the possibility of a dog run area specifically for smaller dogs that is in discussion. Public awareness signs suggested, as well as ticket enforcement.
A dog run specifically for smaller dogs was recently added to the Southtown Dog Run pictured below.

Image of Southtown Dog Runs For Large and Small Dogs

Image of Southtown Small Dog Run

Let's see if the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department starts enforcing with tickets when people bring dogs to areas that they are not permitted use.

Now that the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) has banned dogs from the Rivercross Lawn, will RIOC also ban dogs from the Riverwalk Commons between 425 and 455 Main Street as well?

Image of Riverwalk Commons From Above

This previous post reported that dogs were banned from the Riverwalk Lawns between 405, 415 and 425 Main Street last year by the building's management, Related Management:
Re: Dogs on Lawns between 405, 415 and 425 Main Street

Effectively immediately, dogs are no longer permitted on the lawn between 405 and 415 Main Street or the lawn between 415 and 425 Main Street.
This decision was made for the safety of our residents and appearance of our landscaping.

Staff from both buildings will be monitoring this space to ensure that residents are adhering to this newly established policy.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Is there any reason why dogs should be allowed on RIOC controlled Riverwalk Commons when they are banned from RIOC controlled Rivercross Lawn and Related Management controlled Riverwalk Building Lawns?

Remember, there was a time when Roosevelt Island was a Place Without Dogs as explained in this video.

UPDATE 6/8 - Received this message from RIOC's VP of Operations Fernando Martinez:
It is our intent to prohibit dogs on the Riverwalk Commons lawn. We are waiting for the signs to arrive.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Roosevelt Island Red Bus Bunching At the Subway Station During This Morning's Rush Hour - Community Transportation Town Hall Meeting on Thursday June 16

Two Roosevelt Island northbound Red Buses bunched up at the Subway Station this morning at about 7:20 AM as the bus in the back waited for the front bus to exit and load passengers.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres most recent report to the community focused on improvements to the Red Bus operations and announced a Transportation Town Hall Meeting for June 17.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Red Bus

Here's RIOC's Red Bus and Tram Schedule.

East River Kayakers Passing Roosevelt Island On Way To Queensboro Bridge and Beyond - Boathouse May Be In Roosevelt Island's Future But Tonight Try Out The LIC Boathouse Monday Sunset Paddle

Late Saturday afternoon, I noticed several East River Kayakers making their way under the Roosevelt Island Bridge, passing the Big Allis power plant in Long Island City

on their way to the Queensboro Bridge

and beyond.

There are no kayak or boat launch facilities that provide access to the East River from Roosevelt Island. The reasons for this, strong currents surrounding Roosevelt Island, are discussed at these previous posts.

However, during the June Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Meeting's Public Session, Child School/Legacy High School Director Sal Ferrara mentioned a possible proposal to create a boat house on Roosevelt Island. (Mr. Ferrara also mentioned possible proposals for a Roosevelt Island equestrian center and arts center as well).

Image of Child School Director Sal Ferrara Addressing June RIRA Monthly Meeting

The NY Times recently reported on the experiences of Roosevelt Island's Child School/Legacy High School students learning how to row

on the Harlem River. According to the NY Times:
... He was seated in a sleek racing scull, those same hands wrapped tightly around a pair of carbon-fiber oars. He was rowing hard, sending the scull through the water.

He and a dozen other students from the Child School/Legacy High School on Roosevelt Island were at the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse, an oddly old-fashioned building on the Harlem River, accessible by a gangplank and a string of floating docks.

The students were put to work carrying long racing shells to the water. They gathered around coaches from the New York Rowing Association, a nonprofit group that runs rowing clubs, teams and programs and that is based in the boathouse. This program exposes students from the city’s schools to an activity often associated with Ivy League universities....
The entire article is here.

It would be great if Roosevelt Island residents could access the East River waterfront for kayak and boat launches like below in Red Hook shown in the Vision 2020 NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan (page 16).

The Vision 2020 Waterfront Plan is an excellent resource to learn about what is being done and can be done in the future for New York City's waterfront.

In the absence of kayaking and waterfront access from Roosevelt Island, check out the nearby Long Island City Boathouse which is having a Monday Sunset Paddle tonight starting at 6:30 PM:
Take away the stress of "Manic Monday" with a sunset paddle. This is a moderately easy trip, suitable for adults with little or no paddling experience. You must be able to swim. Participants meet at the Boathouse not later than 6:30PM. Wear protective footwear and clothing that can get wet, and a hat, sunblock or other suitable protection from the sun. Sunglasses are a good idea. Bring a light windbreaker or hat (it can get breezy and chilly), and bottle of water or other non-alcoholic beverage. Do not bring minors, bulky items, or anything that cannot go with you in a kayak. Wallets, phones or other electronic devices should be placed in ziplock or dry bags. You may leave things in a locker at the boathouse; please bring your own lock. Cameras are OK but you bear the risk of exposure to salt water or dropping them over the side.
More info on the LIC Monday Sunset Paddle here.

Happy Paddling.

Here's a You Tube Video showing what happens every day on the rivers of New York City.

Also, don't forget the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance's (MWA) City of Water Day Festival is coming up on July 16.

From the MWA:
From the upper Hudson to Raritan Bay, we are a City of Water—yet too many of us are cut off from this tremendous resource. Help revitalize the waterfront with a festival for the entire family.

Free harbor boat tours for thousands on historic, educational, and working vessels
A spectacular flotilla of rowers, paddlers, and other human-powered boaters
A special children's fair with with dozens of activities just for families, including bike scavenger hunts, puppet shows, sing-a-longs, and craft sessions
the Waterfront Action Fair where you can learn about everything going on around and on the water
Our one-of-a-kind on-water Festival Launch & Press Event
Live music, food by the region's best vendors, and much more!