Saturday, January 14, 2012

Roosevelt Island Resident Francine Lange Solo Photo Exhibit Quality Of Light At Gallery RIVAA Octagon Gallery Starting January 14 - Opening Reception January 15

Roosevelt Island resident and contributor to this blog Francine Lange has a solo show of her photographs being exhibited at Gallery RIVAA's Octagon Gallery. Check out the exhibition starting Saturday, January 14 and stop by the Opening Reception on Sunday January 15. According to Gallery RIVAA:
Quality of Light
Solo Exhibition by Francine Lange at the Octagon Gallery
Saturday, January 14, 2012 - Sunday, February 12, 2012
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 15, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

The Octagon Gallery
888 Main Street
Roosevelt Island, New York City

Gallery hours: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily

Francine Lange’s photographs show the humorous, poignant and quietly beautiful side of the urban landscape. She documents the everyday, transforming the ordinary into the surprising and unexpected.

Sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association
More photos from Ms. Lange exhibit here.

 Image of Big Allis Ravenswood Power Plant From Francine Lange

Friday, January 13, 2012

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Cornell Coming To Roosevelt Island, Main Street Redeveloping, RIOC Newsletter, Sportspark Activities, Southpoint Park Bus Stop, Coat Drive, Lights Back On West Drive and Public Safety Officer Joins Corrections Department

You Tube Video of Cornell President Speaking About Roosevelt Island - Full Press Conference here and here

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
Happy New Year!

2011 was an exciting year for the Island: our new Tram was up and running, we initiated the process to redevelop Main Street, and we were selected as the site for the Cornell/Technion Applied Sciences Campus.

I expect nothing short of this excitement for 2012. This year, we’ll focus on building the Island’s tourism (the opening of the Four Freedom’s Park should help), continuing the redevelopment of Main Street, and bringing in technology to make the Island even more green.


Coming soon to your lobby, our website, the Bar and Grill and other establishments is RIOC’s latest Newsletter. Check it out to learn more about our amazing sanitation system, get more familiar with Island historian Judy Berdy, and more.

Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

On Roosevelt Island, we make it really easy to keep your New Year’s resolution. Not only can you take a brisk walk or a run around the perimeter of the 2-mile Island, you can also take advantage of the great facilities and classes at Sportpark.

Our beautiful pool hosts open swim for 6 hours on weekend days and 7 hours during the week – including morning and evening sessions. The resident 6-month membership fee is $150. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to swim, we have adult swim classes available. For seniors, we have water aerobics.

If you’re a master swimmer, we have separate times for you too.

If swimming doesn’t suit you, we also have an array of other activities.

Ping Pong, offered every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, promises to always be a fun and challenging way to get some exercise. We also have ZUMBA, Boot Camp, Body Sculpting, and Basketball available. We also have ZUMBA, Boot Camp, Body Sculpting, and Basketball available.

For those of you looking to learn to dance, you can learn from true stars at Sportspark. Our Tango instructors, Leonardo and Olga Suarez Paz recently performed at Lincoln Center a few weeks ago. You can take lessons with them on Thursday nights. As an aside, they are also accomplished musicians. Their album, Leonardo Suarez Paz's Cuartetango String Quartet.... Masters of Bandoneon, will be available starting February 28, 2012.

You can learn more about Sportpark activities by visiting our website or calling (212) 832-4563.

Coat Drive a Success

Our annual coat drive, sponsored by the Public Safety Department with NY Cares, resulted in the donation of over 100 coats. I’d like to thank everyone who donated a coat to keep a New Yorker in need warm this winter.

Lights Back On

Due to a power outage along West Drive, temporary tower lights were installed to light the way for drivers and pedestrians. Once notified of the outage, Con Edison and RIOC’s engineering crew quickly got to work to make repairs and now the regular lights are back on. We know this was an inconvenience for some Island residents, but the emergency repairs had to be made for the safety of all.

Q102 Stopping out Southpoint Park

The Q102 bus recently started stopping at Southpoint Park. Now we are looking at how we can best accommodate the additional stop, without adding to the Red Bus running time. Stay tuned for more information.


Congratulations to PSD Officer Brian Rivera, who was recently appointed to serve as a Corrections Officer at the New York City Department of Corrections.

Officer Rivera admirably served the Island for 4 years. We thank him for his service and wish him well.

Mobil Food Truck Service Still Banned From Roosevelt Island But New Policy Guidelines To Allow Food Trucks While Protecting Existing Restaurants Being Considered By RIOC - What's Next, Banning Fresh Direct Grocery Deliveries To Protect Gristedes Supermarket?

You Tube Video of Save the NYC Food Truck

Are Roosevelt Island residents any closer to enjoying the same fast, convenient and edible offerings from mobile food truck vendors (Luke's Lobster's Rolls) as residents of other New York City neighborhoods? That was one of the Agenda items discussed at the January 11 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Real Estate Committee meeting.

Well, the answer is that the subject of Roosevelt Island Mobile Food Truck service is still being studied and evaluated by RIOC. During the well attended RIOC Real Estate Committee meeting we learned:
  • Mobile Food Trucks do not need any additional licenses or permits other than those granted by New York City to operate in Battery Park City and that Battery Park City defers to NYC rules and regulations regarding Mobile Food Trucks on its streets,
  • RIOC believes it has the authority to require Mobile Food Trucks with NYC licenses to obtain additional permits from RIOC even thought the mobile food trucks can operate in other NYC neighborhoods,
  • Riverwak Bar & Grill/Nonno's Focacceria Pizza owner Alphonse DiCioccio objects to mobile food trucks on Roosevelt Island though co-owner Jonathan Hoo acknowledges that additional food choices on the Island would be a good thing, just not too close to his restaurant,
  • Some RIOC Directors expressed the view that existing restaurants need to be protected from the mobile food trucks while other Directors think that competition will sort things out,
  • a resident made the excellent comparison of banning/restricting mobile food trucks on Roosevelt Island for the benefit of protecting existing restaurants from competition to banning Fresh Direct Grocery Deliveries in order to protect Gristedes,
  • Main Street Master Lease Agreement allows Hudson/Related to decide whether to allow Mobile Food Trucks/Street Vendors in the area from Blackwell House to Motorgate but not in Southtown or other locations on Roosevelt Island and
  • the Real Estate Committee will meet in a few weeks to make a decision
Here's a video excerpt of the first 25 minutes of the meeting

and an audio webcast of the whole meeting including additional Agenda item discussion of Roosevelt Island community space which appears to be limited to Sportspark.

The community space discussion focused on the Roosevelt Island Islamic Community seeking approximately 2,000 square feet for a mosque and the difficulty they are encountering finding suitable space for its specific requirements.

Another item discussed was the Child School's offer to lease the second floor space of 504 Main Street from Main Street Master Leaseholder Hudson/Related as a dance studio and theater in the round. The first floor space at 504 is planned to be used as a new location for the Roosevelt Island Public Library.

An obvious question arises, thought not asked at the meeting, is whether having a theater and dance studio over a Public Library is the most appropriate use of the second floor space at 504. It was also reported during the meeting that the space occupied by the Roosevelt Island Youth Program may be taken over by Urban American and moved somewhere else within Roosevelt Landings/Eastwood.

The final item discussed was the Island House privatization/ground lease extension issue which was to be in Executive Session closed to the public. However, before the committee went into Executive Session, Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matt Katz surprised everyone in attendance by asking to read an email Mr. Katz received from former RIOC President Steve Shane. Mr. Shane's email read:
As I follow along with the proceedings on RI, an item of special interest has just caught my eye, namely the Real Estate Committee agenda item calling for executive session to discuss the Island House privatization. This issue has far reaching consequences for IH and WV, and indeed for the entire social political construct of the island. Not merely an economic matter. There is no excuse for "executive session" on this piece of the public's business. No individual privacy rights are involved (cf employment matters) or negotiating tactics or strategy (cf litigation).
The Executive Session began soon thereafter without the public.

More on mobile food trucks from New York Street Food.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Vehicle Crashes Into Two Parked Cars In Front Of PS/IS 217 Wednesday Night - Nobody Injured

Image of Accident Involving Public Safety Vehicle In Front Of PS/IS 217 Last Night

A Roosevelt Island resident reports on witnessing a Public Safety Department vehicle crashing into two parked cars in front of PS/IS 217 on Main Street last night.

Image of Accident Involving Public Safety Vehicle In Front Of PS/IS 217 Last Night

According to the resident:
The owners of two cars parked in front of the school will be quite upset tomorrow. For no visible reason, the PSD SUV crashed into the vehicles as I walked past.

I saw the accident.  I was next to the cars that were hit.  There was not significant traffic on the road; I am uncertain why the accident occurred.  The noise brought a number of the construction workers from the school out to look, but none of them owned the vehicles.
The driver was a female PSD officer.  She hit both cars, then backed out and called for assistance.  She was not injured, the other two cars were parked and their owners not immediately apparent.  
I sent the following message to Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Director Keith Guerra and RIOC's spokesperson:
 I understand there was an accident involving a Public Safety vehicle hitting two parked cars in front of PS/IS 217 last evening.

Is that true? Was anyone injured and what was the cause of the accident.
RIOC's spokesperson replied:
 The accident did occur.  Nobody was hurt.
The Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Report listed the incident as follows:
Vehicle Accident - At 645 Main Street. Vehicle accidently struck two parked vehicles. No injuries. NYPD filed a report.

No F Train Service From Manhattan To Roosevelt Island Tonight After Midnight Until 5 AM Friday - MTA Starting Overnight Work Instead Of On Weekend

There will be no Queens Bound F Train service from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island later tonight starting 12:01 AM Friday morning until 5 AM Friday Morning. According to the MTA:
F Jamaica-bound trains run via the M from 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av
Night, 12:01 AM to 5 AM, Friday, Jan 13
More information available at the MTA Planned Service Change web site. The good news is that there are no planned F subway service changes planned for the upcoming weekend.

The MTA has started to shut down subway lines for maintenance work during late nights rather than on weekends as explained in this Channel 7 report.

UPDATE -2:30 PM According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
We have been advised by the MTA of the following upcoming F Train Service disruptions:

No Manhattan Bound

F-Train Service

11:30 pm to 5 am

Friday, January 20 to Monday, January 23

No Queens Bound

F-Train Service

12:01 am to 5 am

Friday, January 13

Tram and Red Bus Service will run until 5:00 a.m. during these service disruptions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Roosevelt Island Mitchell Lama Island House Residents Urge NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo and RIOC To Support Affordable Housing and Preservation Privatization Plan - $20 Million To RIOC, $15 Million More For NY State, RIOC Board Meeting In Executive Session This Afternoon To Discuss

Image of Roosevelt Island's Island House Entrance

Among the items on the Agenda for today's 5:30 PM Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Real Estate committee meeting is:
... 3. Chair’s Motion for Executive Session to Review and Discuss the Status of Privatization/Affordability Plan and Ground Lease Extension for Island House.
As reported in post earlier this week:
... Not much is known publicly about the Island House privatization because these discussions are held in Executive Session meaning that that they are secret. More information on RIOC and NY State Executive Session policies from previous posts....
We now know a bit more about what is happening with Roosevelt Island's Mitchell Lama Island House privatization. An Island House resident describes their privatization plan as:
The Island House affordability plan preserves 400 units of housing, allows existing tenants to choose to buy or continue to rent at affordable rentals with NYC Rent Guidelines Board increases. No one would be kicked out.  Furthermore, it involves paying the State (DHCR and ESDC) $35 million, which is a substantial payment for an affordable housing development.  Compare the $11 million payment for Octagon in its 500 units of market-rate housing, or the zero dollars proposed by the Rivercross privatization.
Below is:
  • letter dated December 19, 2011 from the Island House Tenants Association to NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo urging support of affordable housing and Preservation Privatization Plan, 
  • January 3, 2012 Island House Tenants Association Newsletter updating residents on the plan,
  • December 8, 2011 Notice of Intent To DHCR withdrawing from Mitchell Lama Program by Island House owner David Hirschorn of North Town Phase 11 Houses and 
  • January 10, 2012 DHCR's Notice of Owner's Filing of Notice of Intent to Dissolve.
Island House owner David Hirschorn (in blazer and white pants) with RIOC Directors, Staff and Island House representatives following April 2011 RIOC Board Meeting

Island House Tenants Association letter to Governor Cuomo:
Re:    Affordable Housing & Preservation Plan
Island House – Roosevelt Island

Dear Governor Cuomo:
I write to thank you and your staff, especially Leecia Eve and Tony Giardina, for the hard work they have done in moving forward the Island House Affordable Housing and Preservation Plan to a point where few, if any, substantial issues remain. Now we need your help to bring to closure the multi-year negotiations that will if consummated, protect our interests and those of future generations of Island House residents, but if left to languish, would expose the tenants to significant jeopardy despite many years of hard work and cooperation among the landlord, tenants, DHCR and other NYS agencies.

Working under the auspices of DHCR for several years, the tenants and owner have crafted a groundbreaking Plan that, first and foremost, secures aggressive rent protections and affordability for tenants who wish to stay and not purchase their apartments while allowing tenants who wish to buy their apartments the opportunity to do so at a 65% discount below market pricing, with additional provisions to ensure affordability for future generations of purchasers. This Plan was overwhelmingly endorsed by the tenancy in a building-wide vote in September 2009.

Through the efforts of your Office for Economic Development, which has been engaged for nearly a year, the tenants and owner have recently agreed to substantially modify the previously agreed upon Affordability Plan in a way that is projected to result in payments to RIOC of over $20,000,000. This is in addition to the $15,000,000 or more that will be paid to ESDC from increased real estate tax payments under the Plan. In addition to these payments aggregating in excess of $35,000,000, ESDC will also be promptly repaid the full outstanding mortgage of $20,000,000.

But all of this is in jeopardy; having waited for many years, the owner has just filed its notice of proposed dissolution with DHCR, the first step in converting the building to a market rate rental. While he has made it clear that his intention is to proceed with the Affordability Plan -- should the Plan fail, he does have the right to withdraw in favor of a market rate plan. This would be a disaster for the tenants.

Accordingly, we implore you to direct the State agencies necessary for the implementation of the Affordability Plan (RIOC, ESDC and DHCR) to take immediate action to complete the approval process and immediately enter into the requisite lease modification agreement (a draft of which has been in State hands for nearly a year).

The revised Plan, as most recently negotiated by your staff, strikes a proper balance and provides New York State with substantial revenues while also preserving the State’s dwindling affordable housing stock and allowing low and middle income families a once in a lifetime opportunity for home ownership. There is just no reason that this deal should not be implemented now.

We look forward to joining you in announcing the State’s success in preventing the loss of middle income housing through this creative and pro-active public private partnership.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require anything further.

Very truly yours,

Island House Tenants Association, Inc.
January 3, 2012 Island House Tenants Association Newsletter:
Update on Island House

First of all, Happy New Year to you and your families.

We wanted to update you on where things stand with our affordable housing and preservation plan. Over the last couple of years, since winning the overwhelming support of the tenancy for the Island House Affordable Housing and Preservation Plan, we have been working to resolve what revenues the state will receive under the plan prior to getting final RIOC Board approval on the ground lease extension required by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. We have reached a critical point in this process.

The good news is that, overall, the process is moving but we are concerned that we are at point where it may be stalled in this last stage. The owner has spent the last few months negotiating additional payments the State is seeking from the plan directly with Governor Cuomo's office. Attached is our recent letter to the Governor urging his support and we deeply appreciate the efforts of his office, as well as our local elected officials.

It is now critical that we keep the momentum going. Over the last few weeks, together with the Governor's office and the Dept. of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), the owner has been working directly with RIOC's CFO Steve Chironis to move ahead with a ground lease vote as soon as possible. We are concerned that RIOC may unduly delay the process of presenting the plan to the RIOC board to get an expeditious vote and allow an offering plan to be submitted to the Attorney General's office for his review.

There is an added urgency, as the owner has officially notified DHCR his intent to file to begin the process of removing the building from Mitchell Lama, per the attached letter. In itself, this is an expected part of the process required for the transition out of Mitchell-Lama to the Affordability Plan and in his letter to DHCR the owner makes clear this is his preference.

That said, if the ground lease process fails, the ownership also makes clear that they reserve the right to option B, which is proceeding with a plan to turn the building into a market rate rental. That would be a disaster for us. While obviously we and DHCR would fight any attempt to implement option B, the reality is that we may not succeed in ultimately preventing that scenario in a worst case situation.

We have spent four years negotiating and getting an unprecedented level of support and approval from every key state agency that recognizes the unprecedented protections and affordability our plan represents for current and future tenants of Island House. We are doing all we can to ensure that RIOC understands the ramifications of not acting swiftly — especially at a point where interest rates remain low providing additional affordability for buyers — including mobilizing the tenancy to express our collective frustrations in the next few days and weeks if the process stalls. We are closer than we have ever been to finalizing a process that has already taken too long, and it is time to ensure that the hope and promise of affordably protecting our homes becomes a reality.
Island House owner North Town Phase 11 Houses Notice of Intent to withdraw Island House from Mitchell Lama program:

and DHCR's Notice of Owner's Filing of Notice of Intent to Dissolve.

More on the privatization of Roosevelt Island Mitchell Lama building from previous posts here and here. Also here is letter dated February 26, 2010 from Roosevelt Island's Rivercross Mitchell Lama Coop Board to Empire State Development Corp explaining the proposed Rivercross privatization plan. There does not appear to be any similar payment to RIOC in the proposed Rivercross Privatization as the $20 million dollar payment described in the  Island House Privatization.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What's Going On With Roosevelt Island East River Ferry Service? East Channel Oil Ferry Dock Considered By RIOC - West Channel Ferry Dock Study To Commence Soon

RIOC Officials At Oil Dock in November 2009 Watching NY Water Taxi Ferry Boat Go By

DNA Info reported last month on free fares rides being offered to celebrate the 6 month anniversary of East River Ferry Service. Included in the article was this statement from NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn
... Quinn said she, too, wants to see the ferry service expand, and she mentioned Roosevelt Island, City Island and the Bronx as potential future destinations...
At that time, I asked NY City Council Member Jessica Lappin, who has been very involved in seeking ferry service for Roosevelt Island, the following:
Is there anything new to report on the possibility of ferry service coming to Roosevelt Island?
Ms. Lappin's office replied:
Nothing new to report. We continue to push for ferry service, and advocate for an expansion with Speaker Quinn, the Economic Development Corp, and bidders for the applied sciences school as well.
Here's what we know about the possibility of Roosevelt Island ferry service.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) commissioned an engineering study to determine the feasibility of a ferry landing for Roosevelt Island. At the the July 29, 2011 RIOC Operations Committee meeting (Audio webcast of meeting is here), there was a presentation and discussion regarding the possibility of locating a Roosevelt Island ferry dock at the Oil Dock facility (pictured here) on the East Channel below the Queensboro Bridge.

During this meeting, the Ocean Coastal engineering consultant hired by RIOC described the current decrepit state of the Oil Dock, what is required to make the Oil Dock suitable as an active ferry dock and two possible options for a future ferry dock.

Option 1 was the minimum necessary to meet American With Disabilities requirements for a ferry dock landing which would be a barge held in place by spud piles with the ferry docking parallel to the land. The cost for this option was estimated at $5.2 million.

The second option was to create a multiple use facility in addition to the ferry dock that would include a small park with landscaping, public benches and a floating dock for kayaks and other small water crafts. The cost for this option was estimated at $7.5 million. RIOC VP of Operations Fernando Martinez recommended option 2, noting that there could be city and state funds available for the ferry dock as well as funds for a dock from the Applied Sciences School should Roosevelt Island be selected. We now know that Cornell will build the Applied Sciences School on Roosevelt Island.

No decision has been made to date by RIOC as to where, whether or what type of ferry dock facility will be built on Roosevelt Island. During the July meeting, it was stated that if a Roosevelt Island dock was built, it would probably be located on the East Channel side facing Queens. I recently learned that  RIOC is about to commission another study by Ocean Coastal to determine if a ferry dock landing can be built on the West Channel of the East River.

Here's some of the July 29 RIOC Operations Committee Meeting discussion on the Ferry dock.

You Tube Video of RIOC Roosevelt Island Ferry Dock Discussion

The audio cast of the full meeting is here.

More on Roosevelt Island Ferry Service from previous posts.

Roosevelt Island Mom With Sick Child Denied Entry On Red Bus With Open Baby Stroller - Is Driver's Discretion Working?

Image of Unfolded Stroller On Red Bus During  Rush Hour Last Month

An update to this post on new Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) policy allowing open baby strollers on the Red Bus at the discretion of bus drivers.

During last Wednesday's January 2012 meeting of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council, RIRA President Matt Katz reported that a mother returning home from a hospital emergency room visit for her sick child on a very cold day was denied entry on the Red Bus with an open stroller by the Red Bus Driver even though, according to the mother, there was ample room on the bus for an open stroller.  The mother went to RIOC to complain about this incident.

During the discussion it was pointed out that open baby strollers are not permitted on NY City buses.

Here's the discussion.

You Tube Video of RIRA Open Baby Stroller On Red Bus Discussion

I asked RIOC for a comment on this incident last Thursday and was told they are looking into it.

It was also reported during the discussion that people in wheelchairs are not allowed to get on or off the Red Bus at the Tram Station Stop but must use the subway Red Bus Stop and then make their way to the Tram. According to RIRA Planning Committee Chair Frank Farance, the reason for this is that there is currently no curb at the Tram Red Bus Stop but that will soon be fixed and then wheelchair users will be able to use the Tram Bus Stop.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Capobianco Field Retaining Wall Reconstruction Completed - Red Bus Stop Adjacent To Crosswalk Opposite Westview Entrance Tomorrow

 Image of Capobianca Field Sidewalk Opposite Westview

A reader asks:
When work on the retaining wall around Capobianca Park blocked the sidewalk and street, a stop on the red bus was moved from opposite the entry at 625 Main Street to somewhere between the P.S. 217 and Gristede's. The work has been completed and the sidewalk and street are no longer blocked, but the bus continues to stop in the middle of nowhere. It should revert to the previous location, nearly opposite the 625 door, which is the entry to both 625 and 595 Main Street.
I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President Of Operations Fernando Martinez to comment. Mr. Martinez replied:
We recently received confirmation from our Engineering Department that work on the retaining wall has been completed.

The bus stop will be relocated to approximately 15 feet north of the original stop location.  The decision was made to re-locate the stop to coincide with the crosswalk adjacent to 625 Main Streets entrance for safety reasons.  We expect that improved proximity will encourage use of the crosswalk.

The bus stop is scheduled to be installed on Tuesday, January 10th.
This previous post reported on Capobianco Retaining Wall reconstruction.

Does RIOC Have Authority To Regulate NYC Licensed Mobile Food Trucks On Roosevelt Island? Outdoor Food Vendors, Community Space and Island House Privatization On Agenda For RIOC Directors Real Estate Committee Meeting January 11

You Tube Video of Daniella on Design - Gourmet Food Trucks

As reported in this previous post on Mobile Food Truck access to Roosevelt Island:
...The answer to the question previously posed whether RIOC believes it has the right to ban food trucks on Roosevelt Island public streets which have all appropriate licenses from NYC and can provide service to any other NYC neighborhood is yes, at least according to the Real Estate Committee. The Committee was unsure where that authority came from though RIOC's attorney believes that the RIOC NY State enabling legislation provides for that power. The attorney noted he would check to see if his impression is correct.

RIOC Real Estate Committee chair Howard Polivy hopes to have a Mobile Food Truck policy established by the January RIOC Board meeting.
The issue of Roosevelt Island Mobile Food Trucks, Street Vendors (there is a difference between the two), Community Space and Island House Privatization are on the Agenda for January 11 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Directors Real Estate Committee meeting. According to 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, January 11, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.
1. Discussion of Street Vending Licenses on Roosevelt Island;
2. Review of RIOC-Controlled Community Spaces;
3. Chair’s Motion for Executive Session to Review and Discuss the Status of Privatization/Affordability Plan and Ground Lease Extension for Island House.
More on Roosevelt Island Mobile Food Truck issue from previous post.

Not much is known publicly about the Island House privatization because these discussions are held in Executive Session meaning that that they are secret. More information on RIOC and NY State Executive Session policies from previous posts.

An audio web cast of the meeting will be available a few days after the meeting.

UPDATE 4:20 PM - A Reader using the name Not So Common Sense believes that RIOC does have the power to ban licensed NYC Mobile Food Trucks from Roosevelt Island commenting:
Yes they do, as the rioc legislature from 1988 allows rioc to put up signs as they seem fit for the purpose of flowing traffic on the island.

A easy way to not allow the vendors on the island is to simply put up signs of " no standing" everywhere. If its at a metered spot, it has to move every 2 hours, which is not always feasible for a food truck.

The traffic signs on roosevelt island do not have to be approved by nys dot for the purpose of putting them up. Legislature gave rioc that authority on their own. If you ever look closely at a sign on main street, it does not say nyc dot.

This is one way rioc can not allow vendors here. Either way, your screwed if they want them off island. 
I don't know why but the comment from Not So Common Sense was not on the Disqus commenting system. Please let me know if anyone is having trouble with writing comments to post.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Human Castle Pyramid Built In Spain - Anyone Want To Try It On Roosevelt Island?

When you were a kid did you ever build human pyramids? Well, this takes it to a whole other level.

According to the photographer Mike Randolph:
In the city of Tarragona, Spain, castellers gather every two years to see who can build the highest, most intricate human castles. This uniquely Catalan tradition requires astonishing strength, finesse, and balance. Not to mention courage.
Reminds me of the Giglio Feast lifting in Williamburg.

I am just kidding and not suggesting anyone do this on Roosevelt Island - but.....

Planning On Moving To Or From Roosevelt Island In Near Future? Consider Using Rented Plastic Bins Instead Of Cardboard Boxes To Pack Your Stuff

Are you planning on moving to or from Roosevelt Island? Not happy with the prospect of searching for and using cardboard boxes in which to pack your stuff? Consider an alternative to cardboard moving boxes by using rented plastic stackable bins. According to Bin-it:
Why is Bin-It the smart move?
It's no secret that moving is stressful, from finding a new place to settling in and everything in between. The actual physical process of moving your stuff from one place to the other can be the biggest drag of all, and it's definitely the least fun. When you Bin-It, you save hours of strain and frustration. We show up with stackable plastic bins, ready with labels for easy labeling. You pack them up, swiftly close the attached lids, load in your vehicle, and drive away. When you've finished unpacking, call or text us to come pick up the bins. You're done!

You Tube Video of Bin-it moving boxes

According to article in today's NY Times:
...  Bin-It and a similar service, Jugglebox Moving, have recently entered the New York moving market. Both deliver stacks of sturdy boxes and pick them up after the move is complete.

The boxes can be ordered online or by phone. Bin-It’s price for a one-bedroom move, with 25 boxes, is $109 plus a $30 service fee. At Jugglebox, a one-bedroom move with 35 boxes is $129. Other necessities, including wardrobe boxes, packing paper, labels and dollies, are available from each service....
I have not moved recently and have never used this company but I thought it might be a useful alternative to anyone who is moving in the near future.