Saturday, March 17, 2012

Secret Agent Man Performed On Roosevelt Island Subway Platform While Waiting For F Train

A musician playing in the subway is a fairly common New York City experience but not on the Roosevelt Island subway platform. Except for today. Earlier this afternoon, I and several others  enjoyed this performance of Secret Agent Man while waiting for the F Train.

You Tube Video of Secret Agent Man Performed On Roosevelt Island Subway Platform

After the gentleman finished playing and those present applauded, I had a brief conversation with him from across the platform. He told me that he was coming from Coler Hospital where he performs for the patients. Unfortunately, I forgot his name but I thank him for a wonderful performance.

Secret Agent Man, known as Danger Man in England, was the name and theme song for one of my favorite TV programs and starred Patrick McGoohan. Some think that the Secret Agent Man character John Drake later became the imprisoned #6 from another great and very strange TV show, The Prisoner.

Be Seeing You.

Happy St Patrick's Day From Roosevelt Island With Clancy Brothers, Tommy Makem and Dropkick Murphy's - Remember Where You Came From

You Tube Video of Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem's We Want No Irish Here

You Tube Video of Dropkick Murphy's Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced

Here's more great songs from the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem and Dropkick Murphy's tool. Also, remember, there's no one as Irish as President Barack Obama.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Roosevelt Island Cornell Technion NYC Applied Sciences and Engineering School Town Hall Meeting Scheduled For April 5 Says Council Member Jessica Lappin - Community Planning Board 8 Meetings On Cornell Campus To Be Held On Roosevelt Island Too

Image of Proposed Roosevelt Island Cornell Campus From You Tube

Roosevelt Island's New York City Council Member Jessica Lappin reports:
Town Hall on Roosevelt Island Tech Campus

I invite you to join me at a town hall meeting with Cornell University President David J. Skorton, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Assembly Member Micah Kellner, and others to discuss Cornell-Technion’s plans for a new applied sciences and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island.

What:Cornell-Technion Town Hall Meeting
When:Thursday, April 5th at 6:30 p.m.
Where:Manhattan Park Community Center
8 River Road, Roosevelt Island

For information contact my office at (212) 980-1808/ (212) 788-6865 or email
Roosevelt Island's Assembly Member Micah Kellner sent the following letter to Community Planning Board 8 (CPB 8) Chair Nickolas Viest urging that all CPB 8 meetings on Roosevelt Island Cornell Technion campus be held on Roosevelt Island.
Dear Chair Viest,

The applied science and engineering campus to be built on Roosevelt Island by the partnership of Cornell University and The Technion-Israel Institute will be subject to review under New York City’s (NYC) Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process. The triggering factors for this are that it will be located on NYC land currently occupied by the NYC Health and Hospital Corporation’s Goldwater Hospital.

When Manhattan Community Board 8 (CB 8) begins its review of this project, I am respectfully requesting that all meetings convened under the auspices of CB 8 be held on the Island.

Even though this project will spur long term economic benefits to both New York City and State, the construction of this multi-phase project over more than twenty years will have tremendous impact on the daily lives of Island residents and will change this residential community forever. By holding the CB8 meetings on the Island you and your fellow board members will be allowing for greater participation by the residents....
CPB 8 agreed to hold the meetings on Roosevelt Island.

Below is video of February 28 meeting of Roosevelt Island residents Silicon Island Task Force discussing process of implementing a Community Benefits Agreements with Cornell Technion.

The video is not of the whole meeting because I had to leave before it ended.

Curbed Asks If Roosevelt Island's M&D Deli Qualifies As A New York City Bodega - What Do You Think?

Image of M & D Deli From Curbed

The folks over at Curbed are having an everything you ever wanted to know about NYC Bodega Week and ask the question whether Roosevelt Island's M&D Deli qualifies as a bodega. According to Curbed:
... Uniquely a New York product, the bodega is a convenience store, a sandwich shop, sometimes a taqueria or a backroom gambling den, a grocer, a cigarette and lotto vendor, and invariably a neighborhood hangout for a cast of characters. Bodegas thrive in every neighborhood and stay open through every storm....
Everyone's heard and/or complained about the Gristedes supermarket on Roosevelt Island. It's easy to have a love/hate relationship when you're a captive customer to the only supermarket on a small island. But before a Duane Reade opened on the island, there was just M&D Deli Grocery on Main Street. It's larger than your average bodega, but it's a tiny grocery that sells a wide variety of essentials on the basis of convenience. It is Roosevelt Island's anti-supermarket. But is it a bodega? Let us know what you think.
So, what do you think? Is Roosevelt Island's M & D Deli a bodega or not? Curbed even has a poll on the question so click on over here and answer the question whether M & D Deli is a bodega. At 11:40 AM on Friday. of the 59 votes cast so far 55.9% consider M&D Deli to be a bodega and 44.1% don't.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA Celebrates 11th Anniversary With Vernissage 11, Opening Reception Saturday March 17 - What Will Gallery RIVAA's Future Be?

From Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA:
11th Anniversary exhibition
Saturday, March 17, 2012 - Sunday, April 22, 2012
Opening Reception: March 17th from 6-9pm.
RIVAA members celebrate their 11th Anniversary exhibition begun in March 2002.
Come to the opening reception, enjoy the art, time with your friends and meet some of your neighbors you don't currently know. A list of previous exhibits is available at Gallery RIVAA's web site.

Here's Gallery RIVAA President Tad Sudol speaking at the Hudson Related October 20, 2012 Main Street Retail Town Hall Meeting.

There is possibility that Main Street Master Leaseholder Hudson Related will seek another tenant for the space currently occupied by Gallery RIVAA. The gallery was permitted to not pay any rent to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) when RIOC was the landlord for the space (Page 15 RIOC 2012-12 Budget).

Roosevelt Island Runners Group Being Formed - Meet Saturday Morning 9:30 AM For First Group Run

A new Roosevelt Island group is being formed - The Roosevelt Island Runners. Here's some info:
A new group – The Roosevelt Island Runners – has been created on the island after a few residents inquired about a group running event.  The group will start by running once a week starting in front of Riverwalk Bar and Grill at 9:30 am on Saturday mornings.  There is no set distance or pace, just a bunch of people, starting a run (or even walk) together.   If there is enough interest other runs may be organized.  The link below is the website for the group.  There are a few polls and room for new ideas and suggestions.  See you Saturday morning.
So if you want to avoid the loneliness of a long or short distance runner, come on out Saturday mornings and enjoy the company of your fellow Roosevelt Island runners as these runners did last October for the Icla da Silva 5k run.

UPDATE 6:30 PM - Are you interested in running a Roosevelt Island 10K race? If so, consider the NYC Runs April 1 Roosevelt Island 10 K:
NYCRUNS is thrilled to return to Roosevelt Island with a great new USATF certified (pending), electronically timed and scored 10K.  This is a race which we're really excited about and intend to build into either an RRCA or USATF championchip if we can.

We'll be pulling out all the stops with this one including providing a fantastic post-race breakfast (you may have figured out we like that sort of thing) and a cool giveaway. We're not telling you what it is though. You're just gonna have to trust us....
More info at NYC Runs.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Report From Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group Inaugural Breakfast Meeting Held Yesterday Morning - Successful Connection Made From NYC, New Jersey, England and Australia - Next Meeting Tuesday March 27 At 7:30 PM

Reported last week on the formation of the Roosevelt Island Business Network Group. Here's what happened at their inaugural breakfast meeting held yesterday morning at the Riverwalk Bar & Grill.

You Tube Video of Inaugural Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group Breakfast

According to the Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group:
About 30 residents, with professions ranging from photographer and architect to travel agent and caterer, gathered on Tuesday morning, March 13 to swap business cards and consider how they might be able to help each other grow their small business and solo practices.

Organized by Tom Wood, a financial specialist, and Janet Falk, a public relations professional, the group set an agenda to hold monthly meetings, both morning and evening, to accommodate the maximum number of participants.

Members have been invited to join the Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group on LinkedIn.

There was considerable excitement as attendees expressed their interest in meeting like-minded small business owners and independent consultants. Tom stressed that the group will foster growth that will benefit all those who contribute. Janet mentioned that "Networking is not about me; it's about you," and encouraged members to consider who is on the other side and how they might help that person.

Future meetings will feature six-minute presentations each by three members to share their expertise, showcase a success story or pose a question for group discussion on best practices. This is a perfect opportunity and environment for Roosevelt Island’s business leaders to connect and form significant relationships.

The next event will be held on Tuesday, March 27 at 7:30 pm; please contact Tom Wood at to RSVP. Members are encouraged to bring Island friends and neighbors who are also small business owners and solo practitioners.
Here's the link to Roosevelt Island Business Networking Linked In group.

Would You Like To Be A Tour Guide For Roosevelt Island Historical Society - Here's How

 Image of RIHS President Judy Berdy Welcoming Guests to the Roosevelt Island Visitors Center Kiosk

Received the following message from the Roosevelt Island Historical Society:
Do you love Roosevelt Island? Are you proud of your community? Do you like meeting people?

How about becoming a tour guide for the RIHS?

The program involves attendance at 2 classes on Thursdays, April 26 and May 3rd. The classes will be at 6 p.m. for two hours. Practice tour on Sunday, May 6th.

You must attend both classes and tour to complete the class. If you are interested send us an e-mail and a few paragraph bio. Class size is limited.

Judith Berdy

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gristedes Supermarket Owner John Catsimatidis Comes To Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting - Hear's A Mouthful Of Complaints From Residents, But Some Compliments Too

Roosevelt Island Gristedes Image From Roosevelt Island 360

Gristedes supermarket chain owner, billionaire oil man, real estate developer and NYC Mayoral aspirant John Catsimatidis came to Roosevelt Island last night to discuss with Roosevelt Island residents the renovation and redesign of our long complained about Gristedes supermarket. David Kramer, a principal of Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder Hudson/Related Companies hosted the event which he described as a Town Hall Meeting, Customer Satisfaction Survey and/or Focus Group.

 Gristedes Owner John Catsimatidis and Hudon's David Kramer Town Hall Meeting

Mr. Catsimatidis began the Town Hall Meeting with a bit of history, recalling that he first came to Roosevelt Island over 20 years ago when his company bought Sloan's Supermarket which is now Gristedes. Mr. Catsimatidis introductory remarks focused on recent improvements made at Gristedes with the change in suppliers to Shop Rite which, he said and the audience agreed, provides higher quality products than what was previously offered. Also, improvements to be made at Roosevelt Island's Gristedes include offering more fresh produce and organic products at affordable prices. According to Mr. Catsimatidis, the new Gristedes slogan will be:
Supplying Organic Foods To The Community At Supermarket Prices Not Whole Paycheck Prices
Mr. Catsimatidis then said that he came to listen to Roosevelt Island residents opinion and asked for questions and comments.

Boy, did he get some.

Residents lined up to express their unhappiness with high prices at Gristedes compared to other nearby NYC supermarkets and Fresh Direct online (one resident even handed him discount price flyers from competing stores). Mr. Catsimatidis answered that the cause of their high prices was due to the rent and expensive cost of being in the New York City supermarket business citing the bankruptcies of a long list of NYC supermarket chains. Gristedes pays approximately $7 sq ft in rent for 25,000 square feet of space. Gristedes also pays it workers union wages.

Other long time complaints expressed to Mr. Catsimatidis included expired products on shelves, dirty floors, inadequate product offerings, counter conveyor belts not working, long lines at checkout counter, lack of a full service pharmacy, leaking roof, poor lighting among others.

Some residents complimented the Gristedes store for recent improvements and noted assistance provided by its staff and manager.

Mr. Catsimatidis expressed the intent to fix the problems described and urged any resident to contact him with specific complaints which will be addressed. He also asked for suggestions as to how to improve the store. I thought a great idea was suggested by resident Deborah Beck who recommended that the new store design include moving the store entrance from the dark tunnel like side entrance to better lit Main Street directly across from Manhattan Park.

The rest of the Town Hall meeting is shown in videos below. (Here and here too.) Unfortunately, the audio and video in second video are out of sync but I think you can still understand what is going on.

Time will tell whether improvements will come to the Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket but I give Mr. Catsimatidis a great deal of credit for holding a public meeting with his customers and I hope for the best.

Now, if Gristedes will only stock the Goya Ginger Beer on a regular basis, I will be a more happy customer.

What Does A Play Say About Our Roosevelt Island Community Asks A Resident After Attending Women's History Month Performance On Life Of Dr. May Edward Chin?

Image From Dave Evans

Roosevelt Island resident Dave Evans share some thoughts about attending Roosevelt Island Women's History Month performance on the life of Dr. May Edward Chin this past weekend. From Mr. Evans:
"Women's History Month - - What Does a Play Say About our Community"

Image From Dave Evans

Upon reading The Roosevelt Islander Blog and The WIRE, I noticed a Women's History Month event scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, 10 and 11 March 2012, at our wonderful Roosevelt Island Main Street Theater (Owen Johnston, Executive Director). Though noticed, the announced event did not resonate until I decided to take a look at the story of Dr. May Edward Chinn.

After being amazed at the accomplishments of this strong, intelligent, talented woman who practiced in Harlem during difficult times, I surmised that the Theater would be overflowing with attendees, and I thought especially females, given her research on cancer. More specifically, the development of the Pap smear test for cervical cancer.

Well, there were ladies who witnessed the outstanding performances, but not in the numbers expected. Regardless of the number of seats filled, Main Street Theater provided an excellent setting for this two-person play about Dr. Chinn by Laurence Holder and Directed by Imani. The New York City located Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art, Shirley J. Radcliffe Executive Producer, presented this play to Roosevelt Islanders. Two beautiful, convincing, experienced and talented actresses, Kim Yancey-Moore and LaVonda Elam, brought the story to life and quite frankly, a few tears of empathy to my eyes.

But, what does this superb play say about our community? First, it reminds us of the many opportunities availed "we Islanders". Let's start with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC). Yes, this is but one positive example of what RIOC and its Operations staff such as Community Relations Specialist Erica Spencer-El provide us. Further, it aptly focuses on one of the many achievements of "Women", fulfilling a goal of the History Month.

 I must admit that a strong woman and fine citizen, Dolores Green, Roosevelt Island Seniors Association President, was instrumental in encouraging attendance. Sadly to this writer, the Play highlighted that many of us are unaware of and/or do not take time to partake of many offerings we have right here on the Island, at no or little cost. Finally, but not exhaustive, the Play revealed during discussions with our visitors that there remain many folks in New York City who are unaware of the Island and what it has to offer. I heard that more than once and several said they would be back, especially given how surprisingly easy it is to get here.

Pictured below are some of the folks who were in attendance on Sunday and who expressed their strong appreciation to our Theater, to those who sponsored and to those who just completed a wonderful performance on stage.

Image From Dave Evans

(Left to right: Zack Stockton, RIOC/Graphic Artist; Erica Spencer-El, RIOC/Community Relations; Lavonda Elam, Actress; Dolores Green, RISA; Kim Yancey-Moore, Actress; Shirley Radcliff, Executive Producer; Jennifer Branche, Lisa Radcliff)

So, are you aware of Women's History Month, inclusive of International Women's Day? The play helped me feel the strength of Women's collective achievements and contributions worldwide. It is in this regard that we are celebrating in March. Do you have an experience to share?
Here's an short excerpt from a performance of the Life of Dr. May Edward Chinn at another venue.

MTA Reporting Delays on F Train Roosevelt Island Service Due To Police Activity At Roosevelt Avenue

Image of Blurred, Moving F Train From Venus in Furs

According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) advisory at 9:51 AM:
We have been advised by the MTA that due to police activity at the Roosevelt Avenue Station, F Train service to Roosevelt Island is sporadic and delayed. Please allow for extra travel time.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
More info available at the MTA.

An update from RIOC and the MTA at 10:10 AM reports that regular Roosevelt Island F train subway service has been restored

UPDATE 11:40 AM - Gothamist reports:
An unidentified man was fatally struck by an E train as it entered the Roosevelt Avenue station at approximately 9:10 a.m. this morning. The FDNY tells us the victim was pronounced DOA, and the MTA restored power about an hour later, once the body was removed. As a result, one tipster says it took two hours to get from Forest Hills to midtown this morning, and an MTA spokesman says E and F trains were running local between 71 Ave and Queens Plaza and bypassing Roosevelt Avenue in both directions for about an hour....

Monday, March 12, 2012

Reminder - Gristedes Renovation/Redesign Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting Tonight 7 PM and Business Networking Breakfast Tomorrow Morning 7:30 AM

Roosevelt Island Gristedes Image From Roosevelt Island 360

Just a reminder that as reported last week, Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket owner John Catsimatidis and Hudson Related Principal David Kramer will be conducting a Town Hall Meeting Tonight 7 PM at the Good Shepherd Community Center:
... This will be an opportunity for Roosevelt Island residents to tell the Gristedes owner what we would like to see happen with our local supermarket. So, come and ask questions, make comments and listen to what Mr. Catsimatidis has to say. Consider this Town Hall Meeting your chance to participate in a Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket Customer Focus Group....
Also tomorrow morning will be the first meeting of the new Roosevelt Island Business Network:
... "Many small business owners participate in networking groups as a way to generate leads. Others want to find solutions to marketing issues particular to their community. And some simply want to get away from their solo practice and mingle with peers," said Wood. "The Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group will provide a venue primarily for residents who operate a home-based business, and those work in a career where it’s always good to meet people," he added.

The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 13th, at 7:30 am at Riverwalk Bar and Grill, 425 Main Street. Breakfast items will be served and coffee will be provided by Jonathan Hoo of Riverwalk Bar & Grill. The event will feature a business card exchange and a steering committee will plan future gatherings....
More info on the business networking group from previous post.

Roosevelt Island Day Nursery Open House Dates Scheduled This Month - Call For Appointment

Received the following message from Roosevelt Island Day Nursery (RIDN):
Roosevelt Island Day Nursery

You are invited to tour our school at
4 River Road & 405 Main Street
River Road
Tuesday March 13, 2012; 9:00 - 10:00 am
Tuesday March 27, 2012; 9:00  - 10:00 am
River Road & Riverwalk
Saturday March 31, 2012; 10:00am—12 Noon
Please call 212-593-0750 to make an appointment to attend an Open House at either location
More information on Roosevelt Island Day Nursery from previous post and their web site.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Low Flying Helicopter Circling Over Roosevelt Island Shining Lights On Queensboro Bridge Last Night

You Tube video of helicopter flying over Roosevelt Island

Did you notice the low flying helicopter circling around Roosevelt Island late last night? This Roosevelt Islander did and asks:
Any idea why a helicopter is circling southtown rather low? It had its lights on the Queensboro bridge for a while. Several weeks ago, there were 2 helicopters (a blue one and and one with an interesting instrument on the front) circling on a Saturday morning too.
At various times, I have noticed late night low flying helicopters circling Roosevelt Island shining high powered light beams at the Long Island City Ravenswoods Big Allis Power Plant across the East River.

Image from helicopter flying over Roosevelt Island from Viator