Saturday, November 24, 2012

Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy Donations To The Rockaways Continue Sunday November 25 From 8-9:15 AM In Front Of PS/IS 217 - Food, Brooms, Dustpans, Cleaning Supplies, Flashlights, Shopping Carts Among Items Needed

 Image of Roosevelt Islanders Collecting Donations For Rockaways last Sunday From Olya Turcihin

Here's the latest update on efforts of Roosevelt Island residents to donate and deliver supplies to people living in the Rockaways devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  According to Karine Wong, who organized Roosevelt Island Hurricane donations and deliveries to the Rockaway:
Hello Roosevelt Island family,

I hope everyone had an amazing time eating, cooking, eating, hugging, eating, laughing, eating, traveling, eating, eating, ...

I know I did and I'm thankful for the family who invited us yesterday at their table. Family we did not know few days ago and made us feel at home... I just want to remind you that not everyone is as lucky as we are and for many people life has a different meaning today than few weeks ago before the storm hit. While we are getting ready for the holiday season, others are cleaning up the mess and trying to make a sense of why how and what to do next. Please meet us Sunday Morning between 8 and 9:15 am in front of PS 217 with your donations. Here is the list of what these folks need this week, but again anything you'll bring will be gladly accepted.

Food (never enough)
Cleaning supplies and gloves
Shopping carts (I saw Traders has them for 12.99 or sometimes you can find them for 10 bucks)

We will deliver on Monday in the Rockaways. If you want to help let us know.

Enjoy the rest of the week end and see you Sunday. In the meantime share this email with your friends, visit out Facebook page "Roosevelt Island Community" and post it on your timeline. Thank YOU !
More on the Roosevelt Island Hurricane Relief efforts to the Rockaways from previous post. Also here's how Hurricane Sandy impacted communities.

Info on Hurricane Sandy damage to Roosevelt Island here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Roosevelt Island Sportspark Pool Re-Opens After Closure Last Month - Get Back In The Pool On Monday November 26

Update to previous post on closure of Roosevelt Island Sportspark pool for repairs.

Earlier today, I received this inquiry from a reader:
Dear Roosevelt Islander,

Do you have any news on the status of the swimming pool at the SportsPark center?

I went to RIOC recently and they could only tell me "it is closed until further notice". No more details.

You may have already covered this news in your blog, but I missed that post.

I would appreciate whether you could provide me with a quick update. Many other regular swimmers from SportsPark I know are also concerned about this issue.

Thank you in advance for your help.
According to this Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) advisory received this afternoon:
Sports Park Pool Reopening

Pool will resume regular schedule starting Monday November 26 at 6am.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
You can soon get back in the pool.

Update On Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail From Hudson Related's Master Leaseholder - No Shock And Awe But They Are Working Very Hard Says David Kramer, 7 Leases Signed, Signage and Wayfinding Kiosks Coming

An update on Main Street Retail was provided by Hudson Related Master Leaseholder David Kramer during November 20 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Committee meeting. Mr. Kramer reviewed the 7 new and renewal leases signed:
  • Coach Scot's Main Street Sweets (will open shortly)
  • Subway Sandwich Shop (looks terrific says Mr. Kramer, opened up to huge numbers)
  • Natural Food Market (a month or two away)
  • Wine Shop (taking a long time to get its liquor license)
  • Gallery RIVAA (3 year renewal lease)
  • Trellis (new renewal lease signed and drawing up plans for substantial renovation of space.)
  • Child School (Art and Music space at 2nd floor of 504 Main Street, coordination of work needs to be done with the NY Public Library which is in negotiation for first floor of 504)
Mr. Kramer stated that he did not wish to speak about leases still under negotiation or tenant lease terminations still under negotiation but added that 2 leases were being negotiated with current Roosevelt Island residents.

Mr. Kramer discussed 2 new digital signage and wayfinding kiosks that he would like to install on each side of Main Street. He added that Roosevelt Island needs at least 10 of these kiosks up and down Roosevelt Island from Lighthouse Park to the FDR Memorial and offered to share the design costs if RIOC chooses to install the additional non Main Street kiosks on Roosevelt Island.

Mr. Kramer added that the Arcade signage and lighting prototype pictured above will be extended up and down Main Street.

Mr. Kramer was asked about the fate of the hardware store and declined to speak about it publicly. RIOC Director Margie Smith stated that RIOC did not charge the hardware store for the rent of previous tenant and assumed that the previous tenant built those charges into the sale price of the business to the current hardware store owners.

Here's the audio webcast of the November 20 RIOC Real Estate Committee meeting. The presentation and discussion of Main Street retail begins at the 13 minute 15 second mark and ends a the 48 minute mark.

Also discussed during the meeting were plans for the decommissioning of the Steam Plant and a Sportspark Young Adult Program.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey, Turkey, Turkey, Kramer, Kramer, Kramer - Hope You Had A Good Thanksgiving

I am totally stuffed right now. How about you?

Hope you had a good dinner and Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving from Roosevelt Island - Meet You at Alice's Restaurant And Take A Look At Old Time Macy's Parade Floats

Happy Thanksgiving Day wishes to everyone out there in Roosevelt Island land and elswhere. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Since Thanksgiving is a day all about about Tradition, here is my traditional Thanksgiving Day post - if something can be a tradition having started just in 2007.

In addition to family, great food, the Macy's Parade, Miracle on 34th Street, March of the Wooden Soldiers and football, listening to Arlo Guthrie's rendition of Alice's Restaurant on WNEW-FM was, for me, a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition. A former DJ from the station remembers Thanksgiving and Arlo Guthrie this way on the blog All Mixed Up Radio.
Every year a couple of days before Thanksgiving, it starts. It's slow at first, and then turns into a non-stop avalanche of phone calls. And no matter how many times a station runs promo announcements telling people exactly when it will be played, the calls still come.
"What time are you playing 'Alice's Restaurant?'"
Some of the lyrics:
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant Walk right in it's around the back Just a half a mile from the railroad track You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on - two years ago on Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the restaurant, but Alice doesn't live in the restaurant, she lives in the church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and Fasha the dog. And livin' in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin' all that room, seein' as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn't have to take out their garbage for a long time.
You Tube link to short 2 minute video version above is here. For those of you who want to go back in time and see the full 18 minute version of Alice's Restaurant, You Tube link is here. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL
Something new for this year. Take a look at some of these Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Floats from 1927 thru 1968 via Buzzfeed.
 Image of 1927 Felix the Cat Macy's Thanksgiving Float From Buzzfeed
Image of 1935 The Marx Brothers Macy'sThanksgiving Float from Buzzfeed

 Image of 1940 The Tin Man Macy's Thanksgiving Float From Buzzfeed
More Macy's Thanksgiving Day Floats from Buzzfeed here. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! 
UPDATE 11/22/12 9:45 AM - Here is live link to streaming of Macy's 2012 Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Roosevelt Island Moms Helping Each Other Out - Here's How To Join

Are you a Roosevelt Island Mom interested in making new friends, sharing ideas and learning about activities for you and your children. If so, Eva B, has some valuable information for you and others in this comment to previous post by Juliana, a Roosevelt Island Mom who grew up here and returned to raise her child. From Eva B:
HI Juliana, thank you so much for your initiative!  We have a Roosevelt Island Parents e-mail list which you and everyone interested is very welcome to join here:

(it is called "babies" because our children were babies when we started it, but they are growing and there are moms with children up to 6 years old now. You have to have or create a google account in order to join).

There are currently over 90 moms on the list and we are sharing many ideas, about activities with children for stay at home moms, daycare options, selling or donating items, contacts to RI babysitters etc. Once you join, you can check out all past posts on the website.

Also, I just became a RIRA Common Council member and one of my goals is to create a comprehensive family guide for Roosevelt Island parents, published and updated regularly either in the WIRE or/and on this Blog (perhaps as a special section here). I already put together a calendar with activities for parents with young children on RI and close-by which was published here a few months ago. I fully agree with you that we need one place where as much as possible information can be found (I just learned two days ago from one mom that there are dance classes here on the island for children starting 18 months of age I didn't know about).

Another two things we are currently working on besides the Family Guide is a Play room share project, where moms host open play sessions in their buildings play rooms for the winter, as well as trying to organize Baby/Toddler swim classes on the island.

It would be great to work together on all this.

All my best,

RIOC Briefing On Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy Damage - Storm Surge Of 3 to 5 Feet Caused Significant Damage To Seawall, Lighthouse Park and Observation Pier, But No Injuries Or Loss Of Life

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President Of Operations Fernando Martinez (who resigned last Monday effective December 21) briefed the November 15 RIOC Operations Committee on Hurricane Sandy damage suffered by Roosevelt Island and response by RIOC. According to Mr. Martinez:
  • Hurricane Storm surge of 3- 5 feet caused significant flooding at Lighthouse Park and the Observation pier,
  • Lighthouse Park Land Pedestrian Bridge washed away and Light Poles damaged,
  • Significant damage to seawall at various location particularly Lighthouse Park,
  • 21 Trees Lost,
  • Steam Tunnel Flooded on North Side of Steam plant resulting in no heating at RIOC Facilities or Coler Hospital,
  • Coler Hospital basement completely flooded, RIOC provided fuel for Coler emergency generators,
  • Power was out at Octagon and portions of Rivercross and Roosevelt Landings/Eastwood,
  • People were walking around during Hurricane putting themselves and others in danger. A Public Safety Officer almost fell in the East River while warning people of the danger,
  • No damage at Goldwater Hospital or FDR Memorial,
  • No loss of life or injury on Roosevelt Island,
  • Lighthouse Park will be closed for an extended period of time - unknown for how long,
  • Cost of repairs estimated at a couple of hundred thousand dollars and mitigation of Observation Pier and Lighthouse Seawall of half a million dollars. These costs will be submitted to FEMA for reimbursement,
  • suggestion was made to explore adding a 2 foot kneewall to the perimeter of Roosevelt Island promenade to prevent future flooding and
  • having RIOC provide shelter for residents who lose power rather than going to a NYC City emergency shelter in Queens
Here's Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy aftermath briefing by Mr. Martinez.

More on Hurricane Sandy from these previous posts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Very Very Very Long Lines At The Roosevelt Island Tram Station This Morning Caused By Sick Passenger At Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station

Reported earlier today of long delays at the Roosevelt Island F Train subway station caused by a sick passenger which resulted in long lines at the Tram.

Here's how long the lines were as seen from above by a Roosevelt Islander.

and from this tweet.

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Recruiting Video - What Type Of Training Should Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officers Receive?

Are you interested in joining the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department? If so, take a look at this recruitment video.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Dep't Recruitment Video

As reported in this post last week:
During November 3 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Meet The RIRA/RIOC Candidate Forum, a question was asked by a resident concerning the training of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Officers, particularly as it applies to traffic direction. RIOC Director Margie Smith stated that the Public Safety Officers do receive some training in traffic direction but that the whole Public Safety training issue needs to be looked at again and differently by the RIOC Board....
Here's the Meet The RIRA/RIOC Candidate Forum Public Safety discussion.

Problems At Roosevelt Island F Train Station This Morning Reports Twitterverse- Sick Passenger Causes Delays

The Roosevelt Island Twitter-verse reports:

Updates On Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail, Steam Plant and Young Adult Program On Agenda For RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting Tonight - Also Executive Session On Library Renovation And Southtown Building 7-9 Ground Lease Negotiation

Image of NYC Council Member Lappin, NYPL President Anthony Marx and Roosevelt Island Kids

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Hudson/Related Update on Main Street Retail
2. Steam Plant Update
3. Young Adult Program Update
4. Chair's Motion for Executive Session to Review and Discuss:
a) 504 Main Street Library Renovation Update
b) Southtown Buildings 7, 8 and 9 Ground lease Negotiations Update
5. Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee
An audio webcast of the meeting will be available soon thereafter.

More on Roosevelt Island library renovation at 504 Main Street from previous post.

UPDATE 11/21 - Here's the audio web cast of the 11/20 RIOC Real Estate Committee meeting.

Monday, November 19, 2012

NYC Council Candidate Ben Kallos Speaks To Roosevelt Island Residents

Last October 23, Democratic Party Candidate For New York City Council Ben Kallos spoke to Roosevelt Island residents at the Riverwalk Bar & Grill. Here's what Mr. Kallos had to say.

Mr. Kallos hopes to succeed current City Council representative Jessica Lappin who is expected to run for Manhattan Borough President in 2013.

More on Mr. Kallos from previous post and his web site, Kallos for Council which includes a Roosevelt Island Solutions Page.

BREAKING NEWS, Upheaval At The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp - RIOC Vice President Of Operations Fernando Martinez Resigns

 Image of RIOC VP Of Operations Fernando Martinez (center) at 11/15 Ops Committee Meeting

Earlier today, I sent the following inquiry to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Don Lewis, Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez and the Board of Directors:
I understand that Fernando Martinez will be leaving his position as Vice President of Operations for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

Is that true? If so, does RIOC or anyone else have a comment or statement to make on the matter?

I intend to publish at approximately 12 PM today that Mr. Martinez will be leaving RIOC so please let me know if that is not accurate and if there is any comment.
RIOC Board Director Faye Christian replies:
Regretfully this is true. RIOC Board accepts Fernando's resignation
There have been rumors flying around Roosevelt Island for awhile about big changes coming to RIOC, particularly since:
Reasons for Mr. Martinez resignation are not known as yet. He will be difficult to replace since he is so familiar with all aspects of Roosevelt Island and nobody on the current staff has his detailed knowledge about Roosevelt Island.

This is a big deal, particularly with the many Roosevelt Island infrastructure issues that need to be addressed as well as coordination of the new Cornell NYC Tech Campus and Southtown Buildings 7-9.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 8:50 PM - RIOC Board Director Howard Polivy reports that Mr. Martinez's resignation is effective December 21.

Update On Roosevelt Island Residents Helping Rockaways Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts, Van And Big Car Needed For Delivery Next Week - Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Hosting Small Business Disaster Relief Forum 11:30 This Morning In Long Island City

Image From Karine Wong

Reported previously on efforts by Roosevelt Island residents to donate and deliver necessities to people living in the Rockaways devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Received an update yesterday from Karine Wong, who organized Roosevelt Island Hurricane donations and deliveries, on the collection effort yesterday morning in front of PS/IS 217. From Ms. Wong:
Hello Roosevelt Islanders,

We had a very successful collection this morning! Many Roosevelt Islanders came out with donations of coats, household supplies, flashlights, gloves and a variety of food items as well as bottled water. Erica Spencer-El the Public Relations Officer at RIOC

Image From Karine Wong

arrived with two truck-beds full of donations collected by RIOC.

Image From Karine Wong

A huge donation from baby clothes, diapers and canned foods to rubber gloves and many different kinds of cleaning supplies. Our thanks go out to them!

Image From Karine Wong

The spirit of our Roosevelt Island community was embodied by all who donated but especially by two of our neighbors Ron and Sharon (last names withheld for privacy). Sharon began a difficult treatment this week for a serious illness but made it out this morning to make sure her donation was received. Our thoughts go out to her as she battles through her illness. Ron came out to see what was going on and when he realized what we were collecting for, gave $40 for gas and the coat right off of his back! We are so fortunate to live a community with so many giving people!

We hope to see you all again next week! Enjoy the Holiday and Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Image From Karine Wong

Once again please visit our page "Roosevelt Island Community" on Facebook and share it share it and loooove it !

OUR NEXT COLLECTION WILL TAKE PLACE ON SUNDAY NOV 25 between 8 and 9:15 am in front of PS 217.

Also,We won't be able to use the Boy Scouts van next week because they have an event. Anyone with a van/big car to help us deliver in the Rockaways next monday ? We probably will need one or two extra cars.

Thanks in advance.
More on efforts by Roosevelt Island residents to help out people needing assistance living in the Rockaways from previous posts.

Also, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney tweets that she will be hosting a disaster relief forum for small business owners today in Long Island City Queens starting at 11:30 AM.
More info from Ms. Maloney here.

UPDATE 11:55 PM -

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Join Me On A Walk From Brooklyn Flea In Williamsburg To Roosevelt Island - Check Out Tram Tee Shirt

Had a nice long walk earlier today on a beautiful brisk, sunny, late afternoon/evening from Williamsburg Brooklyn back home to Roosevelt Island.

Started out at last day of 2012 Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg. It was a bit chilly but had fun time with good food and interesting vendors.

Image Of Williamsburg Brooklyn Flea Today

Then went next door to East River State Park

and walked around a crafts show where I spotted this Roosevelt Island Tram T-Shirt.

Was never worried about alligators swallowing the Tram until today but now - who knows.

Then started my walk back to Roosevelt Island from Williamsburg through Greenpoint over the Pulaski Bridge

past Long Island City

and finally over the Roosevelt Island Bridge to home.

Here's the route.

View Williamsburg To Roosevelt Island Walk in a larger map