Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Begins Today - Enjoy Mungo Jerry's In The Summertime

Here We Go Again, No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend - Expect Crowded Tram Cabins

Manhattan Bound F Train Arriving At Roosevelt Island Subway Station, But Not This Weekend

According to the MTA:
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av to 5 Av/53 St

Weekend, 11:15 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Jun 21 - 24

Trains resume regular service at 47-50 Sts.

No Coney Island-bound service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St
Plan accordingly - expect crowded Roosevelt Island Tram cabins to Manhattan this weekend.

More information on subway service disruptions this weekend from the MTA's Weekender.

Roosevelt Island Resident Remote Control Hobby Shop Manager Profiled In Today's NY Times - Do You Want To Take A Roosevelt Island Remote Controlled Air, Ground, or River Ride

Interesting article in the NY Times today about Roosevelt Island resident Bill Dickey.

According to the NY Times:
... Mr. Dickey, 35, is the manager of Pilotage Fun and Hobby, a Manhattan shop that sells remote-control versions of nearly everything.

Mr. Dickey’s enthusiasm is infectious. But when the shop opened in March 2012, it wasn’t immediately clear how warm a reception his products, more commonly associated with a previous generation’s suburban Saturday mornings on long driveways and deserted athletic fields, would find in Midtown.

“We’re adapted to the city,” Mr. Dickey, a Roosevelt Island resident, said. Hence the store’s focus on helicopters, which make the most of the limited footage (square and cubic) of city apartments. Planes, too, can be flown indoors. Mr. Dickey recommends lighter, highly maneuverable throw-launched craft that are gentle on walls and loved ones....
Click here for the entire NY Times article on Mr. Dickey.

So, are you ready to go out and buy your remote control vehicle for Roosevelt Island? What would it be, helicopter, plane, boat, truck or car?

Imagine one of these remote controlled copters

flying above Main Street or anywhere else on Roosevelt Island.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Planet Solar Boat Turanor Leaving NYC Travels Past Roosevelt Island On East River This Afternoon - Conducting Ocean Climate Change Experiments

Image From Peter Knowlton

NBC News reports:
The world's largest solar boat, a catamaran called Tûranor, reached New York City Monday afternoon, docking at the North Cove Marina in downtown Manhattan at about 5 p.m. New York is the boat's sixth stop in a trans-Atlantic expedition that began in March in the south of France....
Treehugger adds:
The world's largest solar boat is a catamaran named Tûranor (the name comes from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, it means Master of the Sun) operated by the PlanetSolar Expedition. They've been roaming the oceans for a couple of years, completing a record-breaking 18-month, 37,000-mile trip around the world last year. This year, the PlanetSolar crew are tracking the Gulf Stream, all the way from Miami, Florida, to Bergen in Norway, taking all kinds of water and air measurements along the way, hoping to advance the scientific understanding of this important ocean current and its impacts on the planet's climate.

This week they are stopped in New York City...
Earlier this afternoon, Peter Knowlton spotted the Planet Solar Powered Boat in the East River passing Roosevelt Island and shares these photos.

Images From Peter Knowlton

More on the Solar Powered Boat from Al-Jazeera English,

WNYC"s The Takeaway

and from Planet Solar's own web site

Planet Solar is currently here.

and you can follow its travels here.

Roosevelt Island Summer Solstice Yoga Event Friday June 21 At PS/IS 217 Playground

The Roosevelt Island community is invited to welcome in the Summer Solstice with a Yoga Event at PS/IS 217 playground. Here's the info:
This is an opportunity to bring the RI Yoga Community together (that means EVERYONE, First-timers are encouraged to come!), Let's celebrate the longest day of the year, and help raise money for the Children of Roosevelt Island.

JUNE 21ST, 2013 7:30PM 9:18PM (108 MINUTES)
The event will hosted by 3 teachers that are RI Residents...
Sun Salutations; Pranayama; Mandala Flow; Moving Meditation; Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation to end the event) A Collaborative Event of Different Yoga Styles!

*We ask that you come at the start time as to not disturb the flow of the class.
Teachers: Lauren Blankstein; Jax Schott; Keren Messer
Location: PS217 Playground; Cafeteria if it rains
Open Level-All are welcome; Modifications and rest will be supported throughout the flow.
What to Bring: Water;Your own mat; a Towel& Blocks/Strap is optional
Suggested Donation: $20 which will go toward the 3 RI Children's Organizations: Beacon Program Island Kids Roosevelt Island Day Nursery



Hudson Related Begins Construction On New Southtown Tot Lot In Blackwell Park With Improved Equipment, More Shade & Better Surface - Construction Of Riverwalk Building 7 To Begin Soon

Have you noticed the fencing and construction going on in Blackwell Park recently and wondered what is going on?

The answer is that Southtown Tot Lot is being moved to Blackwell Park and replaced with a new one.

Hudson Related's Sarah Willard provides the following status report on the new Southtown Tot Lot starting to be built

in Blackwell Park. Reported previously that the existing Southtown Tot Lot

is being moved to make way for the construction of Southtown Riverwalk Building 7.

According to Ms. Willard:
... our new and improved tot lot has begun! It will be located in a prime recreation spot, Blackwell Park,

and will provide updated play equipment for the under-7 children of the island. Our goal was to improve the play equipment, better the play surfaces, and provide a respite for the parents and caregivers. Not only is the area surrounded by mature foliage (in fact the physical shape of the tot lot was determined in large part by the root system of these large, mature trees), but also we more than doubled the number of benches for the adults. The old play equipment and surfaces were outdated--an image of the new equipment and rubber surface is attached.

The team is really excited about its completion this summer and for the first time ever, my kids think my job is cool.
No completion date is yet available other than this summer but Ms. Willard has previously assured the community that the exisitng Tot Lot will not be closed until the new one is open.

More on Hudson Related's plan for the new Tot Lot at this previous post.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Tale Of Two Bicycle Rides Around Roosevelt Island - One A Leisurely Trip With With A Mambo Beat The Other At High Speed Rock And Roll Pace

A bicycle tour of Roosevelt Island from last summer

and earlier this year.

Be great if NYC's Citi Bike Sharing program would come to Roosevelt Island.

But some have issues riding over the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

Roosevelt Island Helix Emergency Pothole Repairs Thursday and Friday 6 PM to 3 AM, Traffic Reduced To One Lane During This Time - How Will Helix Handle Heavy Construction Trucks During Cornell NYC Tech Campus Construction?

 Image Of Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised on Thursday, June 20th and Friday, June 21st the Roosevelt Island Helix will undergo emergency concrete pothole repair work. The work will be performed between the hours of 6:00 PM and 3:00 AM during which time, traffic entering and exiting the Island will be reduced to one lane. The work zone will be marked with signs. Flagmen and Public Safety officers will be on-site directing traffic and providing assistance throughout the scheduled maintenance. Orange traffic barrels and safety cones will be installed between the two lanes to channelize traffic. Motorist are urged to use caution while traveling near the work zone.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

View Larger Map

Concerns have been raised about the impact of numerous, large, heavy construction trucks using the the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix during the construction of the Cornell NYC Tech campus. That question was asked to Cornell during the Community Board 8 ULURP review process. Here's the question and Cornell's answer:
... Q -How is the helix ramp leading from the bridge to the island going to be improved to handle the huge heavy truck traffic anticipated? What would be the impact if the ramp had to be closed for repairs? (Page 18)

A- No improvements to the helix are proposed as part of the project. As with any transportation facility, including local roads, highways, and bridges, necessary repair would be conducted with the appropriate maintenance and protection of traffic and pedestrian flows, subject to review and approval by the entity having jurisdiction over the facility, which in this case would be RIOC. Cornell will be complying with the reduced load limits on the bridge and helix as approved by DOT....
Cornell has promised to reduce the amount of truck traffic going over the Roosevelt Island Bridge and Helix by using more barges for transporting construction materials.

More information on the condition of the Roosevelt Island Helix available in this 2011 report by Liro Engineers commissioned by RIOC attached to 2013 RFP for Structural Evaluation and Engineering & Design Services for the renovation of the R.I. Helix Ramp.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Atlas Obscura Visits Roosevelt Island - History Includes Prison, Insane Asylum, Smallpox Hospital And Plans For Neo-Classical Civic Center Never Built

Interesting article on the history of Roosevelt Island from Atlas Obscura. An excerpt:
The history of Roosevelt Island goes to the very first days of New Amsterdam. First occupied by the Canarsie Indians, the island was bought from the natives in 1637 by a Dutch trader with the amazing name of Wouter van Twiller. Twiller lost the land when the British took over the territory, and after a brief transition period, it passed into the hands of its first significant owner — a British subject by the name of Robert Blackwell. The island would be known as Blackwell's Island until 1923, when the city renamed it to the less charming, but accurate, Welfare Island.

The city of New York purchased the island in 1828, and spent the next two decades building all of the things they no longer wanted in town: insane asylums, workhouses, a prison, and a smallpox hospital — all with a slightly Gothic grandeur.

Archive illustration of Welfare Island (via

After all this ambitious building of things to service the city's least desirable tenants, there was brief shining exception to the idea of using the island as a sort of fortress of isolation. In 1904, this beautiful concept was presented to the city: an imagining Roosevelt Island connected to the city by a series of new, stately bridges and home to a neo-classical Civic Center complex, strategically located outside any of the five boroughs proper....
Click here for the entire Atlas Obscura article and more cool historic Roosevelt Island pictures.

Here's a timeline of Roosevelt Island history from previous post.

New York City Updates Hurricane Evacuation Zones - Roosevelt island Divided In Two Separate Zones For Octagon Building/Coler Hospital And Rest Of Island

As reported following Hurricane Sandy last October:

... perhaps all of Roosevelt Island should not be in the Category B evacuation zone but that portions of Roosevelt island, including the area around the Octagon and Coler Hospital should be Category A....
The new NYC Hurricane Evacuation maps place Roosevelt Island in separate zones.
All of Roosevelt Island had previously been in the same evacuation zone but the updated NYC hurricane evacuation plan has Roosevelt Island in two separate zones. Coler Hospital and the Octagon Building are in Zone 2 and the rest of Roosevelt Island is in Zone 3.

Click here for the NYC Hurricane Evacuation Map.

According to these excerpts of Press Release from Mayor Bloomberg's office:
Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway and Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno today announced final updates to the City's hurricane evacuation zones. The new Zones, 1 through 6, which will replace Zones A, B and C, now include an additional 600,000 New Yorkers not included within the boundaries of the former zones. The new zone system - first announced in the City's Hurricane Sandy After-Action report last month - was developed using the latest Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricane storm surge inundation maps generated by the National Weather Service and processed by United States Army Corps of Engineers. The zones are based on coastal flood risk resulting from storm surge - the "dome" of ocean water propelled by the winds and low barometric pressure of a hurricane; the geography of the city's low-lying neighborhoods; and the accessibility of these neighborhoods by bridge and roads....

... The new Zones 1 through 6 include an additional 600,000 New Yorkers not included within the boundaries of the former zones. The increased number of zones will provide the City with more flexibility in targeting areas to evacuate in advance of a predicted storm. The chart below provides the cumulative estimated population of each new zone. The new hurricane evacuation zones are not directly correlated to the previous A, B, and C zones, and a numbering system was selected for the 2013 evacuation zones instead of the previously used lettering system to avoid confusion.

2013 Hurricane Evacuation Zone Population

Estimated population (2010 Census)

Zone 1 370,000

Zone 1+2 620,000

Zone 1+2+3 1,020,000

Zone 1+2+3+4 1,470,000

Zone 1+2+3+4+5 2,230,000

Zone 1+2+3+4+5+6 2,990,000...

... In the City's history, a mandatory evacuation has been issued only twice, during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

New evacuation zones now include:
  • The residences of 37 percent of New Yorkers;
  • An additional 600,000 New Yorkers;
  • An additional 26 New York City Housing Authority developments, now totaling 175;
  • Four additional hospitals, bringing the total from 21 to 25; and
  • Nine additional nursing homes, bringing the total from 60 to 69.

More on Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy damage from previous post.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Up On A Roosevelt Island Roof With Sunset View Of NYC East River Waterfront and a Ginger Beer - It's Heaven

Come join Robson & Jerome up on a NYC Roof.

Relaxed now?

Report From Roosevelt Island Residents Association President Ellen Polivy - Community Emergency Response Team Training (CERT), Blood Drive And Fun Filled Roosevelt Island

You Tube Video Of NYC Cert Training

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Ellen Polivy sends the following Report To The Community:
Hope you had a happy Roosevelt Island Day and a Happy Fathers Day. Once a year Roosevelt Islanders come out to celebrate what is special about our Island, our green spaces, our unique community involvement and our willingness to pitch in and help make our Island a better place. I’ve always found the day exciting and fun. Everyone is out and about on the Island doing something.

Roosevelt Island Day is a big block party. Children come out for the rides and to play and see their friends. Adults come out to either volunteer to help with the party, plant flowers or simply to hang out and be around the energy and their neighbors. Volunteers get their tee shirts and bound off to do various helpful activities like planting, monitoring the rides and cleaning up. Elected officials come by to meet and greet and many Island organizations have information tables.

Last Saturday, as usual RIRA sponsored the volunteer breakfast. RIRA members handed out hundreds of bagels and rolls, 4 vats of coffee and tea, coffee and tea and 12 Cartons worth of orange juice till they ran out at around noon. Thanks to Trellis for giving us two for one food and free coffee and tea and thanks to Starbucks for the free coffee. And a big thank you to all the RIRA members who spent the day staffing the table and greeting the the community.

Once again RIRA sponsored our blood drive. RIRA has been signing people up for the last three weeks to donate. We had over 100 people signed up to donate. The final count was close to 50 pints of blood. Thanks Jeff Prekopa for organizing this and to all the RIRA members who sat at the table and got the sign ups.

Thank you to Doryne Isley and Urban America who organizes this each year. Thanks also to the other sponsors for bringing the Island together for community spirit building. The Youth Center, a big help in lots of community events sponsors this activity as well. Thanks to RIOC for their sponsorship and support. The buildings also donate and the artists spend their time drawing our portraits.The community comes out to plant, clean up and help run the day.

The Roosevelt Island CERT is signing people up for the next class of 10 week free intensive training to assist first responders in emergencies. The class starts in September. The information in this class is essential for everyone. The class teaches everything from fire safety and use of fire extinguishers, first aide, triage, rescue, subway escapes to directing traffic. You never know when you might be called upon to stand in the middle of the street and gesticulate to drivers. Besides being available in emergencies and helping their communities prepare for emergencies, CERT members get called to do interesting activities. For instance, you could volunteer to be a “victim” in FDNY training scenarios. Community Emergency Response Team members are respected in the City and CERT member volunteers get deployed in emergencies. This is an impressive resume builder a lot of fun and a huge help to the community. Anyone 18 and over can be in the training class. The signup for the CERT class is now at 40 folks. Our CERT Chief will try to use the large interest to get a class started on Roosevelt Island rather than having all 40 folks go to the Citywide class.Anyone else who still wants to sign up can contact Howard Polivy, CERT Chief at

It was a beautiful Roosevelt Island Day. Thanks to all who helped make it so vibrant. We got this email from Sherie Helstien, the RIRA Secretary from last term. " I am writing to tell you what a terrific job you all did yesterday! Lynne (Shinozaki and committee), you got out the Bagels, Coffee, Juice, and two fundraising raffles! Jeff (Prekopa, Communications Committee Co-Chair and Chair of the Blood Drive), you got Roosevelt Islanders’ Blooood flowing! Ellen(Polivy, RIRA President) you got CERT training info and training sign-up done! Erin (Feeley-Nahem, Chair of the Public Safety Committee) you had the table with PSC information and that stand-alone professional looking PSC Newsletter! Whoa! What a wonderful RIRA presence on the Island!"

East River Kayaker And Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Officers Rescue Man From Roosevelt Island Seawall Rocks

I was coming back on the Roosevelt Island Tram yesterday afternoon at about 5 PM when I noticed an East River Kayaker paddling close to the Roosevelt Island shore.

I went over to make sure he was OK.

The Kayaker told me there was a man on the seawall rocks, who appeared disoriented, trying to climb back over the fence onto land. The Kayaker was concerned the man might fall back into the river.

I went over to see what was happening and realized I could not pull him back over the fence myself so I called the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department (PSD). Within a few minutes PSD Officers arrived and safely assisted the man over the fence.

Once the man was back on shore, the Kayaker resumed his trip down the East River.

Good job by the Roosevelt Island PSD Officers and the Kayaker!!!!!!

In 2009, reported on PSD rescuing a man trying to swim East River who got sucked under the Subway Pier Dock.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Scenes From 2013 Roosevelt Island Day, Games, Rides, Petting Zoo, Concerts & Relay For Life - Good Times

A very nice afternoon spent yesterday at Roosevelt Island Day. Come take a walk with me.

Here are some more scenes.

Flower and vegetable plantings at the Living Library Garden behind 504 Main Street,


and train rides,

Half Moon thrills,

petting zoo,

face painting,


popcorn and cotton candy,

and the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life at the Octagon Field.

Roosevelt Island elected officials were on hand too including Assembly Member Micah Kellner who tweeted:

and NYC Council Candidate for Roosevelt Island Ben Kallos was here donating to the  blood drive.

There was a surprise musical performance by indie symphonic rock band Mother Falcon,

a wonderful performance on the Sing For Hope Piano by Lionel Yu

and the nightime concert by FDR Drive Band with this finale.

Good job by Roosevelt Island Day Sponsors RIOC, the Roosevelt Island Youth Program

 and Urban American.