Friday, July 5, 2013

Here We Go Again, No Roosevelt Island Manhattan Bound F Train Service This Weekend And Next Two Weekends As Well

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

Weekends, 11:15 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Jul 5 - 8 • Jul 12 - 15 • Jul 19 - 22

Trains resume regular service at 47-50 Sts.

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

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

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
The MTA has advised that there will be no Manhattan bound trains this weekend, July 5th- 8th from 11 PM Friday to 5 AM Monday.

For service to Manhattan, take the Queens - bound F train to Roosevelt Ave and transfer to a Manhattan bound F train.

The Tram will operate on a rush hour schedule (every 7.5 minutes) from 7 AM until 10 PM Saturday, June 22nd and Sunday, June 23rd.

For up to the minute F train service updates, visit or call 511. To sign up for real time alerts on planned service changes, visit


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park 4th Of July Weekend Celebration Welcomes 100 Thousandth Visitor Saturday July 6 - Tell Mayoral Candidate/ NY City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Assembly Member Micah Kellner What You Think Of So Called Park

The FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy (FDR Park) invites the Roosevelt Island community to celebrate the 4th Of July Weekend

and to welcome its 100 thousandth visitor. According to the FDR Park:
Join us at the Park to celebrate the 4th of July weekend and to welcome our 100,000th Park visitor!

Event details:

Where: Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park
Date: Saturday, July 6, 2013
Time: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

A Dixieland jazz band will perform. Complimentary refreshments and American flags will be provided.
Tomorrow must be a very special day. Normally, refreshments, other than water, are not allowed into the FDR Park.

NY City Council Speaker/Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn and Assembly Member/NYC Council Candidate Micah Kellner are scheduled to visit the FDR Park for the event tomorrow. Go tell Ms. Quinn and Mr. Kellner what you think of this so-called Park.

Here's a time lapse video of the FDR Park's construction.

Free Outdoor Short Films At Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park Tonight - Rooftop Films Presents Independent Films By And About New Yorkers With Spectacular East River Views

FRANKENSTORM: From Across the East River (Teaser Trailer) from John Mattiuzzi on Vimeo.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Come out to Southpoint Park on Friday, July 5th at 8:30 PM to watch a selection of independent short films hosted by Rooftop Films.

Soft serve ice cream and treats will be available for purchase from the Mister Softee Ice Cream truck.

So come on out and enjoy the movie with family and friends.

**This screening is sponsored by Councilwoman Jessica Lappin & Rooftop Films.**


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Rooftop Films adds:
Rooftop Films heads to Roosevelt Island with a special FREE program of short films by and about New Yorkers. Join us at beautiful South Point Park for a scenic night along the shore of the island with spectacular views of Manhattan, Queens and the river on all sides.

Childhood Sale (Casimir Nozkowski | 9 min.)
The filmmaker parts with his comic book past

Frankenstorm: From Across The East River (John Mattiuzzi | 5 min.)
"Frankenstorm: From Across The East River" is a visual and emotional account of the night that ended in the horrifying Con Edison explosion, darkening half of Manhattan’s skyline. This short form, experimental documentary hovers along the East River, at the Williamsburg Waterfront in Brooklyn, where hundreds of spectators flocked to absorb the terrifying amusements of an approaching superstorm.

Everything Absolutely (Natalie Paul and Terence Nance | USA | 12 min.)
An overwhelmed young woman, out on a date, unexpectedly discovers everything she needs in a conversation.

SOLO PIANO – NYC (Anthony Sherin | USA | 5 min.)
On a cold winter morning, a lone piano stands curbside in New York City. Passersby slow, stop, and play. Plinking slightly out-of-tune over the white noise of Broadway’s cars, buses, trucks, and sirens, the piano awaits its fate. A plaintive reminder to never pass up a unique opportunity in NYC.

How To Walk to Manhattan (John Wilson | 10 min.)
A distracted walking tour of an exhausting commute.

A Man Named Magick (Joaquin Perez and Robert Hatch-Miller | Brooklyn, NY | 12 min.)
Meet Magick Balay, who runs a midtown Manhattan magic shop by day, and at night performs his own legerdemain at clubs and private parties. A close-up portrait of a charismatic guy whose greatest feat is how he has transformed himself through his art.

Aaron Burr, Part 2 (Dana O’Keefe | USA | 8 min.)
An American revolutionary updates his place in history in this radically inventive and modern bio-pic.

The Commoners (Penny Lane & Jessica Bardsley | New York, NY | 12 min.)
In 1890, a wealthy eccentric named Eugene Schieffelin collected every bird ever mentioned by Shakespeare and released them into Central Park. The only one to survive in the New World was the European Starling, now among the commonest - and most despised - birds in America. |

Under the Rollercoaster (Lila Place | USA | 15 min.)
To thousands, the Thunderbolt Roller Coaster was a Coney Island icon, but for Mae Timpano it was home. This enchanting film examines the true-life experience of one woman and her unique relationship to Coney Island living under the famed Thunderbolt Roller Coaster.
Doors open at 8, films start at 8:30.

This is great - would love to see more independent film screenings outdoors on Roosevelt Island but I do hope for a better food selection than Mr. Softee.

NYPD Activity Shuts Down Roosevelt Island Bridge About 1 AM Last Night Reports RIOC

According to this Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) advisory received at 1:12 AM last night:

Due to NYPD activity, the Roosevelt Island Bridge will be temporarily closed.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Have received several unconfirmed reports of a shooting on Main Street last night. Waiting for response to my inquiries from NYPD and RIOC.

Will update when more information available.

UPDATE 12:55 - Picture of NYPD on Roosevelt Island Bridge at Vernon B'lvd earlier this morning.
UPDATE 4 PM - At about 9:15 AM I sent the following inquiry to RIOC President Charlene Indelicato, Interim Public Safety Department Chief John McManus and the RIOC Directors:
Any comment from RIOC regarding the reason for NYPD shutting down the Roosevelt Island Bridge last night?

I have received several reports of a shooting on Main Street last night at about the same time the Bridge was closed.

Will there be any comment from RIOC explaining what happened last night?
At about 3:15 PM this afternoon RIOC Community Relations Specialist Erica Spencer-El sent the following statement:
Late last night an individual sustained a gun shot wound to the hand on Roosevelt Island. The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department (“PSD”) administered first aid on the scene and the victim was taken to a local hospital by ambulance. The Roosevelt Island Bridge and Tram were temporarily closed, and several NYPD officers were stationed by the F train, in an attempt to apprehend the suspect. The NYPD is conducting an investigation. PSD is assisting the investigation and will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the safety and security of Roosevelt Island. 
 I replied:
This statement says very little about what happened. 

Any comment about the Public Safety Department crowd dispersal at Lighthouse Park, fighting near the deli and subsequent shooting on Main Street in the early morning hours last night.

I understand that PSD Director McManus was on the scene as well. Is that true?
Will update if more information received.

UPDATE 10 PM - Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Chair Erin Feely-Nahem was told the following by RIOC:
In the incident that happened in front of the deli last night, under the Supervision of Director John McManus, Public Safety Officers successfully handled the dispersing of crowds, without the use of pepper-spray, batons, and without an array of summonses or arrests . They were able to de- escalate a situation which could have very easily gotten out of hand. There were no reports of vandalism and no riot occurred. The PS Officers on duty acted professionally and demonstrated extreme constraint in their interaction with the crowd of 200-300 individuals who after exiting Lighthouse Park, gathered in front of the deli on Main Street.

The individual who was shot in the hand was not a resident of Roosevelt Island and was discovered by Public Safety Officers and aided until the the ambulance arrived. Officers from the 114th came in and handled the situation, while the PSD Officers, working in conjunction with them, successfully dispersing the crowds. The Detectives from the 114th are questioning individuals who were in the vicinity during the time of the shooting.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday America, July 4 Is Independence Day - Today Is Also 6th Anniversary Of Roosevelt Islander Online Blog

Image of John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence from US History


As we all know, there's more to the Fourth of July holiday than fireworks, bbq, burgers, beer and flag waving. Not that there is anything wrong with that but...

What the Fourth of July is really about is the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. Here's how the signing of the Declaration of Independence was depicted in one of my favorite movies, 1776.

This previous post shows the text of the Declaration of Independence, a reading of it from then Senator John F. Kennedy and on a slightly less serious note, South Park's version of the decision by American colonists to declare independence and go to war against England.

Take a look at what the Macy's July 4 Fireworks on the East River looked like from Southpoint Park in 2008 (the last time they were held on the East River before being moved to the Hudson River)

and a report on the Good, Bad and Ugly of that night including video from Roosevelt Island 360 on the crowds trying to leave Roosevelt Island that night.

Today is also the 6th Anniversary of the Roosevelt Islander Online Blog. 

Independence Day and the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration viewing at Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island has a special place in the life of the Roosevelt Islander Blog because it was the subject of the first post and the reason for the blog coming into being way back on July 4 2007. The subject -  my objection, some might call it a rant, (all in CAPS because I didn't know any better) to RIOC charging $18 to gain entry to Southpoint park to view the fireworks when other NYC public venues did not charge a dime.

Blogger's Dilemma Cartoon From Cox & Forkum

Since July 4 2007, there have been 1,073,895 visitors to and 1,564,744 page loads of Roosevelt Islander Online (Readership statistics here). Thank you to all the Roosevelt Islander readers, contributors, those who comment and lend their expertise on particular subjects as well as those who send in their tips, suggestions and messages. Please continue to do so.

Happy Independence Day Roosevelt Islanders.

Roosevelt Island Tram Rider Snaps Beautiful Picture of Yesterday's Rainbow Over East River And Queensboro Bridge - Another Rainbow Seen Over LIC's Big Allis Power Plant

David Kraut shares this photo taken yesterday from the Roosevelt Island Tram of a beautiful rainbow over the East River and Queensboro Bridge.

Another great view from Roosevelt Island of yesterday's rainbow above Long Island City's Big Allis power plant from Peter Knowlton.

Roosevelt Island was Somewhere Over The Rainbow yesterday. Enjoy Eric Clapton's version of the song.

UPDATE 8:30 PM - More great Roosevelt Island rainbow photos from yesterday.

Click on the rainbow images to enlarge for fantastic view.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!! Roosevelt Island Getting A New Bigger and Better Library - Lease Signed Between Main Street Master Leaseholder Hudson Related and New York Public Library For First Floor of 504 Main Street

GREAT NEWS for Roosevelt Island.

NYC Council Member Lappin, NYPL President Anthony Marx and Roosevelt Island Kids Announcing New Library In July 2012

Assembly Member Micah Kellner reports that the New York Public Library (NYPL) signed a lease with Hudson Related Companies for a new Roosevelt Island branch at 504 Main Street.

Image of New Site of Roosevelt Island Public Library at 504 Main Street

Mr. Kellner adds:
The New York Public Library has already initiated the Roosevelt Island Library project with the New York City Department of Design & Construction (DDC), which begin working on architect selection, which, along with the contract development and registration process, will take approximately five months or so. Current projected schedule is to start design 12/2013 or 1/2014, start construction some time in 2015, and open the new branch in 2017, and the current budget is approximately $4.5 million. Capital funding has been provided by the Mayor, City Counci Member Jessica Lappin and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
The NYPL issued this Press Release earlier today:
The New York Public Library has taken a critical step in its plan to build a new and improved library on Roosevelt Island.

On July 1 the Library signed a lease for a property on the ground floor at 504 Main Street, which will be the site of a new Roosevelt Island branch. The new library will be more than double the size of the current library – which is only a short distance away at 524 Main Street – and is expected to be completed in 2017.

“The Roosevelt Island Library has been a beloved institution on the Island since its beginning in 1976,” said NYPL President Tony Marx. “After nearly 40 years, this ever-growing community requires a new and improved building that can support the neighborhood and its residents. This new space, a short walk from the current location, is a wonderful opportunity for our staff to further its work on Roosevelt Island, accommodate the residents’ need for the Library’s resources and services, and expand what we can offer. ”

The new library will be approximately 5,200 square feet, more than double the 2,500 square feet offered at the current Roosevelt Island branch. It will offer the public materials including books, CDs and DVDs, as well as computers, wi-fi capabilities and programming spaces. It will also be ADA accessible. During the construction of the new building, the existing branch will remain open to the public.

In Fiscal Year 2012, the Roosevelt Island Library received almost 90,000 visits, and circulated over 115,000 items.

Funding for the new branch, which totals $5.5 million, has been provided by City Council Member Jessica Lappin and the City Council, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and Mayor Bloomberg

"I am thrilled that the lease has been signed for the new Roosevelt Island Library. And I am proud to have secured $ 4 million dollars in capital funding to make this library a reality. With the funding in place and the lease signed, our dream of a new, state-of-the art library that can accommodate an ever growing population of Roosevelt Islanders, is now coming true," said Council Member Jessica Lappin, representative of the 5th District of Manhattan.

“Our City’s public libraries are an invaluable gateway to knowledge and learning for New Yorkers of all ages and economic backgrounds. That’s why we must ensure that they are growing with the demands and needs of our residents,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, whose office provided $1 million in capital funds for the development of the library. “I’m extremely pleased that my office could help support the badly needed expansion of a library on Roosevelt Island. From literature to computer access, it’s my hope that all nearby residents will be able to enjoy these additional resources and services.”

The project is being managed by the New York City Department of Design and Construction.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) will undertake certain construction work to assist the NYPL relocation. In addition to the installation of new exterior doors and windows and a new building entrance, RIOC will demolish the interior to clear the way for the new and improved library.

“The RIOC Board has long been committed to assisting with the expansion of the library, and is pleased that with this development the library will double in size. The magnified presence of the library will greatly benefit Island residents and visitors, while adding to the momentum of the revitalization of our Main Street,” said a RIOC spokesperson.

The landlord for the library is Hudson Related Retail LLC (“HRR”). HRR entered into a Master Retail Sublease agreement with RIOC in August 2011 in order to lead the Roosevelt Island Main Street corridor rejuvenation.

Created in 1976 by Dorothy and Herman Reade, the one-room Roosevelt Island Community Library served residents for 20 years. In 1997, the Roosevelt Island Library became one of The New York Public Library’s local branches serving the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

Construction Fence Erected For Southtown Riverwalk Building 7, Hudson Related Conducting Exploratory Excavation Work - Parents Ask If New Tot Lot Will Open Before Construction Starts?

Image of Southtown 7 Construction Fence

According to this Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) June 27 advisory:
Please be advised that Riverwalk 7 LLC will be conducting preliminary work to prepare for Southtown Building 7 construction. The work will include erecting a site construction fence and commencing exploratory excavation work within the construction fence for the identification of existing on-site utilities.
Image of Southtown 7 Construction Fence

As previously reported, the Southtown Tot Lot is being moved to Blackwell Park to make way for the Riverwalk Building 7 construction. Developer Hudson Related has promised that the current Tot Lot will not be closed until the new Tot Lot is open.

Some Roosevelt Island parents expressed concern that:
... we were assured that the tots playground would be finished before construction begins, yet it appears that they may be putting kids and caregivers in harms way if they undertake the construction before the new playground is ready...
The construction fence does not necessarily mean that construction is about to start before the opening of the new tot lot.

Will ask Hudson Related about construction schedule and date of new tot lot opening.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No Macy's Fourth Of July Fireworks Viewing From Roosevelt Island Or Other East River Locations Again This Year - Great Big Boooo

Unfortunately, there will be no viewing of the Macy's July 4 Independence Day Fireworks celebration from the Roosevelt Island, Brooklyn or Long Island City waterfront again this year as the Macy's Fireworks Celebration will be set off from barges in the Hudson instead of East River for the fifth straight year.

According to the 6/19 Queens Gazette:
Queens police officials this week issued a “first reminder” to the public that, again this year, they will not be able to view the annual Macy’s fireworks display from sites along the East River in Long Island City or Roosevelt Island.

NYPD Queens North Borough Commander, Asst. Chief Diana Pizzuti, is reminding residents that the annual Macy’s July 4th fireworks extravaganza will take place again this year over the Hudson River – this eliminating any view of the fireworks from the Long Island City waterfront.

Macy’s officials moved the fireworks from the East River to the Hudson River in 2009 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the Hudson River. Store officials said the fireworks display would eventually return to the East River but refused to say when....
Here's what it looked like from Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park in 2008 (before the FDR Four Freedoms Park was built) 

You Tube Video of July 4 2008 Fireworks at Southpoint Park Roosevelt Island
the last time the Macy's July 4 Fireworks celebration took place on the East River.

Hopefully, the July 4 Fireworks will be back on the East River for 2014.

UPDATE 7/4 - Gothamist reports:
Tonight, Macy's will hold its Annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular over the Hudson River, denying millions Brooklyn and Queens residents waterfront views of pyrotechnics for the fifth year in a row. Well, some elected officials are trying to stand up for the outer-boroughs, not to mention East Side Manhattanites: Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, State Senator Daniel Squadron and City Councilman Stephen Levin held a press conference yesterday asking the city to hold next year's display over the East River....

Roosevelt Island Supermarket Owner John Catsimatidis Talks About NYC Mayoralty Campaign - He Fixed Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket, Can His Business Skills Do Same For NYC?

Roosevelt Island's Gristedes supermarket owner Johnn Catsimatidis was interviewed by City And State. Here's what he had to say.

Mr. Catsimatidis held a Roosevelt Island Town Hall meeting in 2012 and I interviewed him at the Gristedes Grand Re-Opening last March.

Roosevelt Island Volunteers And Donations Needed For Angelica Patient Assistant Program At Coler Goldwater Hospital - NYC HHC July 11 Public Meeting On Goldwater Closing

The Angelica Patient Assistant Program (Angelica) is a volunteer organization dedicated to helping the residents of Roosevelt Island's Coler-Goldwater Hospital. According to Angelica's Jacqueline Gallant:

We're a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to enhance the lives of economically disadvantaged, long-term medical patients and support long-term medical care facilities. We are presently focused on improving the lives of residents at Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility (CGSHNF) on Roosevelt Island in New York City. We develop and implement recreational, cultural, educational and social programs to engage and stimulate the patients and residents with the ultimate goal of improving their overall quality of life. Such programs include Spa & Beauty Days, the Karaoke program, Coler Art Studio,

Image of Goldwater Patients Sketching At Metropolitan Museum From Angelica

Healthy Starts nutritional program and horticultural therapy. Most of the patients we seek to serve are seriously disabled and reside in either of the two long-term care facilities for extended periods of time, in most cases the rest of their lives.

We need volunteers for our special events, including Spa & Beauty Days,

 Image of Goldwater Patients Spa Day From Angelica

 the Sweetheart Ball,

Image of Goldwater Patients Sweetheart Ball From Angelica

and more, but particularly for program development. We're trying to organize a donation drive for things the patients need, like clothing, DVDs, art supplies, headphones, etc., with which we need help. We're also trying to organize a program that would allow for regular food delivery to the patients. Additionally, we need help finding sources of funding so that we could renovate the patients' common spaces and start other recreational/therapeutic programs, including a therapy dog program.

We're also looking for in-kind donations of new or gently used clothing, DVDs, headphones, CDs, games, and art supplies.

Please visit our website and Facebook page.

Please contact us at
More on Angelica from earlier posts.

As previously reported, Goldwater Hospital will be closed later this year to make way for Cornell NYC Tech campus and:
... more than 300 patients will be relocated to new facility at North General Hospital in East Harlem at the end of October 2013 and other patients will be transferred to Coler campus on Roosevelt Island at the same time. There will also be 175 mobility impaired affordable apartments for Coler Hospital patients in a new facility being built on 99th street across from Metropolitan Hospital scheduled to open in the spring/summer of 2015....
NYC Health and Hospital Corp (HHC) representatives discussed the closing of Goldwater Hospital at an April 16 Community Board 8 meeting. Here's video of that meeting.

HHC is holding a Public Hearing on July 11
regarding the closing of Goldwater Hospital.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Roosevelt Island Time Lapse View Of Planes From Laguardia Airport Over NYC's East River And Scenes Of Roosevelt Island

Two interesting video's posted by sffreshness on You Tube. First:

Times lapse of night time over the east river. It's nice to catch the airplane light trails from Laguardia.

Views around Roosevelt Island

Did you catch the Roosevelt Island Bridge going up and down? That was cool.