Saturday, January 11, 2014

Freaky Fog Passing Roosevelt Island And Queensboro Bridge Today Touching The East River

Did you see the fog rolling past Roosevelt Island and the Queensboro Bridge today?

The fog was freaky, lurking

 just above and sometimes touching the East River.

Rumit Mehta shares these photos of the fog rolling across Roosevelt Island and the East River today

Images From Rumit Mehta

and so does the Twitterverse.

UPDATE 1/12 - Photographer Olya Turcihin shares these terrific photos

Images From Olya Turcihin

of yesterday's fog.

Come Learn About Reflexology At Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA's Art Spa Sunday January 12

Image From Gallery RIVAA

According to Gallery RIVAA:
Sunday, January 12, 2014
From 1 to 5pm

NYSRA, the New York State Reflexology Association comes to Gallery RIVAA to combine the healing power of art with the ancient healing art of reflexology.

Learn about reflexology and enjoy a relaxing and rejuvenating fund raising event at RIVAA’s healing oasis of art.

Hope Church Forming On Roosevelt Island - Community Dinner And Preview Service Sunday January 12

Roosevelt Island resident Drew Hyun reports that the Hope Church Roosevelt Island will be hosting a community dinner and preview service 4:30 PM Sunday January 12,  at the Good Shepherd Chapel.

More information on the Hope Church Roosevelt Island available at their web site.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Here We Go Again, No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend And Next - We Knew Recent Weekend Service In Both Directions Could Not Last

Roosevelt Island residents enjoyed the last 6 consecutive weekends of F Train service to and from Manhattan. Unfortunately, those good times come to an end this weekend.

According to the MTA:

F Jamaica-bound trains run via the E after 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av

Weekend, 9:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Jan 10 - 13

No Jamaica-bound service at 57 St, Lexington Av/63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
Please be advised that there will be no Queens-bound F train service from 9:45 PM Friday to 5 AM Monday on January 10-13, 2014 and Jan 17-20, 2014.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network And RIOC Work Together To Continue Mommy & Me Swim Classes At Sportspark In 2014 - Classes Start This Sunday

The Roosevelt Island Parents' Network (RIPN) together with the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee persuaded the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) to continue the Mommy & Me Baby/Toddler Swim Classes at Sportspark starting in January 2014.

RIPN Coordinator Eva Bosbach reports:

We are happy to announce  that swim classes at Sportspark for children 6 months to 3 years old start again this Sunday January 12 with two classes beginning at 11 and 11:30 AM.

You can register for the entire 8 week program or drop-in for any single class.

The formerly held 10:30 and 11AM Wednesday classes may continue as well if there is enough interest. If you would like to participate in either of the classes, please email me for further information:

We would like to thank RIOC for continuing these popular and much needed classes for the community as well as RIRA President Ellen Polivy and Island Services Committee  Chair Aaron Hamburger for their support.

RIOC adds:
Mommy & Me water safety classes at Sportspark will be continuing during January and February. Sunday classes will be taking place at 11:00 AM and 11:30 AM beginning January 12, 2014 and ending March 2, 2014. For residents who pre-pay for the session, the fee will remain $5 per class (a total of $40). Payment can be made by check, cash or money order at Sportspark (250 Main St.) on or before January 12, 2014. Families who are interested can contact Eddie Perez (
The rates are as follows:

Resident Fee: $40/session (at $5/class), $7/drop-in
Non-Resident Fee: $80/session (at $10/class), $12/drop-in

Report From RIOC President Charlene Indelicato - Roosevelt Island Renovation Of Lighthouse Park, Subway Pier, Motorgate, Cultural Center, Helix, Seawall, Elimination Of Red Bus Fare, Snow Clean Up And More

 Image of RIOC President Charlene Indelicato From RIOC

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato sends the following report to the community.

We are looking forward to a New Year full of changes. Many new construction and restoration projects spearheaded by RIOC will be moving forward and Cornell University will break ground on their new campus. Bike New York will expand their cycling programs and many more initiatives lead by members of our community will continue to make the Island a diverse and lively place throughout 2014.

Construction and Restoration

Work on the north entrance of the Good Shepherd Community Center is currently scheduled to commence later this month and be completed in approximately 4 weeks. Restoration of the south entrance is projected to be completed in the subsequent 4 weeks. Interior renovations are scheduled to be finished during a final 4 week period. The Community Center will remain accessible to the public for the duration of the restoration process.

Repairs on the West Pier are in progress, and are expected to be completed by mid-February. Lighting renovations and re-striping in the Motorgate Garage are proceeding according to schedule and are expected to be completed by April 2014.

Work on the footbridges inside the Lighthouse Park is scheduled to begin within the next several weeks. Construction is expected to be completed within approximately sixty days, at which point the park will be reopened to the public. Plans are also moving forward for the Roosevelt Island Cultural Center – repairs and renovations are projected to be finished by the end of summer 2014.

Many large capital projects will be moving forward in the coming year. Plans are being prepared for improvements to the Helix Ramp; and the design for the Southpoint Seawalls will be developed. RIOC will continue to maintain and develop the Island’s infrastructure to ensure readiness for the future.

Red Bus Fare Elimination

We are pleased to announce that beginning April 1, 2014, the Red Bus will be free to ride. Please be aware that any unused fare change cards must be used by March 31, 2014 or they will lose their value. The removal of the fare will allow for faster boarding times at each stop as well as encourage the use of mass transportation.

Bike New York

Roosevelt Islanders can look forward to more bike education classes, events, and community involvement from Bike New York this year. The nonprofit organization will continue to offer free indoor cycling classes at Sportspark (250 Main Street), and will expand their program in Spring 2014 to include after-school activities, summer camps, and more free community events. Bike New York is also looking for residents who would be interested in teaching classes or volunteering to help out on the Island. If you would like to get involved, please contact their Community Outreach Manager, Caitlin Goodspeed at RIOC and Bike New York are looking forward to a safe and bike-friendly Roosevelt Island in the future. Bike New York’s next class on Roosevelt Island is Bicycling Basics on January 15, 2014, 10:00 a.m. at Sportspark. For a full listing of their free classes, check their website at

Winter Storm Hercules

Many thanks go out to those employees who worked through the night during Winter Storm Hercules to ensure that roads and pathways were clear. While most pathways were cleared with relative ease, exposed areas, such as the lawn south of Rivercross, were subject to high winds that continually blew snow onto the path, necessitating multiple cleanings. During this icy season, please be aware that rock salt is less effective during extremely cold weather. Finally, while the MTA is responsible for snow and ice removal areas around the station, we encourage residents to let us know about any issues of this nature, so that RIOC can quickly notify the relevant parties. Residents are advised to continue to use caution while traveling during the winter months.

Classes at Sportspark

If you are looking for an enjoyable way to stay fit for the New Year, Sportspark (250 Main Street) offers a variety of indoor classes all year round. Currently, the gymnasium offers yoga and zumba classes three times per week, open basketball sessions, ping pong free play, and the Young Adult Program on Friday and Saturday nights. The pool is available for Open Swim seven days a week and offers several swimming and aerobics classes. For information about Sportspark’s offerings, check online at or call (212) 832-4514.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bike New York Coming With Free Programs For Roosevelt Island In A Very Big Way - You're Invited To Community Forum Tonight 7:30 PM To Learn More And Share Ideas

Image From Bike New York

Bike New York President Ken Prodziba and Roosevelt Island Community Outreach Manager Caitlin Goodspeed spoke during last night's Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Session.. They described Bike New York's ideas to help make Roosevelt Island a more bike friendly community and are looking for input on what residents would like to happen with bicycles. According to Mr. Prodziba, Bike New York wants:
.... to do everything we can to make Roosevelt Island a more bike friendly place. What you want we will do what you don't want we won't do

We learned that there is not a bike shop on Roosevelt Island so we want to create our own pop up bike shop. Everything we do is free so the bike shop will be free, free maintenance, free repairs, all of our classes our free, our camp program is free, our after school program. We're here to serve Roosevelt Island....
Here's full remarks by Mr. Prodziba and Ms. Goodspeed.

Bike New York is hosting a Roosevelt Island Community Forum tonight. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised that Bike New York will be hosting a community forum on Thursday, January 9, 7:30 PM in the Manhattan Park Community Room (4 River Rd.). Come hear about Bike New York's free bicycle education classes that are now being offered on Roosevelt Island, and let them know what you think. Light refreshments will be served and free t-shirts will be available.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
This is great news for Roosevelt Island! More on Bike New York from previous posts.

Presentation On Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech Campus Academic Building Designed By Morphosis Architects Today - Community Board 8 Invites You To Attend

Representatives of Cornell NYC Tech will make a presentation later today before the Community Board 8 (CB 8) Roosevelt Island (RI) Committee of design plans for their new Academic Building to be located on Roosevelt Island.

According to CB 8 RI Committee:
Meeting Date:
Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 6:30pm
Meeting Location:
546 Main Street
12th Floor, Roosevelt Island
New York, NY

Presentation by Cornell/Tech of the design for the first academic building and the central utilities plant.

Jeffrey Escobar and Laurence Parnes, Co-Chairs
Cornell NYC Tech is asking the CB 8 RI committee to make a recommendation on the design of the First Academic Building and the Central Utilities Plant so that the full Community Board can vote on Wednesday, January 15. Cornell will be going to the city's Public Design Commission for approval in February.

Arch Daily reports:
... Three buildings have undergone design development since the approval of SOM’s original master plan: the First Academic Building (Morphosis), the Colocation Building (Weiss/Manfredi Architecture), and the 350-unit residential tower (). These facilities will be connected by a quarter-mile-long ‘tech walk’, designed by James Corner’s Field Operations, which serves as a spine that weaves together the ensemble of buildings whilst functioning as a public pedestrian space that spans the campus’ twelve acres....
Image From Arch Daily Courtesy Of Cornell

Here's more on the Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech campus.

Big changes coming to Roosevelt Island.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Circus Is Back In Town - Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting Tonight To Continue Witch Hunt Seeking To Expel RIRA Member - What A Waste Of Time

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be meeting tonight, 8 PM, at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

As always, prior to the start of each monthly meeting there is a public session in which residents can come and address the Common Council Delegates on any issue of concern.

It appears that the Witch Hunt by some RIRA members to expel Frank Farance

 She's A Witch Image From Monty Python & Holy Grail

did not end with the majority vote at the December Meeting to remove that item from the Agenda.

 As reported December 4:
... The attempt to expel Mr. Farance failed. Before Mr. Farance was to give his rebuttal, a motion to strike the Expulsion Agenda Item was made and approved by a vote of 15 to 14.

Upon losing the vote, several supporters of the motion to expel Mr. Farance immediately resigned from RIRA.

Will have more later.
Unfortunately, the Farance expulsion issue may come up again tonight. According to Item 8 of the January RIRA meeting Agenda:
... 8 Second part of procedure to expel Council Member...
What a waste of time by those RIRA members trying to continue this ridiculous matter.

Here's the rest of the RIRA Agenda for tonight:

Please arrive a half hour early to help set up tables and Chairs

Date: Wednesday January 8, 2014
Time: 8:00 pm-Finish
Place: Good Shepherd Community Center, 543 Main Street

1 Public Session (8:00)
2 Roll Call
3 Elect a secretary
4 Approval of the minutes
5 Approval of the agenda
6 Treasurer’s report
7 President’s report
8 Second part of procedure to expel Council Member
9 Committee reports Unless there is a resolution, Committee Chairs get 3 minutes to summarize their committee work.

Ethics committee
Public purpose fund
Constitution and bylaws
Public Safety
Island Services
Government Relations
Main Street Retail
10. Old business
11. New business
At least one RIRA member who supported the expulsion of Mr. Farance resigned at the December meeting. It is unclear if any others did as well.

The RIRA Circus continues tonight. Pass the popcorn please.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 1/9 - I did not think it was possible for RIRA to look more foolish than it already has on this issue, but I was wrong. The issue on whether to expel Mr. Farance was postponed to next month after a very long, heated and contentious discussion. There are several RIRA members who hate Mr. Farance so much that they appear willing to have RIRA implode from within unless Mr. Farance is expelled. In my view, the majority of RIRA members do not support expelling Mr. Farance and just want to move on to more important issues facing the community.

Will have more later with video of the circus. 

No Roosevelt Island Tram Station Elevator For Parents With Strollers, Elderly, Wheelchair Users Again Today - Cold Weather Does Not Help, Waiting For Part On Order And Money For New Elevator In Upcoming Budget Say RIOC

Here we go again.

 Image of Roosevelt Island Tram Station Elevator Out Of Service Today

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised that the Manhattan Tram Station elevator is currently out of service. An advisory will be sent out when it is returned to service.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
A RI Long-Timer sent the following message to RIOC President Charlene Indelicato in response to the latest Tram Station elevator breakdown:
As if there was not enough on everyone's plate -- this is incredibly serious for wheelchair-users, folks using walkers, canes and other assistive devices as well as folks with health impairments or who are able-bodied elderly. Many of these folks depend on both elevators and cannot use the subway for various reason -- and are once again totally transportation challenged.

The increasing frequency of this main elevator breaking down every few days -- and the fact that when all the other improvements to the Tram and Manhattan Tram Station were being made that NO MONEY was found anywhere to replace the 30+ year old elevator -- should make this a priority for RIOC to address.

This weekend there will be no Queens-bound F train -- and our Manhattan Tram Station will be the primary means of transport for folks of all ages and abilities -- will there be elevator services ?

Will RIOC consider running a red bus from Manhattan to RI as we have done on other occasions in the past ?

It is not the best solution, but its winter, and some folks might appreciate RIOC doing something extra when there is no F train in one direction -- particularly Queens-bound.

Thank you in advance for any consideration you and the Board can have on this subject. It is only Wednesday - the elevator might get its patchwork fix for now -- but what about Saturday and Sunday?

I will leave the stroller-people and shopping-cart-pushers to another advocate to express their concerns.
I asked Ms. Indelicato earlier today:
Any comment on the tram elevator situation?

When will the frequent breakdowns be fixed and/or new elevator installed?
Ms. Indelicato replied:
The elevator mechanics have been working on the elevator since 1:30pm. The lift is out of order awaiting a part on order. The extreme cold has not helped the situation. We hope to have the elevator working again shortly.

There is money in this years capital budget for the elevators. We are reviewing the RFP for a design build elevator project and also for a new elevator maintenance project.

We understand that this has been difficult for many of our residents and again hoping that we will have the immediate problem resolved ASAP.

Roosevelt Island Resident Concerned About Street Lights Out For Two Weeks Near Octagon Building Creating Hazardous Condition - RIOC Responds

 Image Of Main Street Near Octagon Without Lights On At Night From Google Maps

Replying to the question What's On Your Roosevelt Island Mind, Mickgirl wrote earlier this week:
I am hoping someone can address why the street lights from the softball field to the bus stop at the Octagon turn around are out? This has been a two week long incident. It is cold & would help.

View Larger Map

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato replied last night:
It is a cold related problem. It was fixed during the snow storm and has again gone down. Thanks for the heads up and staff will be headed to the area this evening and will hopefully fix it tonight....
adding this morning:
The lights are back on, except for 3 or 4 lights. The initial problem, which was a bad relay, has been fixed. The 3 or 4 lights which are still out need bulbs or ballasts. I'll have to get back to you with a time line for their replacement.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Will Frigid Roosevelt Island Temperatures Make You Or Your Children Sick? The Answer Is .... Maybe

Time Lapse Night and Day Video Of Winter Storm Herucles Seen From Roosevelt Island Balcony - Was Not Even Close To Being As Cold As It Is Today

It's absolutely freezing outside today in New York City. Hope you can limit your time outside and stay as warm as possible.

Here's a time lapse video of a Roosevelt Island Winter Day, January 3, viewed from a Rivercross balcony looking south towards the Queensboro Bridge.

The creator of the video, Radu O explains:

An 150x compressed time-lapse clip of a cold and very windy winter day (January 3, 2014, the first day of Winter Storm Hercules) as viewed from a camera attached to our balcony door, aiming South-East. You can clearly see the Eastern branch of the East River and Queesnboro Bridge (recently renamed Ed Koch, after the late NYC mayor) and, to the left, the Western extremity of Long Island, Long Island City. A full frame HD picture (1980x1200) was taken every 5 seconds, and the frame rate of the clip is 30 frames per second. In the lower left corner you can see the time stamp. The film covers the day between 06:16 (6:16AM) and 17:50 (5:50PM).

Monday, January 6, 2014

Never Too Old Or Weather Too Cold To Learn To Ride A Bike - Roosevelt Island Adult Bicycle Riding Lessons From Bike New York Tuesday January 7 At Sportspark And Community Bike Forum On Thursday January 9

Image From Bike New York

You're never too old or the weather too cold to learn how to ride a bicycle. That must be the motto of Bike New York as it returns to a frigid Roosevelt Island tomorrow, January 7, with its Adult Learn To Ride Bicycle program at Sportspark. There are two sessions starting at either 10 AM or 1 PM. Registration information is here.  Don't worry about the cold. The lessons are indoors at the Sportspark gym. Classes will also be held on January 23.

Bike New York taught some adults how to ride last December 12 at Sportspark. Here's a sample of their previous Roosevelt Island lesson.

Bike New York adds:
Bike New York Community Forum
We want to hear from you!

Who: Open to all members and residents of the Roosevelt Island community
What: Come hear about our new, free bicycle education classes that are being offered on Roosevelt Island and tell us what you think. Light refreshments will be served.
Where: Manhattan Park Community Room, 4 River Road
When: Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 7:30pm

For more information, please contact Caitlin Goodspeed, Community Outreach Manager for Roosevelt Island, at or by telephone at 212-870-2075.
Bike New York's Community Outreach Director for Roosevelt Island Caitlin Goodspeed introduced herself during the December 12 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Meeting Public Session. Here's what she had to say.

Any thoughts on bicycle programs for Roosevelt Island?

NY Daily News Reports On Roosevelt Islanders Falling And Slipping On Icy Sidewalk At F Train Subway Entrance Following Snowstorm

As previously reported, the Roosevelt Island streets and sidewalks were mostly shoveled and plowed following last week's snowstorm except for the area next to the Rivercross Lawn.

 Image Of Rivercross Lawn Not Shoveled Last Friday Afternoon

Commenting on that post, reader rilander noted today an article in the NY Daily News which shows photos taken by a Reuters photographer of people slipping and falling yesterday on the frozen ice at the Roosevelt Island F Train Subway entrance, another area that was not sufficiently shoveled. According to rilander:
Sure enough, since the sidewalk on the west channel outside the train station was not completely and properly shoveled, it iced over and someone fell:
According to Reuters:
A woman falls while slipping on ice during freezing rain on Roosevelt Island, a borough of Manhattan, in New York January 5, 2014.

A man falls while slipping on ice during freezing rain on Roosevelt Island, a borough of Manhattan in New York January 5, 2014.

Mark Lyon commenting on the photo asks:
That's an excellent photo, but I have to wonder if the cameraman should have warned people about that icy patch.
and a Wall Street Journal editor tweets:
Does anybody know the story behind these photos?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Roosevelt Island Southtown Korean Pavilion Proposal, Four Freedoms Park Usage, Ferry Service, Air Quality And Cornell Campus Subject Of RIRA Planning Committee Meeting On Monday, January 6 - You're Invited To Learn And Share Information On These Subjects

Are you interested in learning more about the future of  Roosevelt Island development and providing input on important issues involving your community?

If the answer is yes, Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Planning Committee Chair Frank Farance invites you to attend the next RIRA Planning Committee meeting tomorrow evening. According to Mr. Farance:

There will be a RIRA Planning Committee Meeting on Monday, January 6, at 8 PM in the Island House (555 Main) Community Room. Given the length of the agenda, attendees should expect the meeting will last 90 minutes, I will do my best to keep it as short as possible.

The following is the proposed agenda.

1. Opening Remarks

2. Information Sharing On Korean Pavilion

- Note: Personally, I have been asked to provide input to the Korean Association on questions/info about RIOC and their process. I don't feel comfortable having a private meeting because I am also Chair of the RIRA Planning Committee. As I said at the December Common Council meeting: I believe the community needs an open and transparent process towards long-term features of Southpoint Park, and I believe that organizations (such as the Korean Association) need to be treated fairly and consistently with their proposals. By having such an open discussion, I feel that addresses both goals.

3. Development of a RIRA Position On Four Freedoms Park usage policy
- Note 1: We (RIRA Planning Committee) have determined that FFP Conservancy is not a leaseholder on the property, thus RIOC controls its operations. The purpose of developing the RIRA position is (1) to acknowledge that RIOC is in control and it should take charge, (2) to express the desire that RIOC develop a use policy, with input from the community, on the kinds of uses are permitted/prohibited, such as what can/can't be brought into the park (e.g., presently, children are not permitted to juice/milk in the park), and (3) all use/permits be coordinated through RIOC.

- Note 2: We might also develop a position on a proposed ferry stop at FFP. In short, I believe it is the position of Common Council members (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that putting a ferry stop at FFP might deter the Island getting a ferry stop next to the Subway/Pier (which was the most desirable spot, according to a RIOC study).

4. Prepare Request For Long-Term Monitoring of Air Quality by City/etc.
- Note: There are increasing concerns about air quality with the decades long construction of Cornell, and other industrial work around us (e.g., power plant). Rather than a piecemeal approach, we seek a coordinated strategy with appropriate data/analyses sharing such that the air quality on Roosevelt Island can be monitored and, if necessary, appropriate actions can be taken to address short-, medium-, and long-term concerns. In addition, we might find other neighborhoods (Sutton Place, Queens West, LIC/Ravenswood, Astoria, etc.) who might want to partner, collaborate, and/or support our efforts. Such a nested grid (data fusion) approach might help reduce False Negatives (air quality problems that exist, but go undetected) and False Positives (e.g., air quality problems attributed to activity on Roosevelt Island, but are in fact broader problems in our area).

5. Investigate, Analyze, and Make Recommendations on RIOC Seawall work.
- Note: I've heard that RIOC is starting a new project. There have been several seawall projects on Roosevelt Island in the past several decades, we (RIRA) need to provide community input/review on RIOC's proposed work.

6. Recent Cornell Agreement With City
- Note: We need to discuss this, understand it better, and provide analysis and commentary.
See you there.