Friday, June 20, 2014

NY Times Spotlights NY State Assembly Candidate Gus Christensen In Roosevelt Island Affordable Housing Article Today - RIRA Hosting 76 Assembly District Candidate's Forum June 25 With Hartzog, Menegon, Seawright & Christensen - Update 6/24, The Candidate Forum Has Been Postponed To A Later Date

Affordable housing was the subject of a NY Times article today headlined:

Affordable Island in the Sun
Roosevelt Island Maintains Its Mix
The Big City column focused its first two paragraphs of a Roosevelt Island affordable housing story on one of the NY State Democratic Party 76th Assembly District candidates - Gus Christensen. According to the NY Times:
Gus Christensen was, until six months ago, a managing director at Evercore Partners, the boutique investment bank, a position preceded by stints at JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs and an education at Wharton. Some years ago, befitting that profile, he was a Republican; but eventually the religion of the free market lost its hold on him, so much so that his politics migrated aggressively to the left. Last week he posted on Twitter a link to a tabloid piece about a billionaire who was buying a $70 million pied-à-terre for his children at 740 Park Avenue, with the hashtag #Signoftheapocalypse.

Mr. Christensen is running for the State Assembly in the 76th District, which runs east of Third Avenue on the Upper East Side and includes Roosevelt Island, a community that might be seen as a template for the kind of equitable and more economically integrated city that he and other progressives, fearing the eclipse of all but the wealthiest faction of the plutocratic class, want to see achieved....
The article continues here to discuss Roosevelt Island affordable housing.

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be hosting a meet the 76 Assembly District Democratic candidates. According to RIRA:
There will be a Town Meeting on Wednesday, June 25 at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main St.) with RIRA hosting the four 76th Assembly District candidates at a Q&A. The event will begin at 8pm and end by 10pm.

We encourage members of the community to attend this event to find out who they’re choices will be in the September Democratic primary and in the November election for our Assembly representative, replacing Micah Kellner.

Jeff Escobar
President, RIRA

Sherie Helstien
Vice President, RIRA

Sharon Pope
Chair, Government Relations Committee of RIRA
Here's more information on the candidates:
as well as this previous post.

David Garland is the only announced Republican candidate for the Roosevelt Island/Upper East Side 76th NY State Assembly seat.

UPDATE 6/24 - The Assembly Candidate Forum has been postponed to a later date.

UPDATE 6/25 - RIRA's Sherrie Helstien reports that the Assembly Candidate's Forum has been rescheduled to Tuesday August 5.

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend And Next

No F Train Image From MTA Weekender

According to the MTA Weekender:
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts

Weekends, 11:15 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, until Jun 30

No Coney Island-bound F service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.
Expect crowded Tram Cabins to Second Avenue.

Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Park Footbridges Washed Away By Hurricane Sandy Almost Repaired - RIOC Expects Lighthouse Northern Tip To Open By July 4

A Roosevelt Island resident shares this picture of the Lighthouse Park footbridge taken earlier this month and reports:

Another Eyesore in RI.

Image Of Lighthouse Park Footbridge

It has been 1.5 years since Super Storm Sandy when this damage was done.
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato says that she expects Lighthouse Park's northern tip section to open by July 4 weekend.

More information on the Lighthouse Park damage caused by Hurricane Sandy at previous post.

Report From RIOC President Charlene Indelicato - Roosevelt Island Day Tomorrow, No Macy's July 4 Fireworks Viewing From RI But TV Simulcast Celebration At Firefighters Field, Possession Of Fireworks Will Be Prosecuted, Outdoor Movie Series Starts June 28, Accessibility Ramps Installed, New Outdoor Exercise Equipment, Capobianco Field Drainage & More

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato sends the following report to the community.
Limited Parking & Visibility on July 4th

This coming Fourth of July, the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks display will take place near the Brooklyn Bridge, much further to the south than in previous years. Due to this location, visibility of the show will be extremely limited on Roosevelt Island. On this date, both Southpoint Park and the FDR Four Freedoms Park at the southern end of the Island will close at 7 PM. Parking for non-residents in the Motorgate Garage will also be limited on this date, so any visitors requiring parking should arrive early and plan accordingly.

As a reminder, unauthorized fireworks are not permitted in New York State, including on Roosevelt Island, at any time. In the interest of public safety, RIOC and the Public Safety Department are taking a strict “no tolerance” approach to fireworks this year. Anyone found in possession of explosives will be prosecuted. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this important matter.

Roosevelt Island Day, Outdoor Summer Movie Series & July 4th Events

Tomorrow, Roosevelt Island celebrates one of its best loved traditions. Roosevelt Island Day is kicking off at 8 a.m. with a community beautification effort at the Good Shepherd Plaza from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. Come early to volunteer, spruce up your neighborhood, and plant flowers with friends and family. Free games and rides will be offered from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m., a concert will take place in the evening. Kids’ art activities will be available along Main Street at Blackwell plaza and free yoga classes will take place on the lawn south of Rivercross at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by Urban American in partnership with RIOC and the Roosevelt Island Youth Program. We hope to see you there.

Next week, RIOC’s annual Outdoor Summer Movie Series begins on Saturday, June 28 at 7 p.m. with music, trivia and a screening of Disney’s Frozen. We welcome all residents to join us for this free event series at Southpoint Park. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy a family favorite movie under the stars. Visit our website at to view the list of upcoming movies at Southpoint Park.

On July 4th at 7 PM, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation will be hosting a free community celebration. Residents are invited to join the festivities, which will include a free karaoke contest, giveaways and a live simulcast of New York City's July 4th fireworks display on a large outdoor screen. Please note that while food and drink will be available for purchase from local restaurants; alcohol is not permitted at this event. More information will available on our website,, as the event date draws near.

Accessibility Ramps Installed at Motorgate Garage Bus Turnaround

Last week, the Engineering department worked with contractors at the Motorgate Garage bus turnaround to install four new pedestrian ramps. Thanks to these improvements, the sidewalks in the area now accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, and shopping carts more easily. As always, be sure to use caution and be alert for vehicular traffic when crossing roadways.

AVAC Yard Cleaning

Earlier this month, RIOC, the Department of Sanitation and employees from The Octagon, Manhattan Park, Island House, Rivercross, Eastwood and Urban American cleaned the yard outside of AVAC, Roosevelt Island's trash and recycling facility. All those involved understand the importance of maintaining the facility’s cleanliness, so these departments and building management companies will continue to work together to keep the AVAC yard clean until a long-term solution is put in place. Again, we commend these companies for volunteering their assistance for this important project.

New Outdoor Exercise Equipment

Along the northern section of the West Promenade, to the west of the Octagon Soccer Field, RIOC has installed and maintains several pieces of outdoor exercise equipment. This equipment has proven popular with residents looking for a way to incorporate strength training into their outdoor fitness routine. This month, RIOC will install three new machines: a combination Chest Press and Lat Pull-down for the development of arm strength, a double Ski Walker, which functions similarly to an elliptical machine, and a Leg Press station with three levels of resistance. This expansion of outdoor exercise options should prove especially useful during the upcoming summer months. Once the new machines are installed, we encourage you to visit the area and try out the new equipment.

Capobianco Field Drainage Project

At Capobianco Field, work on a new drainage project is underway. To avoid issues that can detract from the enjoyment of the field, such as puddle formation and persistently damp turf, RIOC’s Engineering department is installing perforated pipes underneath the field’s surface. These pipes form a drainage system that should help keep the field dry and in top playing condition.

Bike New York & RIVAA’s Painting Party

Last Saturday, June 14, Bike New York and the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association joined together to decorate the bike nonprofit’s storage container, which is located underneath the Helix Ramp. Members of the community came out to express their creativity and decorate the container with bicycle and Roosevelt Island themed imagery. The newly-decorated container will remain on display near the Motorgate Garage bus turnaround for the rest of the summer.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Another Breathtaking Sunset Over Roosevelt Island NYC East River Waterfront Tonight

According to the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

Don't Be Alarmed At Roosevelt Island Red Light Beam Projected Between Octagon Park And Motorgate Garage Tonight - RIOC Says It's Test Of Security System

 According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Tonight, on Thursday June 19, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) will be conducting a test of the security system located in Octagon Park. Between 7 PM and 9 PM tonight, expect to see a red light beam projected periodically between Octagon Park and the Motorgate Garage.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park And FDR Four Freedoms Park Seen From East River Circle Line Cruise - A Glowing Review Of FDR Park But Magnificent New Hunters Point South Waterfront Park In Long Island City Much Better For Local Community

The view of Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park and Southpoint Park

Image From You Tube Video

seen by passengers on East River Circle Line Cruise Ship.

Here's a video that describes the FDR Four Freedoms Park in glowing terms.

My reaction to the video - what a bunch of crap.

Take a walk/bike/drive over to Hunters Point South Waterfront Park right across the East River from Roosevelt Island to see a magnificent newly opened park with welcoming open play space for adults, kids and families

Image From Weiss/Manfredi

as well as a casual waterfront cafe and big comfortable seating

Image From Weiss/Manfredi

intended for its local community

to enjoy.

Roosevelt Island could have had a park like Hunters Point South.

Instead we have a cemetery masquerading as a Park called Four Freedoms.

How sad.

Make Music New York Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Concerts Saturday June 21 - Performances From Around The World With Dolunay, Laolu Senbanjo, Tom do Brasil, Ak And Anastasia Falcon

 Make Music New York:
is a live, free musical celebration on June 21, the longest day of the year, with over 1,300 concerts on streets, sidewalks, and parks across the five boroughs.
Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park is a venue for Make Music New York concerts. According to the FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy:
Make Music New York at FDR Four Freedoms Park

Around the World by Land

On Saturday, June 21st, Four Freedoms Park Conservancy will participate in Make Music New York, the largest annual music festival in New York City.

Join us as Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park comes alive with music from around the world.

Performances are free and will take place throughout the Park from noon to 5:00pm.

Rain or Shine!
Click here for the concert schedule from 12 PM to 5:15 PM.

Performances by:
Saturday is a busy day on Roosevelt Island. It is also Roosevelt Island Day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Roosevelt Island Day - Planting, Clean Up, Games, Rides, Yoga, Rowing, Blood Drive, Petting Zoo, Concert & Much More Family Fun Saturday June 21

According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato:
Roosevelt Island Day 2014 will take place very soon and excitement for this fantastic yearly event is building quickly. Urban American, in partnership with RIOC and the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, invite you to join in the neighborhood beautification effort and free community celebration on Saturday June 21, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Many wonderful activities are planned for this free event, including an early-morning planting and cleanup, carnival games and rides, outdoor yoga classes, a free concert, giveaways and much more. We hope that you will take part in this celebration of your community and the people that make Roosevelt Island such a unique and special place in New York City.
Roosevelt Island Residents Association President (RIRA) Jeff Escobar reports:
... As a kick-off to summer, I encourage all to attend this year’s Roosevelt Island Day on Saturday, June 21, for a day of family fun, games, rides, and more. Not only does Roosevelt Island Day allow us to come together and strengthen the bonds that make us a community, to meet neighbors old and new, and to have another excuse to be outdoors, but it is also a day when you, as a resident, can give back to the Island. Sometimes, in the fun and hoopla, it can be forgotten that Roosevelt Island Day was originally created as a day of Island service and beautification; a day when anyone and everyone is encouraged to pick up a shovel and plant new flowers and seedlings throughout the Island, to clean up and take care of Island areas that need attention, and to generally come together as a community to make this Island a more clean and beautiful place to live, work, and play. Interested in being a volunteer or want to help out? All you need to do is show up on Roosevelt Island Day and raise your hand, and you’ll be given a t-shirt and a task. We hope to see all of you there. Make sure that you come by the RIRA Hospitality Table early that morning to get some coffee and bagels for fortification.

In conjunction with Roosevelt Island Day and its theme of service to the community, RIRA continues to hold its annual Blood Drive at the Farmer’s Market, every Saturday through Roosevelt Island Day. If planting and repairing are not your fortes, but you still want to give back to our community, then consider signing up to give blood. It takes only a little to help so many....
Charlie DeFino, Executive Director of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) adds:
I am thrilled that this wonderful Roosevelt Island tradition, which was revitalized by RIYP and Doryne Isely 15 years ago, will again take place this Saturday thanks to the joint efforts of RIOC, Urban American, RIYP, Cornell NYC Tech, Rivercross, Island House, Westview and other contributors.

Enjoy the day.
RIOC provides this Roosevelt Island Day Schedule Of Events:
8:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM: Free Yoga Classes* (Lawn south of Rivercross, opposite Blackwell House)
9 AM: Bagels and Coffee Volunteer Breakfast
9 AM - 12 PM: "Spruce Up" and Flower Planting
10 AM - 3 PM: Blood Drive (Senior Center, 546 Main St.)
10 AM - 3 PM: RIEx - Children's Art Workshops (Blackwell Plaza, 500 Main St.)
11 AM - 1 PM: Petting Zoo
12 PM - 3 PM: Free Carnival Games & Rides
1:30 PM - 3 PM: NY Life - Masonic ID Screening (Plaza, 591 Main St.)
6 PM: Free Concert at Good Shepherd Plaza

*Bring a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing.
More information on the 13th annual

Roosevelt Island Blood Drive

 Image From NY Blood Center

 available at previous post.

A new addition to Roosevelt Island Day will be the folks from East River Crew who invite

Image Of East River Crew Rowing Past Roosevelt Island From Chantal Frank

everyone to their table for information on their East River rowing club.

Also check out the Roosevelt Island Explorers

Image From Roosevelt Island Explorers

on Saturday:
We are inviting you to join us for a creative exploration of the Blackwell Park Grounds during Roosevelt Island Day celebrations.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
10:00am – 3:00pm
Blackwell Park
Following the children’s lead, we plan to:
1. Create art with found materials,
2. Paint the face of Roosevelt Island through portraits of its citizens,
3. Tell and act Roosevelt Island stories,
4. Make music with instruments made from reclaimed materials,
5. Choreograph dance with this music,
6. Dress up in costumes made on the spot…
And, as always, enjoy being together!
If you are interested in helping, please contact Leila:
More information to follow soon…
Best regards,
Leila & the RiEx Team
There will also be a concert starting at 6:30 PM with the FDR Drive Band.

Roosevelt Island Day is always a fun time. Stop on by.

Here are some scenes from 2013 Roosevelt Island Day

UPDATE 6/19 - A Reader adds:
RI Island community emergency response team (CERT) will be providing Ready NYC information and raffle free go-bags and fire extinguishers. Ready NYC teaches disaster preparedness - do you know what a go bag is? Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher? Stop by the table

Too Hot For Roosevelt Island Starbucks To Remain Open This Afternoon Without Air Conditioning - Thirsty Customers Turned Away

The temperature read 88 degrees today

at about 4PM which proved to hot for the Roosevelt Island Starbucks to handle.

Thirsty and hot customers faced locked doors

and were reluctantly turned away

by our Roosevelt Island Starbucks Baristas who were working without air conditioning in the 455 Main Street Store. The air conditioning at the Roosevelt Island Starbucks is frequently out of service during hot weather.

Those who bought their Starbucks before it closed were able to enjoy their drinks

outside on the patio, which was cooler than inside the store.

Despite the lack of air conditioning and temporary closure today, in my view, the Roosevelt Island Baristas do a great job serving our community

Maya Angelou's Mom & Me & Mom Subject Of Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Book Discussion Group Thursday, June 19 - You're Invited

Image From Maya Angelou

Reported May 28 on the death of writer and poet Maya Angelou.

According to the Roosevelt Island New York Public Library (524 Main Street), on Thursday June 19:
The Book Discussion Group will discuss Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou.
You're invited. The discussion starts at 6:30 PM.

Maya Angelou discussed the book with ABC's This Week Sunday.

Publisher Random House adds:
... For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size belied her larger-than-life presence—a presence absent during much of Angelou’s early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to simply call “Lady,” revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them....

Summer Is Here And Temperatures Are Starting To Get Really Hot - At Least Roosevelt Island Kids Get Relief And Fun In The Blackwell Park Sprinklers

Summer is definitely here according to the hot temperatures yesterday and today. The NY Times reports:

A sticky Wednesday morning to you.

It is already 82 degrees.

It’s been 280 days since the temperature last hit 90 in Central Park.

Sometime this afternoon, as the sun bakes down, we should reach that magic number again.

It is easy to forget how shocking it feels when high summer descends on the city: A sullen violence hangs in the sultry air, the normal borders between things peeled away.

Tuesday, with a high of 89 degrees — the hottest day so far this year — gave a little taste....
It was hot here on Roosevelt Island yesterday and even hotter today. Fortunately, the Blackwell Park water sprinklers were on. Roosevelt Island Mom Susy del Campo reported yesterday:
Just to let you know how joyful and excited

 Image From Susy del Campo

our kids are with the sprinklers on!!!
Image From Susy del Campo

Another Roosevelt Island Mom asked Ms del Campo yesterday:
Just curious, since it's hard to tell from the pictures.. have they corrected the drainage problem? Last year it became a pool (water was not draining completely- maybe that's why only one was on?), which as you know with toddler and local animals, not the most sanitary, especially by the end of the week!
Ms. del Campo replied yesterday:
So far the water was draining, although a small puddle forms on one side the drainage because it is completely flat.

The other problem that happened just today is that the girls (totaling around 100) from the Hasidic schools left a lot of trash inside the sprinkler, so that contributes to clog the drainage. But we cleaned it up....

Is there a way that RIOC can tell the schools with big groups of kids that they have to clean after themselves?? And that the teachers have to follow the rules of the playground like everybody else?? (Toddler playground for toddlers, 50" or less, trash goes in trash can, close door all the times to access the playground and for the swings)

It is sad how they leave the trash right there for someone else to pick it up
Stay cool.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

14 More Metered Parking Spaces Open To Everyone Now Available Below Queensboro Bridge - Tennis Bubble Losing Their Exclusive Parking Spots

The parking lot below the Queensboro Bridge which had been used exclusively by the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club (and before that was a Handball Court)

Image Of Roosevelt Island Parking Lot Below Queensboro Bridge From Google Maps

will now be a metered parking lot open to everyone.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Additional metered parking is now available in the parking lot on the east side of the Tennis Bubble (facing Queens), which is slightly south of the Roosevelt Island Tramway. 14 spaces are available at a rate of $0.50 per 15 minutes with a 6 hour time limit Monday through Saturday. Parking is free on Sundays.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
UPDATE 6/18 - Here's the new metered parking spaces below the Queensboro Bridge

and next to the tennis bubble.

Fun Times At Bike New York And Gallery RIVAA Roosevelt Island Painting Party Last Saturday - Bicycle Excursions Planned Too Says Community Outreach Manager Caitlin Goodspeed

 Image Of Bike NY Painted Storage Container From Ashwani Agrawal

Bike New York together with Gallery RIVAA held a Roosevelt Island Painting Party last Saturday to decorate Bike NY's formerly all white storage container located at Motorgate Plaza.

Bike New York Roosevelt Island Community Outreach Manager Caitlin Goodspeed describes

the Painting project

Images From Ashwani Agrawal

 as well as Bike NY's free bicycle tune up services

and plans for bike rides around Roosevelt Island and surrounding areas.

Roosevelt Islander kids

Images From Ashwani Agrawal

of all all ages had fun painting

Images From Ashwani Agrawal

the Bike NY storage container.

Images From Ashwani Agrawal

Here's more pictures from Ashwani Agrawal of Bike New York Paints Roosevelt Island.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Stunning Roosevelt Island Sunset Tonight

Tonight's Roosevelt Island Sunset from the Twitterverse.

New Food Vendor For Roosevelt Island - Healthy Cart All Natural Fresh Fruit And Vegetable Juice Stand Making Smoothies At The Roosevelt Island Tram Station

Healthy Cart is a new food vendor serving All Natural Fresh Fruit Juices at the Roosevelt Island Tram Station.

Here's the menu which includes Strawbery, Banana, Pineapple, Mango, Orange, Papaya,

watermelon and other fruit smoothies.

I had a Razzle Dazzle Strawberry Banana smoothie

on Saturday which was very good.

Prices are a bit high. The regular size, pictured above, is $6 and a large size is $7.

They are open morning to evening from about 8 AM - 7 PM.

A reliable source reports that they have a one month permit from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) for $350.

Perhaps Healthy Cart could be a vendor at Hudson Related's new Eleanor's Pier opening June 29?

Up Really Close And Personal With Roosevelt Island Black Shallowtail Butterfly At Southpoint Park

Roosevelt Island wildlife specialist Rossana Ceruzzi shares these up close and personal pictures

Image from Rossana Ceruzzi

of a Black Shallowtail Butterfly

Image From Rossana Ceruzzi

observed at Southpoint Park on Saturday.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Fathers Day From President Obama, Game Of Thrones & Roosevelt Island

Wishing all the Dads a very Happy Father's Day from Roosevelt Island,

President Obama

and Game of Thrones.