Saturday, August 23, 2014

Last Showing Of 2014 Roosevelt Island Outdoor Movie Series Tonight At Firefighters Field - Playing A Necessary Music Starring Local Residents, Goldfinger With Sean Connery Too - Vote On 2015 Outdoor Movie Theme

Still Image of A Necessary Music from Rotterdam International Film Festival

The Roosevelt Island 2014 Summer Outdoor Movie Series final showing is tonight with Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery as James Bond preceded by a very strange short film, A Necessary Music, about Roosevelt Island.

Image Of July 12 Showing Of Marvel's The Avengers At Firefighters Field

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
Saturday, August 23rd, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation presents the FINAL film in the Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series: James Bond in Goldfinger! Join us on Firefighter's Field at 7 PM for music, film trivia and night of movie fun under the stars. Food and drink will be available for purchase, bring a blanket or lawn chair.

Before the feature begins, RIOC will present a showing of "A Necessary Music," a unique short film shot on Roosevelt Island that showcases local talent. We hope to see you there!


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Here's the trailer for Goldfinger.

Goldfinger is a very good film but the highlight for tonight has got to be the showing of A Necessary Music, starring many of our neighbors here on Roosevelt Island.

According to A Necessary Music web site:
A Necessary Music is a science fiction film about modernist social housing. A musically conceived piece, referencing the video operas of Robert Ashley, the film explores the social imaginary of a utopian landscape through directed attention to the voices that inhabit it.

Roosevelt Island is a small sliver of land situated between Manhattan and Queens, intersected by the Queensborough Bridge. Formally known as Welfare Island and originally home to New York's largest insane asylum, a small pox hospital, and a range of other 19th century municipal facilities for incarceration, it now houses one of the cities most visible, yet little-known modernist social housing projects. The subject of several architectural competitions during the 1960's that employed the island as a laboratory site, proposing a range of re-imagined futures, from a floating casino, to a Museum of Egyptian Artifacts, to a cemetery, to a Disney-like water and entertainment park, its current status is the result of the winning entry of Philip Johnson. Johnson's master plan proposed a mixed income, enclosed utopian community; a bucolic concrete enclave, divided into three residential developments.

Treating the medium of film as both a musical proposition and a proposal for collective production, A Necessary Music employs the resident of New York's Roosevelt Island as its authors and actors, gathering together texts written by them and using them to construct a script for the film. Casting seveteen residents to enact these lines accompanied by a fictional narration take from Adolfo Bioy Casares' 1941 science fiction novel 'The invention of Morel', the film deploys fiction as a tool to frame and activate its site. Self-consciously dissolving from attempted realism to imagined narrative, what begins as a process concerned with sociality becomes instead a ethnographic fiction about place and community, and an investigation into representation itself.

A Project by artist Beatrice Gibson, developed in collaboration with composer Alex Waterman. Narration by Robert Ashley.
More on A Necessary Music from this 2009 post.

You can also vote to pick the theme of next year's Roosevelt Island Outdoor Movie Series:
  • Fantasy Films: Movies with Imagination,
  • I Love the 80's,
  • Roosevelt Island: The Final Frontier,
  • Traditional Tales with a Brand-New Twist or
  • Classics from Hollywood's Golden Age
Vote here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Very Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend

According to the MTA Weekender, there will be Roosevelt Island F train service

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Also, the MTA reports:
F Trains run local in both directions between 21 St-Queensbridge and 71 Av

Weekend, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Aug 23 - 25

Trains stop at 36 St, Steinway St, 46 St, Northern Blvd, 65 St, Roosevelt, Elmhurst, Grand Avs, Woodhaven Blvd, 63 Dr and 67 Av.

Good Day NY's Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelley Ride The Roosevelt Island Tram And Interview Tram Manager Armando Cordova - Resident Lauren Blankstein Describes Tram For NY Times Tales Of New York Too

Fox Channel 5 Good Day New York hosts Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly

 Image From Good Day NY Video

report on their Roosevelt Island Tram ride experience in part 1,

New York News

part 2

New York News

and interview our very own Tram Manager Armando Cordova.

New York News

Greg and Rosanna kissed the ground in front of the Second Avenue Tram Station when they got back to "New York".

 Image From Good Day NY Video

Roosevelt Island resident Lauren Blankstein also describes a Roosevelt Island Tram ride experience:
Dear Diary:

I have lived on Roosevelt Island for nine years and the ride back and forth, to and from mainland Manhattan, never disappoints. As the tram pulls out of the station on Second Avenue, the buzz of the city falls away and passengers are treated to a quiet four-minute crossing to a little island that is often misunderstood.

I was on my way home one spring afternoon when I overheard a young woman who was sitting on the bench at the rear of the tram talking on her cellphone.

“I’ve lived in New York all these years and this is my first time on the Roosevelt Island trolley car,” she said with excitement. As the tram hovered over the F.D.R. approaching the East River she yelled into the phone: “Wait, we are about to go over the water … I may lose cell reception!”
Ms Blankstein's story was published in the NY Times Metropolitan Diary Tales From The City earlier this week.

The Tram is getting way over crowded with tourists.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Impressive Balance Beam Gymnastics Routine At Roosevelt Island Fitness Area - Nice Dismount Too

Image From dummyado

You can practice your gymnastics too at the Roosevelt Island outdoor fitness area

adjacent to Octagon Soccer Field.

Extensive Delays On Queensboro Bridge Due To Taxi Fire - Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin Delayed 15 Minutes Due To Smoke In Area, Normal Service Returned

Roosevelt Island resident Janet Falk shares this photo and reports a fire on the Queensboro Bridge.

Image From Janet Falk
According Roosevelt Island Tram officials:
There was a car on fire on the bridge.

The South tram trip cabin was delayed due to smoke in the area Cabin resumed normal service 15 minutes after as soon as the smoke condition cleared.
Reported on previous vehicle fires on the Queensboro Bridge during the recent past here.

UPDATE 8:30 PM - Channel 7 Eyewitness News reports:
All lanes have reopened on the upper level of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge after a cab fire this afternoon....

Roosevelt Island Residents Arrested For Robbing Victim Of Jewelry And Bicycle Behind Roosevelt Landings Late Friday Night, A Knife Was Shown But No Injuries - Is There More Roosevelt Island Crime Or Just More Public Reporting Of Incidents?

Image Of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Shield From RIOC

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Daily Public Safety Report:
8/15/14 - 2340 - Robbery - 560 Main St - PSD/NYPD responded - #2 Males arrested by NYPD - No injures.
In response to an inquiry, a NYPD Spokesperson said that the victim was standing with girlfriend behind 560 Main Street (Roosevelt Landings) about 11:30 PM when approached by 2 males. One of the males showed a knife, the victim's pockets were searched and a watch and sterling silver bracelet were stolen.

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Director Jack McManus adds that there were 3 robbers taking part in this incident. In addition to the jewelry, a bicycle was also stolen. Two of the 3 were caught soon after the robbery by the NYPD working together with Public Safety. The robbers arrested are in their late teens and Roosevelt Island residents.

Some residents reading reports of crime on Roosevelt Island are concerned that there has been a recent increase in such incidents. A former Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officer (Rush Mob), responding to Cheshire Kitty, stated that opinion in this recent comment:
... You blame Guerra for 5 years of over enforcement, but what you forget is that he followed what his RIOC bosses wanted. James Frye did the same thing. He followed what his bosses wanted too. Only he went around cursing people out. He didn't care about the community. He just did what his bosses wanted - which at that time was NOTHING. Now we have a new Director, who is doing the same thing - following what his RIOC bosses want. The only drastic change at PSD is that we have more assaults, robberies, burglaries and drug sales on the island....
I replied to Rush Mob:
Do you have any evidence that there are more assaults, robberies etc on Roosevelt Island now than in the past?

Could it be that the current RIOC President and Director Of Public Safety are more open and transparent in reporting these incidents to the community? The residents now know what is happening when there is a crime rather than in the past when such information was very difficult to obtain.

One way to compare then and now is on the RIOC Calls For Services/Response Stat page. Unfortunately, RIOC has not updated those statistics since April 2014.
Will update if Rush Mob responds.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tom do Brasil Thursday Night Sunset Performance At Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park August 21 - Playing Choro, Bossa Nova, Forro & Sertanejo Sounds Of Brazil

Image From Tom do Brasil

According to the FDR Four Freedoms Park:
Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park comes alive with music Thursdays in August.

Performances are free and will take place rain or shine!

The Katchke Farm food station will be selling beer, wine and tastes from around the world from 4pm-7:30pm.

Sunset Performances are presented with generous support from City Councilman Ben Kallos.
Image Of Tom do Brazil From FDR Four Freedoms Park

Four Freedoms Park Tweets:
The Tom do Brasil web site reports:
... Originally formed to perform the Brazilian music style Choro, Tom do Brasil has expanded their repertoire to include Bossa Nova, Forro, and Sertanejo. Most recently, Tom do Brasil has partnered with New York City based collective Vox Novus to commission new works by contemporary composers inspired by the sounds of Brazil....
and here's Tom do Brasil performing.

Still No Comment From RIOC Board Of Directors On NY State Inspector General's Corruption Report - RIOC Governance Committee Meeting Tomorrow, Will Subject Be Discussed?

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Governance Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Updates on RIOC’s Employees Performance Appraisal System;

Discussion of RIOC’s Employees Training Plan;

Discussion of Overall Roles and Responsibilities of the Governance Committee; and

Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee.


The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Still no comment from the RIOC Board of Directors on the governance issues raised by the August 2014 NY State Inspector General's Report detailing criminal conduct, corruption, kickbacks and nepotism by RIOC staff during prior administrations. Also, there has been no comment from RIOC Board Of Directors either on the NY State Inspector General's August 7 letter to RIOC President Charlene Indelicato regarding the Public Safety Department.

Does the RIOC Board of Directors not think Roosevelt Island residents, as well as the State Of New York, deserve an explanation how such corrupt practices detailed in the Inspector General's report could have occurred while they were monitoring and overseeing RIOC?

An audio web cast of the Governance Committee meeting will be made available soon thereafter.

Take A Wonderful Video Tour Of Roosevelt Island's Past And Present With Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy

Thomas Hawkins made this wonderful video tour of Roosevelt Island's past and present guided by

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy.

According to the You Tube summary:
Roosevelt Island is a tiny island in-between Manhattan and Queens. 14,000 people live in Roosevelt island and tourists enjoy the island. Judith Berdy has live there for 36 years and welcomes new people into her life every day
Nice job.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Roosevelt Island Moms On The Move Walking And Exercise Group Meeting 11 AM Thursday August 21 At Tram Kiosk

The Roosevelt Island Moms on the Move walking

Image Of Roosevelt Island Moms On The Move At FDR Four Freedoms Park

 and exercise group

Image Of RI Moms On The Move Exercise Group

continues to meet but for this week only will take place on Thursday August 21 instead of its regular Friday morning date.

According to Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach:
Due to conflicting schedule just this week our free RI MoM walk, exercise and lunch will be on Thursday, August 21, starting at 11 AM at the Tram kiosk.

Please send me a short e-mail if you are interested in joining us.

Update On Assault Against Roosevelt Island Sikh Resident - How Do Kids Learn To Hate And How Does The Community Battle Intolerance Asks Long Time RI'er?

 Image Of August 14 Sikh Coalition Press Conference (Dr Batra On Right)

Reported August 14:
... on an assault that took place near the Blackwell Park playground

Image Of Blackwell Plaza From Google Maps

against a Roosevelt Island Sikh resident, Dr. Jaspreet Singh Batra, that is being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force. Earlier today, Dr. Batra participated in a press conference, organized by the Sikh Coalition, explaining in greater detail the circumstances surrounding his assault.
A full report on the Press Conference is here.

Channel 7 Eyewitness News reports on the Roosevelt Island incident as well as other similar incidents in NY area.

In response to the assault against Dr. Batra, a long time resident of Roosevelt Island who wishes to be identified as Islandkrewe, sent in this observation to Roosevelt Islander Online. He hopes that:
... it will encourage constructive action and policy that might prevent further racist behavior by young people....
Islandkrewe can occasionally found in the Art Gallery on the Island playing jazz guitar. From Islandkrewe:
How do Kids learn to hate ?

A week ago , Dr Jaspreet Singh Batra and his mother, both residents of Roosevelt Island were subject to a shameful attack near Blackwell House.

His attackers were kids, described as "young people, around 12-15 years old" and fled into a key entry building on Roosevelt Island.

Regardless of how long one has known Roosevelt Island and its community, it is a painful and shameful event. But for those of us who call this Island home. the pain and shame is much much deeper.

How can kids who have grown up and live in a truly multi-racial, heterogeneous community such as ours learn to hate and inflict their hate in this manner ? Can a group of young people foster such thinking among themselves without their parents or elders knowing about it ? Could we have done better as a community ? Have we ignored or dismissed what might have been warning signals , or have we simply been unaware ?

These are troubling questions and there are no easy answers. What we can say, with some certainty, is that we have an issue that we must confront. And confronting the problem will take our entire participation ...  it takes a village.

The young people who led this attack were not born with these hateful and prejudicial thoughts. And living on this Island, they have surely encountered different cultures, both at school and outside the schoolroom. How could they have not seen what is around them on Roosevelt Island ? The diversity of color, creed and language, and the internationalism that is so much a part of this Island, and that gives it its special sauce.

So how do they learn to hate and how do they learn intolerance ? And what gives them the conviction to act on it ? And what should we do as a community to prevent this from happening again ?

Joyce Dubensky, CEO of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, who was at the Media briefing sponsored by the Sikh Coalition, was emphatic about the need to integrate and stress the importance of teaching respect for others’ beliefs, and inclusion, as early as possible in community schools.

The Tanenbaum Center published materials include Religions in My Neighborhood, a curriculum designed for K-4 students. It includes lesson plans about respecting others’ beliefs, teaches inclusion, and is compatible with common core standards.

Do our schools on Roosevelt Island include a program that is focused on Teaching Tolerance ? Do our city schools emphasize this issue in their curriculum ? How does the NYC Board of Ed bring this into the classroom ?

When we recognize hatred and bias in our community, what else must we do ?

Yes, the kids need to held accountable and counselled, and although this might not be something that would all agree with, such action could well be the best form of "punishment" rather than destroying young peoples lives with arrest records.

Sherrie Helstien, an Island resident had some concrete suggestions, which are quoted with her permission:
A “non-interested”/neutral party needs to find out if all the parties: kids and victim(s), and I assume, the kids’ parents, will agree to meet. The intent being, at the very least, a direct and sincere apology from the kids involved in their violent action. If so, then the non-interested party needs to arrange this meeting between/among them all. The kids/parents need to be asked privately and individually, so as to not influence each other. They need to do what is good for themselves, and they need to understand this concept and the seriousness of their decision, either way.

All/each of these kids (girls and boys alike) shall make the choice of either participating in the meeting, or alternately, having charges upheld in whatever form that might take, go on their records, if that is the procedure;

If a meeting is agreed to by all or various of the parties, one would hope the victim will also agree to take an active role in the process. Perhaps more than one meeting will be needed/desired [tbd by the parties involved] to continue to educate/enlighten the kids involved, or maybe it will be decided that this one is enough;

The first thing the kids must each do, individually is apologize to the man and his mother, whether she is available or not (I don’t know if she was visiting or lives with him), understanding the psychological harm and actual physical injury/ies they’ve helped perpetrate.

Then, these kids all must agree to be “enlightened” by their victim and mother, about their prejudice(s), to whit, they need to be educated about the Sikh sect. If the victim cares to go further and feels qualified to do so in a neutral way, he should talk to the kids about various cultural differences between South Asian sects, Arabic, and African ethnic groups (attire, etc.). They need to be made to understand that this “education” is not in any way saying that one group is better or more/less “dangerous” than the/another because we know that is just not true, of course.

I believe that, sometimes, when kids are given an opportunity to apologize directly to their victim, confronting their own shame, and taking responsibility for their own actions, and are even required to supply some form of mutually agreeable and reasonable direct restitution to their victim(s), they will have a chance to learn to see their victim and thus, others, as not apart from/unlike themselves, rather than learning nothing but negatives with negative interaction with “the law”.

If the kids choose to meet and work in good faith with the victim, the one thing that will bind the kids (and their parents) to their words is that they be required to sign a “contract” with the victim/s. If they fulfill the requirements of the “contract” then they should not have this “problem” appear on any record.

And they should know that the community’s “eyes” are now upon them for the future.
Sherrie adds:
There is a program offered specifically for schools to use by the Southern Poverty Law Center called “Teaching Tolerance”, and it’s offered for all age groups. This might be something to address with the PS/IS217 school principal.
Good thoughts and good ideas, which I am sure will stimulate additional constructive paths. Do we agree? Can we make this happen?

But there is more that needs to happen. If we accept that hate is a learned behavior, fed by various sources, including negative media, much more needs to be done. We cannot grapple with all the forces that contribute to creating intolerance, but what can do is to act as a "village" and take responsibility.

Responsibility includes stepping up and willing to 'be counted" when we see intolerance or prejudice in our community. Silence is assent. If you do not object, it is assumed that you accept something. We are not a community that will accept evil. There were witnesses to the attack on Dr. Batra. Speak up and stand up for Tolerance . Commend the young woman who stepped up to intercede. Attend and show your support at community events that rally around important causes such as this. Do the right thing. And never let this happen again.
More information on the incident available here including Dr. Batra's description of what happened.

Roosevelt Island Democrats Invited To Four Freedoms Democratic Club Fall Fun Fundraising Party Tonight, Tuesday August 19

Are you a Roosevelt Island resident interested in local Democratic Party politics? If your answer is yes, consider attending the Four Freedoms Democratic Club

Fall Fun Fundraising Party later tonight. According to the Four Freedoms Democratic Club:
We're just a few weeks away from September 9th and the club a gearing up for our first big election! We're trying to raise some funds to help connect our candidates to the voters of the 76th Assembly District.

And as the Four Freedoms Democratic Club, we always try to do things in the most fun way possible! So we're throwing a party!

So come by, meet your friends, and have a bit of fun helping elect progressive Democrats in the 76th.

August 19, 2014 at 7pm - 9pm
Off The Rails
1754 2nd Ave
Four Freedoms Democratic Club Chair Kim Moscaritolo and Treasurer Michael Dillon spoke at the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) June Meeting Public Session inviting those interested in Democratic Party politics to join their new club. Here's what they had to say.

More information on the Four Freedoms Democratic Club available at their web site.

During the August 11 Citizens Union debate among the Democratic candidates for 76 Assembly District, the candidates

were asked what are the two main issues facing Roosevelt Island. Here's what

had to say about Roosevelt Island issues.

The candidates also appeared at a Town Hall Meeting focused entirely on Roosevelt Island issues earlier this month.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Swarming Bees Making Hive In Roosevelt Island FDNY Call Box At Octagon Bus Stop Reports RI 311 See Click Fix

Roosevelt Island See Click Fix 311 reports on August 17:

Beehive in fire call box

Image From Roosevelt Island See Click Fix 311

There are bees swarming and making a hive in the FDNY call box in the island out front of the Octagon bus stop. Dangerous!!
Do you have a Roosevelt Island issue or problem that can be fixed by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)? If you see a problem or an issue on Roosevelt Island that needs to be brought to the attention of RIOC and fixed, click on RI 311 See Click Fix,

report the issue and then monitor RIOC's response to the problem.

Skyline Musical About Penn Station Preservation Fundraiser For Roosevelt Island Historical Society Sunday August 24 - Tickets $40

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy invites you to attend a showing of the musical Skyline: A Mid Century Musical.

Image From RIHS

According to the RIHS:


Sunday, August 24th at 2:00 p.m.

Performances will take place at:
The Loretto Auditorium at Sheen Center
18 Bleecker Street, at Elizabeth Street, New York City

For reservations please reply to this e-mail address.

This is a fundraiser for the RIHS.

Tickets $40- per person, call 212-688-4836
Skyline is part of the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival.

According to the promotional materials for Skyline:
Who can resist a musical about one of the most significant losses in preservation history? Experience the epic battle for Penn Station in an entirely new way with the world premiere of the musical based on the struggle to save this iconic edifice. 

In 1962, New York is a city suspended between the 19th and 21st centuries, and a battle is brewing between past and present, history and posterity, memory and the vision of the future. At the front lines of this battle stands beautiful, historic Pennsylvania Station: once a magnificent symbol of the city's future, now a neglected relic of its rapidly vanishing past.

Skyline, by Maureen FitzGerald and Taylor Williams, and directed by Jason Blitman, tells the story of the ordinary New Yorkers who fought to rescue this doomed landmark from destruction. With its brisk and bantering libretto and jazz-infused musical score, Skyline is both a heartfelt love letter to the city of New York and a cautionary tale for any city and any age in which the rage for the new threatens to sever our lifeline to the past. The musical will receive its world premiere as part of the  2014 New York International Fringe Festival, a Production of The Present Company.

Roosevelt Island Trellis Diner Announces Renovation To WOW Residents Starting September 8 - Restaurant Will Be Closed 4-6 Months During Construction

Roosevelt Island Trellis Diner owner Alex Razaghi reports that the Trellis Diner will begin renovations in early September. According to Mr. Razaghi:

Coming soon

It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you over the past years. During this time, we have listened to you and discovered the many ways we can serve you better.

Please bear with us as we close to renovate and work on making those improvements. We eagerly look forward to seeing you after reopening.

We would like to thank you all for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful community and for your patience while we work even harder to serve you better in the future.

We will be closed as of September 8th, 2014.

From all of us,

Your friends at Trellis
Mr. Razaghi added that Trellis will be closed for 4-6 months during construction.

As previously reported, during the August 21, 2013:
... Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting (audio web cast of meeting here), Alex Razaghi told the RIOC Directors that he designed the new Trellis exterior facade with the aim to:

... reach for the stars and try to do something unique and original...
and he:
... took it as a personal challenge to wow the residents...
Here's Mr. Razaghi presenting his design plan for the new Trellis Diner to the August 21, 2013 RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee.

Say goodbye

to the Old Trellis.

Change is coming to Roosevelt Island.

Latest information on Roosevelt Island retail from update given by Main Street Master Leaseholder David Kramer of Hudson Related at this previous post.