Friday, October 17, 2014

No Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Service To Manhattan This Weekend - Get An Update On Weekend Subway Service Disruptions At October 22 Community Board Meeting

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

Weekends, 11:15 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, until Oct 27

Trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.

No Coney Island-bound service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.
We may learn more about the timetable for ending the Roosevelt Island Weekend F train subway service disruptions during October 22 CB 8 Roosevelt Island/Transportation Committee joint meeting. Among the items on the agenda is:
... Update on weekend subway diversions...
Manhattan Park Community Room
4 River Road
Roosevelt Island, NY
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
as well as presentation on the NYC Department of City Planning Western Queens Transportation Study concerning Roosevelt Island.

2nd Anniversary Of Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park, A Look Back At Dedication Ceremony And Upcoming Free Tours And Hot Apple Cider - KHHAAAAAANNNNNN

 Image From Curbed

The FDR Four Freedoms Park tweets:
In celebration of the 2nd anniversary of the dedication ceremony and public opening of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, we’re offering extra tours all week! Join us on the following days for FREE guided tours to learn more about the history of the Roosevelt era and the Four Freedoms, architect Louis Kahn’s design principles and philosophies, the story behind the building of the memorial, and the history of Roosevelt Island.

Saturday October 18, Sunday October 19, and Saturday October 25 at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm
Monday October 20, Wednesday October 22, Thursday October 23, and Friday October 24 at 1pm and 3pm

Tour groups meet at the Four Freedoms Park entrance gate. Tours are approximately thirty minutes long and take place weather permitting.**

Additionally, we’re giving away a FREE cup of hot apple cider and a FDR Four Freedoms Park Dedication book to the first 50 people who wish us “Happy Anniversary” on Saturday October 18, on Sunday October 19, and on Saturday October 25. Simply visit our welcome area on these days and mention our anniversary promotion to receive your gift!...
Here's scenes from the 2012 dedication ceremony with President Bill Clinton, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and a few Roosevelt Island residents.

All I have left to say is, KHAAAAANNNNNN:

and Happy Birthday FDR Memorial

Meet Art Gallery Owner Roosevelt Island Resident Paul Calendrillo - And Client Artist Stephen Hall Describes Painting All Screwed Up

Last week I attended a private art showing hosted by Chelsea Gallery owner Paul Calendrillo at his Roosevelt Island apartment.

Image Of Paul Callendrillo

I spoke with Mr. Calendrillo about his gallery and future curating plans for events on Roosevelt Island as well as with one of the artists he represents, Stephen Hall, who talked about his work All Screwed Up that was part of the evening's show.

Here's what they had to say.

More information on Paul Calendrillo Fine Art and the artists he represents available at his web site.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Changes To Roosevelt Island Transportation Options Proposed By NYC Planning Dep't Western Queens Transportation Study - Learn More At October 22 CB 8 Meeting And Update On Weekend Subway Diversions Too

Image Of Western Queens Transportation Study Area Of Interest from NYC Planning Dept (Page 4)

A joint Roosevelt Island/Transportation Committee meeting of Community Board 8 (CB 8) will host a very important  presentation and discussion concerning future possible transportation plans for Roosevelt Island. According to CB 8:
The City of New York Manhattan Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee

Manhattan Park
Community Room
4 River Road
Roosevelt Island, NY
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

1 - Presentation by Department of City Planning of its recommendations for the Western Queens Transportation Study which includes the Roosevelt Island Bridge -- Joint issue with the Transportation Committee
2- Update on weekend subway diversions
3 - Old Business
4- New business

Jeffrey Escobar and Laurence Parnes, Co-Chairs
Among the recommendations of the Western Queens Transportation Study concerning Roosevelt Island are:
Changes to the bus network to improve access to Roosevelt Island, Hallets Point, and Hunter’s Point, among other areas;...

... Improved access to Roosevelt Island via a protected bike lane and redesigned circulation areas serving the island’s parking garage complex;...

... The recommendations made in this PDF Document presentation are predicated upon further study and feasibility analyses prior to implementation
The Western Queens Transportation Study recommends eliminating the existing Q102 bus that serves Roosevelt Island

and replacing it with an extension (Pages 21-22)

 Image of Proposed Bus Routes From Western Queens Transportation Study Page 21

  of the Q19 from Astoria (current route)

and Q39 from Long Island City (current route)

to Roosevelt Island as well as extending the Q103 bus route that passes Roosevelt Island on Vernon B'lvd but not stopping on Roosevelt Island.

There is no mention of extending the Q104 bus to Roosevelt Island which currently ends it route two blocks from the Roosevelt Island Bridge at Vernon B'lvd and 34th Avenue.

No mention of changes to current F train Roosevelt Island subway service either (Page 23).

The Western Queens Transportation Study (Page 22) recommends:
Extend East River Ferry service to Roosevelt Island and Hallett’s Point

Construct additional ferry landings at Hunter’s Point, Roosevelt Island, and Astoria Cove for new ferry

and (Pages 44-47):
Encourage bicycling as a viable mode of transportation in the study area by creating a safe and efficient network

Construct two-way protected bicycle lane on 36th Avenue

Enhance the descent from the Roosevelt Island Bridge to the street network on Roosevelt Island

Improve connection between Roosevelt Island Bridge bike/pedestrian paths and East River Greenway...

... New east-west bike connection needed between future Cornell Technion campus and Western Queens destinations to meet anticipated demand from new students and employees...

The Western Queens Transportation Study also recommends improvement to the Motorgate Garage, Atrium and surrounding areas Pages (48 -57) including .

new dedicated entrances,

a welcoming pedestrian plaza,

improved way finding, new multi-purpose escalator, bike share station,

and attractive pedestrian plaza greenway.

So, if you want to learn more and add your input on the future of Roosevelt Island Transportation, including finding out what's going on with the weekend subway service disruptions, come to the October 22 CB 8 Roosevelt Island/Transportation committee meeting.

Here is video showing Roosevelt Island November 2013 meeting discussion of a preliminary version of the Western Queens Transportation Study and March 2014 meeting with MTA representatives concerning better bus service for Roosevelt Island.

UPDATE 10/31 - Here is video of the October 22 Western Queens Transportation Study presentation.

Expansion Of NYC Subway Wireless And Wifi Service Announced Today By Governor Cuomo - But When Will Roosevelt Island F Train Station Get Service?

 Image From Transitwirelesswifi

NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced:
... the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Transit Wireless’ completion of a major expansion of wireless and Wi-Fi service in subway stations, extending underground connectivity to 11 new Manhattan stations and 29 more in Queens, and connecting a total 47 million riders monthly. The completion of Phases I and II are part of seven phases to wire all 277 underground stations by 2017, and work has already begun to bring another 39 stations online by spring 2015.

"Adding and improving wireless service at more subway stations provides a much-anticipated boost to riders’ experience in one of the world’s busiest and oldest subway systems, while offering an added level of security," Governor Cuomo said. "A more stable network below ground ensures that riders and first responders can seamlessly communicate in events of emergency, which is essential in a system that carries millions of passengers every day."

Phase II of the wireless and Wi-Fi network build-out covers 29 underground stations in Queens and 11 in Manhattan, including major hubs such as the Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue Station, Jamaica Center Station, Court Square Station, 42 Street Bryant Park Station, 34 Street Herald Square Station and Grand Central 42 Street Station. The first 36 Midtown Manhattan underground stations were connected just 18 months ago.

A full list of wireless-enabled subway stations to date can be viewed HERE.

Today’s announcement was made by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Transit Wireless at the Court Square Subway Station in Long Island City, Queens, with Transit Wireless’ partner wireless agencies, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon Wireless, and also Royal Caribbean International, which is providing complementary Wi-Fi to riders.

Phase III of the project will include the Flushing Main Street Station in Queens, as well as stations in Lower Manhattan, West Harlem and Washington Heights. Major stations in Phase III include the Fulton Street Station, 125 Street Station and the new 34 Street 7 Station when it opens next year.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast said, "Bringing wireless service into our subway system is the latest milestone in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s effort to use technology to improve the service we provide for our customers. Whether you’re checking your email, calling your kids or looking for emergency assistance, wireless service will bring the conveniences we’re used to above ground into the subway system."...
Here's full Press Release from Governor's office.

When will the Roosevelt Island F Train station get wireless and wifi enabled? Melissa Wade asked Transit Wireless:
Transit Wireless replied Roosevelt Island service in Fall of 2015:
Here are the subway stations included in Phase 1 and 2.
No Roosevelt Island on the list - must wait, again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Update On Roosevelt Island Resident Anna-Maria Mostrom - Bike Rider Critically Injured After Accident With Roosevelt Island Red Bus Last Week

Last Wednesday evening, October 8, I received this report from a Roosevelt Island resident:

Red bus hit a person (can't tell if pedestrian or bicyclist) just before Gristedes turn around. Road closed going north.
 Image From Kevin Deutsch Tweet

Tragically, 29 year old Anna-Maria Mostrom, a resident of the Octagon building, was hit by a Roosevelt Island Red Bus while she was riding a bicycle on Main Street near the Motorgate/Gristedes Turnaround at about about 9:20 PM.

... According to the NYPD, after hitting the Red Bus, the 29 year old bicyclist fell and hit her head on the pavement. She was not wearing a bike helmet.
The Swedish web site Expressen reported on October 13 (via Google Translate)
Swedish model Anna-Maria Mostrom, 29, is in a coma in a hospital in New York after being hit by a bus as she rode to home on Roosevelt Island.

The family has been forced to take the difficult decision to shut down all the systems that keep her alive for a few days.

It is not easy now. It's so unfair, says her dad Ronny Mostrom.

Anna-Maria Mostrom left home in Sweden for a life as a model across the Atlantic.

There, she lived her dream life and lived for two years in New York after setting up in the Swedish TV show Top Model in 2005 and 2006, she was now in its tenth year in the United States.

Last Wednesday evening met Anna-Maria Mostrom of a bus that made a hasty left turn.

Exactly what happened when the accident occurred is not clear, but Anna-Maria, who at the time was on her way home to the house on Roosevelt Island, between Manhattan and Queens, fell to the ground and hurt herself so badly that she ended up in a coma....
Expressen added on October 14:
... Their daughter is brain-dead and without the ventilator, the rest of her body would cease to function immediately. The doctors have tried, but her own breathing was like tiny sighs. Her parents has now met a medical team and decided to donate her organs.

Hopefully they can save up to 10 lives, Ronny Moström says.

Her friends visit her in her hospital bed, many want to say their goodbyes. The parents have decided that the ventilator will be shut down between 7pm and 10pm later today. Exactly how long time her body will be able to hold on after that is uncertain, it could be a matter of minutes....
My9NJ reported today:
... According to police, the bus was making a left turn when it struck her, causing her to fall off the bike. It has not been confirmed whether or not Mostrom swerved into the bus or the bus ran into her. The driver remained at the scene with Mostrom until emergency personnel arrived and is not facing charges in the accident...

Just a terrible tragedy.

More reaction from Roosevelt Island at this post.

FDNY Roosevelt Island Tram Rescue Drills Today - Watch 2013 Drill Showing Fireman Sliding Down Cable From Tram Tower To Tram Cabin

According to the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
Leitner-Poma, operator of the Roosevelt Island Tramway,
has advised that on Wednesday, October 15th from 10:30 AM until 2:30 PM, one Tram cabin will be in operation due to a scheduled Tram Rescue Practice Drill with the New York City Fire Department (NYFD). There will be no disruption to normal Tram service. Thank you for your cooperation.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Paul Hodgkinson shares this video he took of March 2013 FDNY drill showing fireman strapped to cable  sliding down from a Tram Tower to the Tram Cabin. ( Click on full screen icon to get fantastic view of the drill.)

More on Roosevelt Island FDNY Tram Rescue Drill from this 2013 Daily News video.

UPDATE 1 PM - Some scenes from today's FDNY Roosevelt Island Tram Rescue Drills.

Image Of FDNY Tram Rescue Drill Team On Top Of Cabin

Today's training included practice lowering passengers from the Tram Cabin to the ground as well as lowering injured passengers on a stretcher.

Richard Blatus, a chief in the FDNY Rescue unit, explains today's Roosevelt Island training drill.

WCBS News Chris Wragge was covering the Roosevelt Island Tram rescue drill for a future Channel 2 TV story and participated in the drill by being lowered from the Tram Cabin to the ground. Here's Mr. Wragge describing what if felt like to take the first step out of the cabin.

After the drill was over, the FDNY packed up

and returned to their other duties.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Roosevelt Island West Roadway Closed For Construction Wednesday Through Friday - No Parking West And East Road And North Loop Road

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Due to construction, the West Roadway will be closed from Wednesday, October 15th at 7:00 AM until Friday, October 17th at 6:00 PM between the Tram Station Plaza and North Loop Road. Access to the Tennis Bubble, Steam Plant and Cornell Construction site will be available via the East Roadway; flag persons will be on site to direct two-way traffic. During this road closure, southbound Q102 and Red Bus service will terminate at the Tram Station Plaza before continuing on their northbound routes.

No parking will be allowed on the West Road, the East Road and the North Loop Road during this time. Metered parking in the lot to the east of the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club will remain in effect.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

View Larger Map Google Map Of West Road

Welcome To Roosevelt Island Motorgate Garage (Vomitorium) Says RIRA Planning Committee Chair Frank Farance Showing Combination Of Bird Poop, Vomit, Urine, Broken Windows, Filthy Benches And More

Image From Frank Farance

A September 2 report was made to Roosevelt Island 311 See Click Fix concerning dirty and dangerous conditions at Motorgate Plaza:
Feces and garbage, dangerous broken glass window

Red Bus Stop At Gristedes/ Motorgate New York, New York
Next to bench is two broken glass window panes broken by a man in a wheelchair parked there all day. Dangerous for kids and dirty as well. He discards food and garbage as well as feces onto the floor all day. This is a serious health and safety hazard.
 Image Of Motorgate Atrium

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Planning Committee Chair Frank Farance takes us on a tour of the Motorgate Garage and surrounding area. According to Mr. Farance:
... The RIOC Vomitorium (Motorgate) - A Welcome Mat To Visitors.

More RIOC incompetence: Visitors are welcomed to a combination of vomit, urine, excrement, dead animals, rotting food, broken windows, and filthy benches (some occupied by homeless people). There are urination steaks that run twenty feet long. There is bird poop every five feet (no exaggeration). And if you arrive via red bus at the Motorgate stops, be sure to avoid stepping in puke or bird poop

According to Wikipedia: The Latin word vomitorium, plural vomitoria, derives from the verb vomō, vomere, "to spew forth."

What is truly amazing is that RIOC lets this continue. It seems that they make a big fuss every couple years and power wash the place, but the area needs regular maintenance several times a week. The Motorgate staff washes the floors every day, which is why the floors inside the atrium are better maintained than outside, which is RIOC's responsibility. In other words, most other organizations seem able to clean their premises better than RIOC....

Take a walk with Mr. Farance through the Roosevelt Island Motorgate Garage area.

The Motorgate Atrium was power washed by RIOC last June.

Monday, October 13, 2014

At Long Last, Roosevelt Island's New Liquor Store Opens Today - Welcome Island Wine & Spirits To The Neighborhood

Roosevelt Island's long absence without a local liquor store is now officially over. Earlier today Island Wine and Spirits

opened it doors

for what they are describing as a soft opening.

Did anybody check out Roosevelt Island's new liquor store today?

Upcoming Events At Roosevelt Island New York City Public Library Branch - Book Club Discussion Of I Am Malala, Movies, Anime Club, Sesame Street Day, Halloween Crafts, Recycling Art & More

Image Of Roosevelt Island NYC Public Library Branch

The Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Book Group discusses I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai  starting 6:30 PM on Thursday October 16.

Image From Amazon

Upcoming Roosevelt Island NYC Public Library branch events include:
Roosevelt Island Library, 524 Main Street, Phone (212) 308-6243

Tuesday, October 14, 6pm (Adults) Film Screening: "The Big Red One" (1980) (Rated R) Lee Marvin plays an Army Seargent who leads a group of men into combat against the Nazi forces in World War II. Also Starring Mark Hamill and Robert Carradine.

Thursday, October 16, 6:30pm (Adults) Book Discussion on "I am Malala" by Malala Yousafzai

Thursdays, October 16, 23, 30 (Teens) Anime Club: Let's discuss anime, manga, and the influence of Japanese culture in America. Also, if you’re looking to discover something new or bask in the wonderful nostalgia of past anime/manga that you grew up with, this is the place for you!!

Friday, October 17, 10:30am-12pm & 3pm-4:30pm (Children) Sesame Street Day: Celebrate the 45th anniversary of the beloved children's program "Sesame Street" by participating in various fun activities at Roosevelt Island Library! 10:30am-12pm - Play games, win prizes, and color in pictures of your favorite characters. 3pm-4:30pm - Go on a scavenger hunt in the library to find the Sesame Street muppets.

Saturday, October 18, 10:15am (Children) Morning Movie: "Muppets Most Wanted" (2014) (Rated PG) (107 Minutes) The entire Muppets gang goes on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in Europe. But mayhem occurs when they find themselves entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine-the World's Number One Criminal who resembles Kermit the Frog-and his sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two. Disney; Directed by James Bobin; Starring: Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, and Ray Liotta

Tuesday, October 21, 6pm (Adults) Film Screening: "Live and Let Die" (1973) (Rated PG) Roger Moore stars as secret agent James Bond (licence to kill 007). Bond does battle with a deadly crime organization that has tentacles in the heroin trade as well as politics and assassination. Bond's adventures take him to NYC, New Orleans, and the Caribbean.

Wednesday, October 22, 3pm (Children) Halloween Craft: Create a Halloween decoration using paper, glue, crayons, glitter, wiggle eyes, and more. All materials will be provided. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first served basis.

Tuesday, October 28, 3:30pm (Teens) Recycling Art: Participants will learn how to use recycled materials in an art project. Presented by Vickie Freemont.

Wednesday, October 29, 11-11:30am (18mos.-3yrs) Toddler Story Time: Halloween Edition - This special edition of storytime will feature Halloween-themed stories, action songs, and fingerplays. You are welcome to come dressed in Halloween costumes.

Thursday, October 30, 4pm, (Children ages 4 and older) Falling for Stories: These stories speak to the magical season of autumn - from Halloween tales to stories of the harvest. Presented by Julie Pasqual
Click here for more upcoming events at the Roosevelt Island NYC Public Library.

Be Ballsy Gigantic Testicle Rolling Down Roosevelt Island Street Yesterday To Promote Testicular Cancer Awareness Among Young Men

Yesterday afternoon I noticed a Gigantic Ball rolling down the  hill of the Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Commons passing Starbucks

being pulled by a young man named Cory Godbee.

I asked Mr. Godbee what was going and he explained that the Gigantic Ball was part of the Be Ballsy campaign, started by Thomas Cantley to raise awareness among young men of Testicular Cancer.  Here's what Mr. Godbee had to say.

According to the Be Ballsy web site:
Thomas Cantley is pushing a GIANT BALL across America to promote awareness of testicular cancer and men’s health.

MR. BALLSY is the cancer story no one has heard.

Armed with a six-foot ball, Thomas Cantley wants to prove you don’t need to raise billions of dollars to make a difference. On an eleven-city tour, traveling from Santa Monica to New York City, never deflating this ball or detaching it from himself, Thomas has turned his educational awareness campaign into an adventure packed traveling circus.

In each city Thomas will reach out to fellow survivors he has met online and enlist their help in establishing MR. BALLSY as a new type of support group for men. Part personal coming of age story and part road tour adventure story, MR. BALLSY is the story of how far a young man will go to earn the right to call himself Ballsy.

The goal for the month long trip is to fill the ball with messages from people Thomas meets along the way.
Mr. Ballsy did get quite a bit of attention and signatures here on Roosevelt Island yesterday

while rolling down the street.

More information on the Be Ballsy Testicular Cancer campaign is here and on Facebook.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Scenes From Roosevelt Island 2014 Fall For Arts Festival - Daffodil Project Planting, Mural Painting, Castle Building, Pumpkin Carving, Hands Only CPR Training, Music, Dance, Food & More

Despite the morning cold and rain, Saturday's Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival was a fun time for all who participated.

Here are some scenes beginning with the iDig2Learn Daffodil planting

project in the rain at the Motorgate Atrium,

mural painters not letting the rain stop them,

and indoor crafts at Gallery RIVAA.

After the rain stopped during the afternoon, the Roosevelt Island Explorers built castles

 using cardboard boxes,

By The Mummers entertained

with song and dance,

delicious food from Daisy May's BBQ,

Hands only CPR training from Lynn Strong-Shinozaki,

a clown,


Island Kids pumpkin carving,

crafts with the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery,

tips from Bike New York,

Kite flying at FDR Four Freedoms Park

and Chinese Qin performance & storytelling at Gallery RIVAA.

Good job by RIOC and all the other Roosevelt Island organizations putting together the Fall For Arts Festival this year and not letting Saturday's bad weather spoil the fun.

UPDATE 10/13 - Roosevelt Island resident George Khelashvili attended the Fall For Arts Festival with his family and shares video below adding:
This video features Colombian professional band "Folklore Urbano" who performed brilliantly at the Fall Festival Event. This band is becoming well known to the island community since they have been offering after school programs at P.S./I.S.217 where they teach kids Colombian culture (songs, dances, playing native instruments) on a very high level. In fact, our 5-year old daughter, Mariam (who is featured in the shared video) attended the program last semester and she, along with all the kids that participated, is absolutely in love with the band.