Friday, May 29, 2015

GREAT NEWS - Roosevelt Island Youth Program Summer Camp Funds RestoredFor 170 Kids - Thanks To Community Support And Council Member BenKallos Says RIYP Director

Reported last Friday:

170 applicants may be turned away from promised spots in the free Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) Beacon Summer Camp due to a withdrawal of funding by the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) reports RIYP Executive Director Charlie De Fino....

Today, Mr. De Fino reports:
The Roosevelt Island Youth Program is ecstatic that Summer Funds will be restored and that we will be able to offer a full range of services this summer. We are thankful for the overwhelming community support of letters, emails and phone calls to the Mayor, Council Speaker and our local Councilman Ben Kallos.

Council Member Ben Kallos commitment to restoring these funds was incredible and all residents of Roosevelt Island should thank him because without his quick response and leadership on this issue we and 70 other programs would not be celebrating today.
Council Member Kallos adds:
All New York City families deserve access to fulfilling summer programming and I am proud to have fought to restore funds for our Roosevelt Island youth. When the funds were initially cut, I wrote a letter to DYCD and the Mayor demanding that they be restored and rallied at City Hall for their return. Whenever summer programming is threatened, I will fight alongside our families.

I am proud to have helped ensure that students will have a place to learn and play this summer.
Here's text of 5/21 letter sent by Mr. Kallos to Mayor de Blasio and DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong in support of restoring RIYP Summer Camp funding.
RE: Roosevelt Island Youth Program Beacon

Dear Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Chong,

Many residents of Roosevelt Island have contacted my office to express concerns over the defunding of the Roosevelt Island Beacon summer programs. On behalf of this community, I ask that you reinstate the Reconciliation Funds so that many more youth can attend these invaluable programs.

Roosevelt Island Beacon summer programming has been essential to so many families on Roosevelt Island, especially those who cannot afford camps. According to the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, they were notified by the Department of Youth and Community Development officially that they would receive Reconciliation Funds this summer. On May 8, they received an email stating that the money would be redirected to schools with bigger challenges. The Youth Program registered 194 youth with an additional 50 on the waiting list based on the original allocation. With the new allocation, they inform me that they would only be able accept 70 students. Therefore, they would have to turn away 174 children interested in enrolling, including 124 students who had already been accepted.

Restoring funding to the Roosevelt Island Beacon summer programs would be in line with your commitment to support afterschool and summer programs for students from all backgrounds.

If the program had to shrink, it would be a heartbreaking turn of events for the community. Parents rely on these programs to provide engagement and opportunity when they cannot afford traditional summer programming. I implore you to restore these funds, and look forward to working with you to resolve the issue for the constituents of Roosevelt Island.

Ben Kallos
Council Member
More on the restoration of Youth Summer programming funds from article in today's NY Times.

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend - RIOC Providing Incomplete Subway Disruption Info Frustrating A RI Longtimer

Here' we go again. According to the MTA:
F Jamaica-bound trains run via the M from 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av

Weekend, 9:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, May 29 - Jun 1

F trains run express from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Av.

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 the MTA has issued a weekend service advisory for the F train, which may affect travel plans. The Tram will run on a rush hour schedule from 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM to accommodate any increase in traffic. Please plan your travel accordingly and visit or call 511 for more information.

For electronic updates on F Train service, sign up for MTA Alerts at
A RI Longtimer is annoyed at RIOC's refusal to include specific information about F train service disruptions in the RIOC advisory. RI Longtimer reports:
Another "black hole" of no information.

How hard is it for your writers to actually include the particular F train disruption -- TO MANHATTAN ? FROM MANHATTAN? in this message.

And, ONCE AGAIN, A HELPFUL SUGGESTION THAT HELPS THE RED BUS DRIVERS -- to let them know too so they can inform the ridership, if we cannot post signs on buses or bus stops for folks who actually do not have internet or on-line access....
RIOC responded last January to similar complaints saying:
The RIOC Advisories system is intended to inform the community about island-specific matters that may affect the daily activities of the people who live and work here, particularly those matters relating to services that RIOC oversees or provides. The MTA has a similar advisory system (MTA Alerts) that commuters can sign up for to receive timely updates on MTA disruptions or line service changes. Residents who are already signed up for MTA Alerts find the re-broadcasting and reinterpretations of the agency's announcements are redundant and sometimes confusing.

We are always open to suggestions, but would like to encourage our subscribers to utilize the MTA's resources to stay informed about NYC transit rather than directing island residents to look for MTA-related news through an intermediary. While this step may require a few more clicks, hearing directly from the issuing agency is a surer way to get the most accurate information available. If you would like to receive alerts directly from the source regarding F train disruptions, you can do so by visiting:

Are You Missing A Little Roosevelt Island Bird - Was Found In Another's Apartment

A Roosevelt Island resident asks:

Found this cute little guest inside my apartment, anybody missing a bird.

Seems like this little one is hungry and thirsty. Who does it belong to? What should I feed him??
Another resident reports:
We actually saw this little guy flying around near the traffic circle by RIDN a few days ago -- I think he's been on his own for a while. We couldn't get him to come down from the tree he was stuck in...

Hope he finds his home.
If it's your bird, respond in the comments for return home.

Wassup With New Building At Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park, It's Temporary Wedding Structure - FDR Park Holding Private Events To Generate Revenue

Coming back to Roosevelt Island on the Tram yesterday, I noticed a new structure at the FDR Four Freedoms Park just south of the Smallpox Hospital. The Twitterverse noticed from Long Island City a few days earlier too and asked:

I asked FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy President Sally Minard about the structure. Ms Minard explains:
... we recently announced a new policy of contracting the park for private events as a source of revenue to support operation and maintenance of Four Freedoms Park. The revenue also enables us to provide a very welcome and continuous schedule of free and low cost programs and activities for the benefit of Roosevelt Island residents and the visitors who come from everywhere to enjoy this beautiful park.

The structure being prepared for a wedding at the park Saturday night is temporary. The family has generously allowed it to remain in place for the Conservancy’s annual fundraiser Wednesday evening and a private corporate event Thursday evening. The disassembling of the structure begins early Friday morning, June 5.

The Park is open to the public on all of these days. As we announced in the WIRE, on the website, signage at the Park and to you, the Park will close at 4pm on these three days. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Recent programs at the FDR Four Freedoms Park include:
Upcoming events include a Sunset Garden Party fundraiser for the park.
Here's a very up close look at the FDR Bust and Room.

Roosevelt Island from Mo Daoud on Vimeo.

Join Roosevelt Island Invest In Public Libraries Letter Writing Campaign - Upcoming Events At Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Include Science Fiction Discussion, LEGO Day, Book Club, English As Second Language, Movies, Kids Summer Reading & More

The Roosevelt Island New York Public Library reports:

Update: Roosevelt Island Library has collected approximately 800 signed letters for the "Invest in Libraries" letter writing campaign.

Our goal is 1,000 letters. Please continue to sign letters at the branch and online here. "Invest in Libraries" T-Shirts are also available for $5 each in sizes M, L, XL, and XXL. (Small is sold out.) Thank you for your support and efforts!

Request: Please donate empty baby food jars to the Roosevelt Island Library for an upcoming craft in July. Our goal is 30 jars. Thank you for your generosity!

 Below are upcoming June events at the Roosevelt Island NYC Public Library branch including:
Roosevelt Island Library
524 Main Street
New York, NY 10044
Phone (212) 308-6243

Special Events - June 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 6:30pm: Science Fiction Book Discussion (Adults) - The group will discuss "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams.

Thursday, June 4, 2015: LEGO Day, 11am-12:30pm; and 2pm-3:45pm (Children)
Thursday, June 4, 2015, 11am-11:30am - LEGO Coloring Time (Ages 3-6) - Color in pictures of your favorite LEGO characters.

Thursday, June 4, 2015, 11:30am-12:30pm - LEGO Play Time (Ages 4-10) - Have fun playing with the library's LEGO blocks. Please bring a camera to take pictures of your creations!

Thursday, June 4, 2015, 2pm-3:45pm - Children's Film: "The LEGO Movie" (Ages 3-12) - Emmet, an ordinary LEGO minifigure is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person who can save the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared. (2014; 101 Minutes; Rated PG)

Fridays, June 5, 12, 19, 26, 10:30am-12:30pm - We Are New York English Conversation Group - Practice speaking English by watching and then discussing "We Are New York" videos about everyday situations. For Intermediate Level English learners. Space is limited to 15 participants. Please arrive early; first come, first served.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 3pm: Summer Reading Kick-Off (Children) - Join performer JulieAnn Stepanek for songs and stories about summer. Afterwards, sign up for the NYPL's Summer Reading program and receive free reading logs.

Saturday, June 13, 2015 - Roosevelt Island Day - The Roosevelt Island Library will have a table at the fair for library card registrations, summer reading sign-ups, and the letter writing campaign.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 3pm-4pm: Father's Day Craft (Children Ages 3-12) - Create a very special Father's Day card! All materials will be provided. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 6pm: Movie Night (Adults) "Tron" When a brilliant video game maker named Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) hacks the mainframe of his ex-employer, he is beamed inside an astonishing digital world and becomes part of the very game he is designing. (1982; 96 Minutes; Rated PG)

Thursday, June 18, 2015, 6:30pm: Book Discussion (Adults) The group will discuss "Half a Life" by V.S. Naipaul.
More upcoming NYPL Roosevelt Island branch events here.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Roosevelt Island Million Dollar 3 Bedroom Duplex Coop For Sale At Former Mitchell Lama Island House Rental Building

Roosevelt Island's Island House rental building

was taken taken out of the Mitchell Lama Program in 2012. Island House Tenants Association (IHTA) President Graham Cannon reported last April:
It has been a long journey, at least a decade, but the Island House tenants are transitioning into the Affordability Plan that was envisioned long ago: some tenants will continue to be renters with strong rent protections for the next 30 years, some tenants will purchase their apartments at affordable rates. The Sponsor's offering plan was recently amended to offer a buy-out option...
... Our attorney Stuart Saft, who has literally Written The Book on coop conversion law, has helped guide use through the process with extensive knowledge, skill and effective negotiation. Our government entities, RIOC, ESDC, and DHCR (Rich McCurnin) have collaborated on this Affordability Plan and have created a template that can be used to preserve affordable housing in other Mitchell-Lama building complexes throughout the City and the State....
The first 6 Island House Co-Op apartments are now on sale in prices

Image From Corcoran

ranging from $392,900 for 596 square foot studio to $1,007,000 for a 1656 square foot 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath duplex.

Images From Island House NYC

According to the Island House NYC:
Think You Know Roosevelt Island? Think Again.

What if we told you that in as little as 90 seconds, you could be transported to a place where the noise and crush of Midtown Manhattan seem a world away? And if we told you that in that place, the perfect home was waiting just for you: filled with serenity, flooded with light, and resplendent in luxurious detail? And if this home could be yours for prices starting in the low $300’s? Presenting Island House on Roosevelt Island.
The Island House sales team at Corcoran Real Estate adds:
... Completely Renovated Studios to 4-Bedroom Co-op Apartments. Island House is a collection of homes with room to grow and space to breathe, with classically modern architectural detailing and unexpectedly luxurious fixtures and finishes.

Here, reinvented for the 21st century, a number of spacious, richly detailed homes are poised to enter the market for the very first time. Built during a time when ten-by-twelve was a bedroom, not a living room, Island House is a co-operative community with 24-hour doorman. These sun filled apartments have wide plank oak flooring, stainless steel kitchen appliances, spa-type bathrooms and crown molding throughout.

Many have truly spectacular views of the East River and Manhattan skyline.

Additional features include: *Quartz, granite marble finishes *Luxurious master baths *Generous built in closets *Access to fitness center and 20-meter lap pool *All Viking kitchen appliances *Wide plank oak flooring in walnut stain *All new insulated sliding windows. Roosevelt Island is experiencing a remarkable transformation, and Island House is your chance to own a little bit of heaven just 90 seconds from Manhattan.

This incredible proposition at Island House offers a lifestyle you may not have thought was possible in New York City: a tranquil oasis with instant access to the best of Manhattan, at amazing starter price.
I believe these are sponsored owned units and not those of current residents.

More on Island House from previous post and information on getting a mortgage for an Island House apartment purchase from this previous post.

UPDATE 5/29 - Gothamist
and Curbed:
report on the Island House co-op apartments for sale.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Food Truck Rally Coming To Roosevelt Island Says RIOC, At Least For One Day - Roosevelt Island Food Truck Permitting Policy Discussed At RIOC Operations Committee Meeting

The May 18 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory Committee discussed permitting procedures (full audio web cast of meeting here) including practices and policies for mobile food trucks serving Roosevelt Island.

RIOC Permits Coordinator Donna Masly reported that a new Indian Food Truck, Mausam Curry N Bites, is currently serving Roosevelt Island

Image Of Mausam Curry N Bites Food Truck On Roosevelt Island

and described RIOC's food truck policies:

RIOC Director Margie Smith asked what is the biggest deterrent to getting more food trucks serving Roosevelt Island?

Ms. Masly responded that some food trucks had a poor Roosevelt Island experience several years ago that needs to be overcome for them to feel welcomed back here. Ms. Masly added that the Food Trucks cannot build a reputation in one, two or even 5 days but need to establish a reliable presence.

Ms. Smith suggested a mobile food truck day for Roosevelt Island where residents can try food from multiple vendors. RIOC President Charlene Indelicato said that the current retail store owners (Riverewalk Bar and Main Street Sweets) will object but agreed that a one time food truck day is a great idea and RIOC will give it a try.

Several locations were discussed for the Roosevelt Island Food Truck Rally, (Southpoint and Lighthouse Park) but Ms. Masly's suggestion of holding it on Main Street, between the Subway and Blackwell Turnaround, was the agreed upon choice. The Roosevelt Island Food Truck Rally will be held together with the re-opening of the West Pier outdoor tables and chairs for eating, relaxing and enjoying the fantastic East River view.

 2012 Outdoor Restaurant At Pier And Main Street Food Trucks

Image Of Roosevelt Island's Summer 2014 Eleanor's Pier

Here's the Food Truck discussion at May 18 RIOC Operations Committee meeting

and full RIOC Permitting Presentation (starting at 58 minute 30 Second mark) .

Will have more on other Roosevelt Island permitting matters soon as well.

Bike New York Roosevelt Island Spring Kickoff Party Saturday May 30 - Learn To Ride, Pop Up Bike Shop, Daisy May's BBQ & Much More

Bike New York's Roosevelt Island Community Outreach Manager Caitlin Goodspeed reports:

Our 2nd Annual Spring :Kickoff Party will take place on Saturday, May 30, 2105 from 11am - 4pm at the Capobianco basketball court. This year's activities will include a Learn to Ride - Kids class, Daisy Mays BBQ, a FREE bike raffle, a bike decorating contest, and more! It's going to be a lot of fun.
Here are some scenes from last year's terrific Bike NY Roosevelt Island Spring Kickoff Party

UPDATE 5/28 - The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
Please join us on Saturday, May 30th from 11 AM -4 PM at the basketball court at Capobianco Field for the 2ND Annual Roosevelt Island Spring Kick-off Party sponsored by Bike New York. Bring your bike and enjoy a variety of FREE activities for all ages.

Schedule of Events:

11:00 AM Welcome!

11:45 AM R.I. Youth Program Drum Corps

12:30 PM Bike Decorating Contest

1:00 PM Greeting from Councilmember Ben Kallos

1:00 PM Learn to Ride - Kids Class

3:15 PM Tour de Roosevelt Island Bike Ride

Ongoing activities will include: a pop-up bike shop, free smoothies made with a bike blender, information tables from various island and local community groups and organizations, bike decorating table, free bike raffle, chalking and hula hoops, bike/helmet fitting station, face painting and much more!

Food for purchase by Daisy Mays BBQ

Music by DJ Smizno

(Rain date- Sunday, May 31st, 11 AM- 4 PM)

In partnership with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Brooklyn Hipster Duo Matt And Kim Play Hey Now Over The East River On The Crazy Roosevelt Island Tram Thing

The Roosevelt Island Tram was the site for hipster rock duo Matt & Kim performing Hey Now last March 27.

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reported the March 27 Matt & Kim Tram gig.

Matt and Kim performed at Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park, before there was a FDR Memorial, in 2006.
More on Matt And Kim from their web site.

The Bluegrass band Hot Rize performed on the Tram recently too.

RIOC President Charlene Indelicato Reports On Roosevelt Island Cultural Center Clean Up Practices, July 4 Festivities, Con Ed Gas Line Town Hall & More During May 21 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting

Image Of Cultural Center Entrance

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato's report to the May 21 RIOC Board of Directors (full video web cast of Board meeting here) includes:
  • Thanking Directors for approving new General Counsel (despite reservations of Board Members on the process - more to come on this subject),
  • Urges users of the newly renovated Cultural Center to keep the premises clean (she noted the RIOC Board Meeting took place at the Cultural Center on the set of upcoming Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance's Little Shop Of Horrors set which was more preferable set to their previous show - Urinetown),
  • Says Con Ed Town Hall Meeting on New High Pressure Gas Line has not been scheduled because Con Ed has not presented a doable plan yet and
  • July 4 Fireworks on East River will be a challenge for RIOC but Public Safety and 114th Precinct will be ready (She did not specifically say whether Southpoint Park will be open to public or not).
Here's the RIOC President's Report from Ms. Indelicato.

During May 14 RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting agenda item on the Roosevelt Island Cultural Center (full audio web cast here), I asked about the fee policy for Roosevelt Island groups that could not afford to pay for its use. RIOC's Chief Financial Officer Frances Walton and Permits Director Donna Masly said they thought the fee policy was reasonable for all.

Here's the full May 14 RIOC discussion on Roosevelt Island Cultural Center.

and Cultural Center fee schedule.

Image From RIOC

RIOC Cultural Center permit info here.

Roosevelt Island Women's Health Organization And Cornell Tech Offer Stroke Awareness And Healthy Brain Aging Seminar May 27 - With Dr. Matthew E. Fink Chairman of Neurology and Neurologist in Chief New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

The Roosevelt Island Women’s Health Organization (RIWHO) has joined with Cornell Tech, Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center to offer a series of health related seminars to the Roosevelt Island community (Men welcome too).

The third seminar in the series will be on the topic of Stroke Awareness and Healthy Brain Aging.

RIWHO sends the following invitation for its May 27 Monthly Seminar:
The Roosevelt Island Women’s Health Organization

Stroke Awareness and Healthy Brain Aging

Dr. Matthew E. Fink

Chairman of Neurology and Neurologist in Chief
New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

Wednesday, May, 27th

546 Main Street, 12th floor, 6:30 pm

Refreshments Served - Men Welcome

Cosponsored by:

Cornell Tech

New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

Weill Cornell Medical College

Dr. Fink will present general education about Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease, the fifth leading cause of death and leading cause of permanent disability in the US.  Dr. Fink will focus on Stroke prevention and the various modifiable behavior patterns, such as diet, nutrition, lifestyle, etc., that can help prevent this disease and promote healthy brain aging.  He will also speak to the recognition of Stroke warning signs and symptoms, as well as the treatments available for Stroke and the capabilities New York-Presbyterian Hospital offers to treat this devastating preventable disease. Time is brain – don’t miss this lifesaver!
Here's more on Stroke Prevention

from Doctor Fink.

Previous RIWHO/Cornell Tech health seminars were on topics of Back Pain and Nutrition.

Monday, May 25, 2015

It's Memorial Day, Thank You For Your Service To All Members Of U.S. Military and Their Families

In addition to enjoying ourselves this Memorial Day weekend with a day off from work, friends, family and outdoor barbecues, let's remember the men and women of the United States Military who are currently serving our country, those veterans who have done so in the past, those who gave their lives and their families.


Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the American military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer...

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves...
More on Memorial Day from,

Earlier today, President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

and had these remarks in tribute.

We enjoy these 4 Freedoms because of their service.