Friday, March 4, 2016

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Gallery RIVAA Vernissge XV Opening Reception Saturday March 5 Celebrating 15 Years Of Art, Music, Dance & Community

According to Gallery RIVAA:
Dear all,

You are cordially invited to the opening reception of our anniversary exhibition "Vernissage XV" on Saturday, March 5th from 6-9PM at Gallery RIVAA.

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 5th, 6-9pm
Exhibition Dates: March 5, 2016 - April 3, 2016
Location: 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday & Friday: 6pm-9pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11am-5pm

Please join us at the Gallery RIVAA opening of the new Vernissage XV, our 15th anniversary Exhibition!!!


During it's 15 years in operation, Gallery RIVAA has been a showcase for art,


and dance

on Roosevelt Island. 

Gallery RIVAA's Tad Sudol's described his vision of Roosevelt Island as an Island Of Art during this October 22, 2015 presentation to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors

including the installation of the Gustav and Ulla Kraitz sculpture at entrance of Southpoint Park and  a proposal to display equipment parts from the old Roosevelt Island Tram

Roosevelt Island Tram Spinning Wheels Images From Gallery RIVAA'a Tad Sudol

in the Motorgate Atrium Gallery as well as competitions to install a new sculpture on Roosevelt Island each year.

Mr. Sudol also described Gallery RIVAA's mission, programs and services offered during October 13,2015 presentation to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Purpose Funds (PPF) Committee.  Here's what Mr Sudol had to say.

Gallery RIVAA was seeking $42,500 from the Public Purpose Funds. The RIRA PPF Committee recommended a grant of $8 thousand to Gallery RIVAA which was approved by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC).

So, stop by Gallery RIVAA's Vernissage XV opening reception tomorrow evening to enjoy the art and learn more about Roosevelt Island's very own art gallery.

Good News - Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend - E Service Too

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

F Trains run local in both directions between 71 Av and 21 St-Queensbridge

Weekends, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Mar 5 - 7 • Mar 12 - 14

Trains stop at 67 Av, 63 Dr, Woodhaven Blvd, Grand, Elmhurst, Roosevelt Avs, 65 St, Northern Blvd, 46, Steinway and 36 Sts.
E Trains run via the F in both directions between W 4 St and 21 St-Queensbridge

Weekends, 11:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Mar 4 - 7 • Mar 11 - 14

Roosevelt Island Is Kind Of Cool Place With Nice Views Says First Time Visitor

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

A video posted by @djfrankiestyle on

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Roosevelt Island Resident Ethel Romm Celebrates 91st Birthday At RIRA Meeting - Common Council Members Sing Happy Birthday To Her

Roosevelt Island Resident Association (RIRA) Common Council member Ethel Romm celebrated her 91st birthday yesterday. She was serenaded with Happy Birthday by the RIRA Common Council at the March 2 RIRA meeting.

Ms. Romm donated $910 to RIRA, $10 for each year of her 91 years.

As previously reported, Ms Romm has attributed much of her longevity to an exercise routine which includes climbing 20 flights of stairs every day in her building.

Happy Birthday Ethel.

Cornell Tech And Roosevelt Island's Coler Rehab Hospital Collaborate Seeking Ways To Help Disabled Community With Innovative Technology Solutions

As previously reported, during the January 25 Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Construction & Community Task Force quarterly meeting, Cornell Tech Assistant Director Of Government Affairs and Community Relations Jane Swanson described:

... an upcoming round table discussion between Cornell Tech and Roosevelt Island's Coler Hospital staff and patients to discuss how mobile technology can improve life of disabled population using mobile and wearable devices.....

According to the Cornell Task Force minutes of the January 25 meeting:
... This event will include Cornell Tech students and faculty along with Coler clinical staff, patients, and hospital leadership; Cornell Tech and Coler will share their missions, programs and operations and explore the nature of each other’s work, with a particular focus on how they each view the role of technology in improving the lives of the disabled. Finally, and most importantly, they will engage in a discussion as to how the lives of people with disabilities might be improved through the creation of new technologies
The Cornell Tech

 Image of Cornell Tech Campus Construction Seen From Queensboro Bridge From 1/25 Presentation

 and Coler Hospital

 Image of Coler Hospital from NYC Health & Hospitals Corp

Round Table took place on February 4. Ms. Swanson reports on what happened:
The Coler Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center and Cornell Tech Round Table is a first-step towards new collaborations for Cornell Tech and the hospital. The discussion amongst faculty, students, and Coler staff allowed everyone to learn about each other’s resources and needs.

The workshop included presentations by Cornell Tech and Cornell University professors and students whose research relates to helping those living with disabilities.

Dr. Shiri Azenkot, who directs the Enhancing Ability Lab at Cornell Tech, shared updates on her current research. One of her students is developing Pallette, a device that allows people with quadriplegia to better control their environments. Another student is developing smart glasses to improve sight for people with low vision.

Dr. Susanne M. Bruy√®re, the Director of Cornell University’s Institute on Employment and Disability, discussed her experience researching and working to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

Leadership and staff at Coler also presented on the valuable resources and technology already at the hospital, and provided key insights into the hospital’s current needs. Floyd Long, Acting CEO of Coler Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, provided a key overview of Coler’s current operations and expressed excitement about this potential collaboration. Members of his staff shared videos and models of the technology available to improve their patients daily lives and foster rehabilitation.

Cornell Tech is excited to explore the many ways it can engage with groups on Roosevelt Island. The meeting with Coler is a first meeting step towards collaborating on the important issue of disabilities. 
Reported in July 2015 about Pallette::
...A team of current Cornell Tech Connective Media students have been busy developing a wireless technology called Pallette that may eventually help quadriplegic patients at Roosevelt Island's Coler Goldwater Hospital and elsewhere perform everyday activities in an independent manner using a tongue controlled device.
and in October 2015, the student developers of Pallette made the following presentation to the Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Construction & Community Task Force.

More about Pallette.

Monthly Stand Up Comedy And Family Friendly Improv Shows Coming To Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance - Check Out Roosevelt Island's Only Comedy Show (RIOC) Starting In April Hosted By Will Neville

Roosevelt Island's Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance (MST&DA at the Cultural Center 548 Main Street) will be the home to monthly Stand Up Comedy and Family Friendly Improv shows hosted by Will Neville starting in April. MST&DA will also present comedy and improv classes for kids and adults this summer. According to the MST&DA:

Starts April 22, 2016. Every 4th Friday. (Next: May 27th.)
Doors open 8:30 pm. Show starts 9:00 pm.
The comedy is PG-13. Parents should use their discretion.

​R.I.O.C.s (Roosevelt Island's Only Comedy Show) brings some of the funniest and most original stand up to Roosevelt Island. From nationally touring headliners, to unique theme shows, to some of the best stand ups you've never heard of; each month will be hilarious, different, and right here on Main Street.

Check back here every month for details about the upcoming show.

Hosted by Will Neville.


Starts April 8th, 2016. Every 2nd Friday.

(Next: June 10th)

Doors open 6:30 pm. Show starts 7:00 pm.

Appropriate for ages 5+.

​MST&DA alliance welcomes some of the City's top improvisers for an hour of hilarious, fast-paced, family-friendly improv comedy. It features alumni of the National Comedy Theater, UCB, The Magnet Theater, The People's Improv Theater, The Second City and more, these hilarious performers will spin an hour of original comedy out of thin air every single month!


Beginning this summer the MST&DA is excited to be partnering with Roosevelt Island's Only Comedy Show to offer improv classes for kids & young adults. Check back here for more information in the future.

Prices: All shows are
$10 for Roosevelt Island residents and MST&DA students;
$5 for children and teens;
$15 for all others;
$25 for the whole family.
Click here for more info and to purchase tickets

Roosevelt Island was the subject of comedy bits by Jerry Seinfeld and Fred Armisen.

Jerry Seinfeld jokes about the opening of the Roosevelt Island Tram in 1977

and Fred Armisen gives his impression of a Roosevelt Island accent in 2014 (starting at the 3 minute 50 second mark).

Comedian Buddy Hackett was a long time Roosevelt Island resident as was Grandpa Munster Al Lewis. Comedian Andrea Rosen grew up on Roosevelt Island too.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets for the MST&DA Roosevelt Island Only Comedy Show.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Forest City Ratner Topping Out Ceremony For Bridge At Cornell Tech Building - Roosevelt Island To Become New York City High Tech Start Up Innovation Center In 2017

Image From Forest City Ratner Of Roosevelt Island Bridge At Cornell Tech Construction Site

The Forest City Ratner Companies (Forest City) held a topping out ceremony yesterday morning for their Roosevelt Island Bridge at Cornell Tech building.

Image From Forest City Ratner Of Roosevelt Island Bridge At Cornell Tech Construction Site

Forest City tweeted:
According to Forest City:
The Bridge at Cornell Tech, designed by WEISS/MANFREDI and developed by Forest City Ratner Companies, will be a first-of-its-kind building that will house an ecosystem of companies, researchers and entrepreneurs who are focused on catalyzing innovation and the commercialization of new products and technologies, driving economic growth for New York. More info:
Day and Nighttime Images of the Bridge At Cornell Tech From WEISS MANFREDI

The Bridge will open summer 2017 along with the other Cornell Tech phase one buildings:

The Bloomberg Center - in honor of Emma and Georgina Bloomberg, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects. The building is a departure from traditional academic facilities with an open plan and extensive collaborative as well as private work spaces, adapting open plan offices from the tech world to the academic arena. Cornell is aspiring for the building to be among the largest net–zero energy buildings in the United States, with all of its power generated on campus.

A residential building, designed by Handel Architects and developed by Hudson and Related Companies, that will be the first residential Passive House high-rise in the world. Passive House is the strict international building standard that drastically reduces energy consumption while creating a healthier and more comfortable living environment for a fraction of residents’ usual energy costs. The residential building will be for faculty, staff and students to ensure the campus is active 24/7.

When fully completed, the Cornell Tech campus will span 12 acres on Roosevelt Island and house approximately 2,000 students and hundreds of faculty and staff. The campus master plan was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with James Corner Field Operations, and includes a number of innovative features and facilities across a river-to-river campus with expansive views, a series of green, public spaces, and a seamless integration of indoor and outdoor areas. The campus will be one of the most environmentally friendly and energy-efficient campuses in the world.
Some facts about the building

and more information available

from the Bridge at Cornell Tech web site.

Here's Forest City President MaryAnne Gilmartin

speaking at the Roosevelt Island June 16 2015 Cornell Tech groundbreaking.

Changes are coming to Roosevelt Island - soon to become the New York City High Tech Start Up Innovation Center.

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Twice Weekly RI MoM Walking And Exercise Group Boot Camp Meeting Thursday Morning March 3 At Tram Kiosk, Dads Welcome - Meeting On Mondays Too

According to the the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network:

We are looking forward to seeing you Thursday, March 3rd for the RI Parents' Network's free RI Moms on the Move (RI MoM) walk and bootcamp exercise. Parents with children of all ages are welcome.

Renate will meet everyone at the tram kiosk at 9:30 a.m. for the walk. Amy will lead the bootcamp exercise in the 405 Main Street playroom at 10:15 a.m. Come dressed to sweat!

Due to popular demand we are meeting twice a week at the moment, mostly on Mondays and Thursdays at 9:30am at the Tram kiosk and later around 10am in the playrooms. Not a problem at all if you are late, join us at any time!

How RI MoM works: We meet at the Tram kiosk and go for a walk if everyone is up for it first. Moms (dads are welcome, too!) bring strollers and children of any age. After the walk we go to one of the playrooms where the kids can play and we can chat and/or exercise. All for free.

We hope you can join us! :) 

Feel free to contact us for more information on the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network. 

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) March 2016 Common Council Meeting Tonight, You're Invited To Attend And Raise Issues Of Concern - Cherry Blossom Festival, Easter Egg Hunt And Ethics Review Among Items On Agenda

 Image Of September 2015 RIRA Common Council Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council will meet this evening, March 2, at 8:00 PM in the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

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

Here's the Agenda.
If at all possible, please arrive a half-hour early to help set up tables and chairs

Date: Wednesday, February 2nd, 2016

Time & Place: 8:00 pm, Church of Good Shepard, Basement

1. Public Session (please sign-in to be placed on the Public Session Speaking List)

2. Roll Call of Common Council Members

3. Adoption of Agenda

4. Approval of Minutes

a. February 3, 2016 Common Council Session

5. Committee Reports

a. SC&E Committee

i. SC&E Committee Report

ii. “On Roosevelt Island We ...” Sub-Committee Report

iii. Motion to Allocate up to $900 for 2016 RIRA Annual Egg Hunt on March 26, 2016
Movants: Lynne Strong-Shinozaki, SC&E Chair and Shauna Howard, Egg Hunt Sub-Committee Chair

iv. Motion to Allocate up to $3000 for 2016 RIRA Cherry Blossom Festival on April 30, 2016
Movants: Lynne Strong-Shinozaki, SC&E Chair and Lydia Tang, Cherry Blossom Sub-Committee Chair

v. Resolution to Allow Use of PayPal for Receipt of Payment for SC&E Committee Events
Movant: Lynne Strong-Shinozaki, SC&E Chair

b. Ethics Ad Hoc Committee

i. Ethics Committee Report

ii. Resolution to Retain Lawyer’s Alliance for New York and Payment of Retainer Fee for Legal Review of Ethics and By-Laws for Compliance with New York State Laws Movant: Mickey Rindler, Ethics Ad Hoc Committee Chair

iii. Motion to Reimburse Mickey Rindler New York State Fee for Obtaining Certified Copy of RIRA Certificate of Incorporation Movant: Mickey Rindler, Ethics Ad Hoc Committee Chair

6. Old Business

a. Tabled Resolution to Increase RIOC’s Public Purpose Funds Movant: Aaron Hamburger, as Southtown Representative

7. New Business

You can still fill out the RIRA Community Polling Survey Initiative

to tell RIRA about your Roosevelt Island community concerns.

Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts Think Big About Zero Waste For World Thinking Day - Learn About Food Scrap Composting And Reducing Waste From The NYC Compost Project Hosted By Big Reuse Staff

Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop 3001 Leader Aiesha Eleusizov shares these photos and reports:

Girl Scouts from Troop 3001 Think Big about Zero Waste for World Thinking Day

Girl Scouts take on big ideas with the help of NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse to reduce impact on the environment for World Thinking Day, an annual celebration where Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world think and act upon important global issues.

Monday, February 22, is the globally recognized World Thinking Day and this year’s theme is “Connect”! With the Big Apple's 0x30 initiative set to achieve zero waste to landfills by 2030. What better way to celebrate Thinking Day than to “connect” with the earth by learning more about composting and reducing our waste? NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse staff member Erycka DeJesus and Barbara Museing,

taught Girl Scout Troop 3001 all about how food scraps can "connect" them to the earth!

Erycka and Barbara taught Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts on Roosevelt Island how food scraps, collected every Saturday at their drop-off site (9:30am-3:30pm) near the Wengerd Farmers Market, is directly connected to the dark, crumbly "black gold" compost that is made at a local Community Compost Processing site! That's right! They showed them how their food scraps are turned into compost and when applied to trees and plants in the community, provides our green friends with valuable nutrients.

The girls learned about reducing, reusing and recycling and had fun sorting waste into trash, recycling and composting.

They learned that our garbage in NYC travels all the way to land-fills in states as far as Ohio, so it is really important for us to reduce the amount of trash that gets trucked (which then pollutes our air) so far away! According to Department of Sanitation's 2012 commercial waste study, food scraps and other organics constitute 35% of our waste stream. Bringing your food scraps to a drop-off site keeps it from the land-fills where it anaerobically decomposes and off-gasses methane, adding to global warming! The girls enjoyed smelling the warm, earthy compost and learning all about the recipe of “browns and greens” and natural critters that turn our waste into food for plants.

The NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse also left the troop with many resources the girls can explore to learn more about composting and recycling.The girls were challenged to try to reduce their trash at home by bring their food scraps to the Saturday Farmer’s Market to be composted! We would like to challenge the community to join our girls in dropping off your food scraps to help to make the world (and Roosevelt Island) a better place!

A very special thank you to Erycka and Barbara from the NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse and to Manhattan Park for sponsoring our meeting space!!
You can drop your food scraps

every Saturday morning to mid afternoon

at the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

You're Invited To SS Columbia And Return Of The Hudson River Day Liner Free Lecture At The NYC Public Library Roosevelt Island Branch Tuesday March 8 - Sponsored By Roosevelt Island Historical Society & Amalgamated Bank

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) and Amalgamated Bank invite you to the third in a series of free lectures at the Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch (524 Main Street). According to RIHS:

Image From SS Columbia

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society and
Amalgamated Bank
Present a Free Lecture

The SS Columbia and Return of the
Hudson River Day Liner

by Liz McEnaney, Executive Director of the SS Columbia Project
New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island
Tuesday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Steamboats ruled the Hudson River and many of America's waterways in the early 20th century. The SS Columbia is one such steamboat; it transported fun-seeking residents from downtown Detroit on an 18 mile, 90-minute pleasure trip to Bois Blanc Island in Canada. Liz McEnaney, Executive Director of the SS Columbia Project, will share the history of the 113-year old boat, its status as a National Historic Landmark vessel and plans to restore the Columbia to active service on the Hudson River in a lecture at the New York Public Library at 524 Main Street, Roosevelt Island. The lecture is sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society and supported by Amalgamated Bank.

The event is FREE and open to the public. It is the third in a series of spring lectures sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society. Save the date below for the final lecture in the series:

4/12/16 Jane Brickman, Childbirth in 19th-Century America: The Role of Charity Hospital

DIRECTIONS: Take the Tram at 59th Street and Second Avenue or the F train to Roosevelt Island. Take the red bus (no charge) or walk eight minutes north to 524 Main Street.

Note: Roosevelt Island was recently featured on the television show "$9.99 with Dave Evans." Click here to see the episode, which includes commentary by RIHS president Judith Berdy.
More info on the SS Columbia Project  available at their web site and this video.

On Roosevelt Island We - Children's Poster Campaign To Highlight What Makes Roosevelt Island Special

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator (RIPN) Eva Bosbach reports:

Roosevelt Island Parents’ Network (RIPN) and the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) invite the children to participate in the ON ROOSEVELT ISLAND WE campaign by sharing ideas about what makes our Island so special! We believe in creative power of children and their genuine desire to be useful. We also know how much they appreciate Roosevelt Island and wish to make it a better place for all. Please use the space below to make a drawing and description of your proposal and deliver it to 455 Main Street front desk, attention: Leila.

Posters with children’s work will be reproduced and distributed on Main Street and Red Bus.

We thank Lynne Strong-Shinozaki and the RIRA Social Cultural and Education Committee for this initiative, Leila Vujosevic for chairing the RIRA "On Roosevelt Island We.." subcommittee, Adib Mansour for designing the flyers, and all the Island children's groups and children for their participation!

For more information please contact RIPN: or the On RI We committee.

UPDATE 10:30 AM - Here's an example from the Roosevelt Island Brownie Girl Scout Troop 3001 of On Roosevelt Island We poster.

More examples here.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Please Answer Roosevelt Island Residents Association Community Survey Questions - Help Set Priorities For Roosevelt Island Advocacy, Resolution & Make A Difference

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Community Polling Chair Adib Mansour reports:
Dear friends,


The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) invites all island residents to complete a survey online:

All responses will be entered in a sweepstakes. Three winners will be selected at random and each will receive one $10 gift card for one of the following Roosevelt Island establishments: Main Street Sweets, Piccolo Trattoria or Starbucks. One entry per person.

If you have not done so yet, the survey takes less than three minutes to complete and can be taken online, on your smart phone or tablet. All adult (and young adults) residents are eligible. Printed ballots are also available at the Public Safety Office (550 Main Street) and the Public Library (524 Main Street). Please deposit completed surveys in the ballot box at the Public Safety Office.

Based on your responses, RIRA (consisting of residents elected by you to represent our community) will set priorities for advocacy and resolution. Your survey will make a difference.

Let’s make Roosevelt Island the best it can be! 
Mr. Mansour adds:
This survey is an important tool for reaching out to neighbors, to assess a wide range of issues and obtain meaningful, actionable feedback. It will help RIRA gather data to identify areas of future action. The process will help us understand the demographics of our island, and the programs of possible interest to residents.

The RIRA Survey addresses aspects of life on Roosevelt Island, including:
  • Building Specifics, such as safety, vandalism, maintenance, and Public Safety Department vertical patrols;
  • General Island issues including traffic, pot holes on Main Street, variety of stores/merchants, parking, signage, and accessibility;
  • Public Safety and the changes since Chief McManus implemented reforms requested by residents;
  • Motorgate issues, including elevator malfunction, lighting, safety, accessibility, cement dripping and management;
  • Health Concerns such as air quality, cleanliness of drinking water, and free CPR lessons from RIRA experts;
  • Transportation issues connected to the tram, red busses, and subway;
  • Engagement with Young Adults and whether the community is addressing their needs;
  • Helix Ramp and safety for bikers, plus adequate signage;
  • Seniors and adequate services.
Please click here to answer the Roosevelt Island Survey.

The RIRA monthly Common Council meeting is Wednesday March 2 at Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street) 8 PM. The public is always invited and encouraged to attend.

Beautiful Day At The Roosevelt Island Garden Club As Members Compost And Prepare For Upcoming Planting Season Turning Waste Into Black Gold Rich Nutrient Soil

It was a beautiful spring like day to be outside yesterday on the last weekend of February. Roosevelt Island Garden Club members Anthony Longo and Karen Lee spent the day working hard getting ready for the upcoming planting season.

Mr. Longo and Ms Lee show us a new natural organic composting system for the Roosevelt Island Garden devised by Ms Lee. Ms. Lee reports that the composting system produces "Black Gold" nutrient rich soil and reduces waste material by 90%.

Mr. Longo does some heavy lifting of the waste

and shows us the compost worms that transform the food scraps and organic material into

rich soil.

More information on the Roosevelt Island Garden Club available at their web site.

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Students Exhibit Their Work At NYC Department Of Education Sotheby's Public Art Show Sponsored By City Council Member Ben Kallos

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA representative Erin Olavesen shares these photos and reports:

Twenty-five PS/IS 217 Hawks represented our school at the NYCDOE Public School Art Show, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos,

at Sotheby's. Student art was on display at Sotheby's for 2 days and students participating in the show attended a reception with Ben Kallos on February 23rd.

The picture of the one child standing in front of the art is

PS/IS 217 second grade student, Ian Remor.
More pictures at the PS/IS 217 PTA web site.