Friday, April 1, 2016

Check Out The Noguchi Museum Just Blocks From The Roosevelt Island Bridge In Long Island City This Weekend - 30th Anniversary Programming Includes Tom Sachs Interpretation Of Chanoyu Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

 Image From Inhabitat

Looking for something interesting and fun to do this weekend. Take a walk over the Roosevelt Island Bridge to the Noguchi Museum

in Long Island City right across from Costco at Vernon B'lvd and 33rd Street.
Currently exhibiting at the Noguchi Museum is Tom Sachs Tea Ceremony

 Image From Noguchi Museum

According to the Noguchi Museum:
The Museum’s 30th-anniversary programming culminates with an installation by celebrated artist Tom Sachs. This major exhibition is the first at the Museum to present work by a single artist other than Noguchi.

The exhibition centers on an immersive environment representing Sachs’ distinctive reworking of chanoyu, or traditional Japanese tea ceremony—including the myriad elements essential to that intensely ritualistic universe.

Among the large stone sculptures by Isamu Noguchi in the Museum’s indoor/outdoor galleries, Sachs has set a tea house in a garden accessorized with variations on lanterns, gates, a wash basin, a plywood airplane lavatory, a koi pond, an ultra HD video wall with the sublime hyper-presence of Mt. Fuji, a bronze bonsai made of over 3,600 individually welded parts, and other objects of use and contemplation. Sachs has also produced a complete alternative material culture of Tea—from bowls and ladles, scroll paintings and vases, to a motorized tea whisk, a shot clock, and an electronic brazier.
Check out the Noguchi Museum - just a few blocks from the Roosevelt Island Bridge on Vernon B'lvd and 33rd Street in Long Island City.

Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend - More Good News, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Celebrates 2nd Avenue Subway Getting Additional $1.5 Billion In NY State Budget

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

 to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Also, Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney reported today that the NY State Budget will include an additional $1.5 Billion for the Second Avenue Subway. According to this Press Release from Congresswoman Maloney's office:
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) celebrated the news that the state budget will include an additional $1 billion for the Second Avenue Subway:

“When I first ran for Congress, one of my top priorities was building the Second Avenue Subway. As phase 1 of the project nears completion, it is critical to have sufficient funding in place to ensure that the MTA can move forward seamlessly with phase 2. Adding $1 billion back into the budget, bringing the total state commitment to $1.5 billion, is a clear sign of Governor Cuomo’s dedication to completing this project, which is very welcome news indeed.

“I want to thank my colleagues in government, particularly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assemblyman Keith Wright, Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez and Congressman Charlie Rangel, for their support and continuing advocacy for a restoration of the funds for the Second Avenue Subway. As anyone who rides the Lexington Avenue line knows, there is a limit to how many people you can cram into the subway. We need a fully built Second Avenue Subway to provide real relief.

“I fought to get $1.3 billion in federal funds for phase 1 and I will work with the MTA and my colleagues in government to obtain federal funds for phase 2. The Second Avenue Subway is crucial for New York and we need to do everything we can to make sure it is completed.”

Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway is scheduled for completion in December 2016. With new stations at 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets and Second Avenue and a new platform and entrances at 63rd Street and Third Avenue, it will connect onto existing Q train tracks and provide a one seat ride to lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Phase 2 would add stations at 106th and 116th, and terminate at the existing station at 125th and Lexington Avenue. Phase 1 is expected to have 202,000 riders on day one and decrease crowding on the Lexington Avenue line by as much as 13%, or 23,500 fewer riders on an average weekday. Preliminary estimates say Phases 1 and 2 together would carry 303,000 passengers a day.
Roosevelt Island residents will be able to connect to the 2nd Avenue subway line at the 63rd Street Lexington Avenue F subway station.

Here's an inside look via a drone of the Second Avenue Subway

from September 2015.

Roosevelt Island Seniors Association Membership Drive Begins Today For Residents 50 Years Of Age And Older - Perks Include Special Events, Parties, Programs, Discounts At Riverwalk Bar, Island Wine, Broadway Shows & More

The Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) report the start of their annual membership drive starting April 1 for residents 50 years of age and older.

Among the perks of RISA membership are:
More information on RISA available by calling the phone #'s above or at this email address.

Roosevelt Island Seniors Center Director Rema Townsend described some of the activities and programs available to RISA members at the Senior Center during this October 14, 2015 presentation to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Pubic Purpose Funds (PPF) Committee seeking funds for their exercise programs.

The RIRA PPF Committee recommended a grant of $15 thousand to the Roosevelt Island Senior Center.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Yoga At Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park - Volunteer Open House At FDR Four Freedoms Park This Weekend Too

Starting Friday, April 1, the Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park will extend it's hours for spring and summer months. The Park will be open 9 AM - 7 PM every day except Tuesday when it is closed.

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

More info on FDR Four Freedoms Park Volunteer Greeters here.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Motorgate Gallery Opening Displaying Fall For Arts Festival Murals Saturday April 2 - Reception Follows At Gallery RIVAA

 Image From RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) reports:
You are cordially invited to attend the 2016 Motorgate Gallery Opening. The event will take place at the Motorgate Garage Atrium (628 Main St.) this Saturday, April 2nd at 12 PM. Come and celebrate the addition of new murals painted at the 2015 Fall for Arts Festival to the Gallery's collection! The Gallery opening is sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and curated by the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association. Immediately following the opening, a reception will be held at Gallery RIVAA, located at 527 Main Street. Drinks and light refreshments will be served. For more information visit.
Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA invites you to the Motorgate Gallery opening ceremony and reception afterwards. According to Gallery RIVAA:
Dear all,

Please join us for the opening ceremony of Motorgate Gallery on Saturday, April 2nd at 12PM at Motorgate Garage followed by a reception at 1PM at Gallery RIVAA.

Opening: Motorgate Garage at 12pm
628 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York, NY 10044

Reception: Gallery RIVAA at 1pm
527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York, NY 10044

We hope to see you there!

Examples of the Fall For Arts Murals to be exhibited at the Motorgate Gallery are at bottom of the invitation.

More on the 2015 Fall For Arts murals at this previous post.

The Roosevelt Island Motorgate Gallery opened in 2013. Here's what happened

at the Ribbon Cutting Opening Ceremony.

Susan Rosenthal Begins Work As Acting RIOC President - Reports On Roosevelt Island Tram Station Elevators, Seawall Railings, Ferry Service, Motorgate & Sportspark Repairs And New Gustav Kraitz Sculpture Donation

As reported March 11:

... Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato is leaving RIOC to take a position as Dobbs Ferry Village Administrator. Ms Indelicato's last day at RIOC is March 18. Current RIOC General Counsel Susan Rosenthal will be the Acting President/CEO until a permanent President/CEO is selected.

 Ms Indelicato (center) Ms Rosenthal (right) RIOC Chair Jamie Rubin (left) 3/10 Board Meeting...
Acting RIOC President Susan Rosenthal sends the following message to the Roosevelt Island community:
I feel privileged to be temporarily taking hold of the reigns at RIOC. Fortunately for me, Charlene Indelicato believed in a team approach to leadership so as General Counsel for nine months, I was already involved in all pending transactions and outstanding issues facing the Island. And, I interacted with all departments of RIOC so I am no stranger to our outstanding staff.

There are so many projects to be excited about: the generous donation of a sculpture by the renowned artist Gustav Kraitz which will be adorning the west side of the Island; the new ferry service which is in the planning stage; completing a host of badly needed repairs for Motorgate and Sportspark already on the drawing block.

The Board has approved moving forward with new seawall railings and in a few weeks we will be presenting to the Community Board the plans for new Tram Station elevators.

For the near term, the Board and Management will explore new ways to improve the quality of life on Roosevelt Island through a targeted re-investment plan. So, stay tuned.

I encourage participation and input from all and look forward to getting to know you better.

Thanks for your support,

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Scenes From 2016 Roosevelt Island Egg Hunt At Manhattan Park Lawn - 1,500 People, 300 Families, 12,000 Eggs, 50 Volunteers, Donations, Plenty Of Fun For The Kids & CERT Crowd Control Too

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Annual Egg Hunt took place

(You Tube Video From Renate)

Saturday March 26 under bright and sunny skies at the Manhattan Park lawn.

RIRA Social, Cultural & Educational Egg Hunt Committee Co-Chairs Shauna Howard and Julie Adegite report:
The Annual Egg Hunt at the central lawn in Manhattan Park was a resounding success, with more than 1,500 people representing more than 300 families, a turnout that was near-record attendance.

We had a perfect day in terms of joyful children, beaming adults, participant and volunteer turn-out, cooperation, and weather.

The centerpiece of the event was the dash for more than 12,000 plastic eggs, with one round for children ages three to five years old, followed by a separate dash with children ages six to eight years of age.

The eggs, which had been prepared by more than 50 volunteers, were stuffed with stickers, temporary tattoos, finger puppets, rubber erasers, plastic dinosaurs and tiny stuffed animals. The most sought after eggs contained a colored ticket; these were redeemed for prizes. Every child received a book before she or he left the lawn area.

Participants are reminded to please re-cycle the plastic eggs at Coach Scot’s Main Street Sweets.

Children ages one to three played in a separate area, where they looked for rubber duckies. Because these toys are larger than the plastic eggs and not breakable, they meet the non-choke standards for toddlers. According to Lynne Strong Shinozaki,
Roosevelt Island is one of the few locations where the under three year-olds have their own safety-oriented event. Toddlers received a book and a stuffed animal, while supplies lasted.

As the children scampered around Manhattan Park’s lawn, others took in the fun activities and their parents and other family members watched them enjoy the day.

The giant pink and white Easter bunny hugged and high-fived everyone in sight!

There was a table of crafts for bonnet-making. Students of Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance performed. Councilmember Ben Kallos greeted the attendees.
Thanks to the donations of many companies and organizations, the Social, Cultural and Education Committee was able to produce this event with very low expenses, making it the most significant fundraiser of the year for RIRA.

Breakfast food was donated by New Yorker Bagels in Astoria. Baskets filled with chocolate and prizes were contributed by Costco, Roosevelt Landings/Urban American and Manhattan Park. Creche du Monde donated 100 stuffed animals, 48 toys and a large number of tiny bottles of bubbles. Starbucks contributed bags to collect eggs. Bike New York gave a child’s bicycle helmet.

New this year was the advance online registration. The combined publicity of RIRA Facebook page, Twitter posts, notices distributed to every door in Roosevelt Landings, email to building networks and posters on the kiosks contributed to more than 100 families signing up in advance. Walk-on guests were accommodated with on-site registration. About 10 children who requested it received entry at no-fee, thanks to sponsors.

The SCE Committee thanks the many volunteers who made the event so successful: Girl Scouts of Roosevelt Island (poster design, egg stuffers, distributed eggs, helped at bonnet table); Island Kids (volunteers, tables, supplies); Manhattan Park (Beautiful Central Park, meeting room space, set-up equipment, prizes) and Roosevelt Island Parents’ Network (volunteers, toys, prizes, books in non-English language) and other residents.

Several organizations attended the event and shared information of interest to the community: PS/IS 217 PTA encouraged parents to vote in participatory budgeting to secure additional funds for the green roof at the school. Rosana Ceruzzi’s, Wildlife Freedom Foundation and Dan Sadlier’s Roosevelt Island Center of Community Development.

We hope Roosevelt Islands’ children enjoy reading their new books as we continue to encourage them to share and be good citizens.
The Roosevelt Island Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) performed crowd control duties. CERT Team member Frank Farance shares these photos and reports:

CERT deployment at Easter Egg Hunt the crowd control working very well: participants on the sidewalk, CERT members in the street. Nice working with everyone today!

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Director Jack McManus adds:
I just wanted to extend my appreciation to the members of the Cert Team that graciously lent their support to the Easter Egg Hunt. This is the second year in a row that the Cert Team managed crowd control and traffic at this event, rendering the area safe for all those who participated. This event attracts large numbers of children and parents and the Public Safety Department appreciates the help of the Cert Team. Frank's photos graphically document the Team's efforts. Thank you again.

Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts Inspired To Become Computer Game Engineers - Learn To Write Detailed Algorithms From Cornell Tech Director Of K-12 Education Diane Levitt

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

Brownie Girl Scout Troop 3001 inspired to become computer game engineers!

To help the girls earn their Making Games badge, Diane Levitt,

Senior Director of K-12 Education at Cornell Tech, taught the girls

the importance of writing detailed and specific algorithms and how to use algorithms to create a computer game. The girls created their own algorithms

for a game of hide and seek and tested it out playing the game both in real life and on the computer. Through test runs, the girls quickly learned that if you miss an instruction, the game doesn't run quite as you expected. The girls had such a good time,

they didn't want to stop coding their game of hide and seek! They were excited to meet the Hour of Code challenge at home.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Help Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Green Roof And Computer Carts Win NYC Council Member Ben Kallos Participatory Budget Funds - Vote Today At F Subway Station Or Tomorrow At Tram Station From 4-7 PM, Online Voting Available Too

NYC Participatory Budget voting began last Saturday, March 26 and will continue thru Sunday April 3. As previously reported:
... Of the fourteen projects on the ballot in our District 5 this year, two would fund Roosevelt Island projects, including PS/IS 217 computer carts and the balance of funding needed to finish the PS/IS 217 Green Roof...
Roosevelt Island's NYC District 5 Council Member Ben Kallos tweets:
You can vote in the District 5 Participatory Budget Process on Roosevelt Island tonight at the F Subway Station from 4- 7 PM and also at these other times and places.

Council Member Kallos adds:
... through Thursday, March 31 you can request a digital ballot to vote online at

Join more than 1,000 of your neighbors who have already cast their votes to decide on how to spend $1 million in our community today through April 3rd as part of Participatory Budgeting.

Anyone 14 or over can vote online or in person at our district office or a mobile voting site for the entirety of vote week....
... It is easy to request to vote online if you are already registered to vote and even if you aren't just use your phone and take a picture of a recent utility bill with your name and address on it.

Please allow 24 hours for my team to verify your name and current address  Please consider volunteering to help run a pollsite and if none of the dates and locations work for you or if it is just more convenient remember to register to vote online by Thursday, March 31 at .
Roosevelt Island's Participatory Budget Delegate Christina Delfico reports on the March 26 Roosevelt Island Participatory Voting at the Easter Egg Hunt:
On 3/26 we garnered 120 votes toward the 1200 votes we think are needed to win. Roosevelt Island is the underdog with less than 4 opportunities to vote in our neighborhood versus 21 site chances to vote on the Upper East Side.

Please spread the word to garner more votes for both ballot item #4 (PS/IS 217 Green Roof) and # 9 (PS/IS 217 Computer Carts), our two island projects. To date the PS/IS 217 Green Roof has garnered $750,000 toward the 1.5M needed and it is a remarkable achievement that our little island could win $500,000 last year in the 2015 Participatory Budget vote surpassing the Upper East Side's highly connected and mobilized neighborhood.

Please help us drive voters on these last very convenient dates.

Elected officials pay attention to our island when we vote!

LAST LOCAL CHANCES TO VOTE - 14 year old and older, non US citizens ok, non registered voters ok. 
I spoke with Mr. Kallos and Ms. Delfico at the Roosevelt Island Participatory Budget location as Saturday's Easter Egg Hunt was finishing. Here's what they had to say.

The full Participatory Budget Vote Ballot for District 5 is available here and polling locations here.

Beautiful Blooming Roosevelt Island Tree With Pink Flowers And A Surprise - Cluster Of Red Flowers Too

Paula Beltrone shares these pictures of a beautiful blooming Roosevelt Island tree and reports:

There is a tree at Manhattan Park blooming

and it has pink flowers (probably a Magnolia Tree)

but in the midst of the pink blooms is a tiny cluster of red flowers.

I thought it was interesting and pretty.
It is both. Thanks for sharing.

Monday, March 28, 2016

NY Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Distribution Of Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds To Continue Says Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright - What Will Governor Cuomo Do?

 Image Of Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright At 2015 Roosevelt Island Town Hall

Roosevelt Island's New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright announced this afternoon that the Assembly passed legislation which will allow the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) to continue to distribute Public Purpose Funds to eligible Roosevelt Island non-profit organizations.
According to this Press Release from Assembly Member Seawright's office:
On March 28, 2016, the New York State Assembly passed A9177, a bill introduced by Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright that removes the sunset provision from last year’s legislation clarifying the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s ability to distribute Public Purpose Funds on Roosevelt Island. The removal of the sunset provision – which initially called for the legislation to expire on December 31, 2016 – will allow RIOC to distribute the funds indefinitely. Sponsored in the Senate by Senator José Serrano, the legislation has now passed both houses and awaits delivery to the Governor’s office.

“For the past 25 years, the Roosevelt Island community has used public purpose funding to create a vibrant and supportive island for its residents,” Seawright said. “The community depends on this funding to ensure that its excellent programs for Islanders young and old continue year after year. I am hopeful that the Governor, who has already shown his support for Public Purpose Funds by signing our previous legislation, will stand by Roosevelt Islanders once again and allow these funds to be distributed indefinitely.”
It's up to Governor Cuomo to now sign the legislation.

UPDATE 3/30 - Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Purpose Funds Committee Chair Dave Evans adds:
The recent passage of the PPF legislation devoid of the "sunset clause" speaks well to the efforts of our legislative representatives, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and Senator Jose Serrano. Their efforts, having been informed by the Government Relations Committee (GRC) of the RIRA Common Council, will hopefully lead to more stabilized funding support to qualified 501c organizations here on the Island. As a member of the GRC and Chair of the PPF Committee, while grateful for the legislative effort, I anxiously await the endorsement of the Governor of this worthwhile program. So, on behalf of the PPF Committee, we thank the Governor in advance for his acceptance of the legislation.

Childbirth In 19th Century America: The Role Of Charity Hospital - Free Lecture At The NYC Public Library Roosevelt Island Branch Tuesday April 12 - Sponsored By Roosevelt Island Historical Society & Amalgamated Bank

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

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

Childbirth in 19th Century America: The Role of Charity Hospital

by Professor Jane Brickman, U. S. Merchant Marine Academy
New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island
Tuesday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m.

For centuries, childbirth was a dangerous experience, for both women and their babies. In the 19th century, midwives, nurses and doctors at Charity Hospital, which operated on Roosevelt Island until 1957, were recognized as leaders/pioneers in making childbirth a safe experience. Jane Brickman, Professor of History at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, will describe some of their practices 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.

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.

Upcoming RIHS Events

Contact or 212-688-4836 for information on these exciting tours:

4/23 - 8th Annual Cherry Blossom Walk
5/14 - Subway Art Tour
Elder Web has more info about Charity Hospital:
1890: Life for Nurses and Patients in Charity Hospital, NY

Summary: Some excerpts from an article in Scribner Magazine that focus on life in Charity Hospital, the poorhouse hospital on Blackwell's Island (now Roosevelt Island), New York City.

Source: The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals

The Training Of A Nurse
Scribner's magazine (Volume 8, Issue 5, November, 1890)

Following are some excerpts that focus on life in Charity Hospital, the poorhouse hospital located on Blackwell's Island, New York City (renamed Roosevelt Island in 1973).
Charity Hospital Patients

The patients in Charity Hospital are the very poor of the city; some of them are only morally sick and needing a home; they puzzle the doctors to make a diagnosis. Most of their sickness, as we nurses know, has been brought on by over-work, poverty, drunkenness, laziness, and the like, but some are worthy and deserving persons....
Click here to read more of the Scribner Magazine article about life at Roosevelt (Blackwell's) Island Charity Hospital in the 1890's excepted by Elder Web.

The NY Times has more on Charity Hospital.