Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ahoy Mateys - East River Pirate Ship Passing Roosevelt Island Today

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

Pirates in the East River. #newyorklifesjpv #ues #rooseveltisland

A photo posted by @sjphotovideo21 on

Is the Pirate life for you?

Friday, May 13, 2016

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

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

What Improvements Would You Like To See At Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park Open Space - Share Your Opinions At Saturday's Farmers Market May 14

As reported April 27, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
In March 2016, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation initiated a one-year project to develop a Community Plan for Southpoint Open Space. The project’s significant public engagement effort kicks off on Thursday, April 28th with the initial meeting of the Community Advisory Committee....

... The Community Advisory Committee has representatives from over 20 organizations on Roosevelt Island. The committee is scheduled to meet four times during the project, providing advice and input throughout. The project will also involve an extensive community engagement effort, which will include 1) outreach efforts at upcoming island Spring events 2) a series of public meetings and workshops; 3) a website, and 4) an online survey....
RIOC hired the Fitzgerald & Halliday (F&H) consulting firm to help develop the Southpoint Park Open Space Plan.

Representatives of F&H will be at the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market tomorrow to gather information on what residents would like to see happen at Southpoint Park.

Image From Southpoint Community Plan

According to RIOC:
What do you think of Southpoint Open Space? Would you like to see it enhanced for the community?

We want to hear what you think.

Come to the Roosevelt Island Farmer's Market this Saturday May 14th from 11 AM to 3 PM, located next to the base of the Roosevelt Island 36th Avenue Helix ramp.

There will be a booth where you can tell us what you think about the Southpoint Open Space and the Smallpox Hospital, a New York City Landmark.

Can't make it? Here are other opportunities to let us know what you think:

Bike Walk NY Helmet Giveaway
When: Saturday, May 21, from 11 AM to 3 PM
Where: Good Shepherd Plaza (543 Main Street)

Roosevelt Island Day
When: Saturday, June 11, from 11 AM to 3 PM
Where: Good Shepherd Plaza (543 Main Street) & Blackwell Plaza (500 Main Street)

For more information, visit the project website by clicking here:

Have a comment or suggestion? Email us at

We're looking forward to hearing from you!
The April 28 Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park Community Advisory Committee meeting was hosted by F&H representatives Arnold Bloch and Mary Miltimore,. During the meeting, Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach asked for the reason why the Southpoint Park survey is happening now.

F&H's Mary Miltimore replied that the reason is for RIOC to be ready with a community plan in the event future projects and funding become available.

Possible future projects for Southpoint Park that have been discussed in the past include the donation of a Korean Pavilion and the renovation of the Smallpox Hospital by the FDR Four Freedoms Park.

RIOC Director Margie Smith speaking during the Public Session remarked that she hoped:
... we do not lose sight that...
Southpoint Park is:
... first and foremost for the residents of this Island...
and encouraged more public brainstorming sessions.

Below is the F&H presentation to the April 28 Southpoint Open Space Community Advisory Committee

and a visioning word exercise about what the participants currently value most about the Southpoint Open space.

Here's video portions of the April 28 Southpoint Open Space Community Advisory Committee meeting.

Ms Miltimore provides an introduction to the process

and discussion by the committee.

More information available at the Southpoint Community Plan web site.

Thief Steals $10 Thousand Watch And Credit Card From Woman At Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station Last April

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

According to DNA Info:
... A 51-year-old woman left her shopping bag on a bench inside the station at roughly 3:45 p.m. on April 18, according to authorities.

The female suspect picked up the bag, which contained the watch and the victim's credit card and walked out of the station with it, according to police...
Click here for the full DNA Info article and picture of suspect.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Final Month To Answer Roosevelt Island Residents Association Community Survey Questions - What Needs To Be Done To Make Roosevelt Island The Best It Can Be!!!

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Community Polling Chair Adib Mansour reports:
The Roosevelt Island Residents Association Survey is entering its fifth and final month. We received hundreds of entries with many suggestions to ameliorate our standards of living. We’ve also learned a lot about issues that matter to all of us, including building maintenance, filth and roaches in hallways, contaminated water, as well as concerns over the lack of stores on Main Street, and other issues. Most disturbing is the fact that many people are in need of food on a daily basis.

Alas, the survey will close by Wednesday, May 25th. Thank you to everyone who shared their views.

RIRA invites all the residents who have not yet participated to complete the online survey at, or get a printed ballot at the Public Safety lobby where they may deposit the completed survey in the large red box.

Let’s Make Roosevelt Island The Best It Can Be!

Please contact Adib Mansour at with any questions.
Click here to take the Roosevelt Island Community Survey.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Governor Cuomo Signs Seawright/Serrano Legislation Permitting RIOC To Allocate Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds - RIOC Governance Committee Meeting May 17 To Discuss Procedures

  Image From RIOC

 As reported last March 28:
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....

... It's up to Governor Cuomo to now sign the legislation....
During the May 4 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Public Session, Assembly Member Seawright's Chief Of Staff Katerina Matic announced that Governor Cuomo signed the legislation.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Governance Committee will  meet on May 17 to discuss the procedures for distributing Public Purpose Funds. According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Governance Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 5:30 P.M. at The Cultural Center Roosevelt Room, 548 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Discussion of the Public Purpose Funds Procedures.

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


The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.
An audio web cast of the meeting will be available soon thereafter.

Here are the Roosevelt Island organizations approved for 2015 Public Purpose Funds and the amounts they will receive.

Roosevelt Island Sportspark Pool June/July Master Swim Class Registration Available - Learn Advanced Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly Techniques & Get A Good Workout

Image Of Sportspark Pool From RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) reports that registration for Master Swim Classes at the Sportspark Pool are now available. According to RIOC:
Registration for the June and July 2016 session of Master Swim classes is now available online. Master Swim takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM and focuses on teaching more advanced swimming techniques (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly stroke) as well as providing a high-quality, low-impact workout. For more information or to register online, visit and click on "Program Registration." If you have any questions or if you prefer to register in person, please email or call (212) 832-4569.
Here's an example of the Butterfly Stroke

and watch Michael Phelps

set a 200 meter Butterfly World Record.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tell Us Your Favorite Roosevelt Island Tram Story To Celebrate The 40th Anniversary Of Riding The Tram - You're Invited To May 17 Commemoration

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Roosevelt Island Tram taking riders back and forth over the East River between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan's Second Avenue,
Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy asks you to share funny or memorable stories about the Tram.

According to Ms. Berdy:
Soaring above the East River on a four-minute ride in the aerial tram, residents of Roosevelt Island have seen marriage proposals, deer as passengers and celebrity sightings. Tales of unusual guests and events will be shared as the community gathers to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Roosevelt Island tram’s maiden voyage on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 1:00 pm at Tram Plaza.

Launched as a temporary transportation measure until the F subway line would be routed to the newly residential island, the Roosevelt Island tram soon became an icon of the fledgling community. As the nation’s first commuter aerial tram, it carries thousands to work and school on Manhattan and then back home to their Island residences daily, initially for 25 cents.

The tram brought everyone together, in close quarters. It was a terrific way to socialize and build connections with neighbors, all of whom were newcomers and eager to meet people.

“Over the years, the tram became a tourist destination. Travelers from around the globe ride the tram to see the skyline of the Upper East Side, the spires of the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, and the United Nations Secretariat. You can hear the buzz of excitement from the international visitors, no matter which language they speak,” said Jeffrey Escobar, President, Roosevelt Island Residents Association.

Anniversary festivities include speeches and a reception on Tram Plaza sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. Children living on the Island have been invited to decorate small tram-shaped boxes for display and the band of local school PS/IS 217 will perform. The event is FREE and open to the public.
Ms. Berdy described plans for the Tram's 40th Anniversary Celebration during the May 4 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Public Session.

The Roosevelt Island Tram has seen weddings,

jenny + wes wedding vows on the Roosevelt Island Tram from Stylish and Hip Weddings on Vimeo.

movie shoots (remember Sylvester Stallone's Nighthawks?),

Nighthawks Tram Hostage image with Stallone and Hauer from Mr. Peel's Sardine Liqueur

TV shows (White Collar),

 Image Of White Collar Episode Shot On Roosevelt Island From You Tube

 Fear Factor stunts,

marriage proposals,

impromtu concerts,

a reindeer riding the Tram.

and much more.

Greg Paravati has been operating the Roosevelt Island Tram since it began service in 1976. He has watched generations of Roosevelt Island children grow up and even attended some of their weddings.

Mr. Paravati says the Tram is a wonderful way to travel. He tells us about it in this 2012 interview.

Tell us about your favorite memory of riding

The song is "Oh it is love" by Hellogoodbye.

the Roosevelt Island Tram.

UPDATE 5/11 - In 2010, filmaker Ovidiu Opresco and musician Jonathan Kalb collaborated on this tribute to the joys of Crossing The East River On The Roosevelt Island Tram.

Sort of like Roosevelt Island's version of a Jimmy Buffet song about Key West.

Project Renewal Scan Van Free Roosevelt Island Mammogram Screenings Hosted By Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright Friday June 3, Appointment Necessary

Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright reports:

Free Screening Mammograms

Friday, June 3rd

Hosted on Roosevelt Island by:

Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright

In Partnership with:

Project Renewal Scan Van funded by Cancer Services Program of Manhattan and Judges & Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert

The Scan Van Will be parked in the RIOC plaza, 591 Main Street

Appointments start at 9 a.m.

Please call 1-800-564-6868

ALL insurance plans Accepted. Co-payments and deductibles are waived.

FREE for uninsured women 40 and older who have not had a mammogram in the past year.

For more information about this or any state or local issue, contact Assembly Member Seawright’s District Office at 212-288-4607
Here's more on the Project Renewal Scan Van Mammograms.

Monday, May 9, 2016

NYC Mayor's Office Say Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Not Fully Accessible To The Disabled - Withholds Certificate Of Occupancy And Up to $900 Thousand Until Resolved

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

Google maps shows us the sunken terrace steps in the Memorial's Room that NYC says is inaccessible to the disabled.

According to the NY Times:
... Though the park is open and operating, the city is withholding a permanent certificate of occupancy and hundreds of thousands of dollars in financing until the matter is resolved....

... The remedy favored by the de Blasio administration would be to install ramps on either side of the Room....

... At least one advocacy group, the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association, supports the conservancy’s viewpoint. The conservancy has helped guide and finance the association’s own project on the island, the F.D.R. Hope Memorial, which features a sculpture of President Roosevelt in a wheelchair.

Jim Bates, the president of the association, who uses a wheelchair and motor scooter, said there is a better view from the Room above than there is from the ha-ha below because of a wide parapet wall at the end of the sunken terrace....
Click here for the full NY Times article.

Roosevelt Island Youth Center Facility To Get Much Needed Repairs And Improvements - It's Our Top Priority Says RIOC President

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee discussed the urgent need for repairs and improvements to the Roosevelt Island Youth Center facility at 506 Main Street during its April 26 meeting (full audio web cast of meeting here).

 Entrance To Roosevelt Island Youth Center

The meeting began with RIOC Director Howard Polivy distinguishing between the Roosevelt Island Youth Center facility space and the long time operator of the facility, the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP). Mr. Polivy said that the subject of the meeting was the facility space and not the Program Operator.

According to Mr. Polivy:
...It was not clear to me until fairly recently whose space it was. Part of that may be why it fell into its state of disrepair....
Acting RIOC President Susan Rosenthal said:
... If you go back to the original documentation ... the space was ours and always has been....

... We walked through the space and we realized how bad it is. It is a shame that this is Roosevelt Island's youth center....

... It needs a facelift. It needs some cosmetic help. ... It needs some painting. It needs a new floor. It's not in terrible shape....

... This is a project that in my view should be our top priority....
RIOC Director Margie Smith said that RIYP Executive Director Charlie Defino has been trying to get RIOC to help renovate the Youth Center facililty for many years. According to Ms. Smith, the RIYP had $2 million to renovate the Youth Center 15 years ago from NYC which was lost because of inaction from RIOC.

The RIOC Board agreed to repair the Youth Center facility. After the repairs are completed, RIOC will issue a Request For Proposals (RFP) for a Youth Center operator. The RIYP and any other qualified and experienced Youth Center Operator can submit bids on the RFP at that time.

RIOC President Rosenthal added:
 ... We need to have some input and monitoring of what the role is of the Youth Center. What are their programs and what do we want their programs to be....
Here's the full discussion.

More on the issue of Roosevelt Island youth services, including interview with RIYP Executive Director Charlie Defino at this previous post.

Dancer Jumps With Joy Visiting Roosevelt Island Relatives - Says It's Gorgeous And Will Be Back

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

Law Enforcement Job Available As Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Deputy Director Of Public Safety Department

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) is seeking a new Public Safety Department Deputy Director.

According to the job web site Indeed:



Under the general supervision of the Director of Public Safety the incumbent will assist in the direction of a multi-level Public Safety Department that ensures the provision of safety throughout Roosevelt Island.​ S/​he will oversee the day-to-day supervision of the Public Safety force; including Public Safety Officers, Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, Youth Officer, and Crossing Guards.​ The Deputy Director of Pubic Safety will mentor staff in the guidelines of New York City and New York State law.​ S/​he will articulate policies, operating procedures, and methodologies utilized by the Department in its mission to staff, the general public, and other parties.​...
The Salary range is $85 - 95 thousand annually. Click here for more information and to apply for the position.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day From Roosevelt Island, Say Thank You To Your Mom and Learn How The Day Got Started

Happy Mother's Day wishes for all the moms out there.

Give your Mom a Great Big Hug and Kiss today and tell her how much she is loved and appreciated.

Here's a History Of Mother's Day.

Some celebrated this morning with a Roosevelt Island Mother's Day run.
A photo posted by TEK (@tek1228) on