Friday, December 9, 2016

RIOC To Make Available Free Community Space At The Cultural Center For Roosevelt Island Groups Starting January 2017 - Details Still Be Worked Out Says RIOC President Susan Rosenthal

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal announced at the RIOC December 8 Board meeting that free community space for Roosevelt Island groups will be made available at the Cultural Center

Image Of Cultural Center Entrance

starting in January 2017. Permits will not be required but reservations will be necessary for the groups seeking to use the Cultural Center space for free.

Images Of Cultural Center Common Area Space and Studio

Ms Rosenthal added that groups do not have to be 501 c3 corporations to use the space. Details are still to be worked out but one requirement is that the groups themselves not charge for the free community space.

Here's what Ms. Rosenthal said about Roosevelt Island free community space at the Cultural Center.

A video webcast of the full RIOC meeting here.

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend

According to the MTA:
F Jamaica-bound trains are rerouted via the E after 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av Weekends, 11:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Dec 9 - 12 • Dec 16 - 19

No Jamaica-bound service at 57 St, Lexington Av/63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Call Me Crazy Dancers Present On The Eve Christmas Dance Celebration December 10 & 11 At The Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance - Get Your Tickets At The Door

Roosevelt Island resident John Curtis reports:
My wife Kara and I have been Roosevelt Island residents for seven years. We produce a dance theater ensemble, the Call Me Crazy Dancers. We will be presenting our first NYC show here on the island at Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance. We have dancers of all ages in our company, and we are proud to have some children students from MSTDA in our upcoming Christmas show the weekend of December 10th. The show is called "On the Eve"

and includes ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and theater dance, and includes everything from a tap dancing nativity, to a nostalgic big band section, and a loving tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting in CT.
Mr. Curtis adds:
"On the Eve" is an original Christmas story from the Call Me Crazy Dancers. A crowd waits for the delayed F train to arrive on Christmas Eve. As they wait on the subway platform, four individuals will go on journeys of the mind as they each search for the magic of Christmas. The four stories are explored through four production pieces. They are described as:

1) A young girl is on her way to see a Radio City-type Christmas show, and is reading a children's book on Christmas in Bethlehem. She imagines walking onto the scene of Jesus' birth, and Mary and Joseph are tap dancing. A tap dancing Nativity ensues.

2) A woman is waiting on her two close friends to arrive. They were displaced after the 2011 earthquake in Japan, and have not seen each other since. The woman re-imagines the ordeal and the lessons learned about life's struggles and the friendships that carry us through.

3) A man is on the way to a Christmas party he doesn't particularly want to go to, and is suddenly transported to a historic jazz club, New Year's Eve, 1942. A nostalgic big band montage ensues, where he looks for and loses love.

4) The final piece finds a woman who lost her daughter to the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy in Newtown, CT. It has been four years, and she is still looking for answers on this Christmas Eve.

Lastly, some general info about our group and this particular:

The multi-generational Call Me Crazy Dancers blend dance, theater, and their own original music to give a truly unique holiday show. The show is a 90 minute one act and is appropriate for all ages. I started the Call Me Crazy Dancers as a spinoff from the jazz band Call Me Crazy, which I sang with from 2006 to 2010 in the Philadelphia area. The dancers have performed in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, the Capital Fringe in Washington, DC, and at summer outdoor concerts in NJ. This show will be the groups' NYC debut, and will hopefully serve to launch a residency show at MSTDA on Roosevelt Island. "On the Eve" also features several local dancers from MSTDA. The group regularly includes children in their shows in several pieces. This show will feature contemporary, jazz, tap, theater, and modern dance. The music of the show is comprised of mostly original material written, arranged, and recorded by Curtis and his Call Me Crazy music team.

Performances on Saturday, December 10, 8pm and Sunday, December 11, 2pm AND 8pm.

Tickets--cash or check at the door:

$20 adults

$10 students and seniors

Under 5 FREE

For more info about us and the show

Holiday Pop-Up Market This Weekend At The Roosevelt Island Senior Center - Clothing, Art, Jewelry, Antiques, Homemade Soap, Leather Goods, Soup & More Treasures For Sale

Wendy Hersh reports:

Saturday & Sunday December 10th & 11th 9AM-5PM at Th& Roosevelt Island Senior Center 546 Main Street Roosevelt Island, NY.

Holiday Shopping early….

Famous brand clothing; desk lamps; art work; homemade soaps; assorted breads and pastry; homemade soups; leather goods; photography; jewelry; antiques; other people’s treasures; and much more…..

Take time out to Enjoy Julie’s Catered Dinners

For additional Information contact

Roosevelt Island Artist Tony Vita will be selling his wonderful and unique illustration and photography.

 Image From Tony Vita

Roosevelt Island residents Merle Joffe  and Sandra Feria of Sun & Moon Leathers will be selling their handcrafted, one of a kind leather items including chokers, wallets, card cases, key chain holders and more!

Also, Roosevelt Island resident Margot Reiss will be selling her tastes like homemade soups

including Vegan, vegetarian, beef, and chicken options.

All at the Holiday Pop-Up Market this weekend.

Plus more.

Get some of your holiday shopping done early at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center Pop Up Market this weekend.

UPDATE 11:20 AM - Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy adds:
Mrs. Claus will be at the Senior Center Saturday 9-5 to meet the kids at the RIHS table.

Great merchandise and sale continues at the Kiosk.
UPDATE 8:45 PM - According to Suzy del Campo Perea:

Are you looking for stocking stuffers for the girls in your family?

Have you found the perfect outfit and are uncertain of what to do with her hair or need something to match the color of the dress?

Look no more! I will have my Handmade Hairbows

for sale and made to order during the Roosevelt Island Pop-up Holiday Market this following week-end (Sat 10 & Sun 11) from 10am-4pm at the Senior Center (546 Main St)

Everything is under $10. Most of you have seen my daughters with hairbows.

I've including pictures for you and some of the ones that you can purchase and/or order this weekend.

I do have different sizes and colors.

Tell your neighbors, your friends, come all.

** I will also be taking orders for hairbows of School Colors, like the Purple and Yellow ones of PS/IS 217

Roosevelt Island Seniors Association Thanksgiving Dinner Was A Wonderful Event Says RISA President

Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) President Barbara Parker reports and shares these photos from the RISA Thanksgiving Dinner at the Senior Center:

Well over 60 people attended this wonderful event

which included lots of multi-generational live entertainment

from the community It was a great success thanks to the RISA board and


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Approval Of RIOC Budget, Public Purpose Funds Expenditures & Appointment Of New General Counsel On Agenda Of December 8 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Of Directors Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet tomorrow evening. Among the items on the Agenda are approval of RIOC 2017-18 Fiscal Year Budget,

approval of Public Purpose Funds expenditures and the appointment of Jacqueline P. Flug as General Counsel. According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a Board of Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center Theater, 548 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York, for the purpose of transacting such business as shall come before the Board.

* * *

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.


5:30 P.M.1
I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of Minutes
1. October 20, 2016 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
1. Appointment of Jacqueline P. Flug to the Position of General Counsel of the Corporation (Board Action Required)
2. Approval of the Proposed RIOC Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18 (Board Action Required)
3. Schedule of 2017 Meetings of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors (Board Action Required)
4. Authorization of Expenditure of Public Purpose Funds Fiscal Year 2016-17 (Board Action Required)
5. Ratification of Contract with Norberto Construction Inc. for Pool Reconstruction at Sportspark (Board Action Required)
6. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Whitestone Office Interiors Inc. for the Purchase of Office Furniture for the Bus Garage and Engineering Office (Board Action Required)
7. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Foritas Converged Networks for RIOC’s New Telephone System (Board Action Required)
8. Authorization to Amend Contract with Sprague Operating Resources LLC for the Purchase of Gasoline Fuel (Board Action Required)
9. Ratification of Amendment of Contract with Sprague Operating Resources LLC for the Purchase of Biodiesel Fuel (Board Action Required)
10. Ratification of Amendment of Contract with Leitner-Poma of America O&M, Inc. for Operation and Maintenance of the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway (Board Action Required)
11. Authorization to Enter into Contract with New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. for Cleaning Services at RIOC’s Facilities (Board Action Required)
12. President’s Report
13. Committee Reports
a. Audit Committee
b. Governance Committee
c. Operations Advisory Committee
d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
14. Public Safety Report
VI. Adjournment

1 The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.
A video web cast of the meeting will be available shortly thereafter.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island's Paul Calendrillo New York Gallery Opening Reception For Backstory Exhibition By Artist Jennifer Young Wednesday December 7 - Check Out The New Gallery

Resident Paul Calendrillo recently opened a new art gallery at Roosevelt Island's 507 Main Street.

Mr. Callendrillo's latest gallery exhibition features the work of artist Jennifer Young.

You're invited to the opening reception for Jennifer Young's exhibit, Backstory, December 7 at the Paul Calendrillo New York Gallery. According to Mr. Calendrillo:
Jennifer Young
December 6th 2016 to January 7th 2017
Opening Reception December 7th
6pm to 8pm
Paul Calendrillo New York Gallery
507 Main St. New York, NY 10044

Jennifer Young Artist Statement

My life experiences and love for photography are the inspirations for these paintings. My paintings feature women in various settings. The images I create are often symbolic or metaphorical of intense emotions. I also love to find the beauty in the decrepit and run down, whether it’s a decaying building or a distressed woman. My artwork is my visual diary. I recall past events or emotions from my life and then think of images that portray them. Once I have an idea for the painting, I set up a photo shoot and recreate the scene that I imagined. I orchestrate the photo shoot by telling the model what to do and how to look. After perusing many photographs, I choose one and paint directly from it.

I work from my photographs because of my love for the medium and my desire to show detail and realism in my paintings. I have always felt that the camera is the closest thing to allowing the viewer to see what I see through my eyes. However, what the eye sees and what the photograph captures is limited. Unlike the camera, the mind has the ability to filter and focus on specific aspects of the picture. It is then my task to emphasize what I feel are the most important elements in my painting.

I paint with oils on stretched, acrylic-primed canvas. I consider composition while I am taking the photograph; I want the structure of the work to be interesting, to have some sort of unique quality. To accomplish this, I shoot from many different angles and viewpoints. The uniqueness of the photograph depends on the camera angle.

A lot of people have asked me over the last 10 years of these series why I paint such sad and depressing images. "Paint happy things!" is what some would say. But I never looked at it the way they did. People automatically think that any emotion that is considered a "negative emotion" is a bad thing. Emotions like sadness, heartache, loneliness, defeat, hopelessness, fear, and worry. But I don't see them that way. To me, they are neither positive nor negative. I see them as experiences, as lessons, as growth. What kind of person would you be if you had only experienced just one emotion in your life? If you had never experienced pain, sadness, or heartache? I think that those emotions -the "negative ones"- are essential for human existence. They are imperative for our growth, our experiences, our survival.

I still remember what one of my teachers once said to me during my senior year of art school, when this series began. "You're too sentimental." But once again, I didn't see that as a bad thing. Our memory system is an incredible thing. What we remember from our lives, why we remember, and how the autobiographical memory system affects our lives. Why wouldn't I be fascinated with what my mind remembers? Why wouldn't I cherish the lessons that I've learned in my life? Why wouldn't I be proud of what I've been through - the good and the bad? We are what we create. We go through many steps in life to become who we are and I have recorded some of mine on canvas.

One of the amazing things about humans is that we can find ways to relate to one another. Some of us have been through the same experiences, but they affect each of us differently. I would like people to look at my paintings and feel some emotion, or maybe even feel like they have felt the same way the person in my paintings do. When people feel empathy from someone, it gives them the opportunity to express their inner feelings and experiences with one another, which deepens the human connection. I want my artwork to be universal.
Here's a 2011 video of Ms Young describing her art.

More information on the Roosevelt Island Paul Calendrillo New York Gallery here and on artist Jennifer Young here.

I spoke with Mr. Calendrillo last September about his plans for the new Roosevelt Island Art Gallery.

and the impact his new art gallery may have on the revitalization of Main Street retail.

Paul Callendrillo New York Gallery hours at 507 Main Street, Roosevelt Island are:
Sunday Closed
Monday Closed
Tuesday 11:30am to 6:30pm
Wednesday 11:30am to 6:30pm
Thursday ​11:30am to 6:30pm
Friday 11:30am to 5:00pm
Saturday 11:30am to 5:00pm
Come to tomorrow night's reception or just stop by anytime, check out the art and meet Roosevelt Island art gallery owner Paul Calendrillo.

Free Civil Legal Assistance From NYLAG Mobile Legal Help Center Hosted By Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano's On Friday, December 9 - Please Schedule An Appointment

Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano is hosting a free legal clinic with the New York Legal Assistant Group (LAG) Mobile Help Center on Friday December 9 next to the Good Shepherd Chapel at 550 Main Street from 10 AM - 3 PM.

If you are interested in seeking assistance from the LAG Mobile Help Center, please call Senator Serrano's office (212- 828-5829) or email to make an appointment.

Here's more on

the New York Legal Assistance Group and how they may help you.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Great News - Contemporary Mexican Restaurant & Bar, Onda, To Open Summer 2017 On Roosevelt Island Says Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder Hudson Related - I'll Have A Margarita Please

Reported October 17 that a new ethnic restaurant will soon sign a lease for Roosevelt Island's 548 Main Street.

Image of Roosevelt Island's 548 Main Street Empty Storefront

Well, it actually happened!!!! A new restaurant will open this summer on Roosevelt Island's Main Street in a long time vacant space. According to Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder Hudson Related:
Hudson Related Retail LLC has signed a lease to bring a new contemporary Mexican restaurant and bar to 548 Main Street on Roosevelt Island. Onda will occupy an approximately 2,000 sq. ft. storefront in the Island’s retail center— known as the Shops on Main— and will be operated by D&D Restaurant Group. As the Island’s first sit-down Mexican restaurant-bar, Onda will serve authentic, rustic cuisine and offer both small and large plates in a modern setting. The restaurant, which plans to apply for a liquor license, is anticipated to open in Summer 2017.

“We are excited to help meet the desire of Roosevelt Island residents for more sit-down dining establishments and a wider diversity of food options,” said Alexandra Kaplan, Associate Project Manager at The Hudson Companies, on behalf of Hudson Related Retail LLC. “This restaurant will not only serve the existing residents of Roosevelt Island, but also the incoming students and faculty of the Cornell Tech Campus.”

"We are thrilled that another restaurant will soon open on Main Street, which has reestablished itself as the heart and soul of Roosevelt Island," said Susan Rosenthal, President/CEO of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC).

Cushman & Wakefield represented Hudson Related Retail LLC in this transaction.

In July, Hudson Related Retail LLC announced the signing of a lease for a café and wine bar located at 503 Main Street, which will serve juices, smoothies, and light fare such as paninis, salads, and bakery items. The café will be operated by same owners of Wholesome Factory—a gourmet and organic natural food market— and Island Wine & Spirits, two successful businesses on Main Street.

In 2011, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation designated Hudson Related Retail LLC, a joint venture between development firms The Hudson Companies and The Related Companies, to help revitalize Roosevelt Island’s Main Street retail corridor and bring in new amenities. This has included completing major arcade and storefront renovations, along with other capital improvements.
I'll have a margarita please. How about you?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Wonderful Time At The Roosevelt Island Holiday/Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony - Local Kids Perform, Colorful Lights And Santa Claus Comes To Town

The Roosevelt Island Holiday/Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony took place Friday evening, December 2, next to Blackwell House.

The weather was perfect, not too cold, but chilly enough to feel winter was coming, and no rain. The crowd

was entertained by young Roosevelt Island performers from the Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance,

PS/IS 217 Beacon Program After School kids

and the 116th Street Band

as everyone waited

for the arrival of Santa Claus and the lighting

of the Roosevelt Island Holiday/Christmas Tree

in front of Blackwell House

on Main Street.

Santa also greeted happy Roosevelt Island kids.

 Image From Jax Schott

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp's (RIOC) Erica Spencer-El and Jessica Murray hosted the program and introduced RIOC President Susan Rosenthal, RIOC Director Fay Christian and Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Jeff Escobar who all welcomed the residents wishing the crowd a happy holiday season.

Also, RIOC Public Safety Department Director Jack McManus and Deputy Director Kevin Brown wished everyone a happy Holiday Season and Director McManus added a request for residents to say thank you to the Public Safety officers for their service to our community.

Good times. Nice job by RIOC.

UPDATE 12/5 - Frank Farance and other members of the Roosevelt Island Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) assisted the Public Safety Department with crowd control at the Tree Lighting ceremony. Mr. Farance shares these photos and reports:
A great event,

thanks to Santa, RIOC, RI Youth Program, Main Street Theatre, Girl Scouts, RIRA, Public Safety and


Aside from the younger kids having fun,

the teenagers

were having a really good time, too,

with the band.