Saturday, April 29, 2017

You're Invited To International Jazz Day Celebration Sunday April 30 At Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA

Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA invites you to their International Jazz Day Celebration tomorrow. According to Gallery RIVAA:

International Jazz Day Celebration

Jazz Session

Sunday, April 30, 2017


Come and celebrate International Jazz Day at Gallery RIVAA
After the Roosevelt Island International Jazz Day concert, check out the International Jazz Day Global Concert


Midnight Power Outage At Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station Today - No Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Service, Maintainers Are On Scene Says MTA

Shortly after midnight this morning, power went out at the Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station:

Since that time and as of 8:35 AM, there is no Roosevelt Island F Train service in either direction.
According to the MTA:
Service Change Posted: 04/29/2017 8:21AM

Due to a loss of power at Roosevelt Island, F Subway trains are bypassing Roosevelt Island in both directions.

Maintainers are on scene making repairs.

For service in and out of Roosevelt Island, take the Q102 bus.

Allow additional travel time.
The 18 consecutive weekends of Roosevelt Island F Train subway service to and from Manhattan is over.

UPDATE 9:50 AM - The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
F train service is still temporarily out of service on Roosevelt island due to a black out at the station.
alternant transportation use is the Q102 BUS TO QUEENS PLAZA OR THE ROOSEVELT ISLAND TRAM TO 60 STREET
UPDATE 10:55 AM - Power and service restored to Roosevelt Island F train station.

It was a nightmare said worker.
UPDATE 6:20 PM - According to RIOC:
Due to power outages specific to the Roosevelt Island F train station, the elevators and escalators are out of service; therefore the RIOC Red Bus will provide shuttle service to and from Manhattan.

Schedule information is as follows:

ROOSEVELT ISLAND TO MANHATTAN: Departs hourly from the Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza at the Visitor's Kiosk beginning at 7:00PM. Additional stops are located at 546 Main St. (opposite Good Shepherd Plaza) and 580 Main Street (opposite 591 Plaza).

MANHATTAN TO ROOSEVELT ISLAND: Departs hourly from the southwest corner of 58th Street and 2nd Avenue beginning at 7:30PM. Additional stops are located at 645 Main St. (P.S./I.S. 217), 579 Main St. (M&D Deli), 543 Main St. (Good Shepherd Plaza), 425 Main St. (Riverwalk Bar & Grill), and the Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza. The last trip from Manhattan will be 10:30PM.

If you have any questions, please call the Public Safety Department at 212-832-4545.

Thank you for your patience.
UPDATE 9:15 PM - Here we go again. Power is out at the Roosevelt Island F Train subway station tonight.
UPDATE 10:30 AM 4/30 - Power was restored again to the station early in the morning and Trains are stopping at Roosevelt Island.
UPDATE 8:50 PM 4/30 - Frank Farance shares this video taken Saturday morning from passing F Train of Roosevelt Island subway station in dark

because of the power outage. Click on full screen icon for better view.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Roosevelt Island Octagon Field Comfort Stations Closed Until Further Notice Says RIOC Due To Emergency Plumbing Repairs - Portable Toilets On Site

 Image From Field Finder

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised that, due to emergency plumbing repairs, the Octagon Comfort Station is currently closed until further notice. Portable toilets are on site today, Friday, April 28th. Due to the heavy use of the Octagon Field, they will be serviced and cleaned daily.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Check Out Roosevelt Island Soup Lady Margot Reiss Every Saturday At Farmers Market - Watch How Soup Is Made At Queens EDC Entrepreneur Space Kitchen Business Incubator

Roosevelt Island resident Margot Reiss is the Kitchen 36 Homemade Soup Lady at the Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market. Ms. Reiss sells her soups rain or shine in good weather and bad.

According to Ms. Reiss:
All of our soups are made from scratch using local and seasonal ingredients, fresh herbs, fresh meat (never frozen), dried beans (never canned), non-GMO products where available, such as non-GMO canola oil, and our dairy comes from family farms.

At Kitchen 36 our soups are slow-simmered in small batches to bring out the flavor of the ingredients. We do NOT use soup starters, preservatives, additives, or any artificial ingredients. Our soups are also LOW in salt and fat, but big on flavor. There is NO SUGAR in any soup except for our Black Bean and Curried carrot, which contains a drop of raw cane sugar. Each batch we make takes about eight hours from start to finish. All of our soups are packaged immediately after cooling and frozen to preserve their freshness.

We offer a variety of Beef, Chicken, Vegetarian, and Vegan choices. The soups vary sometimes due to availability of seasonal ingredients. Please check our "News" page for updates on what we're serving up each week. Soups are sold frozen in 16 oz or 32 oz containers. Soups can also be purchased at the Roosevelt Island Farmer's Market. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at

Check out the menu and prices here.

Ms Reiss makes her soup at the Queens Economic Development Corporation Entrepreneur Space Kitchen business incubator close by in Long Island City.

Recently, Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance visited Ms. Reiss who shows us her operation
This is Margot's operation, she makes wonderful soups!

Also, a time lapse video of the 6 hour soup preparation in 90 seconds from Mr. Farance.

Mr. Farance has more pictures of Margot Reiss and the Kitchen 36 soup preparation at the Kitchen Incubator here.

Ms Reiss hopes to start an online ordering system soon too.

Stop by the Farmers Market on Saturday, say hi to Margo and try out the soup. Check out the Kitchen 36 web site for more information.

The Streak Continues, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, That's 19 In A Row - Local F Service To Queens Too

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

That's 19 weekends in a row of Roosevelt Island F train service to and from Manhattan. The last Roosevelt Island weekend F train service disruption was December 16-19, 2016.

F Jamaica-bound trains run local from 21 St-Queensbridge to 71 Av Weekend, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Apr 29 - May 1

Trains stop at 36, Steinway, 46 Sts, Northern Blvd, 65 St, Roosevelt, Elmhurst, Grand Avs, Woodhaven Blvd, 63 Dr and 67 Av.

Paul Calendrillo New York Art Gallery Closing Tomorrow, But Looking For New Roosevelt Island Space And Hoping To Re-Open Soon - You're Invited To Closing Reception April 29

Roosevelt Island resident Paul Calendrillo,

owner of the Paul Calendrillo New York Art Gallery,

reports the Gallery will be closing tomorrow but hopes to open in a new Roosevelt Island space soon.

According to Mr. Calendrillo:
We Are Moving

Gallery will close permanently on April 29th

Join us for our closing reception on Saturday

April 29th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Our run here at 507 Main St. has been financially rewarding and we have enjoyed introducing some of the most promising New York artists to Roosevelt Island. We sincerely appreciate your warm response to our artists and us.

Here are some interesting facts. Approximately 50% of our sales have been from “off the Island” clients. We have talked to hundreds of people, many of whom have never visited the Island and found it very convenient and beautiful once they came. Although the space has been vacated for some time, we had five businesses approach us to inquire renting the space on a longer-term basis and one did. This occurred from our first week in operation.

We developed a loyal following that came to every exhibition and even tourists stopped by to sign our guest book. We even included a few Island residents in one of our shows. For these reasons, we are pursuing new space on the Island. Check the local press coverage for news or sign our guest book and include your email address if you would like updates directly from us. Thanks again for all your support.

Paul and Marian Calendrillo
I spoke with Mr. Calendrillo last September about his plans for the Gallery.

The Calendrillo's did a great job with their Gallery. Hope they open in a new space soon.

A new tenant will be taking over the space.

Garbage And Rat Playground In Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Courtyard - Principal Says School Not Allowed To Use Dumpsters And Sanitation Department Does Not Always Remove Garbage On Scheduled Days

A Roosevelt Island tipster reports:

PS/IS 217 doesn't put their garbage in containers

and it's a playground for rats as you can see from the video.

It's disgusting/disturbing. I've talked to our landlord about it and they've said they reached out but there's been no change.
I asked Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman about the garbage and rat problem raised by the tipster's complaint.

Ms Beckman replied:
As the community knows, a determination was made by the DOE to remove trees from PS/IS 217's rear courtyard that were, unfortunately, growing unevenly and leaning. These trees and their roots had created potential hazards to our building, and also made our rear emergency exits unusable for our students, creating a safety concern for our students and staff. We have also heard concerns about rats in the area, and share those concerns.

217 is anxious to replant this area, to remove the tripping hazards, and to replant and beautify the rear courtyard. At this point, our plans are on hold due to an unexplained cancellation due to weather by the only DOE contractor responsible for root grinding and removal. We urge the DOE to help us ready this area for planting this spring, and also to assist with the leveling of the land and rat abatement.

Despite raising concerns with the NY Department of Sanitation, 217 has been advised by the Sanitation Department that 217 is not permitted to use dumpsters and the Sanitation Department from Queens does not always come to remove the school's garbage on the scheduled days.

We look forward to working with the community to improve the situation. We also look forward to working with our PTA, students, parents and members of the community to replant and rebuild this Spring.
UPDATE 5/1 - I asked Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Ben Kallos to look into matter of PS/IS 217 courtyard rats and garbage. Council Member Kallos' office responded:
Our office has alerted both the Health Department and the Department of Education, they are looking into the problem in hopes of finding a quick and permanent solution.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

SPONSORED POST - Get Your Tickets For Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Teen Theater Performance Of Almost Maine April 28- 30 & Children's Theater Seussical Jr May 5 - May 8

The Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Teen Theater presents the play Almost Maine, Friday April 28 - Sunday April 30 at the Roosevelt Island Cultural Center Howe Theater (548 Main Street).

Showtimes are Friday @ 8pm, Saturday @ 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday @ 7pm. Appropriate for ages 12+, parental guidance suggested.

General Admission $20.

Seniors & Students $15

Click here for more information and to  purchase tickets for Almost Maine.

Also, our Children's Theatre presents the musical Seussical Jr. Friday May 5 - Monday May 8 at the Roosevelt Island Cultural Center Howe Theater (548 Main Street).

Showtimes are Friday @ 8pm, Saturday @ 2pm & 8pm, Sunday @ 2pm & 7pm, and Monday @ 7pm. Appropriate for ages 4+.

General Admission $20.

Seniors & Students $15

Click here for more information and to  purchase tickets for Almost Seussical Jr.

Roosevelt Island Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Members Assist Families Left Homeless By Elmhurst Queens Fire Earlier This Month

According to the NYC Office of Emergency Management:

New York City Community Emergency Response Teams (NYC CERT) are groups of dedicated volunteers who help to prepare their neighbors and communities for different types of disasters. NYC CERT falls under the Community Outreach unit within New York City Emergency Management, the City's coordinating agency for organizations and agencies involved in emergency planning, education, and information dissemination.

Register to join through the NYC CERT online volunteer management database....
Roosevelt Island CERT member Frank Farance participated in NYC CERT relief efforts to assist the residents of an Elmhurst Queens building left homeless by fire.

Mr Farance shares these photos and reports:
Both Gwen Ryals and I from the Roosevelt Island CERT (community emergency response team) responded to the April 11 Elmhurst fire,

we were staffing the service center: Gwen on Friday April 14, and myself on Saturday, April 15 and Wednesday April 19.

I can't emphasize enough how important this is to local residents: 112 families were homeless (about half have been able to return),

many needed multiple services, and NYC Emergency Management and American Red Cross (ARC) locate all the agencies in the same spot.

 CERT members do client intake, arrange for translators if necessary, and coordinate the clients among the agencies and services. ARC does the food and emergency shelter.

The City agencies present for this incident are:

- Mayor's office for immigrant assistance
- Human Resources Administration (HRA), provides temporary work/assistance
- Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), provides temporary housing and resettlement back into the apartments
- American Red Cross (ARC), provides immediate shelter, medical needs
- non-profit organization: immediate cash assistance
- Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH): crisis counseling, support

Also, these "shelters" or "service centers" are probably not what people have in mind: they are decent, safe, and well-lit facilities ... very different from the horror stories people hear about homeless shelters. If there is some evacuation emergency, such as a hurricane, these kinds of emergency shelters will be operating.

Fantastic Photo- NYC East River Waterfront Fog Covers Roosevelt Island This Morning, Almost Disappears

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island Campus Opens For Business July 17 - Including Public Spaces And Cafe

The Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Construction and Community Task Force met last evening, April 25. Among the presentations was an update from Cornell Tech Director of Capital Planning Andrew Winters. Mr. Winters reported that the Cornell Tech campus

Image From Cornell Tech

will open for business on July 17, including the public spaces
 Image From Cornell Tech

and the Tech Cafe.

The Task Force members asked questions about:
  • open hours for Public Space (closing at 10 PM. No loitering but can walk through after 10PM),
  • Citibike Stations (No plans yet),
  • Environmental Waste, composting, recycling, waste hauling, dog droppings,

  • Public Safety and Security,

  • Impact of hotel/conference center on Roadways, Tram and Subway service,
  • Using influence of Cornell Tech to improve Roosevelt Island transportation with MTA
  • Elevator access to Queensboro Bridge from Roosevelt Island,
  • Help in obtaining agreed upon payment from NY State for Cornell Tech campus land
  • One day a week community space available in Bloomberg Academic Building

Below is campus construction and design presentation made by Mr. Winters to the March 29 Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Town Hall meeting.

During the April 25 meeting, Cornell Tech's Assistant Director of Government & Community Affairs Jane Swanson reported on free meeting space being made available once a week, on Thursday evenings, to Roosevelt Island non-profit groups.

Welcome Cornell Tech to Roosevelt Island. Let's see what changes it will bring.

SPONSORED POST - Roosevelt Island Urgent Care Medical Facility, Just Walk In At 520 Main Street - Open Monday Thru Friday 8 AM To 8 PM And Saturday, Sunday 9 AM To 6 PM

According to Roosevelt Island Urgent Care (RIUC):

Our Roosevelt Island facility, located at 520 Main Street. The medical needs of this 2 mile long historic island on the East River is a perfect landscape for our services.

RIUC is the first health care facility on the Island. Currently local residents must travel to either Manhattan or Astoria, for treatment—a trip that requires the use of a tram, subway, bus or car. Our facility in essence created a full-service medical center for a growing population of 15,000. RIUC is here to serve your needs.

These needs will increase in the near future with the addition of new multi-family developments and the new Cornell NYC Tech campus, which is under construction and due to open this year. The University is relying on our center to tend to the medical needs of the students and faculty. Roosevelt Island Urgent Care is also well positioned to provide services to the many construction workers who are on the Island during the next few years.

Other amenities include:
  • Hot and cold complimentary beverage center
  • Charging station
  • Flat screen TV in waiting room as well as every exam room
  • Childrens play area
  • And much more!

Please visit the Roosevelt Island Urgent Care web site or stop by our office at 520 Main Street for more information.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival Saturday April 29 - Japanese Tea Ceremony, Music, Dance, Samurai Sword Performance, Cultural Fair & More

The Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival

Image From RIRA

takes place Saturday, April 29. According to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA):
Travel to Japan when you attend The Third Annual Cherry Blossoms Festival, featuring multiple Japanese cultural, food and picnicking activities, on Roosevelt Island on Saturday, April 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

World class music performances will take place from 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm at FDR Four Freedoms Park.

Highlights include:
  • Special activities for children: origami, calligraphy, face painting
  • Traditional Japanese food for purchase
  • Folk and classical Japanese music performances
  • Women dressed in kimonos and men wearing traditional Japanese clothing
  • Traditional tea ceremony.
All activities are FREE and open to the public.

Savor a wine tasting and food pairing at Gallery RIVAA (527 Main Street), from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

"The Roosevelt Island Residents Association welcomes neighbors and visitors alike to enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossom trees and experience diverse aspects of Japanese culture," said Lynne Strong-Shinozaki, Chair of the Social, Cultural and Educational Services Committee of the local association.

DIRECTIONS: Take the Tram at 59th Street and Second Avenue or the F subway train to Roosevelt Island. (No Manhattan-bound subway service.) Walk south along the promenade.

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association represents the interests of its members in all matters that develop policy affecting Roosevelt Island and its residents, and also ensures the quality of life in our community is maintained and improved.

For more information, please visit
Full Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival schedule is here.

Some scenes from 2016 Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival:

More here.

Have a good time.

Update On Proposed Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix Bike Ramp - Residents Express Safety Concerns About Speeding Bikers, Bird Poop & Emergency Vehicle Access, RIOC Says Bike Ramp Design Still To Be Done

NY State Governor Cuomo announced on April 19 that $2.93 million in federal funds were allocated to build a bicycle ramp from the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix

to the street. On April 20, I published a story reporting on the bike ramp which included this rendering

provided by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

The rendering of the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix bike ramp design received criticisms by some residents in comments to the post including:
,,, the car ramp angle is too steep for bikes...

.. I'm fairly certain aggressive bikers will speed down the straight-away ramp and in the proposed design those reckless bikers would have a speeding runway down to endanger children,elderly and convalescents on that walking path.
... This looks like a plan drawn up by someone who does not live on Roosevelt Island. Besides blocking double the amount of sunlight and the view of the river, that area has some of the worst pigeon excrement on the entire Island.

They roost under the bridge at that spot and that bike lane will promote poop, pigeons and sickness for Islands residents.

The obvious solution is to build the bike lane as an inner circle or an outer circle to the existing cloverleaf, thereby eliminating need for structural support construction, and in turn lower costs....
... The idea that RIOC is going to block/diminish an important emergency access road is unconscionable...

... Another plan would involve replacing the escalators with a bike escalator or bike-width elevator....
I asked RIOC President Susan Rosenthal if the bike ramp rendering was an accurate depiction of the proposed design. Ms Rosenthal replied:
The drawings do not represent the proposed design. They were simply drawings depicting the general concepts so that we had visuals to show public officials, etc.  We will be preparing a request for proposal for an architectural/ engineering firm to prepare the construction drawings.
An online poll was created by a resident about the Bike Ramp.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NY State Governor Cuomo Seeking Information On Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Director Vacancies & Appointment Process - Are New RIOC Board Appointments Coming Soon?

At the very end of the April 20 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors meeting (video web cast here), Acting Board Chair Alex Valella and RIOC President Susan Rosenthal reported on a bit of information that could have huge importance for Roosevelt Island.

The info is that NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo is seeking details about the RIOC Board vacancies and appointment process.

In response to my inquiry, RIOC President Susan Rosenthal adds:

The Governor wanted to ensure that Boards of New York State Authorities are “full and active.” Each public authority was requested to provide an update on how Board members are appointed, total number of seats on each Board, when and where the Board meets, location of Board meetings, permissible ways of attendance for Board members, as well as current vacancies and Board member term expirations. No one has yet been nominated or interviewed by Albany.
As previously reported, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) conducted a RIOC Board Nominee Candidate election earlier this month to provide Governor Cuomo with community recommendations for RIOC Board appointments.

Image From RIRA

951 votes were cast. RIOC Board Nominee Candidate results are here, but note:
... The election is not without controversy. Claims of ballot fraud, which I am not going to get into right now, have been raised. Click here to read all about the election controversy in this comments thread....
Also, video

from Meet the RIOC Board Nominee Candidates
night, which did not include the current serving RIOC Directors.

More video from Meet The RIOC Board Nominee Candidate.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sponsored Post - Weill Cornell Medicine & NY-Presbyterian Present Free Health & Wellness Spring Seminar Series - April 25, May 2, 9 & 16, You're Invited, Please RSVP

You're invited to the Weill Cornell Medicine & NY-Presbyterian Free Health & Wellness Spring 2017 Seminar Series.

April 25 - Breakthroughs in Screening & Treatment of Liver Disease: From Hepatitis C and Fatty Liver Disease to Liver Cancer

Robert S. Brown, Jr., MD, MPH

Catherine Lucero, MD

May 2 - Advances in Brain Treatment:

Innovations in the Prevention and Treatment of Stroke, Dementia, Alzheimer's and Traumatic Brain Injury

Matthew E. Fink, MD, FAAN, FAHA, FANA

May 9 - Healthy Heart:

Coronary Artery Disease Update

James K. Min, MD

Jessica M. Peña, MD

May 16 - Hearing and Ear Health:

Diagnosing and Treating Adults with Hearing Loss

Diana Callesano, Au.D, CCC-A

Eric G. Nelson, Au.D, CCC-A

All seminars are FREE and open to the public. Seating is available for 250 people on a first-come, first-served basis.

We encourage you to register via Eventbrite here:

If you require a disability-related accommodation please call 212-821-0888 and leave a message.


6:30 – 8:00 pm


All seminars held at Uris Auditorium

Meyer Research and Education Building

Weill Cornell Medicine

1300 York Avenue (at 69th St.)

For more information and to register, please click here.

Learn more about Weill Cornell Medicine from our You Tube Channel Videos.

Roosevelt Island Community Report From RIOC President Susan Rosenthal - RI Bridge Bike Ramp, Sportspark Pool, Seawall Railing, Tram Station Elevators, Motorgate Waterproofing, NYPD 114 Community Policing & More

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal reported to the April 20 RIOC Board of Directors meeting (Video web cast here) on current projects including:

Roosevelt Island Veterans' Appreciation Tuesday April 25 - Stop By For Available Resources, Benefits Assistance & Refreshments

A reminder. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Join Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and Roosevelt Island Seniors Association on Tuesday, April 25th from 6 PM - 8 PM at the Senior Center, located on 546 Main Street for Roosevelt Island Veterans' Appreciation. Stop by our island veterans-only event for refreshments, application assistance for benefits speaker and to discuss available resources for veterans. We hope to see you there!

More info on Roosevelt Island Veterans outreach efforts at this previous post.