Friday, June 16, 2017

Scenes From Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Sunset Garden Party Fundraiser Honoring Tom Brokaw For Leadership In Defense Of Free Speech

The Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park hosted it's 5th annual Sunset Garden Party fundraiser

on a beautiful evening last Wednesday, June 14.
Journalist Tom Brokaw was honored for:
... his incredible commitment and extraordinary leadership in the defense of free speech and expression....
Mr Brokaw said:

Mr Brokaw was introduced by FDR 4 Freedoms Park founder Ambassador William vanden Heuvel

and NY State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul:

The speeches were pretty good. Take a listen.

Among those enjoying the festivities

were (from left to right), Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Quionones, NY State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, RIOC President Susan Rosenthal, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright Chief of Staff Katerina Matic

The evening's ceremonies ended with FDR's campaign theme song - Happy Days Are Here Again.

It was a nice evening.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Day Saturday June 17 - Games, Rides, Petting Zoo, Flower Planting, Bike Check, Helmet Giveaway, Concert & More Fun Times For The Whole Family

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

Image From RIOC

Roosevelt Island Day is this Saturday, June 17th. Come out and continue the tradition of celebrating Roosevelt Island in fine fashion! Starting at 9 AM, Good Shepherd Plaza will be full of volunteers, activities, entertainment, games and so much more! Look out for activities at Blackwell Plaza and the Farmer's Market as well!

Don’t miss out on a day full of fun!

This free event is sponsored by Urban American, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and the Roosevelt Island Youth Program.
Have a great time!!!!

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Gristedes Bonus Card Diamond Rewards Items For June 16 - June 29 - Weekly Sales & Specials Too

The Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket

Diamond Rewards customer loyalty program items for June 16 - June 29 are now available .
Examples of featured items purchased from June 16 - June 29 that earn you big points include
  • Oscar Meyer Bacon earn 90 points,
  • Poland Spring Sparkling Water earn 75 points,
  • Fat Boy Ice Cream Sandwiches earn 50 points,
  • Stoneyfield Organic Yogurt earn 30 points and
  • many more shown in flyer below.

According to Gristedes:
Start Earning Points Today

Join the Diamond Rewards loyalty program today! Get exclusive offers and earn points on hundreds of items! Get $5 Coupons for every 500 points earned, redeemable on next order.

Look for the Diamond Rewards label on the shelf or the product
If you have a Gristedes Bonus Savings Card and provided your email address, you are automatically enrolled in the Diamond Loyalty Program.

You can sign up for a Gristedes Bonus Savings Card online or in store - just make sure you give your email address and whether you are a new or existing Bonus Savings Club member, in order to be eligible for the Diamond Rewards Loyalty program.

Also, Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket invites you to check out their:
  • Groceries, 
  • Organic & Gourmet, 
  • Snacks
  • Meat, 
  • Fresh Produce, 
  • Seafood, 
  • Frozen, 
  • Deli &;
  • Fresh Bakery
Department Offerings for June 23 - June 29

and shop at Gristedes for these June 23-29 Specials.

Gristedes representative Bob Capano invites Roosevelt Island residents to check out their various product departments for all of your shopping needs.

Don't forget the 10% Roosevelt Island Seniors Discount on Tuesday and Wednesday and Sign Up for the Gristedes Diamond Loyalty Rewards Program.

More Gristedes Supermarket information available at their web site, Facebook Page and Twitter feed.

Good Times Had To End, No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend - 25 Consecutive Weekends Of Roosevelt Island F Train Service Over

According to the MTA:

F Coney Island-bound trains run local via the from Roosevelt Av to Canal St, then via the to Jay St-MetroTech

Weekend, 11:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Jun 16 - 19

No Coney Island-bound service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St,57, 47-50 Sts, 42 St-Bryant Pk, 34 St-Herald Sq, 23, 14, B'way-Lafayette Sts, 2 Av, Delancey St, East Broadway and York St. 

This is the first weekend of Roosevelt Island weekend F train scheduled service disruption since December 16, 2016.

UPDATE 12:15 PM - The MTA Weekender web site now indicates that there will be Roosevelt Island F Train Service to and from Manhattan this weekend.

UPDATE 11:15 AM 6/17 -MTA web site changes again. Says no Roosevelt Island F Train service to Manhattan this weekend.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Foraging Sandpiper Looking For Food On Roosevet Island East River Rocks

Click on full screen icon for better view.

Ben Wetzler, Democratic Party District Leader 76 AD Part A Candidate Speaks To Roosevelt Island Residents Association Common Council

According to the Manhattan Democratic Party web site:

A District Leader is an unpaid volunteer elected official. All formal parties in New York State are required to have at least one District Leader (DL) per Assembly District (AD). These positions are subject to primary elections every two years. This ostensibly guarantees that any party with formal status in New York State (e.g. a permanent ballot line) is democratically governed by its members. In essence, the District Leader is the representative of the party members in their district to that political party’s apparatus.
Ben Wetzler

 Image From Vote Ben Wetzler

is a Democratic Party District Leader candidate for the 76 Assembly District Part A which includes Roosevelt Island.  Mr. Wetzler spoke to the June 7 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) June 7 Public Session

and reports:
My name is Ben Wetzler and I am a candidate for Democratic Party District Leader looking to bring change to local politics here on Roosevelt Island. I am challenging the sitting party leader in the September primary in order to build a more active, grassroots Democratic Party and end practices that allow communities like ours to be neglected in city hall and Albany. If elected, I hope to organize volunteers to support Democratic candidates in other districts currently held by the breakaway "Independent" Democrats who have hindered progressive priorities in Albany, and plan to establish a stronger line of communication between local block and residents' associations and their Democratic elected officials.

I am running in the 76th Assembly District, Part A, which covers the Island and a portion of the Upper East Side near the river. Though this is my first time running for office, I have an extensive history of public service, working to develop affordable housing strategies and improve enforcement of the rent stabilization law. I am endorsed and supported by the Four Freedoms Democratic Club, which has been successful in opening up the Party to new voices that had previously been shut out of local affairs since it broke from the neighborhood's official Democratic organization in 2014.

I will be at Good Shepherd Plaza this Saturday for Roosevelt Island Day. If you would like to learn more about my campaign, you can stop by, or check out my website and Facebook page.
The incumbent Democratic Party District Leader for 76 Assembly District Part A is John Halebian. Mr Halebian is a member of the Lenox Hill Democratic Club.

If you are interested in Democratic Party politics, come meet Mr. Wetzler during Roosevelt Island Day at Good Shepherd Plaza.

You're Invited To United States Marine Corp Band New Orleans Concert At Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park Friday June 16 - Play That Funky Music Marines

Come and enjoy the United States Marine Corp Band New Orleans performing at Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park tomorrow night, June 16 starting at 7 PM. Free admission.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) reports:
Enjoy a free public concert by the Marine Corps Band New Orleans on Friday, June 16th at Four Freedoms Park. Starting at 7 PM, the Marine Corps Band will put on a show honoring the citizens of Roosevelt Island.

We hope to see you there!

Take a listen to the US Marine Corp Band New Orleans get funky at Mardi Gras

and perform at the 2014 Rex Ball in New Orleans.

According to the US Marine Corp New Orleans web site:
Since November 10, 1775 precision and adaptability have been the hallmarks of all Marine Corps units. Marine Corps Band New Orleans is no different. The band is dedicated to excellence and committed to providing America with a glimpse of the Marine Corps' proficiency and versatility.

Marine Corps Band New Orleans was established October 1, 1978. Under the operational control of the Commanding General, Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North, the unit is comprised of active duty Marines stationed aboard the Marine Corps Support Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. The band supports all units of the Fourth Marine Logistics Group, Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing, Fourth Marine Division, and Force Headquarters Group. Additionally, these Marines are often called upon to perform in support of Marine Corps Recruiting Command initiatives and community relations programs.

Each year the musicians of the band travel throughout the United States entertaining over 6 million people as they perform in more than 280 concerts, parades, and ceremonies. The members of the band are basically trained riflemen, fulfill all annual Marine Corps physical and combat fitness requirements, participate in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and, when directed by the Commanding General, serve as part of a security element in conflicts and exercises around the globe. There are several members of the current ensemble who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and the principle conductor also served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm....
and press release:
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will close out its 10-month nationwide centennial celebrations where it began in New York City with a three-show concert series June 14-16, 2017. The concerts will bring the centennial celebration full circle since Marines and supporters nationwide witnessed the kickoff at Times Square on August 29, 2016.

“We’re honored to wrap up the nationwide Marine Corps Reserve Centennial celebrations in the city where it began last year,” said Gunnery Sgt. Justin Hauser, senior conductor of Marine Corps Band New Orleans. “We’re pulling out all the stops to give New Yorkers the most patriotic show as thanks for their ongoing support of the Marine Corps Reserve.”

Since the Times Square kickoff, the Marine Corps Reserve has celebrated at more than 100 high-profile events in cities across the country, including New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans, Houston, Nashville, and others....
We're going to have a good time with the US Marine Corp Band New Orleans Friday June 16 at Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park.

See you there.

UPDATE 7;20 PM - According to RIOC:
Due to the Marine Corps Band Concert, the Red Bus will extend its route to Four Freedoms Park on Friday, June 16, 2017, starting the extended bus service at 5:30 PM on Friday until the end of the Concert. When the concert ends, the Red Bus will provide return service, making all regularly scheduled stops on the route.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Update - Bubble Tea Cafe Coming But Cafe/Juice Bar And Mexican Restaurant Not Opening This Summer - Trellis/Nisi Will Open But No Date Known

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee received a Main Street Retail update yesterday from Master Leaseholder Hudson Related representative Alexandra Kaplan (full audio web cast of meeting here).

Ms Kaplan reported that a Bubble Tea Cafe will open in the former Coach Scot's Main Street Sweets space. Ms Kaplan noted:

... What made this transaction move quicker is that it was a ready to go space, so we are working on making all our spaces as ready to go as possible with lights in the right places and where when you turn on a switch, lights come on. A potential tenant can walk in and see the vision of what it can become and not see a daunting amount of work....
Ms Kaplan added that the planned Mexican restaurant Onda (548 Main Street) and Cafe/Juice Bar (503 Main Street) are in design and getting ready to start work. Neither will be ready to open this summer.

About Trellis/Nisi, Ms Kaplan added:
... It is a story of a very good intentioned operator who has had every misfortune happen to him during this renovation process....

... He will open. It will happen.... He's put alot into this....
RIOC Director David Kraut asked:
Has anybody approached you with an idea of putting a decent bar on the Island?
Ms Kaplan replied no, but both the Mexican restaurant and Cafe/Juice Bar will have a liquor license.

Here's the discussion on stores

and the new Library and Catholic Church. The Library design is nearly complete and the Catholic Church has begun demolition.

at 504 Main Street.

UPDATE 9:55 PM - Ms Kaplan adds:
The name is BubbleCool and they expect to open later this summer.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Historical Society Free Lecture Thursday June 15 - Port Of Empire: How Jamaica Bay Nearly Became A Great Harbor

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) presents an ongoing series of free Spring Lectures.The next lecture is Thursday, June 15. Today is the last day to RSVP. According to the RIHS:

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society
Presents a Free Lecture
Port of Empire: How Jamaica Bay Nearly Became
a Great World Harbor

by Thomas J. Campanella

Cornell Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP)
26 Broadway, NY, NY
Thursday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Reservations are required for this event. Please e-mail or call 212-688-4836 by today, June 13, 2017

By the early 1900s, Gotham's aging harbor facilities could barely keep up with the surging shipments into and out of the city. Officials feared that the completion of the Panama Canal would place an even greater burden on New York's port infrastructure, much of which dated from the Civil War era. The city needed to upgrade quickly if it was to maintain its position as America's leading port. Brooklyn had the answer—or so it seemed.

Thomas J. Campanella will share the story of how Jamaica Bay almost became a world-class harbor in a free lecture at Cornell's new Architecture and Planning (AAP) facility at 26 Broadway, New York, New York, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

Thomas J. Campanella is Professor of City Planning at Cornell University and Historian-in-Residence of the New York City Parks Department, He has written for The New York Times, Salon, Wired and the Wall Street Journal, and splits his time between Ithaca and the Marine Park neighborhood of Brooklyn where he grew up. ,

This lecture is sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society and supported by Bozzuto Management and Amalgamated Bank. It is the final lecture in the Society's spring lecture series.

This event is FREE and open to the public, but reservations are required.

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society promotes awareness of Roosevelt Island's unique story and pursues the preservation of its landmarks and artifacts. For more information, please visit
Note that reservations are required for this event. Please e-mail or call 212-688-4836 today, June 13, 2017

Public Use Of Roosevelt Island Facilities, Upgrades To Playgrounds, Retail Space Update & More On Agenda For RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting Today

 Image Of Firefighters Field

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee is meeting today. According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC Administrative Office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Review Public Utilization of Available RIOC Facilities
2. Review Upgrades to Playgrounds and Other Installations
3. Receive an Update on Retail Space Utilization
4. Enter into Executive Session to Discuss the Proposed Leases of Real Property
5. 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.

Roosevelt Island Starbucks Barista Job Available - I'll Have An Iced Mocha Please

Click here to apply.

The Roosevelt Island Starbucks is great. Very nice people work there too.

Good luck.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Take A Skateboard Ride Around Roosevelt Island - Enjoy The Scenery

Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Sunset Garden Party Fundraiser Honoring Tom Brokaw Wednesday June 14

The Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park will be hosting a Sunset Garden Party Fundraiser honoring journalist Tom Brokaw on Wednesday June 14. According to the FDR Park web site:
FOUR FREEDOMS PARK CONSERVANCY cordially invites you to the fifth annual SUNSET GARDEN PARTY

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
at Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island

2017 Honoree

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy’s signature fundraising event – its 5th annual Sunset Garden Party - will honor award-winning journalist, Tom Brokaw, and his incredible commitment and extraordinary leadership in the defense of free speech and expression.

The theme of this year’s event is Freedom of Speech & Expression – the first universal human right named in President Roosevelt’s pivotal 1941 State of the Union Address. Tom Brokaw, who was the Master of Ceremonies at the Park’s dedication ceremony in October 2012, has spent his entire distinguished journalism career defending and promoting freedom, particularly the role of a free press in our democracy.

A beautiful evening of music and cocktails at Four Freedoms Park surrounded by the New York City skyline.

Music by Peter Duchin
Ticket prices range from $300 - $25,000.

Here's PBS Channel 13's Treasures of New York 2013 report about building the Roosevelt Island Four Freedoms Park

and some scenes
from the October 17, 2012 Grand Opening of the FDR Four Freedoms Park including video of President Bill Clinton's remarks.

Broken Good Shepherd Chapel Elevator Leaves Wheelchair Users Unable To Leave For Hours After Memorial Service For Roosevelt Island Disabled Association President Virginia Granato

As previously reported, former Roosevelt Island Disabled Association President Virginia Granato passed away on April 30. Last Saturday, June 10, friends and neighbors of Ms Granato held a memorial service at Roosevelt Island's Good Shepherd Chapel

Unfortunately, Ms. Granato's friends who use wheelchairs

Image From Judy Berdy

were not able to leave Good Shepherd after the memorial service because the buildng elevator broke.

Image From Judy Berdy

Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy reports on what happened.
There was a lovely service and commemoration for Virginia Granato in the Chapel at 1 p.m. The elevator had been working before the service. At 2:15 p.m. the elevator was not functioning leaving 8 persons, most of them in wheelchairs stuck upstairs in the Chapel.

PSD was contacted and they called the elevator maintenance company.

While the residents waited, neighbors brought them refreshments. and others brought drinks and food and kept everyone informed as the time wore on. One of the guests from the event sang songs. Michael Shinozaki chatted with everyone to pass the time and texted Chief McManus of the situation.

911 was called twice at 3;17 p.m and 3:37. Since no one was stuck in an elevator the situation was not considered urgent. (911 did know about where Roosevelt Island was).

Some of our visitors used motorized wheelchairs that weigh between 400 and 650 pound with the passenger. This means that there is no way to carry the rider and chair safely. To use a ramp out of the Chapel there was nothing available to hold the weight and could be safe at a steep angle. Nancy Brown has life support equipment on her chair and there was no way to safely move her without her chair.

After PSD chief Jack Mc Manus arrived he had conversations with 911. They did not seem to comprehend that this situation could be dangerous and no further assistance was sent. Two EMS crews came into the chapel but did not want to move anyone. The PSD officers and chief stayed with the group and provided information and updates.

It was a long afternoon as many were uncomfortable and felt trapped.
Finally, at 5 p.m. the elevator repair person arrived. Within 30 minutes he had the elevator operating so everyone could leave.

Looking around the Chapel we realize that it is so dangerous to have one elevator and no other safe way to leave if you are not able to walk steps.
More on Virginia Granato

at this previous post.

NYC Heat Wave In No Joke - Roosevelt Island Cooling Center Available 9 AM To 9 PM Says RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued this advisory yesterday:
With temperatures tomorrow, Monday, June 12, 2017, expected to be in the low to mid 90's with high humidity, a Cooling Center will be available to residents between the hours of 9:00am-9:00pm.

From 9:00am-5:00pm, the Cooling Center will be located at the Senior Center located at 546 Main Street.

From 5:00pm-9:00pm the Cooling Center will be located at Good Shepherd Community Center on the lower level.
The Good Shepherd Community Center is located at 543 Man Street.

UPDATE 8:15 PM - RIOC adds:
With temperatures tomorrow, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, expected to be in the low to mid 90's with high humidity, a Cooling Center will be available to residents between the hours of 9:00am-9:00pm.

From 9:00am-5:00pm, the Cooling Center will be located at the Senior Center located at 546 Main Street.

From 5:00pm-9:00pm the Cooling Center will be located at Good Shepherd Community Center on the lower level.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Toastmasters Club Open House June 12 - Learn How To Take Your Public Speaking Skills To Next Level And Meet New Friends

Are you interested in increasing your public speaking skills, projecting greater self-confidence and meeting some new friends? If your answer is yes, then you might be interested in joining the Roosevelt Island Toastmasters Club. According to Roosevelt Island Toastmasters:

... Toastmasters is a learn-by-doing program that offers continuous feedback in a friendly, supportive environment. We can help you develop public speaking and leadership skills that can help you succeed in your business and personal life!

Roosevelt Island Toastmasters is a diverse, positive, encouraging group. We're home to members of diverse backgrounds, ages, and worldviews. At a meeting of Roosevelt Island Toastmasters, you will learn something new, meet friendly New Yorkers, and enjoy some tasty treats....
The Roosevelt Island Toastmasters are hosting an Open House on Monday June 12 at Gallery RIVAA (527 Main Street) starting at 7 PM. You're invited.

The June 12 Toastmasters Guest Speaker is Roosevelt Island resident Susan Cameron. Ms Cameron is author of the book Perfecting Your English Pronunciation and:
... an actor, educator, author, accent coach and the head of voice and speech at Columbia University. On June 12th she will lead a training on accent modification. This will be useful for both native and non-native English speakers.
More information about the Roosevelt Island Toastmasters available at their web site and Meet Up page.

NYC Temperatures Over 90 Degrees Today - Roosevelt Island Cooling Center Open At Good Shepherd Community Center Says RIOC

It's going to be a very hot out today with temperatures going over 90 degrees for the first time this year in NYC.

If you need to cool down today, visit the Roosevelt Island Good Shepherd Community Center. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
Good job by RIOC in providing this service.