Friday, November 17, 2017

Celebration Of Life For Judi Arond Dinerstein 3 PM Saturday November 18 At Roosevelt Island Good Shepherd Community Center

The Roosevelt island community lost a long-time friend and neighbor, Judith Arond Dinerstein, on September 14, 2017. Judi was a beautiful “fixture” on Roosevelt Island since 1976. She participated in many Island and off-Island groups and activities. Before there was Facebook, there was Judi, the original social networker who brought people together. She was well known by residents as an effervescent, friendly neighbor who knew everyone by name.

Judi was born in New York on November 22, 1950. She was raised in Queens, a real New York gal. Judi became an RN and worked for 27 years as a nurse and unit director at Bellevue Hospital. She was an avid sailor, accomplished musician and long-time docent at Carnegie Hall.

Judi was board member and the Summer Program Director at The Center for Learning and Living, an adult education school in New York City. She maintained that a place to learn and socialize was an antidote to social isolation in retirement. When the school lost its space and closed, Judi used her networking powers to find a new space, mobilize the board, work on the finances, find an administrator, locate professors and reach out to former students. Watching her generate the school anew, simply through the power of conviction was an inspiration.

Judi enjoyed the community garden, social activism, travel and the arts. She was an avid supporter of many Island organizations and events. For the past 11 years Judi had the opportunity to enjoy winters in Florida. While there she was a member of an orchestra, volunteered at an adult day program for people with memory loss, took classes and created a large community of friends in Florida. She never stopped!

Judi leaves behind a legacy of love, friendship, and an appreciation for continued learning and growth. For thousands of people, whether they were touched by her personally or through her work for charitable causes or lifelong political activism, the world is a better, kinder, and more just place.

She is survived by her beloved husband, Marty Dinerstein, parents, Ronnie and Hank Arond, her brother, David, nephew, Josh, and his daughter Khalila, niece, Elisa, her step-daughter Rhonda and her husband, Doug and their children, Jordana and Michael, step-daughter, Joyce and her husband, Phil and their children Ashley and Ethan. She was pre-deceased by her sister-in- law, Caroline.

What A Beautiful View Of NYC East River Waterfront & Queensboro Bridge Seen From Roosevelt Island Tram - Takes Your Breath Away

Click of full screen icon at bottom right of page for stunning view.

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend Due To MTA Electrical Work - Are We All Stuck On The Island This Weekend?

There will be no Roosevelt Island F Train service to and from Manhattan this weekend.

According to the MTA:
ELECTRICAL IMPROVEMENTS No F service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.

Q, R and free shuttle buses provide alternate service Weekend, 11:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Nov 17 - 20

F Trains run via the E in both directions between Roosevelt Av and 5 Av/53 St

Shuttle buses operate between Queens Plaza and Roosevelt Island, making a stop at 21 St-Queensbridge.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
No F train service from Friday, 11/17/17 at 11:45 PM to Monday, 11/20/17 at 5:00 AM.

MTA will run free shuttle buses which will operate between Roosevelt Island and Queens Plaza beginning Friday, 11/17/17 at 11:45 PM thru Monday, 11/20/17 at 5:00 AM.

Additionally, RIOC will provide shuttle buses from the Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza to the Manhattan Tram Plaza. The first shuttle bus will operate from Roosevelt Island, Saturday, 11/18/17 at 11:00 AM, last bus from Manhattan will be at 7:30 PM on 11/18/17. Sunday, 11/19/17, bus schedule will be the same as Saturday.

Q 102 will operate normal regular schedule.
At Queens Plaza you can get the R, E or re-routed F Train to Manhattan.

I asked the MTA:
I asked RIOC President Susan Rosenthal:
Do you know what the MTA free bus shuttle time schedule is during the weekend F Train service outage?

Also, just want to confirm that the Red Bus Shuttle is on the hour from Roosevelt Island and Half Hour from Manhattan. Is that correct?
Ms. Rosenthal replied:
The MTA bus schedule ... will be on a continuous basis. Your statement re the Red Bus is confirmed.
Roosevelt Island will have ferry service and a single tram cabin operating too.
The pretend Roosevelt Island subway station is for Netflix TV show Maniac currently filming here.

UPDATE 11/18:

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Gristedes Bonus Card Diamond Rewards Items For November 17 To November 30 - Complete Thanksgiving Dinner, Weekly Sales/Specials & Delivery Too

The Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket

Diamond Rewards customer loyalty program items for November 17 - November 30 are now available .
Examples of featured items purchased from November 17 - November 30 that earn you big points include

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Soccer Championship Day Saturday November 18 - Come Out And See The Action At Octagon Field

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Executive Director Charlie Defino reports:

Roosevelt Island Youth Program

Soccer 2017 Championship Day

November 18th

Last weekend sixteen teams battled it out to get to Championship for their divisions, in both the Minors and Sophmores, games were settled in exciting overtime shootouts.

Upcoming: RIYP Championship games this week will be at 10am for Minors, 12pm for Sophmores, 2pm for Junior's and the Seniors at 4pm. Join us and your children for an exciting day of soccer!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Long Waits For Roosevelt Island Residents At Overcrowded F Train Station This Morning - No Roosevelt Island F Train Service In Either Direction This Weekend

There will be no Roosevelt Island F Train Service to or from Manhattan this weekend.

This morning, the Twitterverse reported long delays and crowds at Roosevelt Island F Train subway station.

Also, received report that internet not working this evening in Roosevelt Island subway station.

New Netflix TV Series Maniac Filming On Roosevelt Island Tonight

The new Netflix TV show Maniac, also known as Ronald, is filming tonight on Roosevelt Island. According to Netflix:

Emma Stone and Jonah Hill star in this remake of a Norwegian dark-comedy series about an institutionalized man who lives a fantasy life in his dreams.
The film crew started work yesterday transforming the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery entrance into a Roosevelt Island subway stop in the likeness of Visitors Center Kiosk.

Some strange window signage on Main Street for the filming too.

Former Roosevelt Island and Bronx Priest Cleared Of Charges Of Stealing Over $1 Million For His Boy Toy By Bronx DA Reports NY Daily News - Investigation Limited To Bronx Church Say Bronx DA

As reported December 10, 2015:

A lawsuit accuses former Roosevelt Island St Francis Xavier Cabrini Catholic Church priest of stealing over $1 million for his boy toy reports the New York Daily News and NY Post today....
An update. The NY Daily News tweets:

and reports:
... Peter Miqueli, 54, was at the center of a scandalous civil lawsuit parishioners filed in 2015. They alleged the priest, who worked at St. Frances de Chantal Church in the Bronx and St. Francis Cabrini on Manhattan’s Roosevelt Island, used the cash to pay a hunky boytoy for S&M sex.

The Bronx DA did not investigate the salacious sex claims, but the Archdiocese did, a Church official said, and found “nothing has been brought forward to substantiate them.”...
Click here for the full NY Daily News article.

Here's statement from the Bronx District Attorney regarding the investigation and reaction from a group of parishoners at the St Francis de Chantal Church in the Bronx.

The Bronx DA's investigation was limited to allegations in the Bronx and did not include any allegations regarding Roosevelt Island activities.

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association Annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner Thursday, November 23 At Senior Center

The Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) annual Thanksgiving Dinner,

in collaboration with the RI Senior Center Carter Burden Network,

will take place Thursday, November 23 from 1-4 PM at the Senior Center (546 Main Street).

Please RSVP to the Senior Center Staff or Wendy Hersh by November 19.

More pictures from the RIDA 2016 Thanksgiving Day Dinner.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sponsored Post - You're Invited To Cornell Tech Cafe Happy Hour On The Patio 4-7 PM Thursday November 16 - Beer, Wine, New Food Menu & Outdoor Heat Lamps Too

The Starr Catering Group Cornell Tech Cafe is hosting Happy Hour On The Patio tomorrow night, Thursday, November 16. Come enjoy a glass of wine, beer or another beverage as well as a variety of new food options and enjoy the fantastic views from the Cornell Tech Cafe Roosevelt Island campus.
Don't worry if it's a bit cold tomorrow night, there will also be outdoor heat lamps too.

The Cafe is rolling out a new breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. 

Try some of the delicious Cornell ice cream too.
Stay tuned for more exciting developments at the Cornell Tech Cafe.
UPDATE 11/16- Discount Voucher at the Cafe thru November 30.

Always Room On Top Of Cabin When Roosevelt Island Tram Gets Overcrowded - Just Buckle Up And Wear Your Helmet

Here's an up close and personal view riding on top of the Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin from the Impractical Jokers TV show.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Take A Look - Gorgeous Nighttime Aerial Photo Above Roosevelt Island From Chopper 2

Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station Platform Renovations Causing Difficulties For Baby Strollers And Wheelchairs - RIOC Says Additional Signage And Tram Attendant Will Help

The Roosevelt Island Tram Stations Platform Repairs project began last July 26 and is expected to be completed by the end of December. During this time, only a single Tram Cabin is in operation, often resulting in very, very long lines for riders. Also, the reconfiguring of the Manhattan Tram Station passageway

and turnstyle

during renovations has caused difficulties for riders with strollers and wheelchairs to access the Tram Platform.

For example, Roosevelt Island Mom Jennie Smith shares this November 3 message she sent to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal:
Good Morning Ms. Rosenthal,

I just wanted to let you know about an experience that I had last evening with hopes you will encourage the tram operators to have more consideration for families with strollers and the disabled population of this island .

The new closure due to the renovation on the Manhattan side does not have a gate by the turnstile. I didn't realize this and the tram operator told me the only solution was to take both of my 1.5 year olds out, fold the stroller, put the stroller over the turnstile and let the kids run under. When I flatly said no, I wasn't going to do that, he then said with much irritation that it was ok that I turn around, go back to the area of the elevator on the south area of the platform where there is an emergency gate that he let me through with much hesitation.

My point is, this should be the standard for strollers at this time and all others that may have mobility issues. I hope they are not giving wheelchair bound people the same hard time.

Also, the path to the turnstile is very narrow and having to swipe at the turnstile and then having to back up while a line is forming is near impossible for me who is strong on my feet and is a falls hazard for anyone with mobility issues. I'm sure this is a violation of the ADA act.

There should be a sign and an attendant manning the emergency gate area to avoid this congestion and encouraging those who need it to use the gate, rather than rolling their eyes, huffing and puffing and suggesting there is no other way except the turnstile.

I looks forward to your reply on this matter,
During the November 9 RIOC Real Estate Development Advisory Committee meeting (audio web cast of meeting here), I asked about Manhattan Tram Station access for strollers and wheelchairs.

RIOC Vice President of Operations Shelton Haynes responded that he was aware of the problem and that additional signage and Tram Attendant assistance will be made available

to make it easier for strollers and wheelchairs to use the emergency gate.

RIOC Director Faye Christian added that tourists and others should be encouraged by RIOC staff to move up as close to the front of the platform as possible

in order to lessen the length of lines.

RIOC Engineering Consultant Mike Russo also reported that the Tram Platform repair project is on schedule for substantial completion by the end of December although there may still be some punch list items to be finished in January.

Annual Roosevelt Island Seniors Association Thanksgiving Dinner Party Sunday, November 19 - Please RSVP To Attend

Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) President Barbara Parker reports;

Hi Everyone

Join us again this year for our annual

Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner Party Celebration Including Musical Entertainment

(A Special Tribute to Judi Arond)

Sunday, November 19th

4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

546 Main Street Community Center

RSVP Your Attendance 


Over 60 people attended last year's RISA Thanksgiving Dinner Party.

More info on RISA available at their web site.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Grant Community Review Process For Applicants November 14 & 15 At Good Shepherd Community Center

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Purpose Grants process begins tomorrow. According to RIOC:

Public Purpose funds first became available after the construction of Manhattan Park in 1989 when New York State allowed the fund to be established in lieu of the developers paying sales tax on construction materials. The RIOC Board of Directors approves the allocation of these funds yearly based upon the recommendation of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA). Not-for-profit community organizations are welcome to apply for a Public Purpose Grant by following the application process below.

Public Purpose Funds should be allocated to benefit Roosevelt Island residents, enhancing their quality of life through education, artistic and cultural enrichment, improved health or a better environment...
Please be advised that the 2017 Public Purpose Grant community review process for applicant proposed programs and projects will be conducted on Tuesday, November 14th & Wednesday, November 15th at the Good Shepherd Community Center, 543 Main Street. Presentations are open to the public and will be an opportunity to learn more about the programs and projects from community groups who are seeking funding. At the conclusion of each presentation, time will be reserved for questions and answers by public attendees and members of the Roosevelt Island Resident Association’s Public Purpose Grant Committee. The schedule of presenters will be posted at on Monday, November 13th.
Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Purpose Funds (PPF) committee Chair Dave Evans adds:
There are ten applicants for PPF:
  • Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA), 
  • Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS), 
  • Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA), 
  • Wildlife Freedom Foundation (WFF),
  • Life Frames,
  • Island Kids,
  • More  Arts Inc,
  • Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MSTDA), 
  • RI Swimming and
  • PS/IS 217 PTA
I am not aware of any public announcement by RIOC informing Roosevelt Island community groups about submitting applications for PPF funds as done in prior years. Are you?

More info on the Roosevelt Island Public Purpose grants process available at RIOC's web site.

Jim Bates, Roosevelt Island Community Leader & President Of RI Disabled Association Died Saturday November 11, Enabled Not Disabled Memorial Service Wednesday November 15 At Good Shepherd

Roosevelt Island resident Jim Bates died Saturday, November 11.

Jim Bates, or Uncle Jim, as he was known by many on Roosevelt Island, was one of our neighbors who contributed greatly to making Roosevelt Island a special place to live.

Jim Bates was the President of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA),

a Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council member for his building (2-4 River Road) and the driving force behind the FDR Hope Memorial Committee. Jim Bates was also a Veteran of the US Coast Guard.

RIRA President Jeff Escobar reports:
As many of you may or may not already know, one of our most beloved colleague, community member, leader, advocate and stalwart supporter of life on Roosevelt Island, Jim Bates, passed away this last weekend. Jim, our RIRA council member from 2-4 River Road, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and passed away on Saturday morning, Veterans Day. Words cannot begin to express the sadness and sorrow all of us on Roosevelt Island feel at this loss.

There will be a memorial service for Jim this Wednesday, November 15 at 10:00 am at the Good Shepherd Church on Roosevelt Island. Please consider attending if you are able to. Also please consider using the following link to contribute generously to help his family defray the accumulated debt associated with his passing and funeral. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Please also feel free to pass and share the above information to your neighbors, friends and your respective building constituents.
According to the Jim Bates You Caring page:
... His neighbors will long remember the stubborn New York native who rolled down Main Street with the sign, "Enabled, not Disabled" on the back of his wheelchair. Jim fought to create a world where people with disabilities were welcomed into all areas of life and not seen as a burden or an afterthought, but important, central, contributing members of society....
Here's Jim Bates in action advocating for the "Enabled Not Disabled" to play wheelchair basketball at Sportspark,

for the FDR Hope Memorial

and for Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds for RIDA in 2015.

The memorial service for Jim Bates will be held 10 AM Wednesday November 15 at the Good Shepherd Church (543 Main Street).

If you are able, please consider helping the family with the costs of his passing and funeral.

Jim Bates will be missed.

UPDATE 3:05 PM - Roosevelt Island resident and FDR Hope Committee member Marc Diamond adds:
Jim's vision of a memorial dedicated to FDR's disability will be realized. The scope of the project has been reduced so that less than $100,000 is now needed to build the plaza for the sculpture and a timeline that explains the interrelated history of Roosevelt Island, polio, and FDR. The timeline culminates with the vision that all communities become like Roosevelt Island: accessible, inclusive, and welcoming.

Contributions to the project can be made by supporting any of the fundraising efforts toward tribute stones on the plaza, or starting a new tribute, at To inquire about making a major contribution, contact Marc Diamond at