Follow Roosevelt Islander On:




Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Mayor deBlasio Announces Lyft Investing $100 Million For Citi Bike Sharing System 5 Year Expansion Plan To More NYC Neighborhoods - But Roosevelt Island Not Included Without Docking Station Funding From RIOC

According to this excerpt from July 16 Press Release from NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio's office:
The de Blasio Administration joined Lyft to today announce the boundaries of the planned expansion of Citi Bike over the next five years, which will bring the nation's largest bike share system to a larger and more economically diverse range of communities. Last November, the City and Lyft announced an agreement in which Lyft would invest $100 million to grow and strengthen the system, doubling the size of its service area and tripling the number of bikes over the next five years. The third phase of Citi Bike's expansion will bring Citi Bike to all of Manhattan, as well as into the Bronx, and deeper into Brooklyn and Queens....
Except the Citi Bike expansion does not include all of Manhattan - Roosevelt Island is left out of the Citi Bike sharing system.

Yesterday, I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal:
Mayor deBlasio today announced a major expansion of Citibike but no mention of Roosevelt Island.

What is status of Citibike service to Roosevelt Island?
Ms Rosenthal replied:
We met with them and unlike the earlier business model, they now charge for the stations. I reached out to Hudson Related and Cornell to kick in some $$$ ... we need to follow-up.
When asked who is expected to pay for Roosevelt Island being part of the Citi Bike system, Ms Rosenthal said:
We do.
Meaning, unlike every other NYC neighborhood, Roosevelt Island alone is expected to pay for Citi Bike docking stations located on Roosevelt Island.

Why is that? Again, I asked Ms Rosenthal:
... Does this have anything to do with Roosevelt Island being State land? If yes, doesn't Battery Park City have docking stations? Who pays for that?
Ms Rosenthal replied:
Yes but I don’t know when the economic model changed nor do I know about Battery Park’s agreement.
According to Streetsblog:
... Citi Bike is that rarest of forms of mass transit: It gets no public subsidy. In fact, the Lyft-owned Citi Bike pays the city for the parking spaces its docks occupy...
Except that RIOC is expected to pay for Roosevelt Island docking stations.

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos has been a long time supporter of bringing Citi Bike to Roosevelt Island.

Yesterday, I asked Mr. Kallos:
Any idea what status is of Citibike service to Roosevelt Island?

Even if no Citibike on Roosevelt Island, would it be possible to get Citibike Dock on Roosevelt Island Bridge next to Motorgate and include it in the Long Island City allocation.
Mr. Kallos replied:
Citi bike will be an excellent addition to Roosevelt Island's transportation options, allowing Islanders to easily move about the Island, to connect to the ferry, and to bike over the Red Bridge into Queens.

My office has been working with RIOC, DOT, and Citi bike's parent company Lyft to bring Citi bike to Roosevelt Island despite challenges posed by geography which makes it difficult to keep docks supplied with bikes on the island.

We will continue to push for the necessary players to come together and do their part to make this happen so Roosevelt Islanders can tap into the Citi bike network.
Roosevelt Island has been asking for bike sharing stations as far back as this 2010  demo and in 2014 was the neighborhood with most requests for bike sharing.

In 2017, Citi Bike sharing came to Astoria/Long Island City

which are the nearest locations to Roosevelt Island.

Hey Susan, RIOC President Rosenthal Answers Roosevelt Island Residents Questions On Power Plant Noise, Bus Shelters, Benches And Public WiFi At Tram Stations

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal answers your questions in the July 17 installment of Hey Susan feature.

Hey, Susan! Do you have any information on the curious “zack zack zack” noise which appears to come from the power station, even in the middle of the night. There have been other inquiries on the Roosevelt Island blog so it’s possible you have already looked into this. Is there something you can do about this alarming and heart-pounding noise which sometimes even sounds like gunfire? Your help would be much appreciated.

Susan: Several people have investigated the noise complaint and the power station believes the noise is coming from a faulty compressor that is scheduled to be repaired by the end of this week. Good news!

Hey, Susan! What about more bus shelters around the Island, especially at the F Train and at the Youth Center?

Susan: We have built as many bus shelters as we can around the Island. Unfortunately, some locations simply can’t facilitate a bus shelter, or structure of any kind, due to clearance issues in confined spaces. One of those places is outside the Youth Center. There simply isn’t enough space in that location to build a structure that would provide any kind of shelter for our residents while they wait for the bus. We have looked at a variety of options of shelters, but none work for that particular area.

The bus stop at the F train is just as problematic. It’s already a cramped area for pedestrians and cars, so building a shelter at that location may cause a dangerous situation. For now, people use the overhang at the subway station and the lobby of the subway station itself as shelter during inclement weather.

Hey, Susan! What about more benches and Wi-Fi at both Tram Stations?

Susan: Both tram terminals are confined spaces that don’t really allow for additional seating. The loading area between the two cars gets very crowded while people wait for the tram. Placing benches in that area would make crowding even worse and create hazards for riders. Anyone looking for a seat before the tram arrives on the Roosevelt Island side can sit on the benches around the terminal area.

The congestion problem is even worse on the Manhattan side. Placing additional benches near the loading and unloading areas would also make for a dangerous situation. More seating will be available when the park reopens after the tram elevator construction is completed.

Our staff is reaching out to the MTA and LinkNYC to see if it might be possible for us to have Wi-Fi at both tram stations. It may be easier for us to utilize an existing network than to install one of our own.
More on the power plant noise from this previous post.

NYC HEAT WAVE THRU SUNDAY, TEMPERATURE FEELS OVER 100 DEGREES - Roosevelt Island Cooling Center Open At Senior Center 7/17 To 7/21 9AM To 9 PM And Tips For Beating The Heat

It's very hot out today. Right now, 1:20 PM it feels like 101 degrees.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for New York City.

Therefore, today, 7/17/19 through Sunday, 7/21/19 the cooling center at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center (located at 546 Main St) will be open from 9AM until 9PM.

As a reminder, a cooling center will be made available when the heat index becomes dangerously high. Individuals without air conditioning, particularly those at risk for heat-related illness, should use established cooling centers during a heat wave.
Stay as cool as you can.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sponsored Post - NYC Based Female Run Startup Shoot Is Offering Summer Family Photo Session At Roosevelt Island FDR 4 Freedoms Park Sunday July 21, Friday August 2 & Saturday August 10 - Book Now And Only Pay For Photos You Want At $15 Per Pic or Less

Shoott is a NYC based startup with a mission to bring great photography to everyone. For our customers, we dramatically reduce the upfront cost and lead time of hiring a photographer. Now you can easily book a pro on demand for a personalized session and pay by the pic, $15 or less.

Shoot is offering Summer Mini Family Photo Sessions at Roosevelt Island Four Freedoms Park
  • Sunday July 21st 10am – 7pm
  • Friday August 2nd 10am – 7pm
  • Saturday, August 10th 10am – 7pm

Sessions are free to book! They last 30 minutes and will yield a digital, high-res gallery of 40+ lightly edited photos, which you will receive in 3-5 business days. Folks only pay for the photos they want at $15/photo or less!

Shoott is a female-run NYC startup that provides fun and convenient 30 min photo sessions with photographers whose work has been featured in Elle, GQ, Vanity Fair, and the like. Their mission is to make great photography more accessible to everybody, so sessions are complimentary and photos are priced at just $15 each or less.

A 5 star rated service on Facebook, Google, and Tripadvisor, Shoott is an affordable lifehack for personal branding as well as parents who want photo sessions of and with their kids through all the different life stages - from engagements and maternity to newborn and all the different milestones of their kids’ growth. Shoott is dedicated to providing a fun and enjoyable experience while offering convenient “pop-up” session options in local parks, particularly for parents with young kids.

Promotion: Book a session with the code ROOSEVELTISLANDER for 10% off any purchases of 5+ photos.

Book your Shoott Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park

photo session

  • Sunday July 21st 10am – 7pm
  • Friday August 2nd 10am – 7pm
  • Saturday, August 10th 10am – 7pm
right now.

Any questions? Email us at and we’ll get back to you right away!

More info available at our Shoott web site.

Monday, July 15, 2019

What's It Like Hanging Outside On Ledge Washing Roosevelt Island Building Apartment Windows- Westview Residents Frustrated At Their Dirty Windows And Would Like Them Cleaned So They Can See Lovely Views

"Please don't fall" and "You are courageous men" were words spoken by a Roosevelt Island resident to the workers cleaning the windows exteriors of her 14th floor apartment high above the building courtyard as shown in this video taken recently.

The Island House resident was happy to have her windows cleaned. But. Roosevelt Island residents of the next door Westview Building have been frustrated with their inability to get their own windows cleaned. According to long time Westview resident Matt Katz:

... Over a period of six months, starting about a year and a half ago, every apartment had new windows installed. In my estimation, they have been excellent, keeping out wind, temperature extremes, and rain.

However, and from the day they were installed, they have never been cleaned. Over the 20 years my wife and I have lived in Westview, the procedure was that tenants would hire a cleaner, staff or otherwise, to remove the sliding panels and use squeegees on mop handles to address the outside panes. We have learned from our super that this is no longer allowed and to be patient while the complicated issue of how to wash windows is determined. Maintenance staff has allowed that these new windows are no more complicated than the old ones and may be cleaned using the same format. Emails and phone calls to the on-site manager go unanswered. Currently, my windows are opaque and I would like to enjoy the lovely view outside my window....
The subject of Westview Window washing was raised during the the June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall with elected officials. Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright wrote to Westiview Building management requesting that they respond to the Westview residents concerns.

The Westview Task Force (WTI), comprised of building residents, sent out this July 10 memo to residents
Re: Window Cleaning Update

WTI has been in contact with the Sponsor in connection with Window cleaning. We are pleased to confirm that the Sponsor intends to have all apartment and hallway windows cleaned by a professional window cleaning company.

Although in the past window cleaning was not provided by Management, window cleaning will now be provided at no cost to all residents as the final step in the window installation process.

Management is in the process of bidding out the window cleaning job with professional window cleaning contractors and will let residents know when the cleaning will be done, which will commence as soon as a contractor is selected and available to start. The entire job will take approximately 4-6 weeks to complete.

In the future, we (or the new COOP Board once in place) will work with Management to establish a procedure for periodic window cleaning for residents to sign up for window cleaning – the cost of this service will be based on the size of the apartment.

In the past, residents often made arrangements for staff to clean apartment windows after hours on a fee basis. Because of legal and insurance reasons, staff are not permitted to perform window cleaning, including after hours.
Hopefully, Mr Katz and other Westview residents, will soon be able to look out clean windows at their lovely Roosevelt Island views.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Roosevelt Island Bridge Shut Down This Morning Due To Two Car Collision On Vernon B'lvd/36th Ave - Woman In Serious Condition, NYPD Investigating

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued this advisory at 6:58 AM

followed by another at 8:05 AM:

I asked Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Acting Chief Kevin Brown for more info on the traffic incident.

Chief Brown replied:
... according to NYPD, at about 5:30 am there was a two car collision on 36th avenue and Vernon Blvd. A F/W/38 was transported from location to Cornell hospital via EMS in serious condition and likely to die due to head injuries. NYPD is still investigating.
The NY Daily News adds:

What Was The Staten Island Ferry Doing On East River Going By Roosevelt Island Today? Was It Lost?

The answer is:

SI Live has more on Staten Island Ferry Boat Ride for God's Exceptional Children.

Friday, July 12, 2019

You're Invited To Wikimedia NYC Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park Picnic Sunday July 14 - The Picnic Anyone Can Edit, A People's Picnic For The People's Encyclopedia

According to Wikimedia NYC:

Wikimedia NYC invites you to attend the Wiknic, the "picnic anyone can edit" in Roosevelt Island (picnic site: Southpoint Park) for Sunday July 14, 2019, from about 2:00 - 7:00 pm, as part of the Great American Wiknic celebrations being held across the United States....

... This year the Wiknic will double as a Strategy Salon, using open space technology to address these two questions facing our social movement:
  • How might we build Wikimedia into an effective convenor of impactful partnerships, coalitions, and collective action based on a shared vision of open knowledge and the “Big Open” Movement?
  • How do we, as a global Wikimedia movement, avoid the pitfall of recentism, tapping in to elder networks, LGBT networks, women’s networks, indigenous communities, etc. to develop volunteers for the project as writers, developers, and document gatherers to find and preserve our hidden collective history?...

 Image From Wikipedia

More info here.

Roosevelt Island Garden Club Invites You To Visit, Relax, Enjoy the Plants, Birds & Nature On Weekends 9 AM to 7 PM - Check Out The Bamboo Forest, Goldfish Pond And Hundred Year Old Cottonwood Tree

Reported last week that the Roosevelt Island Community Garden was open to the public on weekends from 9 AM - 7 PM

Last July 4, I spoke with Roosevelt Island Garden Club (RIGC) member and Green Roosevelt Island Neighbors (GRIN) founder Anthony Luongo about the Community Garden. Mr Longo is rightly proud of the work done by RI Garden Club members and wants to share this spectacular Roosevelt Island oasis with the community. According to Mr Longo, at the Community Garden:

Everybody can come and just relax, look at nature....

... Children are able to smell that the food comes out of the ground and not from the grocery store...

...  we've got a beautiful cottonwood tree gear that has just been around for probably a century or more. We've got our own little ecosystem out here not to mention 132 individual plots and a common area in the back where we do a lot of the work and the composting in addition to a little bamboo forest and a goldfish pond.

So we welcome you to come out at any time during the weekend or pop by and see if you know anyone else here.

Visit us. Come with ideas let us know what you're interest in.

We hope to see you soon.

The RIGC adds:
The front common area is quiet place to relax a bit and RIGC has benches in every border area for guests to sit down and enjoy the plants, birds, and butterflies. Visitors of all ages are welcome. Reminders: please stay on the main gravel paths

Make sure to check out the RIGC Bamboo Forest


Goldfish Pond - it's quite a site and you'll almost forget you're in NYC.

Roosevelt Island Transportation - Good News Again, This Weekend F Trains To And From Manhattan, Both Tram Cabins Working And Ferry Service Too, That's 12 In A Row - State Senator Jose Serrano Asks MTA President Andy Byford To Add Second Roosevelt Island Subway Entrance And 4 Turnstiles To Relieve Overcrowding

Good news, for the 12th week in a row, Roosevelt Island residents will have weekend F Trains running to and from Manhattan, both Tram Cabins operating and East River Astoria Route Ferry service.

Here's the NYC Ferry 2019 Ferry Summer Schedule. 

More good news. During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book reported that there are no planned Roosevelt Island F Train weekend disruptions until August 16 weekend.

Mr Book took questions on a variety of Roosevelt Island subway and bus issues including morning rush hours overcrowding and promised to look into suggested solutions to relieve overcrowding. Mr Book added that the MTA might consider adding a second entrance/exit at the north side of the Roosevelt Island F Train station

to better handle large crowd situations (see 10 minute 20 second mark of video below)

Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below.

Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano sent this June 28 letter to MTA President Andy Byford in support of adding a second Roosevelt Island subway entrance and 4 additional turnstiles.
Dear Mr. Byford:

A number of concerned constituents have contacted my office regarding severe overcrowding, particularly during rush hours, at the Roosevelt Island F train subway station.

Over the last few years, Roosevelt Island has experienced tremendous growth, from the thriving Cornell Tech campus to the opening of the wonderful Four Freedoms State Park. In addition, several large-scale events, such as the Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival (which was attended by roughly 30,000 people) have attracted visitors from across the city in unprecedented numbers. While we welcome this evolution, we must ensure that the island’s transportation infrastructure keeps pace with the undeniably sharp increase in visitors. For this reason, I would like to respectfully request that MTA add a second entrance and exit with four additional turnstiles at the north side of the Roosevelt Island F train station.

As we explore ways to improve all transportation options on Roosevelt Island, providing an additional entrance at the F train station is a low-cost, common-sense solution that will alleviate overcrowding, address rider safety and provide relief for thousands of New Yorkers who depend on this line as a primary source of transportation.

My office will be following up in the next couple of days. However, if you would like to discuss this request in further detail, as always, please feel free to contact my office at (212) 828-5829. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.


Sen. José M. Serrano
29th Senate District
Also, as of today both Roosevelt Island subway elevators are working and 1 of the escalators is out of service

scheduled to be fixed by July 13.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series Showing Crazy Rich Asians Friday July 12 At Southpoint Park - Enjoy The Film And Fantastic East River Waterfront View

The Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park

2019 Outdoor Summer Movie Series

continues tomorrow evening, Friday July 12, with the showing of Crazy Rich Asians.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
RIOC Outdoor Summer Movies Series continues this Fri., 7/12 with Crazy Rich Asians at Southpoint Park. Music, trivia, food & fun start at 7 PM. Movie begins at sunset. Weather permitting. Admission is free.
Here's the trailer for Crazy Rich Asians.

and the remaining schedule of movies for the 2019 Roosevelt Island Summer Movie Series at Southpoint Park:
  • Friday July 26 - Close Encounters of the Third Kind,
  • Saturday July 27 - Captain Marvel,
  • Friday August 2 - Ready Player One
  • Friday August 23 - Clueless
Enjoy the movie, East River waterfront view and have fun.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Hanging Out On Roosevelt Island With Pet Sheep, No Big Whoop

UPDATE 7/11- The sheep is part of Clifford The Big Red Dog movie shoot on Cornell Tech campus.

Manhattan Community Board 8 Census 2020 Job Opportunity Workshop At Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center Thursday July 11 Starting 1:30

The Carter Burden Network Roosevelt Island Senior Center (546 Main Street) is hosting a Census 2020 Job Opportunity Workshop Thursday July 11 from 1:30 - 3:30 PM.

According to Manhattan Community Board 8:

The City of New York Community Board 8 Manhattan Census 2020 Taskforce

In Collaboration With the United States Census Bureau

Cordially invites you to

Census 2020 Job Opportunities Workshop

Thursday, July 11, 2019
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Roosevelt Island Senior Center
546 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
New York, New York 10044

The US Census is coming! Not only is it important that you’re counted, but that New Yorkers take full advantage of the wide-ranging positions available (salary from $25 to $100 per hour). Apply for job opportunities now. Don’t know where to start? Having difficulty or need help navigating the census online system (

Want to see what you may be eligible for in the New York region? Come get onsite help and your questions answered from US Census Bureau representatives. Guidance will be offered with applications for jobs including local field operations and specialized postings that are open. There will be Census staff and computers available to walk you through the online application process for the Census jobs. Get timely updates and share with your neighbors and community networks.

To Reserve a Spot: [212] 758 4340 or

Anyone with an interest in this matter is encouraged to attend.

Loraine Brown and Rebecca Lamorte, Co-Chairs
More info on Census 2020 job opportunities here.

10 Questions For Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Acting Chief Kevin Brown - Plans To Continue Community Policing Policies Of Recently Retired Chief Jack McManus

As previously reported, Kevin Brown, seen below shaking hands with recently retired Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department (PSD) Director Jack McManus, has taken over the position of PSD Acting Director as of July 1.

Acting Chief Brown spoke about taking over for Chief McManus and his views on community policing during the June 25 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee meeting. An excerpt below.

Acting Chief Brown is the subject of a new RIOC public outreach feature as described by a spokesperson:
Ten Questions with: Acting PSD Chief Kevin Brown

Interviewed by:

Erica Spencer-EL, Director, Community Affairs / Jessica Murray, Supervisor, Community Affairs

Re-Introducing RIOC is a new way for RIOC to inform residents and stakeholders about the many new people who have come to work on the island in the past several years.

In a recent interview, Kevin Brown, the Acting Director of the Public Safety Department (PSD), took some time to answer a few questions about his life and his career.

Erica Spencer-EL: You were working with Jack for almost three years and most people in the community know you as “Deputy Brown”. I understand that you’ve had a very interesting career before arriving to the island. Tell us a little bit more about your background. Where were you born?

Kevin Brown: I was born and raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I attended New York City public schools and in my senior year of high school, NYPD recruiters came with the opportunity and I signed up. At 20 years old I became a police officer and served for 32 years, from 1984-2016. It was a dream job that gave me the opportunity to become a detective, sergeant, and a lieutenant.

Jessica Murray: That means you were with the NYPD during the 9/11 attacks. Could you tell us more about that tragic time?

KB: I was stationed at Ground Zero and had been inside the building only five minutes before they started to collapse. That day changed my life and career forever. I began looking at my job, at people, and at relationships differently.

Erica: In speaking with you, education has played an important role in your life. How so?

KB: A few years after I joined the NYPD, I decided to continue my studies and enrolled in LaGuardia Community College to obtain an Associate’s degree. Soon after, I took my Lieutenant’s test and passed. Years later, I went on to John Jay College to complete the remaining credits needed to obtain my Bachelor’s degree. After graduating from college, I thought about life after the NYPD and knew I wanted to give back to the community. I thought about becoming a high school teacher, but it wasn’t for me. In 2006 I was asked to teach at John Jay College and I loved it. I still teach part time now.

Jessica: What made you decide to work on Roosevelt Island?

In 2016, the Police Department was going through some changes and I decided to look for other opportunities. I got an interview at Roosevelt Island (but already had a good job lined up) and knew of Jack McManus, the Chief of Public Safety because I had served as Commanding Officer of The Operations Division during the 9/11 tragedy. Meeting with Jack was like catching up with an old friend and I started working for RIOC in September 2016.

Erica: What have you learned from working here so far?

KB: Jack and I view Roosevelt Island as a small town that could benefit from the community policing program. The dynamics of this island are unique. This is a passionate and tight-knit community. I admire the passion of Roosevelt Island residents.

Jessica: What do you think is the hardest part about working?

KB: The challenge is realizing that no two people are the same. Some can be more argumentative than others, but everyone deserves to be treated with courtesy, professionalism, and respect. Sometimes that means taking a few extra minutes to explain that PSD can’t do certain things or that residents aren’t allowed to do certain things. Either way, my golden rule is to treat people the way you want to be treated.

Erica: Can you give us an idea about crime on the island and where it stands right now?

KB: Reported crime is consistently low. Major crimes are very low. Quality of life drives perception; perception becomes reality. Low crime levels become a reality when you educate people on the facts. People are not going to travel here to commit a crime and residents on the island mostly know each other, so criminals are more likely to get caught.

Jessica: Do you see a difference in dealing with different people in the island and their perception of the capacities of Public Safety?

KB: The long-term residents come to PSD for service. They know us, they’ve lived here for a long time. New-comers wouldn’t think the PSD provides full service. We are here to improve the quality of life of people on this island. We are often mediators and problem solvers.

Erica: Could you tell us more about partnerships and initiatives to assure the island’s safety?

KB: Emergency preparedness is a hot topic. PSD has a number of resources we can reach out to at NYC Emergency Management (“NYCEM”), FDNY, NYPD, and other agencies outside of our department. We know who to call or reach out to in different situations. The office of Emergency Management is key during an evacuation or in other serious emergencies. All relevant agencies are aware of Roosevelt Island’s Emergency Preparedness Plan.

Jessica: What would you like to accomplish while Acting Director?

KB: The officers here should continue to be highly trained, should be respected, and perform their duties with professionalism. They should be well-trained and earn respect, so they can render good service to the community.
Here's another excerpt from June 25 RIRA meeting with

Chief McManus talking about his respect for our new Acting Chief Kevin Brown.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Sponsored Post - Summer Sunset Thursdays In July At Roosevelt Island FDR 4 Freedoms Park, Open Until 8:30 PM - Special Events, Manhattanhenge Viewing & Sketch Workshop July 11, Photo Walk With Street Dream Magazine July 18 And Photo Workshop July 25

The Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park invites you to Summer Sunset Thursdays in July. According to the FDR Park:

Enjoy twilight evenings, and other fun surprises at FDR Four Freedoms State Park on Thursdays this July as we stay open until 8:30pm! Summer Sunset Thursdays will take place on July 11th, 18th, and 25th.

On Thursday July 11, the FDR Park will be the perfect spot to view Manhattanhenge and to join a free Sketch Workshop:
Twice a year, the sun sets perfectly in line with the NYC streetgrid creating a unique event nicknamed “Manhattanhenge,” and you can see it from FDR Four Freedoms State Park as we stay open late for one of our Summer Sunset Thursdays! This event kicks off Archtober, NYC’s annual month-long celebration of architecture and design in October.

The Park will have food, beer, and wine for sale, as well as picnicking on the lawn. There will also be a free sketching workshop led by acclaimed architect and artist Hugo Barros Costa, Wonder Photo Shop NYC will be onsite with an interactive photo installation, and many more surprises!
Register here for Manhattanhenge.

Mark your calendars. The FDR Park July 18 Summer Sunset Thursday will include a Photo Walk with Street Dreams Magazine:
Bring your camera or smart phone and join Street Dreams Magazine for an evening of creative connection & community building in anticipation of Photoville 2019 with a photo walk at FDR Four Freedoms State Park hosted by New York's own Steven "Sweatpants" Irby + Raheim "Black Soap" Simon.

This event is produced in collaboration with United Photo Industries and coincides with Summer Sunset Thursdays, an evening inviting visitors to enjoy the twilight hours at the Park. This event is free and open to the public; registration is required.
and on Thursday July 25, a Photo Workshop: Filling in the Blanks with Brooke DiDonato:
Using the unique architecture of FDR Four Freedoms State Park as a backdrop, students will be assigned a location in the Park to use as inspiration for their photographs. In each group, members will take turns alternating between photographer and model, working together to bring each person's ideas to life. Students will be encouraged to combine key components of their assigned backdrop such as composition, color, lighting and shadows with their desired subject matter to create a narrative of their choosing.

This is a BYOC (bring-your-own-camera) workshop that will meet for an introduction before heading out on assignment around FDR Four Freedoms State Park. The workshop will wrap-up with a casual group critique, where students can share work and ideas, and get feedback from instructors and workshop peers.

This event is produced in collaboration with United Photo Industries and coincides with Summer Sunset Thursdays, an evening inviting visitors to enjoy the twilight hours at the Park. This event is free and open to the public; registration is required.
Click here for more info on Roosevelt Island FDR Park Summer Sunset Thursday events.

UPDATE 7/11 - The Manhattanhenge viewing is cancelled tonight due to rain. The Sketch workshop is rescheduled for July 14.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Do You Want To Win Tickets To NYC Ticker Tape Parade Honoring US Women's Soccer Team 2019 World Cup Champs - Share Your Photo Playing Soccer On Twitter And You May Win 2 Tickets From Roosevelt Island Council Member Ben Kallos, Do It Now

NYC is hosting a ticker tape parade for for the United States Women's Soccer Team 2019 World Cup Champions on Wednesday July 10

Would you like to go to the parade? Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Ben Kallos is giving away two tickets to the City Hall ceremony. Here's what you have to do to win the tickets

Perhaps there are future US Soccer Team Women and Men players right here on Roosevelt Island?


Sponsored Post - Weekly Menu For Cafe @Cornell Tech Monday July 8 To Friday July 12 - Come For The Tasty Meals And Enjoy Beautiful East River Waterfront Views

The Roosevelt Island Cafe @Cornell Tech

 weekly menu for July 8 - July 12 is available.

Summer hours are:

  • Monday - Friday 8AM - 3 PM
  • Saturday -Sunday 11AM - 3PM
  • Monday - Friday 8AM - 5 PM
  • Saturday - Sunday 11AM - 5PM
Click here to view the weekly menu and enjoy

the gorgeous waterfront views from the Cafe @Cornell Tech outdoor patio.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Helicopter Landing Scene Being Filmed Monday Morning For Clifford The Big Red Dog At Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Campus - Movie Company Giving Free Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream At Good Shepherd Plaza In Afternoon To Thank Community

Roosevelt Island will the the site for a film shoot tomorrow that will include a low flying helicopter over the southern tip of Roosevelt Island landing on the Cornell Tech Campus.  According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Please be advised that a helicopter scene for an upcoming movie will be shot on Roosevelt Island’s Cornell Tech campus on Monday, July 8th between the hours of 6:00AM and 10:00AM. The north loop bus service will be closed during these times.

Since filming will take place solely on Cornell Tech property, RIOC has no jurisdiction to grant or deny the filming request. However, RIOC staff and PSD have insisted that the helicopter must approach the island from the southeast and only over water before it lands on the Cornell Tech campus. The helicopter will not fly anywhere near our residential buildings and no island operations – save for the temporary closure of the north loop – will be impacted during filming. PSD is working closely with the NYPD Aviation Unit and the FDNY, both of whom will be on the Island to make sure filming is conducted in a safe manner and with minimal inconvenience to Roosevelt Island residents.

In gratitude for the community's cooperation, the movie's producers will provide a Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Truck with free ice cream at the Good Shepherd Plaza from 3PM-5PM.

If you have any questions, please contact PSD at 212-832-4545.
The film being shot is Clifford The Big Red Dog. A spokesperson for the movie production added:
Paramount Pictures’ and Entertainment One’s CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG will be filming on the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. Paramount has sought all of the requisite approvals and has taken safety precautions to land a helicopter as part of the filming during a small portion of a single day (July 8th). The studio has been working closely with the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and the aviation unit of the New York Police Department (NYPD) who will both be on site for the landing. The studio is also coordinating with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) and the Public Safety Department (PSD). The helicopter will fly in and out from the south and it will, at no point, be flying over the residential areas of the Island.

​Walt Becker is directing Clifford the Big Red Dog, which stars Darby Camp and Jack Whitehall. This big, classic family film follows Emily Elizabeth who befriends Clifford as she’s trying to fit in at home and at school. He grows to a giant size and attracts the attention of a genetics company. Emily and her Uncle Casey have to fight the forces of greed as they go on the run across New York.
Here's the story of how Clifford The Big Red Dog got made.

Noise and potential safety issues from low flying helicopters and seaplanes has been a long standing complaint among some Roosevelt Island residents. During the recent June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall meeting with elected officials, a resident asked a staffer from Congresswoman Maloney's office what could be done to alleviate this problem. The staffer said that Congresswoman Maloney supports banning non-essential low flying helicopters over NYC. Here's the discussion.

Ms Maloney asked Mayor deBlasio to ban all non-esssential helicopter flights over NYC.

Here's the letter.

Enjoy the ice cream from the Clifford movie production company.

UPDATE - Long line at Good Shepherd Plaza this afternoon

for the free Ben & Jerry's Ice cream courtesy of Clifford  The Big Red Dog production company.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Roosevelt Island Transportation - Good News Again, This Weekend F Trains To And From Manhattan, Both Tram Cabins Working And Ferry Service Too, That's 11 In A Row - Watch Video Of MTA Rep Talking Roosevelt Island Subway Service

Good news, for the 11th week in a row, Roosevelt Island residents will have weekend F Trains running to and from Manhattan, both Tram Cabins operating and East River Astoria Route Ferry service.

Here's the NYC Ferry 2019 Ferry Summer Schedule. 

More good news. During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book reported that there are no planned Roosevelt Island F Train weekend disruptions until August 16 weekend.

Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below.

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Image of John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence from US History

Without the Macy's Fireworks viewing this July 4, Roosevelt Island has had a low-key day

although there was still plenty of BBQ'ing with friends at Octagon Park

and Lighthouse Park.

July 4 is also the 12th anniversary of Roosevelt Islander Online. Here's the first post from 2007 and it's about the Southpoint Park July 4 Fireworks Celebration.

Happy Birthday America!!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

All 8 Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station Escalators Out Of Service This Afternoon For Approximately 90 Minutes - Elevator Working But That's Alot Of Stairs To Climb

Earlier this afternoon, all of the Roosevelt Island F Train subway station elevators

were out of service

The MTA Escalator crew was dispatched to Roosevelt Island

and service from platform to street level was restored after approximately 90 minutes.

2 escalators

are currently out of service.

According to Wikipedia, the Roosevelt Island F Train subway station:
... is the fourth-deepest station in the New York City Subway at about 100 feet (30 m) below street level (approximately 10 stories deep) behind 34th Street–Hudson Yards, 190th Street, and 191st Street stations, also in Manhattan
That's alot of stairs to climb.

Reminder, 2019 Macy's July 4 Fireworks Celebration Staged On Lower East River By Brooklyn Bridge - No View From Roosevelt Island This Year But Take A Look At Video Of 2018 July 4 Fireworks Celebration Finale At FDR Four Freedoms Park

As reported last May, there will be no view of the Macy's July 4 Fireworks celebration this year from Roosevelt Island.

According to the FDR 4 Freedoms Park:

and Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
Since the July 4th fireworks display will be held out of viewing range of Roosevelt Island, we will not be hosting any events this year. RIOC wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday.
Here's finale of the 2018 July 4 Fireworks Celebration from Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park.

Click on full screen icon at bottom right for best viewing.

Maybe it will be back next year.

Roosevelt Island Garden Club Open To Public Weekends 9 AM - 7 PM - A Beautiful Quiet Place To Relax, Sit Down And Enjoy The Plants, Birds And Butterflies

Julia Ferguson of the Roosevelt Island Garden Club (RIGC) reports:
RIGC front gates are open (for pedestrian traffic only). RIGC is open to the public every weekend from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 pm.

The front common area is quiet place to relax a bit and RIGC has benches in every border area for guests to sit down and enjoy the plants, birds, and butterflies. Visitors of all ages are welcome. Reminders: please stay on the main gravel paths

 and take pictures only, please. A RIGC visitor from the United Kingdom wrote us:
Hello Roosevelt Gardens NYC,

We were visiting NYC last week and staying in RI. We spent a very pleasant hour or more in your community garden last Saturday and enormously enjoyed it. We are keen gardeners and it was joyful to see your variety of gardens and planting. It is a fond memory from our stay.

Just wanted to say thank you for such a pleasant experience. Much appreciated!
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have really worked to be very helpful to this RI social infrastructure/garden space during their construction project. RIOC placed a temporary bus stop at our north access road

and our front gates are open again before full completion of the construction work!

Also, Roosevelt Island food scraps were returned to the Island as climate cooling compost. Roosevelt Island is a greener place thanks to the collaboration of many. NYC Compost hosted Big Reuse and RIOC played a big part in the beautification and greening at RI Day this year and Roosevelt Island Garden Club was happy to be a part of it all. We created this blog post to mark all the positive compost and planting collaborations.

Happy July 4th!!!!
More info on the RIGC available at their web site and blog as well as how to become a member.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

What Was That Brown Substance Oozing Into East River From Long Island City Big Allis Ravenswood Power Plant Across From Roosevelt Island - And What Is That Awful Noise Plaguing Residents At All Times Of Day?

Last Friday afternoon, June 28, a Roosevelt Island resident spotted a brown substance, shown in video below, oozing into the East River next to the Big Allis Ravenswood Power Generating Plant in Long Island City and asked:

What are they LEAKING into the East River??

Don't know what it is, but am asking.

Another Roosevelt Island resident who lives in Roosevelt Landings reports on constant loud noises coming from the

Big Allis Power Plant :
... there is an awful noise that has plagued Eastwood residents for several months. The big problem is not only that it's loud and disturbing, but that it's intermittent. There is no regularity to it. It can wake you up in the middle of the night. It can happen at any time during the day. It can be repetitive, within seconds, or it can take place once and not be heard for several hours.

It's coming from the power plant. It sounds like something is shorting, like a live wire has become detached.

t’s an everyday, multiple times per day occurrence. It’s not the steam thing. It’s more like a jolt of electricity.
which others have confirmed:
  • "I hear it almost every night and sometimes wee hours of the morning! It sounds like a warning drill!"
  • "Yes I hear it all during the day and night. It's very disturbing especially at night when the noise wakes you out of your sleep."
  • " I hear it almost every night and sometimes wee hours of the morning! It sounds like a warning drill!"
  • "Sometimes there are lots of helicopters or small planes flying over the island or the river, I used to hear it but I’ve become so used to it I don’t anymore. Same way the sounds coming from the generating plant across the river. Tuned out."
The Big Allis Ravenswood Power Plant is owned by LS Power, having purchased the 1.1 million square foot Long Island City facility in 2017 from TransCanada for $167 million according to The Real Deal.

According to LS Power:
Ravenswood (Queens, New York) – 2,480 megawatts, multiple-unit generating natural gas facility using dual fuel-capable steam turbine, combined-cycle and combustion turbine.
More info on history of Big Allis Ravenswood Power station here.

Will update with more info. Stay tuned

UPDATE 8:15 - In response to my inquiry a Ravenswood spokesperson replied:
What the resident saw last Friday was rust-colored water being flushed from pipes as part of a scheduled test of the fire protection system at Ravenswood. This test is mandated by the FDNY, and we were pretesting the system. The DEC (Department of Environmental Control) were on site during the test, there were no safety or environmental issues, and the test was conducted in accordance with all permits and regulations. The test went extremely smoothly and safely.

As for noise, there was nothing at the plant that happened that we know of to cause it. May we ask that if residents hear any noise from the plant, they let us know the date and specific time, and we will investigate quickly, and respond back to them? Thank you.“

UPDATE 4:34 PM: In response to above Tweet, the Ravenswood Spokesperson inquired and reports:
As best as we can tell, the noise came from a vacuum truck, which can be noisy. This is not frequent, but we have now advised the contractor that this work should only be performed during daylight hours going forward.

This specific information is very helpful for us to fix these situations. We appreciate the opportunity to address them.
UPDATE 7/4 - Another resident reported hearing noise last night.

Jacobs Technion Cornell Institute At Cornell Tech Will Host Roosevelt Island Campus Conference On Future Of NYC Transportation And Modernizing MTA Says Governor Cuomo - Please Start By Fixing Roosevelt Island F Train Service

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that Roosevelt Island's Cornell Tech will host a conference to explore innovative technology solutions to the 100 year old MTA transportation infrastructure. A good place to start the improvements is with the often delayed and overcrowded Roosevelt Island F Train service.

According to Governor Cuomo's press release:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a wide ranging series of economic development partnerships between New York State and Israel that are the result of the Governor's recent trip to Israel. The administration and several major New York health care institutions have signed a series of agreements with Israeli entities in the UAV/drones, transportation, energy, cybersecurity, financial technology and health care industries.

"Our economy is stronger than it's ever been and our message during this trip was simple: New York is open for business," Governor Cuomo said. "On our solidarity trip, we focused on key areas that present real opportunities for collaboration with Israeli companies because when Israeli startups choose New York, there is tremendous potential for growth for both economies. I am confident the initiatives announced today will build on the current partnerships that exist between businesses in New York and Israel, and bring our people even closer together."...

... Cornell Tech to Lead Effort to Modernize MTA Technology

Future of Mobility Conference with Cornell Tech and the MTA: Cornell Tech, a joint academic venture between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and the MTA will bring national and international thought leaders from academia, business, government and technology to explore solutions to the most vexing challenges facing transportation in New York City. By advancing the spirit of collegiality and cooperation generated over just a few hours in Israel to two full days of discussion about new technologies and methods for modernizing the MTA's century-old infrastructure, the conference will move the transit innovation discussion to the next level. Globalizing the conversation on topics both cutting edge and conventional will allow the MTA to expand its network of partnerships and deliver a better service to New Yorkers.
Ron Brachman, Director of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech and a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University, added:
We are very excited to take part in this initiative to explore new ways to harness emerging technology to tackle the biggest challenges facing New York State, the State of Israel, and the world today. Thanks to the leadership and vision of Governor Cuomo, this innovative collaboration builds on the terrific partnership between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology....
Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance has some suggestions for more immediate improvements to Roosevelt Island F Train subway service: