Friday, December 13, 2019

Wonderful Singing Performances From RI Youth Center Kids And MST&DA Carolers At Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony - Pretty Good Rockin Rollin Dancing From RIOC President Susan Rosenthal And NYC Council Member Ben Kallos Too

We've got a bunch of very talented kids at the Roosevelt Island Youth Center and were fortunate to see them perform during the December 5 Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Watch and listen to Trey and Rebecca


perform Last Christmas and then Dakota, Nyla (singers) and Isla (guitarist)


 sing Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.



Great Job!!!!!!

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Director of Community Relations Erica Spencer-El and President Susan Rosenthal did a pretty good job as Co-Hosts of the event too.


Also, Ms Rosenthal showed off some Rockin Rollin dancing skills to Run Run Rudolph



after she encouraged NYC Council Member Ben Kallos on stage with her.


Equally impressive were the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) singers


 performing scenes from A Christmas Carol The Musical.



You can see MST&DA perform A Christmas Carol on:
  • Friday Dec 13 7:30pm *Paid preview performance
  • Saturday Dec 14 2:00pm
  • ​Saturday ​Dec 14 7:30pm
  • Thursday Dec 19 7:30pm
  • Friday Dec 20 7:30pm
Get your tickets here.

Check out Santa Claus counting down Lighting the Roosevelt Island Holiday/Christmas Tree.

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Cat Sitter Available, Longtime Resident Will Feed And Lovingly Care For Your Cat


Are you looking for a Roosevelt Island Cat Sitter?

Longtime resident will feed and lovingly care for your cat while you're away, making sure your pet is safe and happy at home. I will also help with mail, plants etc. References available.

Please call number above or email.

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, Tram And Ferry Service Too And Watch Video Of MTA Rep Talking Roosevelt Island Subway Service

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


to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Winter Schedule. 

During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book spoke about Roosevelt Island F Train subway service. Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Find Out How Much Money NYC Parent Teacher Associations Raise For School Students - Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA Fundraising Was $236,000 In 2018-19 School Year


The excellent NYC education web site Chalkbeat reported December 2:
A tiny portion of New York City parent-teacher associations reported raising more than $1,000 per student — amounting, in some cases, to more than $1 million — while hundreds of other such school groups said they raised no money at all.

The data, released for the first time Monday, lays bare the funding disparities between schools in wealthy neighborhoods and those in higher poverty ZIP codes. It does not include data for charter schools, alternative schools, and pre-K centers because these schools are not required to have parent associations, an education department spokesperson said....
NY 1 adds:
... New York City’s Education Department has for the first time compiled and released data on the financial standing of PTAs around the city. City Councilman Mark Treyger, a former teacher who wrote the legislation requiring the report, says it's confirmed his fears about inequity in the city's public schools.

"How many times have we heard the DOE and the chancellor and the mayor talk about, your zip code should not determine the opportunities your families receive,” Treyger said. “Well, look at the data."

According to the report, 46 PTAs raised more than $500 thousand in the most recent school year. Of those 46 PTAs, 24 raised at least a million dollars.”...
Here's how Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 school PTA compares to citywide averages. (Credit: Samuel Park/Chalkbeat for Chartbeat)

I asked Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA President Irena Durkovic if the Chalkbeat fundraising amount of $236,000 was accurate. Ms Durkovic replied:
The amount reported is accurate, and it’s taken from our annual report that covers period from July 2018 through June 2019.
Ms Durkovic shares this statement from the whole 217 PTA executive board:
The PTA is grateful to the PS/IS 217 and Roosevelt Island communities for their support, which allows us to provide benefits for all students in our elementary and middle school here on Roosevelt Island.

For instance, we sponsor literacy and enrichment programs such as arts, physical education, and music; professional development and curriculum assistance to teachers; and community events for the school and its neighbors on Roosevelt Island.

We thank the many PS/IS 217 parents who donate to our annual fund and tirelessly volunteer their time, as well as RIOC and the broader Roosevelt Island community, who support the PTA through grants, the Roosevelt Island Farmer's Market, and in many other ways."
Here's Ms Durkovic describing Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA programs to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Purpose Funds committee during May 28,2019 meeting.



The PTA received 13,000 in Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Purpose Funds.

More info on NYC PTA fundraising from Chalkbeat article. 

UPDATE 8:30 PM:

Get Your Tickets Now For Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Performances Of A Christmas Carol The Musical Opening December 13 - Watch Video Of MST&DA Perform Scenes From A Christmas Carol The Musical At Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony Too

Watch this wonderful performance by the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) of scenes from their upcoming A Christmas Carol The Musical



during the December 7 Roosevelt Island Holiday/Christmas Tee Lighting Ceremony.

The MST&DA A Christmas Carol The Musical opens Friday, December 13 and continues with 4 more shows. Performances are:

  • Friday Dec 13 7:30pm *Paid preview performance
  • Saturday Dec 14 2:00pm
  • ​Saturday ​Dec 14 7:30pm
  • Thursday Dec 19 7:30pm
  • Friday Dec 20 7:30pm
According to MST&DA:
Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly encounters come to life in this lavish and thrilling Broadway adaptation.


Broadway heavy hitters, Alan Menken (Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Disney's The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors) and Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical, Once on This Island), breathe fantastic new life into the classic tale of A Christmas Carol.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a prosperous curmudgeon who believes that personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others. With an infuriated "Bah! Humbug!" Scrooge summates his feelings of Christmas tidings and charitable giving, but he's forced to face his selfish ways when three ghosts on Christmas Eve lead him through his Past, Present and Future. Thanks to their guidance, Scrooge recognizes his faults and greets Christmas morning with a cheerful "Happy Christmas" before spending the day reconnecting and sharing love with those that mean the most to him....

At the Howe Theatre in the R.I. Cultural Center 548 Main Street.
Tickets are:
  • General Admission $20
  • Seniors/Students $15 ​
Click here for more info and to purchase tickets.

Roosevelt Island photographer Irina Hage shares these photos from MST&DA A Christmas Carol The Musical.

Scrooge (Louis Ladehoff)

Bob Cratchit (Russ Cusick) and Tiny Tim (Jack Fadner)

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Roosevelt Island Budget, Nellie Bly Memorial & Roosevelt Landings Negotiations Among Items On December 12 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting Agenda - Roosevelt Island Experiencing An Economic Boom Says RIOC Budget

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet 5:30 PM Thursday, December 12 at the Manhattan Park Theater Club (8 River Road). You're invited to  attend,, ask questions and share concerns about Roosevelt Island during the opening Public Session before the start of the meeting. Sign up to speak here.

Among the Agenda Items are:

According to the proposed Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget:

The Island is currently experiencing an economic boom in real estate with the construction‐in‐progress for Southtown Building 8 and 9, the completion of phase 1 of the multi‐billion‐dollar Cornell Tech campus site, and the evolution of the original residential complexes. These developments are the main drivers for the increased revenues and expenses mentioned below. This would support the need to increase funding to the Public Safety Department, Community Relations activity, professional support, training, etc. RIOC is contractually and statutorily required to maintain infrastructure and provide adequate service to the Island to accommodate this growth. Accordingly, RIOC is in the midst of significant infrastructure and facilities repairs and improvements as outlined on pages 8 through 10 of the budget....
Also, here's an excerpt from RIOC Assistant VP of Capital Planning and Projects Jonna Carmona-Graf memo to RIOC President Susan Rosenthal in support of the Nellie Bly Memorial:
Background: We wanted to both commemorated accomplishments of important women in history and expand upon the number of art installations on Roosevelt Island. As such, in June 2019 RIOC issued a Call for Artists to create a public monument honoring the achievements of Nellie Bly. She is considered the mother of investigative journalism, largely due to her exposé on the harsh treatment of patients at the Blackwell Island Insane Asylum. Her reports documenting the conditions and treatment at the hospital resulted in reform to the rules governing all hospitals in the City.

A project budget of $500,000.00 was established for the solicitation and includes all fees associated with the proposed memorial. Subsequent to the artist selection, NYC Councilmember Ben Kallos, pledged $70,000.00, to fund the braille plaques, audio app for hearing impaired and secondary walkway within the park.

A selection panel comprised of RIOC staff, RI Historical Society, RI Residents Association and RIVAA met to review proposals and interview the artists.
Concept: The Artist’s concept for the memorial is named “The Girl Puzzle” and creates an interactive experience within Lighthouse Park. It is modeled after a traditional Japanese Zen Garden with stylized landscape features and clean lines.

The proposed installation, within a plaza area of approximately 900 square feet, will have five (5) 7’-0” tall bronze sculptures of female faces set in the park and three mirrored, stainless steel spheres.

As the viewer enters the 60’ long plaza walkway, they encounter two bronze faces on each side of the plaza. The four bronze faces depict women of different ages and ethnicities. A fifth face of Nellie, cast in silver bronze is located at the northern terminus of the plaza. The mirrored spheres are on axis with the center of Nellie’s face and are varied in size. A low seat wall outlines three sides of the plaza to create a contemplative space for the viewer.

The installation will include written quotes representative of her conviction, compassion and accomplishments and will be fully accessible. There will be bronze plaques in braille highlighting the exhibit for the visually impaired and an audio component for the hearing impaired....
and a rendering 


of the proposed Nellie Bly Memorial.

It's not known at this time the reason for the Executive Session Discussion of Roosevelt Landings negotiations. As previously reported, the sale of Roosevelt Landings has been finalized, there is a new building management, C&C Apartment Management LLC, and RIOC was to receive a:
... a Transaction payment for the Roosevelt Landings lease assignment of $1,788,429.73....
Here's the full December 12 RIOC Board Meeting Agenda:
AMENDED AGENDA

DECEMBER 12, 2019 MEETING OF

THE ROOSEVELT ISLAND OPERATING CORPORATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MANHATTAN PARK THEATER CLUB, 8 RIVER ROAD

ROOSEVELT ISLAND, NEW YORK

5:30 P.M.

I. Call to Order and Roll Call

II. Chair’s Motion for Executive Session

1. Discussion of Negotiations for Roosevelt Landings

III. Adjournment for Public Comment Period[1]

IV. Approval of Minutes

1. October 17, 2019 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

2. November 12, 2019 Special Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

New Business

Approval of the Proposed RIOC Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21 (Board Action Required)

Approval of Schedule of 2020 Meetings of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors (Board Action Required)

Authorization to Amend the Cell Antenna License Agreement with Verizon Wireless (Board Action Required)

Authorization to Enter into Contract with Prometheus Art Bronze Foundry & Metal Fabrication for Design and Construction Services for the Nellie Bly Memorial (Board Action Required)

Any Other New Business that May be Brought Before the Board

President’s Report

Committee Reports

Audit Committee

Governance Committee

Operations Advisory Committee

Real Estate Development Advisory Committee

Public Safety Report

Adjournment

[1] The public comment period will commence after the Executive Session. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Do Some Of Your Holiday Shopping At Roosevelt Island Senior Center Pop Up Market Saturday December 14 - Handmade Gifts, Holiday Decorations, Accessories, Beauty Products, International Foods & More

The Carter Burden Network Roosevelt Island Senior Center invites you to:

Do some of your holiday shopping this year at the annual Holiday Pop-up Market: Saturday December 14th from 9am-5pm here at the Senior Center! New items/crafts/made goods, international food.


Holiday Pop Up Market

Saturday, December 14, 2019

9 AM - 5 PM

Join us for our Third Annual Holiday Shopping Event.

Handmade gifts, Holiday Decorations and Crafts, Accessories, Beauty Products, International Food, Vendors Poinsettia and More

Raffles and 50/50

Roosevelt Island Senior Center
546 Main Street
Roosevelt Island NY 10044

Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts Learn Marketing Skills From Seasoned Pros, Brainstorm Strategies To Take Cookie Business To Next Level And Earn Think Big Marketing Badge - Cookie Sale Begins December 13

Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop 3001 Leader Aiesha Eleusizov reports:

Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts Learn Marketing Skills from Seasoned Professionals

Sandra Noonan, Chief Sustainability Officer from Just Salad and Nicole Grossberg of Nicole Grossberg Creative shared their expertise with Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop 3001 meeting last night.


Noonan and Grossberg talked about their careers in sustainability and marketing, introduced marketing concepts and ideas and brainstormed marketing strategies to help our budding entrepreneurs kick their cookie business up a notch! The girls are working on the Think Big marketing badge as well as preparing for this year's cookie sales, so the tips and advice will help these girls immediately!

As an added bonus, since both young women also lead Zero Waste NYC Workshop Series (including one held at Cornell Tech on November 14), Sandra and Nicole also educated the girls on the reality of how little plastic is actually recycled and inspired the girls to make a few simple changes in their life to reduce single use plastics in their life.

A very special thank you to Sandra and Nicole for inspiring our next generation of female leaders.

Cookie sales start Friday, December 13. Roosevelt Islanders get ready for our girls to practice their new marketing skills!
Here's video of Roosevelt Island Zero Waste Presentation given by Ms. Noonan and Ms Grossberg

Monday, December 9, 2019

Roosevelt Island Sportspark Pool Will Close For Renovation In Early 2020 - Improvements Include Upgrades To Pool Filtration, Lobby, Locker Rooms, HVAC, ADA Compliance & More

A Roosevelt Island resident and Sportspark Pool


user asks:
I ran into a neighbor who said Sportspark is closing in January for 6 months.... Do you know anything?
According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Phase 1 of Sportspark’s Renovation and Modernization Project will begin early 2020 and will focus on the pool wing of the facility. Improvements include a new HVAC system, new windows, interior renovations to meet ADA code, upgrades to the pool filtration system, lobby and locker room upgrades. These improvements will ensure that Sportspark remains an affordable, active and engaged resource to island residents.

As part of this renovation, the pool will be closed for public use. We did not accept any pool permit requests for the 2020 Spring and Summer seasons because we expect the pool to be closed for use through Fall 2020. A formal pool closure duration will be posted once the contractor is selected and a contract is executed. When it reopens, the pool will have new locker facilities, a modern dehumidification system, upgraded filtration system and new duct work that will allow staff greater control over the pool temperature and air quality.

As a reminder, RIOC has phased the work to minimize disruption of services to our patrons. During construction, the gymnasium and other west wing facilities will remain available for use. We appreciate your patience as we complete these necessary repairs.

We will provide the specific pool closure schedule later this month. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience during these necessary improvements.

RIOC President Says Citibike Is Coming To Roosevelt Island This Spring During Tree Lighting Remarks, Also Status Report On Roosevelt Island Construction And Renovation Projects

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal delivered a report on various construction projects and infrastructure renovations to the the crowd of residents at the Tree Lighting Ceremony last Friday night. Ms Rosenthal also told the crowd that Citibke docking stations will be here this spring but no further details as to how many docks or their location.

Here's Ms Rosenthal's report at the Tree Lighting Ceremony.



UPDATE 1:30 - Apparently nothing new in the Citibike remarks.

According to RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley:

No more details, ... She was just talking about earlier reports that we were still exploring the possibility. We’re still waiting to hear back from Citi Bike, so nothing is imminent. No change in status from the last time we talked about it. We’ll keep you posted.
And Ms Rosenthal adds:
... No decisions have been made on locations. We are awaiting their proposal based upon their analyses and experience.

Roosevelt Island Resident Arrested For Felony Assault Running Over Foot Of Public Safety Office Writing A Ticket - Also Red Bus Accident With Illegally Parked Car At Tram Station, Why Was Tram Red Bus Stop Moved Ask Residents?

The Roosevelt Island Pubic Safety Department (PSD) Incident Report listed an assault Saturday afternoon:

12/07/19 – 1654 – 555 Main Street – Assault – PSD/EMS/NYPD responded – PSD arrested subject.
I asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) for additional details.

According to RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley:
A PSD officer’s foot was run over in the act of writing a ticket. The officer is recuperating from a foot injury but is expected to make a full recovery. The suspect was arrested and charged with felony assault on a peace officer. Additional charges may be pending.
Mr McCauley adds that the driver was a Roosevelt Island resident living at 555 Main Street.

Also, the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports on what appears to be an accident involving the Red Bus and a vehicle at the Tram Station Friday evening.

RIOC repled via Twitter with more details as to what happened.

The Twitterverse followed up asking why the Tram Red Bus North stop was changed.


UPDATE 12:25:

UPDATE 3:05 PM - From RIOC:

UPDATE 4:35

UPDATE 12;25 Also, RIOC announced today:
Re-Introducing RIOC: Transportation – Shelton Haynes, RIOC’s Chief Operating Officer along with Cy Opperman and Joe Marino of RIOC’s Transportation Department will be speaking at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center about the tram, the Red Bus and other transportation matters concerning our senior community. For more information on the event, please click here and feel free to spread the word

Friday, December 6, 2019

Santa Claus Comes To Roosevelt Island And Counts Down Lighting Of Holiday/Christmas Tree Tonight - Santa Was A Little Late Because Of Bridge Traffic


Estimates of approximately 450 - 500 people attended this evening's Roosevelt Island Holiday/Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the Rivercross lawn. It was a wonderful evening.

Here's a small sammple - the arrival of Santa Claus and counting down to the Tree Lighting starting.



Click on the full screen icon at bottom right of video for better view.

More to come.

RIOC Announces Blackwell Park Dog Run Cancelled Due To Community Objections, Will Seek Alternative Space In Southtown Area - Temporary Riverwalk Dog Run Will Remain For Few More Months Due To Hudson Related Delay In Signing Ground Lease For Building 9

The location of a new Roosevelt Island Dog run took another turn during the December 4 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee (REDAC) December 4 meeting. RIOC President Susan Rosental reported that RIOC had listened to some community opposition

Image From Say No Blackwell Park Dog Run Petition

about placing the new Dog Run in Blackwell Park and decided to cancel that plan and seek a location in Southtown.

Ms Rosenthal added that the new location being sought in Southtown requires approval by the building's condo board but did not reveal the specific site. I learned later from a reliable source that the site is located behind either 415-425


or 455-465 Main Street,


between Main Street and the building's hedges.

In the event that approval is not given, RIOC will try to locate the Dog Run in the public commons area between the under construction Building 8 and Building 9,, which has not started construction yet.

Also,  Ms Rosenthal told the REDAC that RIOC will start from scratch regarding renovation of Blackwell Park including a new Request For Proposals.

According to this RIOC announcement:
After listening to public feedback, RIOC staff members and our partners at Hudson-Related are reviewing alternate locations for the proposed dog run at Blackwell Park.

One space under consideration will require co-operative board approval. We are also considering relocating the dog run back to the land between Riverwalk 8 and 9 where it was originally planned. While we continue to explore locations, we also intend to continue with previously announced improvements to the plaza at Blackwell House by replacing the pavers and by making incidental improvements.

RIOC will continue to keep the community informed on our progress.
Here's the REDAC Discussion of Dog Run issue.



Ms Rosenthal noted that the current Southtown Dog Run


will remain for a few more months because Riverwalk Building 9 construction has been delayed due to developer Hudson Related not yet ready to sign the Ground Lease. RIOC believes Hudson Related will be ready to sign ground lease by April. RIOC will collect a $1 million penalty from Hudson Related for not signing ground lease by end of this year.

Hudson Related declined to comment on the matter.

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, Tram And Ferry Service Too And Watch Video Of MTA Rep Talking Roosevelt Island Subway Service

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


to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Winter Schedule. 

During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book spoke about Roosevelt Island F Train subway service. Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Come See The Roosevelt Island Holiday Tree Lighting And Santa Claus Tomorrow Night At Rivercross Lawn - Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Carolers At F Subway Station Too

Tomorrow is one of the best night's on Roosevelt Island - the annual Lighting of the Holiday Tree and arrival of Santa Claus at the Rivercross Lawn.

Here's the Tree Lighting countdown from last year.



According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RICO)

Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony

Come join RIOC and the entire Roosevelt Island community at the island’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 6th, 7 PM at the lawn south of Rivercross.

Island residents will be able to enjoy a night of holiday music and celebration, featuring The Funktion band, island community performers, hot beverages, warm cookies, raffle prizes, goodie bags and maybe even a visit from a special guest from the North Pole!

Also, don't miss the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Carolers at the subway station tomorrow evening and later at the Tree Lighting ceremony.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting Last Night Lacks Quorum Again - Farance Says We Need To Do Better, RIRA President Shinozaki Blames Him For Creating Toxic Atmosphere

Last evening's Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council meeting was revealing of the long standing problems associated with the community organization.

For the third month in a row, the RIRA meeting lacked a quorum of members - only about 7 members showed up.

RIRA Common Council Alternate Frank Farance addressed those members present during the Public Session noting that there are problems with the organization that need to be addressed. He said December's meeting is the sixth this year without a quorum of Common Council Members present and added:

... we have to operate better....


RIRA President Lynn Strong-Shinozaki took strong exception to Mr. Farance's remarks blaming his behavior for the organization's loss of members and creating, what she describes as, a toxic atmosphere. Mr. Farance objected to Ms. Shinozaki's characterization and recited long standing complaints by him and others over lack of transparency, mismanagement of Cherry Blossom Festival and failure to properly inform RIRA members about recent financial mismanagement allegations



Following the contentious back and forth, Mr Farance left and Ms Shinozaki continued speaking with the remaining RIRA members, though this was not a formal meeting due to the lack of a quorum. Ms Shinozaki presented her President's report and various other issues including affordable housing and meeting with Roosevelt Landings new ownership/management. 



RIRA is in real trouble and its a shame because despite much dysfunction, at times they do some worthwhile and important activities and representation for the Roosevelt Island community.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Graduate Hotel President David Rochefort Presents Overview Of Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Hotel - Opening Planned For Summer 2020, Rooftop Bar And Ground Floor Restaurant Operator To Be Named Shortly, Local Job Fair In Early 2020

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse asked when will the Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel on the Cornell Tech campus open?


During the November 12 Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Community & Construction Task Force meeting, we learned that the 18 story, 224 room Graduate Hotel,


with a ground floor restaurant and rooftop bar, currently under construction


will open in the summer of 2020 (The adjoining Verizon Executive Education Center is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2020).


Graduate Hotel President David Rochefort presented an overview of the Hotel Project to the Task Force.

Mr Rochefort reported:
  • The single restaurant and rooftop bar operator will be named shortly, Mr Rochfort said he hopes "people turn the spaces into their living room."
  • The Graduate Hotel expects that 90% of guests will arrive by Public Transportation, either F Train, Ferry,Tram or ride sharing services.
  • Graduate Hotel will have over 75 positions and will conduct Roosevelt Island job fairs for local residents in first and second quarter of 2020.
  • Highgate Hotels with over 20 thousand NYC hotel rooms will be the Hotel Operator
  • Eco-Friendly Hotel Practices.

Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Graduate Hotel


Here's full Task Force discussion with the Graduate Hotel President David Rochefort.



Prior to Mr. Rochefort, speaking Cornell Tech Director of Design and Construction Diana Allegretti described construction of the Graduate Hotel.



Stay tuned. More info on the Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Graduate Hotel to come.

You're Invited To Engaged Roosevelt Island Hot Chocolate Community Conversation on Local Sustainability Practices And Zero Waste At The Sanctuary Event Space December 11 - Also, Grow NYC New Host Of RI Food Scrap Drop Off Next To Saturday Farmers Market

Engaged Roosevelt Island is hosting a free Hot Chocolate conversation

for residents to discuss local sustainability practices at The Sanctuary event space


on December 11. You're invited.

According to Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico:
Engaged Roosevelt Island - FREE 12/11 Hot Chocolate & Conversations 4:30p-7p

Cornell Tech received a grant that spearheads a year of community planning to promote environmental understanding and boost sustainable practices on Roosevelt Island - which basically means designing a healthy and beautiful neighborhood that is kind to us and the earth. Whether you attended or missed the Engaged RI kick-off event on Zero Waste at the Tata Innovation Center last month please Save the Date and stop by The Sanctuary next week to continue the conversation - Wed., 12/11 from 4:30p - 7p for free Hot Chocolate and to share your ideas and to learn more. Short presentations will happen throughout the event.

This is a Zero Waste event so please bring your own mug (extras will be on hand as well).

We are excited that RIOC, RIRA and the Cornell Cooperative Extension NYC are on board, and local groups like Open Doors, Roosevelt Island Library, the Senior Center, the Garden Club, GRIN, Girl Scouts and many other groups, local buildings and businesses and islanders are already working to keep the neighborhood clean and green, so please join the conversation.
Ms Delfico adds:
Schedule Change Notification

Roosevelt Island Food Scrap Drop-off

Starting on Saturday, December 7th, the new hours of operation for the Roosevelt Island Food Scrap Drop-off will be on:

Saturdays, from 9:00 AM-1:30 PM.

Starting on Saturday, December 7th, this site will be operated by our partner organization, GrowNYC. For more information about GrowNYC Compost Programs, please visit grownyc.org/compost.

We are truly grateful for the outstanding efforts that members of the Roosevelt Island community have made to live more sustainably and help rebuild NYC’s soil. To find more drop-off locations near you and other ways to compost your food scraps, please visit nyc.gov/dropfoodscraps.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

It's Getting Cold, Roosevelt Island Winter Coat Drive Now Thru December 28 - Please Drop Off A Gently Used Winter Coat At RIOC Public Safety Department For A Child Or Adult Who Can Use It

The weather is starting to get cold and winter is coming soon.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department:

The Public Safety Department is hosting its annual NY Cares Coat Drive. This program has brought warmth to many needy families during our frigid winters and it is with this thought in mind that we ask the Roosevelt Island Community to step up to the plate once again by dropping off a gently used winter coat.

Donated coats will be accepted at the Public Safety Department
550 Main Street
24 Hours a day.
Now until December 27th

We thank you and your family for your continued generosity.

Have a wonderful holiday season.

For more information, please call 212-832-4545



More info on NYC Cares Winter Coat Drive here.

Monday, December 2, 2019

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Nellie Bly Memorial Town Hall Meeting December 3 - FYI, Roosevelt Island Designated Historic Site In Journalism With Plaque At RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) will be hosting a community Town Hall meeting tomorrow evening, December 3, starting 6 PM at Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street) to discuss the details of the planned Nellie Bly Memorial with artist Amanda Matthews.


As reported last October 16:
... The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) has selected Amanda Matthews/Prometheus Art to construct the Nellie Bly Monument on the northern end of Roosevelt Island at Lighthouse Park. The sculptural installation will be known as “The Girl Puzzle” and invites the viewer to experience many facets of Nellie Bly’s talent, conviction and compassion. The ground-breaking journalist and women’s rights advocate exposed the horrors of the Blackwell Island Insane Asylum in 1887 on Roosevelt Island.

“I am proud of the selection committee’s dedication to choosing such a passionate artist to honor the accomplishments of a woman who was truly ahead of her time,” said Susan Rosenthal, President and CEO of RIOC. “The committee, made up of RIOC employees and community leaders, unanimously selected this bold installation that will not only represent Nellie Bly’s time here, but her impact on the world.”

The installation will allow the viewer to enter a long walkway where they will encounter four, seven-foot-tall female faces, representing different ages and ethnicities, cast in bronze. A fifth face at the far end of the walkway will represent Nellie Bly. Each face will show the depth of emotion and the complexity of being broken and repaired, which was significant to the conditions Ms. Bly encountered when she posed as a mental patient to report on the conditions inside the mental hospital where the Octagon now stands. Construction of the installation is scheduled to be completed in the Summer 2020.

“It is my great honor to represent Nellie Bly’s life and legacy,” said artist Amanda Matthews, “and to celebrate her passion for diversity and inclusion. Her voice remains timely and significant today.”...
Did you know that due to the work of Nellie Bly and Charles Dickens, Roosevelt Island has been designated as a Historic Site In Journalism by The Society of Professional Journalism  (SPJ)with a memorial plaque located at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitors Center Kiosk? According to an August 8, 2017 SPJ release:
... Judith Berdy, historical society president; Rebecca Baker, SPJ president-elect; and Andrew Seaman, SPJ Ethics Committee chair, will discuss the historical significance of the site during the dedication at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday (Aug. 13) at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society’s Visitor Center kiosk.

"All of New York City obviously has a romantic history with journalism, but no other place has captured my attention more than Roosevelt Island.” Seaman said. “Each time I visit, I can't help but think of Nellie Bly's journey to the 'madhouse' and her contributions to the profession. I'm so happy that the Society of Professional Journalists decided to recognize Roosevelt Island with this honor."

The Octagon, which is located on the north end of the island, is an ornate stone building built in 1841 to house psychiatric patients in its two L-shaped wings. Patients brought to the island by boat were separated from the rest of society in what Charles Dickens referred to as a “lounging, listless, madhouse air.”...

... Since 1942, SPJ has honored the people and places that have played important roles in the history of journalism through the Historic Sites program. Some honorees include: Freedom’s Journal, the first Black newspaper published in the United States, and The Wheeling Intelligencer, the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in West Virginia.

See a complete list of past winners – and the 2017 winner -- here.
Here's the August 13, 2017 dedication and plaque unveiling



of Roosevelt Island as a Historic Site in Journalism by the SPJ at the RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk

Roosevelt Island Nellie Bly Memorial, New Dog Run Location, Southtown Riverwalk Building 9 And Transfer Of Roosevelt Landings Equity Interest Among Agenda Items On December 4 RIOC Real Estate Development Advisory Committee Meeting

According to The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), the RIOC Real Estate Development Advisory Committee (REDAC) will meet Wednesday December 4. The following items are on the Agenda.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC Operations Office, 680 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.

Agenda:

Presentation regarding Memorial to Nelly Bly
Discussion of Dog Run Location
Discussion of Southtown Building 9 Closing Documents
Discussion of Transfer of Equity Interest regarding Roosevelt Landings
Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee
Some background on the Agenda items.


The Roosevelt Landings sale (valued at $340 Million as part of a $1.16 Billion multi apartment building portfolio sale) was approved by the RIOC Board of Directors during the October 17 Board meeting. According to this October 15, 2019 memo form RIOC President Susan Rosenthal in support of the Lease assignment, the new owner, L&M Fund Management:
... will enter into a Preservation Plan to preserve affordable housing at Roosevelt Landings, which will remain in effect throughout the remainder of the term of the Eastwood Lease. This plan will preserve 67% of Roosevelt Landings at rents ranging from 80% - 150% of AMI, with the remainder of the property at market rates. Tenants with market rate apartments at the time of closing will receive renewal leases with rent increases tied to the Rent Guideline Board increases, until these in-place tenants vacate their apartments. Section 8 and LAP (Landlord Assistance Program) tenants will remain in place....
And:
... The Purchaser plans to perform over $25MM of capital improvements at Roosevelt Landings. These funds are financed with private capital coming from the Purchaser....
The new manager of the property will be C&C Apartment Management LLC replacing the current manager Urban American.

RIOC will receive a Transaction payment for the Roosevelt Landings lease assignment of $1,788,429.73.

Here's the discussion during October 17 RIOC Board meeting.



Representatives of the new Roosevelt Landings ownership (L&M Development) discussed the affordability plan during October 7, 2019 RIOC REDAC meeting.



Also, RIOC will be hosting a Nellie Bly Memorial Community Town Hall Meeting tomorrow December 3

Image From RIOC

And, the new dog run location has been the subject of controversy where some parents have objected to placing it in Blackwell Park close to areas where children play. Here's more info on the dog run issue and Southtown Riverwalk Building 9.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association Hosts Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Yesterday At Senior Center - Over 70 Peoples Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner Served By Wonderful Volunteers

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Wendy Hersh shares these photos and reports:

THE ROOSEVELT ISLAND DISABLED ASSOCIATION hosted their annual Thanksgiving event along with CBN Senior Center yesterday.


Fabulous turnout of over 70 people.


Thanks to all of the volunteers,


for the Senior Center for providing the space and hosting along with us...and all of the wonderful individuals that we serve....community working together which made it a very special day.

Get Your Tickets To Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Holiday Show, A Christmas Carol The Musical - Performances December 13,14, 19 & 20

Roosevelt Island's Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) reports on their upcoming Holiday Show - A Christmas Carol. According to MST&DA:

Next month give your holidays some extra shine and light by treating yourself and your family to a brilliant performance of “A Christmas Carol”


at the Howe Theater, home of Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance, the warm, beating heart of Roosevelt Island. Performed by a cast of seasoned child and adult actors, and directed by the impeccable eye and attention to detail of Jacqueline Lucid, with music direction by Justin Ramos and dynamic choreography by Kara Curtis, this timeless and heartfelt holiday classic is sure to instill the season with a special warmth and meaning. Click www.mstda.org for tickets.

In mid-December, MST&DA’s black box theater will come alive as veteran actors imbue this time worn tale with tenderness and whimsy as they tell the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. The miserly malcontent who mistreats his workers and shows no heart for humanity, wrestles with his demons on Christmas Eve as a cathartic dream takes him on a journey with the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future. Through their guidance, Scrooge learns to open his heart and understand the true meaning of Christmas as a time of love, generosity, and joy. No matter which holiday you celebrate, this is a poignant and universal story that still resonates today.

Louis Ladehoff plays Scrooge,


Russ Cusick and Jeanne Castagnero play Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit. Seven year old Jack Fadner


plays Tiny Tim, while his mother, MST&DA Assistant Executive Director Kimbirdlee Fadner, plays the Ghost of Christmas Past. John Curtis plays the Ghost of Christmas Present, bringing sensational tap dancing to the role, and Brenna Stein plays the Ghost of Christmas Future. MST&DA Executive Director Kristi Towey will also be taking the stage for this exciting production. These triple threat actors will have you laughing out loud and then move you to tears. Get your tickets now. There will be 5 performances only.
Performances are:
  • Dec 13
  • Dec 14
  • ​Dec 14
  • Dec 19
  • Dec 20
Ticket prices are:
  • General Admission $20
  • Seniors/Students $15 ​
More info here on MST&DA performance of A Christmas Carol here.

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, Tram And Ferry Service Too And Watch Video Of MTA Rep Talking Roosevelt Island Subway Service

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


to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Winter Schedule. 

During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book spoke about Roosevelt Island F Train subway service. Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving From Roosevelt Island - Tradition, Family, Food, Football, History And Alice's Restaurant

Happy Thanksgiving Day wishes to everyone out there in Roosevelt Island land and elsewhere. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!


Since Thanksgiving is a day all about about Tradition, here is my traditional Thanksgiving Day post started in 2007.
In addition to family, great food, the Macy's Parade, Miracle on 34th Street, March of the Wooden Soldiers and football, listening to Arlo Guthrie's rendition of Alice's Restaurant on WNEW-FM was, for me, a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition.

A former station DJ remembers Thanksgiving and Arlo Guthrie this way on the blog All Mixed Up Radio.
Every year a couple of days before Thanksgiving, it starts. It's slow at first, and then turns into a non-stop avalanche of phone calls. And no matter how many times a station runs promo announcements telling people exactly when it will be played, the calls still come.
"What time are you playing 'Alice's Restaurant?'"...
Yes, in the olden days people used to listen to music on the radio. Imagine that!

Here's a snippet of Alice's Restaurant with Arlo Guthrie and Johnny Cash



and the full song with scenes from the movie.


Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy shares a Thanksgiving  story from Roosevelt Island's past when it was known as Welfare Island and housed a penitentiary. Also, former blogger Roosevelt Island 360 tells us about the first Roosevelt Island Thanksgiving in 1975.


Happy Thanksgiving Roosevelt Islanders!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Are You Going To Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Tomorrow - Let's Hope High Winds Not A Problem So Thanksgiving Balloons Can Fly

Are you planning on going to tomorrow's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.


Be aware that strong winds may keep the balloons from flying.






Take a listen to this NYC Emergency Management Dpartment Prep Talk podcast and learn about preparations for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Listen to "Prep Talk - Episode 42: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2019" on Spreaker.
Have a great Thanksgiving!

Annual Roosevelt Island Christmas Tree Emporium Starts This Saturday November 30 And Every Weekend Thru December 22 At Motorgate Plaza Sponsored By PS/IS 217 PTA

Starting Saturday November 30,  the Roosevelt Island Christmas Tree Emporium, sponsored by PS/IS 217 PTA,


will be back on weekends thru December 22 at the Motorgate Helix next to Gristedes.


You can purchase your Roosevelt Island Christmas Tree on these dates:
  • Saturday November 30/Sunday December 1
  • Saturday December 7/Sunday December 8
  • Saturday December 14/Sunday December 15 
  • Saturday December 21/Sunday December 22