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 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

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

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.


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....
... 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 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 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

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Incidents - Local Woman Punched In Face On F Train, Disruptive F Train Passenger Removed From Roosevelt Island Subway Station, Catfishing Scam And Where The Heck on Roosevelt Island Is Streetline?

Earlier today, reported on a Roosevelt Island resident victimized by a Catfishing Scam. More Roosevelt Island Public Safety news.

Last Thursday night, a Roosevelt Island resident was assaulted on a Queens bound F Train.

11/21/19 – 2141 – 400 main St – Assault – PSD/EMS/NYPD Responded. Transported to Hospital.
According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley:
A female victim was punched in the face by an unknown male on the Queens bound F train. The victim got off the train and called 911. The victim stated that the male suspect stayed on the train, but got into another train car. No weapons were used.

The victim is a resident, but the assault did not happen on Roosevelt Island or in the Roosevelt Island subway station.
Last Sunday morning, a disruptive passenger was removed at the Roosevelt Island F train station by the NYPD.

Also on Sunday morning, Roosevelt Island residents received this advisory from RIOC:
Streetline will be closed due to police activity.
Which caused confusion since nobody had any idea what or where is Streetline.

RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley explained what happened.
At 7:30 AM, NYPD and FDNY responded to a report of someone drowning in the west side of the East River. NYPD and FDNY searches showed negative results

Apparently, Streetline is the west roadway that leads from the subway to Blackwell. It’s the rear of 415 Main Street. We learn something new every day on Roosevelt Island!
The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse

spotted NYPD Harbor Patrol searching East River by Queensbridge Park on Sunday morning.

Roosevelt Island Resident Victimized By Confidence Scheme From Catfish Scammer - Pretends To Be Love Interest,Then Uses Personal Information To Demand Cash

The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Incident Report listed:

11/23/19 – 2100 – 580 Main Street – Grand Larceny – PSD/NYPD responded – Condition corrected.
In response to my inquiry seeking more details, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley answered:
It was a confidence scheme involving an Island resident. We would not feel comfortable sharing more details than that out of concern for the alleged victim’s privacy.
I followed up asking:
Is it possible to give more details so that other possible victims may be aware and not be a victim of similar attempts?
Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Chief Kevin Brown replied:
This scheme is one that involves “ catfishes “ a person or persons (perpetrators) pretends to be a love interest and retrieves personal information from the victim and then the perpetrators tells the victims they will share their information if they don’t pay cash usually through a wire transfer.
Here's more on Catfishing Scam

from NBC New York

Monday, November 25, 2019

Long Delayed Reopening Of Renovated Roosevelt Island Youth Center Building Delayed Once Again Due To 2 Separate Flooding Incidents Says RIOC - Parents Frustrated Youth Center Closed Since August 2018, Projected 6 Week Renovation Taking More Than A Year

Last October, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal reported that the Youth Center building at 506 Main Street,

closed for renovations since the summer of 2018, would re-open by the end of this month - November 2019.

But today, RIOC announced:

Due to two recent incidents causing water damage, the Roosevelt Island Youth Center at 504 Main Street will not open until Spring 2020. Youth Center activities will continue at Sportspark until Spring 2020.

The first bout of water damage was caused when the Center's sprinkler system was set off by a small fire in a trash container on Roosevelt Landing property. The second round of damage came from a flood caused by construction work at the new New York Public Library.

We know the Youth Center is an important part of the Roosevelt Island community. We are working with our contractor to repair the damage as soon as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience this delay will cause.
During the November 7 RIOC Public Safety Department Town Hall meeting, parents spoke about the role of the Youth Center in community life and expressed frustration that the Youth Center building has been closed since August 2018, despite being told that it would reopen in November 2018, as well as difficulties using the Sportspark facility as a temporary Youth Center location.

Here's a look inside the RIOC Youth Center



Friday, November 22, 2019

Grow NYC Roosevelt Island Stop N Swap Reuse Event A Great Success - Diverted Over 6 Thousand Pounds From Landfill, 2nd Most Donations Received Anywhere Ever Says Grow NYC, Re-Purposing Is Good!

The second annual Grow NYC Roosevelt Island Swap N Stop

held Saturday November 9 at the Manhattan Park Theater Club was a great success. Residents gave away items they no longer wanted to be reused by others who did want them. Items remaining were either donated or recycled.

The theme of the day as expressed by these Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts who welcomed Swappers to the Stop N Swap was:
Re-Purposing Is Good

I spoke to Grow NYC Project Coordinator Ida Yu and Roosevelt Island resident/iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico at the Stop N Swap.

Ms Delfico reported yesterday:
Breaking news: GrowNYC project coordinator, Ida Yu conveys that the 2019 Roosevelt Island GrowNYC Stop N' Swap had the 2nd most donations GrowNYC swaps have received anywhere, ever! 1,509 more pounds of good quality items were dropped off this year than last year totaling 6,317 pounds. And the free take back rate of those items directly to the community jumped up 13% to total 80%. Thanks to RIOC, Manhattan Park, Gristedes, the Girl Scouts, RI Garden Club and GRIN our GrowNYC partner's Stop N' Swap was a huge success.

These Zero Waste events are kind to our wallets, our neighbors and the earth by reducing unnecessary waste to the landfill. Plus Gristedes food donation filled bag after reusable bag of free food to support islanders. And we added the a plant exchange thanks to the RI Garden Club. iDig2Learn gave away stylish kitchen compost bins to encourage another earth-friendly practice - dropping food scraps weekly so they can be composted by partner Big Reuse.

One island neighbor said she saw the most island neighbors ever at any island event at the Swap.

Thank you GrowNYC volunteers and of course, Ida Yu and Cordelia Alquist.

Who knew being kind to the earth could be so much fun!

The stats side by side 2018 / 2019

Last year 362 people attended / this year 260 people attended

Last year 4808 pounds of good quality items were donated / this year 6,317 pounds

Last year 67% taken back to the community the same day / this year 80 %
Some more scenes from the November 9 Grow NYC Roosevelt Island Stop N Swap.

Roosevelt Island F & E 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. E Train service too.

Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route new 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 21, 2019

Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center Needs Your Help Identifying Roosevelt Island Home Bound Seniors And Disabled Adults Who Could Benefit From Tech Pals, A New Program Using Amazon Echo Smart Devices To Improve Social Interaction and Quality Of Life

Do you know a Roosevelt Island home bound senior or adult with disabilities who may benefit from using the Amazon Echo Show smart screen device to improve their ability to interact with others and enhance their quality of life.

If you do, please contact the Carter Burden Network Roosevelt Island Senior Center so they may offer this new tech based program to help the person.

Tech Pals is designed to improve access to services, independence, and social connectedness for homebound seniors and adults with disabilities through a holistic approach using technology. Funded in part through a generous grant from the New York Community Trust.

Eligibility Criteria:
  • Open to Roosevelt Island-based homebound seniors and adults with disabilities who have limited interaction with others due to their disability 
  • Participants must have Wi-Fi and a mobile phone with SMS (texting) capability
  • Participants must be willing to participate in program activities including pre and post surveys, a social media group, and in-home device setup and training 
  • Participants must keep the devices for themselves for the 2-year project period
Participants will receive:
  • A free Amazon Echo Show smart screen device (valued at $230)
  • One-on-one in-home device setup and training/technology education
  • Ongoing troubleshooting assistance, as needed
  • Access to virtual services through the CBN Roosevelt Island Senior Center (case management, presentations, and socialization)
Please contact Carter Burden Network Roosevelt Island Senior Center Outreach Coordinator Yulisa Santana or Tech Coordinator Jay Yi if you know anyone that can benefit by the Tech Pals program.

Jay Yi adds:
I am the designated Tech / Instructor who is installing, setting up and showing homebound Seniors how to make the best use of the Amazon Echo Show device.

My background is in Information Technology and Technical Instructional Education in both the private and Non-Profit Sectors. I have previously worked in Vocational Schools, The Coalition for the Homeless and also most recently at the NY Housing Authority.

I am very pleased to have the honor of helping our Seniors improve and facilitate their daily life routines with this Artificial Intelligent Technology Device. I look forward to meeting many more of you while listening and sharing our experiences together while aiding more Seniors any way that I can.
Carter Burden Network Roosevelt Island Senior Center Director Lisa Fernandez describes the Tech Pals program during the November 13 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Public Session.

Here's what Ms Fernandez said.

And an example of Amazon Echo helping disabled people.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

You're Invited To Meet Friendly Roosevelt Island Neighborhood Scientists, Weill Cornell Medicine Postdoc Pub Talk On Manhattan's Next Top Model Organism At Nisi Restaurant December 3- Watch Video Of Past Postdoc Pub Talks On Frederick The Sperm's Journey To Fertilization And Top Mouse: The Development Of Social Dominance

The Postdoctoral Association of Weill Cornell Medicine is hosting their fourth neighborhood Pub Talk event at Roosevelt Island's Nisi Kitchen (559 Main Street) Tuesday December 3..

You're invited to attend.

According to Postdoc Pub Talks:
Come meet your friendly neighborhood scientists! Grab a pint and join us as four researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine discuss the model organisms they use to conduct their cutting edge research, at “Manhattan’s Next Top Model Organism”. Featured organisms include Yeast, Zebrafish, Cell Culture and Cerebral Organoids, and Transgenic Mice and the event will conclude with a panel-style Q&A about the relevance of these models and how they are used in research. December 3, 2019 - 7:30 PM at Nisi Kitchen. Visit for more information!
Last June 24, the Postdoc Pub Talk featured a talk by Melanie Balback on:
Survival of the fittest: A Sperm's Journey to Fertilization
and Katherine Lopez on:
Top Mouse: The Development of Social Dominance
Here's the presentation by Ms Balback

followed by audience Question and Answers:.

And the presentation by Ms. Lopez

followed by Q&A.

So, come meet your friendly local scientists Tuesday, December 3 at Nisi Restaurant for the Fourth Roosevelt Island Weill Cornell Postdocs Pub Talk.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Engaged Roosevelt Island Grant From Cornell Tech, Watch First Program Of Getting To Zero Waste In Your Daily Life Workshop Presentation - Promoting Environmental Understanding And Boost Sustainable Practices

On November 14 Cornell Tech hosted the first of a year long series of programming to promote environmental understanding and boost sustainable practices on Roosevelt Island in front of a packed room of over 100 people.

According to Engaged RI:
An Engaged Opportunity Grant from Cornell University's Office of Engagement Initiatives was awarded to Cornell Tech for a year of planning and learning with the community. The goal of this grant is to promote environmental understanding and boost sustainable practices on Roosevelt Island. Throughout the year there will be engagement events to foster collaboration with residents, community groups, schools, building managers, island businesses, RIOC, RIRA and elected officials toward a cleaner and healthier neighborhood.

The first program supported by this grant was a well attended workshop on Nov. 14, 2019 presented by ZeroWaste NYC Workshop Series. All enjoyed the gracious space and hosting by leaders from the Cornell Tech Campus at the beautiful Tata Innovation Center. In order to foster innovative thinking and community connections, entrepreneurs Grounded Upcycling and Farm to People were also present alongside RI activists from iDig2Learn, The Market and the Good podcast and others... 
The November 14 workshop featured Zero Waste NYC founders Sandra Noonan and Nicole Grossberg sharing their zero waste, low impact lifestyle to spur a conversation among Roosevelt Island residents of what more can be done to boost sustainable practices on Roosevelt Island:
No matter what level of sustainability you practice, or if you are just getting started, you can live cleaner and healthier by learning how to avoid single use plastic, cut down on food waste, and shop smarter in NYC.
Prior to the workshop, iDig2Learn's Christina Delfico described the upcoming Roosevelt Island environmental sustainability efforts and Zero Waste NYC's Sandra Noonan and Nicole Grossberg suggested 2 ways to practice zero waste in your daily life - composting food scraps and finding substitute household items to replace single use plastic packaging.

During the presentation, the audience was asked if anyone composts and the answer, captured in this photo by Green Roosevelt Island Neighbors (GRIN) Founder Anthony Longo, was more than half raised their hands saying they do compost.

Image From Anthony Longo

Ms Delfico reports:
It was a great Engaged Roosevelt Island kick-off thanks to the Cornell Tech grant. And learning about Zero Waste can be daunting but if you ride the subway or use the library you are already reducing pollution and reusing resources.

 This workshop is the first of many events in the year ahead to engage community and university to foster environmental understanding and sustainable practices on Roosevelt Island. Simply put we can be kind to the earth and our bodies and keep us and our land, air, water free of toxins if we just know the impact of our choices.

Image From Waste NYC Workshop

Please fill in the initial Take Action survey & check out the new website. To learn more, hear about events, or sign up to be an eco-ambassador, visit the Engaged Roosevelt Island launching website.
Consider some of the lifestyle substitutions suggestions

recommended by the Roosevelt Island Zero Waste NYC workshop (see video below for more details)

and review the Roosevelt Island Green Map.

Here's the full November 14 Roosevelt Island Zero Waste NYC presentation beginning with an introduction by Cornell Tech Assistant Director of Community and Government Relations Jane Swanson and Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Assistant VP of Capital Planning and Projects Jonna Carmona-Graf describing RIOC's environmental and sustainability practices

followed by the Zero Waste NYC presentation

and Q&A period.

More info on Engage RI available at their web site and it's Take Action Page.

UPDATE 11/20 - Ms Delfico adds:
Thanks to

for helping to organize the event.