Friday, March 15, 2019

Transplanted Alabamian Now Roosevelt Island Resident Surprised To Finds Awesome Breakfast Grits In NYC At Unlikely Spot, Local Nisi Restaurant - What Would Cousin Vinnie Think?

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

Awesome grits at the Roosevelt Island Nisi Restaurant - who would have thought?

Cousin Vinnie would be pleased.

Stop by the Roosevelt Island Nisi Restaurant

and try their breakfast grits or anything else on the voluminous menu.

Wow, Some Good News For Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - F Train To And From Manhattan, Tram Service On Sunday, Both Cabins Working & Winter NYC Ferry Astoria Route Schedule

Good news. There is Roosevelt Island F Train subway service to and from Manhattan this weekend.

More good news. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), the Tram will operate on Sunday and both Tram Cabins are in service....
Tram Update:

Please be advised that both Tram cabins will be back in service temporarily, starting tomorrow, Friday, March 15th, until the next phase of the project begins. An advisory will be sent out when only one tram cabin will be operating....

... No further Sunday Tram shutdowns will be needed.
More on the Roosevelt Island Tram Overhaul project at this prior post.

Here's the Winter Schedule for Roosevelt Island ferry Astoria route service. 

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Gristedes March 22 To March 28 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Free Delivery With $75 Or More Order

The Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket

invites you to check out their March 22 - March 28 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales items.

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

More Gristedes Supermarket information

available at their

 web site, Facebook Page and Twitter feed

Thursday, March 14, 2019

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Gallery RIVAA's Opening Reception For New Vernissage XV111 Exhibition Saturday March 16

Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA is hosting an opening reception for the Vernissage XV111 exhibition on Saturday March 16. You're invited to check out the new art work, meet the artists and enjoy the company of your neighbors.

According to Gallery RIVAA:

Vernissage XVIII
RIVAA's Annual Anniversary Exhibition
Saturday, March 16, 2019 to Sunday, April 14, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 16, 6 - 9 pm

You are cordially invited to celebrate RIVAA's Annual Anniversary Exhibition Vernissage XVIII with RIVAA Artist Members and Guests.

The Roosevelt Island Visual Art Assoc. is a non-profit organization comprised of an internationally diverse group of artists. RIVAA opened the first gallery on Roosevelt Island in March 2002 and is dedicated to elevating the quality of life in the community through art, music, poetry, dance, events and workshops.

Gallery Hours:
Wednesdays and Fridays: 6 – 9pm
Saturdays and Sundays: 11am – 5pm

Sponsored Post - You're Invited To Submit Project To 2019 Figment NYC Participatory Art Weekend At Roosevelt Island's Lighthouse Park - You Can Help By Volunteering Time And Financial Donation For Roosevelt Island Figment NYC Weekend Too

Roosevelt Island's Lighthouse Park

will be hosting Figment NYC's City Of Dreams Pavilion on June 1-2, 2019. Figment NYC is:
... a free participatory arts event that celebrates creativity by challenging artists and participants to find new ways to create, share, and dream....

... FIGMENT’s vision for art looks past the white-walled galleries and into the realm of participation. Art is not just something that you stand still and quietly look at–it is something you participate in. You touch it, smell it, write on it, talk to it, dance with it, play with it, learn from it. Interactive art creates a dynamic collaboration between the artist, the audience and their environment....
You are invited to submit an art project to be included in FIGMENT NYC 2019 Weekend at Roosevelt Island's Lighthouse Park.  According to Figment NYC:

Join Us!

We are excited to announce that we are now accepting art project submissions for the FIGMENT NYC 2019 Weekend!

It's our 13th Season, and we're being hosted at a New Location!

In 2019, FIGMENT NYC will be a  participatory arts event held at Lighthouse Park on Roosevelt Island and we couldn't be more excited!

The weekend festival showcases art that encourages participants to play, dance, sing, create, engage, experiment, and explore their environment. We accept submissions from artists of all ages and experience.

You can submit your project beginning December 7th, 2018 using the FIGMENT Artist Submission Portal, until April 7, 2019.

Our weekend project submissions operate on a rolling basis, which means that the sooner you apply, the sooner our curatorial team can accept your project. It also means we'll have more time to answer your questions and troubleshoot your project with you so that it meets the FIGMENT NYC guidelines.

Check out our project submission page for more information and how to submit! We can't wait to see what you have in store for us.
... FIGMENT After Dark !

Saturday, June 1st from 6pm-10pm FIGMENT NYC will be offering its first "FIGMENT AFTER DARK". Artists are welcome to submit projects that have a special interactivity when the lights go down. Once the stars are out we expect a variety of submissions from wearable art, LED based sculptures, art cars, blacklight reactive interactivity and more. Be part of the magic...
You can also participate in Figment NYC 2019 Weekend at Roosevelt Island's Lighthouse Park

by volunteering

and/or making a financial donation.

Here's a sample of a past Figment NYC weekend at Governor's Island

and more info to submit an art project, volunteer your servicesmake a financial donation and artists tips and tricks to the 2019 Figment NYC presentation at Roosevelt Island's Lighthouse Park.

See you at Lighthouse Park, June 1-2, for Figment NYC at Roosevelt Island.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Farmers Market Moving Back To Good Shepherd Plaza This Saturday March 16 - Offers Wide Selection Of Locally Grown Fruits, Vegetables and Homegrown Products

One of the features that make Roosevelt Island a wonderful place to live is the Saturday Farmers Market.

With winter soon ending and spring about to start, the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market is moving back to Good Shepherd Plaza this Saturday, March 16.

Last year's spring, summer and autumn pilot project moving the Farmers Market from underneath Motorgate Plaza to the middle of Good Shepherd Plaza was very popular with Roosevelt Island residents and the Farmers Market vendors.
The Roosevelt Island Farmers Market, located at Good Shepherd Plaza, is open early morning to mid afternoon every Saturday in good weather and bad.

The Roosevelt Island Farmers Market features a wide selection of locally grown fruits, vegetables and homegrown products

as well as tasty NY State apples,

freshly squeezed apple cider,

and much, much more.

The Roosevelt Island Farmers Market accepts credit and EBT cards for payment too.

Eat Fresh, Eat Local, Eat Healthy.

Visit the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market every Saturday early morning until mid-afternoon at Good Shepherd Plaza.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

New Retail Tenant Signs Lease For Roosevelt Island's Main Street - Resident Jax Schott To Open 1925 Sq Ft Yoga Studio At 521 Main Street In Rivercross - Welcome Island OM

Good news for those of you who do Yoga or want to learn.

 Image From 2016 RIPN Yoga Class

Coming this fall, Roosevelt Island will have a Yoga Studio on Main Street

Hudson Related  Retail announced today signing lease for a 1975 square foot Yoga Studio at 521 Main Street in the Rivercross Building to Roosevelt Island resident Jax Schott.

That's a very big space on Main Street. Don't know how much Hudson Related is charging for rent.

According to this Hudson Related Retail press release"
Hudson Related Retail LLC today announced the signing of Island OM, a new yoga and fitness studio, to a 10-year, 1,925-square foot lease at 521 Main Street, located at the Shops on Main. The addition of Island OM will add to the growing, eclectic mix of storefronts on Roosevelt Island. Island OM is expected to open in fall of 2019 at Shops on Main. Island OM will offer a range classes including yoga for yogis of all experience levels—including mother and baby classes and classes for kids—as well as barre classes. Island OM will also offer meditation and eventually wellness workshops and holistic healing modalities.

“Hudson Related Retail LLC is pleased to have entered into a lease agreement with Island OM for 521 Main Street,” said Alex Kaplan, Project Manager at The Hudson Companies. “Jax Schott, Island OM’s owner, is an Island resident and yoga and fitness instructor with an existing following and we are excited to see Jax take her business to the next level. Through the yoga and barre classes offered, the studio will have something for everybody on the Island.”

“I have been a teacher for 13 years, expanding my knowledge and expertise in healing and wellness for all,” said Jax Schott, owner of Island OM. “I have lived on Roosevelt Island for over 10.5 years, and started teaching almost 10 years ago when my first child was born. It’s a beautiful & diverse community that has inspired me to be a better teacher, create innovative classes, and share a part of me to connect with any student that comes to my class. Island OM will be a hOMe for wellness and an oasis from your everyday life.”

Jorge L. Jorge of Lisa Management represented both Hudson Related Retail LLC and Island OM in the deal. Shops on Main also features a salon, dry cleaner, wine shop, diner and Chinese restaurant, all of which add to the variety of retail along the corridor.

In March of 2018, Lisa Management, the property management arm of The Hudson Companies, Inc, took over all marketing and leasing for the remaining available storefront at the Shops on Main retail corridor. Since then, Lisa Management has signed two new retail tenants: the forthcoming Liukoshui hot pot restaurant and PupCulture pet care and spa service.
With a little practice, maybe you can do this.

A post shared by Galla (@agathamagma) on

Cornell Tech Campus Tata Innovation Center Start Up Culture Attracting Roosevelt Island Wildlife - Canadian Geese Knocking On Door

This afternoon in front of the Tata Innovation Center on the Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech campus, visiting Canadian Geese were taking a lunch break.

According to the Tata Innovation Center:

Startup culture is the lifeblood of Cornell Tech, where academia and industry collide. In a first-of-its-kind building, the Tata Innovation Center houses recent Cornell Tech students hustling to commercialize a new idea, start-ups on the verge of explosive growth, established companies developing leading-edge technologies and products, as well as academic teams conducting groundbreaking research. The Tata Innovation Center was developed in partnership with Forest City Ratner Companies.


The Tata Innovation Center hosts art exhibitions as well as permanent installations, including the WPA-era abstract mural painted by artist Albert Swinden for the Goldwater Hospital, the building that was on the campus site from 1939-2014. Avant-garde when painted in 1942, the restored Swinden mural serves as an inspirational link to the innovations that modernism wrought...

More on the Tata Innovation Center at their web site.

And more Roosevelt Island Canadian Geese.

Is Roosevelt Island's 1003 Unit Roosevelt Landings Apartment Building For Sale By Brookfield Properties And Urban American - The Real Deal Says Yes

Reported August 15, 2014:

A change in ownership is coming to Roosevelt Island's 1003 unit Roosevelt Landings building complex currently owned by Urban American.

Brookfield Property Partners has acquired an interest in Urban American's Putnam Apartment Portfolio (approximately 4,000 units) which includes Roosevelt Landings on Roosevelt Island in a transaction valued in excess of 1 Billion Dollars

Sources who are familiar with the transaction confirmed that Urban American will continue to own the properties in partnership with Brookfield and will continue to operate and manage the buildings....
Real Estate news web site The Real Deal reported yesterday that Brookfield Properties Putnam Apartment Portfolio is up for sale again, including the Roosevelt Landings building on Roosevelt Island.

According to The Real Deal:
... A teaser for the listing – now dubbed the Manhattan Apartment Collection – shows that the properties can be purchased as a portfolio, or as individual assets. It also points out that the assets are insulated from “likely tenant-friendly changes to New York rent-stabilization laws” because none of the apartments are stabilized....
However, any sale of the Roosevelt Landings building has to meet with the approval of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors. RIOC is ground leaseholder of the property.

According to a September 10, 2014 Memo from former RIOC President Charlene Indelicato in support of the 2014 sale of Roosevelt Landings to Brookfield Properties, the buyer ("Assignee"):
 ...  is bound to comply with the HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) Contracts in effect with respect to tenants receiving Section 8 benefits. In addition, pursuant to The North Town Tenant Settlement Agreement, a “Landlord Assistance Program” is being provided to various tenants. North Town’s obligations under this Settlement Agreement and Landlord Assistance Program will be among the obligations assumed by Assignee at closing....
A Transaction fee based upon the sale value of Roosevelt Landings is due RIOC as well. RIOC received $2.7 million for the 2014 Roosevelt Landings sale based upon a Roosevelt Landings valuation of $272 Million.

Here's video showing portion of discussion by RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee about the 2014 sale to Brookfield Properties.

More info on the 2014 sale of Roosevelt Landings to Brookfield Properties at this prior post.

I asked Urban American's Josh Eisenberg to confirm accuracy of The Real Deal's report of Roosevelt Landings being up for sale.

Have not received answer yet. Will update with any new info.

Listen to this interesting Behind the Bricks podcast discussion from February 2018 with Urban American's Phillip and James Eisenberg

about the NYC multi- family rental housing market.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Hosting Info Seminar On NYC Specialized High School Admission Process March 13 & 23 - Who Belongs In NYC Specialized High School?

The Roosevelt Island NY Public Library (524 Main Street) is hosting a free information session on NYC Specialized High School admission process. According to the Roosevelt Island NYPL:

Specialized High Schools Admissions Information Sessions

Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 6 p.m.

Saturday, March 23, 2019, 11 a.m.

You are invited to a free information session for parents and students (4th to 8th grade) about Specialized High Schools. A representative from the New York Department of Education will be available to answer any questions you may have about the application process for the following schools:
  • Bronx High School of Science
  • The Brooklyn Latin School
  • Brooklyn Technical High School
  • High School for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at the City College of New York (Manhattan)
  • High School of American Studies at Lehman College (Bronx)
  • Queens High School for the Sciences at York College
  • Staten Island Technical High School
  • Stuyvesant High School
  • Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts
Sign up to attend a session by emailing or calling 212-637-8080. Space is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis.

More info on Specialized High Schools available at the NYC Department of Education web site.

According to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio:

CUNY Media hosted an interesting 3 part discussion last month on the controversy regarding admissions criteria and testing for the NYC Specialized High Schools - Who Belongs In NYC Specialized High Schools?

CUNY Media reports approximately 30,000 students take the NYC Specialized High School Test but only 6,000 get admitted.

How many Roosevelt Island students apply to NYC Specialized High Schools and how many get accepted?

UPDATE 4 PM - According to the NY Times, only 6 eight grade students at Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 took the Specialized High School Exam last year. Fewer than 6 received offers, (exact numbers were not available)

Image From NY Times

Click here for full NY Times article.

I asked Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos for his view on the issue. According to this 2018 position paper on the Kallos web site:
New York City Schools are more segregated today then they were when in 1954 when Brown v. Board of Education was decided. Our Specialized High Schools have seen a drop in enrollment by black and Latino students by as much as 27% since de Blasio became Mayor. Despite this drop, 44% to 66% of students at the Specialized High Schools are Title I, with a majority coming from homes where English is not the primary language.

Earlier this year, I advocated for the Department of Education to expand the Discovery program to allow low-income students of color who narrowly miss the exam score to catch up with summer enrichment programming. The Discovery program was available when I went to a Specialized High School it shouldn't have stopped, and bringing it back took far too long. The  Department of Education announced an expansion to all specialized High Schools in response to my questions at a hearing of the Education Committee on March 23rd of this year.

I oppose replacing objective criteria like this exam with subjective measures that would further erode any notion of a meritocracy, let alone, anything that would make the Specialized High Schools a part of a citywide process that is broken and that leaves countless students out of the schools they apply to without any objective measures, essentially leaving them trapped in failing high schools.

Prior to eliminating the sole objective criteria, the City must:
  • Seat every middle school student for a practice exam followed by the actual exam during school hours; and
  • Provide free preparation for the examination as part of a Universal After School mandate;
Rather than target Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech, I would urge the Mayor to accept my recommendation since I was elected to expand Gifted and Talented programs with new schools throughout the city to meet the need. The Mayor could even lead by example offer seat in 5 of the 8 Specialized High Schools without state approval, anything else is just rhetoric.

I have made my objections known over the past four years, including on CBS in response to the Mayor's announcement. I wholeheartedly support and endorse the position of the Daily News Editorial Board and honestly couldn't have said it better myself.

Please join me, other elected officials, the New York Post, Daily News, other alumni, parents, and students throughout our city by sign and circulate our petition,
Petition is here.

You're Invited To Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Seminar Presented By Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell Tech & Roosevelt Island Senior Association Tuesday March 12 - For All Ages

The Roosevelt Island Senior Association (RISA) Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell Tech invite you to a Health & Wellness Seminar tomorrow evening, March 12 on the topic of Diabetes - Exploring Everything You Need To Know. According to Cornell Tech:

Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell Tech and the Roosevelt Island Senior Association Present:

Diabetes Seminar

1 out of 10 people have diabetes.

1 out of 4 do not know they have diabetes.

1 out of 3 people have prediabetes.

Join us for a seminar exploring everything you need to know.

Presented by: Gwendolyne Anyanate Jack, MD, MPH Instructor in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine


Rachel Stahl, MS, RD, CDN, CDE Senior Clinical Dietitian, Medicine/Endocrine Services NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine

Tuesday, March 12 || 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Cornell Tech

The Bloomberg Center 2 West Loop Road New York, NY 10044

This event is FREE and open to the public

To RSVP call 646-891-0038 and leave a message email: or click below
Weill Cornell Medicine has more info on Diabetes at their web site.