Saturday, June 1, 2019

Fun Times At Roosevelt Island Figment NYC Participatory Event Today - Over 100 Art Installations, Activities, Music, Gardening, Unicorn Ride & More - Continues Sunday 10 AM To 6 PM,Check It Out

Today's Figment NYC public participatory art event at Lighthouse Park and other locations around Roosevelt Island was a great success. Worries after the Cherry Blossom Festival overcrowding disaster about Roosevelt Island being overwhelmed by visitors did not happen. Instead, Roosevelt Island residents and visitors enjoyed a beautiful day with the more than 1 hundred art installations.

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos interviewed Figment NYC organizer David Koren this morning

and later rode a unicorn around Lighthouse Park

making sure we know that Figment NYC is continuing this evening until 10 PM and tomorrow from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Here are some scenes from today's Roosevelt Island Figment NYC event.

A post shared by John Fitzpatrickk (@fitz11211) on

Great job by the Figment NYC organizers, RIOC Public Safety Department, NYC Emergency Management, CERT Team Members, NYPD and the MTA keeping everybody safe.

There's more Roosevelt Island Figment NYC tomorrow so check it out and have fun.

UPDATE 10:00 PM - Attendance estimate at Lighthouse Park as of 6 PM is reported to be 3600.

Here's Roosevelt Island lit up at night from Figment NYC.

UPDATE 6/2 - More Fignment NYC from Roosevelt Island last night:

and today the Figment NYC Land Boat took a final trip around Lighthouse Park to the tune of I'm A Native New Yorker.

The final event of 2019 Figment NYC at Roosevelt Island's Lighthouse Park was performance of the Monkey King which was developed at Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance.

Unfortunately, the Monkey King performance was shortened due to a late afternoon thunderstorm.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Sponsored Post - You're Invited To Figment NYC Free Participatory Art Project June 1-2 At Lighthouse Park And Other RI Locations - Over 120 Artist Installations Including Local Roosevelt Island Residents, Check It Out This Weekend

According to Figment NYC:

FIGMENT is an explosion of creative energy. It's a free, annual celebration of participatory art and culture where everything is possible. For one weekend this summer, it will transforms Roosevelt Island into a large-scale collaborative artwork - and then it's gone

Join us this weekend, rain-or-shine, for two full days of participatory art on Roosevelt Island!

When: Saturday, June 1st 10AM-10PM — Sunday, June 2nd, 10am-6pm
Note: The event is rain-or-shine.

Where: Roosevelt Island at Lighthouse park, Good Shepard and Manhattan Park Building

What: We will have over 120 participatory art installations! Click here to see the full list of this year's artwork and activities.
Transportation: We strongly encourage attendees to travel by mass transit using the (F)Train, Ferry, Air Tram or Bike/Walking over the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Parking is limited and vehicles may be turned away. Transportation Options Here.*
*Please note that the island is very walkable, bike friendly, and offers a FREE Red Bus

How Much: FREE! FIGMENT is a free, non-profit event but tickets are required. Visit this link to RSVP
What to Bring: Visit this link for a full list of items to bring along with you this weekend, including water, food, sun protection, and pups!
Among the 120 Participatory Art installations are several created by or with Roosevelt Islanders.

For example, Green Roosevelt Island Neighbors (GRIN) founder Anthony Longo founder is working with the BIBLIOPHYTE / Seeds to Soil &Cybernetics Library installation.

 According to Mr. Longo:
GRIN invites you to join us at the Bibliophyte Garden Library by the Labyrinth on the Rivercross Lawn. Saturday 6/1 at 1:00 PM. Stop by as we welcome Figment to RI. Tell them what you think makes Roosevelt Island great. We can show them what we’ve done to make Roosevelt Island Green and Sustainable so far. Maybe even make a few plans for the future.

If you find yourself up North by Lighthouse Park, we will be turning some spinning composters into Fully Functional Figment art pieces. We may rescue a few banana peels while we’re at it.

Drop by either spot anytime, all weekend. Kind words and clever ideas are especially welcomed.
Also check out Thom Heyer & Friends/The Roosevelt Island Oral History Project - "What's the 'T', Miss Roosevelt?":

In 1957 famed singer & songwriter, Alberta Hunter decided to give up her musical career to pursue nursing. She "reduced" her age, "invented" a high school diploma & enrolled in nursing school. She became a nurse at Goldwater Memorial Hospital & moved to Roosevelt Island for the next 20 years until forced to retire in 1977. She then returned to singing with regular gigs in the West Village, until her death in 1984. Hunter, a black woman, lived to be 89 years old.

In 1927 famed entertainer, Mae West was sentenced to 10 days in prison at the women's workhouse on Roosevelt Island on charges of public obscenity for her play "Sex" on Broadway. She served 8 out of 10 of those days & was famously allowed to wear her silk panties instead of the scratchy prison-issue undergarments. West, a white woman, lived to be 87 years old.

What conversations might these 2 women have had IF they had met? Two people representing Ms. Hunter & Ms. West will sit at a small table sipping tea & telling the "T" ("truth" or "tales") about their lives through song & stories & readings. They will encourage questions & participation from visitors. They may hang laundry cut-outs on a clothesline on which visitors may write or paint stories encouraging the importance of oral/living histories.
And Niti Parik's HAPPYCardboards Collective:
I am interested in the ways that design-based learning activities {specially physical interactive prototypes} -support the development of computational thinking in people of all ages. Through the Art Piece for Figment Art I would like to create a series of objects from re-cycled materials which will be up-cycled through design.
And Common Man Musicals, Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance The Monkey King
The creators of a new musical, "The Monkey King", invite you to experience this fresh theatrical retelling of an ancient Chinese legend. In this modern fairytale, we ask the timely question: WHAT IF THE MONKEY KING WAS BORN... A GIRL!?!?
Step inside the red door and meet the Reality Poets. OPEN DOORS members use storytelling, hip-hop and spoken word to challenge audiences to combat the injustice that breeds violence in our cities.
And Victoria Thorson Interactive Wood Sculptures:
3 Finished carved and constructed wood sculptures intended to be touched and recomposed, made of 3 different types of wood— spalted maple, cherry, and basswood.
Click here for all of the Figment NYC artists and installations at the 2019 event on Roosevelt Island.

Make sure to get your free ticket too.

Have a great time.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - F Train Service To And From Manhattan, Both Tram Cabins Working And East River Ferry Service For Sixth Weekend In A Row, But Plan For Large Crowds Coming To Figment NYC Event - RIOC Says If Long Lines For Tram, One Cabin Reserved For Residents And Workers Only

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

Here's the new NYC Ferry 2019 Ferry Summer Schedule. 

But plan for large crowds coming to the Figment NYC event at Lighthouse Park and other Roosevelt Island locations including Mediation Steps. Motogate Atrium, Manhattan Park and on the West Promenade from Eleanor's Pier to Lighthouse Park.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal reports that if there is significant overcrowding at Roosevelt Island Tram this weekend, one cabin will be reserved for residents and workers only and the other for visitors.

RIOC adds:
  • Vehicular access for residents: Please be sure to have ID and proof of address for faster island access.
  • Motorgate Garage: Motorgate is providing entry placards for monthly customers.
  • Taxis/car services: Will be allowed on island for drop-off/pick-up.
  •  F train subway service: Anticipated to be running at full service, on a weekday schedule.
  • NYC Ferry: Plans to deploy larger, 300 passenger capacity ferries to RI on Figment event days.
  • Red Bus service: Will be running on a weekday rush hour schedule.
  • RIDA bus: RIDA will be running an event bus for disabled attendees,
This is going to be an interesting weekend for Roosevelt Island. Stay calm and enjoy.

If you plan to go to the Figment NYC event at Lighthouse Park, make sure to get a free ticket here.

UPDATE 1:40 - From the NY Times:

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Exciting Roosevelt Island Retail Update - Restaurant For Former Dayspring Church Site To Be Announced Soon, Revolving Rooftop Bar For 28 Story Riverwalk Building 9 Considered But Rejected - Planned Main Street Mexican Restaurant To Be Mediterranean Instead, Cafe Eleanor Panini Bar To Open This Summer & More

Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder David Kramer of Hudson Related spoke to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee yesterday about status of under construction Riverwalk building 8 & the future Riverwalk building 9. (Stay tuned for story soon)

Mr Kramer also gave an update on Roosevelt Island retail. Starting with the good news, Mr Kramer gave a hint of what he calls exciting news to come about the vacant Dayspring Church space

in response to my question about rumors of a restaurant to open in the space. Mr Kramer expects an announcement this week about the Dayspring Church space which has been marketed as a restaurant/events space.

Other Roosevelt Island retail news - Eleanor's Cafe Panini Bar at 503 Main Street in the Riverwalk Building is expected to open this summer.

The plans for Mexican Restaurant Onda at 548 Main Street (projected to open in summer of 2017) have been revised. The same owners are changing the concept from a Mexican Restaurant to a Mediterranean restaurant due to gas capacity in the space. The margaritas and chips Roosevelt Island residents were hoping for is not to be.

The Bubble Tea Cafe will not re-open. The store was expected to be sold to new owners but that deal fell apart in the last couple of days.

Hudson Related is working with Dr Jack Resnick to keep medical facilities in the former Urgent Care space.

No update on new tenant for former Riverwalk Bar space, closed since last Labor Day. Mr Kramer described the space as the jewel in Roosevelt Island retail crown that has received some nibbles from interested restaurants owners but nothing definite. Non-restaurant uses have been proposed but Mr. Kramer says Roosevelt Island needs a Restaurant Bar in that space.

Mr Kramer encourages Roosevelt Island residents to support Main Street retail. Here's what he had to say.

The Twitterverse reported David Kramer's Hudson Companies signed retail lease for rooftop bar at one of their Brooklyn properties.

Surprise, for one brief moment, a revolving rooftop bar was considered for the future 28 story Riverwalk building 9.

But was rejected.


Figment NYC Free Participatory Public Art Project Coming To Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Park And Other RI Locations June 1 & 2 - RIOC Town Hall With NYC Emergency Management, NYPD, PSD Reviews Safety & Transportation Preparations And Answers Residents Questions

Gothamist reported on the June 1 & 2 Figment NYC event at Lighthouse Park and other Roosevelt Island locations:

It's time again for one of the city's largest participatory art events: Figment NYC, two days of interactive games and installations designed to encourage playfulness, creativity, experimentation, and exploration. This year the fest takes place on Roosevelt Island, and more than 120 artists will participate in making it happen. Just a taste of the weekend's delights: a mini-golf course designed by sixth-graders and inspired by fairy tales, theatrical pieces inside tiny boxes, participatory art-making from the Museum of Makeup Art, a costume station aboard a pirate ship, a giant unicorn art bike that powers its own light and sound system, a whimsical wheeled sailboat, a garden of wind chimes, a laser harp that plays sound based on live satellite data, and much, much more.
 Image From Figment NYC

A Roosevelt Island Mom asked yesterday:
... We are trying to get a feeling if it will be another Cherry Blossom disaster this weekend, since we are planning our daughter's birthday party for Sunday afternoon and families are invited from Manhattan and Queens....
I answered that the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) seems better prepared by working with NYPD 114 Precinct, NYC Emergency Management Department, MTA F Train Station Manager and Figment NYC organizers to better handle the June 1 &2 Figment NYC Participatory Public Art event than it was for Cherry Blossom Festival. And added:
None of them think the visitors will be as many as Cherry Blossom Festival.

But there is no way of knowing for sure.

It’s a risk having people come on Sunday for the party but no way to know for sure.

Sorry I can’t give you a more definite answer.
Estimates of visitors for the April 13 Cherry Blossom Festival ranged from 35 - 40 thousand people overwhelming Roosevelt Island that day with long lines and huge delays at the Tram, Subway, Ferry and RI Bridge. Also, many complaints about lack of bathrooms, food and water at the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Figment NYC organizers and RIOC do not expect anywhere close to that number of people for the Roosevelt Island event. Last year's Figment NYC on Governors Island drew no more than 12 thousand people. Learning from the mistakes of Cherry Blossom Festival, those wishing to attend Figment NYC at Lighthouse Park are being encouraged to sign up online for free tickets. As of today, 2619 tickets have been obtained.

RIOC held a Town Hall meeting on May 23 to inform concerned residents about plans for the June 1&2 Figment event and to reassure residents that there would not be a repeat of the Cherry Blossom Festival Disaster. According to RIOC Press Release:

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Roosevelt Island Has Cute Wildlife - Baby Goose Snacking At Renwick Ruins Smallpox Hospital Today

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Roosevelt Island 2019 Public Purpose Grants Community Review Process May 28 Thru 30 Announced By RIOC Today - Up To $150 Thousand Available To 10 Local Non Profit Groups, Public Invited To Attend And Ask Questions

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced this afternoon that the Public Purpose Grant Community review process will start tonight thru Thursday May 30

The RIOC announcement advised:
Please be advised that public sessions of the 2019 Public Purpose Grant Community Review Process for applicant proposed programs and projects will be conducted at the Good Shepherd Community Center, 543 Main Street, beginning this evening, Tuesday, May 28th at 7 PM, and continuing on Wednesday, May 29th and Thursday, May 30th.

The presentations are open to the public and will be an opportunity to learn more about the programs and projects from community groups who are seeking funding. At the conclusion of each presentation, time will be reserved for questions and answers by public attendees and members of the Roosevelt Island Resident Association’s Public Purpose Grant Committee.

Presentation Schedule:

Tue., May 28, 2019

7:00 - 7:15 PM: PS/IS 217

7:15 - 7:30 PM: Open Space Institute

7:30 - 7:45 PM: Life Frames

7:45 - 8:00 PM: RI Disabled Association

8:00 - 8:15 PM: Island Kids

Wed., May 29, 2019

7:00 - 7:15 PM: Carter Burden Network

7:15 - 7:30 PM: RI Historical Society

7:30 - 7:45 PM: RIVAA

7:45 - 8:00 PM: Wildlife Freedom Foundation

8:00 - 8:15 PM: Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance

For more information, please call 212-832-4540. General concerns about grant funds and applicants should be directed to, with a copy to David Evans,
RIOC Chief Financial Officer John O'Reilly adds:
There is $150,000 in Grants available for distribution this year. That amount does not included “in-kind” grants, RIOC land/space used for no charge by the non-profits during the year, such as the Cultural Center, Octagon Tennis courts, Youth Center, Garden Club, etc.
According to RIOC:
Public Purpose Grants first became available after the construction of Manhattan Park in 1989, when New York State allowed the fund to be established in lieu of the developers paying sales tax on construction materials. The RIOC Board of Directors approves the allocation of these funds yearly based upon the recommendation of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA). Not-for-profit community organizations are welcome to apply for a Public Purpose Grant by following the application process below.

Public Purpose Grants should be allocated to benefit Roosevelt Island residents, enhancing their quality of life through education, artistic and cultural enrichment, improved health, or a better environment....
More info on Public Purpose Grants available at RIOC web site and prior post.

Sponsored Post - You're Invited To May 30 200th Anniversary Celebration Of Walt Whitman's Birth With Free Presentation Of More Or Less I Am - A Musical Theater Adaptation Of Whitman's Song Of Myself Performed By Compagnia De'Colombari At Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park

The FDR Four Freedoms Park invites you to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman's birth with a free performance of More Or Less I Am by Compagnia De' Colombari.

According to the FDR Park:
Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Walt Whitman's birth, Compagnia De' Colombari presents a free performance at the Park: More Or Less I Am (MOLIA), a music-theatre piece adapted from Whitman's first major work, Song of Myself.

In 1855, Whitman called upon his fellow Americans to contemplate the needs of the nation from a broader and more philosophically inclusive perspective. Today, MOLIA invites us to contemplate what it means to be part of a diverse democratic society.

Compagnia de' Colombari is an international collective of performing artists founded and directed by Karin Coonrod that generates theater in surprising places. Original music by Colin Jacobsen, Kyle Sanna, and Eric Jacobsen.

Free; registration required.


Compagnia de' Colombari (Company Colombari) is an international collective of performing artists, generating theater in surprising places. Colombari intentionally clashes cultures, traditions and art forms to bring fresh interpretation to the written word--old and new--and commits to using any means possible to flesh it out. Colombari brings performers and audiences together, thereby transforming strangers into community. Colombari is founded on the twin principles that the magic of great theater can happen anywhere and be made accessible to everyone.
Here's a snippet of a Compagnia de' Colombari performance of More Or Less I Am

Register here for your free tickets.

UPDATE 5/30 3 PM: According to FDR Four Freedoms Park:
Due to the forecasted heavy rain and anticipated thunderstorms, tonight’s performance of More Or Less I Am will be held at Gallery RIVAA at 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island from 7pm-8pm. As you know, the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) is an art non-profit organization comprised of an internationally diverse group of artists with a mission to make Roosevelt Island the “Island of Art”. RIVAA is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the community through art, music, dance, events and workshops. For more information, please visit

We've updated our website's event information...:

SPONSORED POST - You're Invited To The Cafe @Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Grilling Every Wednesday 2-5 PM - Come For The Tasty Meals Paired With The Perfect Beer And Great East River Waterfront Views, May 29, Grilled Chorizo Sausage & Belgium Cerveza

The Roosevelt Island Cafe @Cornell Tech is welcoming summer with weekly outdoor grilling hours every Wednesday.

According to the Cafe @Cornell Tech:






The Wednesday May 29 Outdoor Grilling Menu is Grilled Chorizo Sausage on French Roll and Aqua Fresca Cerveza - New Belgium

Choripan - $7
New Belgium Cerveza - $5
Beer & Choripan - $10
Come enjoy Wednesday afternoon outdoor grilling and a beer, or two,

with the folks from Cafe @Cornell Tech Constellation Culinary Team on the spacious Roosevelt Island campus patio

and enjoy the gorgeous East River waterfront views.

Also, check out the weekly Cafe @Cornell Tech Monday -Friday menus.

Outdoor Grilling is weather dependent and will be cancelled if raining at time.

UPDATE 5/29 - According to the Cafe@Cornell Tech:
We have cancelled the BBQ for today due to the rain forecast. We will have the same menu for next Wednesday and resume the outdoor grilling on June 5th.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Park Footbridges Repaired And Open For Access Today - RIOC Announces Lighthouse Park Will Close May 31 - June 3 Due To Figment NYC Public Participatory Art Festival June 1 & 2

The footbridges leading to the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse have been repaired and access restored for residents and visitors to walk up to the Lighthouse as several did today.

Lighthouse Park was full of people picnicking, bbq'ing and enjoying themselves this Memorial Day - but not overly crowded

and the Figment NYC City Of Dreams Pavilion was under construction

for next weekend's, June 1 &2 participatory art project event.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced:
Light House Park will be closed from Friday May 31st through Monday, June 3rd, due the Figment Festival on Saturday, June 1st and Sunday, June 2nd . This closure includes the grill area.

The park will reopen on Tuesday, June 4th.
Lighthouse Park is open to the public June 1 - 2 for the Figments NYC Festival but tickets are required for entry to Lighthouse Park.

It's Memorial Day, Thank You For Your Service To All Members Of U.S. Military and Their Families From Roosevelt Island - IAVA Asks That You Go Silent At 3 PM To Remember

Please take some time today on Memorial Day to remember the men and women of the United States Military who are currently serving our country, those veterans who have done so in the past, those who gave their lives and their families

Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the American military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer...

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves...
More on Memorial Day from

The Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Of America (IAVA) ask that you take the #GoSilent Pledge:
Go Silent this Memorial Day at 3:00 PM local time

This Memorial Day, IAVA will lay a wreath before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and later pause for a moment of silence at 3PM local. Gather your friends and family across the country and pause with us for a national moment of silence to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Here's how Roosevelt Island honored our veterans during Veterans Day last year.

Happy Memorial Day!

UPDATE 12:15 PM:

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Roosevelt Island Retail Update - The Chongquing Liukoushui Hot Pot Noodle Shop Opens For Business Today, Check Out Beef Tripe, Duck Blood, Braised Beef, Pickled Cabbage, Fish Fillet Hot Pot Noodle Dishes, & More

Roosevelt Island has a another new food option starting today.

The Liukoushui Hot Pot Noodle Shop is open for business at 568 Main Street. 7 days a week from 11AM - 11PM.

Menu items include:
  • Beef Tripe Hot Pot Noodle - $13.95
  • Duck Blood Hot Pot Noodle - $13.95
  • Braised Beef Hot Pot Noodle $14.95
  • Pickled Cabbage & Fatty Beef Hot Pot Noodle - $12.95
  • Fish fillet & Tomato Hot Pot Noodle - $12.95
  • Mixed Mushroom Hot Pot Noodle - $9.95 &
  • More

Check out the Liukoushui Hot Pot Noodle Shop web page for more info including pictures of their dishes

and to place order online for pickup.

Welcome Liukoushui Hot Pot Noodle Shop to Roosevelt Island.

That's two new food options for Roosevelt Island opening this month, including the Jupioca Juice Bar Cafe.