Saturday, July 13, 2019

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

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

followed by another at 8:05 AM:

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

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

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

The answer is:

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

Friday, July 12, 2019

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

According to Wikimedia NYC:

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

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

 Image From Wikipedia

More info here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We hope to see you soon.

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

Make sure to check out the RIGC Bamboo Forest


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

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

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

Here's the NYC Ferry 2019 Ferry Summer Schedule. 

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

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

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

Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below.

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

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

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

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

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


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

scheduled to be fixed by July 13.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

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

The Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park

2019 Outdoor Summer Movie Series

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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

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

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

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

According to Manhattan Community Board 8:

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

In Collaboration With the United States Census Bureau

Cordially invites you to

Census 2020 Job Opportunities Workshop

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

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

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

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

To Reserve a Spot: [212] 758 4340 or

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interviewed by:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 8, 2019

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

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

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

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


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

The Roosevelt Island Cafe @Cornell Tech

 weekly menu for July 8 - July 12 is available.

Summer hours are:

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

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

Sunday, July 7, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's the letter.

Enjoy the ice cream from the Clifford movie production company.

UPDATE - Long line at Good Shepherd Plaza this afternoon

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