Saturday, August 17, 2019

You're Invited To Celebrate Roosevelt Island Nature At Lighthouse Park Microscopic Event Sunday August 18 - Get A Close Up View Of Hidden East River Marine Life, Peak At Plankton & More With iDig2Learn & NY Microscopical Scientists

iDig2Learn founder Chistina Ddlfico reports:
Join us this Sunday, August 18th at Lighthouse Park from 2-5 pm for a free event with special guests from the New York Microscopical Society. Microscope stations will be set up for a hidden view of river life and the small world that thrives there. Peak at plankton and more. All ages welcome. This event is part of the iDig2Learn Series: Celebrating Roosevelt Island's Nature.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - Good Times Had To End, After 16 In A Row, No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend

Good times for Roosevelt Island weekend subway riders had to end at some time and this weekend is the time. After 16 weekends in a row of Roosevelt Island F Train service to and from Manhattan, this weekend there will be no Roosevelt Island F Train service to Manhattan.

According to the MTA:
TRACK MAINTENANCE Aug 16 - 19 • Aug 23 - 26, Fri 9:45 PM to Mon 5 AM F Coney Island-bound trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av, Queens to 5 Av/53 St, Manhattan

Trains resume regular service at 47-50 Sts.

No Coney Island-bound F service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.

Travel Alternatives:
For service to these stations, take the F to 47-50 Sts and transfer to a Jamaica-bound F.

For service from 21 St-Queensbridge and Roosevelt Island, take the F to Roosevelt Av and transfer to a Coney Island-bound F...
Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry 2019 Ferry Summer Schedule. 

During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by NYC Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book reported no planned Roosevelt Island F Train weekend disruptions until August 16 weekend. Well, it's August 16 weekend and no Roosevelt Island F Train service to Manhattan this weekend.

Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Gristedes August 23 To August 29 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Free Delivery With $75 Or More Order

The Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket

invites you to check out their August 23 - August 29 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, August 15, 2019

Beautiful Moments Can Happen Anytime On Roosevelt Island - Resident Walking Home Spots Marriage Proposal On East River Pier Landing, And She Said .... Yes!!!

On Roosevelt Island, you never know when you may come across a beautiful moment. Roosevelt Island resident Adam Guy reports on one such moment he saw as he was was walking home last Monday evening:

I captured a gem of a photo on Monday evening. A marriage proposal took place on the East River Pier Landing close to the subway.

I don't know the names of the people who got engaged but was told the couple were college sweethearts and had been together 4 years. They are not residents of Roosevelt Island, but the man had been here before and liked it very much. The couple took the Tram over and the woman texted her friend how amazing the Tram was and that everyone should ride it - her first ride.

Their friends decorated the area and waited for their arrival. Onlookers like me gathered around to wait for the moment to happen.

The man dropped to his knees on the Pier and proposed.

She said yes!

And sometimes in New York you witness beautiful moments on the walk home. To the happy couple...!
There have been other Roosevelt Island wedding proposal, including on the Tram and at Lighthouse Park.

Also, a wedding on the Tram.

Congrats to the Happy Couple from last Monday evening..

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Roosevelt Island Manhattan Park Luxury Building Lobby Renovation Creating Unsafe Conditions For Pedestrian, Wheelchair And Vehicle Access To Street And Sidewalk Area - RIOC Instructs MP To Obtain RI Permit And Provide Safe Sidewalk And Street Passage

Roosevelt Island Manhattan Park luxury apartment building at 40 River Road is currently undergoing lobby renovations, similar to those previously done at 30 River Road. But, as reported by the Roosevelt Island Daily, the construction activities have created unsafe conditions for  pedestrian, wheelchair and vehicle access to the street and sidewalk area.

Yesterday, a Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) spokesperson addressed the issue raised by Roosevelt Island Daily:
PSD’s Acting Chief Kevin Brown met with Manhattan Park yesterday. At his insistence, Manhattan Park will immediately construct an ADA complaint ramp and will set up additional barriers for a proper pedestrian walkway. PSD will also issue a permit once it receives a detailed scope of work, information about the duration of the project, Manhattan Park’s safety plan and hours of operation.
I asked:
Is the Manhattan Park construction shut down until they comply?
The RIOC spokesperson replied:
They’ve been allowed to continue work since they made emergency adjustments at Acting Chief Brown’s insistence. RIOC staff is meeting with them again today to get further details on the scope of work so they can determine what adjustments are required to comply with our permitting process.
In response to my inquiry yesterday asking Manhattan Park management:
Any comment from Manhattan Park regarding the construction at 40 River Road blocking pedestrian, wheelchair and vehicle access.

I understand that after receiving complaints, RIOC is instructing Manhattan Park to construct a ADA accessible ramp and proper pedestrian access to the 40 River Road construction area.

Is the construction shut down until Manhattan Park complies with RIOC's instructions?...
A Manhattan Park Spokesperson replied:
We’ve enjoyed a great working relationship with RIOC for the last 30 years and have been in close touch with them about the project at 40 River Road. The project will continue to comply with all applicable rules and regulations and we look forward to finishing construction during the fall.

... We are complying with all of RIOCs requests with regards to the construction work and sidewalks. As you know from RIOC we’ve installed a new ramp, etc.

Regarding the issue of doing work without a permit, again we’ve complied with RIOC and kept them informed since the start of this project. We have a DOB permit and will work with RIOC to acquire whatever additional permits we need to.
Today, the area around 40 River Road construction site looked like this.

The RIOC spokesperson added today:
The work that is currently going on at Manhattan Park concerns the renovation of the building’s lobby. The project will be completed in late October and the sidewalk will be completely open to the public at that time. After a meeting with RIOC staff and members of PSD, the building manager has been informed that he must apply for a permit to continue work. PSD also informed the building manager that he must post appropriate signage and allow for proper access that is ADA compliant and provides citizens with safe passage into the roadway where sidewalk access is impeded by work.

PSD and RIOC staff also informed Manhattan Park that they must order additional barricades so that the barricades start at the end of the sidewalk. RIOC has also ordered them to install additional lighting on the barricades, which should be in place today or tomorrow.

For the benefit and safety of our residents and stakeholders, RIOC has installed additional lighting to make sure the sidewalk is well lit. These lights are aimed at the sidewalk, not into the construction area and not into the homes in the area. They aim down at the sidewalk only. It is our hope that Manhattan Park will provide sufficient lighting on the sidewalk for its residents.
Update: as of one minute ago, Manhattan Park filed a permit for the work. It’s going through the internal review process starting this afternoon.
Incidentally,the 30 River Road lobby renovations look terrific. Hopefully, the 40 River Road lobby will look as good.

UPDATE 7:20 PM - A resident is happy to learn of the safety improvements.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Update On Roosevelt Island 340 Unit Riverwalk 8 Affordable Housing Building - Developer Hudson Related Announces Topping Out, Opening Winter 2021 With Rents From $505 For Studio To $3431 For Three Bedroom

According to a press release excerpt from Roosevelt Island real estate developer Hudson Related:

Related Companies and The Hudson Companies today announced the topping out of Riverwalk Park, a 100 percent affordable, 340-unit building at 460 Main Street on Roosevelt Island. Related and Hudson broke ground on the 21-story building in January. Riverwalk Park, planned as an Enterprise Green Communities Certified building, is the first newly constructed, permanently affordable housing ever developed on Roosevelt Island, is expected to be completed in 2021, bringing much needed affordable, middle-income and workforce housing to the Island and New York City....

.... The building contains 81 studios, 158 one-bedrooms, 51 two-bedrooms, and 50 three-bedrooms. The application process will launch in 2020 through Housing Connect – New York City’s housing lottery system. Depending on family and apartment size, income-level based rents will vary from a minimum of $505 a month for a studio to $3,431 for a three-bedroom....
Image Today Of Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Building 8 Under Construction

As reported last June 6:
... The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee met May 29 to receive a status update from Hudson Related Southtown Riverwalk Buildings 8 & 9 Developer David Kramer and colleague Jamar Adams.

According to Mr. Kramer, construction of the 21 story Riverwalk 8 is on schedule with expected completion in 4th quarter of 2020. Currently, 1 floor is being done every 3 days and topping out is planned for July.

As previously disclosed, Riverwalk Building 8 will have a 50% community preference for the affordable housing lottery. The preference is for residents residing in Community Board 8 which includes Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side. Efforts to have the community preference limited to Roosevelt Island residents only has so far been unsuccessful, although both Mr. Kramer and RIOC have said they would love to do it if allowed by their financing agreements.

Building 8 will also include mobility impairment and municipal employees lottery preferences.

Hudson Related will begin Building 8 marketing efforts starting this summer with a web site that will show unit types, area medium income ranges and projected rents.

In late spring/summer 2020 Hudson Related will begin local media advertising, distribute flyers and conduct informational seminars on how to apply for the affordable housing units using NYC Housing Connects. 4 months prior to the expected start of unit leasing, the Housing Connects lottery will commence. Leasing is expected to begin in December 2020/January 2021.

Building 8 will offer same services amenities as other Riverwalk building except there will be no outdoor rooftop deck....
Also reported last April 17:

Under the Building 8 Ground Lease
  • (i) 3% of the 341 units will be reserved as Homeless Units, 
  • (ii) 3% of the units will be reserved for very low-income families with household incomes of 40% of AMI, 
  • (iii) 14% of the units will be reserved for families with household incomes of 50% of AMI, 
  • (iv) 10% of the units will be reserved for families with household incomes of 80% of AMI, 
  • (v) 20% of the units will be reserved for families with household incomes of 100% of AMI, and
  •  (vi) 50% of the units will be reserved for families with household incomes of 130% of AMI. 
This breakdown provides an even greater degree of affordability than was set forth in the Fifth Amendment.
NYC 2019 Area Medium Income (AMI) for a single person is $74,700. For a family of 2, AMI is $85,400 and for a family of 4, AMI is $106,700. 

Here's video of the full RIOC Real Estate Committee discussion with Hudson Related about Riverwalk buildings 8 as well as building 9 which is scheduled to close at end of 2019 and construction to start soon thereafter. Building 9 will be a market rate rental that will include staff housing for an Upper East Side medical institution.

Below is the full Hudson Related Roosevelt Island Riverwalk building 8 press release:
Related Companies and The Hudson Companies today announced the topping out

Images from Kayla Parker

of Riverwalk Park, a 100 percent affordable, 340-unit building at 460 Main Street on Roosevelt Island.

Images from Kayla Parker

Related and Hudson broke ground on the 21-story building in January. Riverwalk Park, planned as an Enterprise Green Communities Certified building, is the first newly constructed, permanently affordable housing ever developed on Roosevelt Island, is expected to be completed in 2021, bringing much needed affordable, middle-income and workforce housing to the Island and New York City.

Images from Kayla Parker

“The realization of Riverwalk Park is the continuation of Related’s nearly half century commitment to affordable housing and a focus on creating housing opportunities for all New Yorkers,” said Bruce Beal Jr., President of Related Companies.

“We started the development of the Riverwalk neighborhood in 1997, and we’re excited to add to this wonderful neighborhood of affordable housing, rentals, condominiums and housing for non-profit institutions,” said David Kramer, President of The Hudson Companies.

“Hudson is proud to reach this major milestone for our eighth building with Related in the Riverwalk neighborhood," said Alex Kaplan, Project Manager of The Hudson Companies. "Roosevelt Island is a unique and beautiful place and now 340 more families will be able to call the area home.”

Jamar Adams, Vice President of Related Companies added, “This beautiful new building will offer critical housing to our City’s working families and continue to support Roosevelt Island’s renaissance as a vibrant diverse community.”

The $135.8 million Riverwalk Park project was funded through a $19.8 million permanent subsidy loan provided by New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, $12.9 million in new volume cap exempt bonds provided by New York City Housing Development Corporation, and a $12.5 million loan from New York State Homes and Community Renewal under its Homes for Working Families program. Citi Community Capital served as the project's senior lender. Sixty percent of Riverwalk Park’s units will be permanently affordable, with the remaining 40 percent affordable for 40 years.

Designed by Handel Architects, Riverwalk Park will house a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartment homes, and offer a full suite of amenities to its residents. The building contains 81 studios, 158 one-bedrooms, 51 two-bedrooms, and 50 three-bedrooms. The application process will launch in 2020 through Housing Connect – New York City’s housing lottery system. Depending on family and apartment size, income-level based rents will vary from a minimum of $505 a month for a studio to $3,431 for a three-bedroom.

Riverwalk Park is the eighth building developed by Related and Hudson in the Riverwalk neighborhood of Roosevelt Island. As part of the project, the development team, in partnership with Monadnock Construction, will also oversee renovation of Firefighters Field on Roosevelt Island, which includes a field relocation, the installation of park lighting, and the construction of a new neighborhood comfort station. Riverwalk Park, Firefighters Field and a comfort station are located adjacent to the recently opened Astoria Ferry Line.
UPDATE 7:50 - The waiting list for 25 affordable housing units in Riverwalk Building 4 is open too.

Roosevelt Island Pubic Safety Officers Chase Stolen Vehicle Down Main Street To Southpoint Park Early Saturday Morning - Notify NYPD Transit Fleeing Suspects Are In Subway Station Where They Are Caught On Subway Train

Early Saturday morning, Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officers assisted the NYPD in apprehending two suspected car thieves driving recklessly on Main Street.

According to a Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) spokesperson:

On Saturday August 10th, at approximately 5:15 AM, a Public Safety Department (PSD) officer observed a vehicle driving recklessly along Main Street.

The officer attempted to stop the vehicle but was unable to do so. The vehicle quickly fled south on Main Street before turning on to the western roadway. This was an especially dangerous maneuver because the suspects were now going against traffic. With PSD in pursuit, the stolen vehicle careened off a parked car and continued south, through the Cornell campus.

The suspects soon abandoned their stolen vehicle at Southpoint Park and fled north through the Cornell campus on foot. Our intrepid PSD officers monitoring the security camera network quickly spotted the suspects entering the “F” train subway station.

PSD notified the NYPD Transit police and the two suspects were quickly apprehended on an incoming subway. Officers from the 114th Precinct took the subjects for arrest processing.

The stolen vehicle was later towed off Roosevelt Island, where the NYPD is attempting to contact its owner. The Roosevelt Island resident whose vehicle was struck and damaged by the fleeing vehicle was contacted by PSD. Fortunately, none of the officers involved or the suspects were hurt during this incident.

“Due to the quick action of our Public Safety Department, two suspected car thieves have been apprehended,” said Susan Rosenthal, President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. “I am grateful for the rapid response by the NYPD for their assistance in arresting the individuals quickly and safely.”

Monday, August 12, 2019

Scenes From Roosevelt Island Stargazing Last Saturday Night - Whoa, See Saturn's Rings, Moonscape & More - Next Sunday Microscope Station At Lighthouse Park Reveals Hidden East River Life

Following a very successful May 18 night of Roosevelt Island Stargazing at the Riverwalk Commons, NYPL's Roosevelt Island branch brought back OB Astronomy for a second time of looking up at the stars from Roosevelt Island last Saturday night - this time at the Cornell Tech campus.

iDig2Learn Founder Chistina Delfico shares these photos and reports:
Whoa, it’s beautiful,” exclaimed a 10 year-old boy when looking at our moon’s craters

last Saturday night through a hi-powered telescope for the NYPL Roosevelt Island branch’s space-themed summer reading event.

Back by popular demand Chris Vallo, from OBAstronomy,

guided hundreds of excited and grateful stargazers on how to spot Saturn and it’s rings,

Jupiter and it’s four visible moons while I supported nearby with a second telescope reminding viewers that Io, one of Jupiter’s moons, has active volcanoes just like Hawaii here on Earth.

All ages were star struck and it was hard not to feel like Galileo Galilei in the 1600’s seeing Jupiter’s moons for the first time.

To kickoff the night Roosevelt Island NYPL’s Ms. Jen happily read to a grassy lawn full of families on blankets for a space-themed story time.

The library’s Sasha Jones had a tremendous spread of books on hand for all ages and encouraged visitors to continue the learning at the Roosevelt Island local branch.

All partners were thrilled when Cornell Tech’s Jane Swanson sent word that yes, the university would love to partner and welcome the public on campus for an evening of stargazing for unobstructed views of the night’s sky.

One man summed it up saying it was great to come out and meet nice people.

Though we only had one night of stargazing with OBAstronomy we plan to have Chris back soon.

Meanwhile, visit NYPL’s Roosevelt Island branch to check out loads of books about the universe and stay connected for upcoming events by following @RooseveltIslandLib @obastronomy @iDig2Learn @cornell_tech
Ms Delfico reports approximately 4-500 people enjoyed the Roosevelt Island Stargazing.

No more telescope Stargazing this week but on Sunday, August 18 check out the microscope stations at Lighthouse Park for up close view of hidden East River life.

Sad News, Roosevelt Island Resident Woody Deas Passed Away Earlier This Summer - A RI Toastmaster Who Touched The Lives Of Many With Warmth, Friendship And A Good Story, Condolences To His Family, Friends & Colleagues

Sad news. Roosevelt Island resident Woody Deas passed away this past summer. His friend and Roosevelt Island Toastmasters colleague Elena Como shares her remembrance:

Woody Deas passed away suddenly earlier this summer, at age 74.

On the evening of July 23rd, about 40 people gathered at the Community Center at 546 Main Street, formerly known as the Senior Center, to reminisce and tell stories about Woody. It was a diverse group, made up mostly of Woody’s friends and neighbors from the Roosevelt Island Senior Association and the Roosevelt Island Toastmasters Club. It was remarkable to hear the many different stories about how Woody touched the lives of so many people in the community.

I was a member of the Toastmasters club for about 9 years and I remember Woody fondly. He was always warm and friendly, ready to tell a joke, happy to listen to a speech and give helpful feedback. Woody served the club very loyally as its Sargent-at-Arms; unlocking the meeting room and putting up the Toastmasters banner and podium, setting up the chairs and tables, putting out the after-meeting snacks and sodas, and then putting everything away after the meeting ended. Over the years, I heard him give speeches about his love of computers, his interest in history, and his life experiences. He had worked with computers as a younger man, and he was always willing to help his friends and neighbors set up and trouble-shoot their computers and printers. He was a soft-spoken presence and a good listener.

I will miss him.
Condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Woody Deas.