Friday, November 1, 2019

Are You Looking For A New Four Legged Friend? Roosevelt Island Pet Adoption Event For Dogs, Cats & Rabbits With Animal Cares Of NYC Saturday November 2 At Good Shepherd Plaza

Animal Care Centers (ACC) of NYC is hosting a Mobile Adoption Event on Roosevelt Island Saturday November 2 at Good Shepherd Plaza from 12- 4 PM.

According to ACC:

Looking for a new four-legged friend? We're happy to be hosting and Adoption Event with some incredible cats, dogs and rabbits from ACC. We hope you'll stop by to meet some Boroughreds.

All animals will be sprayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and ready to go home.

View all available animals at

More info on Animal Care Centers of NYC at their web site.

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, Tram And Ferry Service Too - Happy Birthday Roosevelt Island Subway Station Turning 30 This Week And Watch Video Of MTA Rep Talking Roosevelt Island Subway Service

According to the MTA there will be Roosevelt Island F Train service

to and from Manhattan this weekend. 

Happy Birthday week to the Roosevelt Island subway station turning 30 years old last Wednesday.

Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule. 

During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book spoke about Roosevelt Island F Train subway service. Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

You're Invited To The Third Annual Great Roosevelt Island Pumpkin Smash Saturday November 2, Turning Halloween Waste Back To The Soil With NYC Compost Hosted By Big Reuse - Worm Demonstration, Win A Free Compost Pail, Leaf Crunching, NYPL Story Time & Lots More Family Fun, Pies, Cookies, Cake, & Coffee Too

The Great Roosevelt Island Pumpkin Smash

takes place again this year at the Manhattan Park lower lawn on Saturday November 2.

Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico reports:
Please don't let your Pumpkin haunt the landfill!

Breaking News: Food scraps are not trash and can be transformed into compost to amend our soil.

SAT 11/2/19 FREE Roosevelt Island Pumpkin Smash (Rain or Shine) 11am - 2pm, Manhattan Park Lower Lawn between buildings #20 & #30 River Road, Roosevelt Island. No RSVP needed.

Thanks to RIOC and partners NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse, Green Roosevelt Island Neighbors (GRIN), RI Garden Club, iDig2Learn and the Girl Scouts, Roosevelt Islanders have diverted more than 100,000 pounds of food scraps by dropping them off each Saturday from 9am to 2pm in the green bins next to the farmers market.

And thanks to Big Reuse we celebrate a smashing good time once again at Pumpkin Smash 2019 this Saturday 11/2 from 11am to 2pm on the lower lawn between MP's buildings # 20 and # 30, thanks to host Manhattan Park. RIOC and islanders love this event - it's free, it's for all ages, it's family-friendly and there will be pie, cookies, cake and coffee sponsored by partners NYC Ferry Operated by Hornblower plus a chance to win one of their 30-day NYC ferry pass.

And the Roosevelt Island Garden club will be on hosting the popular worm demonstration table, iDig2Learn will be offering chances to win free stylish kitchen compost pails, GRIN will be on there as the local compost ambassador hosting leaf crunching and smashing. Ms. Jen from the NYPL Roosevelt Island branch will be hosting story time at 11am and the Girl Scouts will be there to help us have fun as they support sustainability.

Last year we diverted nearly 1,000 pounds of pumpkins and gourds - let's beat that record this year and get that wet waste out of AVAC and our buildings.

This event is truly a blast and hits home the concept that organic food scraps are not garbage. Partner NYC Compost Hosted by Big Reuse will collect all pumpkin bits and process them locally into compost close by under the Queensboro bridge. That compost comes back to our neighborhood to amend our soil. Rain or Shine we will see you at the Smash! #Pumpkinsmash2019
Here are some scenes from 2017 Roosevelt Island Pumpkin Smash

and Ms Delfico tells us more from the 2017 Roosevelt Island Pumpkin Smash.

More info an pictures from the 2017 Roosevelt Island Pumpkin Smash at this prior post.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Roosevelt Island Soccer Field Renamed To Honor Retired Public Safety Chief Jack McManus For Bringing Outstanding Community Policing Service To RI And Coaching Youth Soccer Too

On October 2, the newly renovated Roosevelt Island soccer field was reopened and renamed in honor of recently retired Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Chief Jack McManus

Image From RIOC Facebook Page

for his outstanding service to the Roosevelt Island community these past 6 years and for his work coaching soccer to many of our local youth.

I spoke with the Chief after the ribbon cutting and renaming ceremony for the Roosevelt Island Jack McManus Soccer Field. Chief McManus was clearly moved by the outpouring of appreciation and respect telling me:
... This is overwhelming. In a million years I would never see this coming. I don't do it for that reason. I enjoy working with the kids. I'm flattered beyond explanation  and appreciative and.... I'm so happy that my family could be here as well.
 Image Of Chief McManus With His Family Following Renaming Ceremony

Chief McManus also talks about why he decided to coach soccer to the Roosevelt  Island youth and how it helped the Public Safety Department.

Here's the renaming ceremony hosted by Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal

followed by the young Roosevelt Island soccer players

Image from RIOC Facebook Page

running on the newly renovated

Jack McManus Soccer Field for the first time.

Roosevelt Island The Sanctuary Event Space Hosting Silent Spooky Halloween Party Saturday November 2 - But Party Last Friday Night Drew Complaints Of Late Night Blasting Music And Traffic Problems, RIOC PSD Says Music Did Not Seem Abnormally Loud

Roosevelt Island's new events space, The Sanctuary, is hosting a Quiet Events Halloween Party on Saturday November 2.

According to Quiet Events:
What could be more thrilling than a Halloween Party in an abandoned CHURCH?! Be one of the first to experience All Hallows Eve at this a newly renovated church turned night club just for our Silent Spooky Party!...

... Your 3 live DJs are spinning all night:
DJ 1 (Green): Soca/Reggae/Afro-Beat
DJ 2 (Red): 80’s, 90’s & 2K Throwbacks
DJ 3 (Blue): Hip Hop/R&B...

... How it works:
With your pair of Quiet Events headphones you can adjust the volume and choose between our three DJ’s with the flick of a switch. Each headset has a color LED that shows which channel you’re listening to. You can dance along with those tuning into the same DJ as you; it’s super social. There’s no loud music to talk over and there’s no ringing in your ears when you leave!...

Tickets range from $15 - $50.

Click here for tickets and more info.

But, last Friday evening, The Sanctuary hosted an event which was not silent, drawing 3 complaints to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department of loud noise and a social media Twitter post.

On Saturday, I asked Sanctuary owner Frank Rafaelle:
What was going on at The Sanctuary last night.

Received complaint of very loud noise blasting music until 4 am last night.
Mr. Rafaelle replied:
There was a private party yesterday. It was very tame, orderly, upscale, and uneventful. We had security at the clients request. The security team was instructed to monitor for loud music but they found no issues. PSD came by on their rounds multiple times and also found no issues. It was a beautiful and stunning event... Nothing happened.
Yesterday, the Roosevelt Island Daily published this video

taken by an Octagon resident and added:
... Between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m. Saturday, a traffic jam of cars, many for hire, clogged the fire lane bordering The Octagon. Partygoers weaved between vehicles on the dimly lit alley while a civilian struggled to direct chaotic traffic...
Yesterday, I asked RIOC about what happened at the Sanctuary on Friday night and:
... Does RIOC have any policy as to how late restaurants, bar and event spaces can stay open? I believe, but not sure, that the former Riverwalkl Bar was told to close by midnight. Does RIOC have any plans to limit late night hours of the Sanctuary?...
A RIOC Spokesperson replied:
Chief Brown has conducted a thorough investigation of the event that took place at The Sanctuary from Friday, October 25th through Saturday, October 26th.

PSD officers became aware of an event when the first noise complaint came in at approximately 11:15 PM. PSD officers patrolled the site until the event ended at 2:00 AM and people began to disburse. An officer also returned to investigate noise complaints at 4:30 AM, but at that time, the only people on site were the workers who were finishing their clean up after the event. A third complaint was registered around 5:15 AM when workers were leaving the premises.

PSD has discussed the incident with The Sanctuary. Chief Brown has a meeting scheduled with the owner/manager tomorrow afternoon to review all local noise and traffic ordinances. The chief will also establish measures which, among other things, will keep traffic and pedestrians restricted to certain areas.
I followed up asking RIOC:
To clarify, did the PSD officers hear loud noise coming from the event?

Did the PSD officers notice any traffic issues?

Were the event organizers asked to lower the noise?

How many complaints did PSD received about the event?
The RIOC Spokesperson answered:
We received three complaints and investigated them all. The manager was aware of the complaints when PSD made contact with him and the music did not seem abnormally loud to the responding officer.

They noticed traffic issues when the event was ending at 2am and addressed them. Some people disobeyed traffic laws throughout the night. The video shows that.

One of they key reasons for tomorrow’s meeting is to inform The Sanctuary about how PSD will be working with the community to address this issue for all future events. Stay tuned.
Will update with more info after today's meeting between RIOC and The Sanctuary owner.

During the October 7, 2019 RIOC Real Estate Development Advisory Committee (REDAC) meeting, owner Frank (Turtle) Rafaelle described some of his plans for The Sanctuary and added:
... We're super happy to be on the Island. Thank you so much. Everyone has been super kind. Many of you have stopped by to ask me what's going on, give words advice,  teach me a bit about the island

I've been in New York 46 years, Queens and Manhattan, but never lived on the Island, never worked on the Island.

 I'm very familiar with the Island but it's very different to be familiar with the island and  then live here or work here or run a  business here and I'm learning and I know there will be some hiccups along the way....

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Chef Wylie Dufresne Racing The Roosevelt Island Tram On A Du's Donut Delivery Run Over Queensboro Bridge - Please Drop Your Donuts Off On Roosevelt Island

While driving over the Queensboro Bridge to make a donut delivery, Brooklyn based Du's Donuts owner/chef Wylie Dufresne shares his encounter racing the Roosevelt Island Tram.

The donuts look delicious. Wish Roosevelt Island had a location that sells Du's Donuts.

Maybe Roosevelt Island's Nisi Restaurant will sell them.

Happy Birthday To Roosevelt Island Subway Station Service Which Began October 29, 1989 - No More Late Night Walking Thru Subway Tunnels From Manhattan To Get Home

Happy 30th Birthday to the Roosevelt Island subway station service and the MTA' 63rd street tunnel which opened October 29, 1989.

Hard to imagine for us newcomers, those who moved here after 1989 what public transportation was like before the subway with only the Tram to get back and forth to Manhattan.

I'm told by Roosevelt Island old timers that before the subway opened, some took late night walks through the subway tunnel to get home from Manhattan.

Take a look at these 1970's MTA videos about building the 63rd street subway tunnel staged, at what was then Welfare Island,

which was scheduled to open for subway service in 1976

and construction

of the Second Avenue Subway

Sponsored Post - 7th Anniversary Of Hurricane Sandy Making NYC Landfall Today, Do You Remember? NYC Emergency Management Department Wants You To Know Your Hurricane Zone, Be Ready And Be Prepared, Roosevelt Island Is Zone 2 & 3

Today is the seven year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in NYC - do you remember scenes like this from Roosevelt Island?

The New York City Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) wants you to be prepared for future hurricanes and Know Your Zone.
According to NYCEM:
There are six hurricane evacuation zones, ranked by the risk of storm surge impact, with zone 1 being the most likely to flood. In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, residents in these zones may be ordered to evacuate.
Roosevelt Island is located in two zones - Zone 2

and Zone 3.

All but one of the Roosevelt Island residential building and the Cornell Tech campus are located in Zone 3. The NYCEM KnowYour Hurricane Zone Map below shows Zone 2 in cream color and Zone 3 in yellow.

The Octagon Building, Coler Hospital, Lighthouse Park and FDR Park are located in Zone 2.

Check out the NYCEM web page for more info:

on Hurricane Zones and preparedness.

Here's some scenes of what Roosevelt Island looked like during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012

including video

and Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) report on damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
  • Hurricane Storm surge of 3- 5 feet caused significant flooding at Lighthouse Park and the Observation pier,
  • Lighthouse Park Land Pedestrian Bridge washed away and Light Poles damaged,
  • Significant damage to seawall at various location particularly Lighthouse Park,
  • 21 Trees Lost,
  • Steam Tunnel Flooded on North Side of Steam plant resulting in no heating at RIOC Facilities or Coler Hospital,
  • Coler Hospital basement completely flooded, RIOC provided fuel for Coler emergency generators,
  • Power was out at Octagon and portions of Rivercross and Roosevelt Landings/Eastwood,
  • People were walking around during Hurricane putting themselves and others in danger. A Public Safety Officer almost fell in the East River while warning people of the danger,
  • No damage at Goldwater Hospital or FDR Memorial,
  • No loss of life or injury on Roosevelt Island,
  • Lighthouse Park will be closed for an extended period of time - unknown for how long,
  • Cost of repairs estimated at a couple of hundred thousand dollars and mitigation of Observation Pier and Lighthouse Seawall of half a million dollars. These costs will be submitted to FEMA for reimbursement,
  • suggestion was made to explore adding a 2 foot kneewall to the perimeter of Roosevelt Island promenade to prevent future flooding and
  • having RIOC provide shelter for residents who lose power rather than going to a NYC City emergency shelter in Queens

Monday, October 28, 2019

Book Talk Discussion About Roosevelt Island's Dark & Macabre History With Damnation Island Author Stacy Horn Wednesday October 30 Presented By Roosevelt Island Historical Society And Friends Of The Upper East Side Historic District - $15 For Members, 25 For Non Members

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society and Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District are co-sponsoring a talk about Roosevelt Island's dark history by Damnation Island author Stacy Horn on October 30 at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

According to the Friends Of The Upper East Side Historic District:
Join us on Roosevelt Island, just steps from the ruin of James Renwick’s Small Pox Hospital, as Stacy Horn, author of Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad and Criminal in 19th-Century New York, takes us into the area’s macabre past, sharing insight from her new book.

From 1839, when the New York City Lunatic Asylum opened, to 1936 when Damnation Island was finally defunct, Roosevelt Island, then known as Blackwell’s, was home to a host of infamous institutions. We’ll find out how this sliver of land in the East River was filled with prisons, asylums, hospitals and almshouses, hear accounts of those who were held there, and learn how muckrakers and reformers from Charles Dickens to Nellie Bly helped expose the “naked ugliness and horror” of those institutions, beginning a reform movement for compassionate mental health care and social welfare that continues to this day.

Further light on that positive shift will be shed by historian Judith Berdy, the President of the Roosevelt Island historical society, who will share the history of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, and its benevolent founder, the Reverend William Glenney French.

Wednesday, October 30th 6:00 p.m.

$15 FRIENDS and RIHS members, $25 non-members

To verify your current membership status, please call 212-535-2526

or email us at

Click HERE to register
Here's a 2018 NY Public Library interview with Damnation Island author Stacy Horn about Roosevelt Island's dark history.