Saturday, April 25, 2020

Jazz Pianist And Accordionist Ben Rosenblum From Roosevelt Island - Streaming Live Concerts Every Sunday, Take A Listen Now And Enjoy

Here's another example of talented Roosevelt Islanders going virtual to perform their music during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Ben Rosenblum is an accomplished Jazz Pianist, Accordionist and Composer.

 Image From Ben Rosenblum

Ben grew up on Roosevelt Island, still practices here, teaches local young piano players and was on the faculty of The Child School. Take a listen and enjoy.

Ben Rosenblum is doing live streaming of his concerts every Sunday at 4 PM. Take a listen tomorrow right here.

Learn more about Ben Rosenblum here.

Beautiful Saturday Afternoon On Roosevelt Island Today - RIOC Closes Southpoint Park For Failure To Observe Coronavirus Social Distancing

People were out and about on Roosevelt Island this pleasant sunny Sunday afternoon.

But apparently people were not observing Social Distancing at Southpoint Park. This evening around 6 PM, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced:
Due to the Social Distancing rules, South Point Park will be closed, for the reminder of the day. This will help enforce Social Distancing and stop the spread. Everyone remain safe and wear your face mask.
I asked RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley:
What was happening at Southpoint Park to close it. How many people were there.

Is this just for remaining part of today
Mr McCauley replied:
t is just for the remainder of today, but will will close the park whenever we see social distancing is not being followed. I’ve asked PSD for details about today’s incident.
UPDATE 4/26 - From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

Roosevelt Island Main Street Makes Some Noise Yesterday Afternoon In Appreciation For Retiring Woody And Other Essential Workers - I Nearly Jumped Out Of My Skin From Sirens And Honking Says Unknowing Resident

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse asked yesterday about all the noise on Main Street yesterday afternoon.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) reports the reason for the noise
!!! Make Some Noise, Roosevelt Island! - Friday, April 24th @ Noon!!!!

Raise your windows, clap and beat on pots to show your appreciation to Woody Morgan for thirty-eight years of service to C & C Apartment Management and all of our Roosevelt Island Essential Employees, such as Building Maintenance Staffers, Public Safety, RIOC Staff, Carter Burden Senior Center Staff, Roosevelt Island Disabled Association, and Food Delivery Volunteers.
Roosevelt Island resident Nakita Hines shares this video of

the Main Street Appreciation Celebration for Woody Morgan and other essential workers, adding:
Mr.Woody is really gonna be missed I hope he enjoys his retirement!!
And a family member of Woody Morgan shares this view from inside the parade of vehicles.

Every night at 8 PM, Roosevelt Island residents stand on their balcony or by their window and Make Some Noise banging pots and pans together

Friday, April 24, 2020

Play The Blues Tony - Roosevelt Island Resident Tony Vita Coronavirus Apartment Music Video, The Legend Begins

It's almost Friday night. For most of us, we've been stuck in our apartments and not gone off Roosevelt Island for at least a month. If there ever was a time, now is it for some Roosevelt Island blues.

Play the Blues Tony Vita!!!!!

Watch out Edge, Bono might bring Tony in for U2's next gig.

Today's Roosevelt Island Update From RIOC - You Can Help With Masks Gloves, Bottle Water Donations For Essential Employees During Coronavirus Pandemic, Virtual Earth Day Activities, Face Covering, Crab & Go Meals, Census & More

Today's update from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

‘What Can I Do?’

It’s a common phrase we hear from Roosevelt Island residents who always look for other ways they can help our essential employees. Some of the ways you can help RIOC essential employees keep the community functioning is by considering donating:

· Masks

· Gloves

· Bottled Water

· Thermometers

· Coffee is also always welcomed, especially on all shifts for our Public Safety Department.

Any donations can be dropped off directly at PSD anytime at 550 Main Street.

Letters of Thanks

We have also received requests from some individuals and organizations on Roosevelt Island about how they can express their thanks to RIOC employees. If you see a RIOC employee, thank them personally. A little encouragement goes a long way, especially these days.

If you would prefer to write a letter or send a card, feel free to do so and drop it off at the Public Safety Department. We will be happy to share it on our website and on our social media pages.

Thank You from RIOC!

And RIOC thanks all of our residents and stakeholders who continue to keep Roosevelt Island safe by obeying all social distancing and face protection guidelines.

Governor Cuomo’s Daily Updates

For anyone who would like to tune into Governor Cuomo’s daily updates, please visit his website:

Thermometers needed

PSD is looking for digital thermometers it can use to perform regular temperature checks for their officers. If you have an extra digital thermometer to spare, please drop it off at the PSD office at 550 Main Street or give them a call at 212-832-4545.

Five for Fifty, Day 3 #EarthLove theme: Trees!

Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Student Neigbors Offer Virtual Tech Assistance To Residents - Make A New Friend And Become A Pen Pal With Cornell Tech Student Too

Our student neighbors at Cornell Tech

are offering virtual assistance to help Roosevelt Island residents with your tech needs. Also, consider becoming a pen pal and make some new friends with Cornell Tech students.

According to Cornell Tech
Cornell Tech students would like to connect virtually with Roosevelt Islanders during this challenging time and have come up with a few ways of doing so:

Virtual Tech Assistance: a few weeks ago Cornell Tech students received a number of “takers” on their offer to provide virtual tech assistance to Roosevelt Island residents. Now the students are back for round two! Perhaps you would like help using your iPad, phone, or laptop. Or, during this time of social isolation, maybe you would like to learn how to connect remotely with family and friends. No matter what it is, the students will do their best to help you. If interested, please email with your name, phone number and a description of the type of help you need. The student organizers will do their best to match you with the student volunteer who can best address your need(s).

Pen Pals: all of us feel some sort of isolation during this stay-at-home time and many of us would love to make new connections – Cornell Tech students included! A number of them are interested in getting to know their Roosevelt Island neighbors better and learning about their families, backgrounds, hobbies, life on Roosevelt Island, etc. And many Roosevelt Islanders are separated from family and friends during this time and are also looking to make connections.

Virtually “meeting” Cornell Tech students and learning about their areas of study, backgrounds, career goals, hobbies, etc. is a way to get to know the students and to make new friends. If having a pen pal interests you, please email with your name, email, and if you would like, a few sentences about yourself! (If you want to participate but do not have an email account, the students can help with that as well. Please call 646-220-1505).
Meet some Cornell Tech students and learn what they do.

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend,- Wear Mask On Tram, Red Bus & All Public Transportation, Stay Home Unless You're Providing An Essential Service Or An Emergency During Coronavirus Pandemic

According to the MTA, there will be Roosevelt Island F Train service to and from Manhattan this weekend.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
Red Buses will continue to run on a Weekend Schedule and the Trams will continue to operate as normal until further notice.

According to Executive Order 202.7, as of 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020 any individual who can medically tolerate a face-covering must cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth when a) in a public place and b) unable to observe proper social distancing guidelines. This includes all forms of public transportation, including the Tram.
Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Roosevelt Island Virtual Zoom Talent Show Tomorrow, Watch Every Friday At 7 PM, Appearing This Week Fabulous Fadner Family, Matt Katz, Fred Gautier & More - Have Fun And Connect With Your Roosevelt Island Neighbors

So, you want to be a local star, or maybe just have a little bit of fun staying home on a Roosevelt Island Friday night during the Coronavirus Pandemic shutdown?

Roosevelt Island resident Kaja Meade reports:
New Week! New Talent Show! Join us as a performer or audience! This regularly scheduled show is open to all Roosevelt Island residents to preform OR watch. The show begins at 7pm Fridays on Zoom.

If you would like to be IN the show preforming your talent: Please sign up here Sign-up Genius

We know that Roosevelt Island's Got Talent! We hope that you will consider joining in this week. We are looking for a number of talents from people of all ages – be as creative as you can! The purpose is to HAVE FUN, and connect with each other as an island community. Professional quality talent is NOT necessary. Ideas include: Singing, Dancing, Cooking, Pet tricks, Origami, Knitting Tutorial and Showcase, Hair Techniques (like French Braid), Makeup Tips, Cooking, Baking, Karate, Rhythmic gymnastics, Magic tricks, Juggling, Dog Tricks, Crafting, Impressions, Comedy, Windowsill Gardening, and more!

Reminder: if you would like to WATCH the show, please join here Zoom Meeting

For updates, check Instagram @rooseveltislandlove
Here's a couple of a talented Roosevelt Island residents, Jazz and Gospel singer Juanita Fleming performs  Get Things Done which she also wrote

and musician.  Chris "Moose" Rohifs new music video - Emergency Contact

Let's see you talent.

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Chief Reports To Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright Virtual Town Hall - Coronavirus Strikes PSD, 2 Officers Die, 2 Others Test Positive And 17 Quarantined - RIOC Asks For Digital Thermometer Donations For Regular Temperature Checks

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department  (PSD) Chief Kevin Brown participated in Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright's April 14 Public Safety Town Hall with NYPD 19th precinct Inspector Kathleen Walsh. According to Ms Seawright:

We held our April 14 virtual Townhall Tuesday on crime and public safety. We heard from our 19th Precinct’s Commanding Officer Inspector Kathleen Walsh and Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s Public Safety Department’s Chief Kevin Brown. Special guests Congresswoman Maloney and Senator Jose Serrano joined the program to bring State and Federal updates.

We paused for a moment of silence in response to the passing of beloved former PSD Chief and former NYPD Assistant Chief Jack McManus, heading the police department’s Operations Division on 9/11. He passed on Monday due to 9/11 related cancer. We also paid tribute to another great loss for the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department, Officer Corey Fischer, who passed from complications related to COVID-19. These two dedicated public servants made extraordinary contributions to their Roosevelt Island and New York City communities and will not soon be forgotten...
Chief Brown reported that 2 Public Safety Officers have tested positive for Coronavirus and 17 officers quarantined because they were in close relationship with the two officers. Both officers who tested positive were in good health and 1 returned to work and the other was expected to return to work soon.

Two Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officers have died of the Coronavirus -  Officer Corey Fisher and Detective Wayne Jones.

Chief Brown noted that PSD is still proving same level of safety and security for residents and Roosevelt Island is:
... probably the safest neighborhood in NYC...
Chief Brown dded that emergency medical responses and trips to hospitals are slightly less now than in prior months. I asked Chief Brown:
... Are there any additional precautions taken by PSD officers who may be entering apartment and in contact with people having Covid 19 on their way to the hospital? Do you have any approximation on how many of these EMS trips to hospital from Roosevelt Island are for Covid 19....

RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley replied:
EMS Calls

The average of EMS calls for the year 2020 is 76. Jan 89 calls

Feb 62 calls

March 78 calls

Our officers are advised that if they receive a call usually for flu-like or Cold Or Pneumonia symptoms they are not to enter the apartment until EMS arrives. If there is a medical emergency such as bleeding or difficulty breathing the officer will assess the situation before going into an apartment unprotected.

We do not have any information on patients who test positive for Coronavirus. That information comes from the hospitals and the Department of Health.
RIOC has requested donations of thermometers for the Public Safety Department.
Thermometers needed
PSD is looking for digital thermometers it can use to perform regular temperature checks for their officers. If you have an extra digital thermometer to spare, please drop it off at the PSD office at 550 Main Street or give them a call at 212-832-4545.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Rent Relief May Be Coming For Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Stores From RIOC And Master Leaseholder Hudson Related But What About The Residential Tenants? RIOC Videoconference Board Meeting April 23 To Discuss Deferring Commercial Lease Payments Among Other Items On Agenda

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Directors will hold a meeting tomorrow, April 23, not in person but by videoconference due to the Coronavirus Pandemic social distancing protocols.

According to RIOC:


* Please keep all comments to below 500 words.

**This is the same form that is used for registering to speak at a RIOC Board Meeting. It has been changed to accept comments from the public.
Among the items on the April 23 RIOC Board Meeting Agenda are:
  • 4. Authorization to Amend the Master Sublease Agreement for Main Street Retail Space with Hudson Related Realty LLC (Board Action Required)
  • 6. Authorization to Amend the License Agreement with Roosevelt Island Racquet Club Associates (Board Action Required)
What is the Main Street Retail Lease and Tennis Club License amendment about?

Roosevelt Island Resident And NYC Emergency Management Dep't CERT Volunteer Frank Farance Reports On Food Bagging Mission Which Became Rescue Mission Of Almost Quarter Million Pounds Of Food During Coronavirus Pandemic

Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance is a long time volunteer with the NYC Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). According to NYCEM

NYC CERT members are dedicated volunteers who undergo a training program that provides basic response skills needed for fire safety, light search and rescue, community disaster support, disaster medical operations, and traffic control.

The volunteer commitment is for at least one year of service following graduation....
Mr Farance shown in photo below on right with other CERT members shares these photos and reports on a recent CERT Food Bagging mission which turned into a Food Saving mission during the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. According to Mr Farance:

This Originally Started as a "Food Bagging" Operation

There are almost a dozen CDP (Commodity Distribution Point) operations around the City, which involve trucks/pallets of food (of various menu/packaging types) and an on-site partnership of the City's Parks Department, National Guard,

other City Agencies, and CERTs. This operation is different. The deployment request called it a Food Bagging operation, including separating food into compost, tossing stale food, and salvaging what we could from the boxes.

The operation was at Pier 36 (downtown on South Street) at Basketball City, which abuts the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) facility.

After scavenging for items in the 27,400 boxes (or as much as we could get through that day), the 274 pallets

RIRA Youth Committee Chair Develops Art History Lessons For Roosevelt Island Students And Families During Coronavirus School Shutdown, 2nd Lesson On Delphic Sibyl By Michelangelo - Cornell Tech Computer Science, Beacon Virtual Classroom, Music Play Station & Island Om Yoga Programs Available Too

Last week we began a Roosevelt Island Art History Lesson Program developed by Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Children, Youth & Education Committee Chair Adib Mansour. The first lesson focused on the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. This week will be Lesson 2 focusing on the Delphic Sibyl, Michelangelo Buonarroti.

According to Mr Mansour:

I believe the students on the island as well as their parents /caretakers, are searching for activities to share with their children at home.

My idea is to provide parents / caretakers and the youth of this beautiful island educational outlets with fun activities. These consist of easy to learn facts, easy for the youth to learn on their own or with the help of the families / caretakers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Long Time Roosevelt Island Resident And Jazz/Gospel Singer Juanita Fleming Performs Uplifting Get Things Done Song In Her Apartment During Coronavirus Pandemic Self Quarantine

Juanita Fleming is a long time Roosevelt Island resident as well as a talented Jazz and Gospel singer.

Image From You Tube Video

Ms Fleming's daughter, Rosha Gomez-Powell, who grew up on Roosevelt Island, reports that her mom wrote and performed Get Things Done during the Coronavirus Pandemic:
While COVID19 has taken center stage of the world, artists, like Juanita Fleming, are finding their own unique way to share positive music during this uncertain time. The call to find a collective voice to 'get things done' as a society and mantra for the whole world is so appropriate for today. Performed by Ms. Fleming during self-quarantine on Roosevelt island, NYC April 2020
Here's uplifting music video of Get Things Done written and performed by Roosevelt Island resident Juanita Fleming. Ms Flemming refers to the song as The Stand Together Song.

Ms Gomez Powell adds:

Who Are The People At Coler, Our Roosevelt Island Neighbors Who Need Help - We Will Not Let Coronavirus Win Says Coler Resident

Reported last Thursday that Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and Roosevelt Island Friends Of Coler delivered much needed Face shields, N95 respirators, surgical masks, and gloves to protect our neighbors at the Coler Nursing Facility from the Coronavirus.

Andrew Oliver, the Executive Director of Do For One organization, introduces us to some of are neighbors who make Coler their home. According to Mr. Oliver:
Valuable Lives in the Shadow of COVID-19

I may have never stepped foot on Roosevelt Island had I not met Ralph. He was talking to people on Fulton Street, in Brooklyn, and asking for money. I assumed he was homeless. I asked, “Where do you live?” His eyes lit up: “Roosevelt Island. You take the F train to get there!” He was eager to jot down the directions for me on a torn piece of paper. I felt stuck. Was I to visit him?

So I was. A few days later I exited the island’s F train station and took the red bus toward the lighthouse. Next to it was Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility, where Ralph lived. His gratitude of having a visitor overflowed into a spontaneous prayer, “Lord, thank you for my friend who came to visit me!”

I now call Roosevelt Island home and lead a small program called Do For One. We build supportive and lasting relationships for people with developmental disabilities. One of the first relationships was when I invited Luis to become Ralph’s helper and friend. Luis visited Ralph regularly. Together they built a community of Coler residents who played dominoes around a table in one of the day rooms. Luis says, “I consider myself a no nonsense kind of guy and I feel like he was the same way. It made me feel comfortable. It was a simple relationship, and even out of that simplicity a lot was being exchanged.”

Monday, April 20, 2020

Air Force Plane Spotted Flying Very Low Over Roosevelt Island, Astoria, LIC And East River Waterfront - Frightens Some Observers

Roosevelt Island Social Media report:

Cornell Tech Urban Studies Post Doc Asks If Roosevelt Island Boudaries & Community Resilience In Time Of Coronavirus Crisis May Serve As Example For Future Policy In Preventing, Coping And Managing Spread Of Infectious Disease

NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo hopes that we have learned lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic and will be able to build a better society because of it.

Sharon Yavo Ayalon. PhD. Architect, Postdoctoral Associate at Cornell Tech begins to raise some interesting issues that may be part of future lessons learned for Roosevelt Island and other urban areas in this excerpt from her article below:
... at a time when urban boundaries are redrawn for numerous reasons, the relative resilience of Roosevelt Island’s local community in this time of crisis may serve as an example for future urban development and policy.

... the definition of clear urban boundaries may prove key to preventing and coping with the spread of infectious diseases, or at least play a role in managing the process of getting ‘back to normal.’ Living on Roosevelt Island reminds me of the capacity of social boundaries to contribute to community resilience....
Here's the full article from Sharon Yavo Avalon:
The Healing Capacity of Urban Boundaries

As I write these lines while working remotely from my 23rd floor apartment on Cornell-Tech’s Roosevelt Island campus, I gaze out at the surreal emptiness of the Queensboro Bridge during the COVID19 outbreak. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, a handful of go-getters are taking a morning walk on the water promenade, and the tram just left the terminal. Though we live in the most contaminated city in the world in these hectic times, with incessant news reports and risk alerts and constant speculation on social media, it is almost as if nothing has changed. The water barrier remains a wall separating the island from the rest of the city’s stream of infections and horrifying statistics – perhaps not in a medical sense, as we cannot truly be isolated from the virus, but in a social sense, highlighting a different aspect of the capacity of urban boundaries to protect a community. And I wonder: Might these well-defined boundaries offer sort of insight toward demarcating a route of egress from this pandemic?

Sunday, April 19, 2020

A Lovely Sunny Spring Day To Be Out On Roosevelt Island This Sunday But Please Keep Your Social Distance And Wear Masks When Outside For Your Protection And Others

It was a beautiful sunny spring Sunday today and some Roosevelt Island ladies were out at the Cornell Cafe with their masks on and practicing social distancing from each other.

Image From Vicki Feinmel

Social distancing at Roosevelt Island FDR 4 Freedoms Park too.

But some people were not wearing masks outdoors and walking a bit to close to others.

More Sad News, 24 Year Veteran Of The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Detective Wayne Jones Dies From Coronavirus, Condolences To His Family, Friends & Colleagues - Second Member Of PSD To Die From Coronavirus

More terribly sad news from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC). A second member of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department has died from the Coronavirus.

According to RIOC today:

The Passing of Detective Wayne Jones

We regret to inform you of the passing of Detective Wayne Jones, a 24-year veteran of the Public Safety Department (PSD). He leaves behind a wife and two children. He was an integral part of the department and he will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege to know him and work with him.

Detective Jones is the second PSD member to pass away from the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please keep Detective Jones, Officer Corey Fischer, and all those affected by this pandemic in your thoughts and prayers.
Condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Officer Jones

What Stores Are Open For Pick Up And Food Delivery On Roosevelt Island During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

Roosevelt Island's Piccolo Trattoria Pizza restaurant had closed last week but today I spoke with owner Oscar

who reports that they will be open Tuesday - Sunday for take out and delivery only during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Order here or call (212) 753-2300

Other Roosevelt Island take out and delivery food options include:

Nisi Kitchen - (212) 752-1517