Saturday, May 2, 2020

Sunny Skies And Warm Saturday On Roosevelt Island Today Brought People Outdoors For Fresh Air And Relaxation - Were People Social Distancing And Wearing Face Coverings To Fight Coronavirus?

According to the NY Times today:
On the second day of May, New Yorkers were greeted with sunny skies and the warmest weekend so far this spring. People got up off their couch, put on their shoes, donned their face coverings, and left their cramped houses and apartments for the nearest park — desperate for fresh air and a little exercise....
What was Roosevelt Island like on this beautiful sunny Saturday. Were people social distancing and wearing face coverings? The Twitterverse reported:

I walked up and down Roosevelt Island today from Lighthouse Park to FDR 4 Freedoms Park. My impression was the great majority of people were social distancing and wearing face coverings. Residents told me that the NY State Police were handing out face coverings at Southpoint Park to those not wearing face coverings.

It appeared that alot of visitors were enjoying Roosevelt Island's open space and parks today based upon the number of cars looking for parking spaces near the Cornell Tech campus and Citibike riders I saw. As the weather continues to get nicer, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp is going to have to come up with some plan for controlling the number of visitors to Roosevelt Island.

Heres are some scenes today from Lighthouse Park

FDR 4 Freedoms Park

Friday, May 1, 2020

Cancel Rent Protest Sign Displayed From Queensboro Bridge This Morning Seen From Roosevelt Island Tram - RIOC Agrees To Work With Hudson Related To Help Roosevelt Island Commercial Tenants Defer Rent During Coronavirus Pandemic But Nothing For Residential Tenants

According to NY Times article today:

As unemployment soars across the country, tenants rights groups and community nonprofits have rallied around an audacious goal: to persuade the government to halt rent and mortgage payments — without back payments accruing — for as long as the economy is battered by the coronavirus....
The Queensboro Bridge was the site

this morning for protest signage by the Cancel Rent movement

as seen from the Roosevelt Island Tram

How does the Cancel Rent movement impact Roosevelt Island?

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, E Train Too But No Subway Service At All From 1 To 5 AM Each Day So Trains Can Be Disinfected- 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. E Train service too.

But NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday no system wide subway service from 1 to 5 AM every day.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Red Buses will continue to run on a Weekend Schedule until further notice.

The Roosevelt Island Tramway will be closed from 1:00 AM until 6:00 AM to ensure that disinfecting measures can be performed. Regular tram service will resume at 6:00 AM each day and continue until 1:00 AM the following morning. These early morning closures will continue each day until further notice.
A resident asked:
How will essential workers get off and to the Island with both Tram and subway closed half of the night?

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Wow, Wow Wow, - Incredible Video From Air Force Thunderbird Cockpit Flying Over Roosevelt Island, NYC East River Waterfront & Brooklyn Bridge With Blue Angels Honoring Coronavirus Health Care Workers And First Responders April 28

Here's the view looking up from Roosevelt Island rooftop and ground.

It's Snowing Pink Cherry Blossoms On Roosevelt Island Promenade

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse;

Some more Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom from this year.

More here.

Mayor de Blasio Announces Free Coronavirus Face Coverings To Be Given Out At NYC Parks This Weekend, But Not On Roosevelt Island - RIOC Discussing Possibility Of Distributing Masks, Reserves Right To Close Any Public Space When Social Distancing & Face Covering Guidelines Not Being Met

Reported previously that the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) closed Southpoint Park last Saturday afternoon because RIOC determined social distancing practices were not being maintained within the park and a number of people were not wearing face coverings. RIOC did not provide any metrics regarding the number of people who were not complying with these safety protocols.

According to RIOC:

Maintaining Social Distancing

The weather is getting nicer and the draw of the outdoors is getting stronger as the news about the pandemic slowly grows more encouraging. Although we want everyone to enjoy our public spaces, everyone must do so responsibly. That means you must wear a mask or a cloth covering your mouth and nose in public. You must also maintain a social distance of at least six feet whenever possible to cut down on the possibility of infection.

Unfortunately, we had to close Southpoint Park over the weekend because people were not adhering to social distancing guidelines. It is a drastic step we do not take lightly, but one we will take again if another unsafe situation arises.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that free face coverings will be distributed at NYC Parks beginning this weekend.

But not at any Roosevelt Island parks as shown on this map - the closest is Queensbridge Park across the East River in Long Island City.

I asked RIOC President Susan Rosenthal and RIOC Directors
Mayor de Blasio announced today that NYC will be giving out free face coverings at local parks.

But no park on Roosevelt island is listed as distributing face coverings. Here's link.

Will RIOC distribute face coverings at Roosevelt Island parks to avoid closing Southpoint and Lighthouse Park as was done last Saturday?

Any comment?
RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley replied:
RIOC reserves the right to close any public space when social distancing and guidelines pertaining to masks/face coverings are not being met. We are in the process of discussing the possibility of mask / face covering distribution with the governor’s office and other stakeholders.
Roosevelt Island residents can be creative with their face masks.

Unlikely that any masks from NYC or RIOC will have such nice smiles.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Doughy Delivers Tasty Fresh Baked Bread, Croissants, Cookies & More Special Treats From Pain D'Avignon Bakery Every Day To Your Roosevelt Island Home - Yum

Doughy is a new service that delivers Pain d'Avignon Bread to Roosevelt Island - yes that's true, a delivery service of a quality product that actually comes to Roosevelt Island.

Doughy was founded by new Roosevelt Island resident Adrian Di Felice. According to Mr Di Felice:
Our mission is to bring the best fresh bread and baked goods to Roosevelt Island. (Personally, when I moved here around January I felt like: What an amazing place, It would be just perfect if there were more food options!) I considered opening a bakery on Main Street, but the empty storefronts didn't inspire any confidence.

My wife's family comes from the "bakery world" and are very close to Pain d'Avignon. I know them well and they have roots on Roosevelt Island, one owner and Head Baker lives here with his family for many years.

They are committed to helping the community by delivering bread daily. It's an incredible opportunity to get their amazing bread delivered home (usually reserved for chefs and restaurants) while supporting their bakers.

Pain d'Avignon is the bread and soul, is the online platform.

According to the Doughy web site:

Any Hand Sanitizer, Cleaning Supplies, Fresh Fruit/Vegetables, Meat, Favorite Beer and Other Essential Items In Stock At Roosevelt Island Stores Right Now - Try Out New OurStreets Supplies Crowdsourcing App To Help Yourself And Neighbors Find Available Store Products

A new crowdsourcing app from OurStreets may help Roosevelt Island residents know when items like hand sanitizers (available today from Foodtown)

fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, toilet paper, disinfectant wipes and other essential items are available at our local Roosevelt Island stores - Foodtown Supermarket, Wholesome Market, Duane Reade and Bread & Butter Deli during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Or, nearby such as Costco in Long Island City among others.  OurStreets CEO Mark Sussman explains the basic concept for the free Supplies app:
When you go to the store to get the essentials you need during COVID-19, you report to the app what you were able to find.

Others are then able to find the OurStreets report you made either in the app or on our online map that helps them figure out which store they should visit to get the supplies they need, while helping everyone social distance
and watch this video to learn more.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Long Time Roosevelt Island Resident Carl Weisbrod Named Co Chair Of Mayor de Blasio's Fair Recovery Task Force To Build Stronger, Safer & Fairer NYC Economy Post Coronavirus Pandemic

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio named Roosevelt Island resident Carl Weisbrod as Co-Chair of the Fair Recovery Task Force.

According to the Mayor's Office:

Civic leaders from diverse backgrounds will help the City formulate a broader post-crisis recovery effort that builds a stronger, safer, and fairer economy and society. In the beginning of June, the task force will put forward a recovery road map that will inform the City’s recovery efforts. They will continue to support the City over the course of the recovery and adjust the roadmap to meet new challenges.
Members of the Fair Recovery Task Force include:
  • Patrick Gaspard, President, Open Society Foundation
  • Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
  • Richard Ravitch, Former Lieutenant Governor of New York State
  • Carl Weisbrod, Senior Advisor, HR&A Advisors
  • Henry Garrido, Executive Director, DC37
  • Maria Torres Springer, Vice President for US Programs, Ford Foundation
  • Liz Neumark, CEO, Great Performances
  • Fred Wilson, Partner, Union Square Ventures
According to Mr Weisbrod's HRA bio:

Citibike Sharing Expanding To Roosevelt Island This Spring, Join Virtual Town Hall April 29 To Learn About Plans For Roosevelt Island Docking Stations Coming This Spring - Also, Take A Video Bike Tour Of Roosevelt Island

Citibike is hosting a Zoom Virtual Town Hall Meeting tomorrow on upcoming NYC expansion including coming to Roosevelt Island.

Sign up here to participate in the Citibike Town Hall and:receive a:
Free Day Pass code for all attendees: Exp. 12/31/20
Take a tour of Roosevelt Island by bicycle including interesting commentary on the good and bad including pathway conditions for bike riding.on the waterfront promenade:
... which is not suitable for bike riding...

US Navy Blue Angels & Air Force Thunderbirds NYC Flyover Seen From Roosevelt Island Rooftop - Purpose Was To Salute Healthcare Workers, First Responders & Other Essential Personnel, What Do You Think?

Roosevelt Island rooftop was moderately crowded this afternoon from 12 -12:30 PM with building residents looking up into the sky watching for the US Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds fly over our part of NYC.

Here's what it looked like.

As reported yesterday, according to the US Defense Department:

In a show of national solidarity, the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and the Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, will conduct a series of multi-city flyovers over the next two weeks.

America Strong is a collaborative salute from the Navy and Air Force to recognize healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic....

UPDATE 4:40 PM - Some more views of the flyover seen from Roosevelt Island.

Monday, April 27, 2020

People, Wear Your Face Masks And Maintain Social Distance Outside Or Roosevelt Island Parks And Public Spaces Will Close Says RIOC

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon this past weekend, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) closed Southpoint Park because as described by RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley:

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’ve asked PSD for details about today’s incident.
I asked Mr McCauley for an update today:
Any more details as to why Southpoint Park was closed Saturday. How many people were there.
Mr McCauley replied:
Not an exact count, but given the number of people who were not adhering to social distancing and face protection guidelines, we had no choice but to close the park. We will continue to close it and other public spaces when social distancing rules are not being observed.
A Roosevelt Island observer shares this photo showing:
... the number of people yesterday (Saturday) who were on the island without masks, including many joggers & bikers who came right alongside me. I took photos of a few people who were in public clearly not wearing masks.

I think it's worth noting that yesterday I also saw one person (without a mask) spit into the air in front of the deli and another woman sneezed into the air near Foodtown. Might be good for people to be aware that things like this still happen in public and no one should be making assumptions that it's safe.
According to NY State Andrew Cuomo's April 15 Executive Order:
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced he will issue an Executive Order requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on public transportation. The Executive Order will go into effect on Friday, April 17th....

US Navy Blue Angels & Air Force Thunderbirds Flyover New York City Tomorrow April 28 To Recognize Health Care Workers, First Responders And Other Essential Personnel During Coronavirus Pandemic - Roosevelt Island Will Have A Perfect View

 According to the US Department of Defense:

In a show of national solidarity, the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and the Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, will conduct a series of multi-city flyovers over the next two weeks.

America Strong is a collaborative salute from the Navy and Air Force to recognize healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re excited to fly over cities across America as our way of saying thanks to the healthcare workers, first responders, and all the people who selflessly run into the breach working to keep America strong,” said Gen. Dave Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Adm. Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “This is also our way of showing that we are all in this together and that America’s spirit will prevail.”

The two demonstration teams will fly over areas of the country hardest hit by COVID-19, starting next week as both joint and individual team flights occurring every one-to-two days until mid-May....
The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds will be flying over New York City tomorrow from noon to 12:40 and we on Roosevelt Island will have a great view.

RIRA Youth Committee Chair Develops Art History Lessons For Roosevelt Island Students And Families During Coronavirus School Shutdown, 3rd Lesson A View Of Toledo By El Greco - Cornell Tech Computer Science, Beacon Virtual Classroom, Music Play Station & Island Om Yoga Programs Available Too

Earlier this month we began a Roosevelt Island Art History Lesson Program developed by Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Children, Youth & Education Committee Chair Adib Mansour:

Lesson 3 this week will be on A View of Toledo, by El Greco 1604 -14. 

According to Mr Mansour:

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossoms Past Their Peak But Some Still Blooming Beautifully On East River Promenade - Thankfully, No Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival Their Year, Watch Video To Relive The Dangerous Overcrowding

The Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossoms have peaked for the most part but some are still in bloom and are beautiful like these seen on the East River Promenade across from the Cornel Tech campus.

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse shows us more of the Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossoms

Roosevelt Island Geese With Baby Goslings Take A Stroll Near Southpoint Park - Wildlife Needs To Walk Around Too

A family of Geese with baby Goslings were strolling Roosevelt Island the other day

and resident Moose shares this up close video of our wildlife neighbors.
Goslings on Roosevelt Island

Oh, to be a young gosling again! Every spring we have a new batch of baby geese come to Roosevelt Island near Southpoint Park. Here are a few videos my wife took of the latest bunch on her morning walks. Don't worry--she kept her distance! It just looks close up because of zooming & cropping.

Here's more on Roosevelt Island wildlife.