Saturday, May 23, 2020

Roosevelt Island's Got Talent & MST&DA Present Virtual Variety Show Featuring Our Local Talent Sunday May 24 - Join The Fun & Join The Community On Zoom

Roosevelt Island resident Kaja Meade reports:

Thank you for all your ongoing support! We hope you are doing as well as possible this week. As you might have heard, we've moved the Talent Show to every other week on Sundays at 5pm.

We hope you are able to join us for this week's line-up. As an extra measure of Zoom security, we've added a registration step before you log on.

You should only have to do this once. Let us know if you have any questions.


You can also find Zoom link on Instagram in bio.

Best wishes.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Children's Theatre Spring Musical The Wind In The Willow Goes Virtual - RSVP Now For Live Streaming Performances May 29, 30 & 31

The Roosevelt Island's Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) Children's Theatre Spring Musical is going virtual this year due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. You're invited to sign up here for the live streaming premiere of The Wind In The Willows.

According to MST&DA:
MST&DA is reinventing their Children’s Theatre spring musical performance to adjust to the limitations that have been brought on by the Covid-19 Pandemic. This program has been running for almost 40 years and is the largest performing arts educational program on Roosevelt Island. MST&DA will be presenting a virtual performance for the first time of their brand new MST&DA Children’s Theatre Spring Musical, “The Wind in the Willows Movie Project” written by Jonathan and Kimbirdlee Fadner.

Here's a sneak peek at The Wind in The Willows with a song performed by Jonathan and Kimbirdlee Fadner.

MST&DA adds:
  • Friday, May 29, 7pm: CAST 1
  • Saturday, May 30th, 7pm: CAST 2
  • Sunday, May 31st, 7pm: CAST 3

Sponsored Post - Here's What Can You Do To Help Roosevelt Island And NYC During the Coronavirus Covid 19 Pandemic, Fill Out The 2020 US Census Right Now - Roosevelt Island Self Response Rate Varies For Northtown, WIRE & Southtown Buidlings But NYC Behind The National Average

Roosevelt Island residents are asking what they can do to help during the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic?

One easy, yet very important task to help all New Yorkers, is to fill out the 2020 US Census

Roosevelt Island has 3 Census Tracks. The Roosevelt Island self response rate is below.

See the full map at

See the full map at

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Help Roosevelt Island and all of NYC by filling out the 2020 Census right now.

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend, Tram Cabin Limited To 13 Passengers To Ensure Social Distancing - 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:
ELECTRICAL IMPROVEMENTS May 22 - 25, Fri 9:45 PM to Mon 1 AM (No subway service overnight between 1 AM and 5 AM) Brooklyn-bound F trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av to 5 Av/53 St

Trains resume regular service at 47-50 Sts.

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

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
Tram Passenger Limits

In an effort to ensure social distancing and reduce spreading COVID-19, the Roosevelt Island Tram will be limited to a maximum of thirteen (13) passengers until further notice. POMA, the tram’s operator, has installed social distancing decals on the tram cabin to inform passengers how far away they should be standing from each other. Please note that the number of passengers may be changed in response to COVID-19 infection rates.

We ask all passengers to continue to wear masks or face coverings in public where social distancing cannot be practiced. The Tram remains closed from 1:00 AM until 6:00 AM to ensure that disinfecting measures can be performed on the cabins. Regular tram service resumes at 6:00 AM each day and continue until 1:00 AM the following morning.

Red Buses will continue to run on a Weekend Schedule until further notice.
Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket May 22-28 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons & Social Media Facebook And Instagram Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket

invites you to check out their May 22 - May 28 Weekly Flyer for  Product Offerings, Specials & Sales items.

Click here to visit the Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket web site for online shopping, delivery options, digital coupons, weekly flyer and more.

Follow Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket on Facebook

Thursday, May 21, 2020

RIOC Roosevelt Island Community Update - Enjoy Outdoor Public Space During Memorial Day Weekend But Observe Social Distancing, Wear Mask When You Can't, Public BBQ Grill Will Be Removed, 13 Passenger Tram Limit, Mask & Hand Sanitizer Giveaway May 26, Saturday Farmers Market Open & More

Here's May 21 Community Update from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

Here is the latest update from New York State for May 21, 2020

Enjoying Memorial Day While On PAUSE

Memorial Day is a special time when we honor those who committed the ultimate sacrifice for our country. This year, as we continue to face the threat that COVID-19 poses to our community, let us also commit to doing everything we can to ensure we remain as safe as possible over the long holiday weekend.

When enjoying our many beautiful public spaces (the promenades along the East River, Lighthouse Park, Meditation Lawn, Meditation Steps, Good Shepherd Plaza, Blackwell Park, Riverwalk Commons, Southpoint Park and FDR Four Freedoms State Park), please remember to maintain social distancing whenever possible.

Wear a mask or face covering whenever you cannot maintain a safe distance of at least six feet from someone else.

Avoid gathering in groups of more than ten people. In order to discourage large gatherings, all public grills will be removed while NYC remains on PAUSE.

By working together, we can do our part to help make everyone safer. RIOC wishes all Roosevelt Island residents and their families a safe, happy and healthy Memorial Day weekend.

Tram Passenger Limits

In an effort to ensure social distancing and reduce spreading COVID-19, the Roosevelt Island Tram will be limited to a maximum of thirteen (13) passengers until further notice. POMA, the tram’s operator, has installed social distancing decals on the tram cabin to inform passengers how far away they should be standing from each other. Please note that the number of passengers may be changed in response to COVID-19 infection rates.

We ask all passengers to continue to wear masks or face coverings in public where social distancing cannot be practiced. The Tram remains closed from 1:00 AM until 6:00 AM to ensure that disinfecting measures can be performed on the cabins. Regular tram service resumes at 6:00 AM each day and continue until 1:00 AM the following morning.

Mask and Hand Sanitizer Giveaway from Mayor’s Office and Assemblymember Seawright

Everyone is invited to come to Good Shepherd Plaza on Tuesday, May 26th from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM to receive a free face mask from the Public Safety Department (courtesy of the NYC Mayor’s Office) and free hand sanitizer from Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright. Everyone will be required to observe social distancing procedures. A special thank you for Lynne Shinozaki, Joyce Short and Andrew Kunkes, Manhattan Borough Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs.

PSD and RIOC also wish to thank the following people for their continued generosity in donating hand sanitizer and masks during the COVID-19 crisis:

NYS Senator Jose Serrano
Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright
Councilmember Ben Kallos

Farmers Market Resumes This Saturday

The Farmers Market will resume this Saturday in Good Shepherd Plaza from 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Please note the new start time. Click here for more information:

Note: there will be NO Food Scrap Drop Off collection. If you wish for the Compost Program to return, please follow @SaveNYCCompost on twitter for more information.

NY Forward – Reopening NYC and Roosevelt Island

When will New York City reopen? The best place for information is the New York Forward Regional Monitoring Dashboard, which can be found by clicking here:

As of this morning, the NYC region only meets 4 out of the 7 criteria to begin reopening. Please refer to the dashboard regularly for the very latest information.

Reopening RIOC

The region may still be closed due to COVID-19, but RIOC is already working with Governor Cuomo’s office on a plan to safely reopen our offices as soon as possible. Please watch future RIOC Advisories for the latest information on this effort.

Tikkit Helps RIOC Help You

Tikkit is not just the best way for the public to report a problem, it also helps RIOC do a better job. Every time you use Tikkit to report a problem, it is forwarded to the appropriate department for handling. That department is accountable for making sure the problem is addressed as soon as possible. This data helps give us a live picture of our strengths and weaknesses, which help us serve you better.

Tikkit is easy to use from your smartphone or computer and even allows you to attach a photo of the problem. It’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Click here to get started.

Motorgate Changes Coming in Early June

Due to ongoing Motorgate repair work, significant parking and traffic pattern changes will be coming to the north sections of 5B, 6B, 7B and 8B in early June 2020. Please keep an eye out for signs and obey posted speed limits.

RIOC Sets 13 Passenger Limit On Roosevelt Island Tram To Ensure Social Distancing And Reduce Spreading Covid -19, No Tram Boarding Priority For Roosevelt Island Residents And Workers

This morning, I noticed signage at the Roosevelt Island Tram Station limiting cabin passengers to 13 people

and asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
When did that start.

Has there been issue with overcrowding on Tram?

Will Roosevelt Island residents and workers have any priority over others to board the Tram.

Are bikes currently allowed on tram. And Citibike?

Also noticed the shoe disinfectant pad at tram station. Any info on it?
This afternoon, RIOC sent out an Advisory reporting:
... Tram Passenger Limits

In an effort to ensure social distancing and reduce spreading COVID-19, the Roosevelt Island Tram will be limited to a maximum of thirteen (13) passengers until further notice. POMA, the tram’s operator, has installed social distancing decals on the tram cabin to inform passengers how far away they should be standing from each other. Please note that the number of passengers may be changed in response to COVID-19 infection rates.

We ask all passengers to continue to wear masks or face coverings in public where social distancing cannot be practiced. The Tram remains closed from 1:00 AM until 6:00 AM to ensure that disinfecting measures can be performed on the cabins. Regular tram service resumes at 6:00 AM each day and continue until 1:00 AM the following morning.....
RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley adds:
As more people begin to use the tram, POMA thought it best to limit the number of passengers to decrease the possibility of spreading COVID-19. Bikes may not be allowed on the tram at the operator’s discretion due to the number of passengers at the time. The shoe pad is for the use of Tram staff, but any members of the public who wish to use it should ask a Tram staff member first.

As we have said numerous times in the past, the Tram is part of a public transportation network and will remain available for all members of the public to use.
Image Of Roosevelt Island Tram Station Shoe Disinfectant Station
There is no Roosevelt Island F Train Service to Manhattan this Memorial Day Weekend.

Roosevelt Island Residents Work Together To Bring Food Scrap Compost Drop Off Collection Bin Back, You Can Help By Taking Survey, Sign Petition, Submit Testimony And Pick Up A Shovel

Roosevelt Islanders were very happy with the return of our Saturday Farmers Market to Good Shepherd Plaza last week. But, many were disappointed that the Roosevelt Island Grow NYC Food Scrap Drop Off Collection Bin

did not return as well due to NYC Coronavirus Budget cuts. According to the NYC Department of Sanitation:
In the face of economic hardship, and to ensure the City can continue to devote resources to essential safety, health, and shelter, and food security needs, the New York City Department of Sanitation announced the suspension of the curbside composting program, beginning May 4, 2020. During the suspension, any food scraps and yard waste set out for composting will be collected as trash. The suspension is currently planned through June 30, 2021...
A Roosevelt Island resident asked yesterday:
I’m reaching out regarding the compost area that would be set up every Saturday by GrowNYC. I was wondering if the island “paper” could look further into this to try and get it back. I’m sure many people like myself miss composting.
Efforts are being made to bring food scrap composting back to Roosevelt Island and you can help.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Roosevelt Island Restaurants Begin To Open With Take Out And Delivery Only - Is Social Distance Outdoor Seating Possible For Roosevelt Island Restaurants During Coronavirus Pandemic?

Several of the Roosevelt Island shops that temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus Pandemic have recently re-opened or are planning to soon resume limited service. Today the Jupioca Juice Bar opened

and the Liukoushui Hot Pot Noodle Shop opened earlier this week. Fuji East Japanese Restaurant and China 1 have signs in their window that they will open June 1.

Piccolo Trattoria Pizza restaurant


and Subway Sandwich shop have reopened recently.

Nisi Restaurant

and Cafe@Cornell Tech did not close.

But all the restaurants are take out or delivery only for now. No indoor seating.

Today, I asked Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder Hudson Related's David Kramer and Shops On Main Street representatives:

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

An Anthem For Roosevelt Island Community, Let's Stand Together To Get Things Done - Watch This Wonderful Music Video Tribute To Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island Make Some Noise Facebook Group Founder Karine Wong reports:

Thanks to all of you friends and neighbors, for being the beating heart of this wonderful community and for making our island the safe place we call Home! I had a lot of fun putting this video together and I hope you'll enjoy it. Thank You to our amazing island resident Juanita Fleming for allowing me to use her song "Stand Together". I think it should be our Roosevelt Island Anthem for many years to come.

We are friends and neighbors...
We are a community...
We are in it TOGETHER !

"The healthcare workers, aid workers and all those people who keep our country running are currently fighting the corona virus Covid-19 day and night. They literally fight for our lives and our society. This is worth a big and loud applause."

Stand on your balcony or behind your window and clap your hands or bang on pots and pans for 2 minutes, starting at 8:00 p.m. every night.

Make some noise Roosevelt Island so these hard workers can hear us.

Click full screen icon at bottom right of video for better viewing.

Learn more about long time Roosevelt Island resident and jazz and gospel singer Juanitia Fleming at this prior post and her Facebook page.

Roosevelt Island, Make Some Noise from your window or balcony every night at 8 PM

Local Resident Dreaming Of Post-RIOC Roosevelt Island Starts Petition Drive Seeking Better, More Inclusive Community Governance - Says Covid 19 Crisis Has Only Exacerbated RIOC Incompetence & Neglect

Here's the Petition
Roosevelt Island has been home to many, many wonderful people, families and organizations over the years. Unfortunately, it has also been home to chronic government neglect, inefficiency, corruption and worse. The people of Roosevelt Island have no say in how their public spaces are used, what developments are undertaken in their community and how public services are delivered and governed.

This situation has only been exacerbated during the COVID-19 crisis, as the non-resident RIOC administration and staff have departed the island, but not before closing 80% of our public and green spaces to public use, leaving behind only the numerous PSD officers to risk their lives to implement an ill-advised and impossible charge.

It is about time that the people of Roosevelt Island took charge of this island for themselves, and made it a better place to live for families, kids, students, immigrants, seniors and the differently abled. While we do not know the exact form this political solution will take, we should know that we have made do without local political representation and governance for long enough. We need to start the discussion about what the post-RIOC future of Roosevelt Island looks like NOW.

If you are interested in being a part of this discussion, please sign this petition! We welcome any and all comers!

(Disclaimer: This petition is unaffiliated with any formal institution, organization and/or commercial entity. It is supported only by individuals acting in their personal capacity as residents or other stakeholders of the island.)
If you agree, you can sign the Petition here.

Long Time Roosevelt Island Resident Ivens Stanton Passed Away April 22 - Condolences To His Family, Friends & Neighbors

Julia Chang-Stanton and the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation share news on the passing of Ivens Stanton.

Dear Friends & Neighbors:

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the April 22 passing of our good friend & neighbor, very-long-time Roosevelt Islander, Ivens Stanton, husband of Julia Chang-Stanton.

For over 40 years, Ivens was a very active member of the RI community, as well as the RI Jewish Congregation, always engaging with everyone of all ages. He was a "fixture" all around the Island too, scholarly, with a quick wit, great sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye, with Julia always by his side.

Ivens helped form the Westview Task Force and as a WTI Director, he continued to make significant contributions to the organization. As President of the RI Community Literary Associates, Ivens was instrumental in making the RI Community Library the 85th branch of NYPL. Ivens was an avid tennis player and was a member of RI Tennis Association. He took pride in gardening, especially his roses and tomatoes and was a member of the RI Garden Club. Ivens and Julia often shared ice cream sitting outside Coach Scot’s Main Street Sweets where he had fond memories visiting with friends and neighbors.

The recent obituary for Ivens in Sunday's New York Times can be read here; as you will see he was a man of many accomplishments.

Monday, May 18, 2020

NYC Health Department Releases Coronavirus Zip Code And Demographic Data - 31 Deaths On Roosevelt Island

The NYC Health Department today released more detailed demographic information about how Coronavirus is affecting NYC.

According to NYC Health Department:
The data presented on these pages reflect the most recent information the Health Department has collected about people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in NYC. In March, April and early May, we had discouraged people with mild and moderate symptoms from being tested, so our data primarily represent people with more severe illness.
This page includes data visualizations. To view the data as csv files, click here to visit our Github repository.

Unless otherwise noted, all of the below information was collected by the NYC Health Department. The data on these pages will be updated daily. All data are preliminary and subject to change...

... The number of reported confirmed cases per ZIP code may be affected by that area’s population size, access to health care and access to testing. For example, an area with a low total case number but a high percent of positive cases could reflect more people with mild symptoms not getting tested.
The data reports 31 Coronavirus deaths on Roosevelt Island zip code 10044.

Gothamist has a Coronavirus interactive neighborhood map but does not include Roosevelt Island at this time. According to the map, nearby Astoria/Long Island City 11106 Zip Code has a much lower death rate (106.04) per 100,000

than Roosevelt Island (264.95).

I've asked the Mayor's Office:
Do the statistics for 10044 include Coler Nursing and Roosevelt Medical patients.

I’m trying to find out how many people on Roosevelt Island died and tested positive for Coronavirus that are not patients at Coler or the Medical Center.
More data from NYC Health Department here.

Will update when more info available.

Roosevelt Island Robbery Of Computer Equipment Yesterday - Suspect Arrested

The Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Report listed:

05/17/2020 – 2205 – F/O 549 Main Street – Grand Larceny – PSD/NYPD responded – Referred to  NYPD.
According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley:
A victim was robbed of personal property during a transaction over computer equipment. One suspect was apprehended. No weapon was used. The 114th Precinct is investigating.

Roosevelt Island Residents Very Happy Saturday Farmers Market Reopened After Closed Last 6 Weeks Due To Coronavirus Pandemic - Well Organized Say Residents And A Glorious Reunion Says Vendor

The Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market has been closed since last March 28 due to safety concerns from the Coronavirus Pandemic. As Roosevelt Island and the rest of NYC  tries to carefully re-open, the  Roosevelt Island Weekly Farmers Market returned with their fresh fruits, vegetables and other products last Saturday at Good Shepherd Plaza.

Social distancing practices were maintained, face coverings worn by staff and customers, and gloves given out for handling the fruit and vegetables.

Roosevelt Island residents were happy with the Farmers Market return.

Among the comments:
  • I got there at 6:30, PSD were setting up. I was thinking there was going to be a huge line. We were told that we needed ID, masks, and that from 7am -8 would be for seniors. There were no seniors except me, and 5 other people at that time. Guess they too were expecting huges lines. The other vendors were not there until later. Very glad they are all back!
  • I went after 8, there was a line but moved quickly and it was very orderly!!!
  • I was there at 8:05am. There was a line but it moved very quickly and people were maintaining distance. PSD staffs did a great job.
  • Soooo glad it reopened. Went at 1:30 and it was lovely to see everyone. Kids loved having it back, too. Seemed very safe and low risk.
  • Very well organized and the prices were good. Everything looked very fresh.
  • A delight
  • It was perfect. So nice and civilized. Wish all things on RI were set up this way!
  • I was so happy to have them back. It was well organized and customers were patient and considerate. A bit of “normal” was good for the psyche. 
  • I was nervous about going at first, but found it was highly organized. Offered gloves and sanitizer before entering. PS we’re there making sure everyone was masked and following guidelines. Welcome back Wengerd Farms!
Israel Wengerd of Wengerd Farms said they had approximately 1 thousand customers and were very pleased it went well. Mr Wengerd adds:

Create Your Own Version Of Francisco Goya Painting, Take The Roosevelt Island Coronavirus School Shutdown Virtual Art History Lesson Challenge - More RI Virtual Activities 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. To date, there have been 5 previous lessons.

The Lesson 6 Art History painting for this week focuses on Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga by Francisco Goya.

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.

I know how difficult it is for the islanders to be quarantined and hope that these lessons / fun activities would give them a physical and emotional relief. At this time, I will concentrate on Art History which will include: Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, El Greco, Gainsborough, Fragonard, Goya, Sir Edward Burns-Jones, Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Paul CĂ©zanne, Thomas Eakins, Pierre-August Renoir, and Auguste Rodin.

The objective of Art History Lessons is to invite the students of all ages to create their own versions of numerous great paintings.

By end of class, participants will be able to identify several famous paintings as well as learn some historical, cultural, and artistic information.The students will learn about the artist’s life and achievements. The caretakers will have 15 minutes discussions on each painting, looking at details and personal interpretations.

I encourage the readers to submit their re-creation of any of the paintings from the 6 paintings thus far.
Click to download Art History Lesson 6 on Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga by Francisco Goya

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Happy Birthday To Roosevelt Island Tram, 44 Years Old Today - Opened May 17, 1976, Jerry Seinfeld Thought It Was An Amusement Park Ride

The Roosevelt Island Tram turns 44 years old today, having opened in it's first incarnation May 17, 1976

and then modernized with a brand new system re-opening November 30 2010.

During the 40th Birthday Party Celebration for the Roosevelt Island tram in 2016, Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy reported:

... Way back in 1972, an architect of this soon to be community discovered that the MTA subway would not be completed in time to be ready for this new community. An alternate mode of transportation had to be developed.

The architect's name was Bill Chaffee, and apparently he was a ski enthusiast, who envisioned a gondola-style car connecting the two islands of Roosevelt and Manhattan.

Manhattan streets were surveyed to determine where to build a temporary tram station. East 72 St was a possibility, because it was wide and could accommodate a station in the middle of the road.

Luckily there was a vacant lot at East 59th Street, opposite the entrance to the Queensboro Bridge. This spot was the stage upon which the tram station would be built.

The tram, then called an aerial gondola, was ready in less than 3 years.

The history of the tram has been interesting; consider some of these highlights after it opened in 1976: