Saturday, October 3, 2020

Meet Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival Artist Savior Elmundo - His Black Lives Matter 3D Mural Pops And Makes People Think

Check out Savior Elmundo's Instagram Page and more on last Saturday's Roosevelt Island Fall For For Arts Festival Murals at this prior post.

Friday, October 2, 2020

What Happened To The Roosevelt Island Red Bus Shelter Seating Near The Deli - It's Gone, Will RIOC Replace It?

A reader asked:

Any idea what happened to the bus stop by the deli

Earlier this week on Monday, there was yellow caution tape surrounding the Deli Red Bus Shelter seating area

but yesterday the shelter was gone.

 I asked RIOC but have not heard back. A resident said a garbage truck smashed into the bus shelter but that has not been confirmed.

Another resident added:

I hope they are planning on replacing it.

Meet Your Roosevelt Island Neighbor Melrose Barnes, Coler Resident With A Green Thumb And Sly Smile Reaches Out To Local Gardening Community - Update From Friends Of Coler Volunteers Too

As previously reported:

Friends of Coler is an informal group of neighbors and supporters who have teamed up with the Angelica Patient Assistance Program to support Roosevelt Island’s Coler Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center residents and staff during this Covid crisis....
Julia Feguson is a Friends Of Coler Volunteer and introduces us to our Roosevelt Island neighbor, Mr Melrose Barnes, who is a resident at Coler. According to Ms Ferguson:
Quiet and observant, Mr. Melrose Barnes

Image From Olya Turcihin

can be credited as one of our Coler neighbors who reaches out to others. Mr. Barnes began dropping by the Roosevelt Island Community Garden  (RIGC) for compost for his plantings inside Coler at least 8 years ago. Mr Barnes is patient with a lively manner and enjoys his solitude, but he also has a sharp eye for detail and is usually ready with a sly smile to share a story. He will tell you about a plant he has seen

or some delicious food he knows well.   

In late 2017, Barnes got to talking with some garden friends and connected several Roosevelt Island Gardening groups (RIGC, iDig2Learn, and Green Roosevelt Island Neighbors)

                                                                 Image From Olya Turcihin

with two of Coler's Recreational Therapists. These connections first led to two smaller upgrade projects by RIGC in corner areas of the courtyard.  

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket October 2 - October 8 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons, Nutritional Tips & Social Media Facebook And Instagram Too


The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket

 invites you to check out their October 2 - October 8 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  

 and Instagram too.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend, E Replaces F Train For Service To And From Manhattan - 20 Tram Passenger Social Distancing Limit Enforced, Ferry Route Extended To UES And Citibike Too - Wear Your Masks To Travel Safely For You And Others, $50 Fine If No Mask Says MTA, What About Tram, RIOC?

According to the MTA:

TUNNEL REHABILITATION Oct 2 - 5, Fri 9:45 PM to Mon 1 AM F Trains are replaced by the E between 21 St-Queensbridge and Delancey St/Essex St 
There is a Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin 20 passenger Covid-19 Social Distancing limit. No answer from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) if they will follow the MTA and issue $50 fines for riders refusing to wear a mask.

Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule which now extends to East 90th street on the Upper East Side.  

Also, Roosevelt Island has a new transportation option with the recent addition of Citbike docking stations.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Roosevelt Island Wildlife Freedom Foundation Cat Sanctuaries Eviction Threat Temporarily Rescinded But RIOC Still Seeking Rent Payment Agreement For Use Of NY State Land

At the end of last July, the Wildlife Freedom Foundation (WFF) Cat Sanctuary was forced to move from it's Southpoint Park home of about 10 years to a new location within Southpoint Park prior to the start of construction for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Southpoint Park Shoreline Restoration Project. The purpose of the Project is to fix the Southpoint Park crumbling seawall and to provide new areas for closer pubic access to the East River waterfront from Roosevelt Island.

WFF Founder Rossana Ceruzzi vehemently opposed the Shoreline project and organized a protest campaign trying to stop RIOC from proceeding with construction. The WFF protest ultimately failed and RIOC began the Shoreline Restoration construction but not before building a brand new Cat Sanctuary for WFF within Southpoint Park.

Last week the WFF reported through it's Twitter page that RIOC is seeking rent for the Cat Sanctuary and threatening WFF with eviction if the rent is not paid for the use of NY State land.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

NYC Restaurant Indoor Dining Returns Today To Roosevelt Island With 25% Covid 19 Social Distancing Capacity Seating At Cornell Tech Cafe & Nisi Kitchen

NYC restaurant indoor dining returns today with 25% Covid-19 Social Distancing capacity seating.

On Roosevelt Island, the Cafe @Cornell Tech is open for indoor seating
as is Nisi Kitchen, although owner Alex Razaghi told me this afternoon they may be open tonight but definitly will be open tomorrow.
View this post on Instagram

Nisi Kitchen now has indoor seating!

A post shared by Nisi Kitchen (@nisikitchen) on

I spoke with Cafe @Cornell Tech General Manager Christopher Lewis today about their indoor dining and he gave me a tour describing indoor seating procedures.
Granny Annie's Irish Bar & Kitchen is not yet open for indoor dining nor is Fuji East, Piccolo Trattoria and Starbucks.

Sponsored Post - Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Here, NYC Emergency Management Department Wants You To Know Your Hurricane Zone, Be Ready And Be Prepared - Roosevelt Island Is Zone 2 & 3

The Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1 and lasts thru Novmeber 30.

The New York City Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) wants you to be prepared for Hurricane Season

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 - Zones 2 and 3.

All but one of the Roosevelt Island residential building and the Cornell Tech campus are located in Zone 3. The NYCEM Know Your 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.

In the event Roosevelt Island needs to be evacuated, NYCEM reports:
If you are required to evacuate, it is recommended that you shelter at the home of friends or family outside of the evacuation area. If you wish to go to a public facility, select any evacuation center from the following list....
There are no evacuation sites on Roosevelt Island. The closest sites are listed below.

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

and report on damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Roosevelt Island Westview Building Residents Frustrated At Getting No Status Update On Affordable Coop Conversion Offering Plan - Ownership And Tenants Task Force Reply Process Will Be Completed Soon

On a regular basis over the last several months Roosevelt Island Westview Building

 residents have asked about their building's 
                                                                                 Image From 2018 Westview Town Hall

privatization and affordable co-op conversion plan status, expressing frustration at not getting any information from the building ownership or the Westview Taskforce representing the residents:

 I am a tenant at the Westview. Although the deal on the building's privatization has been reached 2 years ago, nothing happened since then. And we get no info on the process from anyone....

Last week, I followed up on earlier inquiries asking Westview ownership representative David Hirshorn about:

... the status of Westview privatization and concerns of residents that they have not been informed about the current status of privatization efforts. Can you provide any details as to the current privatization status of Westview, when it may be completed and what are any obstacles holding it up... 

Mr Hirshorn replied:

While I am limited in what I can say about a pending offering, I can say that the offering plan process in every conversion or new development throughout the State involves the sponsor submitting draft materials to the Attorney General’s office and the AG’s office reviewing these submissions, asking questions and issuing comments – what the AG’s office refers to as “deficiencies.” The Westview process is no different than the process in every offering, except that in complicated offerings such as Island House and Westview, the process can be longer than in a more typical cookie cutter offering. Once the AG is satisfied with the submission, they issue what’s called an “acceptance letter” which means that the sponsor is then authorized to issue the Black Book. At that point the selling process begins. We successfully completed this same process in Island House and I am confident that we will soon complete the Westview review process too.

I certainly understand residents’ frustration with how the long the process has taken as I too look forward to moving forward. For those residents who do not intend to purchase their apartments, the Black Book does not change how their rent will be determined or the other terms and conditions of their rental. All of that is set forth in the Affordability Plan that they received at the time of withdrawal from the Mitchell Lama program – several years ago – and is the same as what is currently in effect and has been in place since withdrawal.  

We are now in the final stages of the offering plan process. Because the laws governing communications to residents during an offering process are severely limited, it is understandable that some residents are frustrated and concerned that things have stalled. However, this is not at all the case and the affordability terms for both home ownership and residents who continue to rent, remain unchanged from what was negotiated. Just as we did in Island House, we have and continue to work in close partnership with the Westview Taskforce and their attorneys, in moving forward with the offering. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Task Force leadership who were strong advocates for the Westview residents (improving upon the original affordability plan) and now pulling on the same oar with us as Westview moves into the next phase --homeownership. 

While any offering involves a lengthy process, Westview is an unusually complicated structure with an enormous amount of documents needing to be reviewed and processed. The Attorney General’s Office has been a great partner in this process and has been diligent and timely in their review. While the COVID shutdown certainly has not helped, I am confident that together with tenant association counsel, we and the Attorney General’s Office will soon be able to conclude the offering plan process culminating in a Black Book.

And received this Westview Task Force update last week too:

Dear Westview Tenants, 

The Westview conversion is moving forward and in progress. 

The Affordability Plan has been submitted to the NYS AG for approval and Sponsor and AG are currently working to resolve remaining outstanding details. 

Our lawyers are involved to ensure that agreed upon terms outlined in the Affordability Plan and approved by Westview tenants remain unchanged. 

 This is the normal process for a conversion plan to go through similar to the process IH went through before us. 

The past 6 months have been challenging for everyone and our conversion approval delayed as a result. 

We are disappointed with the slow pace of discussions between the Owners and NYS AG but remain hopeful that the remaining outstanding details will be resolved soon. 

Additionally, the Taskforce has been instructed by the AG's office not to comment on timing of the Black Book as these discussions are still ongoing. 

We can only confirm that the approval process is in progress and moving forward. 

The remaining work to be done is between the Sponsor and AG and out of our hands. At this point in the process we are all tenants, in it together, and waiting for good news. 

We hope this update is helpful and hope to have more news to share soon. 

Thank you for your patience and continued support. 

Please take good care, stay healthy, stay safe. 

Westview Taskforce

Read more about the Westivew Ground Lease extension, exit from Mitchell Lama Program and Affordability Plan at this 2018 post.

Monday, September 28, 2020

You're Invited To Weill Cornell Medicine & NY Presbyterian Virtual Zoom Fall Health & Wellness Seminars - September 29 Covid 19 And Stroke, October 6 Pediatric Emergencies During Covid 19 And October 13 Maternal Health, What You Need To Know Before, During And After Pregnancy

The Fall 2020 Weill Cornell Medicine & NY Presbyterian free Health & Wellness Seminars are being held virtually this year on Zoom due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. According to Weill Cornell Medicine:

You're invited to these upcoming virtual Weill Cornell Medicine/NY Presbyterian 2020 Health & Wellness Seminars:

 Register here for the Zoom Link.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

More Roosevelt Island Wildlife, Up Close Look At Raccoons Spotted Walking On East River Seawall Rocks - And They're Staring Back

Roosevelt Island resident Yitza Martinez shares this photo of two raccoons walking on the Roosevelt Island East River shoreline rocks and reports:

I saw them last night walking on the shoreline rocks next to the Manhattan Park playground.

Last Tuesday, a Hawk was spotted perched on the seawall and here's more about the natural world of Roosevelt Island at this prior post.

CBS New York has story on racoons in NYC.