Saturday, November 28, 2020

Take A Fun And Fact Filled Virtual Roosevelt Island Walk From FDR 4 Freedoms Park To Lighthouse Park With Comedian And Tour Guide Tom Delgado - It's A Really Cool Little Place He Says In This Very Well Done Video

Join comedian and tour guide Tom Delgado on a Roosevelt Island virtual walk from FDR 4 Freedoms Park to Lighthouse Park.
You can take more walking tours with Tom Delgado here.

Annual Roosevelt Island Christmas Tree Emporium Starts Today And Every Weekend Thru December 20 At Motorgate Plaza Sponsored By PS/IS 217 PTA

The annual Roosevelt Island Christmas Tree Emporium sponsored by the PS/IS 217 PTA opened for business today at Motorgate Plaza next to Foodtown and the Saturday Farmers Market.

The Roosevelt Island Christmas Tree Emporium will be open each weekend thru December 20 from 9AM - 3 PM.

Friday, November 27, 2020

The Island Short Film About Lives Of Roosevelt Island Community In The 1980's After A Boy Goes Missing Selected For Showing At Latino Film Festival And Can Be Watched Online This Weekend

In 2018, writer/director Aimee Schaefer was looking for a Roosevelt Island apartment to shoot scenes for her short film, The Island, about:

... lives of a small community in the wake of a young boy gone missing in 1989 NYC...

The small community being portrayed in The Island was Roosevelt Island:

1989 New York City is bumping to hip hop. The beat echoes across the 5 Boroughs. Aids is claiming its first victims and the “Wilding” of a Central Park attack lands innocent black youths in prison. The summer heat is epic in 1989. And Jimmy is HOT.

At ten years old, Jimmy knows all about the world of his hood. Roosevelt Island is a slip of land that lies between Manhattan and Queens in the East River. Though the Queensboro Bridge intersects it, the bridge bypasses Roosevelt Island connecting Queens to Manhattan and there are practically no cars on the island.

Jimmy and his friends grew up running wild on the 2 mile by 800 foot island, and mom's feel ok about it because contrary to NYC in the 80s, there is practically no crime on the island. The residents all know each other, this especially true in Jimmy's building, a sprawling castle of concrete, a fortress firmly planted on the island community...

The Island short film was selected to be shown at the 6TH Annual Official Latino Film and Arts Festival this Thanksgiving Weekend. Ticket can be purchased to watch the film online through November 30.  

Here's trailer for The Island.                                 The_Island_HIGH RES trailer from Aimée Schaefer on Vimeo.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket November 27 - December 3 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons, Nutritional Tips For Eating Healthy & Social Media Facebook Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket 

invites you to check out their November 27 - Dcember 3 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

Foodtown Supermarket Registered Dietician Jacqueline Gomes has some nutritional, fitness, and recipe ideas to keep you healthy this holiday season.


 Follow Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket on Facebook

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - Subway, Tram, Ferry & Citibike - Keep Your Social Distance And Wear Face Covering On Public Transportation - MTA Taking Comments On Proposed Fare Changes

According to the MTA, there is Roosevelt Island F train service to and from Manhattan this weekend. E train service too.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

While we continue to follow social distancing and align our operations with New York Forward guidance, we also continue to incrementally increase the number of passengers permitted on the Tram. Tram capacity will increase on Sunday, November 1st, from 20 to 35 passengers per cabin, and we will continue to assess and gradually increase in phases. 

We understand the need for this mode of transportation, however, the health and safety of our riders and operators are our priority. We appreciate your cooperation.

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 Citbike docking stations.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving To All From Roosevelt Island, RIDA Thankful For Help Feeding Community During Covid 19 Pandemic - Holiday Tradition Continues With Arlo Gurthrie's Alice's Restaurant

Happy Roosevelt Island Thanksgiving Day wishes to everyone. 

I hope you all have the best Thanksgiving possible under the present Covid 19 Pandemic circumstances and that Thanksgiving next year will be more normal. 

Since Thanksgiving is still a day all about about Tradition, here is my traditional Thanksgiving Day post started in 2007:

... listening to Arlo Guthrie's rendition of Alice's Restaurant on WNEW-FM was, for me, a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition.

A former station DJ remembers Thanksgiving and Arlo Guthrie this way on the blog All Mixed Up Radio.

Every year a couple of days before Thanksgiving, it starts. It's slow at first, and then turns into a non-stop avalanche of phone calls. And no matter how many times a station runs promo announcements telling people exactly when it will be played, the calls still come.
"What time are you playing 'Alice's Restaurant?'"...
Yes, in the olden days people used to listen to music on the radio. Imagine that!...

Here's Arlo Guthrie singing Alice's Restaurant with scenes from the movie.

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Wendy Hersh has a Thanksgiving message to our community:

Thanksgiving is a season of gratitude. Celebrating this Thanksgiving this year in the midst of a pandemic is very stressful having to be away from people that you’d normally draw close to. 

But as much as this year has been the worst, it’s also shown us how we as humans can be a lot better when we actually try. These past months have been rough and chaotic, but we have gotten through it together and have so much to be thankful for. 

We at the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association would like to take time today on Thanksgiving, to thank everyone who has supported us through this pandemic for the last 8 months. From our daily meal deliveries 6 days a week to Grocery bags and emergency boxes to our now ongoing pantry....we couldn't have done it without the help of so many. 

From Doryne Isley of C & C Management who continuously supported us and gave us whatever we needed; Chuck & Hector and the wonderful C & C Maintence staff for always being there for us in a minutes notice ; Lisa, Pat and Yulissa from Carter Burden (senior center) for their continuous assistance and allowing us to use their space; Pastor Carolyn Marko and her amazing staff from 9 Million Reasons for always providing us with enough food to feed our community; all of the wonderful volunteers that have selflessly given their time and energy to help us feed our community. 

There is no food pantry tomorrow, but there will be one next Friday in spite of Covid-19 numbers going up. Only difference may be that residents will be given boxes of food that we will pack up for safety reasons. We will play it be ear...we want to keep everyone safe...both residents and volunteers.

We appreciate all of you ....and wish you all a Very Happy Thanksgiving...

Here's more on RIDA's efforts, together with community volunteers,

                                               Image Of RIDA, Evangel and NYC CERT Members Prior To Delivering Food Saturday May 2

helping feed Roosevelt Island during the pandemic.

Happy Thanksgiving Roosevelt Island!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Roosevelt Island Tram Featured In Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Windows Display - Take A Virtual Tour Of The Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Windows, It's Gorgeous

The Roosevelt Island Tram is featured in this year's Saks Fifth Avenue

Holiday Window Display

According to November 23, Saks Fifth Avenue press release:

Saks Fifth Avenue revealed its iconic holiday window display and ten-story-tall theatrical light show at its New York flagship with a reimagined, one-of-a-kind event concept titled, Saks Lights Up Fifth Avenue....

... Saks' theme for the holiday season, This is How We Celebrate, shines a light on the importance of spending time with loved ones and the different ways people and places across the country celebrate.

Saks' legendary window display is synonymous with the holiday season in New York and this year is no exception. The center six windows showcase how different people celebrate in iconic settings around the city, with each over-the-top celebration scene bringing a different quintessential New York moment to life:

  • A musical celebration on bustling Broadway in Times Square 
  • A classic barber shop getting a visit from some adorable kids and their pets, wanting to look their best for the New Year celebration 
  • A couple on their way to deliver gifts via the Roosevelt Island tram 
  • An aspiring dancer getting an autograph from her ballerina idol 
  • A celebration surrounding the neighborhood food truck at a holiday block party 
  • A friendly competition of holiday lights and decor at neighboring houses in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn
Here's the Saks lighting ceremony
Take a vitural walk around the Saks Holiday Window Display and check out the Roosevelt Island Tram window.

Granny Annie's And Nisi Kitchen Open For Socially Distanced Roosevelt Island Thanksgiving Dinner, Cornell Cafe Closed - If You're Cooking At Home, Brussel Sprouts With Butternut Squash Recipe From Chef Danny, Pumpkin Pie And Healthy Holiday Cooking Tips From Foodtown

If you don't want to cook and are looking to go out for a socially distanced Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow on Roosevelt Island, consider Granny Annie's

or Nisi Kitchen

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins Dies Yesterday At 93 - Roosevelt Island Remembers Him As Gracious Gentleman, Friendly Tram Rider And Tennis Lover

Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins died yesterday at the age of 93.

Mayor Dinkins was often seen on the Roosevelt Island Tram on his way back and forth from playing tennis at the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club.

Skip Hartman, the owner of the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club remembers his friend David Dinkins:

David and I really met while watching a competition at the Harlem Armory in 1975. He was then Clerk of the City of New York and an influential leader in the Democratic Party. I was a budding indoor tennis entrepreneur. He actually was part of a group of tennis friends that was then playing at my first indoor club, Stadium Tennis Center in the Bronx. David loved to play tennis, was a solid intermediate player who kept improving his game , He greatly admired Arthur Ashe and embraced NYJTL's mission of bringing tennis to all children. He gladly served on the NYJTL Board from 1975 to 1985, and then again, after serving as Manhattan Borough President and Mayor, from 1994 to 2020. 36 years. He was instrumental in the early 1980's introducing NYJTL to the NYC Board of Education and his prestige opened many doors to NYJTL's work. 

When David became Mayor he and Joyce lived in Gracie Mansion, the Mayor's official residence. Sara and I lived ( and still do) a few hundred feet away. David wanted to play in the mornings for exercise and relief. If he had to last minute cancel for a City emergency, I would not be way out of pocket. So from his many tennis friends I got the call to play. We played vigorous singles tennis several weekday mornings for the next 22 years, and became best friends.  

Our City has lost a great public servant and elder statesman. NYJTL has lost an invaluable supporter. Tennis has lost an enthusiastic player. The USTA has lost a devoted leader. I have lost the best friend a person could have. David, Joyce, David Jr., Donna and their families will always be loved by us.

Here's more on Mayor David Dinkins:


Condolences to his family and friends. 

Rest in peace Mr Mayor.

UPDATE 11/28 - A tipster shares these photos of Mayor Dinkins in 1992 at Roosevelt Island tennis courts.

Roosevelt Island Resident Receives Great Thanksgiving Week News - Wins Riverwalk Park Affordable Housing Lottery Apartment And Current Roosevelt Landings Landlord Allows Her Out Of Current Lease

Roosevelt Island resident Rodica Miller thought she hit the jackpot when she learned  her lottery application for an apartment in the Roosevelt Island Hudson Related Riverwalk Park affordable housing building was selected. But there was a problem - getting out of her existing lease recently renewed this summer at Roosevelt Landings.

According to Ms Miller:

I am a public-school special education teacher residing in one of the Roosevelt Landings buildings since 2018 (when it was still managed by Urban American). My lease came up for renewal in August, and I signed a 2-year lease without thinking much of it. We were and still are in the middle of a pandemic, and I thought that staying put was the safest option. I am a very low-maintenance tenant. I pay my rent through automatic payments and I never complain (even when I should). 

Last April, I applied for one of the affordable housing units at the new development at 460 Main Street. I didn’t think much of it, knowing that the odds are hardly in my favor. After I had already renewed my lease, I heard back from Related and Riverwalk Park that my lottery log number had come up. I went through the tedious process of compiling all the documents needed to check my eligibility. As I started to hope that I might actually qualify and be offered an apartment, I never thought that my biggest hurdle would be breaking up with my current Landlord. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Enroll Now In Roosevelt Island NYC DOE Learning Bridges Program For Free K-8 Child Care, Academic Support And Enrichment Activities At Sportspark And Tennis Bubble

According to the NYC Department Of Education

Learning Bridges is a new program that provides free child care options for children from 3-K through 8th grade on days when they are scheduled for remote learning.

and is available even as public schools have closed due to the rise in Coronavirus cases.

As previously reported, a Roosevelt Island Learning Bridges program for K-8 grade students is available from HCK Recreation, the managing partner of the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club:

... HCK Recreation Inc. recently received approval from the City of New York to provide a Learning Lab program for up to 200 seats through the Learning Bridges Initiative. This City funded program will provide, at no charge to families, academic support and enrichment activities from 8 AM to 3 PM weekdays...

... The program will utilize space in the Sportspark facility, located at 250 Main Street, and surrounding outdoor space, the north bubble of the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club, and Firefighters Field. The facilities were thoroughly inspected by the City, culminating in an approved air quality test. 

HCK Recreation Inc., which is the managing partner of the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club, was approved by the City as a qualified provider based on the combination of excellent facilities it could provide as well as HCK’s 20 plus years of experience operating summer day camps licensed by the NYC Department of Health (DOH). Skip Hartman, CEO of HCK, has past experience as the CEO of two charities, NYJTL and Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation, now named New York Edge, that are together the largest (160 schools) provider of afterschool sports, arts, and academic support programs in New York City public schools. ...

... Skip Hartman, CEO of HCK stressed that, “The key to success will be our ability to provide sound academic coordination and motivating enrichment activities while maintaining a safe environment for the children and the staff. We do have, thanks to RIOC’s collaboration, fabulous spaces.” HCK has qualified staff on board and is also actively seeking approximately 25 additional staff, that include licensed teachers in math, stem, literacy and technology, college grads, and college students taking a gap year....

Roosevelt Island parents can pre-enroll their children in the Roosevelt Island Learning Bridges Program by calling Paul Fontana, the Director of the Roosevelt Island Learning Lab at 914 656 0614 for more information or also email at

HCK Recreation has been talking with Island Kids recently about working together on the Roosevelt Island Learning Bridges program at Sportspark and Tennis Bubble. The Island Kids application for a separate Learning Bridges program was rejected without explanation in October by the NYC Department of Education. The HCK application was submitted last July and they learned in October that it was accepted.

But Learning Bridges child care service is not currently available for Special Needs families.

WCBS TV Channel 2 News reported on a Roosevelt Island Special Needs family that is not able to use the Roosevelt Island Learning Bridges site. 

According to CBS Channel 2 News
... "a HCK Recreation spokesperson said: ... Unfortunately, at this time, we are not able to enroll children with individualized education plans due to limitations with our program staff"....

For more info on enrolling your child in the Roosevelt Island Learning Bridges program, call Paul Fontana at 914 656 0614 or email   


UPDATE 11/24 - HCK Recreation's Skip Hartman responded today to CBS Channel 2 News story about enrolling Roosevelt Island resident Kristin Braun's special needs daughter in the Roosevelt Island Learning Bridges program

The well publicized rejection of Kristin's daughter was actually my mistake in instructing the staff not to accept special ed children as we were not equipped to handle them. With all the start up tasks, I had not focused on this enrollment issue and did not consider the full range of children that encompasses the special ed population. 

Many children with special needs can fit in just fine, although others may not. It is a case by case matter. Our Education Specialist on staff is well versed in these issues and interviewed Kristin, Alice's mother, yesterday morning. 

We did accept Alice Bruan after we understood her needs. She was the first and only child we had rejected - so we were able to change our policy on a timely basis and correct the error. Any applicants identifying with special needs will be considered for the program on a case by case basis.