Friday, January 29, 2021

A Friday Night Love Song To Roosevelt Island From The 2006 Time Machine - The Looney Bin And That Gristedes Store, Julie Sports Bar, Who Could Ask For Anything More

 This is perfect for a brutally cold winter Friday night.

                                                                              You Tube Video of Take Me To Roosevelt Island

Sing it with me:

Take me to Roosevelt Island, Roosevelt Island that Island of Joy
Take me to Roosevelt Island, Roosevelt Island your sure to enjoy

The Water Taxi's will give you a view
of that wonderful Island ideal For Two

The Loony Bin and the Gristedes Store
Julie's Sports Bar Who could ask for more

Take Me To Roosevelt Island

You're Invited To RIVAA Opening Reception For Contemplating Civilization: Photos By Piaskowski At Roosevelt Island Octagon Gallery Saturday January 30 - Don't Miss Gallery RIVAA Black History Month Quilt Celebration Too Thru February 21


The Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (Gallery RIVAA) is hosting an opening reception for a new exhibit at their Octagon Gallery. According to RIVAA:

You are cordially invited to see Contemplating Civilization: Photos by Piaskowski at Octagon Gallery on Saturday, January 23 - April 1, 2021. Opening Saturday, January 30, 5-7 pm at Octagon 888 Main St, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044

RIVAA also invites you to view their annual Black History Month Celebration exhibition:

You are cordially invited to see Quilt: The Black History Month Quilt Exhibition from January 23-February 21, 2021 at Gallery RIVAA 527 Main St. Roosevelt Island, NY 10044.

Roosevelt Island resident Kaja Meade shares a peek at the Gallery RIVAA Black History Month Celebration Quilt exhibition.

More from Gallery RIVAA at their website and Instagram page.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - Subway, Tram, Ferry & Electric Citibike - Barack Obama & Dr Fauci Too

According to the MTA, Roosevelt Island F Train service to and from Manhattan will be replaced by the E Train this weekend between 21st Queensbridge and Delancey Street.  

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.


Please be advised that the Manhattan Tram station elevator remains out of service until further notice. The Red Bus is providing special shuttle service to and from Manhattan for those with limited mobility. Schedule information is below: 

Roosevelt Island to Manhattan

Departs hourly from the Tram, making all Northbound local stops to Capobianco Field (opposite PS/IS 217). The first trip will depart at 11 AM. Last trip will be at 7 PM. 

Manhattan to Roosevelt Island 

Departs on the half hour from the southwest side of 2nd Ave., between 58th & 59th Streets and will make all southbound local Red Bus stops (starting with 591 Main St.) to the Tram. The last trip will depart Manhattan at 7:30 PM.  

Please note, there is no shuttle bus service from 3 PM – 4 PM daily.  

Weekend and Holiday Service  

The Tram Shuttle will run Monday to Friday until further notice. No weekend or holiday service.  

Thank you for your patience. 

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

 And Roosevelt Island Citbike docking stations

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket January 29 - February 4 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons, Nutrition Tips, Social Media & Recipes, Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket invites you to check out their January 29 - February 4 Weekly Flyer

for Product Offerings, Specials and 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. 

Roosevelt Island Tram Elevator Broken For 4 Weeks - RIOC Cancels Weekend Manhattan Red Bus Shuttle Service Leaving Roosevelt Island Stair Challenged Residents Using Wheelchairs, Walkers, Canes & Strollers To Fend For Themselves

Last December, the Roosevelt Island Tram Manhattan Station elevators broke down again. At that time, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) reported:

Due to an elevator service outage at the Manhattan Tram Station, the RIOC Red Bus will provide special shuttle service to and from Manhattan for those with limited mobility. Schedule information is below:


Departs hourly from the Tramway, making all Northbound local stops to Capobianco Field (opposite PS/IS 217). The first trip will depart at 11 AM. Last trip will be at 7 PM.


Departs on the half hour from the Southwest side of 2nd Avenue, between 58th & 59th Street and will make all Southbound local bus stops (starting with 591 Main Street) to the Tramway. The last trip will depart Manhattan at 7:30 PM. Please note, that there is no shuttle bus service from 3 PM – 4 PM daily. 

The Tram Shuttle will run seven days a week until further notice.

The 7 day Manhattan Red Bus Service was appreciated as noted by this resident:

Stair-challenged residents & employees appreciate this necessary service. Many Seniors, individuals of all ages with a wide variety of disabilities, cane-, wheelchair- and walker-users, and some stroller-pushers all benefit. 

While many of us continue to take many precautions & travel less, the Tram remains our primary mode of direct, barrier-free, accessible transit to and from Manhattan.

But several weeks ago, without adequate public notice, RIOC cancelled the weekend Manhattan Red Bus Shuttle service.

A Roosevelt Island resident sent this message last Friday:

The red bus is no longer operating on the weekend to Manhattan. I waited for it last weekend only to find out from a red bus driver that service was discontinued. 

Then when I took the bus into Manhattan today I spoke with the driver. He stated that due to very low ridership on Saturday and Sunday, RIOC decided to stop service on those days. 

It’s very disappointing and upsetting. The tram gets crowded. So many people who don’t live on the island get on the tram to “sightsee”. The tram operators do not count the number of people that get on. I don’t see PSD counting the number of people anymore. So basically you can’t social distance on the tram. Just horrible. Why have all the signs up at the tram if it’s not going to be followed.

Last Tuesday, I asked RIOC's newly hired Public Information Officer Amy Smith:

I'm doing a story on the Red Bus Shuttle to Manhattan not running on weekends. 

The reason for the Red Bus Shuttle to Manhattan is the broken tram elevator which is broken during weekdays as well as weekends. Any comment from RIOC why it is not running on weekends? How many people use the Red Bus Shuttle on weekdays and weekends? When is the Tram elevator expected to be fixed?

and asked her again during a conversation yesterday and follow up email.  

Ms Smith declined to give any answer.

During last evening's RIOC Operations Advisory Committee meeting, RIOC Acting President reported that the Manhattan Tram Elevator was expected to be repaired and working this weekend.

We shall see. 

UPDATE 4:45 PM - RIOC sent out this advisory at 3:30 PM:

Please be advised that the Manhattan Tram station elevator has resumed service. Thank you for your patience.
Should we start a pool counting days until Tram Elevator breaks again?

Thursday, January 28, 2021

RIOC President Presentation To Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee On Covid Test Site, New Manhattan Tram Plaza Elevator, Motorgate Garage, Prevailing Wage Payment For Construction Work & More

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Shelton Haynes spoke to the January 21, Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island committee about a variety of issues including:

  • New Manhattan Tram Plaza Elevators to be completed by end of 2021,
  • Motorgate Garage Project should be completed by mid February,
  • Electric Car Charging Stations on 4th Floor of Motorgate Garage,
  • McManus Comfort Station at McManus Field (Formerly Octagon Field) completed Summer 2021,
  • Nelly Bly Memorial to be completed summer of 2021,
  • Hope Memorial Completed - opening delayed due to Covid 19 restrictions,
  • Youth Center almost complete - hope to have it running by mid February 
  • Roosevelt Island Rapid Covid Testing Site 
  • Prevailing wage payments for Roosevelt Island construction work.

Here's the presentation.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Bernie Sanders Inauguration Mitten Meme Sensation Comes To Roosevelt Island - See Bernie At Giant RI Sign, Riding Roosevelt Island Tram And Waiting For New Library To Open

Not to miss out on a good story, Roosevelt Island joined the Bernie Sanders mittens meme. Resident Julia Chang says:

  I think I may be obsessed with Bernie.

Ms Chang shares pictures showing Bernie waiting out in the cold in front of Giant RI Sign

and riding the Roosevelt Island Tram

while following Tram social distancing practices wearing his face coverings and sitting more than 6 feet from the other passenger.

Earlier this week, Bernie made another stop on Roosevelt Island waiting for the opening of our new library.

                                                                                           Photo by Ms Meade and Martin Schott.

Here's more on the Bernie mittens meme sensation. The folks at Engage RI will be happy to learn that Bernie's mittens were recycled from an old sweater.

And a more serious Bernie on the issues, as well as a little fun about the mittens at end of interview.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Fire Yesterday Afternoon In Empty Ground Floor Roosevelt Landings Building, Lot Of Smoke, No Injuries And Cause Of Fire Being Investigated

There was a fire yesterday afternoon in empty first floor apartment at Roosevelt Landings 540 Main Street. 

A Tipster reports:

Empty apartment in 540 on fire today. Alot of smoke.

The apartment is empty and was being renovated. Don't know what started it. 

Firemen were hosing it down, checking surrounding Apts. They were pulling charred flooring out of the apartment. My whole floor smelled it. We all went out to watch this. A bit scary

A spokesperson for Roosevelt Landings building manager C+C Management added:

We are thankful a small fire was extinguished thanks to the quick action of our Maintenance Staff and Public Safety before FDNY arrived. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Roosevelt Island Meat Lovers Rejoice, Wholesome Macelleria High End Butcher Shop Opening Mid February In Long Empty Rivercross Main Street Location

Details are few, but it is confirmed that an Italian butcher shop will open in mid February at 503 Main Street in the Rivercross building.

In July 2016, Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder Hudson Related announced that Cafe Eleanor, a Panini Bar with beer and wine license would open in the long empty space. On several occasions these last 4 years, we were told Cafe Eleanor was soon opening but it never did. The Cafe Eleanor owner also owns the Wholesome Food Factory Organic Market and Island Wines on Main Street.

A Tipster reported this past weekend:

Any update on the butcher opening? It’s specifically supposed to be a “high end” butcher, whatever that is. Where the “panini bar” was supposed to be? 

They are especially interested in pre-prepared items. 

Looks like they’ve got all the display cases in there and other furniture was being delivered.

Yesterday, I asked Hudson Related's David Kramer if:

Cafe Eleanor is going to be a “High End Butcher Shop” and that opening is imminent. 

Has there been a change in the use of the space for what was Cafe Eleanor? Any update or info? 

A Hudson Related spokesperson replied:

The owners of Cafe Eleanor have changed concepts due to the pandemic and the restrains of indoor dining. With the restaurant industry's uncertainty, they have opted to change the use to an essential business. 

It will be an Italian Butcher Shop selling high quality meats. No prepared foods. No seating.

Wholesome Macelleria is the name of the new Italian Butcher store.

A tentative opening date has been set for mid-February  

Will update when more info becomes available.

Monday, January 25, 2021

$7.8 Million 5700 Square Foot Brand New Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch Opens Today - Come Take A Virtual Tour, It's Beautiful

Great news for Roosevelt Island today. The brand new Roosevelt Island NY Public Library branch is open and available for limited grab and go service during the current Coronavirus pandemic. 

This morning, Roosevelt Island NYPL Branch Manager Carlos Chavez gave a tour of our new local library. Come along and see for yourself.

New York Public Library President Anthony Marx, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, NYC Council Member Ben Kallos, NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Shelton Haynes attended today's opening and all had some very interesting comments. Take a listen.

 As previously reported:

... Plans for the new Roosevelt Island branch library on the first floor at 504 Main Street were first announced way back in July 2012 but construction did not start until October 2018. At that time, residents were told to expect substantial completion of the new library by December 2019. As we know, that did not happen due to a variety of delays and then the Coronavirus Pandemic shutdown....
Happily, starting today, the Roosevelt Island Library is now open for all.

Below is NYPL press release about today's opening of the Roosevelt Island library branch.

The New York Public Library is opening a beautiful, brand new Roosevelt Island branch at 504 Main Street on Monday, January 25. The new 5,200-square-foot location will open with grab-and-go service, and replace Roosevelt Island’s former branch, a one-room library that, while beloved, could no longer serve the needs of the growing community.

"As our resilient City enters a hopeful new year, the Library is proud to kick it off by giving Roosevelt Island the new library that they have long needed, wanted, and deserved,” said Anthony Marx, President of The New York Public Library. “It’s a new beginning for a community that for so long has loved and relied on its library, a trusted center of life where patrons access information and open doors of opportunity. We are eager to welcome our neighbors to their new space and support them as they continue to weather unprecedented challenges and work towards recovery and a brighter future.”

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Residents Eagerly Waiting For Roosevelt Island Public LIbrary Grand Opening On Monday January 25 - Is That Bernie Sanders Waiting Too?

As reported on Friday, the brand new Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Grand Opening, with limited grab and go service, is taking place tomorrow, Monday January 25. Patiently waiting, or maybe not so patiently, is Bernie Sanders, 

with Roosevelt Island resident Kaja Meade. According to Ms Meade:

Bernie and I are just waiting for the Library to open. He's a Public Library kind of guy.
Photo by Ms Meade and Martin Schott.