Saturday, February 20, 2021

Beautiful Winter Day Of Roosevelt Island Sledding On Cornell Tech Slopes With NYC East River Skyline View And And Hot Drink Afterwards At The Cafe

You're Invited To Online Celebration Of Life In Memory Of William "Billy" King Sunday February 21 - He Touched Many On Roosevelt Island As A Powerful Actor With MST&DA And Friendly RI Starbucks Barista

As previously reported:

Very sad news to report. Bill King passed away January 30. Bill was known to Roosevelt Island residents as a very talented actor at the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) and as a long time friendly and popular barista at the Roosevelt Island Starbucks....

Bill's niece, Megan Courtney, invites all who knew Bill to an Online Celebration of Life For William "Billy" King Sunday February 21, 1 PM EST.

According to Ms Courtney:

We will gather on ZOOM here: to celebrate William "Billy" King and all his Glory! 

Come one, come all to this grand virtual event for a King himself! 

In lieu of flowers donate your favorite charity like: Covid relief for actors or LGBTQ youth actors...

Click here for more details and for Bill's obituary.

Friday, February 19, 2021

RIOC Announced PCR Covid 19 Test Available Starting February 20 At Roosevelt Island Swift Emergency Care Testing Site - Will Cost $200 Without Insurance

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced late this afternoon:

Roosevelt Island’s COVID-19 Rapid Testing Site will be offering polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, upon request at the check-in desk onsite, starting Saturday, February 20th. All insurance will be accepted, so be sure to bring insurance information and ID. Without proof of insurance, the PCR test will cost $200. Results will be available within 48 hours. 

Rapid antigen testing remains free of charge and no insurance is required. Results available in as little as 15 minutes to approximately 24 hours, depending upon volume of individuals tested. 

Located at 524 Main St. (formerly the R.I. branch library), Wednesdays through Saturdays, 9 AM to 5 PM. To pre-register, go to: RIOC.NY.GOV/556 or call 212-702-0864 for assistance.  

It should be noted that you will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis by way of registration.

I asked RIOC:

Why is Swift charging $200 for the more accurate Covid Test to people without insurance? Do other Covid 19 NYC sites charge $200, or any amount, for the same covid test to people without insurance. Something sounds wrong about this. It discourages people who don't have insurance from getting the more accurate test. Any comment from RIOC?

RIOC Public Information Officer Amy Smith replied:

According to the medical provider, the cost of the PCR test is consistent with other provider rates for uninsured patients. The cost is derived from the actual cost of the test and lab fees.
Let's talk Covid with Dr. Jay Varma, Senior Advisor for Public Health at Office of the Mayor of New York City

Final Weekend Of Roosevelt Island Gallery RIVAA Black History Month Quilt Exhibition, Don't Miss It - Quilts4Cops Honors The Late PSD Chief And NYPD Assistant Chief Jack McManus At Gallery RIVAA Celebration Last Week

You only have this weekend left to visit and view the wonderful Roosevelt Island Gallery RIVAA Black History Month Quilt Exhibition which ends Sunday February 21. Gallery RIVAA is located at 527 Main Street and is open this weekend from:

  • Fridays 6 – 9 pm 
  • Saturdays and Sundays 11 – 5 pm

The collection of Quilts was curated by Diane Pryor Holland. Take a look at some of the quilts below but don't miss stopping by Gallery RIVAA to see them in person.

Ms Holland is the founder of Quilts 4 Cops. According to the Quilts 4 Cops website:

Our goal is to provide Post 9/11 families with a commemorative quilt, which honors their loved one that died due to a 9/11 related disease. Also, we provide quilts to the families of police officers that died or were injured in the line of duty as well as give quilts to officers that became ill in the line of duty. By honoring those who made an ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, we believe that these quilts provide some joy and comfort to these families. They gave their tomorrows for our today.

Last Saturday, February 13, former Roosevelt Island Public Safety Chief and NYPD Assistant Chief of Operations Jack McManus, who died last year of a 9/11 World Trade Center related illness, was honored with the donation of a Quilt to his family during a ceremony at Gallery RIVAA.

Here's the ceremony honoring Chief Jack McManus.

Introduction by Gallery RIVAA President Tad Sudol.

Remarks by RIOC Acting President Shelton Haynes
and Public Safety Chief Kevin Brown.
Remarks by Gallery RIVAA's Laura Hussey who initiated the exhibition.

Remarks by exhibition curator and Quilts4Cops Founder Diane Pryor Holland and quilt artist William Daniels.
Presentation of Quilt To the Family of Chief McManus

Resident Margie Brown spoke of Jack McManus' importance to the Roosevelt Island community.

More info on Quilts4Cops at their website.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - E Train Replaces F To And From Manhattan, Tram Social Distancing, Ferry Service And Electric Citibikes Too

According to the MTA, the E train replaces the F train for Roosevelt Island subway service to and from Manhattan this weekend and upcoming weekends thru March 22:

TUNNEL REHABILITATION Fri 9:45 PM to Mon 5 AM* until Mar 22 

F Trains are replaced by the E between 21 St-Queensbridge and Delancey St-Essex St 

F trains run via the E between Roosevelt Av and Canal St and via the A to/from Jay St-MetroTech...

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:

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 extends to East 90th street on the Upper East Side.
And Roosevelt Island Citbike docking stations

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket February 19-25 Product Offerings, Healthy Heart Specials, & Seafood Sales Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons, & Grocery Worker Heroes Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket invites you to check out their February 19 - February 25 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. 


Thursday, February 18, 2021

iDig2Learn Celebrating Roosevelt Island Nature Series Continues With Speaker Beatrice Ajaero, She's A Local Resident, Nigerian Restaurant Owner And RI Farmers Market Vendor - Free Virtual Talk, Our Impact On Earth & Each Other

Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn Founder Christina Delfico reports on the latest Celebrating Roosevelt Island Nature event. According to Ms Delfico:

FREE Virtual Talk

Our Impact on Earth and Each Other 

Guest Speaker: Beatrice Ajaero, IBARI & Nneji 

10am - 11am​ ​Monday,​ ​February 22nd, 2021 Our daily choices play a huge role in the health of people and planet. 

Get inspired by Beatrice Ajaero as she shares practices she uses in business and life. 

RSVP “IMPACT” to: ​ Virtual talk GoToMeeting link to come. 

All ages welcome. 

Beatrice Ajaero discussed her views on local sustainability practices in this Engaged RI video for 2020 Climate Week.

According to Ms Ajaero:

As a small business owner sometimes you forget that you make a lot of decisions during the day, but we work hard to see that every product we source and every partnership we kindle is geared towards making a positive impact for the environment for the people.

Ms Ajaero is Roosevelt Island resident and entrepreneur having recently opened a new Nigerian and West African take out restaurant in Astoria, Nneji, 

and sells her meals at the Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market too.

RSVP “IMPACT” to: ​ Virtual talk GoToMeeting link to come.

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Residents, Thinking About Your Own Country Home In Connecticut? Well Here It Is, Take The Next Step

Roosevelt Island Residents, Thinking About Your Own Country Home In Connecticut? Well Here It Is.
Take The Next Step. Call Nancy Reardon at 860-836-7506.

More Listing Info Here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Motorgate Bike Ramp And IT Infrastructure On Agenda For February 18 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors Meeting - You're Invited To Watch And Ask Questions During Public Comment Session Prior To Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet 5:30 PM tomorrow, February 18, via video conference.  

You can watch the Board meeting here and ask questions or share concerns about Roosevelt Island during the opening Public Session before the start of the meeting. Sign up to speak here. 

Here's the Agenda.

Here's info on the Motorgate Bike Ramp agenda item.

Update On Roosevelt Island Duane Reade/Walgreens Covid 19 Vaccinations And10044 Zip Code Covid Vaccinations,Testing And Death Data

As previously reported, the Roosevelt Island Duane Reade/Walgreens Pharmacy began Covid-19 vaccinations last Friday and Saturday. 

The Pharmacy is allocated 100 Covid-19 vaccines weekly, the same amount as the other NYC Duane Reade/Walgreens stores. Last Friday, 60 vaccinations were done at the Pharmacy and 43 on Saturday for a total of 103. Three extra doses were able to be pulled from the vaccine vial allocation. 

Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney visited the Pharmacy last Saturday and received a Covid 19 vaccination briefing from Duane Reade/Walgreens representatives. 

Congresswoman Maloney said:

...our goal is to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible...

The Pharmacy is scheduled to receive 100 Covid vaccine doses each week and plans to do the vaccinations on Friday and Saturday for those 65 years of age and older. At this time vaccination appointments are not available for those with NY State eligible pre-existing or comorbidity conditions.

Click here to make your online Covid 19 vaccine appointment reservation and for more info from Walgreens.

According to a Duane Reade/Walgreens spokesperson yesterday:

... The scheduling system is planned to be up Wednesday to start booking online similar to last week. We plan to do about 60 shots Friday and 40 Saturday. Please keep in mind this is a very fluid situation and the scheduling system could open up today or as late as Thursday. I would encourage folks to check frequently....

But added today:

... Looks like there will be delays due to weather. We are encouraging people to keep checking out website. We will open up scheduling once we know when the vaccine will be delivered....

Roosevelt Island resident Margie Smith noted problems some without internet access may have making vaccination appointments at the Pharmacy. According to Ms Smith:

Walgreens is doing a major disservice to people who for one reason or another cannot register online. 

I personally walked down there to register last Monday to ask when registration would be available. I was told that it would be available the next day, but if I wanted them to, they'd be happy to register me right then at the pharmacy. 

I gave the person all my information and she said I should expect a call with an exact date and time for an appointment. She even asked if I'd be available that coming Saturday. 

When the registration opened up online the next day, I didn't even try to register because I was led to believe I was already registered. No call came. I later found out that the on-site registration only put people on a list they used if there was a cancellation. 

The woman I spoke with told me that the list they have is about 4 pages long. So, all these people are under the impression that they're registered and will be getting a call as soon as an appointment becomes available. 

Anyone registering online gets ahead of them. Now that I know what's happening, I've been getting online and trying to get an appointment, but what about people who have no computers or for one reason or another can't do it online? 

How fair is that to them?

Upon learning of Ms Smith's comment, the Walgreens spokeperson said:

Thanks for the customer feedback, I will share with the local team.

The NYC Health Department is now tracking Covid Vaccination data by zip code.

Here is the data for Roosevelt Island zip code 10044. 1,329 adults have been fully vaccinated and 547 partially vaccinated out of a total adult population of 9,832.

Here's the NYC Health Department neighborhood Covid Data Profile for Roosevelt Island zip code 10044. 38 deaths and 457 cases
and 7 day testing data from February 7-13. Of the 316 people tested, 7 were positive.

Also, according to the NY State Health Department

  • COVID confirmed deaths at Coler: 13 
  • COVID confirmed deaths outside of Coler: 17 
  • COVID presumed death at Coler: 1 
  • TOTAL: 31
It's not clear how many of the Roosevelt Island Coler Nursing Facility Covid deaths listed by NYS State Health Department are included in the NYC Health Department Zip Code Covid death data.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Motorgate Bike Ramp, Sportspark, Lighthouse Tower, Nelly Bly Sculpture And Dark Fiber Project On February 17 RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting Agenda - Is Bike Ramp Needed On Roosevelt Island, How About Fixing Long Broken Motorgate Escalator?

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee is meeting tomorrow, February 17. Among the items on meeting agenda is proposed Motorgate Bike Ramp.

Images of Proposed Motorgate Bike Ramp and Cost From RIOC December 2020 Presentation

According to RIOC:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors (“REDAC”) will be held on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. via videoconference.
  • 1. Bike Ramp/Bike Lane Project
  • 2. Sportspark
  • 3. Lighthouse Tower
  • 4. Nellie Bly Project
  • 5. Dark Fiber Project
  • 6. Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee

*** Due to public health concerns and as authorized by Executive Order of the Governor, this meeting will be conducted via videoconference. 

Members of public may submit their comments for the REDAC meeting by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 via Speak at a Meeting link on RIOC’s website. All comments will be taken as advisement. The public comment period is not part of the REDAC meeting. 

The link to a webcast will be posted on RIOC’s website by 12:00 pm on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

Here's the RIOC Speak at a Meeting link and webcast link.

More info from RIOC on the Motorgate Bike Ramp

Earlier today, I asked RIOC:

The proposed Motorgate Bike Ramp is on the Agenda for approval at the Real Estate Committee and full Board meetings this week. 

RIOC President Shelton Haynes and RIOC Board members have previously said they would seek community input on whether the bike ramp is needed and desired by the community. Other than an online survey regarding bike safety issues, I am not aware of any community meetings or other attempts by RIOC to seek the opinions of Roosevelt Island residents regarding approval of the Motorgate Bike Ramp. 

Has there been any outreach by RIOC to the community seeking opinions about the proposed Bike Ramp? If so, what was it? 

I have not seen any consensus by residents approving a Motorgate Bike Ramp. In fact, Roosevelt Island Residents Association President Rossana Ceruzzi has said:

... While it is always important to treat the community with respect, it is very important to do so when controversial plans are being discussed. This project is yet another rush through job that has NOT been presented to the community for consideration and when residents feel ignored or pushed around, dialogue becomes difficult. This is another project that will chop down trees in exchange for a bike ramp. Do we have any alternatives? What is the purpose of it? Who will it serve? Why has the escalator been out of service for over a decade? Escalators that would provide service to seniors, disabled and alleviate the congestion on the elevators at Motorgate?...
Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy adds:

Has RIOC considered using funds to rebuild the long broken Motorgate Escalator instead of the Bike Ramp? 

Does RIOC have any comment on the Bike Ramp and efforts to seek input from the community?

Will update if RIOC responds.

Here's the long broken Motorgate escalator.

The Motorgate Bike ramp is also on the Agenda for February 18 RIOC Board of Directors meeting.

UPDATE 10:30 PM - RIOC spokesperson Erica Spencer-El replied to my inquiry:

For the upcoming REDAC meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 5:30 PM via video conference, there will be a presentation from our CPP Project Manager who will provide a broad overview of the timeline for the Helix Bike Ramp/Lane project as well as community engagement efforts that were implemented to show our due diligence to solicit concerns and address safe bike access to R.I. 

As for Motorgate, plans are in the works to address the facility, noting key issues concerning the atrium and prioritizing accessibility for all patrons.

Reader comments from Facebook post:
  • As a frequent bike rider, the bike ramp is a nice to have if done well, but the money could be better spent elsewhere. I am fine using the elevation up and riding the current car ramp down. I often pause to see if there is a break in the traffic before I head down the ramp.
  • Many roads need repair, including the shore promenades; please forget that ramp.
  • Speaking as an avid biker, this bike ramp is not needed. Save those cherry trees 💯 Plz do fix the new potholes on top though. Also - not many folks need the escalators. They would be underused too
  • Screw the ramp and get rid of that cheese grater bridge!

  UPDATE 2/17:


Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck Returned To Roosevelt Island Yesterday With RIOC Permit This Time - Residents Lined Up Early For Yummy Treat, Some Went Back For Seconds

After an all too brief taste last January 9, Roosevelt Island residents waited anxiously for the Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck to return. Last time Cousins Main Lobster Food Truck set up on the street in front of Good Shepherd Plaza, they were forced to leave by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department 

because they did not have a RIOC food vending permit, although they did have a NYC Food Truck permit.

Five week after Roosevelt Island first took a yummy bite from a Cousins Maine Lobster dish, the Food Truck returned yesterday to a spot across from the Tram Plaza and residents quickly started to line up.

So, were Roosevelt Island residents happy with the Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck return? I think so. Some reviews from very happy customers:
  • Both the Connecticut and Maine lobster rolls were delicious! The location worked for us! 
  • Enjoyed my Connecticut Lobster Roll today, it was delicious.
  • Yes, the lobster tots& quesadilla was delish. The location was fine.
  • It was delicious for lunch and dinner!Location was perfect!
  • Indulged twice Delish! Hope they come back soon! They can be located anywhere on the island, just not in front of our existing food vendors!
I asked when they will come back to Roosevelt Island? Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck operator replied:
We will work with RIOC again to schedule a future visit. We will request a location closer to the buildings but like last time, it's up to them to what location they will allow us to be
Hopefully, it will be less than 5 weeks for their next visit.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Are You Fascinated By NYC Subway Memorabilia? February 16 Roosevelt Island Historical Society & NYPL Virtual Zoom Presentation Of NYC Transit Authority: Objects By Photo Book Author Brian Kelley Is For You

According to Standards Manual:

New York City Transit Authority: Objects contains over 400 artifacts related to the New York City Subway, collected and documented by photographer Brian Kelley. 

Kelley started collecting MTA MetroCards in 2011, and he quickly became fascinated by other Subway-related objects. This catalogue is the first of its kind — presenting a previously uncollated archive of ephemera dating back to the 1850s.

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) and New York Public Library are hosting a free virtual Zoom lecture presentation by Mr Kelley, author of the book.

According to the New York Public Library:

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society and the New York Public Library are proud to host Brian Kelley and his presentation of his Photo-book "New York City Transit Authority: Objects". 

 Brian Kelley (b. 1988) moved to New York City in 2006 and received his BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts. Kelley’s work resists the hurried march of consumerist modernity, seeking to halt the cyclical emptiness of our material lives to capture a sense of culture at “the end of history.” 

A mixed-media approach has allowed him to pursue artwork with disruptive capacities—exhaustive research, slow & meditative composition, and the repurposing of photographic mediums—all employed to reveal the artifacts left behind by the precession of simulacra. Kelley was born in Horseheads, NY and currently lives in Lumberland, NY   

Register Now for: New York City Transit Authority: Objects

Curbed has more on the book here.

Happy President's Day, Take A Look At Gorgeous 360 Degree View From Snow Covered Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Of NYC East River Waterfront & Skyline - Play Presidential Trivia Too

Celebrate President's Day with a look at the view yesterday from Roosevelt Island's FDR 4 Freedoms Park named after Franklin D Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States.

The National Constitution Center Celebrates Presidents Day with a Presidential Triva Game. Play along.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Candidate To Represent Roosevelt Island And UES In NYC Council District 5 Rebecca Lamorte Joins Friends Of Coler Valentine's Day Walk n Wave To Show Support And Love For Coler Rehab & Nursing Residents - Watch Video Interview Of What She Has To Say

Rebecca Lamorte is a candidate to represent Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side in NYC Council District 5, seeking to succeed current City Council Member Ben Kallos who is term limited from running again. Mr Kallos is running to succeed Gale Brewer as Manhattan Borough President.

Ms Lamorte joined Friends Of Coler today for a Valentine's Day Walk n Wave to show support and love for Coler Rehab & Nursing Residents. 

I spoke with Ms Lamorte after the Coler Walk n Wave. Here's what she had to say.

Learn more about Ms Lamorte at her campaign website and Twitter page.

Ms Lamorte's opponents in the June 22 Democratic Party Primary are: 

Advantage Learning Lab On Roosevelt Island Closed For Winter Break, Reopening February 22 - Provides Free Academic And Enrichment Activities For Kindergarten Thru Grade 8 Blended And Fully Remote Students

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.

As previously reported, the:

... Roosevelt Island Learning Bridges program for K-8 grade students is available from HCK Recreation, the managing partner of the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club...

... 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....

According to the Advantage Learning Lab on Roosevelt Island:

HCK Recreation, Inc. is approved by the City of New York to provide a Learning Lab program for up to 200 seats through the Learning Bridges Initiative. Funded by the Department of Youth and Community Development, the Advantage Learning Lab on Roosevelt Island program will provide, at no charge to families, academic support and enrichment activities from 8 AM to 3 PM weekdays while public schools are in session...

Joyce Short, Marketing Specialist for Advantage Learning Lab on Roosevelt Island adds:

Like NY's public schools, the free Advantage Learning Lab on Roosevelt Island will be closed for "February break" from Friday 2/12, to Monday 2/22. The Learning Lab has provided service for all children from kindergarten through 8th grade who were enrolled in Blended learning. The NYC Department Of Youth & Community Development recently expanded its policy so that Learning Labs can also include Fully Remote students.  

Students are not only attending their on-line classes

under the watchful eyes of professional staff, they are also able to enjoy enrichment activities 

 like chess, art, and gym activities, 

with adult oversight to maintain social distancing.  

Admission is available on a rolling basis by contacting Paul Fontana, the Director, at Parents can take advantage of the February break to contact Paul and make the needed arrangements to begin when public schools and the Learning Lab are back in session on 2/22.

Learn more about the Advantage Learning Lab on Roosevelt Island from their newsletter below

and web site.