Saturday, May 29, 2021

Fisherman Catches East River Fluke From Roosevelt Island And Gets Taste Of East River Water Splash, A Little Salty With A Hint Of Sewage Taste He Says

The NYC Health Department 

advises against eating fish from the East River.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Celebrate National Learn About Compost Day Saturday May 29 At Roosevelt Island Haki Collective Food Scrap Drop Off Site With Live Musical Performance From Nate & Hila Dressed As Banana Peel And Apple Core

The Roosevelt Island Haki Compost Collective report:

Celebrate “National Learn About Composting Day” this Saturday, May 29 with a live musical performance from @NateandHila. The duo will perform their single “Compost (feat. DiorNoel [@greenfeen])”—which breaks down how we can recycle our organic waste, and why it’s so important for the future of our communities and our planet—and other family-friendly songs! 

Live: Nate & Hila 

Date: Sat, May 29 

Time: 12pm  

Location: Roosevelt Island’s food scrap drop-off site (alongside the farmers market, in front of Rivercross at 531 Main St)  

The performance is free, open to the public, and appropriate for all ages. No tickets necessary.

Take this virtual tour of the Big Reuse Queensbridge Compost Processing site and see how your Roosevelt Island Food scraps become compost. As previously reported, the Queensbridge Compost Processing Site is in danger of being evicted at the end of June by NYC Parks Department.

Roosevelt Island Memorial Day Weekend Transportation & Guidance From RIOC On Tram & Facilities

According to the MTA, there will be Roosevelt Island F Train service to and from Manhattan this weekend.

 Also, Roosevelt Island R train service to and from Manhattan..

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp:

As we move forward in the reopening stages of New York, kindly continue to maintain social distancing, wear face masks/coverings outdoors when in close proximity of others, and take the additional necessary precautions to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission, based on the current CDC Guidance being followed by New York State (see 

Below is an update on Memorial Day weekend transportation and RIOC-controlled open spaces and facilities:   


Tram - Will run on a weekday schedule with both Trams operating and adhering to social distancing with 55 passengers per Tram cabin. There will be no Tram shuttle bus. Please see schedule info at: 

Red Bus - Will run on the weekday schedule. There will be no Octagon Express bus. Please see schedule at: 

Subway - Please plan your travel accordingly and visit or call 511 for more information. For electronic updates on F Train service, sign up for MTA Alerts at 

NYC Ferry Service – For information go to:  


Open Areas/Facilities: 

  • Comfort Stations at Lighthouse Park and Southpoint Park 
  • Outdoor Tennis Courts – reservation system here.
  • All public playgrounds 
  • All Fields are open
  • Basketball hoops and soccer goals are available for use 
  • All public cooking areas (grills)

Closed Facilities:

  • Sportspark  
  • All RIOC administrative offices 

In addition, the Public Safety Department (PSD) will be patrolling the island, with extra patrols focusing on recreation and transportation areas. 

Have a safe and healthy holiday weekend!
Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule which extends to East 90th street on the Upper East Side. 

And Roosevelt Island Ciibike docking stations too.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket May 28- June 3 Memorial Day Weekend Savings, Product Offerings & Special Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Option, Digital Coupons & 30 Day Health Challenge Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket      


invites you to check out their May 28 - June 3 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, May 27, 2021

Thursday May 20 Was One Of My Worst Days On Roosevelt Island Says Living Library Gardener Accused Of Trespassing For Trying To Water Thirsty Plants And Trees During Heat Wave By RIOC Community Affairs Director Who Filed Public Safety Complaint Against Gardener Too

The Roosevelt Island Living Library and Think Park Gardens is one of many community groups working hard to make Roosevelt Island a beautiful place to live. According to the Living Library website:

...The RI Living Library & Think Park Gardens serve as a thriving and healthy, hands-on ecological learning hub for youth and adults to explore and learn about nature, and work with soil and plants, so they grow and thrive in an urban setting. 

Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder & Director of A Living Library, and its nonprofit sponsor, Life Frames, Inc., has been working together with the Roosevelt Island community since 2001. She has been joined by China Bushell, who is working with the community in transforming the R.I. Living Library & Think Park Gardens into the ecological artwork we see today, and teaching all ages about plants, gardening, and all things natural, including healthy eating and cooking....

The Roosevelt Island Living Library is located next to the new Public Library branch (504 Main Street) and Roosevelt Island Youth Center (506 Main Street).  

On Saturday May 15, I spoke with Roosevelt Island Living Library Manager and Teacher China Bushell about their gardening projects and volunteer opportunities. Ms Bushell told me:
... every year we plant in this garden anywhere from 500 to a 1,000 plants, most of which are annuals... 

... we have every herb. Rosemary, Calendula, Basil, Parsley Cilantro. We have Lavender, we have flowers, Cosmos, Salvia, French Marigolds, African Marigolds. We have Snapdragons. 

We have vegetables we have four kinds of Peppers Serrano Jalapeno Cayenne and Bell. we have four types of tomato San Marzano Celebrity, Sweet 100 and Beef.  We have Zucchini, Cucumbers Kale, every Fennel. We have everything... 

... This year I want to do three major things probably four. I need help building a shed. I need help building beds around this wonderful area especially this overgrown area. I also need help with building a compost bin and also my favorite the fence...

Last Saturday, I learned of a very disturbing incident involving Ms Bushell and Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Communications & Community Affairs Director Erica Spencer-El. According to Ms Bushell:

Thursday, May 20th was one of my worst days on the Island. 

I am the Gardner, head teacher, for the Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park Gardens. Last week I had an encounter that shattered my belief about what this Island and the Community Groups of this Island stand for. As you all know, for three years I’ve been asking for water. Not once, not twice but numerous times, I’ve asked RIOC to assist us with water. 

Last year, the Contractor who renovated the new RI Public Library, assisted by hooking me up to the spout around the back of the new space for the Library - the Youth Center. This year, I asked again and have been lugging bottles full of water, in my car, from home. A ridiculous concept, but RI Living Library needed water. 

As all of you know who reside in NYC, the last 10 days; we’ve had a heatwave producing a long dry spell. So when I walked into our Garden this past Thursday, lugging water,  I realized that our trees and most of the garden was thirsty and dried out. My several gallons of water had not watered our Garden. Two of the trees were dying, so I had to act quickly. 

I went to the water connection that I had used two years ago and found out that it had been capped. I carry tools in my car, so I went and brought back tools to help me unlock the valve. I did, but realized the water had been turned off from within the building. 

So, I headed for the spout I used last year during the Pandemic - where the Contractor had hooked me up - behind the Youth Center. As I was attaching my hose, a security guard came out to ask what I was doing. I explained that I used this water source all of last year and that I was in desperate need of water. He looked as though he understood. A woman came out and told me I was trespassing and that I had to leave. I explained who I was and how desperate I was. She looked at me and told me I’m trespassing, and I would have to leave. She explained she was Erica and that Ms. Bonnie should know better. I then asked her, if she could make an exception today because all the plants were dying. 

“Plants are living creatures and need water, please help us ‘ I begged. She looked me in the eye and said ‘No’. Not even for a one time deal. I then told her that we are a small community and should help each other. She refused and told me to leave, ‘ Your trespassing!’ I left despondent. Upset and still desperate, I ran back to the Garden . 

I wasn’t at the Garden for five minutes, before the security guard shows up with a public safety police person. Apparently Erica filed a complaint with them and asked for them to write me up.
I mean in the age of George Floyd, a black woman calling the police on another black woman .....and for water!!! Ridiculous.... 

To my benefit, the security guard who was originally at the scene with Erica heard in my voice my desperation for water and shared that with the public safety cop, so they both stated they came to help.
They shared they didn’t understand Erica, and her objection to watering, at least once, and suggested I use the water at the Blackwell House. I told them I wasn’t sure because the hose crosses a major walking path which many Roosevelt Islanders cross. They found me cones to create awareness. Luckily for me, the water turned on. 

Before, I could water, public safety asked for my license to write me up. Appalling!!! 

I’m trying to create this year’s respite, as I did last year , on the Island; and I have to search, beg and look for water. I have to listen to a woman who runs the YOUTH Center, tell me I’m trespassing, instead of allowing me to use the water once, in a time of drought and a heat wave. And the fact that we are all funded by the same entity, where is our comradery ? 

Where is our Community? It’s water!!! I wasn’t stealing her plants or invading her space. I was using one of two working water outlets available to me. 

To this end, I’m still upset! For the life of me, I can’t understand how anyone would deny me one of the only sources of water in my area during a drought and heat wave. I can’t understand how someone, who is supposed to help youth, and can’t share water? 

Her attitude, her sending the police after me is Unacceptable and Uncalled for. I don’t know the politics of the Island, and I have tried to create relationships, even with the people I vie competitively with, because we have one goal: to help, improve and support the people who live on Roosevelt Island. 

I’d like water in our area!!! We need it. 

I Never want to be in this position again. It’s UNFAIR and UNACCEPTABLE !! 

Upon learning of the incident, Bonnie Ora Sherk, the Founder and Director of A Living Library sent this May 25 email below to Ms Bushell and copying RIOC staff and directors, NYC Council Member Ben Kallos, NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and Roosevelt Island community members

Dear China, 

I am so sorry that you had this vicious, rude, and disrespectful experience that you described in your email with Erica Spencer-El Al. She has a terrible reputation with so many RI community members as being an extremely cold, mean-spirited communicator and person. Hopefully RIOC management and the RIOC Board will talk with her about this incident so that an apology will be offered to you for your treatment, and the police report will be expunged from your record.

Please just know there is even more History to this situation than you alluded to, or perhaps even know about:

In addition to you asking for water, I have too; for many years, been asking for water for this site, even before you came to work with Life Frames, Inc. and the RI Community a few years back.

The RI Living Library & Think Park Gardens have been in our current location behind the RI Public Library since FY 2010-11, when Steve Chironis, then RIOC COO, invited us to move from our many sites at PS/IS 217, where we had been greening the school and nearby environments since right after 9/11, working with the full community in planning and doing. We created Orchards on the riverside of the school planted by the students, and gorgeous, lush, Organic Vegetable, Flower, Herb Gardens and a Compost 3-Bin complex inside the school yard, also planted, maintained, and built by the students as part of their A.L.L. STEAM + Literacy Program that Life Frames provided to PreK-8 students during the school day, after school, and summers, for about 10 years at this site. 

When the School went into construction and had scaffolding surrounding the building for many years, and used our RI Living Library & Think Park Orchard for its construction staging area, Steve Chironis helped to move us to our current site adjacent to, and behind the new Library. I am attaching a couple of pics for you to see its former state of underused, barren emptiness - nothing resembling its vital beauty today.
For many years, we used the water spigots behind the building where the newly renovated Library is now, to access water for the Gardens. I even met with Library management and the architects to discuss many times, the idea of adding outdoor water and electricity to the building. That made so much sense, but unfortunately, did not happen.

When the actual renovations finally began those many years ago, the building was gutted and all utilities were removed. At that point, there was no longer any water available, so we used water from behind the Youth Center for some time, but it was awkward as it was often locked even though we were allowed to use the water by the then Director of the Youth Center. 

Then, the great, Doryne Isley, from Urban America, gave us access to one of her buildings just past the Youth Center to access water from an outside spigot. That was quite a distance from the A.L.L. Gardens, but to worked for us for several years, even though we had to lug several hundred feet of hose to the site, until the renovations for the Library began, and Doryne’s building access was eliminated due to construction. 

During the construction, the then RIOC Senior Capital Planning Director, Steven T. Noone, asked me to create a Master Plan for the site, also attached below, which I did. We discussed at great length our need for water, and the ideas that he had to include new water quick couplers under the ground as part of the Blackwell House renovations. He also was going to include some other capital funds for improvements to the area like: new paving (including recycling the beautiful Belgian Blocks behind the Library), wheelchair accessible planters, a shed, fencing, and other needs for the space. Unfortunately he left RIOC some years ago and his ideas were not implemented.

During this time, I also met with, and had many discussions about the water, fencing, greenhouse and shed needs, with Prince Shah, Senior Capital Project Manager and his colleague, Janet Fasano (no longer at RIOC). Although we discussed the water need and other needs for several years nothing happened.
After Steve Noone left, another Senior Capital Planner was hired, Jonna Carmona-Graf, with whom I also worked closely to get these basic needs met. She too left after a few years and no water source came to our A.L.L. Gardens. 

Then, Patrick McCauley was brought in as the RIOC Communications Director, and Prince said I was to work with him to get water and other needs met. I did, and we worked together, and then he left last year, but again, no water source was brought to the A.L.L. Gardens. 

During these years, by the way, Erica was cc’d on many of these emails that went back and forth, so she should have been more familiar with our needs and the situation, and not surprised, and saying to you last Thursday, that I "should have known better”. Quite ironic, don’t you think ?

Then, earlier this year, during our PPF presentation, John O’Reilly and I discussed the need for water during the public meeting. He seemed to indicate we could discuss this together as well as other needs we have for this public amenity we are creating. I have tried to reach him since then to discuss further, with no response from him.

At any rate, as you can see, we have been trying to get water - a basic need - to this site - for at least 10 years. Perhaps this year, someone at RIOC will see the light and prevail.

Thanks for OUR patience.

Sending you much Gratitude, Thanks, and RESPECT for your devoted service to the RI community and the RI Living Library & Think Park Gardens,

Long time Roosevelt Island resident and former Roosevelt Island Residents Association President Matt Katz added:

This is nothing new. Erica has never been inclined to find solutions to problems that I am aware of. That sources of water should be capped, on an Island surrounded by a River, is absurd.  

Bonnie Sherk and the Living Library have been a source of beauty for the community and a resource for educating children, seniors and the disabled for the over twenty years in which she has served us. Her obstacles have been dramatic. New York City has never supported her projects in the way San Francisco, her other nexus, has; how short-sighted!

RIOC, with its massive turn-over in department heads makes promises and then, reneges as new,leadership that doesn't have a clue comes on board. As for the top spot, President and CEO, I think there have been 15 or 16 heads of the corporation in the 32 years I've lived on Roosevelt Island. By the time they start to learn the issues and address them, they're gone! A "public benefit" corporation, whose leadership and employees who don't live here and have no stake in the community, is no way to run a residential and commercial community. Elective government is. 

And while we are politically a part of New York City our municipal electeds do not make the nuts and bolts decisions here that they are responsible for elsewhere. We attempted to require the RIOC Board of Directors, that sets policy for the corporation, be a majority of residents (it is) and that they be chosen by residential plebiscite. As a result of massive effort by the Resident Association, this was the case until Andrew Cuomo was elected Governor, destroyed our attempt at elective democracy, and returned the Board to appointment by fiat. 

We deserve better. The Living Library deserves better. Our Island of gardens deserves better.

Resident Vicki Feinmel agrees with Mr Katz:

Well said Matt. That RIOC can’t allow the Living Library easy access to water is absolutely ridiculous. The garden is wonderful and enjoyed by all. I just can’t understand what the problem is.  

The Living Library has been here for years and deserves better treatment.

I've asked RIOC twice this week for comment on this issue. So far, no response.

Will update if RIOC replies.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Roosevelt Island Friends, Neighbors And United Nations Colleagues Honor UN Secretary General And Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Kofi Annan With Tribute Plaque Placed In Front Of Former Island House Home

Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who died in 2018 at 80 years of age, was a long time Roosevelt Island resident. He lived at Island House from 1978 until he became UN Secretary General in 1997.

On Monday, May 24, 2021, friend, neighbors and colleagues gathered together on Main Street in front of a small Island House Garden to unveil a Tribute Plaque  honoring Kofi Annan.

Suren Shahinyan, an Island House resident and United Nations colleague hosted the gathering honoring Kofi Annan and said:

....I think we are all proud today because we're part of the history. We're making history. We have been neighbors and colleagues of a man who has been a world icon for peace, for development and the man who lived a very distinguished, but simple life. Today we'll be speaking of him as a neighbor and as a man that we knew.

We can speak volumes of course of Kofi Annan's career, a  distinguished career for the diplomat. He was the seventh Secretary General of the UN.  He was the only Secretary General who grew from the ranks. As I said he came as young as we were when I came on the Island. Unfortunately i didn't have a chance to live with him on the island because he left and I came afterwards. I  can maybe recall one incident when I met him here. Maybe this was one of his last works. It was end of 1996, he became the Secretary General from January 1997 and he stayed for two terms which is December 2007...

 ...I found a young colleague who lived here and we were on the Tram and that UN colleague just pointed to a man who was very humbly simply standing in the corner and he said watch this man, he's going to be the next Secretary General....

Here's the Island House tribute to their neighbor, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Island House neighbor and United Nations colleague Georg Kell was among those who spoke during the Tribute Plaque Unveiling and he urged those who gathered to read the August 2018 obituary he wrote in memory of Kofi Annan to learn more about the man. According to Mr Kell:

A great son of Africa and a true global leader has passed away. Kofi Annan, United Nations secretary general from 1997 to 2006 and co-recipient, with the UN, of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, is being mourned and remembered with great affection all over the world. He was the conscience of humanity, endowed with the ability to inspire millions of people across cultures, religions and nations to support the good causes of the United Nations – peace, human rights and sustainable development. Kofi Annan’s unique leadership capabilities, his humility and decency, his compassion and his humor will always be remembered by those who had the privilege of working with him. As last great reformer of the United Nations, he managed to modernize its bureaucracy in critical areas such as women empowerment and global health.

Kofi Annan is mostly remembered for the role he played on the political stage and for the events that shaped the first decade of our century, especially the invasion of Iraq. He did not hesitate to speak truth to power and he silently –abandoned by many around him – endured the consequence: a very ugly personal smear campaign that wrongly accused him of corruption. But even during these dark months he would not abandon his faith in the ideas of the United Nations.

Kofi Annan was one of the greatest diplomats in history. Yet his legacy will endure in another area as well. As a pragmatist and modernizer, Kofi Annan was tirelessly striving to overcome old ideologies. Early on, he embraced the idea of opening up the United Nations to the people, to civil society and to the private sector which was, up until his appointment as secretary general in 1997, largely hostile to the organization.  

In the sunny afternoon of January 29, 1999, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Kofi Annan spoke to hundreds of business executives: “I propose that you, the business leaders…and we the United Nations initiate a Global Compact of shared values and principles, which will give a human face to the global market.” Every word of this speech sank into the minds of those present. And with this “speech act,” Kofi Annan planted the seeds for the modern corporate sustainability movement. The call was heard all over the world. Over the subsequent years, business leaders and civil society from Argentina to Canada, from South Africa to Iceland and from Lebanon to China would form “local networks,” informed by universal principles, to change business practices. Numerous business leaders, such as Sir Mark Moody Stuart, stepped forward and dedicated years to translate Kofi Annan’s call into the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the United Nations Global Compact. 

Kofi Annan’s call to action is as relevant today as it was two decades ago: “The spread of markets outpaces the ability of societies and their political systems to adjust to them, let alone to guide the course they take. History teaches us that such an imbalance between the economic, social and political realm can never be sustained for very long. The global economy will be fragile and vulnerable to the backlash from all the “isms” of our time: protectionism, populism, nationalism, ethnic chauvinism, fanaticism and terrorism.” Thousands of companies around the world who have embraced the ten universal principles of the UN Global Compact in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption have the opportunity to carry Kofi Annan’s legacy forward now.

Kofi Annan not only had the courage to call on CEOs to embed universal values of humanity into corporate strategies and practices. He also played a critical role in the creation of the modern sustainable investing movement. During his darkest hours when smear campaigns against him were fueled by some of the world’s most powerful opinion spinners and when “the enemy was within the organization,” trying very hard to block any action that would advance the goals of the United Nations, Kofi Annan invited CEOs of some of the world’s largest asset owners and asked them to embrace the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their decision-making. He then joined them – against the advice of some of his aides – to launch the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) at the New York Stock Exchange in April 2006. And with the appointment of John Ruggie, Kofi Annan paved the way for the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights, now the gold standard in this critical area.

Today, the UN Global Compact and the PRI are thriving initiatives, and numerous other initiatives around the world have taken root as well. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015, build on this foundation and offer a roadmap for action. As the principles of the UN Global Compact have become part of big data analyses and smart algorithms, such as Arabesque’s S-Ray, Kofi Annan’s legacy is now also at work at the critical intersection between corporate responsibility and sustainable finance, which may well become the most important driver for our common future.

Kofi Annan has given us so much. He has shown us the meaning and practice of true leadership. His decency, respect and deep sense of humility and responsibility have touched our hearts and minds.

Kofi, your smile will always be with us." 

The August 28, 2018 Main Street WIRE has more on Roosevelt Islanders remembering Kofi Annan.

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For More info about Advantage Day Camps at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club visit their website or call 212.935.0250

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Manhattan District Attorney Candidate Liz Crotty Meets And Speaks With Roosevelt Island Residents Last Saturday At Farmers Market - Watch Video Of What She Says About Not Being A Self Described Progressive, Law Enforcement, Listening To Victims And Big Fan Of Roosevelt Island

According to the NY Times:

The race to become Manhattan’s next district attorney is shaping up to be one of the most important in decades, a watershed contest that is likely to fundamentally change the mission of the prominent office and may affect the future of former President Donald J. Trump. 

Yet the eight candidates are all relative unknowns, and, with no public polling, there is no clear front-runner. The victor is likely to win the general election in November without having received a majority of votes in the Democratic primary.

Liz Crotty is among the candidates seeking to replace Cy Vance as Manhattan District Attorney

According to Ms. Crotty's website: 

As Manhattan District Attorney, my number one priority will be the safety of New York City and defending the rights of victims to get the justice they deserve. We can't afford a Manhattan DA who won't keep us safe....

Read Elizabeth's Priorities ...

... Elizabeth will bring 20 years of firsthand criminal law experience to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office — experience that cannot be taught in a course on policy development or by tenure in an executive office, but experience that can only come from working in the trenches and the courts consistently, day after day.

Elizabeth’s experience has provided her a clear vision to see that the District Attorney’s Office can do better. However, she understands the only way to better the office is with a plan that is practical and works with the system. 

Her plan starts with ensuring the office is working in the people’s best interest — always prioritizing every New Yorker’s hope for public safety. Every neighborhood and community needs to feel that the District Attorney’s Office is working for them. That means it must work closely in each and every in diverse community in Manhattan, as well as work with the police to make sure that they are protecting the communities they are entrusted to serve with dignity and honor....

Ms Crotty was at the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market last Saturday speaking with residents about her run for Manhattan District Attorney and local issues. I spoke with her too. Here's what Ms. Crotty had to say. 

I asked Ms Crotty what she thought of Roosevelt Island. She replied:

Oh I love Roosevelt's Island. 

I've been coming here since I was a kid.

My best friends when I was like nine and ten years old, the family I grew up with lived right here on 530 Main street so when I was a kid and you wanted to come for a sleepover on Roosevelt Island you got a tram ride, you got to swim in a pool and you got to go see watch a movie in their apartment. 

That was always a big thrill. I love Roosevelt Island. I play tennis here as an adult and so I've been a frequent visitor since the 1980s when it first started. 

I've always been a big Roosevelt Island fan.

Learn more about Ms Crotty's campaign for Manhattan District Attorney, experience and views on criminal justice issues at her website.

Ms. Crotty's opponents in the June 22 Manhattan District Attorney Democratic Party Primary are:

The Gotham Gazette has more information on all the candidates for 2021 Manhattan District Attorney election.

Monday, May 24, 2021

NYC Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang Visits Roosevelt Island Yesterday, Speaks To Residents And Small Business Owners - Watch Video Interview With Mr Yang Walking Down Main Street Talking About Issues And Future Of RIOC Governance

As previously reported, NYC Democratic Party Primary Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang visited Roosevelt Island yesterday speaking with residents

and business owners.

                                                                        Andrew Yang Speaking With Nisi Diner Owner Alex Razaghi

Mr Yang was accompanied by Democratic Party Primary 76 Assembly District (includes Roosevelt Island) Leader candidate Esther Yang, who has become a familiar presence on Roosevelt Island campaigning every Saturday at the Farmers Market.

I spoke with Mr Yang as he walked down Main Street on his way from the Nisi Diner

to Piccolo Trattoria

Grannie Annie's Bar & Kitchen
and then back to Manhattan. I asked Mr Yang why he was running for Mayor, what experience and qualifications does he have to be Mayor and his top 3 priorities should he be elected. 

I also asked:

Roosevelt island is different from other New York City neighborhoods because we're governed by New York State just like Battery Park City. I wonder if you had any views on maybe returning Roosevelt Island to the City Of New York ?

Mr Yang replied:

Alex just asked me about this and it is a very distinct situation that Roosevelt Island is in with RIOC where you have people who are appointed by the State. 

It's something I'd love to talk to the folks here in Roosevelt Island about which is one of the biggest issues that you currently encounter with the way that the governance is run at present and is there a way that we can make it so that the community members here who have the most at stake have a say in what happens here on the island so i I'd be really both open to and excited about those kinds of ideas.

Here's my interview with Mr Yang

and portion of his conversation with Nisi owner Alex Razaghi.

I spoke with Mr Yang on the Roosevelt Island Tram about his visit to Roosevelt Island.

After getting off the Tram, Andrew Yang endorsed Esther Yang for Democratic Party 76 Assembly District Leader.

Throughout his time campaigning on Roosevelt Island, I noticed Mr Yang shaking hands with voters. I asked him about campaign handshakes in the age of Covid 19. Mr Yang replied:

I've been vaccinated. Most people have been vaccinated and the data doesn't show that it's physical contact that would be an issue anyway. But most of it is that my campaign is largely about about bringing the energy back to New York City. 

About people coming back to enjoy places like Roosevelt Island, frequenting the small businesses so I want to lead by example. I want people in New York to know that the energy is coming back. 

We need change in the city and one way that we can exemplify that change just by campaigning in a way that represents what we want New York City to be. 

Some more scenes from Andrew Yang's campaign visit to Roosevelt Island.

More info about Mr Yang's campaign available at his web site.

Mr Yang's opponents in the June 22 Democratic Party Mayoral Primary are:

NYC early voting starts June 12 thru June 20. Roosevelt Island early voting location is at the Sportspark facility, 250 Main Street.

This year, NYC has ranked choice voting. This is how it works.

Hopefully more NYC Mayoral candidates will visit Roosevelt Island to learn about community concerns and needs.