Saturday, June 26, 2021

NYC Ferry From Long Island City To Roosevelt Island Navigates Through Large Jet Ski Flotilla Invasion of East River This Morning

A large flotilla of Jet Skis passed by Roosevelt Island this morning on the East River attracting the attention of onlookers walking along the waterfront promenade wondering what was going on. It even appeared as though a passing NY Ferry boat on way from Long Island City to Roosevelt Island was  having difficulty navigating through the Jet Ski flotilla.

Apparently it was a planned Jet Ski invasion meeting up near the LIC East River Pepsi sign.
The Twitterverse adds:

Friday, June 25, 2021

Pride Month Remarks From President Biden And Thoughts From A Roosevelt Island Resident, Representation And Visibility Matters - Local Celebration At FDR Park And Graduate Hotel This Weekend


Resident Thom Heyer reflects on 2021 Pride Month experienced here on Roosevelt Island. According to Mr Heyer:

Representation & Visibility Does Matter

When my husband & I left Chelsea, almost 4 years ago to move to Roosevelt Island, it was with zero regrets. 

We've both found Roosevelt Island to be welcoming & full of possibilities.  

I've enjoyed participating with many of the organizations and events on the island:  Fall For the Arts, Open Doors, RIVAA, RIHS, MSTDA, Cornell Tech, concerts, community demonstrations & protests. "Showing up" actually seems to matter when you live in a community the size of ours. 

In 2019 when RIOC put up rainbow flags for the first time to celebrate Pride Month, my first thought was " 'bout time!"
But then I stopped being so cynical & started to take in the joy. 
Being a 60 year old gay man, I have lived through MANY phases of Queer identity in NYC.
I love going to the Pride Parade every year to see that wonderful range of "my people" from the ridiculous to the sublime!
Granted, it now seems to be a bloated example of capitalism & corporate America, but I sure missed the parade last year when it was cancelled because of Covid.
I also missed seeing the rainbow flags up last year on Roosevelt Island.
I could have used the little bit of comfort I always get from seeing the rainbow flags.
They somehow feel like the community at large saying, "I SEE you & your Queer life has value to me!"
I gave RIOC a free pass last year, because NOTHING was normal.
I put two little rainbow flags in a flower pot on my deck overlooking the Meditation Steps last year.
I wanted our local Queer community to know that I saw each and every one of them!
If I looked stupid, at least my heart was in the right place....
June arrived this year & WHERE were the rainbow flags?
The Queer community has not left the island--I assure you we are still here! 
I finally got around to emailing two members of RIOC who I know.
I told them that to be acknowledged one year & then not after that seemed insensitive at best & insulting at worst.
They told me I was correct & assured me it was an oversite.
They were scrambling to get some type of representation up by the final weekend.
I'm sure I was not the only one contacting RIOC, but I am thankful that I can "call them out" & know that they will listen.
The people I talked to responded with an open heart.
We'll see what turns up this weekend, because I WILL BE LOOKING! 
Please know that representation and visibility DOES matter.
We all want to be acknowledged & valued & acknowledging our LGBTQ+ community on Roosevelt Island IS important--
"Happy Pride, Everyone!"

The Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park is recognizing Pride Month this weekend with Drag Queen story hour on Saturday and Sunday

... Through storytelling and creativity, DQSH teaches children about gender diversity and all forms of difference to build empathy and give kids the confidence to express themselves however they feel comfortable...

Roosevelt Island's Graduate Hotel is celebrating Pride Month with a Saturday afternoon of Pop Ups and Sweet Treats:

The newly opened Graduate Roosevelt Island who will be hosting a series of pop-ups from NYC favorites on Saturday, June 26th including Big Gay Ice Cream, nail-art and mini manicures from Paint Box, Magic Mix Juicery, a Pride-inspired floral design from East Olivia. A pop-up shop will also feature specialty candles by Queer Candle Co., iconic clothing from MessQueen, and incredibly fun accessories by Smiley Goods, and RatTrapp, Graduate Roosevelt Island is excited to welcome all, through their brand new doors. 

The hotel’s restaurant, Anything At All, will also be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the festivities.

Grannie Annie's Bar & Kitchen is displaying the Rainbow Banner.
In 2019, the FDR 4 Freedoms Park celebrated Pride Month by transforming it monument staircase into NYC's largest Pride Flag.

Happy Pride Month 

UPDATE 7/7 - The rainbow colored Pride Flags are flying over Blackwell Turnaround.

Roosevelt Island Jazz Jam Session Welcoming Local Musicians & Singers To Join In At Gallery RIVAA Sunday June 27 - Stop By And Celebrate Return Of Live Music At Roosevelt Island Jazz Jam

Gallery RIVAA is hosting a Jazz Jam Session Sunday, June 27 from 2-6 PM and welcomes Roosevelt Island Jazz musicians and singers to join in.

Before Covid, the Gallery RIVAA Jazz Jam was a regular celebration for the prior 4 years. This coming Sunday's Jazz Jam is intended to be a celebration of live music after the long lapse due to the Covid Pandemic.

If you want to play in the Jam, please contact

Do yourself a favor and stop by Gallery RIVAA (527 Main Street) on Sunday afternoon to hear some good jazz being played. 

Take a listen to the Roosevelt Island 2019 International Jazz Day Jam Celebration at Gallery RIVAA

It's Summer Time, Roosevelt Island Barbecue Grills Open First Come First Serve Basis At Lighthouse And Octagon Parks - Personal Grills Not Permitted

A reader asks:

I am a resident of Roosevelt Island and I wanted to know if BBQ parties are allowed during July 4th? If so, where are the spots to grill and if there is any particular process for this (permits etc.)
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Amy Smith answered:
The Lighthouse Park grills will be available for use on July 4th. The procedure will be standard, which is a first-come, first-serve basis. You can read more about it and send readers to our website, here.

Image From RIOC

Ms Smith added that the grills

in the Octagon Park BBQ area:

... will be open and they are available to the public with the same use protocol as the Lighthouse Park grills.

Also, according to the RIOC website:

... Personal grills are not permitted. The park is open from dawn until 10 PM.

Here are some BBQ tips from Jamie Oliver.

Happy BBQing this summer.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Good News For Roosevelt Island Haki Compost Food Scrap Drop Off Site Users, NYC Parks Department Extends Big Reuse Queensbridge Compost Processing Site Stay For Another Year Thru 2022

As reported June 3:

... the Big Reuse Queensbridge Compost Processing facility which recycles food scraps collected from Roosevelt Island and many other neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn is scheduled to be evicted from it's site under the Queensboro Bridge by the NYC Parks Department at the end of this month....

 Last Saturday,

 Big Reuse hosted a Compost Bike Tour including a stop at the Roosevelt Island Haki Compost Collective Food Scrap Drop Off Site

During the Roosevelt Island stop, Big Reuse representative Guy Lopez reported that NYC Parks Department extended the Big Reuse Queensbridge Compost Processing Facility licensing agreement for another year thru June 2022.

Here is June 10 letter from NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchel Silver to Big Reuse informing them that the Queensbridge Compost Facility license agreement is extended for one year thru June 2022.

Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright said:

As we work our way back from the pandemic, this is not the time to close down a successful composting site. We commend the Parks Department's quick response to prevent the closure of a valued facility that composts more than 1 million pounds of waste per year. Roosevelt Islanders are among the most loyal fans of composting and now they can count on continued Saturday collection service of food scraps and other approved compostable materials.

Big Reuse is celebrating the extension of Queensbridge Compost Processing Facility license agreement with a Carnival on Sunday June 27. You're invited.

Please join us this Sunday, June 27 from 1-5pm for a Compost Carnival in celebration of community composting and the recent @bigreuse & @lesecologyctr wins! 

It will be a family-friendly gathering in Queensbridge park with music, art making, BBQing, and more.

The Big Reuse Compost Bike Tour riders learned all about the Roosevelt Island Saturday Haki Compost Collective Food Scrap Drop Off Site from volunteer Christina Delfico.

And take a virtual tour of the Big Reuse Queensbridge Compost Processing Facility with me.

You can bring your Roosevelt Island food scraps 

every Saturday morning/afternoon to the Haki Drop Off Site 

in front of Rivercross Building (531 Main Street) next to the Farmers Market.

Sponsored Post - Drag Queen Story Hour For Kids Of All Ages With Flame & Lori Lu This Weekend June 26 - June 27 At Roosevelt Island FDR 4 Freedom Park - Kids Learn About Gender Diversity, Empathy And Confidence To Express Themselves

Pop-Up Library: Drag Queen Story Hour

Sat, Jun 26, 2021, 11:00 AM

Sun, Jun 27, 2021, 11:00 AM

Join Flame and Lori Lu for Drag Queen Story Hour at FDR Four Freedoms State Park, on Roosevelt Island this weekend, Saturday, June 26 and Sunday June 27. Stories and songs for kids of all ages! 

This is a free event, but registration is required and limited to 60 attendees.(Register here for Saturday)

This program is presented by Drag Queen Story Hour NYC, an organization which provides a range of fun and fabulous educational experiences for children and teens from 3 to 18 years old in libraries, schools, museums, and community spaces. Through storytelling and creativity, DQSH teaches children about gender diversity and all forms of difference to build empathy and give kids the confidence to express themselves however they feel comfortable. (Register here for Sunday.)

This event is hosted by Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that programs Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park on Roosevelt Island, on behalf of the people of New York, and in partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. 


Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park 

1 FDR Four Freedoms Park 

New York, NY 10044

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Julie Menin Top Vote Getter So Far In NYC Council District 5 Democratic Party Primary Election But Absentee And Ranked Choice Ballots Still To Be Counted - How Did Roosevelt Island Vote?

According to the NYC Board Of Elections, the unofficial election night results of the NYC Council District 5 Democratic Party Primary  to represent Roosevelt Island, Upper East Side and East Harlem are: 

We don't know yet who won the election. Julie Menin was the top vote getter with 6,982 votes (33.93%) followed by Tricia Shimamura with 4,810 votes (23.38%). The vote count does not include absentee ballots or ranked choice voting. The NYC Board Of Elections will begin tabulating Ranked Choice Voting on June 29.

How did Roosevelt Island (Election Districts 82-87) vote in the NYC Council Election? 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

New Roosevelt Island 140 Seat Indoor/Outdoor Restaurant With All Female Food & Beverage Team Opens Tonight At Graduate Hotel On Cornell Tech Campus - Anything At All Menu Rooted In Farm Fresh, Vegetable Forward Approach To Contemporary Comfort Food, Specialty Cocktails Too

The new Roosevelt Island restaurant Anything At All

Photo by Noah Fecks

is open for dinner tonight and starting tomorrow open all day serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Photo by Noah Fecks

Anything At All is located on the ground floor of the recently opened Graduate Hotel at the Cornell Tech Campus.

According to Anything At All:

Opening Lunch Menu Highlights 

* Coastal Toast with Smoked trout, Crisp Sourdough, Fried Capers, and Red Onions 

* Fried Chicken Sandwich with cabbage slaw and spicy mayo

Photo by Noah Fecks

 * Crispy Mushroom Sandwich with carrots, radishes and zesty aioli 

* Opening Dinner Menu Highlights 

* Kampachi Crudo with fresnos, shallots, lemon, caviar, and cilantro 

*Creamy Gnocchi with shrimp, asparagus, and pecorino 

* Roasted Cabbage, charred summer cabbage with herbed yogurt and crunchy chickpeas 

Photo by Noah Fecks 

* V&T- with House-made white vermouth, sour orange, tonic, Castelveltrano olive 

* Paloma Milk Punch- with Volcan tequila, grapefruit, lime, verbena 

* Rhubarb Spritz- with gin, clarified rhubarb, and strawberry-infused vermouth 

Upcoming menu offerings include:

Wild Greens, Tumeric Dressing, White Corn, Fresh Herbs,

Photo by Noah Fecks

Roasted Carrots, Labne, Pea Shoots, Saba

Photo by Noah Fecks

and Black Sea Bass, Sea Beans, Heirloom Tomatoes, Puffed Rice Chip

Photo by Noah Fecks 

Anything At All Opening Hours are:

  • Breakfast: 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. 
  • Lunch: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
  • Bar Bites: 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
  • Dinner: 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
  • Bar Service: 10:00 p.m. - Midnight

According to Anything At All press release:

From hospitality duo and NYC natives Marc Rose and Med Abrous of Call Mom, Anything At All is helmed by an incredible all-female food & beverage team: MINA Group alumna Ja’Toria Harper as Executive Chef, Lindsey Verardo - formerly of Benno and Gramercy Tavern - as Executive Pastry Chef, and Estelle Bossy, whose impressive resume includes Union Square Hospitality Group and Del Posto, as Beverage Director. The team is also behind the stunning forthcoming rooftop bar Panorama Room and over 3,000 square feet of meeting and event space at the hotel, which is the first-ever hotel on Roosevelt Island. 

The all-day restaurant is rooted in a farm-first, vegetable-forward approach to contemporary comfort food where guests can expect a playful, eclectic menu from Chef Harper with dishes like Coastal Toast with smoked trout, red onion, olive oil, toasted sourdough; Kampachi Crudo with fresnos, shallots, lemon, caviar, and cilantro; and The Roasted Cabbage, charred summer cabbage with herbed yogurt and crunchy chickpeas. At lunch don’t sleep on the killer Fried Chicken Sandwich with cabbage slaw and spicy mayo or the Crispy Mushroom Sandwich with carrots, radishes and zesty aioli, and come back at dinner for the Seared Sea Bass with sea beans, heirloom cherry tomato and a puffed rice chip. Not to be missed is Chef Verardo’s elevated dessert program with dishes like the Vanilla Poached Meringue with black sesame, shiso and strawberry consomme. 

Guests and locals alike will have the opportunity to order menu items alongside non-alcoholic drinks, bottled cocktails (like a classic Negroni and a not-so-classic Paloma Milk Punch - also served on draft), wine and beer for to-go and delivery via ChowNow and DeliverZero, the innovative service which delivers food in reusable containers. 

A dynamic, sustainable synergy exists between the kitchen and the bar which is reflected in the cocktail menu from Bossy where house-made and infused vermouths, seasonal spritzes and creative frozen drinks and will take center stage in the summer months with drinks like the V&T with house-made white vermouth, sour orange, tonic, and Castelveltrano olive; Rhubarb Spritz with gin, clarified rhubarb, strawberry-infused vermouth, rosé and pink peppercorn; and, Kool Thing with mezcal, pineapple brandy, lemon, white bitters and cacao. 

Additionally, Rose and Abrous have partnered with Brooklyn’s Variety Coffee which will be served at the restaurant and throughout the hotel as well as from a solar and battery-powered Poindexter Coffee Bike Cart parked out front of the hotel offering coffee and a curated selection of morning and afternoon grab-and-go items.

The restaurant’s light-drenched space features floor-to-ceiling windows and organically flows from the lobby where the walls are artfully curated with an impressive selection of vintage textbooks. The 140-seat, indoor-outdoor restaurant is anchored by an 18-seat wraparound bar and a variety of inviting lounge seating creating a bright and airy space warmed up with bright vintage-inspired rugs and mid-century light fixtures. Thoughtful, vibrant greenery from a collaboration between landscape and floral design studios Verru Design and WYLD add an organic element to both the indoor and outdoor dining spaces. 

Capacity: Inside - 80 Outside - 60 Bar Seating- 18.

Make your Anything At All reservations via RESY
Follow Anything At All on Instagram
Website to come.

UPDATE 8:10 PM - Price range for menu items:

Breakfast: $12.00 - $20.00 


Snacks- $8.00 - $13.00 

Appetizers- $10.00- $18.00 

Entrees- $16.00 - $34.00 


Snacks- $8.00 - $15.00 

Appetizers- $17.00 - $26.00 

Entrees- 19.00 - $34.00

Monday, June 21, 2021

2021 Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series At Firefighters Field Begins Friday June 25 With Raya The Last Dragon - Mad Max, The Black Stallion, Beverly Hills Cop And More Outdoor Roosevelt Island Movies Coming This Summer

The 2021 Roosevelt Island Outdoor Movie Series returns to Firefighters Field

beginning this Friday June 25 with the showing of Disney's Raya The LastDragon.

The Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movie Series at Firefighters Field continues with;

The 2018 and 2019 Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movies took place at Southpoint Park.

Not known why the location was moved this year.

NYC Mobil Vaccine Clinic Van Offering Free Pfizer Covid 19 Vaccinations This Week On Roosevelt Island, No Appointment Necessary - 65% Roosevelt Island Residents Have At Least One Dose, 60% Fully Vaccinated

A New York City Mobil Vaccine Clinic Van 

is offering free Pfizer Covid 19 vaccinations this week from 7 AM to 7 PM on Roosevelt Island. This morning, the van was located at the Riverwalk Bus Stop in front of 455 Main Street but may be at other locations during the week. No appointment is necessary.

The Mobile Vaccine Clinic Van will be back in 3 weeks for the second shot. 

The Roosevelt Island Mobile Vaccine Clinic Van is not listed on the NYC Vaccine Command Center site location schedule.

According to the NYC Health Department Covid Statistics for Roosevelt Island Zip Code 10044, of an estimated population of 11,571:

  • 7627 residents have at least one dose of vaccination (65.35%)
  • 6975 residents fully vaccinated (59.76%)

The most recent 7 Day Covid Testing Data from June 11-17 for Roosevelt Island Zip Code 10044 shows 244 people tested and 1 Positive Case for a rate of 0.41%

The NYC Health Department neighborhood Covid Data Profile for Roosevelt Island zip code 10044 shows a total of 574 cases and 40 deaths.

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

Sunday, June 20, 2021

A New Short Film Unforgetten: Renwick Ruins Takes You Inside Roosevelt Island's Abandoned Smallpox Hospital, Take A Look - Friends Of The Ruin Proposes Renovating Ruin For A Public Health Memorial

According to Untapped Cities:

... Recently released is the new short film Unforgotten: Renwick Ruin by artist Aaron Asis, Untapped New York’s Artist in Residence. Asis and his team at Green Ghost Studios were given special access inside the abandoned structure and the film showcases perspectives of the Renwick ruin that are rarely seen by the public. We’ll be hosting a premiere of the film in our upcoming event, Unforgotten: The Renwick Ruin on July 15th, featuring Asis and Stephen Martin, Founder of Friends of the Ruin and the former Director of Design & Planning for FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy....

As reported last March:

Stephen Martin, who once worked as the director of design & planning for Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, recently began Friends of the Ruin, a non profit whose mission is to stabilize the Smallpox Hospital ruin and return the building, which has been fenced off for over seventy years, to Roosevelt Island in the form of public park space. The organization envisions a stabilized ruin, beautifully landscaped and open to the public, free of charge, year round.

According to Mr. Martin: 

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have been wonderfully supportive. Friends of the Ruin considers them partners in its mission. 

As part of an ongoing educational component to the organization's mission, Friends of the Ruin has been working with the Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design (WHSAD), a Brooklyn blue ribbon public high school focused on architectural drafting, design principles, and historic preservation. WHSAD students, under the instruction of historic preservation firm Walter B. Melvin Architects, have spent the past five years studying Roosevelt Island, James Renwick, Jr. (architect of the Smallpox Hospital), and the ruin. After months of design charettes, critiques, and mood-boarding, students will often envision a renewed ruin as public housing, a high end retail experience, or a weekend party space.

Friends of the Ruin welcomes the students' enthusiasm but hopes the building could be permanently stabilized and opened to the public as a wild, landscaped (and safe) gothic ruin. The building (our City's only landmark ruin) was once a hospital to fight a devastating epidemic and also served as a nursing school training New York's frontline health care workers. 

It is the nonprofit's goal that the Ruin will serve, in the form of public park space, to memorialize the science, medical advances, and frontline workers fighting viral and infectious disease, including COVID-19, SARS, HIV/AIDS and many other diseases. We believe it is hard to imagine a more fitting site for this than in our country's first hospital dedicated to the smallpox epidemic, and on the historically rich Roosevelt Island.

Click to visit website and more info from Friends Of The Ruin here.

Here's the March 16, 2021 presentation made by Friends of the Ruin Founder Stephen Martin to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors about proposed Public Health Memorial to be built at a renovated Smallpox Hospital.

RIOC Board Meeting - March 16, 2021 from Diva Communications on Vimeo.

More infor here about Friends Of The Ruin and Untapped Cities.