Saturday, July 17, 2021

Roosevelt Island Community 12 Year Long Struggle To Build FDR Hope Memorial Depicting President Roosevelt In His Wheelchair Greeting Young Girl Standing On Crutches Completed Today At Ribbon Cutting And Sculpture Unveiling - See For Yourself

It was an incredibly hot and humid afternoon today for the FDR Hope Memorial ribbon cutting and sculpture unveiling ceremony but that did not stop residents and visitors alike from having a wonderful time.

The FDR Hope Memorial depicts President Franklin Roosevelt, as he lived in his wheelchair, greeting a young girl standing on crutches. 

Here's the ribbon cutting.

Also, remarks from Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Wendy Hersh and FDR Hope Memorial Chair Marc Diamond describing the 12 year effort to build the FDR Hope Memorial and bring it to Roosevelt Island.


More on the history of the 12 year effort to build the FDR Hope Memorial and bring it to Roosevelt Island at Southpoint Park at this post from yesterday.

Stay tuned for more video from today's FDR Hope Ceremony.

Friday, July 16, 2021

FDR Hope Memorial Sculpture Depicting President Franklin Roosevelt In Wheelchair Greeting Young Girl On Crutches Completed After 12 Long Years And Unveiled To Public Saturday July 17 At Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park Thanks To RIDA, Dedicated Volunteers, RIOC, FDR 4 Freedoms Park And Financial Donors

The Roosevelt Island FDR Hope Memorial depicting President Franklin D. Roosevelt sitting in a wheelchair greeting a young girl standing on crutches will be unveiled Saturday July 17 at Southpoint Park. Yesterday, the box covering the Memorial was partially removed revealing the statue figures of FDR and young girl.

 According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Tomorrow, Saturday, July 17th, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) and the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) plan to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the unveiling of the FDR Hope Memorial, an immersive work of art commemorating the progressive former U.S. president and disability advocate, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Join us at Southpoint Park for the celebratory ribbon-cutting. Attendees able to utilize grass areas surrounding the memorial will be asked to do so. Special accommodations can be made, onsite, upon request for those who require them. The event will start promptly at 12:00pm.

There is a long 12 year history leading up to tomorrow's FDR Hope unveiling.

RIDA President Wendy Hersh spoke briefly about the fight and struggles to get a memorial depicting President Roosevelt  sitting in his wheelchair built on Roosevelt Island during a portion of this interview with the CUNY TV program Diverse City.

Starting in 2009, the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) and a group of local supporters began a campaign to build a memorial to President Franklin D Roosevelt depicting him as he lived, sitting in a wheelchair. The campaign was initiated upon learning that the proposed FDR 4 Freedoms Park designed by architect Louis Kahn ignored the fact that FDR was a disabled person. As reported in February 2009:

... the proposed Kahn/FDR memorial also fails to acknowledge FDR as a man and a President of the United States who achieved greatness despite a disability that forced him into a wheelchair. The absence, in any meaningful way, of FDR's use of a wheelchair or crutches is particularly shameful given the large disabled and handicapped community at Roosevelt Island's Coler-Goldwater Hospital complex.

A similar controversy arose at the FDR Memorial in Washington DC....

... A great idea for an appropriate and honorable FDR Memorial on Roosevelt Island was suggested by Roosevelt Island's Doctor Jack Resnick who treats many of our disabled residents.

Somebody designed a memorial to FDR on Roosevelt Island that completely ignored the man’s physical disability. Franklin Roosevelt spent much of his adult life in a wheelchair. The polio virus, which infected him in 1921 at the age of 39, left him with almost no use of his legs. Twelve years later he became President of the United States. He went on to save the country from economic calamity and the world from Hitler....

...Roosevelt Island is a living, breathing memorial to FDR. And when we celebrated FDR Day here each year, it was clear that we were focused on FDR as an icon for the disabled.

The FDR Memorial on this Island should focus on the President’s strength in conquering his disability. Many possibilities come to mind. For instance, he should not be memorialized with a bust. We should see a greater-than-life-sized statue of him sitting in a wheelchair – and he should face north toward Goldwater and Coler Hospitals...

Shortly thereafter,  in response to my inquiry, the RIDA Board Of Directors including then President Virginia Granato, Jim Bates, Nancy Brown and Gloria Narduzzo 

issued this statement:

On behalf of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association and it's many disabled members we want to voice our opposition to a glaring deficit in the current proposal for the FDR Memorial to be built at the Southern tip of Roosevelt Island.

President Roosevelt was disabled by Polio before he was elected President of the United States and used a wheelchair almost exclusively. A statue of President Roosevelt sitting in a wheelchair or standing with the help of his crutches would be most appropriate here on an Island where many disabled people reside, both in apartments and in the two chronic care hospitals. In the same manner that our first black president, Barack Obama, has inspired so many school- aged black children to aspire to higher achievements, once thought to be impossible, such a memorial would have the same effect on the disabled community when viewing a statue of one of our most beloved presidents and realizing that he, too, was disabled and was able to overcome his disability and be elected to the highest office in the country. What an inspiration that would be for the multitude of disabled visitors, especially our wheelchair bound war veterans returning from Iraq, to visualize that despite their disability anything is possible. The memorial, as shown in the artist's sketches. does not portray FDR as disabled and we feel that this is an injustice to us all. It is said that “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In this instance, a statue of FDR depicted as our first disabled President would speak volumes to the millions of visitors, disabled and non-disabled who will be visiting The FDR Memorial for generations to come.

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association Board of Directors and it's members

RIDA members also protested against the failure to include representation of FDR's disability at Roosevelt Island public meetings regarding the FDR 4 Freedoms Park.

Image From Main Street Wire

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association supported RIDA's efforts:

... WHEREAS the continued resident population of Roosevelt Island, uniquely composed in significant part of many disabled persons, residing both independently in apartments or within the two chronic care hospitals located on the island, renders a true portrayal of President Roosevelt more meaningful and poignant on Roosevelt Island than any in any other location; and

THEREFORE, NOW BE IT RESOLVED that the Roosevelt Island Residents Association supports a plan for the Four Freedoms Park that includes a celebration of President Roosevelt as a disabled person by depicting him in a wheelchair or on crutches.

-Adopted by the Common Council of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association 6/3/09...

Following these protests, in June 2009, Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, chair of the FDR 4 Freedoms Park sent a letter to RIDA offering to help in their efforts to recognize FDR as a disabled person. He wrote:

The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute greatly appreciates the interest of the Roosevelt Island disabled community regarding the Four Freedoms Park which is to be built on Southpoint. Those who took the trouble to come to the recent meeting are absolutely right – we must find a way to tell our universal audience of FDR’s disability and the important role it played in his greatness as President of the United States. I never give a speech about FDR without telling the story of his disability....

... Somehow we must find a way to convey this incredible story to those who visit Southpoint. Building on our initial meeting, we will work with representatives of Roosevelt Island to achieve that objective. We are grateful to Virginia Granato and Dr. Resnick for their effective presentation. Our task is to work together to find a way to accomplish our mutual purpose, honoring a great President and remembering the qualities of character that enabled him to lead our country so well.

Ambassador vanden Heuvel and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute did help RIDA by securing the first $100 thousand donation and  have been working together since to bring  the FDR Hope Memorial to Roosevelt Island.

Jim Bates became President of RIDA after Virginia Granato stepped down. "Uncle" Jim established the FDR Hope Memorial Committee and became a tireless advocate for the FDR Hope Memorial working with RIOC to find a location site in Southpoint Park, fundraising and selecting the sculptor, Meredith Bergmann, to design and build the FDR Hope Memorial

There were setbacks and delays but at all times Uncle Jim with the help of local resident Marc Diamond and other members of the FDR Hope Memorial Committee persevered. In 2012 sculptor Meredith Bergmann presented a mock up of the sculpture to the Committee.

The design originally included a representation of FDR's desk but that was not included in final version due to cost cutbacks.

In 2015, Roosevelt Island NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright visited Southpoint Park to announce a $150 thousand anonymous gift donation for the FDR Hope Memorial.

"Uncle" Jim Bates added:

... Hopefully this will inspire people around the world and challenge the disabled community that they are an enabled community and they can be whatever they choose to be.

Virginia Granato spoke about her feelings that day too.

There were more delays and difficulties for the FDR Hope Memorial but in 2019, RIOC, under former President Susan Rosenthal took control of funding the project to completion and finally opening to the public tomorrow.

Image From FDR Hope Memorial

It is sad that both "Uncle" Jim Bates and Virginia Granato passed away before they could see the unveiling of the FDR Hope Memorial tomorrow but their vision of "enabled, not disabled" was continued by current RIDA President Wendy Hersh and will live on and inspire others who visit the FDR Hope Memorial in the days to come.

For disclosure purposes, I am a member of the FDR Hope Memorial Committee.

Here's RIOC press release.

UPDATE 7/17 - FDR Hope Memorial Ribbon Cutting Ceremony today.

Roosevelt Island photographer Irina Hage shares these pictures 

from today's FDR Hope Memorial Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Get Your Tickets For Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Shakespeare Workshop Staged Reading Of Richard 111 This Weekend July 16-19 - Something For Everyone, Classic Text, Historical Intrigue, Modern Relevance, Live Music And .... Puppets Too

The Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) Shakespeare workshop is performing a staged reading of Richard 111 this weekend July 16 - 18. 

According to MST&DA:

MSTDA’s Shakespeare Workshop is presenting “Richard ll” as a fully staged reading in the intimate black box Howe Theatre of Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance on July 16, 17 & 18. This show has something for everyone with its classic text, historical intrigue, modern relevance, live music and... puppets!

This is just the beginning of a new Shakespeare production here on Roosevelt Island, which includes original songs by MSTDA composer Jonathan Fadner (“The Monkey King,” “Ghosts All Around Us,” “The Wind in the Willows.”) The Shakespeare Workshop is a vehicle to develop a new project with theatrical elements and professional actors. The seed for Steven Eng’s “Richard ll” has been germinating for a few years and he refers to it as his “passion project.” It took a big leap toward the stage when Eng enlisted Fadner to write original songs for guitar and voice, which the actors perform live, interwoven into the texture of the poetically rich text. The creative team and cast embarked on this experimental adventure together only 3 weeks ago and are offering the Roosevelt Island audience an early glimpse into Eng’s ambitious reimagining of this play. 

“It’s time to bring the MSTDA and Roosevelt Island community back into the theatre. I can think of no better reason to present one of Shakespeare’s most poetically rich plays about finding one’s humanity in the midst of chaos.” Steven Eng (Director/Actor)

Seize the opportunity to view theatre that has a very exciting unexpected element... Puppets! Puppets are coming to life as the cast of “Richard ll” embodies the historical characters of Shakespeare’s play. Steven Eng’s vision for this play incorporates handmade puppets made by Tanya Starace and costumed by Jeanne Castagnaro. The puppets offer a unique perspective from the eyes of a king who falls from heavenly heights to an “earthy pit.” This concept makes for a thought-provoking and profound theatre experience. 

Director Steven Eng, Music Director Jonathan Fadner, Assistant Director Rachel Reuben, Stage Manager Zackry Childers, Props Designer Tanya Starace, Costume Designer, Jeanne Castagnaro, Featuring Russ Cusick, Steven Eng, Andy English, Kimbirdlee Fadner, Jacqueline Lucid 


July 16th 7pm, July 17th 2pm & 7pm, July 18th 5pm 

THE HOWE THEATRE 548 Main St. Roosevelt Island, NY 10044 

TICKETS General Admission $20, Student/Senior $15 

*MSTDA is committed to the health and safety of their community. Covid safety guidelines, masks and limited audience capacity will be observed.

Roosevelt Island Resident Joie St Hubert Performing In The Jazz Power Initiative Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam Friday July 16 At Marcus Garvey Park With Zah! Jazz Power Youth Ensemble Singing And Playing Violin Says Proud Parent

Roosevelt Island resident Joie St Hubert is among The Jazz Power Initiative performers playing in the Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam Friday, July 16 at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem.

According to The Jazz Power Initiative:

Jazz Power Initiative (JPI) concludes its summer 2021 season with our Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam on Friday, July 16, 2021 at 7pm, live and in-person at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem, New York City. Seating at Jazzmobile Summerfest in Marcus Garvey Park is outside, free and open to the general public for audiences of all ages! Presented by Jazzmobile’s Summerfest, “Message From Saturn” – our jazz musical about the healing power of the blues – concludes our Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam summer concert series, presented in partnership with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and produced by Jazz Power Initiative, the uptown New York City, community-based non-profit organization, whose mission is to transform lives through jazz music and performance programs.

Our July Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam, Message from Saturn is directed by singer, actor, dancer and producer Ty Stephens, in a special concert presentation, introduced by Jazzmobile veteran vocalist Antoinette Montague, and Sweet Honey in the Rock co-founding members, Carol Maillard and Louise Robinson, with musical direction by Jazz Power Initiative’s Managing and Artistic Director Eli Yamin. This production features Knoel Scott(saxophone), of the Sun Ra Arkestra, David F. Gibson(drums) and Jennifer Vincent(bass) of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Tom Dempsey (guitar), Eli Yamin (piano) and Zah! Jazz Power Youth, the advanced youth vocal ensemble of Jazz Power Initiative.....

Joie St Hubert is seen in video above playing the violin and is also a member of the Zah! Jazz Power youth ensemble.

Joie St Hubert is one of the young Roosevelt Island activists who organized the 2020 Roosevelt Island March For Justice following the killing of George Floyd. Last June, Joie helped organize the one year anniversary vigil and program at Meditation Steps to remember the death of George Floyd and ended the program with a beautiful performance of Lift Every Voice.

Proud parent Carmella St Hubert adds:

Joie has lived on Roosevelt Island  for over twenty years.  Joie is an artist and a Jazz Power member for seven years. At July 16 event, Joie will be singing and playing violin.

Joie is majoring in vocal performance at Lee University in Tennessee, studied violin for ten years at The School for Strings and voice and violin at Mannes School of Music, the pré collège division for five years and graduated in 2018. 

Here's more info

Jazz Power is... from Jazz Power Initiative on Vimeo.

on the Jazz Power Initiative and tomorrow evening's Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Join Community Organizations And Elected Officials ForJuly 21 Roosevelt Island Disability Fair Hosted By RIDA - Info For All Ages And Types Of Disabilities, Developmental, Alzheimers, Elderly Services, Home Care, Visual/Hearing, Learning, Criminal Justice, Human Rights & More

The Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) with help and support from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and Carter Burden Network Roosevelt Island Senior Center is hosting a Disability Fair for all ages and types of disabilities on Wednesday July 21 at Good Shepherd Plaza from 1-5 PM.


July 21, 2021 1-5 P.M 


Join community organizations and elected officials for information on resources and program available to the disability community. 


*Developmental Disabilities 

* Alzheimer's 

*Elderly Service 

*Home Care 

* Visual/Hearing Impairments 

*Human Rights 

*Criminal Justice 

*Learning Disabilities 

*and more!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

9/11 Memorial & Museum Places White Rose At Name Of Roosevelt Island Resident Anthony Fallone In Honor Of His 59th Birthday Today


Anthony Fallone and eight other Roosevelt Islanders who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center are honored by the Roosevelt Island 9/11 Remembrance Tree

and Memorial Plaque

at Good Shepherd Plaza.

Pix 11 News has a July 12 report on the upcoming 20th anniversary of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

Scenes From The 2021 Roosevelt Island Little League Season For The Kids And Kids At Heart - Division Championship Games And Coaches Game Too

The 2021 Roosevelt Island Little League baseball season began Saturday, April 17 and played through June 19 with Division Championship Games for the kids and a Coaches Game for the kids at heart too.

Roosevelt Island Little League wife and mom Suzy del Campo Perea reports and shares these photos:

When parents received on March 5th the email from the RI Little Leagues Coordinator Danny about the baseball program coming back this Spring, it was not only parents and children excited: the coaches got that shine in their eyes and were ready to go back to the field.

To be honest, when I told my husband Coach Roberto about the Little League happening this year I noticed a smile on his face, the shinning in his eyes, and his usual calmness thinking out loud: where is my glove? Our first comment was: “Coaches game? It’s going to be awesome, we have been waiting for 2 years for it to happen again.”
I am pretty sure that the reaction was similar among all our returning coaches: Excitement.
Arya and Danny, the coordinators, planned out the Little League exceptionally well and almost all the previous years coaches were more than eager to come back to coach. Some of those coaches have been volunteering in the little League since it started 6 years ago. 

The coaches organized a scrimmage to be able to have balanced teams among the 3 categories: T-ball, Minors and Majors. The goal was very clear, to provide kids with a safe and supportive environment to learn and practice a Sport, have fun, and to have what all the kids and parents have been missing: socialization of their kids among their peers, teamwork and if possible a victory every single game.

The Little League had over 100 players from age 5 (Kindergarten) to 14 yrs old (HS Freshman) all genders and all abilities, and 24+ coaches. Those coaches are the heart of the League. We had a wide array of coaches from very young coaches single with no kids, as well as a very experienced coach, and great player that is a Grandpa Jimmy Starace Sr.; female coaches, adults with no kids, coaches that have played before as well as others that have never played before. The common characteristic that they share is the Sense of Community to give Love back to our kids, to RI youth!

Every Saturday morning, the coaches of T-ball were at the field as early as 9am to get the little ones playing. They stay calmed and offered words of encouragement. It is not an easy task to have about 9-12 children 5-7 yrs old learning a sport, trying to hit and catch a ball and have fun at the same time. The coaches patience is formidable.
Minors and Majors coaches had a more difficult task, to create a team that can hit, catch, throw, and be quick to make the right decision. Majors coaches were at Capobianco field every single Saturday afternoon. These coaches gave the kids a sense of belonging in a team, gave them amazing afternoons of training during the week, not even rain can stop them. Minors Grey Vultures took advantage of the muddy Pony field, and led by Coach Ben, they learned to slide! Who cares about some mud EVERYWHERE when the kids and the kids at heart were having so much fun and a lesson on top of it! 

Coaches moved back and forth carrying the huge baseball bag loaded with equipment without complaint. They arrived early on game days to make sure their players warmed up and were ready to have the best day of their week. 

All coaches supported each other, there was no coach that will not lend a hand when needed even if they weren’t asked. They cheer for all players, and they kept tabs on each other's games. The willingness to coach the kids made the difference in the lives of these kids and their families. 

Plenty of times coaches were congratulating younger players down Main Street: “Great game! You had fun?” “I know you hit really good. Keep up the good work!” That is the spirit and the normalcy of Roosevelt Island that they brought this Spring. 

We had 10 regular games, one All-Star game, semifinals and the Finals plus the Coaches game. All teams won some games and lost others, coaches made sure that a positive attitude and respect for the team played against were at the top of the list. Some coaches brought treats for the kids, sponsored pizzas for weekday games, and kept the spirits high.

The most waited, expected and exciting game of the whole season was the coaches game. Grey and Blue coaches vs. Red and Green. What a game! We even got back a very well loved and respected coach: Matt Hoskinson who came to play with his friends. We had pitching for the Red&Green team Mr Jimmy Starace Sr, and for the Grey&Blue Ben Rose. The umpire was Eugenio García, Blue Majors player.
The bleachers were full. Parents, players, friends, sons, daughters, neighbors, even residents of Coler came down to watch and cheer every single play. The coaches finally got to play,
and we got to see how suddenly these adults that gave so much love to our kids were transformed into kids
that just wanted to enjoy the moment that they have been waiting for the last 24 months.
There were strike outs, there were outs on first, second and third, even at home.
There were almost home runs, almost cause the grown trees prevented the balls to land at Grandpa Al Lewis playground. Everyone cheered the whole game.

This game was the culmination of a season that gave us so much. The season gave the kids a sense of normalcy, they belong to a team and they weren’t  behind a screen. We got fun, joy and got so many accomplishments. To parents, it was a relief to feel that finally we could move back to a much normal activity where our kids can be together and play. And for the coaches the time to give back to their community, for their kids, the friends of their own kids (if any)  and for all the kids of RI; an opportunity to teach a sport they love, to see smiles on young faces and to enjoy every second of being part of the Roosevelt Island Little League.

To me and to so many more, the stars of Spring 2021 are RI Little League Coaches! Muchas Gracias

Thank you so much for all the love you gave to RI, you know how special you are to my family. I just hope that next year on top of a Coaches Game we can celebrate the season at any RI spot (hope we can get some recognition from our RI Business for all of you).
Roosevelt Island Little League Coach Ben Rose reports on the Division Championship Games:

The Roosevelt Island Little League, is sponsored through the Roosevelt Island Center of Community Development (RICCD). The league started it’s season in mid-April and offered a 10-game season, free for all players, and comprised mainly of Island kids, as well as some of our neighbors from Astoria and Long Island City. 

The league organizers and managers are Arya Shirazi and Daniel Vithlani.  They volunteered countless hours and Saturdays to ensure a wonderful season for players and their families. 

Roosevelt Island Little League Majors Division Champions

On June 19, 2021, 3 pm game time, the #1 Chilies defeated the #2 Greyhounds in a decisive victory.
Image From Yuki Rose
Coaches: JP Starace, Alex Chou, Jimmy Starace, Carlos Rodriguez

Players: Jas Starace, Luca Starace, Toby Chou, Alex Rodriguez, Jamin Rose, Diego Shirazi, Ben Gillespie, Tice Collins, Emilia Garcia, Oliver Lenowitz, Isaiah Ballard

Roosevelt Island Little League Minors Division Champions

On June 19, 11 AM game time, the #4 Vultures upset the #2 Blue Wolves 6-5 to win the championship. (The win came after the vultures knocked off the #1 Red Blazing Phoenixes 5-4 in the playoffs to earn their championship berth).  The Vultures had a storybook season when, after starting the season 0-5, the Vultures won all but one of their remaining games; each victory by a single-run margin or in extra innings. 
Image From George Estreich
Coaches: Ben Rose, Roberto Borja

Players: Mason Rose, Leire Borja, Itziar Borja, Milo Mackey, Luke McNamara, Maxwell Devine, Beau Estreich, Julian Palmer, Juliana Paredes, Bran Heffner, Lorenzo Lineros, Adrian Turner

Sad News, Roosevelt Island Woman Of Distinction Judy Buck Passed Away - Memorial Gathering To Celebrate Her Life Tuesday July 20

Sad news to report the death of Roosevelt Island resident Judy Buck. 

Christina Delfico reports:

Many have heard of the sad passing of our dear neighborhood friend, Judy Buck. Her younger brother, David, wished to share that a memorial gathering for Judy will be held on Tuesday, July 20th in two locations. 

The first from noon to 1pm on 7/20/21 at the church next to the tram at All Saints Episcopal Church 230 East 60th Street between 2nd and 3rd Ave. NYC, and the second on 7/20/21 from 2pm to 4pm at Granny Annie's Restaurant at 425 Main Street, Roosevelt Island.

Judy Buck served as co-chair, alongside Ellen Polivy, on the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC), a group of island organizations that advocated for protection of community life during the years of Cornell Tech’s construction and beyond. RICC pushed for barging rather than truck traffic to transport construction materials, urged Cornell Tech’s “adoption” of Roosevelt Island’s PS 217, and raised issues of increasing needs for transportation, and worked to get a discounted rate for residents at the new Graduate Hotel on Cornell Tech's campus. Judy also sat on Community Board 8's Roosevelt Island Committee, and was appointed by State Senator Jose Serrano to the Cornell Tech Community Construction Task Force Committee. She was honored by Assembly Member Seawright as a local Women of Distinction and City Council Member Kallos for her years of volunteer service to the community on RICC. She also contributed articles to the local newspaper, the WIRE.

Professionally, Buck was an Advertising Manager for Random House Trade Division, she worked as a writer and copy chief for a number of New York City advertising agencies (as portrayed in the TV show “Mad Men!”) and spent a decade at New York University as the Assistant Director of Development, where she solicited funding for faculty initiatives that included early reading intervention, research on HIV-AIDS prevention, recovery for female victims of human trafficking, and environmental education. She was a volunteer for Louise Wise Services, and served on the boards of the Hell’s Kitchen AIDS Project and the St. Cecilia Chorus of New York.

Judy influenced many. Her kind nature, wicked smarts and deep interest in community happenings was beloved by friends on Roosevelt Island and throughout the city, including dear friends from her former neighborhood in the 60s.

David hopes you can join the memorial gathering and welcomes friends to share a few words and deeply appreciates the friendships and kindness shown to Judy on Roosevelt Island.

Sharon Bermon adds:

Judy bravely fought several kinds of cancer for more than a decade. When I was diagnosed with cancer almost ten years ago, she found out, contacted me and offered to guide me through the initial stages of decision making. I remember going to her apartment for breakfast and information. She was a quiet person who didn't want to call attention to herself, but was generous with her time. She was a skilled writer. At NYU, she was a development officer, and used her writing skills for RI after her retirement. 

One of the things that I found frustrating is that she served on several organizations in a policy making position. She would do all the work, the research, the writing - but allowed others the credit.  I asked Judy a number of times to take more credit for all the work she did, but Judy was unwilling to make waves.  

I think many of us felt that Judy was the most intelligent, the most competent of all the "community leaders" on the island. I know it's too late for her to get credit for her work - in her lifetime - but hopefully, it would be good if RI residents understood why we owe her a debt of gratitude.

Here's Judy Buck seated at right helping out at a 2015 iDig2Learn Monarch Butterfly Corridor Milkweed planting at Lighthouse Park.

Image From David Stone & Deborah Julian

Also, here's Ms Buck speaking for the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) at August 5, 2017 event welcoming Cornell Tech and doing her best to make sure concerns of Roosevelt Island residents are heard and addressed by Cornell Tech.

Condolences to Ms Buck's family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.  

Thank you Judy.

UPDATE 7/14 - Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President and Wildlife Freedom Foundation Founder Rossana Ceruzzi adds:

I join with previous writers in expressing my sympathy and sadness on the death of a friend, Judy Buck. It’s hard to lose someone who meant so much to all of us.

It is extraordinary to look back at all the positions Judy held. She was a member of many groups for many years and she gave much time and effort to organizations very important to our community. Her interest in helping the RI community was insatiable. Her dedication, attitude and bravery will always be an inspiration to those of us who knew her.

I’d like to share with all of you another aspect of Judy’s life, Her love for animals and especially for cats.
In these pics she is with her beloved cat Leon. 

She gave this senior cat a second chance and a happy, loving life. 

We will remember Judy fondly and for a long time to come. 

I know, I will.

Monday, July 12, 2021

B'klyn Based 1:1 Foods Brings Special Lunchtime Pop Up Culinary Collaboration And Awareness Of Food Justice Issues Every Wednesday To Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Cafe - Rotating Chefs Starting July 14 With Chef Hannah Wong

Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Cafe manager Christopher Lewis reports:

Starting Wedneday July 14, 1:1 Foods is doing a Pop Up Lunchtime concept at The Café in collaboration with Constellation Culinary Group.

According to the Cafe @Cornell Tech:

Join us every Wednesday at lunchtime for a collaborative café activation featuring local, diverse culinary talent. Popping up on July 14th with Hannah Wong : Culinary Director 1:1 Foods

1:1 Foods is a culinary social enterprise dedicated to community-led food justice in Brooklyn. Not only do they make good food, but they do good — redistributing profits, culinary resources and energy into grassroots organizations committed to transforming the food system. The Café’s collaboration with 1:1 brings visibility to their mission, reciprocation of local resources, and a unique global dining experience for our community.

Before her culinary career, Hannah was a Fulbright scholar & editorial assistant at Harvard University Press. After pursuing a culinary degree at Johnson & Wales, she worked at Daniel Boulud’s dB bistro Moderne, Gramercy Tavern, and Battersby. Most recently, she was Executive Chef of Real Food Catering and founding chef of Van Đa, which gained Michelin recognition in 2020. She’s now Culinary Director at 1:1 Foods and launching a Brooklyn-based street food concept, HAEMA, in 2022.

Take a virtual cookiing class with Chef Hannah Wong too.

More info on 1:1 Foods at their website.