Saturday, August 21, 2021

Hurricane Henri Will Hit NYC And Roosevelt Island Overnight As A Tropical Storm, Heavy Wind, Lots Of Rain - Be Prepared And Know Your Roosevelt Island Hurricane Zone Which Changed This Year To Higher Risk For Many Buildings

Hurricane Henri is on track to hit NYC and Roosevelt Island overnight as a Tropical Storm. According to NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio:

 ... Stay indoors. There's going to be heavy winds, a lot of rain. We could definitely be seeing some trees falling down. We need people to be safe. So, I'm telling you now so you can alter your plans, prepare your plans for tomorrow. Stay in to the maximum extent possible....


There has been no information about Hurricane Henri from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) as of 7:30 PM today.

 The NYC Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) reported last June 1:

To mark the beginning of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, the New York City Emergency Management Department today unveiled the City's revised hurricane evacuation zones. New York City Emergency Management also relaunched the Know Your Zone hurricane awareness campaign to encourage New Yorkers to find out whether they live in one of the City's six hurricane evacuation zones, and take steps to be prepared for coastal storms and hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.

The City's six hurricane evacuation zones have been updated to incorporate new and improved data, as well as information from actual events to allow the City to more accurately define areas most at risk of flooding due to storm surge from a hurricane. Residents who live in these zones may be ordered to evacuate depending on a hurricane's forecast strength, track, and storm surge. If the mayor orders an evacuation of your zone, do so as directed. With these hurricane evacuation zone changes, roughly 1 million New Yorkers now live in a different hurricane evacuation zone than last year....


What are hurricane evacuation zones? 

There are six hurricane evacuation zones, ranked by the risk of storm surge impact, with zone 1 being the most likely to flood. In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, residents in these zones may be ordered to evacuate.  

I noticed that my zone has changed. Why is that? 

Zones are updated to incorporate new, higher resolution storm surge model output from the National Weather Service. These data, combined with improved topographic data, and information from actual events, allow the City to more accurately define areas most at risk of flooding due to storm surge from a hurricane....

Roosevelt Island residents live in both Zones 2 and 3 depending upon the building in which you live. As shown in the NYC Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder below, the Roosevelt Island buildings colored in brown are in Zone 2 and those colored in Yellow are in Zone 3. 

The Octagon, Manhattan Park, Westview, Island House, Roosevelt Landings, Cornell Tech, Coler Hospital and Riverwalk 480, 475 and 460 Main Street are in Zone 2.  

Riverwalk 405, 425, 455, 465 and Rivercross buildings are in Zone 3.

Click here to find the Hurricane Evacuation Zone for your Roosevelt Island address.

The Roosevelt Island Hurricane Zones have changed from prior years when only the Octagon and Coler Hospital buildings were in Zone 2.

Here's some scenes of what Roosevelt Island looked like during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012

and report on damage caused by Hurricane Sandy

Be careful and be safe.

Come back here for any updated info on how Hurricane Henri impacts Roosevelt Island. 

UPDATE 9 PM - A "RI Long Timer" sent an email message to RIOC President Shelton Haynes this evening asking:

... why has there been NO Advisory about Henri,  which we’ve known about for a day or two AND will be here shortly??

Mr Haynes answered:

Good evening,

We have been monitoring the storm all week and there is no impact for Roosevelt Island. Hope this eases your concern. Enjoy the remainder of the weekend. 

Below are the primary areas impacted per NYCEM 


 The RI Long Timer responded:

Maybe you should check Rick’s new post on the Roosevelt Islander blog.
We are still an Island, in the middle of the East River, during a storm tomorrow, 
with a full moon and high tides.
You & RIOC must do better.
Movie cancelled?
RIOC announced on Twitter at 8:12 that the outdoor movie was cancelled.

UPDATE 8/22 RIOC sent out the following advisory at 8:13 AM this morning: 

Due to expected high winds and heavy rain south point park and light house park will be closed until further notice. Also the sports park pool will be closed today.  

Current conditions are light rain.

At 9:39 AM:

Due to high winds and heavy rain Four Freedoms park will also be closed until further notice.
AT 10:05 AM
The Good Shepherd Community Center and the Cultural Center will be closed today.
And at 11:36 AM:

Please be advised, due to inclement weather the following RIOC facilities and parks will be closed until further notice:  

  • Southpoint Park
  • Lighthouse Park
  • Sportspark Pool
  • Cultural Center
  • Good Shepherd Community Center

An update will be sent when these areas reopen. 

For more Roosevelt Island information updates on Tropical Storm Henri, go to:

UPDATE 8/23 - No reported damage to Roosevelt Island from Hurricane Henri. According to RIOC:

Following tropical storm Henri, the following RIOC facilities and parks are open and operating as usual:

  • Southpoint Park
  • Lighthouse Park
  • Sportspark Pool
  • Cultural Center 
  • Good Shepherd Community Center

Friday, August 20, 2021

Put On Your Dancing Shoes - Salsa Workshop At The Sanctuary Outdoor Cafe On Roosevelt Island East River Waterfront Saturday August 21

The Sanctuary Cafe and Event Space on Roosevelt Island East River Waterfront is hosting a Salsa Workshop Saturday evening, August 21: 

Join in on a salsa lesson and dance floor at The Sanctuary with live percussion, led by the local Martinez Dance Studio!

More info here.

You're Invited To Help Launch Pandemic Island Archive Project Friday August 27 - Roosevelt Island Residents To Share & Preserve Their Personal Covid 19 Stories & Experiences

Roosevelt Island resident and artist Thom Heyer reports:


I'm writing to let you know about a project I will be working on this Fall with Pete Yearwood from Open Doors.  The project is called Pandemic Island: Creating an Archive.  COVID-19 affected each of us on Roosevelt Island in unique & highly personal ways.  With support from Humanities NY and other Roosevelt Island allies, we are devoted to capturing our local stories & experiences in a centralized archive.  We feel that the recording of our personal experiences--including those at Coler Rehabilitation & Nursing Care Center--are important enough to be saved for posterity's sake for future generations' analysis.  What better place to store this archive than at our very own branch of the NYPL on Roosevelt Island?  The Performing Arts Library has its own specific archives at Lincoln Center.  The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has its own archives in Harlem's branch of the Library.  Roosevelt Island deserves nothing less as part of its diverse and fascinatingly sordid history. 

Come join us for snacks at our project launch.   Feel free to bring an object, story or poem to share that speaks to your COVID-19 experience during 2020 on RI........We will answer questions and welcome your thoughts on what an archive on RI could look like for us all!

Pete & I look forward to seeing you--
All the best:
Thom Heyer

Where:  Tent outside Coler....900 Main St.
When:  next Friday, 8/27 at 2:30pm 
Coler resident and Open Doors Poet Peter Yearwood shared his poetry during the height of the Covid Pandemic.
... "To Corona … We have something for you. It's called solidarity … You knock us down, we get up and brush off the dust.” ...

Thursday, August 19, 2021

NYC Indoor Dining, Entertainment And Fitness Covid Vaccine Mandate Begins This Week, How Is Compliance On Roosevelt Island So Far - Cornell Cafe Complying But Not RIOC Sportspark Pool

According to this August 16 press release from NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio's office: 

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the Key to NYC vaccination mandate for indoor dining, entertainment and fitness will start tomorrow, August 17. Enforcement will begin, with a multi-agency coalition, on September 13. Read the Executive Order here....

...“The Key to NYC will unlock many of our favorite activities,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “Vaccination makes every activity safer and this is a common-sense precaution to keep patrons of gyms, restaurants and indoor entertainment healthy.”...

... Penalties for failure to comply after September 13 start at $1,000 and can reach $5,000 for repeated violators.

The NYC Department Of Health adds:

... Starting August 17, people 12 and older will be required to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO for:

  • Indoor dining
    • Includes restaurants, catering halls, event spaces, hotel banquet rooms, bars, nightclubs, cafeterias, grocery stores with indoor dining, coffee shops and fast food or quick service with indoor dining
  • Indoor fitness
    • Includes gyms, fitness centers, fitness classes, pools, indoor studios and dance studios
  • Indoor entertainment
    • Includes movie theaters, music and concert venues, museums and galleries, aquariums and zoos, professional sports arenas, indoor stadiums, convention centers, exhibition halls, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, pool and billiard halls, recreational game centers, adult entertainment and indoor play areas

This new requirement — called the Key to NYC — includes bars, fitness gyms, movie and stage theatres, museums and other indoor venues. Staff at these locations are also required to be vaccinated.

The highly contagious delta variant is spreading quickly in NYC, and unvaccinated people are at the most risk for infection, hospitalization and death. Learn how you can get vaccinated for free today....

... Proof of vaccination may include:

The Roosevelt Island Cafe @Cornell Tech is abiding by the NYC Vaccine mandate for those wishing to eat inside.

But a tipster reports that the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) has not been checking vaccination status this week for those using the Sportspark pool 

and upon asking the Public Safety Department about the matter, the Tipster was told:

... they didn't know anything about it...

Last Monday, I asked RIOC:

I’m told Sportspark is not asking for proof of vaccination today?

Why not?

Will they in future?

Does the NYC proof of vaccination apply to rioc facilities?

No response to date from RIOC.

NYC restaurateur Danny Meyer explains to the Washington Post why he supports the vaccine mandate


We live in different worlds.

Update 8/23 - I followed up again today asking RIOC:

I'm following up to see why RIOC is not checking vaccination status at Sportspark Pool as required by NYC.

As of this morning, RIOC is still not checking vaccine status.

Any comment from RIOC?

 RIOC replied this evening:

As we continue to adjust our operations to keep the Roosevelt Island community safe during COVID-19, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) will align our polices with the recent Key to NYC vaccination mandate issued by New York City on August 17, 2021.     

This mandate states that people 12 and older will be required to show proof that they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO to enter affected facilities.

Affected RIOC facilities include:

  • Sportspark
  • Cultural Center

Acceptable forms of proof of Vaccination:   

The highly contagious delta variant is spreading quickly and unvaccinated people are at the most risk for infection, hospitalization, and death. For more information on this mandate, visit To find out where you can receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, visit or call 1-877-829-4692.

Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series Concludes This Weekend - Rocketman Elton John Biopic For Adults On Friday And Family Friendly The Mighty Ducks On Saturday, Enjoy The Films, Views And Snacks

The Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series at Firefighters Field

concludes this weekend with the showing of Rocketman on Friday

and The Mighty Ducks on Saturday.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

The Roosevelt Island Summer Movie Series is ending with these two final movies! 

Calling all adults! Tomorrow, Friday, August 20th, we present Rocketman (Rated R), a musical biopic of rock icon Elton John.  

Don’t worry, we’ve got something for the family on Saturday, August 21st, as we showcase The Mighty Ducks, a story of the teamwork and perseverance of a rag-tag youth hockey team. 

Both movies will be shown at Firefighter’s Field (across from the Tram, 300 Main St.) 

All films are FREE and begin at sunset but music and more begin at 6 PM! Seating is first-come, first-serve. Food vendors will be on site. Be sure to bring blankets and/or lawn chairs. See you there!

Enjoy the movies, beautiful views and snacks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

You're Invited To August 19 Opening Reception For Artist Toshiko Kitano Groner's En & Sen Exhibition At Roosevelt Island Octagon Gallery

The Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVVA) is hosting an August 19 opening reception for a new exhibition by Toshiko Kitano Groner at the Octagon Gallery (888) Main Street tomorrow evening. You're invited.

According to RIVAA:

En & Sen 

by Toshiko Kitano Groner 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 to Tuesday, October 12, 2021 

Opening Reception: Thursday, August 19, 5:00 to 8:00pm 

Gallery Hours: Daily 10 AM to 8 PM

Roosevelt Island artist Tony Vita created this video of Ms Groner's En & Sen work.

Oyster Shucker, Maitre D, Chef & More Jobs Available For Panorama Room Rooftop Bar At Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel - Oyster Shucking And Eating Tips From New Orleans Acme Oyster House Too

Are you a Roosevelt Island resident looking for a job close to home?

This is for you.

According to Culinary Agent website, the Panorama Room rooftop bar at the Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel is seeking applicants for:

  • Oyster Shucker,
  • Maitre D,
  • Chefs and more.

Click here for more info

The Roosevelt Island Panorama Room opened last Friday.

Here's some tips on shucking and eating oysters from the Acme Oyster House in New Orleans.

Roosevelt Island Sportspark Gym Will Be Early Voting Location For NYC November 2 General Election Says Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright - Will More Residents Turn Out To Vote Than In June Primary?

Approximately 400 voters turned out for the June 12-20,2021 NYC Primary Election Early Voting period at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Sportspark Gymnasium.

Several residents worried and expressed doubt about the future of Roosevelt Island early voting including:


Fortunately, Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright announced earlier this week there will be an early voting location at the Sportspark Gymnasium for the November 2, 2021 General Election. 

According to this August 16 press release from Ms Seawright's office:

Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright reported today that Roosevelt Island's Sportspark Gymnasium is an early voting site option for the 2021 general election. The New York City Board of Elections had recently contacted the Assemblymember for assistance in securing a site on Roosevelt Island to enhance voter access.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp President Shelton J. Haynes responded to Assemblymember Seawright’s immediate appeal and agreed to make Sportspark available. The recreation center served as an early voting site for the June primary election but was not scheduled for service in the upcoming general election due to ongoing renovations until Seawright intervened and stressed it’s vital importance to the Roosevelt Island community. 

“This is a great day for the disabled, senior citizens and all Roosevelt Island voters who traveled off island in 2020, only to suffer long lines and wait times to vote,” said Seawright, who thanked President Haynes for responding to her request.

Seawright had previously secured an additional early voting site for the general election last October at Marymount Manhattan College in order to help relieve the persistently long lines at Robert F. Wagner Middle School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Seawright additionally secured the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as Marymount Manhattan College during the 2021 primary. 

“We must fulfill the intent of early voting opportunities, including convenient voting times such as early morning, late evening, and weekend hours,” said Seawright. “We are proud to support the establishment of additional sites to eliminate long lines and wait times that deter voters from the exercise of their fundamental rights."

I asked RIOC yesterday:

Assembly Member Seawright announced yesterday early voting location site for the November General Election will be located at Sportspark Gym.

Will the Sportspark gym renovations be completed by then and open for early voting?
No response yet - will update when answer received.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Roosevelt Island Residents Got Scoop On New iDig2Learn Bellies, Bins & Beauty Initiative Last Sunday Under Tulip Poplar Tree At Cornell Tech Campus And Ice Cream Too With Edible Compostable Spoon - Think About The True Cost Of A Banana And Other Foods

iDig2Learn hosted a Bellies, Bins & Beauty initiative

for Roosevelt Island residents last Sunday at the Cornell Tech campus.

Anthony Longo gave a brief description of the Bellies, Bins & Beauty initiative:

iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico reports:

Thanks to the more than fifty neighbors who came out to get a scoop, and the scoop on iDig2Learn's new initiative Bellies, Bins & Beauty yesterday.  The deliciousness was generously funded by a Citizens Committee for NYC grant to iDig2Learn.  It was a perfect launch day on Cornell Tech's Roosevelt Island campus under the Tulip Poplar trees and it was fun to try out the IncrEdible edible compostable spoons too.  The initiative is called Bellies, Bins and Beauty to better focus on food into Bellies first, then food scraps into Bins for processing into compost, then Beauty inside and out that comes from within by eating healthy compost-grown food and beautifying our neighborhood with community plantings of flowers and trees while keeping the island clean and beautiful.

Thanks for sharing your ideas to more deeply value food and also for adding your skills to the Bellies, Bins & Beauty idea board.  Throughout the upcoming year we plan to team up with many island partners to eat & grow food together, exchange seeds, plant more trees, water, weed, plog and make it easy to add food scraps each Saturday from 9am to 2pm to the bins for composting.  We look forward to joining the Graduate Hotel's farm fresh kitchen team for a fall workshop spotlighting meal prep with seasonally available food and learning tips to cook more of the food we buy - think stems and leaf tops. 

A special thanks to: 
  • The Cafe team Ian and Chris for allowing us to gobble up your ice cream and sorbet supply and for creating the voucher exchange and table setup. 
  • Anthony Longo & family for talking to us about the benefits of returning what comes from the earth back to the earth and deeply valuing food scraps for compost.
    And taking photos too. 
  • And to the volunteers Deolinda, Therese, Jane and Levka for meeting and greeting and ensuring everyone had a great time. I deeply appreciated your help.
  • And to Citizens Committee for NYC for believing in Roosevelt Island.

Thursday, SEPT., 9th from 7PM - 8PM at the Good Shepherd Chapel (inside) 
Special Guest, Book Author Jennie Romer, presents her new book entitled, Can I Recycle This?
Plus partners from the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB) share the latest wins and resources to reducing waste in NYC and Roosevelt Island's NYP Library will be there too. 
Please RSVP to with the word RECYCLE in the subject line to join us.

Monday, SEPT., 13th from 3PM to 4PM at the Secret Not-So-Secret Garden above the Blackwell House North sandbox playground. NYPL's RI Library branch's Ms. Jen reads to young readers for a nature-themed STORYTIME with iDig2Learn.  Rain location in the library.

Saturday, SEPT 18th from 11am to 1pm FIELD GUIDE "Seeing Fall" at Socrates Sculpture Park. Park Pre-Registration Required - All Ages Welcome - Free!  Join Socrates Director of Education Douglas Paulson & Christina Delfico of iDig2Learn for a workshop that weaves art-making and plant identification together!  We will explore the Park, learn about what's growing around us, and drawing and seeing techniques.  No prior experience with drawing or plant identification is necessary.

Look forward to seeing you soon,
Ms Delfico adds some of the ideas submitted by attendees:
  • Plant more trees
  • Create public gardens in all the open spaces on Roosevelt Island especially veggies
  • Learn how to grow herbs and vegetables at home
  • Use stems, leaves, tops for broth
  • Learn how to cook more of the food we buy to reduce food waste
  • Use avocados for hair masks
  • Bring food scraps to the bins every Saturday 9 AM to 2 PM
  • Create floral crowns for your head
  • Take care of plants with water and harvest veggies and fruit to keep the plants pretty.
Here's more about iDig2Learn Bellies, Bins & Beauty from last Sunday at Cornell Tech.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Sponsored Post - Advantage Day Camp Summer 2021 City Fun For City Kids At The Roosevelt Island Racquet Club, Swimming, Sports, Enrichment Classes, Art Activities, STEAM Projects, Lunch & More - Flexible Daily & Weekly Options For Busy Families, Schedule A Tour, We'd Love To See You

The Advantage Day Camp at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club Summer Fun 2021


Your camper will get a fantastic summer camp experience right here in NYC! On the West Side at Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club or East Side at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club. 

Take enrichment classes and discover new levels of creativity and more with STEAM projects 

Learn or improve your tennis game, take up rock wall climbing, express yourself with an art project 

COME VISIT ANYTIME! Call us anytime to schedule a family tour: East side, 212.935.0250 or West side, 646.884.9649. We’d love to see you! 

 Flexible options for busy families!

At Advantage Camps, we know you have a lot going on – all summer long! So we make it easy to include our camp in your plans.

  • Sign up for full days with lots of activities
  • Opt for single days with a 10-, 20- or 30 pack
  • Choose a single week
  • Select multiple weeks and save
  • Even share days or weeks among siblings


Swimming, field & gym sports and more! 

Tennis for everyone—beginners to experienced players 

Enrichment classes stimulate young minds!

Art activities make self-expression fun! 

STEAM projects introduce new concepts, spark curiosity 

Build models, explore design 

Always something new to discover, learn & enjoy! 

New friends, new experiences – best summer ever! 

Lunch included for full days!

For More info about Advantage Day Camps at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club (281 Main Street) visit their website or call 212.935.0250