Saturday, November 20, 2021

Was That Santa Picking up Some Fresh Fruit & Vegetables On His Reindeer Sled At Roosevelt Island Farmers Market Today? Roosevelt Island Outdoor Winter Holiday Decorations On Display Now Under A 3 Year $75 Thousand Per Year Agreement

Was that Santa picking up some fresh fruit and vegetables on his Reindeer Sled at Roosevelt Island Farmers Market today?

The mid November weather is getting colder now and the Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza Holiday season is approaching. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Winter Holiday Decorations are now on display at various outdoor locations including the Good Shepherd Plaza Reindeer sled,
Meditation Lawn Christmas Tree.

Tram Plaza And Main Street.

As previously reported, RIOC approved a: 

... three-year agreement with Neave Group for winter holiday decorating for a total cost of $225,000...

Friday, November 19, 2021

Take A Walk To Visit The Beyond 4 Freedoms Art Installation By Shaun Leonardo At Roosevelt Island 4 Freedoms State Park This Weekend - Vulnerable Communities Reinterpret The Four Freedoms With Hand Gestures To Convey Their Truths

Between 4 Freedoms is a public artwork by the artist Shaun Leonardo showing at the Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms State Park thru November 30.

According to the Beyond 4 Freedoms website:

I want this to be a reinterpretation, not a rearticulation… What would the most vulnerable communities living and breathing today, especially considering the intersecting crises of the last year, say about the Four Freedoms? Freedom of worship. Freedom of speech. Freedom from want. Freedom from fear. Shaun Leonardo asks.

These images were generated through a series of workshops during which the artist collaborated with participants to reinterpret the Four Freedoms through the lens of their own lived experiences — engaging with the capacity of hand gestures to convey their truths.

The accompanying animations offer you a window into this otherwise intimate workshop process — giving you the opportunity to listen to different participants contemplate their experiences of freedom, whether withheld, barred, or actively stripped away.

The artist asks us to acknowledge that no true conversation on freedom may take place without considering that we stand on the traditional, unceded territory of the Lenape people, referred to as Minnehanonck.

More videos of the Between Four Freedoms workshops here.
Here's a panel discussion about Beyond 4 Freedoms including artist Shaun Leonardo at the FDR 4 Freedoms State Park moderated by Katrina vanden Heuvel.

Walk on down to the FDR 4 Freedoms State Park this weekend and take a look at the Beyond 4 Freedoms artwork.

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Racquet Club Adult Beginners Tennis Classes Forming, 9 Hours Of Group Instruction For Just $249, Get On The Courts And In The Game - Great Exercise, Meet New People & Discover The Game

The Roosevelt Island Racquet Club invites you to Get On The Courts And In The Game with their adult beginners tennis instruction program.

Get on the courts and in the game! 

Adult QuickStart Tennis makes it happen! 

Start your fall the fun way – with tennis customized for adult beginners! You’ll get great exercise, meet new people and discover the game. Once you pick up a racquet, you may never want to put it down! 

Here’s what you’ll get, right here at RIRC. 

• Beginner and Advanced Beginner Adult Programs 

• Learning that’s fast & fun 

• Basics like rules, stroke technique, basic singles & doubles strategy 

• Move on to racquet & rally skills 

• Plus much more!

Just $249/for 9 full hours of group instruction! 

Sign up today! Classes are forming year-round.

Contact Tony Huber at or 212.935.0250 ext 811

Schedule your free tour and level evaluation.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

$1.2 Million Roosevelt Island Blackwell Park Paver Project Complete With Brand New Sidewalk, Plaza Water Fountain Fixed Too And Working After Many Years Of Neglect

The long time neglected and cracked Roosevelt Island Blackwell Park Plaza sidwalks are now replaced with brand new pavers and are open to the public. The broken Plaza water fountain was working today too.

According to a presentation by Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Shelton Haynes to the October 28 RIOC Board of Directors meeting, the project cost was approximately $1.2 million.

                                            Screenshot From October 28 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting President's Report Presentation

The new sidewalk and water fountain looks good.

UPDATE 11//19 - According to RIOC:

RIOC is welcoming the holiday season with a newly renovated Blackwell Plaza, a cornerstone to R.I.’s Main Street, as it opens to the public today, Friday, November 19th.

The plaza will once again shine as a safe, accessible, and welcoming area for the community and visitors alike. The polished plaza will include safer and wider sidewalks, ADA compliant walkways, a renovated and expanded accessible outdoor group seating area, a working fountain, and an irrigation system to support the addition of 127 new shrubs and hedges in coordination with A Living Library.

Come out and enjoy this new, sound place of gathering, community, education, and memory-making.

Stabbing at Roosevelt Island F Train Station Monday Evening

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reported Monday night:

A NYPD spokesperson reported that 2 men were fighting each other at approximately 11 PM on a southbound F Train Monday evening.

One man hit his head on subway train bench, suffered head lacerations, produced a knife and slashed the second male on the nose. The fight spilled over to the Roosevelt Island subway platform.

The man with the knife was arrested, charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon. The second man was arrested, charged with intoxication and misdemeanor assault.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety report of the incident:

11/15/21 – 2322 – 400 Main St – Assault – PSD/NYPD/EMS responded – Referred to NYPD Transit, aided transported to hospital

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

What Does The 2020 United States Census Say About Roosevelt Island? Tiny Population Increase From 2010, Less Children Under 18, More Housing Units & Changes In Racial Composition

According to the 2020 United States Census, Roosevelt Island is composed of the 3 census tracts:

  • 238.04 (Southtown Riverwalk buildings and Cornell Tech)
  • 238.03 (Northtown WIRE Buildings, Rivercross, Island House, Westview and Roosevelt Landings) and
  • 238.04 (Manhattan Park, Octagon and Coler Nursing Facility)

shown in this  NYC Planning Department Population Finder Map.

According to the 2020 Census, the population of Roosevelt Island is 11,722, an increase of 61 from the Roosevelt Island 2010 Census population of 11,661.

The 2020 census shows a population of 1772 persons under the age of 18, a decrease of 3% from 2010 Census showing an under 18 population of 1827. 

A decrease in the under 18 years of age Roosevelt Island population shown in 2020 Census from 2010 is surprising given what has appeared to be an increase of young families with children moving to Roosevelt Island in recent years.

The racial makeup of Roosevelt Island has changed since 2010 According to the 2020 Census:

  • Hispanic/Latino population is 12.3% (down from 14.9% in 2010
  • White nonhispanic population is 36.3% (down from 42.9% in 2010)
  • Black/African American population is 10.6% (down from 19.6% in 2010
  • Asian nonhispanic population is 33.2% ( up from 18.2% in 2010)
  • Some other race nonhispanic is 2.8% (up from 1.2% in 2010)
  • Nonhispanic of two or more races is 4.8% (up from 3.3% in 2010)
The number of 2020 Roosevelt Island housing units is 5608 an increase of 695 from 4913 housing units in 2010 (a 14.1% increase).
The Google Census Mapper tool shows population information broken down by Census Tract. The Google Census Mapper for Roosevelt Island tract 238.04 (Southtown Riverwalk Buildings and Cornell Tech) shows a 2020 population of 3306, an increase of 343 from 2963 in 2010.

The Google Census Mapper for Roosevelt Island tract 238.03 (Northtown WIRE buildings) shows a 2020 population of 3625, an decrease of 3135 from 6760 in 2010. (There needs to be more explanation of the 2010 census population number of 6760)
The Google Census Mapper for Roosevelt Island tract 238.02 (Manhattan Park, Octagon and Coler Hospital) shows a 2020 population of 4791, an increase of 2853 from 1938 in 2010
UPDATE 9 PM: The 2020 Census Response Rate for Roosevelt Island tract:

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Scenes From Last Saturday's Roosevelt Island Grow NYC Stop N Swap - Did You Drop Off Or Pick Up Any Items?

Did you drop off or pick up any items from last Saturday's Roosevelt Island Grow NYC Stop N Swap? 

According to Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico, 506 people did just that.

I spoke with Grow NYC's Jon Klar who reports:

We are looking to divert waste from landfills in a fun interactive reuse event for the community. We are funded by the Department of Sanitation to run these Stop and Shop events throughout the city. We're doing one in every community district. This is our third event of the fiscal year. We're doing 59.

People bring stuff they don't need anymore or don't want, drop it off with us and we weigh it to get some metrics. W put it out in the proper appropriate section and then folks can take whatever gets put out. You don't need to bring something to take something....

and that people bring:

... everything  from books to housewares, lots of clothes, toys, all sorts of things. It really is a grab  bag.

 Ms Delfico adds:

 ...  in 2019  we were able in three short hours to collect 6300 pounds of good quality items. Over 80% went  back to people in the community and the rest went to Goodwill. We're living on an island. There's no reason we can't exchange  really great quality items among and to each  other and partnering with Grow NYC is the  perfect way to do it. They're going to hit about 59  neighborhoods this year and we're one of the first...

Will update when info available on how much was collected at the Roosevelt Island 2021 Stop N Swap.

Monday, November 15, 2021

What Is The Future Of NYC Schools Gifted & Talented Program? Roosevelt Island Invited To District 2 NYC Brilliant Community Meeting November 17 - 200 Students Currently In PS/IS 217 G&T Program

According to the NYC Department of Education:

As announced by the Mayor, the Department of Education will eliminate the Gifted & Talented (G&T) test and phase out the current G&T model. In its place, we will launch “Brilliant NYC,” a blueprint for accelerated learning for all elementary students in New York City.

  • Starting with Kindergarten in September 2022, accelerated learning will be offered to 65,000 kindergarteners compared to 2,500 kindergarteners that the current G&T model serves. 
  • Students currently in G&T will remain in their programming so there is no disruption to their learning. Brilliant NYC will be phased in for grades one through three. 

For questions about Brilliant NYC, email

Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 is located NYC School District 2. A PS/IS 217 staffer reports:

District 2 Superintendent Mr. McGuire invites the families to give their feedback regarding the future of the G&T program during the November 17th 6pm virtual "Brilliant NYC Community" Meeting. Register for this zoom meeting

 I asked the PS/IS 217 staffer:

Thanks for the info about the District 2 G&T update.

Do you have any more info on how this impacts Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217?

How many students are currently in the 217 G&T program in the various grades?

Is there any other info about the school that you think of interest to the Roosevelt Island community?

 who replied:

It's one class per grade level, we have around 200 G&T students. No decisions have been made, this is a community meeting held by the Superintendent to get the ideas from the stakeholders.

There were 620 students enrolled last year, 2020-21, in PS/IS 217. Info not available on current total enrollment this year.

NYC Department of Education has more on Brilliant NYC program.

CBS New York reports on NYC's plan to replace Gifted & Talented program with Brilliant NYC.

According to the NY Times, Mayor-Elect Eric Adams:

... Asked directly whether he would eliminate the gifted program, Mr. Adams replied, “no I would not, I would expand the opportunities for accelerated learning.”...

Register here for the District 2 Brilliant NYC community meeting to learn more. UPDATE 9 PM:

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Roosevelt Island Tram Maintenance Starts Tomorrow With Only 1 Cabin Running Thru At Least End Of 2021, RIOC Places Queuing Barriers Preparing For Long Lines - Red Bus Shuttle To And From Manhattan 3 - 8:30 PM

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) placed yellow queuing barriers

in front of the Roosevelt Island Tram station in preparation for long lines that will result from the upcoming Tram maintenance program that will leave only 1 Cabin in service thru at least the end of 2021 starting tomorrow.

According to RIOC:

A reminder that, beginning tomorrow, Monday, November 15th, Leitner-POMA, operators of the R.I. Tram, will begin maintenance work on both cabins to continue ensuring the safe operations of the Tram. 

During this work, which is scheduled to last through the end of December 2021 (weather dependent), only one Tram cabin will be in operation at a time. The Tram will operate on an as needed “load and go” departure throughout its regular hours of operation.

Please plan your travel accordingly, as long lines for the Tram can be expected during rush hour. To supplement Tram service during this planned work period, the RIOC Red Bus will be providing free shuttle service, to and from Manhattan, Mondays – Fridays, from 3 PM – 8:30 PM.

Schedules for Red Bus Shuttle and regular service below:

Roosevelt Island to Manhattan Shuttle 

  • Departs hourly from the R.I. Tram Station (300 Main St.), making all northbound local stops to Capobianco Field (opposite P.S./I.S. 217), before heading into Manhattan.
  • First trip will depart from the R.I. Tram Station at 3 PM
  • Last trip will depart from the R.I. Tram Station at 8 PM

Manhattan to Roosevelt Island Shuttle

  • Departs on the half hour from the southwest side of 2nd Avenue, between 58th & 59th Streets, and will make all southbound local bus stops (starting with 591 Main St.) to the R.I. Tram Station
  • Last trip will depart Manhattan at 8:30 PM 
Regular Red Bus Service:
  • Will continue normal morning rush hour schedule from 7 AM – 10 AM, with pick up at the R.I. Tram station approximately every 7 ½ minutes
  • Will continue to operate from 10 AM – 3 PM, with pick up at the R.I. Tram Station approximately every 15 minutes
  • No changes to regular evening rush hour schedule
  • No changes to regular weekend service
Alternative Transportation Options:

For real time service alerts and updates on MTA service, visit: or call 511

UPDATE 11/15 - No long lines at the Tram Station as of 3 PM today.