Saturday, January 15, 2022

How To Stay Warm On A Freezing Roosevelt Island Weekend - Matzo Ball Soup From Katz's Deli Or Chicken Noodle Soup From Soup Lady At Roosevelt Island Farmers Market, Both Are Delicious

It was freezing outside today. On days like this, thoughts turn to a hot bowl of Matzo Ball Soup from Katz's Deli - with a Pastrami Sandwich and Latke too. Did not go today but maybe tomorrow.

In the meantime, enjoy this virtual visit to Katz's Deli with Tim Lee. Yum.

Others handled the freezing cold today with Chicken Noodle Soup from the Roosevelt Island Soup Lady at today's Farmers Market.

Check out more from the Soup Lady including the menu and online ordering for home delivery. 

Stay warm.

UPDATE 1/16 - Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney agrees.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Roosevelt Island Tram And Red Bus Now On Google Maps In Test Phase, Goal To Launch Permanently By February Says Former Resident Alex Bores Who Spearheaded The Initiative - Great News, But When Will MTA's OMNY System Be Installed On Tram?

Roosevelt Island residents often think of themselves as the forgotten stepchild of NYC - services offered in other NYC neighborhoods are either not available here or we're waiting at the back of the line for them, but that has slowly started to change recently. 

For example, Roosevelt Island residents and visitors have asked for years when the Roosevelt Island Tram will be included in Google Maps? Now we know. As some residents have discovered recently, the Roosevelt Island Tram is currently on Google Maps in a test phase.

How did this happen? The initiative to get the Roosevelt Island Tram on Google Maps was spearheaded by Alex Bores, a former Roosevelt Island resident with a Masters in Computer Science and currently Democratic Party 76 Assembly District Leader (which includes Roosevelt Island).

Mr Bores reports:

The Tram and Red Busses Launch on Google Maps 

The Roosevelt Island Tram and Red Busses (including Octagon Express) are now in testing on Google Maps. Residents and visitors can look up transit directions the same way they look up the subway.
Google integrates around 120,000 different transit systems worldwide. This includes many different transportation sources around Roosevelt Island, including the subway, the Hornblower ferries, and Citi Bikes, but until now, did not include the tram or busses.

I noticed the tram was not on Google Maps when a friend tried to visit me. When he saw that Google’s directions did not suggest the Tram, he assumed it wasn’t running.  I teamed up with Assembly Member Rebeca Seawright and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) to accurately represent the schedule, and then coded it into the technical format that Google and other map providers use to show schedules.

Roosevelt Island has thriving businesses, but too few New Yorkers know how accessible the Island is. Instead of showing a route that requires people to wait up to 30 minutes for the Q102, visitors will also see the red busses running every 7-15 minutes. For residents that want to visit Manhattan destinations like the Trader Joe’s right across the river, Google Maps now shows the 13 minutes the trip takes by tram instead of 19 minutes via the F train.

The schedule is still in testing, so the feed may change or be temporarily unavailable in the future. RIOC will provide updates to the schedule over time. The schedule is static, meaning it shows the planned schedule instead of tracking the real-time location of any busses or tram cabins. The goal is to launch it permanently by the end of February, as well as to have it appear on Bing Maps and Apple Maps (where currently the tram appears but not the busses).

“The Roosevelt Island Tram has been a relied upon and heavily used mode of transportation that has been serving New Yorkers for the past 45 years and carries about 6,000 people per day between the island and Manhattan,” said Representative Carolyn Maloney. “Despite all that the tram contributes to our community, it has never appeared on Google Maps. By listing it as an option and displaying its schedule on Google Maps, Roosevelt Islanders and visitors alike will be able to better take advantage of this eco-friendly transportation option. I am thrilled that District Leader Alex Bores and island residents successfully campaigned to correct this oversight.”

The team used software built by the National Rural Transit Assistance Program (NRTAP) program under the federal Department of Transportation. The free software makes it easier for smaller transit agencies to create and change their schedules in ways that Google and other map providers can ingest.

District Leader Kim Moscaritolo, who helped start the project, said, “I’ve spent many years traveling to and from Roosevelt Island, and having the tram on Google maps is long overdue! Now, all residents and visitors will be able to plan their trips easily and efficiently.”

“Roosevelt Islanders rely on the tram and Red Bus to transverse the City,” said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. “I am pleased to have been a part of getting these critical transportation options integrated into Google Maps. I commend our local District Leader Alex Bores for working with RIOC to make this integration possible for Roosevelt Islanders and visitors to travel with ease.”

Next project is to get the Roosevelt Island Tram on the MTA's OMNY system.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Free Covid 19 KN95 Masks And At Home Tests Will Be Distributed Friday January 14 At Roosevelt Island Food Pantry By RIDA And NYC Council Member Julie Menin - RI Covid Vaccine Booster Clinic Today Arranged By Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright Administered By Zeel

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Wendy Hersh reports:
The RIDA Food Pantry will be open this Friday. Council Member Julie Menin in collaboration with the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association will be distributing KN95 masks at the RIDA Food Pantry in the 546 Main St Lobby this Friday January 14th from 4-5pm. Let's keep our island safe!
A spokesperson for Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Julie Menin adds:
... the Covid rapid tests are the take-home rapid tests (they come two in a kit) and we got it from Borough President Mark Levine.

Earlier today, Roosevelt Island NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawight arranged for a Moderna Covid Booster vaccination clinic 

at the Roosevelt Island Carter Burden Senior Center administered by Zeel, a health care provider.

Approximately 60 Covid vaccine booster shots were given at the Senior Center and Zeel staff members also provided at home booster shots to Roosevelt Island residents today.

According to this press release from Zeel:

"We're pleased to partner with Zeel as we continue to deliver booster shots to the fight against the COVID-19 variants," said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, who has sponsored a total of seven vaccine or booster clinics on the Upper East Side, Yorkville, and Roosevelt Island. Seawright said that Zeel's delivery of the Moderna booster is vital in ensuring that all communities are properly protected in accordance with CDC guidelines. 

Since April 2021, New York City-based Zeel has vaccinated tens of thousands of New Yorkers, at 150 New York City public schools, at thousands of homes, and at pop-up locations from Times Square to Coney Island. 

Said Zeel Founder and CEO Samer Hamadeh,“I am particularly proud of our tireless teams of providers, who are out in the field getting boosters into the arms of those who need them the most. We are grateful to Assembly Member Seawright and organizations like the Brooklyn and Queens Chambers of Commerce, who see the urgency in this program and are doing everything they can to get as many people, especially at-risk populations and essential workers, boosted as possible.” 

Zeel’s citywide network of more than 200 nurses and 200 drivers and administrators have been working around the clock for almost a year. From the city’s most venerated museums to celebrated restaurants like East Harlem’s Rao’s, Zeel has been on-site vaccinating and boosting the essential workers that are the very lifeblood of the city....

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Megan Brown, Top Chef At Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel Panorama Room Cocktail Bar And Anything At All Restaurant Featured In Ebony - A Remarkable Journey From Homelessness To Culinary Institute Of America, Davos And Now Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel

According to Ebony:

Cooking isn’t an applied science to most. But for Megan Brown, the restaurant serves as their lab. Brown is the executive chef at the Graduate Hotel Roosevelt Island’s chic eateries Anything at All (think casual yet sophisticated university library) and the Panorama Room (a posh rooftop retreat). ...

... After dropping out of high school and becoming homeless, Brown eventually earned a GED and decided to enroll in culinary school. “Food saved my life,” says Brown....

Click here for the full Ebony article.

Learn more about Chef Megan Brown's journey from homelessness to the Culinary Institute of America and now Roosevelt Island's Graduate Hotel from this 2019 Hub Culture video

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Former Roosevelt Island Rivercross Co-op Owner Claims Cancer Caused By Exposure To Radiation From Undisclosed Electric Transformer Adjacent To Apartment Bedroom Common Wall In Lawsuit Filed Last Week

The NY Post reported January 8:
... Dragan Micic, 48, and wife Lidija Bubanja are suing Rivercross Terrace and others for negligence, claiming no one told them when they bought their home at 531 Main St. that the transformer was on the other side of their bedroom wall....
According to a lawsuit filed January 6, 2022 in NY State Supreme Court by former Rivercross Co-op owners Dragan Micic and Lidija Bubanja:

1- This is an action for misrepresentation, negligence, nuisance, breach of the warranty of habitability, loss of consortium and punitive damages arising out of the presence of an electric transformer, which emitted dangerous levels of electromagnetic radiation, in a transformer room located directly adjacent to and sharing a common wall with Plaintiffs’ bedroom in their residential cooperative apartment, number or unit 911, located at 531 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York. The existence of the transformer was undisclosed to the Plaintiffs when they purchased and eventually moved into the unit on or about May 31, 2019. For the next 17 months, Plaintiffs slept less than one foot away from the transformer and their upper bodies, more specifically their heads and necks were exposed for 6 to 10 hours a day to levels of radiation that exceeded recommended standards. Despite Plaintiffs’ repeated complaints, Defendants did nothing to effectively remediate the situation and allowed the dangerous exposure to continue unabated.  

2- As a result of this sustained exposure, Micic developed a tumor in his nasal passage and ocular region within his skull, which was diagnosed in August 2020 as an aggressive form of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. This is a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to radiation and other environmental toxic substances. Such type of tumor is normally slow to develop. However, in this instance, due to the constant daily exposure to excessive amounts of EMF radiation to Micic’s head and neck, the growth of the tumor was accelerated. In addition, Micic and his wife Bubanja also suffered persistent headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia caused by the exposure. ... 

... 5 - On the advice of Micic’s treating surgeon, Plaintiffs moved out and eventually sold in July 21, 2021, at an overall financial loss, their Apartment at 531 Main Street in the middle of the pandemic induced dip in the New York City housing market. They incurred moving and other related expenses as a result of this move.

Below is the full Complaint.

I asked the Rivercross Board for comment yesterday. They declined at the time but sources tell me a statement is coming soon from the Rivercross Board, possibly later today.

What do some Rivercross residents think? According to one:

If true it’s going to be a real problem and it’s really scary.
and a second:
... this will raise some concerns for a small number of shareholders, who have had — or have — cancer or related illnesses & reside near the Transformer rooms.

The lawsuit does not say if the new buyers of the apartment were informed about the electric transformer.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 1/12: Several building residents shared this email they received yesterday from the Rivercross Board of Directors:

This past Friday, we learned of a lawsuit filed against Rivercross by a former shareholder, which was picked up by a local newspaper.  The claim involves alleged exposure to EMFs (electromagnetic fields) from the transformer room located next to his apartment.  The allegations against Rivercross are without merit and we will vigorously defend against the lawsuit.  If you have any questions, please direct those questions to the Board.  
I asked the Riverwalk Board today:
Will there be any statement to the media? There was not much information in the statement. I've spoken to Rivercross residents worried about the health implications of the allegations in the lawsuit. Will the Board answer questions about what safety protocols are in place regarding living near the electric transformers?

Monday, January 10, 2022

Roosevelt Island NYC Ferry Service Suspended Since Last Friday Due To Landing Mechanical Issue - Service Resumption Anticipated In Next Couple Of Days

Last Friday, the Roosevelt Island NYC Ferry service was suspended due to a mechanical issue for the second time that week.

Service was still suspended today. I asked the NYC Ferry operator:

The Roosevelt Island NYC Ferry landing is suspended again.

Last Friday and continuing to date it has been out of service due to mechanical issues.

When do you anticipate the Ferry resuming Roosevelt Island ferry service? What is the mechanical issue and is it the same one that caused Roosevelt Island ferry service suspension earlier last week?...

A NYC Economic Development Corp spokesperson replied today:

NYC Ferry is working diligently to restore Roosevelt Island service as quickly as possible. Commuters should follow NYC Ferry for immediate updates. We apologize for any inconvenience to riders.
According to NYC Ferry:

The issue that led us to close the landing for a few hours last week is the same issue that came up this weekend: there is a small amount of wiring on the landing that we need to replace. We anticipate that we will be able to make this repair in the next couple of days, allowing us to re-open the landing shortly after.
UPDATE 1/12:

NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright Offering Roosevelt Island Moderna Covid 19 Booster Shot Clinic Thursday January 13, Call To Make Appointment - Latest Covid Testing, Vaccination And Hospitalization Statistics Available Too

Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright reports:

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright will offer the seventh in a series of vaccine clinics for constituents this Thursday, January 13, on Roosevelt Island. 

Appointments for the COVID-19 Moderna Booster are available by calling the Assembly Member’s district office at 212-288-4607. In-home appointments are also available upon request for homebound residents. 

The service is supported by the New York City Vaccine Command with booster shots administered by Zeel, a health care provider. 

The Carter Burden Senior Citizen Center is hosting the event. 

What: Assembly Member Seawright Moderna Booster Clinic 

When: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM 

 Where: Carter Burden Senior Center 546 Main St., Roosevelt Island, N.Y. 

Contact: 212-288-4607 to schedule appointment

I spoke with Ms Seawright last month at a mobile Roosevelt Island Mobile Test van site.

According to NYC Health Department, the most recent 7 Day Covid Testing Data from December 31 - January 6 for Roosevelt Island (Zip Code 10044 ) shows 843 people tested and 181 new Positive Cases for a rate of 21.47%.

As previously reported:

... the 7 Day Covid Testing Data from December 27 - January 2 for Roosevelt Island (Zip Code 10044 ) shows 610 people tested and 188 new Positive Cases for a rate of 30.82.%.

... the 7 Day Covid Testing Data from December 26 - January 1 for Roosevelt Island (Zip Code 10044 ) shows 580 people tested and 171 new Positive Cases for a rate of 29.48.%.

More Roosevelt Island Covid 19 Test Data here.

Also, according to NYC Health Department 10,536 (90.27%) Roosevelt Island residents have received at least one vaccine dose and 9,400 (80.54%) residents are full vaccinated.

There have been 11 people hospitalized from Roosevelt Island zip code 10044 with Covid 19 for the 28 day period from November 30 -December 27 for a rate of 94.2 per 100 thousand people.

There have been no Roosevelt Island Covid 19 deaths during this 28 day period. 

The Roosevelt Island 10044 Zip Code Covid 19 hospitalization data during 28 day period of November 23 - December 20 shows 7 people hospitalized for a rate of 60 per 100 Thousand people.