Saturday, April 9, 2022

Enjoy A Virtual Roosevelt Island 2022 Cherry Blossom Stroll On The East River Waterfront And Rooftop View Of Cherry Blossoms - Southpoint & FDR 4 Freedoms Park Tour Too

The Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossoms looked magnificent and were enjoyed by residents and visitors today.

Here's a rooftop view of the Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossoms.

Also here's a walk thru Southpoint and FDR 4 Freedoms Park today.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Roosevelt Island Concerts Spring Baroque Sunday April 10 At Good Shepherd Center, Featuring Music By Corelli, Bach, Jacquet De La Guerre & Handel - Watch Video Of RI Concerts Playing Schubert Symphony No 5 From August 2021

Image from RI Concerts
According to Roosevelt Island Concerts:

We are happy to announce that the program originally scheduled to take place in December (postponed due to the outbreak of the Omicron variant) will now take place on Sunday, April 10th, at 4pm, at Good Shepherd Center. We appreciate your patience given the fluid nature of planning during the pandemic, and we can't wait to finally bring this music to you. 

As before, three outstanding musicians - baroque violinist Dongmyung Ahn (faculty at the Aaron Copland School of Music), double bassist Max Zeugner (Associate Principal Bass at the New York Philharmonic), and harpsichordist Yi-heng Yang (faculty at the Juilliard School) - will perform a beautifully varied program of early music.

Arcangelo Corelli: Violin Sonata in D major, Op. 5 No. 1
George Frederic Handel: Violin Sonata in E Major, HWV 373
Johann Sebastian Bach: Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007

Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre: Sonata No. 1 in D Minor

We would like to express our deep gratitude to you. Thank you for all of your ongoing support - we are grateful for your reciprocated dedication while life and plans have been tenuous, and we are so proud to share this community with you.

Finally, please also mark your calendars for our next orchestral concert on June 4th at 7:30 p.m. featuring conductor Benjamin Hochman and cellist Joel Noyes, brought to you by the Musicians Emergency Fund! More to come about that concert, and in the meantime, we look forward to seeing all of you this Sunday at Spring Baroque. 

With best wishes from your RIC team.
Though we do kindly ask that you continue to wear a mask at our concerts.

Your generous contribution keeps the series affordable:
Suggested donation: $20
Students & seniors: $10

Here's August 2021 Roosevelt Island Concerts performance of Schubert:Symphony No.5 at the Good Shepherd Chapel.


More info on Roosevelt Island Concerts available at their website

UPDATE 4/11 - Roosevelt Island concertgoer Matt Katz reports:
Terrific concert! Turns out two of the performers are new Roosevelt Islanders: Max Zeugner (double bass) and his wife, Yi-heng Yang (harpsichord) moved to Manhattan Park in September. Max is Associate Principal Bass at the New York Philharmonic where we saw him perform as part of our series there. Some serious musical talent here on Fantasy Island!

Thursday, April 7, 2022

NYC Council Member Julie Menin Spends Afternoon On Roosevelt Island Meeting With New Coler CEO And Cornell Tech Dean - Discusses Coler Capital Budget Needs, Tours Cornell Labs And Takes A Spin With Autonomous Driving Vehicle Simulator

According to spokesperson for NYC Council Member (CM) Julie Menin:

CM Menin spent last Monday afternoon on Roosevelt Island walking around the island and meeting with executive leadership of key institutions. 

First, the Council Member visited Coler Hospital to meet with new CEO Stephen Catullo. Mr. Catullo brought CM Menin on a tour of the facility while discussing capital needs ahead of budget season. The Borough President had been at the facility a few weeks earlier to have similar discussions. The CM also spoke about ways in which Coler could improve its relations with the Roosevelt Island community and was pleased to hear about new partnerships at Coler with Cornell Tech on art therapy and their community day as well as reengaging with local stakeholders on the Island. 

The Council Member then rode the red bus down to Cornell Tech where she met with leadership including Dean Greg Morrisett. The Council Member toured many of Cornell's state-of-the-art labs including a lab working on simulating human response to driving that is collecting critical data for the development of autonomous vehicles. The Council Member also spoke with Cornell Tech about engagement with both the local community and the entire city. She briefly sat in on a presentation from NYC robotics high school student competition finalists from NYC First and got to see the great relationship that Cornell Tech has fostered in supporting STEM amongst NYC public high school students. 

On her way back to taking the tram to Manhattan she saw some of the cherry blossoms!

As previously reported, earlier that Monday, CM Menin's staff:

... joined with Roosevelt Island NYPL branch manager Carlos Chavez to let the Roosevelt Island community know that participatory budget voting has begun and that all residents 11 years and older can pick up a ballot and vote in person at the Roosevelt Island library or vote online through through April 10....

... Among the items on the District 5 ballot are funding for technology enhancements to the Roosevelt Island NYPL branch (Item #9).

Do You Like Donuts And Want To Help Roosevelt Island Youth? Here's A Twofer, Buy A Dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts And Help PS/IS 217 Middle School Students Raise Funds For End Of Year Activities And Celebrations

 Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 parent Yitza Martinez reports:

The P.S/ I.S 217 Middle school is having a fundraiser to help raise money for their end of year activities and celebrations. Of course it can't be done without the help of our wonderful and caring community. With that said, Who likes donuts? Who likes to help the youth? Well here's a twofer... Buy a dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts and help the kids celebrate. How yummy does that sound?
Click here to order.

The Food Network shows us how Krispy Kreme donuts are made.


More info on PS/IS 217 from NYC Department of Education and the school's website.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Roosevelt Island Heroes Wendy Hersh & Mary Coleman Honored By Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine As Women Who Lead During Covid - Well Deserved Recognition For Work At RIDA Food Pantry During Pandemic

Roosevelt Island residents Wendy Hersh and Mary Coleman

were honored by Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine during the Women Who Lead During Covid celebration last March 31 

 for their work operating the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) Food Pantry

At the Women Who Lead During Covid celebration, Manhattan Borough President Community Affairs Director Tricia Shimamura spoke from personal experience working with Ms Hersh (RIDA President) and Ms. Coleman (RIDA Treasurer) at the RIDA Food Pantry. Ms Shimamura reported:

The moment that you step onto Roosevelt Island, either through the Tram or off of the F train you know that you're in some place very special. You see it in the infrastructure, in the programs that are being promoted, you see it most importantly in the people and that's why I'm so excited to be recognizing two of our honorees this evening.

Wendy Hirsch and Mary Coleman stepped up during the pandemic. They were both previously members of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association but when the pandemic hit and when some of our most vulnerable people living with disabilities, people who were homebound, people who were taking care of large families and seniors were at their most vulnerable moments, it was these two extraordinary women who stepped up and created the Roosevelt Island food pantry.

Every week, I've seen Mary, who with all due respect does not hit five foot five inches, lug boxes of food into the senior center on Main Street of Roosevelt Island. I've seen Wendy stand for hours checking in residents and making sure that the residents not only get access to fresh produce and shelf-stable staples but also and maybe even more importantly have had a critical connection, a social connection, a checking in point, where they could check in with their neighbors to make sure that they were okay. 

In addition to the weekly food pantry that still to this day feeds hundreds of people every week, they've also provided vaccine pop-ups. They've done other social events, other aerobic events for the food pantry and just continue to be the best example that I could see of what Roosevelt Islanders have always been. They take care of one another, they stand up for their most vulnerable and they exhibit a real sense of community spirit so I'm extremely honored to not only be a member of the Roosevelt Island food pantry and to work alongside you but to really be able to recognize you here.

According to Ms Hersh:

We're on the board of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association and up until the time of the pandemic our mission of that organization was to help people with disabilities live a better quality of life, the best quality of life that we could give them.

We provided them with trips, with holiday meals so they wouldn't feel alone and help them integrate into our community and make people more aware. When the pandemic happened, we lost a lot of friends, a lot of neighbors. 

We could not get food anywhere so we partnered up with the school PS/IS 217 and we would bring shopping carts full of food, a breakfast lunch and dinner, for 170 families. We would bring it back to the senior center because the senior center was closed at that time. We would pack them up into individual bags and we would have people, wonderful volunteers, go deliver to everybody's home so we would deliver to about 170 families.

And when you're talking about women, I would say 98% of our volunteers are women. 

It was really really incredible. ... we went from doing that into turning it into a food pantry. We saw the need was greater.  Just the amount of people with hidden disabilities that you would never think have a disability the mental health ... so we just decided to keep this going.

We got a lot of support from Roosevelt Island.... It's been wonderful. Mary and I have both lived on Roosevelt Island for about 45 years so if you come to Roosevelt Island you'll see us walking in the street. We're all over the place. everybody knows us so wherever we can give back but we thought that this was just so important and we're going to keep it going. 

I just want to say one more thing so without our volunteers this never would have worked. So one person, two people on a board just can't make things work. It takes a whole team to make things work. I'm President, she's Treasurer. It doesn't matter. We all work together to make it work...

Here's video of the March 31 Women Who Lead During Covid Celebration.

More info on the Roosevelt Island Food Pantry at this prior post.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

2 Nights, 2 Events With Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance - Come Share Your Song At MST&DA Open Mic Event Friday April 15 And Enjoy An Evening Of You Can Always Come Home Cabaret Saturday April 16

The Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) is presenting Two Nights, Two Events Friday and Saturday April 15-16. 

Friday evening is Sing Your Song, an open mic night at The Sanctuary and Saturday evening is the You Can Always Come Home Cabaret show at the Howe Theater in the Cultural Center

According to MST&DA:


Hosted by J-Fad & Kimbirdlee at THE SANCTUARY on ROOSEVELT ISLAND 851 Main St, NYC, FRIDAY, April 15th, 8pm, FREE 

Sing your song at a new OPEN MIC NIGHT on Roosevelt Island! To sign-up in advance, email Singers can also sign up in-person at the venue. No charge to sing! Featuring performances by the MSTDA CABARET & YOU!!!

MST&DA adds


Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance announces the return of the cabaret, “You Can Always Come Home” to the Howe Theatre on April 16th, 2022. Jonathan Fadner and Kimbirdlee Fadner originated this cabaret in 2017 with original songs by Jonathan and other up and coming NYC composers at the time. The cast was a conglomerate of professional NYC actors, NYU students and alum, and MSTDA alum. The new 2022 cast of “You Can Always Come Home” (YCACH) includes a talented array of performers harkening from the early days of MSTDA: Brenna Stein, Deb Drucker, Barbara Parker and David Kolakoski; to new faces and voices; Jessy Li, Jeanne Castagnaro, Kay Clark and Anjana Rao; MSTDA alum (Ty Scanlan) and, of course, MSTDA’s Artistic Director, Kimbirdlee Fadner. 

While the early cabarets, which were a collaboration between Common Man Musicals and MSTDA, were a hit, the direction of this partnership turned more toward developing full length musicals from 2018-present, such as “The Monkey King, “Northanger Abbey,” “The Wind in the Willows,” and “The Ghosts All Around You.” But MSTDA keeps moving and ANYTHING GOES when you enter the world of the cabaret! The evening will be filled with both nostalgic and new tunes. We feel a strong magnetic pull to gather together as a community of artists, in celebration of life and art through song. So, we invite everyone to grab a seat at the hottest show in town! We are so excited to bring cabaret back into the entertainment sphere of Roosevelt Island! 

TICKETS:$20 general admission $15 students/seniors 


LOCATION: The Howe Theatre Roosevelt Island Cultural Center(548 Main Street)

Jump back in time to the first ever “You Can Always Come Home” Cabaret on Feb 24, 2017:
More videos from the 2017 You Can Always Come Home Cabaret here.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Technology Enhancements Among Projects On NYC Council Member Julie Menin's District 5 Participatory Budget Funding Ballot - All Roosevelt Island Residents Over 11 Years Old Eligible To Vote, Pick Up Ballot At Library Or Vote Online Thru April 10

As reported last January 18, according to Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Julie Menin:

...I’m very excited as we begin this Participatory Budgeting cycle. Participatory budgeting is a great way to get the pulse of the community and formulate the best use of city dollars. Participatory Budgeting shows the power and importance of this grassroots fueled process and I look forward to engaging the community.... Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.

It's now time for residents of Ms Menin's NYC Council District 5 to vote on projects to be funded through Participatory Budgeting.

Earlier today, staff members from Ms Menin's office joined with Roosevelt Island NYPL branch manager Carlos Chavez to let the Roosevelt Island community know that participatory budget voting has begun and that all residents 11 years and older can pick up a ballot and vote in person at the Roosevelt Island library or vote online through through April 10.

Among the items on the District 5 ballot are funding for technology enhancements to the Roosevelt Island NYPL branch (Item #9).

According to this March 29 Press Release from Julie Menin's office:

In January 2022, Council Member Julie Menin announced that her office was allocating one million dollars of capital funding to continue participatory budgeting for the residents of New York City Council District 5. Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Over 40 project proposals were submitted and vetted by City agencies to ensure compliance and feasibility. Ballot items must be a physical infrastructure project that benefits the public and on City-owned property, have an estimated cost of at least $50,000 but not more than $550,000, and have a lifespan of at least 5 years.


Council Member Julie Menin is pleased to announce a list of 9 items—each ranging in cost from $64,000 to $550,000—that will be put for a vote between April 2 through April 10. The projects with the most votes up until $1 million has been accounted for will be funded.


The ballot is as follows:

Participatory Budgeting Vote Week will kick off on Saturday, April 2, and run until Sunday, April 10. This year, residents age 11 and older of Council District 5 (Yorkville, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Roosevelt Island, Midtown East, Sutton Place, and El Barrio in East Harlem) will be able to vote online at For more details or to request a paper ballot, please contact the Office of Council Member Julie Menin at 212-860-1950 or email

Winning projects will be announced in late April and included in the City’s budget at adoption in June 2022.  

“I have been a longtime proponent of Participatory Budgeting since I’ve served on the Board of Citizens Union. Civil engagement is so important to improve our district, because we can ensure that our community has a voice in these important budgeting decisions. As we continue through this process of the Participatory Budget, filling out a ballot is an integral part of civic engagement and impacting your community,” said Council Member Julie Menin.  

“We would love community support for our schoolyard surface rehab. The old, degraded mats no longer drain well, and have become a hazard. The residue coats our sports equipment and the hands of our students in a black, oily patina. The slick and buckled surface limits school activities and is unsafe for any use by our co-located special needs school, PS138,” said David Getz, the Principal of East Side Middle School.  

“Civic engagement is vital to the success of our communities and deeply rooted in the mission of The New York Public Library, which provides resources and services for all New Yorkers," said Sumie Ota, The New York Public Library's Associate Director for the East Manhattan Neighborhood Library Network. "We are grateful to be considered for this important funding to upgrade technology at Roosevelt Island, Webster, and 67th Street libraries. Thank you to Council Member Menin and the residents of the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island for recognizing your local libraries as a community partner worthy of such support."

More info on Participatory Budget voting here.