Friday, October 14, 2022

Great News, Tacos, Fajitas, Enchiladas, Burritos, Quesadillas, Flautas & More On Menu Of New Roosevelt Island Authentic Mexican Food Restaurant Opening Saturday October 15

Roosevelt Island residents have been asking for a Mexican restaurant for a very long time. 

Tomorrow, your wish will be granted.

The Authentic Mexican Food restaurant will be opening on Roosevelt Island Saturday October 15, in the space currently occupied by the Wholesome Macelleria butcher shop at the Rivercross building, 503 Main Street. The existing butcher shop opened in March 2021 after the original plan of a Cafe/restaurant for the space was changed due to the Covid Pandemic and limitations on indoor dining.

According to a spokesperson for Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder Hudson Related, the current ownership of butcher shop is : 

 ... switching to a sit-down Mexican restaurant. They will keep the butcher shop initially before making a full transition.

Here's the menu for Roosevelt Island's new Authentic Mexican Food restaurant.

Yesterday, I spoke with owner Jimmy Kim about the new Roosevelt Island Mexican restaurant. Mr Kim explained that initially the restaurant seating will be the same as in the current space

and will eventually expand as the transition from butcher shop to Mexican restaurant is completed. Outdoor seating will be available in the future too.

He added that the restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner on weekends, approximately 12 PM -10 PM and 3 PM 10 PM on weekdays. The kitchen will close at 9 PM. Take out is available but no delivery yet.

But the new Roosevelt Island Authentic Mexican Food restaurant does not have a liquor license yet so no Margaritas or other alcoholic drinks. I'm told they are in the process of applying for the liquor license.

They will also be coming up with a new name soon.

Let's welcome our new Authentic Mexican Food restaurant, owner Jimmy Kim and Chef David Vidales (shown below)

to Roosevelt Island and wish them luck with their new business. 

UPDATE 10/15 - The new Roosevelt Island Authentic Mexican Food restaurant was busy 

with customers all day.

Among the Roosevelt Islander Instagram comments were:

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Submit Your Roosevelt Island Infrastructure Project To NYC Council Member Julie Menin For District 5 Participatory Budget Funding, Deadline Is October 17 - Gallery RIVAA Seeking Participatory Budget Funding For Heating, Air Conditioning And To Renovate Staircase

According to the NYC Council

This year, 30 Council Members across New York City are asking residents how to spend at least $30 million in capital funding. Between September and October, you can propose ideas that would improve public spaces such as schools, parks, libraries and public housing in your community.

Submit your ideas via our online, digital map here. Let the participation begin! What is Participatory Budgeting?

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. The process began in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1989. Today, there are more than 3,000 participatory budgeting processes around the world, most at the municipal level....

Click here for more info. 

Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side NYC Council Member Julie Menin adds in this release from her office: 

Council Member Julie Menin is proud to announce an allocation of one million dollars to continue participatory budgeting for Council District 5 (Yorkville, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Roosevelt Island, Midtown East, Sutton Place, and El Barrio in East Harlem). Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Since her time serving on the Board of Citizens Union, Council Member Julie Menin has championed the importance of civic participation in our budgeting process.

A total of one million dollars of the Council Member's discretionary budget allocation can be used for physical infrastructure projects that benefit the public, cost at least $50,000, and have a lifespan of at least 5 years. For example, projects such as local improvements to schools, parks, libraries, housing, and other public spaces can be funded.

Area residents are invited to share project ideas that could be implemented within her Council District by visiting this website and sharing proposals by October 17, 2022.

Ideas are then submitted to the respective City agency for evaluation and cost and Council Member Menin’s Office works with community partners to formulate a ballot for voting. Ballots will be distributed throughout the East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island as well as through an online portal for voting.

The last cycle winners were:

Schoolyard Resurfacing for M.S. 114 and P.S. 138  - 798 votes; This $380,000 project will replace the slippery, degraded mats of the schoolyard that date back to the building's construction over a decade ago. This will improve the overall safety and sanitary conditions for the students

Technology Upgrades at New York Public Libraries - 798 votes; This $250,000 project will provide technology enhancements at Roosevelt Island, Webster, and 67th Street Libraries.

Pathway Repavings- 747 votes; This $300,000 project will repave 10,000 square feet of paths in Carl Schurz Park.

Additional Projects that were funded with $380,000:

Four NYPD Cameras- 668 votes; This $160,000 project will fund 4 NYPD cameras in Council District 5. These security cameras would enhance crime prevention, provide a sense of security in public areas, and establish surveillance in underserved areas.

M.S. 177 Bathroom Renovations- 665 votes; This $225,000 project will renovate one faculty and one student bathroom, both of which are in a general state of disrepair. It would upgrade the sinks, faucets, toilets, soap dispensers, mirrors, tile floors, stalls, paper towel dispensers, and urinals.

P.S. 151 Water Bottle Filling Stations- 652 votes; This $64,000 project will install 8 water bottle filling stations to cover each of the five floors of the school.

“I’m very excited to begin another cycle of Participatory Budgeting. Our Office’s first annual participatory budgeting process was an unqualified success with robust community engagement as over 1800 constituents cast ballots,” said Council Member Julie Menin. “In the last cycle, we funded critical community projects that focused on supporting our schools, protecting our green space, and promoting public safety. I look forward to engaging with the community and funding more great projects as we run Participatory Budgeting for a second year.”

There is currently one Roosevelt Island project submitted to Council Member Menin for Participatory Budgeting funding.

Roosevelt Island resident and 

Gallery RIVAA artist Laura Hussey submitted this project for Gallery RIVAA: 

My project idea is: To install heat and air conditioning in our community art gallery and to renovate the staircase so that people could: Better utilize our programs and more easily access the bathroom by renovating it and the staircase which is currently difficult to navigate. At the present time we are functioning with no heat or A/C at all. The bathroom is difficult for elderly people to reach because of the staircase.

Do you have an idea for Roosevelt Island infrastructure project needing funding. Click here to submit your idea and for more info.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Come Celebrate Roosevelt Island Hispanic Heritage Festival Saturday October 15 At Good Shepherd Plaza - Live Music, Samba Performance, Latin Dance Demos, Latin Candy Station And More Hosted By RIDA, RIOC & MST&DA

The Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) in collaboration with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) & Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) are hosting a Hispanic Heritage Festival on Saturday October 15 at Good Shepherd Plaza.

Come celebrate Roosevelt Island Hispanic Heritage Festival With Live Music, Samba Performance, Latin Dance Demos Latin Candy Station & More.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

NY State Senator Jose Serrano Passes The Torch To Liz Krueger As The Next Roosevelt Island State Senator Last Saturday At The Fall For Arts Festival

Due to NY State Senate re-districting, Liz Krueger will in all likelihood become the next State Senator for Roosevelt Island starting in January 2023 replacing long time Roosevelt Island State Senator Jose Serrano. 
See the full map at

In an overwhelmingly Democratic Party State Senate District, Ms Krueger is expected to win the 28th Senate District election this year. to become the State Senator representing Roosevelt Island.

Senators Serrano and Krueger attended last Saturday's Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival and spoke about the change in Roosevelt Island State Senate representation.

Here's what they had to say.

Ms Krueger is a 20 year veteran of the NY State Senate and the powerful Chairperson of the Senate Finance Committee which among many other responsibilities approves nominees to the RIOC Board of Directors

Early voting period begins October 29 thru November 6. Election Day is Tuesday November 8.

Monday, October 10, 2022

To Whom It May Concern, An Open Letter To Person Who Tore Up Our Garden - What Motivated You To Steal Planting From Roosevelt Island Tree Pit Ask Roosevelt Island Volunteer Gardener

M. A. Witt is one of the volunteers contributing a great deal of time, effort and resources to make Roosevelt Island bloom by tending to the flowers and trees in the Southtown Riverwalk area. These efforts are enjoyed and appreciated by most residents but unfortunately there are exceptions. Ms Witt reports:

An Open Letter to the Person Who Tore Up Our Garden

On Monday September 26, I arrived back to the Island to find that someone had come in the middle of the night, prepared with a large bag and a garden spade, to steal one of the mature growth very large ferns from our building tree pits in front of 455 Main Street. This individual was caught on film. 

There is no doubt from the footage, and the late hour, that she knew she was stealing. My question is what motivates someone to come in the dark and steal from/vandalize a garden that is planted for the enjoyment of an entire community. What kind of un-reflected selfishness makes someone think that is okay?

A little background. When I am out working in the garden, the overwhelming majority of people who stop are kind and always express their appreciation for volunteers who give their time to make the Island beautiful. They share their thoughts and experience and chat for a brief moment: gardening is an activity that brings people together, that forges community. One gentleman, however, stopped to tell me that "big corporations plant the tree pits." I need to make clear that big corporations have nothing to do with the gardening on this island, at least not at our building. A small group of very hardy volunteers goes out in all kinds of weather weekly to tend these beds. They do it because they love gardening, to bird watch or from a sense of service to the community. What they are not is big corporations. They are not deep pockets. In short, this was not a victimless theft from a faceless entity. Individual people were harmed when this garden was vandalized. People I know and care about.

More importantly, these volunteers garden to conserve resources and to preserve the environment -- both social and ecological. This island could not afford the plantings we enjoy without the labor of volunteers. RIOC does not plant or tend flowers in the Commons by the Subway. The few that are planted there are courtesy of the tireless generosity of one woman.

Ironically, the fern that was taken is seasonal. It will die indoors in someone's apartment. The lasting impact of this will be limited to the sadness it caused to the volunteers who care for these plants, and in diminished expectations.

The area below circled in black

is where the fern was removed.

Scenes From Last Saturday's Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival - Local Artists And Visitors Paint Murals Celebrating Roosevelt Island Diversity And Appreciation For Our Differences, Good Job By Gallery RIVAA And RIOC Organizing The Festival

The 17th annual Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival took place last Saturday, October 8, at the Meditation Lawn. 

Take a virtual walk around the Mediation Lawn and watch the artists painting murals showing, according to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) :

... how celebrating diversity can display how we appreciate our differences and come together as one.

I spoke to several of the Fall For Arts Mural Artists about their work including Roosevelt Island residents Thom Heyer

Webson Ji

and Roosevelt Island Youth Center staffer Martine.

The Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance also contributed to the Fall For Arts Festival:

Gallery RIVAA and RIOC collaborated this year to put on the Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival. RIOC President Shelton Haynes and Gallery RIVAA President Sandra Gavelyte spoke about the Festival and their collaboration.

Gallery RIVAA's Margie Smith adds: 

The collaboration between RIOC and RIVAA worked extremely well. It was a pleasure working with the RIOC staff, and I want to especially thank the workers who, on the day of the event, arrived at the crack of dawn and didn't leave until long after the rest of us were gone. They were an exceptional team to partner with and we look forward to many more joint events in the future.

Here are the completed 2022 Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival murals.

Click on the full screen icon at bottom right for better viewing.

Check the Murals out yourself at the Meditation Lawn. They will be there for about 45 days before being moved to the Motorgate Garage Gallery for display.