Saturday, December 3, 2022

Sponsored Post - iDig2Learn And Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board Tuesday December 6 Joint Fundraiser To Raise Awareness Of NYC Zero Waste Goals At Good Shepherd Chapel, Bid On Auction Items Now - iDig2Learn Celebrating 10 Year Anniversary Too

Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn Founder Chrisina Delfico reports:

iDig2Learn is commemorating 10 joyful years—thanks to you! 

Please join iDig2Learn for a joint end-of-year evening fundraiser with the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (Manhattan SWAB) to raise awareness of the New York City’s Zero Waste goals and the important programing that both organizations engage in. The fundraiser is on Tuesday December 6  at the historic Good Shepherd Chapel (543 Main Street, Roosevelt Island). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. event.

The keynote guest speaker is City Council Member and Chair of the Sanitation Committee, Sandy Nurse, who will present on the topic of “Curbside Organics, Zero Waste & Equity in New York City.” 

“Chair Nurse is uniquely positioned to communicate both the importance of why sanitation and solid waste management issues are crucial to the 8.6 million New York City residents as we all try to achieve our City’s Zero Waste goals. We are looking forward to hearing from her on a variety of topics related to solid waste management like curbside organic collection, zero waste, and some of the exciting legislation before the City Council that relate to those topics,” said the Chair of the Manhattan SWAB Matthew Civello.


Advance Tickets only: $35 General Public, $25 Teachers/Seniors/Students

CASH BAR following the talk at NISI KITCHEN, 549 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NYC (across the courtyard)

AUCTION NOW LIVE - very exciting auction items are now available including a very generous 2023 summer pool pass at Manhattan Park's outdoor pool, a night in a King room at the Graduate Hotel and a $125 give card at their Anything At All restaurant to name a few.

Bid here for even more items and watch live as others bid too. Auction items are not tax deductible. Our thanks to our generous donors.


I’d love for you to buy a ticket to mark our decade, and it would mean so much to me if you could make an additional donation in honor of this milestone to help fuel iDig2Learn’s future growth. We wish to continue to expand the Roosevelt Island tree canopy and the Bellies, Bins and Beauty initiative to more deeply value food. And join us for snacks and a cash bar at Nisi afterward. I hope you can attend!

What started as a teaching garden for youth to grow food and learn about science in 2012, has now expanded into all-age programming that excites the public about the wonders of our natural world and helps us understand how to keep it, and ourselves, healthy. I can not thank you enough for your support, encouragement and partnership over these years.

Together we have hit some incredible milestones, including some of the following highlights:

  • Presentation made at the United Nations—”Start Local, Go Global”—spotlighting iDig2Learn’s work in the Roosevelt Island community
  • $1.95 million garnered for school green roof through three major advocacy efforts: Mobilizing 2000 community members to vote for and win $1M in Participatory Budget funds and securing additional $500,000 from NYS Assembly Member Seawright and $450,000 from Manhattan Boro President Brewer. Resulted in 6,750 sq. ft. of public school roof being transformed into an outdoor green roof to give students and teachers extended fresh air learning space and replace heat surfaces to cool the city.
  • 600+ plants & 8 large summer shade umbrellas donated for Coler Rehabilitation & Nursing Care Center’s outdoor courtyard to increase long-term residents’ ability to enjoy fresh air

Nature Stewardship:

  • 6000+ students PreK-8 engaged in nature and garden sessions since 2012; 145 sessions taught in 2021 alone
  • 100+ free community workshops & events for all ages spotlighting the wonders of nature
  • 6 youth school environmental learning gardens revitalized or created in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens
  • 6 nature-themed storytime sessions with the New York Public Library
  • 300+ plants donated to the community in the form of windowsill “Plant Therapy” kits
  • 116 trees planted and cared for on Roosevelt Island

Waste Reduction

  • 21,425 lbs. of good quality items were diverted from landfill and adopted into a new neighbor’s home for free across four Stop N’ Swaps (2018-2022) with GrowNYC plus 4 local groups
  • 280,000+ lbs. of food scraps captured for compost since 2015 after successfully advocating, alongside 2 local groups, for the Food Scrap Drop-Off collection on Roosevelt Island which is hosted by Big Reuse, NYC Compost Project now in partnership with Haki volunteers weekly.
  • 4,000+ lbs. of pumpkins smashed for compost with Big Reuse and 6 community groups
  • 6 plogging runs hosted since 2020 in partnership with Coach Scot’s local youth baseball program (plogging combines picking up litter with jogging to exercise outdoors while cleaning up the neighborhood)

This fundraising night is thanks to a partnership with an all-volunteer board appointed by the Manhattan Boro President to fight for waste reduction in New York City—the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board, known as MSWAB— they have been iDig2Learn’s go to experts on our journey to zero waste as we work with nature. We are honored they will shine a light on iDig2Learn’s work for our first joint benefit on Tuesday, December 6. And MSWAB has graciously set up ticket donation purchases directly to support iDig2Learn.

Please know how grateful I am for your support, which has continued to uplift our important work—creating opportunities for community members to have positive experiences in nature and build our expertise together—making us more likely to care for our world and each other.

With deep appreciation, 

Christina Delfico iDig2Learn, founder


iDig2Learn is a project of Open Space Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)3 public charity > which acts as our fiscal sponsor.

Click here to buy tickets and more info about the iDig2Learn/Manhattan SWAB December 6 fundraiser as well as the Live Auction and help celebrate iDig2Learn's 10 year Anniversary.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Santa Claus Comes To Roosevelt Island Tonight For Christmas/Holiday Tree Lighting And Is Welcomed By Local Girl Scouts, Bruce Springsteen And Hundreds More

It was a perfect evening tonight for the Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony. The temperature was cold, but not uncomfortable, and the hundreds of Roosevelt Island residents who came out enjoyed the music, hot chocolate and good cheer while waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus and the Tree Lighting.

Some of our local Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts were on stage to welcome Santa Claus to Roosevelt Island and joined with Bruce Springsteen and the crowd of residents asking who's been naughty or nice.


And then came the countdown for the Tree Lighting.

The Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony began with a medley of songs from the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance upcoming show The Ghosts All Around You.


Followed by the Roosevelt Island Youth Center kids singing Jingle Bell Rock.


Good job by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) putting together tonight's festivities. 

Roosevelt Island Residents Ask Where Can I Buy A Christmas Tree? Annual PS/IS 217 PTA Christmas Tree Sale Next Two Saturdays, Pre Order Only And Pick Up At Motorgate Helix - Check Out Map Of Upper East Side Christmas Tree Sites Too

Early this week, several residents asked:

Do you have any insight on where to get Christmas Trees near/on Roosevelt Island?
Here's the answer.

According to the Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 school PTA: 

The Roosevelt Island Christmas Tree Sale Is ON!

Trees should be pre-ordered and will be available for pickup at the Farmers' Market the next two Saturdays (12/3 and 12/10) from 10AM to 12PM.

Please click HERE to see pricing info and to place an order. 

Families can also go get their tree directly from Greg's Trees on 45th Road and 21st Street or from any other Greg's location. Mention PS/IS 217, and the school will receive 10% of the sale price! (If going directly to Greg's, please email with your receipt so we can claim our 10%.)

The Upper East Site has a map of locations near the Manhattan Tram Station to buy Christmas Trees too.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Queen Latifah Spotted Filming The Equalizer At Roosevelt Island Coler Hospital Today - She Reminisces About Playing Basketball At Queensbridge Courts

A Tipster spotted Queen Latifah on Roosevelt Island today filming The Equalizer TV show at Coler Hospital. 

Last week, Queen Latifah was filming in Queensbridge Park, across the East River from Roosevelt Island. Watch as she reminisces about being 15 years old and scared as hell playing at the Quensbridge Basketball Courts but still managed to win the game.

Here's Queen Latifah appearing recently on Late Night With Seth Mayer.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Christmas/Holiday Tree Lighting Friday December 2, Main Street Theatre "Ghosts All Around You" Musical Cast Performance Too - RIOC Spending $75 Thousand Annually For Roosevelt Island Holiday Decorations, But Popular Good Shepherd Plaza Reindeer Sled Missing This Year

You're invited to the annual Roosevelt Island Christmas/Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony taking place Friday, December 2 

The Roosevelt Island Christmas/Holiday Tree at the Rivercross Lawn is now dark

but will be all lit up tomorrow evening as it was last year.

Image Of 2021 Roosevelt Island Christmas/Holiday Tree

According to Team RIOC, better know as the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

Dear Roosevelt Islanders,

It is officially the most beautiful time of year! Please join President & CEO Shelton J. Haynes for Roosevelt Island’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony happening on Friday, December 2, 2022. The festivities will take place on the Meditation Lawn (501 Main Street).

It will be a magical evening with performances from the community, festive giveaways, holiday treats, and much more.

Bring your family, friends, and loved ones for a night to remember.

In holiday spirit,


Roosevelt Island's Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) will be performing Holiday songs

at the Tree Lighting Ceremony as they have done in the past to the delight of Roosevelt Islanders.

Missing from Roosevelt Island Holiday Decorations this year is the popular, photo friendly Reindeer Sled 

located at Good Shepherd Plaza 

the past few years that was enjoyed by kids of all ages. 

RIOC replaced the Reindeer Sled with this photo op.

Earlier this week I asked RIOC President Shelton Haynes and RIOC Vice President of Communications Akeem Jamal:

Why was the Reindeer Sled that had been at Good Shepherd Plaza in previous years not used this year?

My understanding is that Neave Decor was paid $75 thousand dollars for the Holiday lights this year? Is that correct?

Residents have commented that this year's Roosevelt Island Holiday Lights are much less festive looking than in previous years.

Does RIOC have any comment on this year's Roosevelt Island Holiday Lights installation.

No answer from RIOC.

According to a September 24, 2021 RIOC memo, RIOC is paying Neave Decor $75 Thousand annually for  3 years totaling $225 thousand to:

... install commercial grade LED lighting, wreaths, decorative structures and garland for selected trees, hedges, building columns, lampposts, and other areas on Roosevelt Island as outlined below: Decoration locations: 

  1. Good Shepherd Plaza 
  2. Meditation Lawn across from Blackwell House (the Main Tree location) 
  3. Tram Plaza and Tram Fountain area 
  4. Main Street Corridor including Lamppost along Main street 
  5. Ferry Plaza  

Here's the 2022 Roosevelt Island Main Street Christmas/Holiday decorations,

Riverwalk Commons Seasons Greeting Lights, which have been not been on this week,

and the Tram Plaza Fountain

Ornamental balls.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Sponsored Post - 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Ends Today - Still Important To Be Prepared And Know Your Roosevelt Island Hurricane Zone - Watch NYC Emergency Management Department Atlantic Hurricane Season Workshop

It's still important to be prepared and know your Roosevelt Island Hurricane Zone. 

The NYC Emergency Management Department reports:

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 location of your building. 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 nearby Evacuation Centers are shown too.

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

Riverwalk 405, 425, 455, 465 and Rivercross (531) buildings are in Zone 3.  

Click here for more info and to find the Hurricane Evacuation Zone of your Roosevelt Island address. 

The NYC Emergency Management Department hosted a 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season workshop for community media last June. I asked why some Roosevelt Island buildings are in Zone 2 and those next door are Zone 3. 

Watch the full workshop from the beginning.

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

and a report on damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Click here for more information from the NYC Emergency Management Department.

Holiday Village For The Entire Family At Good Shepherd Plaza December 2-4 Hosted By RISA - Unique Gifts, Sweets, Free Hot Refreshments, Santa's Chair, Live Jazz Music & More This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

 Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) President Andrea Jackson reports:

Entrepreneurs and Seniorpreneurs kick off the Holiday Season again this year with a delightful blend of Jazz, gifts, Art , free refreshments and more at the 3rd Annual Holiday Village event. Free admission for the entire family. The Event begins Friday December 2 through December 4,2022. For more information and vendor inquiries contact : Andrea Jackson, Hosted by RISA.

You're Invited To Gallery RIVAA Opening Reception For Pawtrait Show With Friends Thursday December 1 - Bring Pictures Of Your Roosevelt Island Pet Friends To Showcase On Gallery RIVAA Pet Wall

Roosevelt Island Gallery RIVAA invites you to the opening reception of Pawtrait Show With Friends.

According to Gallery RIVAA:

Opening at RIVAA Gallery on December 1, 2022 at 6PM “Pawtrait Show with Friends”.

Come and meet your furry friends on the walls of the gallery along with some of their friends. Humans and dogs are welcome. 

Bring your whole family for drawing and sketching. Bring pictures and drawings of your pets to showcase your best friend on Roosevelt island Pet Wall at RIVAA Gallery. 

Or, have your dog portrait taken by the photographers at RIVAA Gallery or bring your own picture of your dog and have your dog portrait done in a medium of your choice, drawing or painted. You may requested specific artist to paint or photograph your dog.

Gallery RIVAA, located at 527 Main Street,

is also conducting a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for needed improvements to its space. According to Gallery RIVAA:

Our gallery is in dire need of restoration. In particular, we need to replace our defunct HVAC system, retrofit the electrical system, renovate our restroom, and build an area for a modest retail space.

Optimistically, we will then be able to heat our gallery in winter, cool it in summer, properly light our members’ artwork, and offer ongoing exhibits and community events throughout the year.

The Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVVA) opened its doors as a non-profit organization in 2002. The Association comprises an internationally diverse group of artists and art lovers whose mission is to render Roosevelt Island, New York City’s “Island of Art.” Supported by public and private donations, RIVVA is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life on our island by providing a venue for art, music, dance, and spoken word events.

We are hoping to raise $150,000 through this Go Fund Me appeal.

RIVVA appeals to you to contribute what you can so that we may continue this critical work to serve our ever-growing community.

Click here for more info on the Gallery RIVAA Go Fund me campaign.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Sponsored Post - NYC Health & Hospitals Covid 19 Testing And Treatment In Minutes, No Cost & Immigration Status Does Not Matter

According to the NYC Health & Hospitals Corp:

Free COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

Free COVID-19 rapid testing, PCR testing, clinical evaluation and direct connection to the anti-viral medication Paxlovid is available to you at our mobile Test to Treat sites and Health + Hospitals facilities, which can be found in many locations across the five boroughs. You can also pick up free at-home test kits at over 250 NYC walk-up distribution locations to keep yourself and your loved ones prepared at the first signs of symptoms or exposure!

Use the City’s COVID-19 Test Site Finder to find the no-cost City-run testing site most convenient to you, including a search filter to find the NYC Test & Treat Corps’ mobile Test-to-Treat units and free at-home test distribution sites.

You can also text “COVID TEST” to 855-48 to find a test site near you.

Mobile Test to Treat units, managed by the NYC Test & Treat Corps, provide no-cost instant access to antiviral medication (Paxlovid) for eligible New Yorkers who test positive. Treatment can prevent severe illness and hospitalization.

Every mobile Test to Treat site is staffed with a clinician who can evaluate COVID-positive patients and prescribe Paxlovid.

New Yorkers may now present proof of a positive test — including at-home test results and test results from any external testing provider — at all mobile Test to Treat units to be evaluated for and connected to Paxlovid on site.

Test results must be from within the past 5 days, and patients will be pre-screened for symptoms to determine their eligibility for treatment.Learn more.

In addition, as of Nov. 21, select mobile Test to Treat sites now offer RSV and Flu testing for symptomatic patients. Please make sure RSV or Flu testing is listed as available below the mobile site location. 

Click here for the mobile site locations.

Free at home Covid 19 rapid test kits are available at the Roosevelt Island NY Public Library (524 Main Street) and other locations throughout NYC.

Sponsored Post - Advantage QuickStart Tennis, Have A Ball This Fall At The Roosevelt Island Racquet Club For Ages 4 And Up - Take A Trial Class, Sign Up Today

Advantage Quick Start Tennis, Have A Ball This Fall - Ages 4 & Up.

At the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club (281 Main Street). 
New To Tennis? Take A Trial Class. Sign Up Today.
Advantage QuickStart – tennis customized for your child’s age and ability

Now kids can learn tennis more easily, rally faster, and develop a love of the game earlier. All with our expanded QuickStart program. We’ve added more classes and more chances to practice outside of class. Kids can get practice with Play More – allows your child extra time to play and improve. All at no extra cost to you. 

Here’s what kids love about Advantage QuickStart programs:

  • Real tennis sized for kids
  • Engaging games & drills keep everyone active & learning
  • Age-and level-appropriate competition
  • Tennis is fun from day one!

Here’s what parents like about Advantage QuickStart programs:

  • Expert instruction and a structured program
  • Thorough grounding in tennis fundamentals
  • Many convenient locations
  • Custom teaching method that is safer, smarter, and more fun
  • 5% sibling discount
  • See for yourself in this short video!


Click Here For More Info or Call 212.935.0250 ext 819

Monday, November 28, 2022

Former US Secretary Of State And NY Senator Hillary Clinton Visited Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Today To Support Opening Of Eyes On Iran, Woman Life Freedom Art Exhibit

This morning, former United States Secretary Of State and NY Senator Hillary Clinton visited Roosevelt Island's

FDR Four Freedoms Park, across the East River from the United Nations,

to support the opening of

 Eyes On Iran, Woman Life Freedom art exhibition.

Here's video what Ms Clinton had to say

 as well as the full program of speakers.

According to a November 28 press release from Vital Voices and For Freedoms:

Iranian artists Sheida Soleimani, Aphrodite Désirée Navab, Z, Icy and Sot, Shirin Neshat, Mahvash Mostala, Sepideh Mehraban, and Shirin Towfiq, alongside artists Hank Willis Thomas and JR, activate New York’s FDR Four Freedoms State Park with a provocative multi-day and multi-media art installation facing the United Nations entitled Eyes on Iran. 

Timed for the U.N. Women’s initiative, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the arresting site-specific installations are focused on the power of collective sight, with eyes facing the UN and signifying the world’s eyes on Iran. The large-scale artworks will be unveiled on November 28th. ‘Eyes in the Sky’ flying billboards featuring artworks by Hank Willis Thomas and Mahvash will fly on 12/3 in NYC and in Miami on 11/28 and 11/30. In addition, an interactive installation by artist JR will take place on December 4th at FDR Four Freedoms State Park. Eyes on Iran aims to amplify the mission of Woman, Life, Freedom, a campaign demanding that the Islamic Republic of Iran is removed from the Commission on the Status of Women... 

‘’We are calling on the world to take more action, starting at the United Nations. We must remove Iran from the U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women. The fact that Iran is a member is a bitter irony,” says Clinton. “What we are seeing is a revolution led by young women who are just not willing to live with the loss of freedom being imposed upon them.” November 28th, which marks the activation at FDR Four Freedoms State Park, is also the anniversary of the 1943 Tehran Conference where Allied leaders, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin met in Tehran to coordinate the Allied military strategy and also significantly stated a shared desire for the maintenance of the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Iran. Today, Woman, Life, Freedom shares a similar call for human rights for the women and people of Iran...

 “The world’s eyes have been focused on the courage of Iranian citizens in their quest for freedom, in the face of increasingly grave danger,” states human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam Mackay. “The Islamic Republic has censored them and attempted to blind the world to the potential of this movement. Eyes on Iran is our response to their call for a free Iran. The world must keep our eyes on the brave citizens of Iran and open to the possibility of justice. We must keep our eyes on the UN in our call to remove the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women in the face of their brutal repression.”

This activation is a partnership between artist collective For Freedoms, a coalition of Iranian women leaders and Vital Voices Global Partnership, a non-profit elevating women leaders. As we go into the third month of worldwide protests launched and led by Iranian women and girls after the tragic death of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini, more than 300 protesters have reportedly died and nearly 15,000 have been jailed, while reports of extreme punishments and harsh crackdowns against protestors by Iranian authorities have flooded international headlines.

“When we say that we must keep our “Eyes on Iran,” we mean that what is happening deserves not only our attention but our vision. In solidarity with the courageous Iranians who are risking their lives to express their human rights, many artists throughout the diaspora and beyond are bringing our vision to bear to ensure international audiences and institutions remain aware of what is happening in Iran, in their eyes and in their hearts, and feel moved to respond.” - Shirin Neshat...

... This effort strives to combine the power of public advocacy and public art as a means of movement building:

Participating artists Icy and Sot add that, “No words can describe the violence people in Iran are going through but the love for freedom has defeated fear. Their courage and resistance is outstanding and inspiring the world. Winning is the only option and it's around the corner.”

Members of the public are invited to see the installation online or in person. Additional artists are featured in an online gallery featuring Emily Elise, Mahdis Nikou, Priscillia Kounkou Hoveydam, Ernesto Yerena Hourdad, Golnar Adili, and additional Anonymous Artists.

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park reminds us that the human freedoms voiced by President Roosevelt in 1941 remain vital and relevant today. We are proud to host the “Eyes on Iran” public art installation at the park, and help draw attention to the continued struggle for equal rights across the globe.”...

Take a walk to see the Eyes On Iran, Woman Life Freedom exhibit at the Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park.