Saturday, December 17, 2022

Fruits, Vegetables And Holiday Spirit At The Roosevelt Island Farmers Market Today As Shoppers Enjoyed Christmas Carols From The Sugar Hill Mennonite Mission Choir

Roosevelt Islanders shopping for their fruits and vegetables at the Saturday Farmers Market today were treated to Christmas carols from the Sugar Hill Mennonite Mission Choir.

The NY Times has an interesting article about the founding of the Harlem based Sugar Hill Mennonite Mission.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Wow- That's A Very Big Fish Caught From Lighthouse Park On Roosevelt Island, You Never Know What Might Come Out Of The East River

You never know what might come out of the East River.

Sponsored Post - FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy Wishes Roosevelt Island Community A Joyous New Year- Visit In Person And Learn More About The Park, Take A Virtual Lego Train Tour Too

The FDR Four Freedoms Park Wishes The Roosevelt Island Community A Joyous New Year.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park is the first memorial dedicated to the former President in his home state of New York. Located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island in New York City, it is the last work of the late Louis I. Kahn, an iconic architect of the 20th century. The Park celebrates the Four Freedoms, as pronounced in President Roosevelt's famous January 6, 1941 State of the Union speech: freedom of speech & expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. 
 The PBS Channel 13 Treasures of New York program profiled the FDR Four Freedoms Park in this video.  
and you can take a fantastic virtual tour of the FDR Park on this Express Lego Train. 


Learn more about the Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park and visit in person.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island RIVAA Gallery Holiday Exhibition "Into Light" Opening Reception Saturday December 17 - Come Celebrate The Season, Make Art Part Of Your Holidays

According to the Roosevelt Island RIVAA Gallery:


We are pleased to welcome the Roosevelt Island Community to RIVAA Gallery for our annual Holiday Exhibition. Come celebrate the season with us, give a gift of art and make art a part of your holidays. This year’s exhibition, “Into Light”, will open on December 17, 2022 from 6-9.

Amish Darr an acoustic performer based out of Greenpoint, Brooklyn will be playing at RIVAA holiday show on December 17th at 7:30pm

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.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Landings Wishing You A Joyous Holiday Season And Happy New Year

The Landings Wishing Roosevelt Island Community A Joyous Holiday Season And A Happy New Year.
From the team at C+C Apartment Management and L+M Fund Management

$11 Million Roosevelt Island Sportspark Facility Opening Delayed Again, Now Slated For Late Winter 2023 Says RIOC - Closed For Renovations Since September 2021, "It's Beyond Ridiculous" Says Resident

Reported in September 2022:

The Roosevelt Island Sportspark Pool and Gym closed September 1, 2021 for an $11 million renovation currently being undertaken by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)....

... RIOC originally projected the Sportspark renovations to be completed by the Spring of 2022 but that was pushed back to September and then the Fall of 2022.

 RIOC Vice President of Communications Akeem Jamal reported in September 2022:

... At this time the project is on target for completion early Fall.

During the September 29,2022 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting, RIOC President Shelton Haynes reported the Sportspark Facility substantially completed but target opening date delayed until late Fall/Winter. 

During the October 20, 2022 RIOC Board of Directors meeting, Mr Haynes said the Sportspark renovation is about 95% complete.  RIOC is waiting for punch lists work to be completed and Department of Buildings and FDNY inspections. Mr Haynes added that RIOC hopes to open in a couple of months, if not sooner.

This week, grass was laid in front 

 of the Sportspark so some residents thought the facility was getting ready to open.

But that was not to be.

Yesterday, Team RIOC sent out an advisory with another Sportspark opening delay:

Dear Roosevelt Island Community,

The highly anticipated renovations to the Sportspark Complex are near completion. In the coming weeks, a more detailed announcement will be made concerning hours of operation, improvements to the Complex, pricing structure, permitting information, and other pertinent details you may find of interest.

The facility’s grand opening is slated for Late-Winter 2023, equipped with a new aquatics and management teams; and RIOC is in the final stages of coordinating with New York City agencies to secure the Department of Building and fire safety permits needed to open.

We share your excitement as we kick off the New Year with an announcement of our Sportspark Complex – wait until you see what investments have been made.

We look forward to welcoming you in soon! Warm wishes, Team RIOC

In April 2021, reported on this March 11, 2021 memo excerpt from Project Coordinator Michelle Edwards to RIOC President Shelton Haynes which details scope of the Sportspark Renovation Project to be undertaken by Vanguard Construction & Development Co:

... The Sportspark Building consists of two floors and is approximately 56,000 gross square feet. After 40 years of use, the facility is in need of infrastructure and general renovations to accommodate current and future programming and operational needs. 

The Sportspark Renovation project entails demolition and removal of existing mechanical, electric, and plumbing (“MEP”) infrastructure serving the East and West portion of the facility; and the installation of two new HVAC units and new ductwork in the Eastside pool area. In addition to this, installation air handling units will also be installed, as well as unit heaters, among other renovations on the east and west side locker rooms. Steel dunnage will be done for HVAC on the roof; and upgrades to the fire alarm, and a BMS system, will also be installed in the facility. 

For Sportspark, architectural upgrades include reconfiguring locker rooms, upgrades to finishes, and new light fixtures on the East and West Side. Work on the Westside consists of a new administration office, new reception area, new weight room, a renovated multipurpose room for the second floor, and new gym flooring. Finally, upgrades will be made to the main Westside entrance with a new curtain wall and exterior cladding with “Sportspark” signage....

As one frustrated Sportspark Tipster said today: 

 It’s beyond ridiculous. 

The original plan was 3 months, then it became 8 when they increased the scope of the project. But then it became 9 months, then 12, then 15 and now 19 months. And that is if they make it by late winter. 

And to be even more cautious and pessimistic we have to hope that when they turn the 45year old system on, everything works. But, I remain wishful !

Contributing to the frustration of Sportspark Users is RIOC's refusal to disclose reasons for the delays. I've asked RIOC Public Information Officer Akeem Jamal why he refuses to answer press inquiries on issues of concern to Roosevelt Island residents.

Mr Jamal's answer was:

RIOC wants to control the narrative.

You're Invited To The Roosevelt Island Beacon 5th Annual Winter Wonderland Friday December 16 At PS/IS 217

According to the Roosevelt Island Beacon at PS/IS 217:

It's that time of year again! Roosevelt Island Beacon's 5th Annual Winter Wonderland will be on Friday, December 16th from 4:30-7:00pm.

Join us for a fun evening of making gingerbread houses, a gift-wrapping contest and much more surprises! This event is open and free to ALL

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Sponsored Post - Happy Holidays To Roosevelt Island From Related Rentals Riverwalk Crossing, Riverwalk Point & Riverwalk Park

Happy Holidays To Roosevelt Island From Related Rentals Riverwalk Crossing, Riverwalk Point & Riverwalk Park.

Mayor Eric Adams Reports On NYC Public Safety Issues In Op-Ed Submitted to Community Media - "Will Not Rest Until New Yorkers Both Are Safe And Feel Safe" Says Mayor Adams

New York City Mayor Eric Adams submitted the op-ed article below to local NYC community media including Roosevelt Islander Online.

According to Mayor Eric Adams:

A Safer New York

While I was on the campaign trail, I met many New Yorkers who expressed their desire for a safer city. New Yorkers want to feel safe in their neighborhoods, at their places of worship, in the subway and on the streets. I vowed to make public safety my top priority, and under the bold leadership of NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, our efforts are paying off. We have a lot more work to do, but I want to be clear to New Yorkers: we are making progress.

For the first time this year, we saw a drop of 1.2% in overall index crimes in November compared to November of 2021. What does that mean? It means that in November of 2022 compared to November of 2021, we saw a 32.8% decrease in shootings, a 14.1% decrease in rapes, a 6% decrease in burglary, and a 5.5% in grand larceny.

We have also removed more than 6750 guns from our streets so far this year. Gun arrests are at a 27-year high. And we’ve seen a decrease in murders and shootings.

This is not a coincidence. It shows that our laser focus on public safety is working. We created an anti-gun unit that has been effective at removing illegal firearms, and we’ve added more checks to detect illegal guns before they enter New York City. We’ve also had success in our fight against “Ghost Guns”—these are guns that can be ordered online and assembled at home; they do not have serial numbers and are untraceable, which makes stopping them from entering our city even more urgent.

We have more officers on patrol in key neighborhoods, and newly-created Neighborhood Safety Teams are focusing on the 30 precincts where a majority of violence occurs. We are working hard and working smart to make the most of our resources and to make our city safer.

As part of our Subway Safety Plan, we are sending mobile crisis teams and outreach workers into the system to connect with homeless New Yorkers and help them get the assistance they need. We’ve also introduced a surge of 1200 additional police officers patrolling subway platforms and trains each day. As a result, in just over a month, we have seen a 12.8% reduction in major crime in transit stations compared to the same period last year.

We’re addressing the problem of “Ghost Cars”—cars with illegal paper or obscured license plates that don’t follow our traffic rules. And we’re pursuing targeted bail reform in Albany.

Just as important, we have achieved historic diversity in hiring. We want our NYPD academy classes to resemble the neighborhoods they serve so they can better understand our diverse communities’ needs and form closer connections. So our most recent hires to the NYPD are on average 41% Hispanic, 23% white, 19% black and 15% Asian. And on average, this group is 29% female.

There is much more work that remains to be done. Crime is still substantially higher than it was in 2107, and New Yorkers deserve to be safer than they are right now. We will not rest until New Yorkers both ARE safe and FEEL safe. Public safety is the key to prosperity. It is the only way we can achieve a just and equitable New York in which everyone—no matter what language you speak, or where you come from—can thrive. I promised I would make a difference on public safety during my campaign, and as mayor, I am proud to say that we are well on our way to a safer New York.

Mayor Adams discussed Public Safety issues in greater detail during an October 25, 2022 Manhattan South Community conversation.

Last August, Mayor Adams attended a Roosevelt Island community meeting at the Senior Center.


walked down Main Street to visit the Pubic Library

and took the Tram back to the Manhattan station saying that Roosevelt Island is "an exciting and special place."


Mayor Adams also visited Roosevelt Island last June for the celebration of Cornell Tech's 10th Anniversary.

As he was leaving Cornell Tech, Mayor Adams told me:

... he loves Roosevelt Island, loves Cornell Tech, comes here often and Roosevelt Island is his Sneakaway...

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Cafe Hosting Holiday Toy Donation Drive Drop Off Box - Check Out This Week's Menu For Breakfast, Lunch, Coffee, Hot Chocolate & Smoothies, Good Wifi Connection Too

The Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Cafe is hosting a Holiday Toy Donaton Drive

Drop Off Box.

Share The Spirit Of Joy This Season. Bring An Unwrapped Toy To The Cafe Through December 21.

Here's this week's menu at the Cornell Tech Cafe.

The Cornell Tech Cafe is a great spot on Roosevelt Island for breakfast and lunch. Coffee, Hot Chocolate and Smoothies too

with a very good wi-fi connection. Bring your laptop if you wish.

The cafe will be closed from Dec. 23rd-Jan. 2nd.

We will reopen on Jan 3rd.

From Jan 3rd-Jan 20th we are opened Mon-Fri from 8am-5pm.

Jan 21st & Jan 22nd open 11am-5pm

Jan 23rd will resume normal hours, 8am-7pm

Happy Holidays

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Shops On Main Street Wishing You Happy Healthy Cozy Holidays - We Shopkeepers Are Thankful For The Opportunity To Know Such Friendly Islanders. Wishing You All The Best.

Roosevelt Island Shops On Main Street Wishing You Happy Healthy Cozy Holidays. 
From all the Shops on Main Street to all of you, we wish you a happy holiday season.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Roosevelt Island Residents Join With NYC Council Members Julie Menin, Julie Won And NYC DOT Manhattan Commissioner Ed Pincar To Celebrate Installation Of Roosevelt Island Bridge Bike Lane Safety Covering Over Dangerous Metal "Industrial Cheese Grater" Surface - And It Only Took 11 Years Of Pleading

On August 16, 2011, Roosevelt Islander Online reported:

Roosevelt Island resident Jonathan Clements shares this email message he sent to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) last Wednesday, August 10:

I'm a Roosevelt Island resident. I'm also an avid bicyclist -- and I have a suggestion. It's great that a lane is set aside for cyclists crossing the bridge into Queens. But it would be helpful if the bridge's metal grill were covered by some sort of mat. You may not be aware of this, but -- when it rains -- metal-grill bridges are like sheets of ice if you're a cyclist, especially if you're on a road bike with thin tires. I was reminded of this on Sunday: My son and I were crossing the bridge on our bicycles early on Sunday morning, after the rain had stopped, and as soon as we hit the metal grill, we both started sliding. We immediately got off our bikes and walked them across....

... UPDATE 8/17 - Mr. Clements received this reply from the RIOC Dirctors yesterday:

Thank you for your attention to the quality of life on Roosevelt Island. We at RIOC appreciate your help in working to make this island even better. The Roosevelt Island bridge work is being performed and overseen by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and is not under RIOC's jurisdiction. Please contact DOT's Director of Community Affairs,...

... UPDATE 8/18 - Mr. Clements contacted the DOT with his concerns about safety on the Roosevelt Island Bridge metal grill bike lanes. He received this response:

Thank you for your email regarding the improvement of bike mobility and safety on the Roosevelt Island Bridge. We have forwarded your message to the appropriate unit in DOT Bridges for review. We will provide you with their determination.

9 years later, efforts to get a safe Roosevelt Island Bridge bike lane surface covering were still a work in progress.

After more than 11 years of pleading by residents, including petitions and urgings from elected officials, the NYC Department of Transportation last month finally began the installation of a safe surface covering over the Roosevelt Island Bridge bike lane metal "industrial cheese grater".

Last Friday, December 9, NYC Council Members Julie Menin & Julie Won together with Roosevelt Island residents Paul Krikler and Lynn Shinozaki (both Manhattan Community Board 8 members) and NYC DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Ed Pincar celebrated the installation of the new Roosevelt Island Bridge Bike Lane surface safety covering by cycling from Queens to Roosevelt Island.

I spoke with the group after they crossed the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Here's what they had to say.

Commissioner Pincar reported the cost of the 300 polymer panels used to cover the Roosevelt Island Bridge bike lane metal grating was under $100 Thousand. Commissioner Pincar added if the winter and summer testing pilot stage is successful, the surface coverings could be used on other NYC bridge bike lanes. 

According to this release from Council Member Menin's office: 

Council Members Julie Menin and Julie Won joined Manhattan Borough Commissioner of the Department of Transportation Edward Pincar Jr. today to celebrate the success of the Roosevelt Island Bridge bike lane pilot project. The installation of new smooth and weather-resistant material makes the bike lane safer for cyclists in both wet and dry conditions.

Constituents and transportation leaders had previously advocated to Council Member Julie Menin to address unsafe and unpleasant conditions for bike riders on the Roosevelt Island Bridge: riders previously had to ride over the same metal “cheese grater-like” material that automobiles drove over on the drawbridge. This surface could be especially hazardous in inclement weather.

Working with Council Members Menin and Won, NYC’s Department of Transportation piloted a program to use a new material to cover the bike lane. This was the first time the Department had ever used the material in New York City. The DOT ordered 300 metal panels with flexible delineators from England and installed them in October to cover the bridge’s bike lane. Since the initial installation in October, the DOT has tested the panels under a variety of conditions. The testing is now fully complete and the installation has been deemed successful.

“I am pleased to see the immediate success of this pilot program on the Roosevelt Island Bridge bike lane. Prior to the installation of these panels, which were first tested by NYC Department of Transportation on the Roosevelt Island Bridge, our cyclists were biking in hazardous conditions in non-weather-resistant slippery metal. I look forward to these panels being used throughout the city to make bike lanes safer. Thank you to Manhattan Commissioner Pincar and my colleague Council Member Julie Won for working together to find a solution for our bicyclists,” said Council Member Julie Menin.

“I support any effort to prioritize cyclists’ safety, from calling on the city to open the south outer roadway on the Queensboro Bridge, to launching this brand new pilot program to make the Roosevelt Island Bridge bike path safe in all weather,” said Council Member Julie Won. “This bridge connects our neighbors in Queens and Manhattan, and we will continue to push for safer conditions on all of our bridges across our city. Thank you to Council Member Julie Menin and DOT for keeping our neighbors on both sides of the bridge safe and promoting climate-friendly transportation.”

“DOT is proud to launch this innovative pilot on the Roosevelt Island Bridge, improving safety and mobility for hundreds of cyclists on their only available route getting to and from the island,” said DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Ed Pincar. “We are grateful both for the creative collaboration with City Council Members Menin and Won – as well as the hard work of the DOT Bridges team who got this done. We look forward to getting feedback on the improvements from local cyclists in the months ahead.”

“I’m thrilled that the cheese grater has been covered in the bike lanes. In fact, I rode across on Wednesday in the rain and it was fantastic. No slipping. Thank you DOT,” said co-chair of Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee, cyclist and resident of Roosevelt Island, Paul Krikler.

“Thank you DOT and Council Member Menin for helping us with our goal of creating a bike riding healthy New York City. To accomplish this it takes these small steps, creating a safe bike lane, making it easier and better to bike and run here. We are so excited and grateful that DOT and Menin’s office have worked with us to make riding to our incredible island that much safer,” said co-chair of Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee, Lynne Shinozaki. 

The Twitterverse adds:

And it only took 11 years.