Friday, January 13, 2023

Sponsored Post - Free Kids Days Tennis Class For Ages 4 To 10 At The Roosevelt Island Racquet Club January 17, 19 & 21 - Sign Up Today To Save Your Spot

Advantage Quick Start Tennis, Free Kids Days Tennis Class For Ages 4 to 10 

At the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club (281 Main Street).  


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.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island RIVAA Gallery Year Of The Rabbit Chinese New Year Celebration Sunday January 15 - Also, Moments In Time Watercolors Exhibition By Ana Maria Daranga Opening Reception Saturday January 14 At RIVAA's Octagon Gallery

According to the Roosevelt Island RIVAA Gallery

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Come to RIVAA Gallery (527 Main Street) on January 15,2023 at 1 PM to celebrate Chinese New Year with us. The Blanc Art Space is sponsoring events around the Year of the Rabbit. Workshops for kids will be part of this afternoon of celebration. We look forward to seeing you.

So please join us

For the celebration of the 2023 Chinese New Year, TheBLANC Art Space will be co-hosting a series of festive events with the RIVAA gallery on January 15, 2023. TheBLANC Art Space is committed to the important work of fostering culture exchange and contributing to the richness of the New York art world. The time of the Chinese New Year, unlike other events that take place on a definitive date, varies according to the traditional lunar calendar. It traditionally takes place from New Year’s Eve, the evening preceding the first day of the year to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. Marking the coming of spring, the 2023 festival will usher in the Year of the Rabbit––the fourth cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. The Chinese New Year event would present both the chance to generate a sense of belonging and community, and to demonstrate the importance of multicultural expressions of Asian and Asian-American identity through art.

The celebration events will be on January 15th, 2023. And here are some of the highlights that will be on stage at Roosevelt Island: 

Photo booth: We will be displaying backdrops depicting New Year’s scenarios for participants to take photos with. Our staff will wear costumes of rabbits or other symbolic characters for attendees to take photos with.

Draw red envelopes: In China, elders will give red envelopes with “lucky notes” inside to children with the hope of passing on a year of good fortune and blessings. The red color symbolizes good luck and prosperity in Chinese culture. We will be preparing red envelopes, with random straws for different gifts wrapped inside, for attendees to draw lotteries. And attendees will win the chance for entry by leaving their New Year’s wishes with us.

Gift-giving: We will bring postcards, rabbit dolls and spring couplets for participants to take home during the red envelopes lottery session.

Lantern making: The rabbit lanterns draw inspiration from Chinese legend, and also as a celebration of the Year of the Rabbit. The craft will be easy to make, and all materials will be provided.

Interactive activities: We will provide puppets and toys for lion-dancing that children can play with and take photos with.

Showcase of Chinese traditional clothing: Chinese traditional clothing has a long history and humanistic value, which reflects the changes and development of artistic and cultural aesthetics. We specially design a clothing display section for the event and make the audience experience the fun of Chinese traditional culture.

Here's a video with more on the Year Of The Rabbit Chinese Lunar New Year

6sqft has info on 2023 Chinese New Year events in New York City which begins January 22 thru February 5.

Also,  RIVAA Gallery

Cordially invites you to the opening of “ Moments in Time” a One person show of Watercolors by Ana Maria Daranga for the Opening Reception at the Octagon Gallery on Saturday January 14, from 5-7 pm.

One Person Show “ Moments in Time” Watercolors by Ana Maria Daranga

Saturday, January 14 - Saturday April 1, 2023

Opening Reception: Saturday January 14, 2023 5-7 pm

Octagon Gallery 888 Main St. New York, NY 10044

UPDATE 1/20:

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Watch Fascinating Video Interview With Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Dean Greg Morrisett Looking Back Last 2 Years On Impact Of Covid Pandemic And Role Of Technology For Universities - Future Of Higher Education Too

Here's an excerpt from a fascinating year end 2022 interview of Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Dean Greg Morrisett by Future Of Business TV host Kevin Benedict. According to Dean Morrisett:

Two years ago I think we were all just terrified of where things were going, how long it would take to recover and get back to quote-unquote normal. We at Cornell and Cornell Tech had students on campus so what we were focused on was keeping them safe. Testing was happening every single day for many of the students and these were PCR tests, not rapid tests, trying to identify cases and then doing contact tracing around those cases and quarantining the students and people that may have been exposed. We were just absolutely terrified.

We were not in the classrooms then, we were teaching completely remotely and that was a big change and adjustment and eye-opening for all of us. We're since back in the classroom mostly but I think we learned a lot from that purely online experience and took some lessons away from that. 

It was a slow adjustment back to a situation where we were no longer testing, no longer quarantining. The vaccines had a tremendous impact and it was controversial but we required all of the students and all of the staff and the faculty to be vaccinated. I think that was a  good call for most universities that were able to do that. That allowed them to get back in and operate safely so the vaccines were probably the biggest inflection point in the Covid journey for all of us in the universities....

  ... It's a new normal. For example, we still had masking requirements for a long time and even today in New York for example on public transit they were required masks for a long time. They've now moved to recommended masking as opposed to required so there was a gentle sort of ramp from full masking all the time and lots of spacing in the classroom and so forth all those concerns, to recognizing that actually young people, students who were fully vaccinated, were rarely hit with a bad case of Covid. 

In fact, as far as I know we had no cases where there was a hospitalization amongst the student population post-vaccination and it was primarily affecting un-vaccinated people and folks that were older as opposed to young students....

... I think even before the pandemic there was a push especially in higher-ed around flipped classrooms and trying to basically make material much more engaging and move away from the the old model of the Sage On The Stage, the the lecturer in front of hundreds of students pontificating about the world.

In an age of students with their cell phones and their laptops and so forth they just did not find that approach very engaging. So when we pivoted online, what was fascinating to me was there were a lot of courses that actually got better somewhat surprisingly and in fact many technical courses for instance became much better run and and part of that was more engagement with the students in problem solving and working in teams directly online. You could do breakouts and teachers could move between them fluidly without having to have a giant space to physically house the students in.

Students were happier  in those settings where the material was something they could play back. They saw a lecture but they didn't understand it they could go back and watch it again at two times speed.

All that provided a new set of resources for students to engage more deeply with the material. It didn't work for some classes. For example, some of our business classes or law classes where the Socratic method is a preferred approach, the online system just  did not work. 

The tools that we have are not there yet and I think people experimented with many different approaches to teaching. Some of them were really far out there like trying to use augmented or virtual reality or other kinds of virtual presence beyond basics like Zoom or meetings online. Those things are still fun to explore, I think someday they'll get there but they're not there yet. 

One thing that I think we learned very well is hybrid still doesn't work. A mix of in-person and online is maybe the worst of all worlds. If you're going to do a course either do it all online or do it all in person and that was a takeaway that that we've really leaned into here after  coming back from Covid...

 Watch the full interview.

Interview topics included:

Q1 Walk us through how things at Cornell evolved from 2020 until today. 2:21 

Q2 So from that point you could just charge ahead relatively normal? 4:21 

Q3 What innovations that came out of that period sort of stuck? 5:21 

Q4 If you can bring it all together in a story form, that’s an immersive format, with a thread that takes a student through...That’s still critical. What are your thoughts there? 11:04 

Q5 In 2020 you said that student’s really value meeting in person. Did Covid change that or just delay it? 13:08 

Q6 In 2020 you said that you were going to have to rethink why you are bringing students to the campus. What have you learned since then? How does that work today? 16:49 

Q7 In 2020 you said that the days of big auditoriums are probably passed us. Do you hold to that opinion? 18:47 

Q8 In 2020 you said that you thought that we’re going to see a lot of differences from the classic university architecture to how we will conceptualize it and think about the campus of the future. What are your thoughts today? 20:15 

 Q9 In 2020 I asked you the question “Where is the competition of the future going to come from in higher education?” What are your thoughts on that today? 24:06 

Q10 In regards to personalization, are you seeing that kind of technology actually being used? 31:15 

Q11 It seems females outnumber males in universities by significant amounts, how is that going to impact the future of universities? 33:53 

Q12 In another demographic, people are having fewer children in western countries and soon globally. In what way will that impact the future of universities? 35:56

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Join Nursing Homes Lives Matter Virtual Meet Up January 12 Sponsored By Open Doors Reality Poets Of Roosevelt Island's Coler Nursing Facility - Discuss NHLM Bill Of Rights, Share Stories Of Fighting For Rights In Long Term Care And Preview Clips Of Covid Documentary Fire Through Dry Grass

The Roosevelt Island Open Doors Reality Poets living at the Roosevelt Island Coler Rehab & Nursing Facility are hosting a Nursing Home Lives Matter webinar 4 PM Thursday January 12.

You're invited to attend and learn more the the Nursing Home Lives Matter movement.

According to Open Doors, the Reality Poets are:

... an artist collective of current and former residents of a long-term care facility on Roosevelt Island in NYC. Guided by the Reality Poets’ lived experience and vision, our work focuses on disability justice, community building and gun violence prevention.... 

... During the pandemic racist, ableist systems dehumanized and confined the Reality Poets. Realizing that they had the microphone at the center of the storm, the group began advocating for those living and working in long-term care, particularly Black and brown nursing home residents who saw twice the amount of Covid deaths as their white counterparts. The Reality Poets have launched the Nursing Home Lives Matter movement and are working on a documentary film about their harrowing year on “lockdown” fighting for their lives and their freedoms....

Click here to register for the Nursing Home Lives Matter January 12 webinar. 

The Nursing Home Lives Matter movement began on Roosevelt Island during the Covid Pandemic. Remember?

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Adult Tap Dancing 8 Week Workshop Starts Tonight At Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance, Great For Beginners And More Advanced Too - Congrats MST&DA On NYC Cultural Development Fund Grant

According to the Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA): 

Adult Tap dancing 8-week workshop starts tonight at 7pm with guest instructor John Curtis! All levels welcome.

Even if you have no tap experience, come and try out something new in 2023! No tap shoes? No problem. Wear sneakers for class today. To reserve a spot, email

MST&DA Executive Director Kristi Towey adds:

John Curtis has performed in regional theaters, with choirs, bands, and dance ensembles for over 20 years. John is a University of Tennessee alumnus where he performed at the Clarence Brown Theater, with the UT Singers, and the UT Dance Company. John co produced and performed with the Call Me Crazy jazz band and the Call Me Crazy Dancers. John's choreography has recently been seen in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and the Capital Fringe in Washington, DC. John has written and produced his own songs, including his Day For a Dream album and other songs for the Call Me Crazy Dancers' shows. 

John enjoys teaching tap to children and adults at MSTDA. John's Call Me Crazy Dancers performed in On the Eve at MSTDA in December, 2016. John's tap classes emphasize creativity, musicality, and fun in both the Broadway and hoofer styles. The classes are great for beginners, those who haven't tapped in awhile, or those looking to challenge themselves.

Also, congrats to MST&DA on receiving a grant from the NYC Cultural Affairs Cultural Development Fund.

To reserve a spot in the MST&DA Tap Dance Workshop, email

Click here for more info on MST&DA programs and classes.

Monday, January 9, 2023

NYC Mayor Eric Adams Says Roosevelt Island Governance Issues Need To Be Resolved - Watch Video Of Mayor Adams Answering Questions On Affordable Housing, Crime, Education, Jobs, Homeless, Press Relations & More At End Of Year Press Conference

Last Friday, January 6, NYC Mayor Eric Adams 

reviewed his first year as Mayor with NYC Ethnic/Community Media journalists, taking questions about a variety of local topics including:

  • affordable housing,
  • immigration,
  • crime,
  • school safety,
  • education,
  • jobs,
  • homelessness,
  • small business,
  • transparency and press relations,
  • nomination of Hector LaSalle as Chief Judge Of NY Court Of Appeals
  • and more.

Also discussed was the issue of Roosevelt Island governance which had been raised with Mayor Adams at his "closed press" August meeting with Roosevelt Island residents.

During the January 6 meeting with community journalists, I asked Mayor Adams:

You visited Roosevelt Island in August with Assembly Member Seawright. 

There were a variety of local issues that were discussed including governance for Roosevelt Island and quality of life issues and you had said that you would send the questions, the list to members of your team. I don't think we've heard anything back yet and I'm just following up to see if you could check on that?

Mayor Adams replied:

I saw Assemblywoman Seawright the other day and I'm going to find out from the team exactly where are we with that, the exact initiative. I think that the governance issue should be solved and we definitely need to resolve it.

I thought they were great initiatives that were put forward by those who were there and so once we have a full understanding and the scope of it, we've been a little busy with a whole lot going on, but once we're able to really dig into it so we can make the right decision...

Responding to my follow up question about community meetings being closed to the press, Mayor Adams added:

I'm always respectful of the wishes of the residents and people who invite me. You know the press follow me all the time. They even follow me to that restaurant to see if I have fish. 

I'm always followed by the Press. I don't have a problem with the press being around me but I'm respectful some people don't want their names in the paper. They're not elected to office, they don't want their quotes in the paper, they don't want their pictures in the paper so sometimes people say to us we would rather not open this to the press and I respect that. 

I have to be under scrutiny, Miss Jones should not have to be under scrutiny and I respect that but rarely do we say close press. We are more Open Press. We believe in transparency as much as possible.

I replied to the Mayor:

I think it's beneficial to the community to know when you attend the community meeting what happened through an independent press.

Mayor Adams responded:

 I agree 100 per cent.

Watch video of the entire Q&A between Mayor Adams and the NYC Ethnic/Community press. It is a very interesting discussion.

Here's the list of Roosevelt Island issues that were presented to the Mayor last August

and video of the meeting.