Friday, March 3, 2023

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island RIVAA Gallery Annual Vernissage Exhibition Opening Reception Saturday March 4 - You Can Join The RIVAA Artist Community Too

According to the Roosevelt Island RIVAA Gallery

The Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) is pleased to announce that it is once again time for Vernissage. Vernissage is RIVAA’s annual celebration of another year as part of the Roosevelt Island community. 

Whether you have been to our gallery before, or have never visited us, we would love to see you at our opening reception. Please join us on Saturday, March 4, from 6-9 PM. The exhibition will run from March 2-26, 2023, As with all of our exhibitions, it is free and ART IS FOR EVERYONE! so come visit us.

The exhibition will run from March 2-26, 2023, As with all of our exhibitions, it is no cost and ART IS FOR EVERYONE!

So come visit us at 527 Main Street.

"Vernissage" Thursday, March 2, 2023 - Sunday, March 26, 2023

Hours: Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 am -5 pm

Wednesday/ Friday from 6-9 Pm Reception: Saturday, March 4th, 6-9 pm

You can join the RIVAA Gallery Community too.

Click here for RIVAA Gallery Membership info.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

DHCR Commissioner & RIOC Chairperson RuthAnne Visnauskas Says Recently Imposed Roosevelt Island Motorgate Parking Garage And Sportspark Rate Increases "Seem A Little Inconsistent" In Reply To Questions From Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright At State Budget Hearing Yesterday

As previously reported, NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright came out in support of Roosevelt Island residents objecting to the recent huge price increases announced by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) for use of the Sportspark recreational facility and the Motorgate Parking garage. On February 24, in response to my inquiry seeking comment, Ms Seawright replied:

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation has dropped the latest in a series of increases for Roosevelt Islanders. The new Sportspark rates revealed yesterday by a 400% increase in a press release and without community input are shocking and unacceptable. I am calling on our Governor Hochul to intervene in the rate hikes pricing people out of Roosevelt Island. From parking to the pool, these hikes add insult to injury at an already consequential time for people’s pocketbooks.
During the March 1 NY State Senate Budget hearing, Ms Seawright raised the issue of Sportspark and Motorgate price increases with NYS Division of Housing & Community Renewal (DHCR) Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas who is also the Chairperson of RIOC.

Ms Seawright asked Ms Visnauskas:

... We sent a letter recently with some questions about the newly implemented Motorgate garage fee and we got back a very disappointing and unacceptable letter... What I would like to do is set up a work group to examine this... I would ask that you comment on the garage  and the Sportspark...
Ms Visnauskas replied:

We would be happy to work with you on a Task Force and to have a larger conversation with the community about both the Parking and the Sports Center. We understand that it's a challenge and the rates seem a little inconsistent, so happy to work with you on it...


You can sign the petition protesting the RIOC Sportspark price hike here.

Also, during February 15 State Senate Hearing, Ms Seawright asked Mayor Adams about filling vacant RIOC Board seats.

Good job by Rebecca Seawright sticking up for Roosevelt Island residents.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Performing The Prom This Weekend, Tickets Were Sold Out But Due To High Demand Sunday Matinee Show Added

The Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) Adult Production Class is performing The Prom this weekend.

According to MST&DA: 

About The Prom:

Book & Lyrics by CHAD BEGUELIN



Based on an original concept by JACK VIERTEL

Four eccentric Broadway stars are in desperate need of a new stage. So when they hear that trouble is brewing around a small-town prom, they know that it’s time to put a spotlight on the issue...and themselves. The town’s parents want to keep the high school dance on the straight and narrow—but when one student just wants to bring her girlfriend to prom, the entire town has a date with destiny. On a mission to transform lives, Broadway’s brassiest join forces with a courageous girl and the town’s citizens and the result is love that brings them all together. Winner of the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical, THE PROM expertly captures all the humor and heart of a classic musical comedy with a message that resonates with audiences now more than ever. 

The Prom is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, mature themes and some adult language.

MST&DA Executive Director reports that:

We added a 1:30pm Sunday matinee because all other shows, including Saturday matinee are sold out!!

Click here to get your tickets.

Here's a sneak peek of the the show. 

Click here to get your tickets for the Sunday March 5 matinee MST&DA performance of The Prom. 

MST&DA is located at 548 Main Street.


Nightmare F Train Service Disruptions Coming To Roosevelt Island Starting May 1 Through October, Be Prepared For Major Transportation Problems - MTA Presenting Proposal Tonight At Manhattan Community Board 8 Transportation Committee Zoom Meeting, Sign Up To Attend

This evening, March 1, the Manhattan Community Board 8 Transportation Committee meeting will include a:

Presentation from the MTA/NYCT regarding the upcoming 63rd Street Line Direct Fixation Track Rehabilitation Project*

Sign up here to attend the Zoom meeting.

The major changes proposed by the MTA to be prepared for are only one way Roosevelt Island F Train service 

or no service at all between May 1 and October 13, 2023.

Get ready for the bad old days of long lines at the Roosevelt Island 

and Manhattan Tram Stations

sometimes extending to 3rd Avenue.

According to the MTA's proposed plan:

there will be no May 1 - June 30 weekday Roosevelt Island F Train service from Manhattan,

no May 1 - June 30 weekend and night Roosevelt Island F Train service from Manhattan,

no July 1 - August 11 Weekday Roosevelt Island F train service to and from Manhattan although the R train will service Roosevelt Island on July 4 (UPDATE 3/2, R Train will serve Roosevelt Island in both directions from July 1-August 11),

 no July 1 - August 11 Weekend F Train Service to and from Roosevelt Island UPDATE 3/2, R Train will serve Roosevelt Island in both directions from July 1-August 11), ,

no July 1 - August 11 night F train service to and from Roosevelt Island (UPDATE 3/2 E Train will serve Roosevelt Island in both directions July 1- August 11),

 no weekday August 12 - October 13 Roosevelt Island F Train service to Manhattan,

and no weekend/night August 12-October 13 weekend/night Roosevelt Island F Train service to Manhattan,

The MTA plans on providing free weekend and overnight shuttle bus service between Roosevelt Island and Queens Plaza subway station when F train service is out in both directions. Does not say anything about weekday bus shuttle service.

No idea if  the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) will provide the Red Bus Shuttle to Manhattan during the service interruptions.

Rumors that RIOC is considering a Zip Line for residents to cross the East River are unfounded, I believe.

The MTA details the 63 Street Direct Fixation Project Scope.

Maybe we have to bring back the 2008 Roosevelt Island Slingshot that was tested at Socrates Park in Long Island City for transportation off Roosevelt Island during the F train service disruptions?

Just missed by a little bit.

UPDATE 3/2 - Here's some of last night's CB 8 Transportation Committee meeting discussion of the upcoming F train subway service disruptions for Roosevelt Island residents.

UPDATE 3/16: Roosevelt Island NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright's office forwards this message from an MTA Spokesperson:

... We created the one pager to make an easier visual representation of our plans to Roosevelt Island residents which was requested from board members and other community stakeholders....

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Meet Dr Kathy Grimm, Enjoy Mediterranean Eatery Food And Learn About Diets Like DASH & Mind At iDig2Learn In Person Bellies, Bins & Beauty Event March 1 - Celebrate Food And All That Goes With Growing And Preparing It

Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn Founder Chrisina Delfico reports: 

Join iDig2Learn and friends for the upcoming March Bellies, Bins and Beauty events. Celebrate food and all that goes into growing and preparing it. RSVP is still open for three more events.  

This Wednesday, March 1st gather for a taste of the Mediterranean plus guest Dr. Kathie Grimm who will enlighten us on keeping healthy and the differences between the MIND, DASH and Mediterranean diets. 

We will share delicious food delivered in from our local ME - Mediterranean Eatery including Greek and Israelis salads, hummus and a selection of crispy chicken, falafel, shawarma and kofta pita wraps. If you have not RSVP'd please email us the event keyword DOC for the location of tomorrow evening's Roosevelt Island event. 

Monday, March 6th come hear about a newly released cookbook in support of the United Nations with contributors from the Kitchen Connection Alliance as they share recipes good for planet and people gathered from chefs, farmers and indigenous peoples from over 75 countries and territories - even Antarctica! 

Saturday, March 11th join the multi-talented restaurateur Beatrice Ajaero of Nneji restaurant who is on a journey to make West Africa food mainstream as we learn to make a grain called Fonio custom tailored to our taste.

All events are free and RSVP is a must. Email the event keywords:

to save your spot(s). 

Remember to let us know how many are in your groups. All ages welcome. 

Roosevelt Island location will be sent upon event confirmation. 

iDig2Learn's Bellies, Bins and Beauty events are really heating up. We love that so many of you have joined our Bellies, Bins and Beauty events so far! Last night's event with The Soup Lady was the perfect cozy way to get together and enjoy homemade farm fresh soups, flavor them with herbs and hear more about the founder's work with the Fortune Society and C-CAP (Careers Through Culinary Arts).

Throughout these events we will also hear from GRIN about tips to return what came from the earth back to the earth by collecting food scraps for the local compost program. And for those that are considering donating their food scraps each Saturday on Roosevelt Island to boost the compost program to feed our neighborhood trees and flowers we will be gifting a few stylish kitchen countertop pails to provide the tools you need (while supplies last). Plus we will get updates on the local initiatives to restore beauty with tree planting, tree care and planting flowers regional to the area (pro tip: native plants support local pollinators - that's a good thing).

Thank you for being a part of iDig2Learn's Bellies, Bins and Beauty initiative! We are excited to learn more from expert neighbors and you on our journey to having a better understanding of food as healthy fuel, valuing all who grow and deliver it to us, as well as wasting less of it. And if you were not aware, Roosevelt Island's food scrap for compost program will hit a big milestone next month - 300,000 pounds of food scraps diverted from landfill, processed locally into compost and added back to our neighborhood soils through school, garden, landscaping and expanding of our urban tree canopy. A true win-win. Thanks to our DSNY Big Reuse partners and the local compost volunteers of Haki Compost Collective and residential participants we are up 1,000 pounds monthly from this same time last year.

This Bellies, Bins and Beauty series of events is made possible by a generous grant from NYS Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright and administered by the office of children and family services with support from Open Space Institute. Previous support from individual donors and the Citizens Committee for NYC and M&T Charitable Foundation has also supported this initiative. Thank you for your interest, support and participation. In our busy lives it is nice to reflect on all who grow it, travel it, prepare it to help sustain our life force. 

Hope to see you tomorrow and 3/6 and 3/11 so don't forget to RSVP for these upcoming iDig2Learn March events - they are free thanks to supporters like you

Sponsored Post - Sign Up Now For Roosevelt Island Racquet Club Advantage Summer Camps, Save 10% On 3 Great Camps For Tennis, Swimming, Learning & More

 The Advantage Day Camp at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club Summer Fun 2023


Your camper will get a fantastic summer camp experience right here in NYC! On the West Side at Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club or East Side at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club.

LEARN & GROW Take enrichment classes and discover new levels of creativity and more with STEAM projects

TRY SOMETHING NEW Learn or improve your tennis game, take up rock wall climbing, express yourself with an art project

Visit our website for more info.

COME VISIT ANYTIME! Call us anytime to schedule a family tour: East side, 212.935.0250 or West side, 646.884.9649. We’d love to see you!

Monday, February 27, 2023

74 Year Old Roosevelt Island Resident Since 1977 Being Evicted From Her Apartment By Rivercross Board Of Directors - She Says Coop Board Retaliating Against Her For Requesting Disability Accommodation, Board Says She Was Harassing Other Residents

74 year old senior citizen Kathleen Kovach is a resident owner since 1977 of the Roosevelt Island Rivercross Co-op building.

But if the Rivercross Co-op Board of Directors have their way, Ms Kovach will be evicted as soon as this week from her long time home. 

Ms Kovach is a retired architect. She has long suffered from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) disability which, she says, has been verified by 4 doctors. 

Due to her illness, in 2012 she asked the Rivercross Board of Directors for approval to modify her apartment windows to open more than 4 inches so that more fresh air circulates in her apartment which helps her deal with the MCS disability

According to Ms Kovach the Rivercross Board of Directors refused her disability accomodation request and one Board Member claimed MCS did not exist. Mr Kovach claims that the Rivercross Board of Directors is evicting her as retaliation for her seeking legal redress to her disability claim. Ms Kovach also claims that the Rivercross Board has a financial incentive to terminate her lease and sell her apartment.

According to court documents, the Rivercross Board of Directors allege that Ms Kovach engaged in objectionable behavior by harassing tenant shareholder of 2 apartment units in 2017-18. Ms Kovach denies these allegations and says instead she was the victim of harassment by owners of the 2 mentioned apartment units. Also, Ms Kovach says that for the last several years there have been no complaints against her.

I spoke with Ms Kovach last Wednesday  the day before the eviction notice was taped to her door.

 I asked the Rivercross Coop Board of Directors for comment on this matter. According to a Board representative:

Attached is a copy of the lower court's decision upholding Rivercross' actions and a copy of the appellate court's decision upholding the lower court. The matter remains in litigation and we therefore have no further comment.

According to the January 24, 2023 decision of the NY State Supreme Court Appellate Division:

... The court correctly granted plaintiff summary judgment on its ejectment cause of action, as plaintiff’s decision to terminate defendant’s proprietary lease for her objectionable conduct of constantly harassing her neighbors was protected by the business judgment rule (see 40 West 67th Street Corp. v Pullman,...

... While defendant contends that the termination of her tenancy was in retaliation for her own complaints against her neighbors and her requests for a disability accommodation, she offers no evidentiary support for this claim aside from speculative statements in her affidavit in opposition to plaintiff’s motion. Thus, there is no indication of bad faith warranting closer review of plaintiff’s determination. Nor did defendant refute any of the allegations of objectionable conduct such that a triable issue of fact is raised.

Defendant’s affirmative defenses were correctly dismissed in the absence of any evidence submitted by defendant to demonstrate their merits...

Ms Kovach's appellate attorney Robert Grimble adds: 

This is a very brief summary of the issues in Ms. Kovach’s case.

There is a general problem with the whole idea of a Pullman action. In this case, the vote to terminate Ms. Kovach’s proprietary lease was a board vote. The lease and by-laws set forth a series of notices to be given prior to holding a meeting, but at the meeting in Ms. Kovach’s case, the board retired to a private session and voted to terminate Ms. Kovach’s lease. 

This gives the board essentially unlimited power over a shareholder. We argued that the Court should review what the board did. The case law is very vague as to what degree a court can review the coop board’s actions,  and the coop relied on the “business judgment rule” a position that makes the board action virtually unchallengeable. 

 In this case, the Supreme Court granted the coop summary judgment. We argued that this was improper because there had been no discovery at that point, and we had no opportunity to develop defenses such as retaliatory eviction. We also pointed out that the coop’s motion did not have any factual affidavits detailing the conduct Ms. Kovach was accused of engaging in. There was no proof in a form to be considered on a summary judgment motion showing that Ms. Kovach had engaged in undesirable conduct.

We also pointed out some big inconsistencies in the paperwork leading up to the board meeting. The proprietary lease required a notice telling Ms. Kovach that she was doing something wrong which was shortly followed by a notice saying the conduct had recurred.

However, the notices are inconsistent in that the first notice claimed conduct such as banging on the walls and creating noise for other tenants. The notice that said the conduct had recurred had paragraph after paragraph of claims to the effect that Ms. Kovach had complained of fumes, but then refused (at some unstated later time and/or date) to let building personnel into her apartment to see if there was a smell (or noise is some cases).

The general problem with Pullman cases is that it lets a coop kick out a shareholder tenant essentially arbitrarily.

Over the last week, I've asked usually knowledgeable Rivercross residents if they knew anything about the Rivercross Coop Board's eviction proceedings against Ms. Kovach. None had.

Last evening, Ms Kovach placed a letter under the doors of her Rivercross neighbors giving her side of this story. An excerpt:

... Before my case could proceed to take depositions, and establish the merits of my case, the judge ruled in favor of the building. My attorney says that I’ve been denied a trial because depositions weren’t taken and my side of the case was never presented to the Court. And therefore, I’ve received an eviction notice. 

I’ve enjoyed living here and even after these issues, I would like to stay. If anyone has any suggestions that might help me keep my home, please call or slip a note under my door, ... Thanks for your time and any suggestions you might have. 

In desperation,

You would think reasonable and compassionate people could resolve this matter without resorting to evicting a 74 year old woman from her home of many years.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

You're Invited To The Return Of Weill Cornell Medicine Postdoc Pub Talk At Roosevelt Island Nisi Restaurant Monday February 27 - Enjoy Lay Talks From Neighborhood Researchers On Adult Fertility And Measuring Food Insecurity

In 2019 and 2020, the Postdoctoral Association of Weill Cornell Medicine hosted a series of fun and very interesting Pub Talks at Roosevelt Island's Nisi Restaurant featuring a variety of researchers discussing the work being done in their labs. The Pub Talks were suspended during the Covid Pandemic but return tomorrow, 6:30 pm February 27 at Nisi Restaurant (549 Main Street). 

The Roosevelt Island community is invited to meet our local neighborhood scientists and learn about some cutting edge medical research at tomorrow's Weill Cornell Post Docs Pub Talk at Nisi Restaurant.

Here's the intro to the last Post Docs Pub Talk from February 11, 2020.


More on past Pub Talks here.

Take A Winter Nighttime Walk Around Roosevelt Island From The Comfort Of Your Home - Beautiful Views Of East River Manhattan Skyline

Peaceful Mind invites you on a nighttime Roosevelt Island walk:

Streamed live on Feb 23, 2023 ROOSEVELT ISLAND

Join me for a Roosevelt Island Night Walk and prepare to be dazzled by some of the most stunning views in NYC! From the Chrysler Building to the Queensboro Bridge, you'll be amazed by the glittering Manhattan skyline as it comes to life in the evening hours.

Enjoy more Peaceful Mind walks here.