Saturday, May 27, 2023

2023 Macy's July 4 Fireworks Celebration To Take Place On East River Again This Year Says RIOC - Roosevelt Island Will Have Spectacular Views, Will You Be Able To Get A Ticket

During the May 25 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting, General Counsel Gretchen Robinson delivered the President's Report and announced the 2023 Macy's July 4 Fireworks Celebration will take place again this year on the East River.

Here's the spectacular view of 2022 Fireworks Celebration seen from FDR Four Freedoms Park.

Stay tune for more information about RIOC's lottery system to obtain the free tickets for viewing the fireworks at FDR 4 Freedoms Park. 

In the past, RIOC would announce ticket info the week before July 4. 

The 1500 tickets set aside for the lottery are usually gone within minutes of the lottery starting.

UPDATE 6/21 - Today,  RIOC announced June 28 as the date for the July 4 ticket lottery for viewing at FDR Four Freedoms Park.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Aloof Liar Group Exhibition Showing Saturday May 27 At Roosevelt Island RIVAA Gallery, Is It Lying, Or Is It's Language Just Different -Come See For Yourself

The Roosevelt Island RIVAA Gallery 

invites you to Aloof Liar, a group exhibition Saturday May 27.

According to RIVAA Gallery:

"Aloof Liar"

Is it lying, or is its language just different?

You enter the space; the usual spread: white walls, straight lines, directed lights regularly spaced to supplement what sunlight makes its way through the windows, one or several boxes; synthetic estrangement, a game played on a board.

Is there a theme, a pattern, a rhyme, or is it just spat out by its whims? Perhaps you see one, or maybe those are shapes in clouds. It could be real to you all the same.

You nonetheless say “I understand”; an attempt from one domain into an unknown other.

It didn’t seem to hear you (it is aloof.) Your gesture wasn’t validated. That’s how you know you’re seeing something real, something other than projection. You paused just long enough to table your pretenses; unsure of what to seek from it.

You pick up the codes and feed them through your terminal; then feed the output back again and again and again,

and again.

Saturday, May 27th. 6:30 pm start

527 Main Street Roosevelt Island, NY 10044

Come see and decide for yourself.

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Memorial Day Weekend - Plan On Long Line Of Tourists At Manhattan Tram Station, RIOC Providing Red Bus Shuttle To/From Manhattan And Increased Public Safety Officers To Monitor Pedestrian Traffic Flow At Tram

There will be no Roosevelt Island F Train service 

from Manhattan this Memorial Day weekend.

According to the MTA

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Dear Roosevelt Island Community:

Due to scheduled MTA work there will be no Queens bound F-Trains from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island starting Friday, May 26th at 11:45PM to Tuesday, May 30th at 5:00 AM (F-Train service from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan will remain on a normal schedule).

To help accommodate Roosevelt Island residents who are returning from Manhattan, RIOC's Transportation Department will be providing a Shuttle Bus to and from Manhattan from Saturday, May 27 - Monday, May 29, 2023.

The Roosevelt Island Shuttle Bus to Manhattan will start at 3:00 PM. The shuttle will depart hourly from the Tramway, making all northbound local stops to Capobianco Field (Opposite PS/IS 217).

Return Red Bus service from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island will start at 3:30 PM. This bus will depart on the half hour from the Southwest side of 2nd Avenue, between 58th & 59th Street, and will make all southbound local bus stops (starting with 591 Main Street) to the Tram.

The last trip will depart from the Roosevelt Island Tramway at 7:00 PM. The last trip will depart Manhattan at 7:30 PM. Please note that regular Red Bus service may run on an adjusted schedule to accommodate the additional Tram shuttle service.

Thank you!

-Team RIOC

With the Memorial Day Weekend coming up and nice weather, plan on very long line of tourists at the Manhattan Roosevelt Island Tram Station.

During the May 25 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting, General Counsel Gretchen Robinson delivered the President's Report.

According to Ms Robinson, there will be an increased RIOC Public Safety Department officers at the Manhattan and Roosevelt Island Tram stations to monitor pedestrian traffic flow.

Here's what the Red Bus Shuttle was like on April 16 when there was not a large crowd waiting for the Tram on a Sunday afternoon.

It's doubtful we will be so lucky this weekend.

So, be prepared.

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market Tomorrow Featuring Delicious First Of Season Soil Grown Tomatoes From Pennsylvania Amish Country, Homegrown Vegetables And Summer Sweet, Juicy Peaches And Apricots, Homemade Yogurt And Brown Eggs From Our Farm - Support Your Local Farmers And Eat Healthy

Stop by the Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market tomorrow at Good Shepherd Plaza

for delicious tasting first of the season soil grown tomatoes

from Pennsylvania Amish Country 

 and more homegrown vegetables including sweet spring onions, 

red leaf lettuce, rhubarb and asparagus.

Also summer sweet and juicy peaches and apricots are here.

Try the homemade yogurt and Brown Eggs from their Farm.

The Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market is a beloved member of our community - a place to purchase locally grown, healthy and deliciously tasting fresh fruits, vegetables and much more. It's also a gathering spot to meet with our neighbors and learn about the latest neighborhood news and gossip.

The Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market at Good Shepherd Plaza is open early morning to mid afternoon on Saturdays in good weather and bad. 

Support your Local Farmers, Eat Healthy! 

See you Saturday at Good Shepherd Plaza for the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Islamic Society Of Roosevelt Island Sets Up A Table At RISA Saturday Market To Meet Neighbors And Get To Know Each Other Better - Stop By This Saturday And Say Hello

Members of The Islamic Society of Roosevelt Island were meeting and greeting community residents at the May 12 Roosevelt Island Seniors Association outdoor market next to the Farmers Market. I spoke with our Roosevelt Island neighbor Fouad Bennani who said they set up a table for the Islamic community to:

open up to the community and get to know each other better.... We're here to converse and talk to each other....
Meet Mr Bennani of the Islamic Society of Roosevelt Island


and stop by their table on Saturday May 27 to say hello and get to know each other.

Long Time Roosevelt Island Resident Tim Keller Dies May 19 At Age Of 72 - Prominent Theologian, Founding Pastor Of Manhattan Redeemer Presbyterian Church & Best Selling Author Is Remembered By Roosevelt Island Residents As a Good Neighbor And Friend

 The NY Times reported May 19:

The Rev. Timothy J. Keller, a best-selling author and theorist of Christianity who performed a modern miracle of his own — establishing a theologically orthodox church in Manhattan that attracted thousands of young professional followers — died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 72.

His death was announced by Redeemer City to City, an organization affiliated with Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Mr. Keller announced on Twitter in December 2021 that he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer....

 Click here for the full NY Times article.

What many did not know was that Tim Keller was a long time Roosevelt Island resident living with his wife and family at Manhattan Park since 1989.

According to his one time neighbors Sherie Helstien:

Tim and Kathy and their 3 sons were our neighbors in 30RR when tenants were moving in just as the complex was opening. We watched their lovely boys grow up and had many cordial and funny conversations with all of them. 

and Matt Katz:

We lived across the hall from the Keller's at 30RR for some years and then we moved to another building. Some years later we met Tim on the Red Bus and asked after the family. 

I mentioned that we had just gotten a new cat and were looking for an appropriate name. She was to keep our old cat, Zeke, company and warm his bones. 

Tim thought for a moment and said, "Kings, 1-4." That's all he said. 

When we got home I looked up the Old Testament reference and there it was... Abishag, a virgin who would keep old King David's bones warm although "he knew her not." Abishag kept Zeke's (and our) bones warm for many years.

Roosevelt island resident and pastor at Mosaic Church Dan Sadlier remembers Tim Keller:

We moved to New York 10 years ago with the intent of starting new ministries across the city. 

We didn't know what to expect; moving a family of seven at that point in time from the Midwest. However, I quickly realized a few different things. First, I needed mentors who could help me understand the landscape of New York. Second, I needed someone who would cheer me on and believed in what we were attempting to do. Third, we needed financial resources that could help us get our different ministries off the ground. 

Tim was one of the first to step in as a mentor. Redeemer City to City (which Tim founded) invited me into a regular mentoring process where I was able to sit with and learn from Tim regularly. They would also become one of our biggest financial supporters to date. Tim always modeled generosity. So many times pastors and priests become weirdly territorial, and yet Tim continued to give away his time, his ministries' resources, and his prayer so that we could see new churches, new community development programming, and new ministries come to fruition across the city. 

There were multiple times where we traveled back to Roosevelt Island together from his offices in Manhattan and we would laugh at the fact that as we walked down Main Street, more of our neighbors knew the younger guy from the Midwest than the New York Times best selling author who had quietly made his home on Roosevelt island as he continued his work all over the city and world. Tim loved it. 

Roosevelt island was his place of rest. He loved living on Roosevelt Island. He loved raising his family on Roosevelt Island, and he loved that we were starting Mosaic Church (once Hope Church) in his very own neighborhood. Tim held to a deep belief that if you are to truly follow the way of Jesus, you invest your life for the sake of the whole neighborhood. (Not just Christians, but all people). 

You seek religious freedom, not just for Christians, but for all people. Mosaic continues to aim to be a church for the neighborhood, one that blesses all of our neighbors regardless of whether or not they ever step into our space. In a polarized time, where the Evangelical Church does not often look much like the Jesus they preach, Tim continued to talk about and model the way of Christ that deeply loves all and refused to play partisan politics. I’m grateful to have had him as a mentor, and Mosaic Church will continue to be a place of peace, mercy, and grace because of servant leaders like him. 

He will be missed

Watch Carpool Karaoke with Tim Keller and his family as they drive around Roosevelt Island and sing Broadway show tunes.


According to Timothy Keller website:

... A livestream worship service will be held in the coming weeks. More details will be provided here as they become available.

Condolences to Tim Keller's family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Disaster Awareness For People With Disabilities Webinar Presented By RIRA Community Emergency Committee Thursday May 25

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Community Emergency Committee (CEC) Chair Frank Farance reports:

To: Roosevelt Islanders: 

Our monthly emergency preparedness presentation is THURSDAY NIGHT at 8-9 PM so the WHOLE FAMILY can participate. 

 This month we will talk about Disaster Awareness for People with Disabilities. 

This information is designed to raise awareness among people with disabilities, their caregivers, and emergency managers about how to prepare for a disaster and the important things to consider for this population during this process. 

Topics include: 

  • Emergency kits 
  • Mobility 
  • Communication plans 

This will include people who are/have: 

  • Deaf or Hard of Hearing 
  • Blind or have Low Vision 
  • Cognitive Disabilities 
  • Supporting a Service Animal or Pet 

Here is the Zoom info: 

Date: Thursday, May 25, 2023, 8-9 PM, the WHOLE FAMILY is welcome 

Zoom info: 

Zoom Meeting ID: 912 3049 8521, Passcode: 591680, Dial in: +1 929 205 6099 

Future meetings are the 4th Thursday of the month 8-9 PM with the same Zoom link. 

I'm looking forward to your participation and hearing your questions!

Executive Session To Discuss Pending Litigation, NYPD Camera Security Initiative, Acceptance Of "Drummer" Sculpture Gift & More On Agenda For May 25 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Of Directors Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet in person tomorrow, May 25 at 5:30 PM in the the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

You're invited to attend,  ask questions and share concerns about Roosevelt Island during the opening Public Session before the start of the meeting. Sign up to speak here.

Among the items on the Agenda are:

  1. Authorization to Enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with NYPD for the Island-Wide Camera Security Initiative (Board Action Required)

  2. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Thomson Reuters for Westlaw LegalSubscription (Board Action Required)

  3. Authorization to Accept Gift of the “Drummer” Sculpture from Liu Shiming Art Foundation (Board Action Required)

  4. Presentation by the Roosevelt Island Youth Center...


Chair’s Motion for Executive Session 

1. Discussion of pending litigation

Executive session means this portion of the meeting will be held in private, excluding the public from attending.

You can watch the live Board meeting here.

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Racquet Club Advantage Summer Camps, Best Summer Ever With 3 Great Camps For Tennis, Swimming, Learning & More - Take A Tour Or Sign Up Today

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: Roosevelt Island/East side, 212.935.0250 or West side, 646.884.9649. We’d love to see you!

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Long Delayed Roosevelt Island $12 Million Renovated Sportspark Recreational Facility Opens To Public Last Friday - Watch Video Of Grand Opening Ceremony And Take A Virtual Tour Of Swimming Pool, Basketball Court, Fitness Center, Game Room & Locker Rooms

The long delayed re-opening of the $12 million renovated Roosevelt Island Sportspark recreational facility took place last Friday May 19. 

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Shelton Haynes, Congressman Jerry Nadler, RIOC Board Member Howard Polivy and RIOC Sportspark Director Joseph Natale were among those who spoke at the Sportpark Grand Re-opening ribbon cutting ceremony to a crowd of residents and RIOC staff.

According to RIOC President Haynes:

... Sportspark is a deeply important part of the Roosevelt Island fabric. Since 1977 the facility has provided the community with a place to exercise, play, gather and have fun but over time it has deteriorated to the degree that it required a significant well-capitalized overhaul.

When we closed the aging complex for this improvement for this important renovation work we understood the hardships and polls in the community but we also knew that when the Sportspark finally reopened, the transformation would be incredible and well worth the wait. 

Now everyone can enjoy the state of the art facility with memberships affordably priced. 

Once you tour the facility, I'm certain you will instantly fall in love with the look and feel of our latest investment and learn about all the exciting things the Sportspark has to offer... 

Congressman Nadler:

... I'm thrilled to be here on Roosevelt Island on such a celebratory day. 

The re-opening Sportspark is an exciting opportunity for Roosevelt Islanders to partake in a variety of Fitness, Sports and Wellness activities in a newly renovated facility.

My staff and I have begun to meet with residents of this unique community and learned about the importance of spaces like Sportspark that make Roosevelt Island a special place to live. I'm glad that RIOC listened to community members and elected officials about the need to maintain affordable membership fees so that Sportspark can remain accessible for Roosevelt Island residents to enjoy all it has to offer.

Thank you and congratulations to oil on this great occasion. 

 RIOC Board Director Howard Polivy:

This is a wonderful day. We proud to open this renewed facility for Roosevelt Island.

Many of you have been here over the years you remember the deteriorating shape, you remember the locker rooms with 15 layers of paint, you remember areas that were simply not usable or not used. That's all changed. I think you'll be very excited when you see everything different inside, also everything the same inside

The  facilities basically where they were but upgraded improved made usable for all of you. The best reward we on the RIOC board would have would be full use of this facility. We  built it from a vision of renewing something which was falling apart, underutilized, needing heat, hot water, air conditioning to something now state-of-the-art for everyone's use.

Again the RIOC is proud to be able to open this facility we're proud of our small role in this process overseeing the various changes as they came and we're glad to be here on this bright sunny day to see it open.

Thank you to the community for your advocacy and for your interests and thank you later for your use... 

and Sportspark Director Joseph Natale:

Hello Roosevelt Island community

Before I touch upon the facility upgrades, I want to give a huge thank you for all the departments at RIOC who came together to make this project possible and I also want to give a special thank you to our Sports Park team right over here who are very very excited and enthusiastic to serve our communities health and wellness goals.

Prior to the extensive renovations, SportsPark was in desperate need of key repairs to existing amenities as well as the addition of new ones. Some of the highlighted features of the new Sportspark include updated locker rooms, a brand new regulation size hardwood basketball court which can also be utilized for indoor volleyball indoor soccer and handball.We also re-imagined an unused space and turned it into a state-of- the-art fitness center as well as added a recreation room where we have tabletop games such as ping pong, table tennis, pool and air hockey. 

Lastly, the mainstay of Sportspark is the pool. It needed much needed upgrades and what we've done there is add a new lighting, new HVAC, resurface the pool floor as well as added a brand new pool deck. I think you guys are going to really like what you see today.

We've also added programs such as weekly indoor soccer and volleyball. We've added family swim time, family basketball time and teen basketball time and starting in July we'll begin to enroll our residents and members into our swim programs as well.

We're extremely proud of the facility you're about to walk through and hope to see our residents enjoying the space for years to come. 

After this ribbon is cut, everyone is free to make their way over to the west side entrance where we'll begin our bulk touring groups....

Thank you very much. 

RIOC President Shelton Haynes then declared May 19 to be Roosevelt Island Sportspark Day. 

Watch the full Sportspark re-opening ceremony,

the ribbon cutting and then follow along on a tour of the renovated Roosevelt Island Sportspark recreational center with Sportspark Director Joseph Natale.

Here's the Sportspark membership pricing schedule 

and more info at the Sportspark website.

Monday, May 22, 2023

The Sanctuary Events Space On Roosevelt Island Featured In NY Times Article As An Unlikely NYC Hot Spot For A Getaway Destination Wedding Close To Home - What Do The Locals Think?

The Sanctuary Event Space and owner Frank (Turtle) Raffaele were featured in this May 20 NY Times article

 ... With a leafy outdoor dining space that offers a plum view of Manhattan’s skyline and an Instagrammable concrete pier that juts out into the East River, the Sanctuary has since become an unlikely matrimonial hot spot. Its pitch is that it is a destination wedding within city limits, reachable via a scenic tram ride from Midtown for the cost of a MetroCard swipe....

According to the Twitterverse

The NY Times adds:

... With a partner, Alfonso Biondi, Mr. Raffaele initially opened the Sanctuary as a beer garden and speakeasy, but it didn’t take off. After he hosted a wedding bash for a young local couple, however, he reimagined his venue’s concept. The Sanctuary is now booked almost daily, Mr. Raffaele said, and he has inquiries as far out as 2026....

“Somehow, we’ve become this wedding hot spot, and it’s due to the island’s mystique,” he said....

Click here for the full NY Times article.

Follow along on this June 10, 2021 opening day tour of The Sanctuary with co-owner Alphonse Biondi.

More info on The Sanctuary at their web site

UPDATE 5/23 - Curbed reports on how The Sanctuary got the cats and raccoons to move out.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Move Over Sundance And Tribeca, 2023 Roosevelt Island Film Festival Taking Place June 21-25 - Networking Party May 22 At Granny Annie's

Filmmakers and movie lovers are in for a real treat next month at the 3rd annual Roosevelt Island Film Festival. taking place June 21-25

According to the Roosevelt Island Film Festival:

Roosevelt Island Film Festival is dedicated to the discovery of American and International filmmakers from around the world. The festival seeks to discover, support, and inspire quality independent feature films and short films, showcasing exceptional work to audiences and highlighting the categories of Female Filmmaker, NYC Filmmaker, Comedy, and International Filmmaker.

There will also be panel discussions on various topics for independent filmmakers.

I spoke with Roosevelt Island Film Festival owner Toni Vitali earlier this week.

Ms Vitali reports that tickets for the Roosevelt Island Film Festival will go on sale June 1 and film submissions are accepted through May 31. 

Tomorrow, May 22, is a RI Film Festival networking event at Granny Annie's (425 Main Street) from 6pm to 9:30 PM.  If you're interested in attending the Film Festival, submitting a film or volunteering, please come by.

More info at the Roosevelt Island Film Festival website, Instagram Page and Film Submission Page.