Friday, June 23, 2023

Mayor Eric Adams Announces 2023 NYC Summer Streets Coming To All 5 Boros Including Queens Vernon B'lvd In Long Island City Right Across From The Roosevelt Island Bridge - Fill Out Survey To Be Featured As Part Of Summer Streets Program

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:

In New York City, our streets aren’t just streets. They are where we walk, eat, play, and come together as one city. As mayor, I am committed to reclaiming our streets for everyone to enjoy safely. New Yorkers shouldn’t have to travel to Europe to experience open summer streets. We have them right here in our own backyard. And this summer we are expanding Summer Streets to all five boroughs.

On five Saturdays in July and August, from 7am to 1pm, select streets will be open to pedestrians citywide. New Yorkers will be able to enjoy outdoor activities with their neighbors, all car free. And now they can enjoy Summer Streets in their own borough for the first time.

Last year, we added two miles, brought the program to East Harlem, and brought back the third Saturday of Summer Streets. This year, we are bringing Summer Streets to all five boroughs and doubling the overall size of the program to 20 miles of streets citywide. And we’re continuing to grow in Manhattan, bringing Summer Streets all the way up to 125th Street in Harlem for the first time.

We are opening major corridors like Eastern Parkway and Grand Concourse even further with this bold approach.

Summer Streets will take place in Queens on July 29th, on Vernon Boulevard between 44 Drive and 30 Drive.

Staten Islanders can also enjoy Summer Streets on July 29th, along Richmond Terrace, between York Avenue and Bard Avenue.

Manhattan will see three weekends of Summer Streets, on August 5th, 12th & 19th, from Brooklyn Bridge to West 125 Street.

In Brooklyn, New Yorkers can enjoy Summer Streets on the 26th of August, along Eastern Parkway between Grand Army Plaza and Buffalo Avenue.

And Summer Streets in the boogie down Bronx will also take place on the 26th of August, along Grand Concourse, between East Tremont Avenue and Mosholu Parkway.

We also want to hear from organizations and performers who may be interested in being featured as part of the program this summer. Organizations can visit and fill out a survey to be part of Summer Streets.

We are bringing joy back to New York City streets. New Yorkers can also enjoy expanded Open Streets at nearly 160 locations across the city, as well as 400,000 square feet of new, permanent pedestrian space that we have added over the past year. That’s in addition to the new public spaces we are building every day and in every borough. And we are making history by opening up new street space to pedestrians. In December, we opened 5th Avenue to people for the first time in more than 50 years. And I am proud that we are making history once again by bringing Summer Streets to New Yorkers in every borough.

Summer is a time for everyone — no matter where you live, how old you are, or how much money you make — to come together and relax. On Summer Streets, you can walk, run, play, dance, ride a bike, cool off in mists and sprinklers, paint a picture, get a temporary tattoo, appreciate art, join a dance party, or just take a selfie. It will be lots of fun — and we will be reducing traffic congestion, greenhouse gases and air pollution at the same time.

Happy summer, and I look forward to seeing you on a Summer Street.

The Queens Summer Streets festivities will take place on Vernon B'lvd including right across from the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

According to the NYC Department of Transportation: 

Summer Streets 2023 will be here before we know it! NYC DOT invites interested organizations and performers to submit proposals to host activities, demonstrations, workshops, fitness classes, dance and musical performances and other programming at rest stops and stages along Summer Streets event routes. Summer Streets will take place this year on Saturdays between 7 am to 1 pm. DOT will work with organizations and performers to accommodate requests while ensuring we offer a great mix of activities at each location and date. 

Click here if you're a Roosevelt Island organization or performer wishing to participate in the July 29 NYC Summer Streets next door on Vernon B'lvd in Long Island City Queens.

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Thursday, June 22, 2023

Roosevelt Island Gets NYC Sanitation Department Smart Composting Bins For Kitchen Waste, Food Soiled Paper And Yard Waste 24 Hour 7 Days A Week - Wooohooo, Fantastic Says Resident, Give It A Try And Thank You Council Member Julie Menin For Advocacy

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) reported Friday, June 15:


On June 16, I asked NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY):

... Several Roosevelt Island residents have noticed NYC Sanitation Curbside Compost bins placed on Roosevelt Island. See attached. Do you have any more info on the Roosevelt Island curbside compost bins? How many other bins will be placed on Roosevelt Island and where? How will the composting program work? 

A DSNY spokesperson replied later that day:

We had 250 of these bins across the city, and back in February, Mayor Adams and Commissioner Tisch announced that we would be placing an additional 150 bins in Manhattan, as Manhattan will be the last borough to receive curbside composting service (in October 2024).

Installation is ongoing, and we recently installed two bins on Roosevelt Island, one at Main Street and River Road, and one at Main Street and West Road. 

These bins can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with the NYC Compost smartphone app (App Store and Google Play). Residents can deposit all yard waste, kitchen waste and food-soiled paper, including meat and dairy, diverting all of these materials from landfill, where they would emit methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. The app is very simple to use – we encourage you to test it out!

I followed up:

Thanks for the info.

But why were they placed in such out of the way locations on Roosevelt Island?

There are locations that would be much more convenient for residents to use in the middle of the Island and near the subway area.

Received this reply from DSNY:

We will continue installing smart bins in the next few weeks, and we do expect to have one by the tram and subway.

Today, a Tipster spotted a DSNY Curbside Compost Bin at the Roosevelt Island Tram Station

and remarked:

Woooohoooo!!!. Fantastic!!!

We have been waiting for this almost 20 years. We're currently collecting our food scraps over the week and bringing them to the Farmers Market Haki Compost Collective on Saturdays. But these bins will make it so much easier and hopefully also motivate others.

Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side NYC Council Member Julie Menin tweets:

 Learn more about NYC Food Scrap composting program from Gil Lopez of Big Reuse on Saturday July 1 at the Roosevelt Island Haki Food Scrap Bin.

Here's more about the DSNY Curbside Smart Compost Bins from this June 16 press release from Ms Menin's office:

Council Member Julie Menin is delighted to announce a successful collaboration with the Department of Sanitation to bring nearly 20 state-of-the-art “Smart” composting bins to the 5th New York City Council District. This is in addition to universal curbside composting service, coming to Manhattan in October 2024.

In early June, Council Member Menin wrote to DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch, advocating for enhanced recycling opportunities in the community as well as the installation of smart composting bins across her Council District. This request followed up Council Member Menin’s push to DSNY during the Sanitation Department’s Preliminary Budget Hearing to ensure the 5th Council District had adequate composting opportunities. The response from the DSNY was swift and robust as the bins were promptly installed in less than two weeks.

Menin’s letter cited the strong support of composting within her community including the advocacy of Girl Scouts Troop 3138, affiliated with P.S. 183, and the students at Town School. The local troop and Town School students wrote to the Council Member fervently advocating for more recycling and composting opportunities within the neighborhood.

The newly installed smart composting bins are diligently emptied on a regular basis, with the resulting food scraps thoughtfully utilized to enhance the beauty of green spaces across the city. These bins are among 150 being installed in Manhattan below 96th St, which will bring the total to 400 citywide.

Accessible 24/7, these innovative bins can be conveniently located via the NYC Compost app, available for both iOS and Android users. To unlock the smart composting bin, you must be in reach and use the unlock button in the app. Unlike community composting sites, which may only be open a few hours each week, the Bins are available 24/7, allowing District 5 residents to use them any time that works for them.

Designed to accept a wide range of organic materials, including food scraps, plant waste, and food-soiled paper, the smart composting bins serve as a sustainable solution for disposing of items such as meat, bones, dairy, prepared foods, and greasy, uncontaminated paper plates and pizza boxes. The organic materials can be placed in bags to minimize mess such as plastic, paper, and compostable bags. However, recyclable materials, animal waste, trash, paper packaging, and personal hygiene products are not accepted.

The bins have been installed at:

BIN 265 - SW CO 2nd Avenue and 86th Street

BIN 266 - NW CO 2nd Ave and 82nd Street

BIN 267- NE CO 1st Avenue and 91st Street

BIN 268 - SE CO 2nd Avenue and 72nd Street

BIN 269 - NE CO E 66th St and 1st Ave

BIN 270 - SW CO 83rd and East End

BIN 271 - NW CO 1st Avenue and 88th St

BIN 272 - NW CO 2nd Avenue and 95th st

BIN 273 - NW CO 3rd Avenue and E 95th St

BIN 274 - SE CO E 92nd St and 2 Avenue

BIN 275 - NE CO 1st Ave and E 76th Street

BIN 276 - SE CO 79th Street and York Avenue

BIN 277 - SW CO 3rd Ave and East 88

BIN 278 - SW CO West Road and Main Street

BIN 279 - SW CO Main Street and River Road

BIN 286 - NE CO 2 Avenue and 76th Street

and from the DSNY. 

UPDATE 6/26 - I asked DSNY:

Where does the compost material from the Bins go?

DSNY spokesperson replied:

Material from Smart Composting Bins goes to either DSNY’s Staten Island Compost Facility or to an anaerobic digester like the ones at Newtown Creek in Brooklyn, becoming either usable compost or renewable energy.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2023

RIOC Announces June 28 Date For Roosevelt Island Residents To Sign Up For Free Ticket Lottery To View Macy's July 4 Fireworks Celebration At FDR Four Freedoms Park

As reported last May 27

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....
Roosevelt Island will have fantastic views 

with the Macy's East River Fireworks Barges lined up approximately at East 40th Street to East 20th Street.

Image From Macy's
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced today:

It’s almost time to reserve your tickets!

Registration for the Roosevelt Island Fourth of July Family Fireworks Celebration will be opening WEDNESDAY JUNE 28TH at 12 PM for residents. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to register for advanced tickets as TICKET QUANTITIES ARE EXTREMELY LIMITED. If any tickets remain, they will be released to the public on Friday, June 30TH 12 PM.

How do I get resident access to tickets?

  • Residents must sign up for RIOC Advisories.
  • The resident access code and link to register for tickets will be sent out via the Advisory system on WEDNESDAY JUNE 28TH just as the ticket registration period goes live.
  • Sign Up for RIOC Advisories!
  • Unable to sign up? Stop into PSD Headquarters, valid island resident I.D. required, to get the resident code.

Event Information

FDR Four Freedoms State Park will host a limited-ticket viewing from 6 PM-10:30 PM:  

  • Registration is required and will open to island residents on WEDNESDAY JUNE 28TH at 12 PM. 
  • 1,500 tickets are available for Four Freedoms Park.
  • You can register for up to FOUR (4) free tickets PER HOUSEHOLD using your name, address, and email address.
  • Only attendees with tickets will be allowed to enter Four Freedoms Park; no tickets will be available at the door.
  • Ticket holders MUST bring a digital or printed ticket with barcode to gain access to FFP. 
  • Household ticket holders must arrive together for the event.
  • No entry is permitted after 9 PM. Latecomers will not be admitted.
  • Southpoint Park will be closed for the day.

For an alternative way of viewing the fireworks celebration on Roosevelt Island, see details below: 

The Cornell Tech campus lawn will be open and available to the public as a viewing location, starting at 12 PM:

  • No ticket is needed for access. 
  • Entrance is first-come, first-serve.
  • All visitors will be subject to bag checks and security wanding.
  • No entry is permitted after 9 PM. Latecomers will not be admitted.

Please be aware that upon any potential safety concerns or overcrowding, we reserve the right to limit access to Roosevelt Island and the fireworks viewing locations.

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

UPDATE 6/28 - Were you able to get tickets?


UPDATE 7/4 - What you need to know about July 4 Festivities on Roosevelt Island.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Roosevelt Island Main Street Smoke Shop/Stationery Store Being Evicted, Trial Scheduled For June 27 Says Hudson Related Representative During Public Safety Department Community Engagement Meeting

During the June 13 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Community Engagement meeting, Hudson Related representative Ralph Yoakam reported that the Main Street Smoke Shop/Stationery Store 

was in the process of being evicted and that a trial was scheduled for June 27. Mr Yoakam added that since the last eviction proceedings, the tenant removed "alot of the questionable material" from the store.

I followed up the next day asking Hudson Related:

During the June 13 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Community Engagement meeting, Related's Ralph Yoakam said that on June 27 an eviction trial against the Stationary/Smoke shop is commencing and added that a stipulation might be entered before the trial date.

I thought there was a stipulation entered several months ago during eviction proceedings?

A Hudson Related spokesperson replied:

We have a draft stipulation ready for execution for the last two months, but the tenant and his team have refused to sign it.

Watch the full hour long Roosevelt Island Public Safety meeting at this prior post.

UPDATE 6/29 - According to a Hudson Related representative:

The Judge has adjourned trial to August 7.

Monday, June 19, 2023

A History Of Today's Juneteenth Federal Holiday Celebrating The End Of Slavery In United States


The NY Times reports on:

Juneteenth: The History of a Holiday

On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Texas were told they were free. A century and a half later, people across the United States continue to celebrate the day, which is now a federal holiday.

The Washington Post adds:

... In 2021, President Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act marking June 19 as a federal holiday amid nationwide racial justice demonstrations that swept through the country after the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

Because it is a federal and bank holiday, nonessential federal offices will be closed, including post offices, and commercial banks may be closed or have modified hours. It is also a U.S. stock market holiday.

The measure received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress, with only 14 House Republicans voting against it. Opponents of the bill called it an attempt to celebrate identity politics and to remake the country’s ideology with critical race theory, which examines the way policies and laws perpetuate systemic racism, at its center.

Establishing Juneteenth as a holiday, Biden said in his remarks, will be “one of the greatest honors” of his presidency....

 NYC Mayor Eric Adams tweets:

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Shelton Haynes and Communications VP Akeem Jamal attended a Juneteenth Celebration with Mayor Adams.