Friday, June 30, 2023

NYC Mayor Eric Adams Sits Down For One On One Interview About Roosevelt Island, He Supports Separate Tram Lines For Residents To Alleviate Overcrowding, Says Coler Hospital Is Not Closing - It's A Hidden Jewel And Wishes Gracie Mansion Could Be Moved To Roosevelt Island

This afternoon I had a 15 minute one on one interview with NYC Mayor Eric Adams. According to the Mayor:

... No matter what we do with Roosevelt Island, we should have the input of the residents  to determine their destiny. I think that's crucial and  I support how those who live there, who have made it a vibrant community, how they believe is the best way to run it....

We spoke about:

  • Extension of Roosevelt Island ground lease - it's a long way off he said.
  • RIOC Governance and Mayoral appointments to the RIOC Board.
  • Roosevelt Island Tram boarding preference for residents to alleviate overcrowding which he says is a good idea.
  • Future Status of Coler Hospital - it will remain open. Rumors of Coler closing are untrue.
  • Repair status of Steam Plant and tunnel,
  • Impressions of Roosevelt Island - Mayor Adams says it's a hidden jewel and would like to move Gracie Mansion here.  

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Graduate Hotels Victory Lap Program Seeking 4 Recent College Grads With Passion For Travel, Social Media And Storytelling To Travel Across US And UK Visiting 16 University Towns - Any 2023 College Grads From Roosevelt Island Interested In Applying?

Graduate Hotels are located on or near college campuses in the United States and the United Kingdom including the Graduate New York located at the Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech campus. 

Credit Steve Freihon
If you are a 2023 college graduate who loves to travel and create fun and engaging content, the Graduate Hotels Victory Lap program is a great opportunity for you.

According to the Graduate Hotels:

Are you ready to join a new class of content creators?

At Graduate Hotels, we are all students. Our passion for learning can be seen in the details of our handcrafted hotels, each brimming with laid-back charm and nods to the community. As part of the Victory Lap team, you’ll help us bring local stories to life by representing Graduate Hotels around our towns and on social media. We’re looking for established or aspiring creators with a passion for storytelling and their college town...



Victory Lap Graduate Hotels is officially accepting applications starting Thursday, June 8 for its inaugural Victory Lap program providing four recent graduates the opportunity to travel across the US & UK – and get paid doing it. 

Those selected to join the 2023 Victory Lap class will get paid a salary starting at $20K to travel to 16 Graduate properties from Nashville, TN to Cambridge, UK to capture content highlighting the true magic and spirit of each university town. The 10-week gig will provide graduates with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hone their content marketing skills while exploring new destinations and having one last chance to live it up like a student. From capturing sports games to arranging events, those hired will have a taste of the real world while enjoying their “victory lap.” 

Those with a passion for travel, social media, and storytelling can apply here by submitting a 60 second video showcasing the spirit of their college town. Applications are open June 8th through July 7th. Apply now, as positions are limited and will fill fast.

Any 2023 Roosevelt Island college grads interested? 

UPDATE 7/10 - The application deadline has been extended to July 14.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

3 New Roosevelt Island Residents Joining RIOC Board Of Directors And Will Be Attending June 29 Board Meeting, Come Ask Your Questions During Public Session - Among Items On Agenda Are Executive Session To Discuss Pending Litigation, But Which One?

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet in person tomorrow, June 29 at the Cultural Center Theatre (548 Main Street) beginning 5:30 PM. 

As reported June 7, the RIOC Board of Directors will have 3 new members who are residents of Roosevelt Island:

Roosevelt Island Residents Ben Fhala, Michal Melamed And Lydia Tang Appointed To Fill 3 Vacant Seats On The RIOC Board Of Directors - Approved Today By The NY State Senate Finance Committee

Here's Mr Fhala and Dr. Melamed with NY State Senator Liz Krueger at Roosevelt Island Day. 

Mr Fhala has said he:

... Hopes To Bring Change And Fresh Perspective To Roosevelt Island - Goals Include Safeguarding Quality Of Life For All Residents, Managing Impact Of Tourism And Revitalizing Northern Side Of RI Among Others...

Below is the June 29 RIOC Board of Directors Meeting Agenda

 which includes:

Chair’s Motion for Executive Session 

1. Discussion of pending litigation

It is unknown if the pending litigation being discussed by the RIOC Board is concerning:

or something else.

To date, RIOC has not commented publicly on these matters to the Roosevelt Island community.

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

With the appointment of 3 new members, the RIOC Board had a few days of every Director's seat being filled. That only lasted a few days. According to a RIOC Tweet:

Michal Melamed was appointed to the RIOC Board to fill a vacant seat and before Mr Ekpo left the RIOC Board. It is not known why RIOC would claim that she was replacing Mr Ekpo.

Filling this vacant RIOC Board seat with a new appointment cannot be considered until at least next January when the NY State Legislature is back in session. 

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. 

But be aware that RIOC Board Members and staff usually do not respond to questions during the Public Session though sometimes they may do so or address the subject later during the actual Board meeting.  

If you have a question or concern, give it a try, you may get a response. 

UPDATE 6/29 - RIOC reported this afternoon:

Roosevelt Island Community,

RIOC has been informed a clerical error was made in removing Conway Ekpo from the Board of Directors. The Governor’s office will reinstate him in January 2024 pending Senate approval.

President & CEO Shelton Haynes commented, “I was pleasantly surprised and pleased to hear about the pending reappointment of Conway. I look forward to continuing the great work we have achieved together over the years. Conway has already left an indelible mark on the community thanks to his inclusive ideas and collaborative efforts.”


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

What To Do About Roosevelt Island Parking Problems? Residents Suggest More Ticketing, Car Towing And Street Parking Permits During Public Safety Department Community Engagement Meeting. Or Increase Motorgate Garage Capacity?

During the June 13 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department (PSD) Community Engagement meeting, residents and PSD Chief Kevin Brown discussed Roosevelt Island parking problems. 

According to a resident speaking at the meeting:

 ...  parking is getting worse and worse every week on Roosevelt Island. Every spot on every street is taken...
and once Manhattan congestion pricing is implemented, Roosevelt Island parking will be even a greater problem than it is now.

Residents suggested several solutions including PSD giving out more tickets, towing cars illegally parked and limiting street parking spots to holders of permit stickers given out by RIOC.

Here's the discussion.

  More on the idea of residential neighborhood parking permits in NYC.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association member Frank Farance has proposed increasing the capacity of Motorgate Garage by 500 sports. As reported in February 2023:

... In February 2022, RIRA Committee Chairs toured the Motorgate Garage exploring ideas for increasing parking spots and RIRA's Frank Farance proposed expanding the garage by building an addition in the currently vacant quadrant of the area....

What do you think?

Sponsored Post - Soft Serve Frozen Yogurt Now At Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Café - Check Out The Weekly Menu For Breakfast Items, Daily Hot Lunch Specials, Grab & Go Meals, Pizza Station, Salads, Sushi, Coffee,Tea, Smoothies, Beer, Wine, Wifi & Wonderful Outdoor Patio Too

Check out the weekly menu at the Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Café for Daily Hot Lunch Specials, Breakfast Staples, Make Your Own Salads, Flatbread and Neapolitan Pizza, Grab and Go Sandwiches/Salads, Soup, Coffee/Beverage Station & More.   

The Cornell Tech Café is now serving Soft Serve Frozen Yogurt too.

The Cornell Tech Café is a great spot on Roosevelt Island for breakfast, lunch.    

Coffee, Tea, Smoothies, 

Beer, Wine 

 and Thursday Sushi too.

Bring your laptop if you wish. The Cafe has very good wi-fi connection.   

and great outdoor patio seating areas

to eat, relax and people watch too.

The Cafe is open Monday thru Friday 8am to 7 pm. Saturday and Sundays 11am to 5pm.

More info at the Cornell Tech Café website and Instagram Page.

See you soon at the Café.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch Manager Asks Residents To Sign Online Letter To TELL CITY HALL: NO CUTS TO LIBRARIES

According to the NY Public Library: 

On April 26, 2023, Mayor Adams announced that the additional 4% cut to public library budgets that was proposed in early April will be reversed. We are grateful that this additional cut has been restored—but libraries are still facing $36.2M in budget cuts. It’s imperative that we continue to make our voices heard and remind City Hall that our public libraries make NYC stronger, and funding must be fully restored.

Your library and your community need your help. New York City leaders are hard at work on NYC’s budget—and right now New York City’s public libraries are facing a potential $36.2 million cut that will severely impact our ability to deliver the free services, programs, and resources New Yorkers depend on.

That’s why we are asking you to stand by your library and send a note right now. Sign your name to instantly deliver a message to Mayor Adams and the New York City Council letting them know how critical libraries are to the communities they serve. From books and e-books to job-search help to safe spaces for teens to learn and grow, our libraries provide all New Yorkers with the support and resources they need to succeed.

Your letter and the contact information you enter below will be instantly delivered to Mayor Eric Adams, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Majority Leader Keith Powers, Council Finance Chair Justin Brannan, Committee on Libraries Chair Chi Ossé, and your local Council Member....

Image From NYPL
During the June 15 Roosevelt Island Health, Fitness & Disability Fair, Roosevelt Island Public Library 

Branch Manager Carlos Chavez urged residents to sign online letter to:

Tell City Hall: No Cuts To Libraries

According to Mr. Chavez: 

Hi Roosevelt Island community....

... I'm here to promote Library services and to share a very special and important message with you. I have here our advocacy letter that we're requesting our community to please sign online or on-site at the library.

It's to prevent a 36 million dollar budget cut that the city is attempting to put on the library which would impact our hiring, it would impact our days of operation and would impact access to our print media and digital resources. 

So please stop by the library to fill out this advocacy letter or you can do it online.

You can sign the online letter to:

Tell City Hall: No Cuts To Libraries


Click here to learn more about the services, programs and upcoming events at the Roosevelt Island NY Public Library branch that may not be available if the proposed cuts are made to the NYPL budget.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Pride Month Celebrated On Roosevelt Island With RIOC Flag Raising And Special Multicolored Rainbow Setting At Historic Lighthouse - You're Invited To Celebrate Local Queer Community Art Exhibit This Week At RIVAA Gallery And Public Library

According to the The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Resident Thom Heyer reports on Roosevelt Island Pride Month celebration events this coming week.


Hi Friends and Neighbors,

Please join Penny Gold and me at RIVAA Gallery (527 Main Street) this coming week starting Monday June 27 as we celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride on Roosevelt Island!  

There will be an art exhibit by local Queer artists on 6/26--7/2.  Events will include:

Mon. 6/26--6-9pm OPENING RECEPTION w/ entertainment featuring MJ Abdul

Tue. 6/27--6-7:30pm  Movie Nite at the Roosevelt Island Library
                    Showing "Keyboard Fantasies" (documentary)

Thu. 6/29--7-8:30pm  Dance and Poetry Nite 

Choreographer Cecilia Whalen & dancers from the renown Martha Graham School + plus local poets merge poetry and dance based on e.e. cummings poems.

Sun. 7/2--2-5:00pm  CLOSING RECEPTION w/ entertainment featuring MSTDA

Please show your support to your LGBTQ+ friends and take time to meet your other LGBTQ+ neighbors!  
I look forward to seeing you!

Mr Heyer adds:

Sometimes it's the unscripted moments that are the most unexpected and the most meaningful! That's what it was like on Friday 6/16/23 when RIOC had its PRIDE flag raising and Proclamation of June as PRIDE Month on Roosevelt Island.

The usual niceties and honors were generously bestowed by RIOC President Shelton Haynes. Penny Gold and I were even invited to say a few words because of our efforts in creating an upcoming PRIDE exhibit at RIVAA this year. 

It seems we had unintentionally become the LGBTQ+ Reps on Roosevelt Island! 

And then the REAL moment happened...
RIOC Public Safety Department (PSD) Inspector Suarez came up to the podium to say a few words. She has been an officer at PSD for 30 years and is now among their highest ranking officers. She told us that when she first started at PSD, there were two other gay women there besides herself. All three acknowledged one another, but remained somewhat distanced from one another, lest the merest "taint" of being Gay be whispered around work.

She remained closeted at work for ten years.

Then one day her boss took her aside privately and said that she should feel free to live her life openly because "he had her back".

As she told her story, tears filled her eyes and there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd!

Inspector Suarez is married to a wonderful wife of 22 years. She is a mother and a grandmother.....

She was also that unexpected gift to our LGBTQ+ community and the entire Roosevelt Island community that day! Here's to you, Inspector Suarez--CHEERS!