Saturday, August 26, 2023

Wimbledon Tennis Champion Elena Rybakina Spotted Practicing For US Open Yesterday At Roosevelt Island Racquet Club - Takes Photo With Local Girl Scouts, Their Mom Thanks Champ For Her Kindness And Wishes Her Victory At US Open

2022 Wimbledon Women's Tennis champion Elena Rybakina  

was spotted practicing for this year's US Open Tennis Tournament at the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club yesterday

and doing a photo shoot on Roosevelt Island as the Tam passes by overhead in the background.

She also posed for photographs with local Roosevelt Island girl scouts Leire and Itziar.

Their mom, Susy del Campo Perea reports:

Welcome to #rooseveltisland @lenarybakina it was such a treat to meet you as we did today! Thank you for your kindness and your smile and for the pic.

You won @wimbledon and we wish you win @usopen 2023

Friday, August 25, 2023

So It Begins, No Roosevelt Island F Train Service At All This Weekend, Monday Starts The New 3 Stop Roosevelt Island Subway Shuttle - You're Invited To Discuss F Train And Tram Issues With RIOC Directors Tomorrow At Saturday Farmers Market

And so it begins this weekend for Roosevelt Island residents and workers.

No, we're not going to be fighting for our lives battling against the Orcs. 

But we will have to deal with significant transportation obstacles

getting to and from our homes and work places for at least the next six months.   

As previously reported, there will be no Roosevelt Island F Train service at all this this weekend.

Instead, the MTA will provide shuttle bus service

from Roosevelt Island to Queens Plaza where connections can be made to the E, F and R trains.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) will be running both Tram cabins for most of this weekend. According to RIOC:

RIOC Additional Services

Saturday and Sunday The Tram will operate on a rush hour schedule from 7:00am – 10:00pm 

Red Bus Manhattan Shuttle 3:00pm – 7:00pm. 

Visit the RIOC transportation page for resources related to getting to and from the island.

Starting Monday August 28, Roosevelt Island F train service will be replaced with a Shuttle train service running on a single track back and forth between Queensbridge/21 street, Roosevelt Island and 63r/Lexington Ave every 20 minutes between 5 AM and midnight. 

According to the MTA, the 63rd Street Tunnel Direct Fixation Track  project will replace:

... track along the F line between 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and 36 St in Queens. The project will improve reliability, mitigate leaks to prevent future corrosion and deterioration and extend the life of existing infrastructure.

Crews will remove existing direct fixation track and construct new concrete track and new direct fixation track, install new contact rail, protection boards, brackets and insulators, remove and replace cables, furnish and install new signal equipment, repair spalled concrete and cracks and seal active leaks.

The following service changes will be in effect through the first quarter of 2024:

Beginning Monday, August 28, F service will be rerouted via the E line in both directions between 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center and Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av....

... Weekdays and weekends between 5 a.m. and 11:59 p.m., F shuttle trains will operate between Lexington Av/63 St and 21 St-Queensbridge, and free Q95 shuttle buses will operate between the 21 St-Queensbridge and Queens Plaza stations.

Overnights between midnight and 5 a.m., F shuttle train service is suspended and free Q94 shuttle buses will connect the Roosevelt Island, 21 St-Queensbridge, and Queens Plaza stations....

The Q94 (overnight bus shuttle from Roosevelt Island to Queens Plaza) is scheduled to run every ten minutes, not necessarily on the hour.

The Q95 (daytime bus shuttle between 21st Queensbridge and Queens Plaza) will run every 10 minutes off-peak, and as frequently as every 4-6 minutes during peak hours. 

Here's the schedule for the Roosevelt Island subway shuttle starting Monday August 28.

As they did last week, RIOC resident Board members will set up an: 


table next to the Saturday Farmers/Flea market tomorrow from 11 AM - 2 PM. 

Stop by and share your thoughts and concerns about the upcoming Roosevelt Island transportation situation with the RIOC Board Directors.

UPDATE 8/26 - Did you have any problems getting to and from Roosevelt Island today with no F Train service?

At about 2:30 the Tram Cabin and platform were jam packed. Mostly tourists. 

The line to get to the platform was only about five minutes. The cabin left leaving about a dozen waiting for the next Tram. 

Public Safety officers were doing a good job managing the line. 

Anybody use the MTA Bus to Queens or the Rioc Red Bus shuttle to Manhattan.

You're Invited To August 26 Opening Reception For Roosevelt Island RIVAA Gallery's "Echoes Of Home Exhibition" A Retrospective Exhibition Of Li Tang Community - Featuring 27 Asian Artists Showcasing An Array Of Paintings, Photography, Sculptures And Cutting Edge Digital Art

According to the Roosevelt Island RIVAA Gallery:

Echoes of Home is a celebration featuring twenty-seven Asian artists from the LiTang community. Through an array of paintings, photography, sculptures, and cutting-edge digital art, this exhibition unfolds a dialogue exploring the realms of identity, innovation, and unity.

Spanning from the vibrant streets of New York City to the glamorous landscapes of Los Angeles, and from the lively scenes of Atlanta to the indomitable spirit of Detroit, these artists have woven their diverse journeys into a dynamic tapestry of creativity. Together, they have created a collective portrait that captures how the influence of the Asian diaspora shapes the ever-evolving contemporary art world.

Exhibition Dates

August 26 - September 8, 2023

Opening Reception

August 26, 2023 4PM - 7PM

Li Tang is a New York-based community dedicated to amplifying the creative voices of the contemporary Asian diaspora. Established in 2020, Li Tang aims to feature the works and talents of today’s most innovative Asian practitioners working in the varied fields of art and culture. https://www.litang.zon


Webson Ji and Huixian Dong


Cheng Gong, Zhiheng Gong, Ling Gui, Sun Young Kang, Doi Kim, Hannah Li, Sizhu Li, Xianglong Li, Xingze Li, Jesse Liu, Nix Liu Xin, Weihui Lu, Wendi Men, Paul Mok, Yukiko Nakashima, Megan Nugroho, Ami Park, Han Qin, Ji Shi, Broly Su, Suki Violet Su, Curry Sicong Tian, Jingyi Wang, Tong Wang, Jiannan Wu, Sunny B. Yazdani, Sophie Ruoyu Zhang

Gallery RIVAA is located at 527 Main Street.

Gallery hours are:

Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday: 6 pm - 9 pm

Thursday: 11 am - 5 pm

Friday: 6 pm - 9 pm

Saturday: 11 am - 5 pm

More info on the Li Tang community at their website. and Instagram page.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

After Years Of Delay, OMNY Tap And Go Payment System Begins Today On Roosevelt Island Tram Announces MTA Chair Janno Lieber - RIOC President Shelton Haynes Adds That As Of Now, Metro Cards Holders Will No Longer Be Allowed To Skip The Huge Tourist Lines, Angering Many Residents

After several years of delay and a "Bring OMNY To The Roosevelt Island Tram" online petition which collected more than 1400 signatures, the MTA's OMNY tap and go payment system began working today on the Roosevelt Island Tram. 

MTA chairman Janno Lieber walked up the Roosevelt Island Tram Second Avenue Manhattan station staircase 

and used the OMNY to enter through the turnstile today.

He then rode a not very crowded Tram over the East River to Roosevelt Island 

with Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President  Shelton Haynes and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine  

for a press conference announcing OMNY's installation for the Roosevelt Island Tram.

During the press conference, I asked if Roosevelt Island residents would continue to be able to skip the long Tram line of tourists by using their Metro Card.

Mr Lieber said:

I do not know the answer... 

I do know the Roosevelt Island leadership and the electeds are determined to make sure that mass transit here works really well for Roosevelt Islanders. So you're going to continue to look at that issue in consultation with whoever is relevant, whether it's technical folks or legal or lawyers or whatever.

But for us, the bottom line is Omni, it just makes travel faster for everybody. So whoever's waiting on that line, whichever line they're in, or if they're in one line, it's going to be a lot faster with Omni than people buying Metro Cars one by one... 

RIOC President Shelton Haynes added:

Right now we're currently assessing situation and it's very fluid. As it stands we do not anticipate having a line where Metro Card holders can skip. We're still assessing, we're still going to make the best decision possible for Roosevelt Island commuters... 

According to this comment from Roosevelt Islander Instagram post on the Roosevelt Island OMNY installation today:

@rooseveltislandny @mta Who are the specific individuals responsible for adding OMNY to tram at the same time the F train is shutting down for 7 months? If any of the people responsible for this actually lived on the island it would have never gone through at this time. 

Now residents will have to wait behind hundreds of tourists on a tram line that regularly wraps around the block on the Manhattan side. Previously we could at least skip the bulk of the line by having a metrocard preloaded and ready. This, combined with limited train service, makes the daily commute for thousands of residents and island students very complicated and much longer. The once an hour red bus that moves 55 people on weekends barely helps. 

I’m seriously shocked at how short-sighted island leadership can be.

We’ve also been repeatedly told that a resident/tram priority pass is simply impossible despite the fact this is exactly what happened in 1976 when the tram first opened so that residents could get home ahead of the flood of tourists coming to see the new tram. A priority pass isn’t ‘impossible’, you’re just not trying hard enough or simply don’t care enough. 

How are you gonna help resolve the situation? Please come up with an acceptable plan. Residents are angry and the pressure will continue to mount otherwise. 

Other comments include about today's Roosevelt Island Tram OMNY installation on the Roosevelt Islander Instagram page include;
  • This is terrible for Roosevelt Island residents that will now have to wait in crowds of tourists to get home instead of skipping lines with Metrocards
  • exactly, ugh. The worst timing
  • I don’t know how we will get to our homes.
  • Hahahahaha leave it to @sheltonjhaynes to finally set up OMNY just in time for there to be no subway and now residents have to wait in line for the tram. What an absolute joke
  • and now look out for an announcement about the great @sheltonjhaynes getting Omni for Roosevelt Island to add to his many accomplishments that he’s taking credit for that were all started by someone else.
  • I think it will create a more even flow. Good news and I don’t have to switch between my phone and card. 👍
  • About time.
  • Great!
  • Great news, now #rooseveltisland just needs a working subway station
  • finally 🙌

Here's the full Roosevelt Island Tram OMNY press conference from this afternoon.

MTA reports on Twitter (X)

and RIOC reports on Instagram. Check out the Instagram comments.

Here's how to use OMNY.

UPDATE 8/25:

After the press conference, I asked the MTA:

What is the revenue allocation of the Tram fare between Rioc and the MTA?

My understanding is that Rioc currently receives approximately $2.00 of every swipe at the Tram. Has that changed with the installation of OMNY?

What is the new revenue allocation of the Tram fare?

A MTA spokeperson answered:

With OMNY, RIOC will get the benefit of the full value of fare revenue for pay go transactions. 

Currently, RIOC receives $2 for Full Fare and $1 for Reduced Fare when a customer utilizes MetroCard.

The MTA press release on Roosevelt Island Tram OMNY installation is here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Roosevelt Island Subway Service Problems Keep Coming - Newly Installed Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station Elevator To Manhattan Bound Platform Out Of Service Until End Of October

As previously reported:

...there will be no Roosevelt Island F Train service at all this coming weekend and starting Monday August 28 Roosevelt Island F train service will be replaced with a Shuttle train service running only back and forth between Queensbridge/21 street, Roosevelt Island and 63r/Lexington Ave every 20 minutes between 5 AM and midnight....

If that's not bad enough, there's currently no Roosevelt Island F Train elevator service from the station entrance to the Manhattan bound platform.

Yesterday I asked the MTA:

The newly installed Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Elevator to the Manhattan platform is out of service until the estimated date of October 31.

 The installation of this new elevator was completed in June 2023.

What is the cause of the elevator breakdown after only 2 months in operation? Are there similar breakdowns of other recently installed subway elevators?

What was the total cost of installing this new Roosevelt island elevator?

As you know, the 63rd Street Tunnel Rehab Project is beginning on August 28 with a Shuttle Train serving Roosevelt Island running on a single track.

Will the Roosevelt Island shuttle train run on the Track that has a working elevator to the platform so that elderly, disabled, parents with strollers and others who need an elevator will be able to access the shuttle train? 

A MTA spokesperson replied today:

There is an issue with two defective parts that have been ordered and will be replaced by the contractor at no additional cost to the MTA. Repairs will be done as quickly as possible once the replacement parts are received.

These customers will need to use the Q102 bus to Queens Plaza which is an accessible station.

The contractor will make the repairs as quickly as possible once the necessary parts have been received.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Roosevelt Island Four Freedoms Park Hosts AARP Celebration Of The 88th Anniversary Of FDR Signing Social Security Act With Illuminated Lighting Signage Showing "Social Security: You Earned It"

According to the Roosevelt Island Four Freedoms Park Conservancy: 

Social Security: You Earned It!

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy hosts AARP for the celebration of the 88th Anniversary of Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act. The illumination was visible August 14th through 19th from the east side of Manhattan. 

AARP adds:

... The illumination... by the company Oxygenworks, is part of a nationwide AARP campaign to raise Americans’ awareness of Social Security - and of the need to strengthen and preserve one of the nation’s most popular social programs....

... AARP New York is also sponsoring Adirondack Chairs, each featuring the “Social Security: You Earned It” campaign tagline, at Four Freedoms Park, plus an audio tour for park visitors during the fall featuring the FDR presidency and the signing into law of Social Security.

... AARP this summer launched its nationwide campaign to raise awareness of and highlight the importance of Social Security. Many Americans rely on Social Security income to cover living expenses and pay bills. But if Washington takes no action to restructure the program in the next decade, Social Security income could be cut by an average of $4,000 a year per recipient....

Click here to read the full AARP's article.

Roosevelt Island Back To School Backpack And School Supply Giveaway Sunday August 27 At Good Shepherd Plaza Hosted BY RIDA And RIOC

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Wendy Hersh reports: 

2023 Backpack Giveaway this Sunday, August 27th

Dear Roosevelt Island Community:

Summer is drawing to a close and that means the school year is right around the corner! 

Come join RlDA and RIOC/PSD for an evening of music, treats, and fun as we distribute free backpacks and school supplies to island residents. 

This year’s Back to School Giveaway will be held at Good Shepherd Plaza on Sunday, August 27th, 2023, starting at 2PM. Please arrive no earlier than 1:30pm to begin lining up for the event. Children must be accompanied by a guardian. We look forward to seeing everyone this coming Sunday!

Back to school supply giveaways are happening throughout NYC and are a huge help for local families.

Monday, August 21, 2023

No Roosevelt Island F Train Evening & Overnight Service From Manhattan This Week Monday - Friday 9:45 PM To 5 AM - Be Prepared For Major Roosevelt Island Subway Service Disruptions For Next 6 Months

According to the MTA:

As previously reported, there will be no Roosevelt Island F Train service 

at all this coming weekend and starting Monday August 28 Roosevelt Island F train service will be replaced with a Shuttle train service running only back and forth between Queensbridge/21 street, Roosevelt Island and 63r/Lexington Ave every 20 minutes between 5 AM and midnight.

More here on the upcoming Roosevelt Island subway service changes.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

RIOC Board Directors Set Up ASK US QUESTIONS Table Yesterday At Good Shepherd Plaza To Discuss Upcoming F Train Subway Service Disruptions And Tram Service With Roosevelt Island Residents - Good Start To Improving Community Dialogue

Newly appointed members of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors Lydia Tang, Dr Michal Melamed and Ben Fhala, together with veteran Board member Fay Christian  set up an:


table next to the August 19 Farmers/Flea Market at Good Shepherd Plaza to discuss the upcoming F Train Subway Service disruptions and Tram service with Roosevelt Island community residents.

Joining Mr Fhala and Ms Christian was Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy

who helped explain the new F train shuttle service and bus service which begins Monday, August 28.

I asked if there would be any RIOC policy change to increase Tram service during the F train service disruption. According to Mr Fhala:

... the main perspective of the executive team now is that we're not going to change automatically but we're going to just assess and test it as the weeks go by and the executive teams will decide how to address it as they see the needs change. So right now, we don't have any messages on any changes.

The RIOC Directors will be holding another ASK US? session next week at the Saturday Farmers/Flea Market. 

Stop by and have a chat. Tell them your concerns and possible solutions.

This is a great initiative by the RIOC Directors to communicate in person with their fellow residents.

Here's what the Tram lines were like yesterday

and today.