Friday, January 12, 2024

No Weekend Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Service To And From Manhattan Beginning February 10 And Next Two Weekends Due To 63rd Street Tunnel Rehab Project Work Says MTA, Project Still Scheduled For Completion 1st Quarter 2024 Subject To Change Adds MTA - Will RIOC Do Anything To Alleviate Expected Tram Overcrowding And Long Lines?

There will be no Roosevelt Island weekend F Train service to and from Manhattan beginning February 10 -12 and continuing for the next two weekends of February 17-19 and 24-26. 

According to MTA Assistant Director, Government & Community Relations Katerina Patouri

Dear Community Stakeholder,

Please be advised of the following service changes as part of the ongoing 63rd St Direct Fixation Project, upcoming in February 2024:

February 2nd – 5th:

As a result of emergency repairs needed in the 53rd St tunnel, be advised of the following service changes for the weekend of Feb 2-5:

  • F shuttle train service will be suspended starting at 11:45PM Friday 2/2 through Monday 2/5 at 5AM.
  • Queens-bound E and F trains will be routed via the 63rd St tunnel, making stops at 57 St, Lexington Ave/63rd St, Roosevelt Island, and 21 St-Queensbridge.
  • Coney Island-bound F trains will continue to run via the E from Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av to 5 Av/53 St.
  • Queens-bound E trains will run via the F from W 4 St to Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av.
  • Q94 and Q95 bus shuttle service will be suspended. Free shuttle buses will run overnight starting at 9:30PM on Friday 2/2, Saturday 2/3 and Sunday 2/4 between 21 St- Queensbridge and Court Sq-23 St, stopping at Queens Plaza.
  • For subway service to Manhattan from Roosevelt Island, customers can take a Queens-bound E or F to Steinway St or Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av to transfer to a Manhattan-bound E or F.

Feb 10-12th, 17-19th, 24-26th:

  • In support of the ongoing 63rd St track replacement project, the F shuttle train will be suspended for the weekends of Feb 10-12, 17-19, and 24-26:
  • F shuttle train service will be suspended starting on Saturday at 5AM through Monday at 5AM on the weekends of Feb 10-12, Feb 17-19, and Feb 24-26.
  • Starting at 11:00 PM on Friday 2/10, 2/17, and 2/24 and for the remainder of each weekend, a free shuttle bus will replace the Q95 and Q94 and will extend to connect Roosevelt Island, 21 St- Queensbridge, and Queens Plaza, following the current Q94 overnight shuttle route.
  • This shuttle bus will run during daytime and overnight hours for the duration of the weekend and is scheduled to operate approximately every 5-10 minutes.

Project completion is still slated for Q1, 2024, subject to change.

Print and digital communications will be posted at affected stations, as well as on the MTA website. As always, please consult the MTA website or the MyMTA app for the latest service information and alternative service options. Customers can also sign up for the MTA’s newly launched customer real-time email and text alert system, or call 511 for service-related information.

Thank you for your patience as this work continues. Please be in touch if you have any further questions.

What, if anything, will the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) do to alleviate the overcrowding and long lines


expected during these weekends.

Will RIOC allow Roosevelt Island residents and workers priority boarding before tourists during these weekends when there is no F Train shuttle? It could be as simple as allowing Metro Card holders priority boarding, as was done earlier this year,  since most tourists are using the OMNY payment system. 

Manhattan Community Board 8 (CB8) Roosevelt Island Committee Chair Paul Krikler adds:

I’d love folks to come to our CB8 RI meeting on Jan 18. We’ve added the February weekend F shutdowns to the agenda”.

Until recently the RIOC Communications Department was attending CB8 RI meetings and doing a great job of it. Unfortunately, a week before the December meeting, I was told that RIOC would not be attending after all and would be re-evaluating participation in these meetings. We need more communication between RIOC and residents. Not less.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Roosevelt Island Goldwater Hospital Historic Lamps Stolen From Coler Backyard Last Week, RIHS President Was Heartbroken - But Thrilled To Learn Yesterday That NYPD Recovered The Lamps From Antique Dealer Who Recognized Their Value

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy reported on January 4:

From 1939 to 2013, six bronze lamps graced the entrance to Roosevelt Island's Goldwater Hospital, now the site of Cornell Tech.

They fully functioned until the day they were disconnected. 

 On a graceful plinth, the lamps were impressive. 

Typical of public architecture, Goldwater was the benefit of WPA, architecture and design.

After the closing of Goldwater the six lamps were stored in the backyard of Coler Hospital. 

From when I started working as a volunteer at Coler, I tried to have the administration, clean up the area, find a new home and protect the lamps. 

One lamp was already broken, and the others just sat in semi-open view. 

On December 26, four lamps were hauled off. A truck arrived and in 20 minutes the lamps with gone. 

A police report has been filed, but surely these valuable lamps were at a scrap dealer the next day. One lamp and one broken one remain. 

On December 29, the truck returned, and within five minutes the last standing lamp was gone. The damaged one is now secured. 

This is the truck, with no markings and no license plates arriving and departing the site.

This is probably one of the most heartbreaking episodes in my years on the island. To see valuable historic artifacts being stolen, destroyed, ignored by so many is tragic.

What of our history be gone next?

What landmark will be ignored?

What building or site will not be maintained?

Look around and see how our treasures are being ignored (start at the Chapel bell).

Maybe 2024 will wake up RIOC and others to our fragile history. 

Yesterday, Ms Berdy had an update with good news. According to Ms Berdy:

I received a call this afternoon from a NYPD Detective that the Goldwater lamps had been recovered. Apparently the scrap dealer who acquired them from the perpetrator sold them to an antique collector/dealer who immediately recognized their value and history.

They are now secured with the dealer. Insurance, a permanent home and use for them will have to be determined. This will probably take a long while.

I am thrilled that all of this came together and there will be future, though not what had ever thought.

The condition they are in is shocking 

Images Courtesy of Evan Blum/Demolition Depot And Irreplaceable Artifacts
and we must imagine what can be done with them to bring them back to a useful purpose. 

Image Courtesy of Evan Blum/Demolition Depot And Irreplaceable Artifacts
The dealer who has the lamps tells me that they can be restored.

Thanks to NYPD, Coler Hospital Police, the un-named scrapyard dealer and Evan Blum for recovering the lamps.

Click here for more info and pictures from RIHS.

UPDATE 8:40 PM - According to comments on the Roosevelt Islander Instagram page:

  • Good news but why does RIOC leave all the nice antiques to rot? The Trams behind Motorgate and these lamps…rotting when they can easily be repurposed or just look fun as part of the islands history. Sad and irresponsible.
  • In typical RIOC fashion they’re let to just rot away. Same as the old Tram Gondolas.
  • Good news! 👏

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Farmers Market Vendor Astoria Grown Delivers Healthy And Tasty Microgreens To Your Roosevelt Island Building - Sign Up Now For Your Astoria Grown Microgreens Home Delivery

Astoria Grown is a family owned solar powered micro urban farm growing Microgreens located in a private home located a few minutes from the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Astoria Grown became a vendor at the Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market last April and very quickly established themselves as a popular destination for Roosevelt Island residents with their tasty and healthy Microgreens and friendly service. 

Astoria Grown now deliver pre-paid orders of their Microgreens to the lobby of Roosevelt Island buildings with doormen. 

If you are interested in delivery of Astoria Grown microgreens, please sign up at their website.

If you live in The Landings, email them to arrange a convenient Saturday AM delivery.

Astoria Grown will continue to be at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays provided the weather is above the mid 30’s. 

For a profile of Astoria Grown, please click here.

More info at Astoria Grown website and Instagram page. 

Please click here to arrange delivery of Astoria Grown Microgreens to your Roosevelt Island home.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch Hosting Book Discussion Of Hillbilly Elegy By JD Vance Wednesday January 10 - Check Out The Upcoming Programs For Adults And Kids At The Roosevelt Island NY Public Library

The Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch is hosting a Wednesday January 10:

... discussion of the book Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance. Copies of the book are available to borrow at the circulation desk. 

The book was made into a movie by Ron Howard. CBS This Morning spoke with Ron Howard and the author JD Vance in 2020.

JD Vance is now a Trump supporting Senator from Ohio.

Here are more upcoming programs for adults and kids at the Roosevelt Island NY Public Library.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Over 1 Thousand Roosevelt Island Residents Sign "We Need A Functioning & Competent RIOC" Petition Seeking To Directly Elect All RIOC Board Members - Organizer Says It Demonstrates We "Really Do Care About How This Place Is Governed And The Need For Far Better, Direct Representation"

Roosevelt Island resident Paul Krikler began a petition drive last October to:

Directly Elect All RIOC Board Members
According to the petition:

We Need a Functioning & Competent RIOC

We are asking for all RIOC Board members to be directly elected by residents of Roosevelt Island. We have had too many years of lackadaisical and ineffective management at RIOC. We need better oversight of RIOC.

The current administration is not functioning.

There are people at RIOC who care and who want to help and who do help. What we need is senior management that engages with the community. Instead we have senior management who appear reflexively to want to close doors and rebuff the residents. Nowhere was this more shockingly apparent than we saw at the recent board meeting where even a resident RIOC board member was met with hostility and an unwillingness to engage. This can’t be right.

We need a different attitude and approach by senior management at RIOC. It’s time for Roosevelt Island residents to be able to vote for their choice of RIOC Board members. This would give us:

Better oversight of RIOC to ensure that the interests of the community are kept front and center in an open and transparent way

The opportunity for so many residents to bring forward their vision of how things could be done for the better service of this community. 

Last Saturday, Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy 

became the 1 thousandth resident to sign the petition

joining former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Director Dr Kathy Grimm

and at least 998 other residents seeking competent governance for Roosevelt Island.

According to Mr Krikler last Saturday:

We have 1,000 signatures online and another 35 on paper. This clearly demonstrates that Roosevelt Islanders really do care about how this place is governed and the need for far better, direct representation.

People should come to the Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee Zoom meeting on January 18 at 6:30 PM. We will all have a chance to share our thoughts on governance and representation on Roosevelt Island with elected officials including NY State Senator Liz Krueger.

Click here to sign the online petition.

Mr Krikler and colleagues are also available to chat with you to learn more about improving RIOC governance 

and representation on Saturday's next to the Farmers Market at the Motorgate Plaza area.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Watch A Few Minutes Of A Marvelous Sunday Afternoon Chamber Music Concert At Roosevelt Island's RIVAA Gallery This Afternoon

RIVAA Gallery hosted a marvelous Sunday Afternoon of Chamber Music today for a packed house of Roosevelt Island residents and friends.

Enjoy a few minutes of the concert.

As reported yesterday

 Join us on Sunday, January 7th at 3pm at RIVAA Gallery for an afternoon of chamber music

Yiheng Yang, internationally recognized fortepianist and faculty at The Juilliard School, is a Roosevelt Island resident. She presents a delightful afternoon of classical chamber music with leading period instrument colleagues, and plays on her Mozart fortepiano, which is a copy of an Anton Walter piano that Mozart owned.

The program ranges from an undiscovered Trio by Kozeluch, to one of Mozart’s chamber music masterpieces, his G minor Piano Quartet, to a rousing arrangement of Mozart’s F major Piano Concerto K. 459 for string ensemble plus fortepiano. 

Come experience this magical and joyous music in the intimate and artistic setting of RIVAA Gallery, and start 2024 in style.