Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Roosevelt Island Dogs Blog

It's official Roosevelt Island has gone to the dogs. Despite the old belief that no dogs were allowed on the island (see the parody movie) the past two years has seen an explosion of residents owning dogs due to the buildings at Southtown and the Octagon allowing dogs as pets.

The creation of a new blog "Roosevelt Island Dogs" officially seals the new reality and their place as residents. So far the blog chronicles in pictures and text the first meeting of the Small Dog Play Group at the Octagon-Coler dog run on the Eastern side of the island. The run is by the Coler Hospital parking lot facing Costco and the West Channel of the East River. The blogger who created the blog is listed as "Hanahlly" and lives in the Octagon. No contact info was provided nor does the blog provide for comments to be left by readers. A post on the Octagon resident's website is how I learned of the blog. A follow up post on that site gives information for those dog owners looking to joing the group.

Recently I had been speaking with one resident who commutes with his dog into Manhattan using Tram about the state of the Southern of the island's two dog runs which sits across from the Riverwalk buildings behind their sales center. As shown in the picture below the run at this point is pretty bare and some of the residents who use this run are hoping it can be improved but it is unclear who and what organization is responsible for its upkeep. I am guessing RIOC built the runs to encourage residents to limit off leash exercise to within their confines but I have not confirmed this assumption.

May 1, 1991: When the Red Bus Stopped Being Free

To read the stories now you would think the end of the world was coming to Roosevelt Island seventeen years ago tomorrow. It was in fact the end of an era where the local Red Bus maintained and operated by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation was run for free. On May 1, 1991, RIOC started charging 10 cents for rides on the Red Bus.

One quote from an article regarding the change and the fact that many of the island’s young people either didn’t have enough dimes with them or did not want to pay the fare ended on a positive note:

"The kids are getting a lot more exercise," Ms. Neis said. "And the older people have more room on the bus."

Compared to the increases in the cost of the MTA token and now metrocard for a single fare over the years we certainly can’t complain that the Red Bus fee today is set at only 25 cents. Although over the two short years I have lived on the island I still hear plenty of residents who believe ardently that the fare should return to being free.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dedicated Bike Path for Roosevelt Island Bridge?

I am not sure I am reading this map correctly but does the legend indicate that the Roosevelt Island Bridge when completed will have a dedicated bike path? The legend (see image below) indicates that “green intermittent squares” represent a planned or proposed bike path. So it appears that a dedicated path could happen. The map images are taken from the official 2008 City Bike Map. May 2008 is Bike Month in New York City.

Currently bike riders must either dismount their bikes and walk across the bridge’s pedestrian walkway or risk shredding a tire when riding across the metal grate surface of the bridge.

Who do we contact to push for this to become a reality?

RI360 to DOT: Did You Even Get the CB8 Resolution re QB Access?

It is now more than a year ago that Community Board 8 passed a resolution requesting that the NYC DOT investigate the question of direct pedestrian access to the Queensboro Bridge from Roosevelt Island. Next month island residents will lose the Roosevelt Island Tram for 8 days. Last night our subway station was temporarily shut down due to some sort of gas leak. If both of these stoppages were to occur at once we would have been left with only one way off the island, the Roosevelt Island Bridge. That result is unacceptable hence the need for direct access to the Queensboro Bridge.

To date it is still unclear to me if that resolution was ever received by the NYC DOT or if CB8 has ever followed up with the DOT. I can not even get an answer from CB8 regarding what they know of the resolution’s fate. At this point I am not even sure in what format CB8 transmitted the resolution and to who at NYC DOT. The above image is of the online inquiry I have submitted to the DOT Commissioner’s office regarding the resolution.

On Tuesday, May 6, 2008, the Transportation Committee of Community Board 8 is meeting at 6:30pm. I hope to attend and to ask Committee Chairs Jonathan Horn and Charles Warren directly. It is unknown if the DOT will ever send me a response to my inquiry.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mystery Roosevelt Island Photo: Room With A View

Occasionally I find photographs on Flickr, shot on Roosevelt Island, that take even me a moment to realize where the photo was taken and what the subject is. So I present the above as one of those photos.

Can you guess where and what this structure is? I suspect the where is easier than the what.

It was presented HERE on Flickr by "paulie~".

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Parkour on Roosevelt Island

A number of months ago I found a video on You Tube that included individuals demonstrating Parkour on Roosevelt Island. In essence parkour is the application of gymnastics to urban landscapes. To first appreciate the art I would recommend the following short documentary. I love when they film the British children for their reactions to watching the tracuers.

Direct YouTube Link by SlamCamSpam

The videos I found that include individuals performing Parkour on Roosevelt Island among other NYC locations include the following two You Tube submissions.

NOTE: My presenting these videos does not suggest I am encouraging the use of public space or facilities in this manner as Parkour can be dangerous for those apparently not skilled in its application and may also be seen as a mis-use of the facilities pictured.

Direct YouTube Link by Whatismyleoname

Direct YouTube Link by Sophmore3000

RIOC: No Tram - June 10 thru 17

Reading "The RIOC Column" by Stephen Shane, RIOC President, in this weekend's Main Street WIRE, I learned that the Roosevelt Island Tram will be off line for 8 days starting this June 10th. I don't know what is worse not being able to eat bread this Passover or learning this news. Maybe I should have have heard this news earlier but this was the first I learned of this stoppage.

As Mr. Shane indicates the work regarding the track rope adjustments is obviously necessary and will be an interesting test of how as a community we work through the temporary loss of the Tram in preparation for the 2009 stoppage when the system is overhauled and out of service. We appreciate the steps RIOC is taking to plan alternative methods of transportation and we just hope the MTA is kind to us on the weekends and nothing goes badly during the morning and evening rush hours.

In light of this stoppage I hope the Tranportation Committee of Community Board 8 is paying attention as to my knowledge the NYC Deprtament of Transportation, still to date, has never responded to CB8 regarding their April 2007 resolution calling for a study to look at access to the Queensboro Bridge from the Island. Now would be good time for someone to follow up on that resolution. I have asked CB8 to follow up but I am receiving from no responses to my repeated inquiries as to the status.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Micro Congestion Pricing: Tolling the Roosevelt Island Bridge

Would they ever dare to put a toll onto the Roosevelt Island Bridge? Never. Some other bridges we thought would be free forever may not be able to say the same thing.

Over the last few days I have seen a number of posts by transit bloggers, including Second Avenue Sagas, referring to the belief that the DOT will eventually convert the currently free East River Bridges to toll bridges using the revenue generated to fund capital construction. We have all heard these calls before but perhaps this time they will really do it as congestion pricing was supposed to help cover transit and infrastructure related needs which as of now will be short the funding.

Getting back to the Roosevelt Island Bridge I don't ever expect someone would even think to suggest adding a toll but you never know. For those residents old enough to recall at one time cars were not allowed on Main Street (except for hospital workers etc). The effect on congestion would be staggering. Just imagine cars backed up on either Main Street or 36th Avenue waiting to pay.

Although, on a long term basis, it might cut down on traffic on Main Street. Hmm maybe congestion pricing on a micro-level would not be a bad thing? And then we can use the funds to build a free standing building to allow us access to the Queensboro Bridge...... Nah, Sheldon Silver would not even allow the Assembly to vote on it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Southpoint Park: Paths Not Taken - UNIS

Apparently one alternative use considered for the land at Southpoint Park was to build the United Nations International School at the site. The school eventually settled at the FDR Drive and about 24th Street.
Just imagine if that had happened we would not be having all the discussion of who is for or against the current Louis Kahn designed FDR Memorial.

Landscaping Begins at Blackwell House

The outdoor landscaping of the Roosevelt Island landmarked Blackwell House has finally begun. You may recall that the grounds around the property were totally stripped of the former plantings and brickwork allowing RIOC to start with a clean slate as only the structure was landmarked. We look forward to seeing the structure with all the new sod and plantings. It was beginning to feel quite baren and cold as we moved into Spring.

A fresh look will be great for all of us to experience as we walk by. Can't wait to see the fountain turned back on and the Historical Society placque returned to the site.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Subway Advisory: April 26-28 : Queens Bound F Train to Run on E Line

For this the 12th weekend this year (out of a possible 17 ) the 63rd Street Tunnel subway stations (including Roosevelt Island) are enduring a service disruption. The MTA NYCTA is making life interesting this weekend by re-routing the Queens Bound F Train onto the E line. So from West 4th Street, Manhattan to Roosevelt Ave, Queens the F Train will be running as an E.

To get to Roosevelt Island from Manhattan, transit riders will need to travel to Roosevelt AVENUE and then transfer back onto a Manhattan F Train much as we do other weekends when the Queens Bound F is diverted. The only real difference is more stations in Manhattan are effected this weekend.

YouTube: A HOT Roosevelt Island Love Story

A tale of love and loss on Roosevelt Island by Jeffrey Lee featuring all the familiar players. This video was first posted last night on YouTube as a video project by Mr. Lee. The video was shot on and around Roosevelt Island.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Speed Racer Photographed on Roosevelt Island ?

OK, so the below photo is not of the famed #5 car from Speed Racer but the thought of this 1968 Bizzarrini P358 being on Roosevelt Island is enough to get any car enthusiast’s engine running. Yes, that is the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse and the familiar Z Bricks that any island resident knows by site anywhere.

The Bizzarrini was photographed about a week or so by David Traver Adolphus for an upcoming spread planned for this July in Sports and Exotic Cars. You can link to additional photos from the photo shoot now on the Hemmings Auto Blogs. I can't wait to see the full article and photo spread.

Beaver Found in East River West Channel Dies

Could the beaver found last week in the West Channel of the East River be the same beaver spotted recently at Roosevelt Island’s Motorgate Garage? The NY Times is reporting the beaver died in transport to a medical clinic up near Utica. You may recall that the Roosevelt Islander posted a couple of posts a week or two ago about sightings of a small / medium animal, possibly a beaver, inside Motorgate Garage. I wonder if the beaver found by the NYPD while patrolling the East River in prep for the Pope’s visit to the UN was the same animal? We don’t get too many beaver sightings around here so perhaps it was the same animal. Either way we are sorry to hear of the beaver’s passing.

FDR Isle Reverts to Welfare Isle During Pope Benedict's Visit to NYC

According to a NY Daily News article posted today that the NYPD website upon posting a street closure map this past weekend used a 1960's era map where Roosevelt Island was still listed as Welfare Island.

Maybe the Pope was not a fan of FDR or the City just wanted to look like it did more for those in need?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

FDR Paper Surveys Due This Evening at 6 PM

PressHD has posted a new video regarding the state of the Louis Kahn designed FDR Memorial featuring interview with Roosevelt Isladn Operating Corporation President Stephen Shane, RIOC Board Member David Kraut, and Residents Association Matt Katz.

The central question posed b ythe video is who decides. My take on what Steve Shane is that there i essentially nobody here on the Island who has the background to be able to decide and that the we must proceed under the intent of the original agreement entered into by NYS and NYC to build the Kahn design. Matt Katz feels that the design was from another time and that each time we are told a deadline is approacjing the wall is moved allowing the issue to continue.

As noted for the first time perhaps a survey has been published that may give a better voice to whether the residents of the Island care and to what degree. Mr. Shane believes the numbers that care is actually quite small in the 40 to 50 range. It does appear, according to Mr. Shane, that the survey will afect the design as it is what it is.

Survey's are due at the PSD office across from Trellis in the box provided by 6:00 PM this evening, Saturday, April 19, 2008.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Movie Night Location Changed to Increase Event Accessibility

As I noted in a blog post two day's ago the Summer Movies generously sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation have been moved this Summer from SouthPoint Park (frown) to Firefighter's Field. The first film is scheduled to be shown on June 21, 2008 at 9:00 pm with a pre-show at 8:45pm. For a sample of the screen quality and sound link through to the prior post. Entrance to each of the three movie nights is FREE for all who attend.

The reason for the change in venue has nothing to do with pending construction of the Wild Garden's Park, by the Trust Public Land, or the stabilization of the Renwick Ruin / Smallpox Hospital but simply to enable more of our neighbors and guests greater access to the screenings as the path down to SouthPoint Park for many of our older residents, guests, and wheelchair bound neighbors made the events inaccessible.

So as a gesture to include as many people as possible the venue was changed to Firefighter's Field as it is accessible to everyone and central to the major mass transportation hubs. So while I will miss the background views at SouthPoint, while simultaneously enjoying the feature being played, the reasons for change far outweigh any other factors. Besides the idea is to watch the movies anyway.

The below map is provided for anyone that does not know where Firefighter's Field is:

In "New Amsterdam" Hell Gate is at Southpoint

Apparently the writers of the new Fox TV show New Amsterdam are not only having fun writing for a central character that is immortal but they have decided to relocate the Hell Gate section of the East River to Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island.

This week's episode and season finale opens with a scene of a woman drowning but quickly moves onto a grassy area where the body, now recovered, has been set down. John Amsterdam's fellow detectives are standing over the victim in what is known to Roosevelt Island residents as the tip of Southpoint Park facing South into the river and across from the United Nations. When Amsterdam shows up he labels the spot Hell Gate and proceeds to have a flash back to 1927 at the same location.

What's amusing about this is that Hell Gate is not even visible from these locations but is just North of Roosevelt Island and actually refers to a larger area encompassing the confluence of the East River and the Harlem River. The Bridge in the above picture is the Queensboro Bridge (aka the 59th Street Bridge). When built it was known as the Blackwell's Island Bridge.

What's more amusing looking back at last week's episode where John takes his former partner Andy from the Detective's Squad Room onto a balcony was that that scene was filmed at Goldwater Hospital (see green arrow in above map) a ten minute walk from this location. So this body essentially washed up just down the block from their precinct house.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Air Link From LIC to Roosevelt Island?

It appears that Robert Hickman, who also design and created the convex disk at our subway station, posted a video today regarding a new method of air travel between what appears to be Roosevelt Island and and not Manhattan but starting from Long Island City's Socrates Sculpture Park. The above YouTube video can be linked directly HERE. It seems that there are a few kinks before passengers can start purchasing their farecards.

Update: 4/25

The Roosevelt Islander is indicating that this air link may be an laternative considering the weekend's curent service disruption.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No Movies at Southpoint Park This Year

Film Series Moved to Firefighter's Field

One of the most magical experiences I have had living on Roosevelt Island was walking on down to Southpoint Park to watch a Summertime movie with the Manhattan and Queen's skylines surrounding the "theatre". From getting off the Red Bus to walking up the lighted path passed the Renwick Ruin / Smallpox Hospital the entire experience was something you would never get anywhere else. Unfortunately it appears that for this year that experience will not be happening.

According to the upcoming events page on the RIOC website this year's summer movie series will be held at Firefighter's Field. Now before you start looking at the graphic below I am sure the folks at RIOC will make a great production. I trust Erica Wilder and Donna Masley and the other fine RIOC folks to do a good job by us but with the lights and sounds of Red and Q102 Buses arriving and leaving the Tram station not to mention the noise eminating from the Queensboro Bridge there is only so much they can compensate for.

And I am sure they would position the screen so that the Keyspan Plant is behind us and not behind the screen but again if the wind is working against us we may even be unfortunate enough to smell the plant (granted it's a extremely extremely rare event and I've only heard this secondhand) which would just not work with most movies.

I am guessing the reasons to move the movie series involve perhaps the upcoming contruction of the Wild Gardens Park at Southpoint or perhaps the stabilization of the Smallpox Hospital and I have asked for clarification and I am sure I will get a prompt response but the knowledge that we will not get another chance at watching a movie with those panoramic views with the looming possibility of the FDR Memorial Trees taking it away in the future is a great loss.

Sure movies may return to Southpoint in the future but it just won't be the same.

Queens Gazette: Ray Kelly, the 114th Pct and Roosevelt Island

While speaking at the April meeting of the Astoria Civic Association, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly responded to a question as to why the 114th Precinct is charged with patrolling Roosevelt Island which is considered part of Manhattan. His answer to anyone with a moderate amount of brain power as reported by the Queens Gazette was obvious stating “that since the island is accessible to vehicles only from the 36th Street Bridge in Astoria, there is no choice”.

I will not address that the bridge is named the Roosevelt Island Bridge or that the street leading into the bridge is actually 36th Avenue as I like Commissioner Kelly and I am sure he wanted to tell the questioner that the question was a silly one to ask based on the known geography despite the historical political assignment of Roosevelt Island to Manhattan.

The Gazette continued by reporting the questioner followed up by asking Kelly why this is fair as it puts increasing pressure on the 114th Precinct due to the increasing population growth on the island. Kelly responded by simply stating that the 114th like many precincts is not alone in dealing with population growth.

It is unclear as to the motive behind the questions posed or whether the individual was aware that the Roosevelt Island Pubic Safety Department handles many calls and incidents that a local NYPD precinct would normally handle and that the 114th is not involved in many of these incidents at all. We live in an interesting place and I am sure there are distinct protocols as to when the 114th is called into service here on Roosevelt Island. Certainly any calls to 911 result in the 114th being notified leading to their response but most of the day to day patrols are handled ably by our local PSD.

Assembly Member Kellner Requests MTA Roberts to Further Examine Issues Affecting Roosevelt Island

Assembly Member Micah Kellner (65th AD) issued a letter today to MTA President Howard Roberts to further examine the transportation issues affecting Roosevelt Island in light of the pending 2009 Tram overhaul. See the original letter text by clicking on the attached images.

One of the most striking facts presented in the letter is resident Marc Diamond’s calculations that Tram’s daily ridership is approximately 50% of the subway’s daily ridership. The concern is therefore how will the F Train and our subway station handle a 50% increase in riders every rush hour morning?

Kellner suggests beefing up alternative bus routes to Queens Plaza as well as extension of the Q Lines and rerouting of R or V Trains through Roosevelt Island. I know that Roberts rejected the Q Train extension but this is the first I have heard of the R or V Train re-routing ideas I don’t expect that they will be well received.

Let’s see if Roberts issues a response to this letter. Getting the last response according to transit buffs was amazing enough. We definitely thank Micah Kellner for staying on top of this issue and pushing the MTA to respond to this important issue.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tidal Energy to Power Roosevelt Isle Subway Sta.

Image June 2007

In a news conference today at Grand Central Terminal, Governor Paterson discussed several initiatives regarding sustainable energy usage including using tidal energy to power a portion of the Roosevelt Island subway station.

The Newsday article referring to the news conference does not indicate what portion of the station will be linked to the tidal energy plan but it is assumed (by this blogger) it will be the lighting as opposed to powering the subway rails themselves. I just hope it is not the escalators.

According to the RecordOnline (Albany Times Herald-Record) a substantial portion of the station will be powered by the renewable tidal energy.

RIRA FDR Memorial Surveys Distributed via WIRE

Well this weekend, as an insert to the Main Street WIRE, the Roosevelt Island Resident’s Association distributed it’s long called for survey to determine what the present day population of the island thinks of the Louis Kahn designed memorial.

The survey itself has its own history as many individuals wished it stopped at simply asking whether individuals liked, disliked or had no opinion re the design. Some individuals feel that the survey is slanted as anti-Kahn design despite its having two columns of pro and con bullet points supporting the pro and con positions. As a matter of full disclosure I contributed an earlier version of the back page two column design.

There is also a call from my fellow island blogger, the Roosevelt Islander, to extend the length of the survey response period to allow for a greater number of responses to the survey. I fully support this as I believe more time is needed to “push” our fellow residents to fill out the form (pro or con) and to either walk it over to the PSD office and drop off the form in the above pictured box or to mail it into RIRA.
My own non-statistical on-line survey regarding the FDR memorial can be found HERE. Please vote in the paper survey and also this online version.

Joint PressHD - WIRE Interview with RIOC’s Shane at Southpoint captured on film an interview between Stephen Shane, President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, and Dick Lutz, Managing Editor of the Main Street WIRE. The video was shot on a sunny day and really captures the size and feel of the location as Steve Shane describes his understanding of what the Louis Kahn designed FDR – Four Freedoms Memorial will be like.

Personally I think a video like this only reinforces the idea of what the trees called for in the Kahn design will block from a visitor's view to the site once completed. As Mr. Shane describes the views in either direction will still be visible from either promenade to whoever wants to see them but still an unencumbered 360 degree view will be changed irrevocably.

YouTube: Roosevelt Island PSD Search

The above video of Roosevelt Island PSD officers was posted on YouTube by "RooseveltIsland10044". The video shows the officers searching the contents of the individual's backpack, dropping the contents on the ground and then returning the contents to the individuals' backpack.

According to Public Safety Director Keith Guerra the individual stopped was arrested for narcotics possession after being observed using a controlled substance. I would add that Mr. Guerra provided this detail upon my requesing more information regarding the video's content.

Roosevelt Island Squirrel’s Interviewed re Presidential Election

Squirrel Interviews

Video crew tries to interview Roosevelt Island squirrels regarding their views of the current Presidential election. Interviewer also labels local woman as “crazy squirrel woman” based on her alleged daily squirrel feedings. If anything the video shows how "trained" the squirrels are here to accept food when offered.

Direct YouTube Link by JohnMcDonaldInc

YouTube text: “Frieda Chan stars in this short documentary on the opinions of the modern squirrel. Also featuring the Con Ed power plant, a piece of bread, and reluctant roommates”

Con Ed Interview

It was amusing when these guys tried to interview the squirrels not sure what they were going for trying to interview “Big Allis”

The location of both videos appears to be the Eastern side of the island facing Queens behind the Eastwood complex.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The New Face of Roosevelt Island : Video by Long Time Resident

Direct YouTube Link by RebKnell

Text by Rebknell: "A 30 year resident of Roosevelt Island films the ever-growing hometown. PLUS! It's looking a bit like spring!!!! "

The video seems to focus on Southtown which to many folks represents the new age of Roosevelt Island.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Naming Opportunities at the FDR Memorial on Roosevelt Island?

Today I linked from the Main Street WIRE web page to the FERI Institute web page for the planned memorial. I was somewhat taken aback at language indicating that donors of $100,000 or more may have "naming opportunities" at the site if the memorial is built.

I am not so naive to not realize that with big donations come the "right" to attach one's name to a project but somehow I had not heard of this practive attached to this project.

Every time I visit great museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in NYC I can't help but notice the benefactors names listed on the walls and be amazed at their generousity. But I don't recall seeing such "walls" at outdoor memorials before. They must exist but I guess where such memorials were built as national memorials I figured the funds were mostly government monies etc. Perhaps I am somewhat naive.

Anyhow I had not heard of this before in regards to this project and the idea somehow bothers me. What's your opinion?

FDR Memorial: The Four Questions Plus One

I realize a survey is being distributed as an insert with this week’s Main Street WIRE but I wanted to post this unscientific online survey and see what we get at the end of the next two weeks. Please vote only once and answer all five questions.

Update: 1:00 PM EST
My apologies as I have restarted the polls using a different service which does not throw you off this site for each poll. Please revote if you had already earlier today.

RIOC's Shane Speaks re Roosevelt Island Retail Spaces has posted two video interviews, on April 11, 2008, with Stephen Shane, President and CEO of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, regarding a possible plan to bring more retail to Main Street and the possible relocation of the Public Safety Office. At the time of this blog's posting I have not yet watched either video.

Presumably each video is tagged to a companion article in this weekend's Main Street WIRE as at least the retail interview was conducted by the WIRE based on the PressHD picture caption.

To link to the video interviews double click the above image.

FDR Memorial - Survey for All Residents to be in WIRE

This week's Main Street WIRE is slated to include a survey which all residents of Roosevelt Island interested in the Louis Kahn designed FDR Memorial are encouraged to complete. videotaped RIRA President Matt Katz about the survey. Double click the above image to view this video only. Behind the scenes I should note I am interested to see the final format of the survey as the e-mails between the parties drafting the survey involved how detailed the questions should be or should it just be simply: Yes, No, No Opinion.

Drink: "Roosevelt Island Tramp" - Part Curacao, Part....

As reported yesterday the Native New York events sponsored by NYC Magic Garden have created a drink called a Roosevelt Island Tramp which I had never heard of. Apparently with good reason as Zoe Schneider, of NYC Magic Garden, made it up herself.

According to the comment left by Zoe on my previous post:

Zoe here, founder of the NYC Magic Garden. I made up that drink and two others that we serve at the party (they all have a nice old school NYC ring to them). The Roosevelt Island Tramp is Malibu, Blue Curacao and pineapple juice. The Staten Island Fairy is Cranberry juice, Peach Schnapps and vodka. The Ghetto Blaster is gin and grapefruit juice. Come, have a $4 drink with us natives(

Now I just have to figure out how curacao and pineapple juice are native to Roosevelt Island?

Blogger's Note: I, myself, hail from Lon G'Island originally but have lived in NYC for the last 20 years plus so I figured Imust admit the above image started as a Mr. Boston drink guide which I modified for the occasion.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A "Roosevelt Island Tramp" - What's In It?

In today's NY Post there is an article about a bar running Native New York Nights where only us natives are allowed in if we can answer specific questions at the door proving we are indeed natives. The article, on page two, talks about a drink served in the bar called a "Roosevelt Island Tramp".

Anyone know what's in this drink and how it got the name?
FOLLOW UP POST: Link HERE for the drink's ingredients.

Roosevelt Island Scenes Shown on Fox Television Show "New Amsterdam"

Well this week the scenes filmed on Roosevelt Island for the FOX television show "New Amsterdam" aired within Episode 7 "Reclassified". Thanks to the folks over at the fan site "New Amsterdam Forever" for pointing the scenes out to me as I missed this week's episode. I admit I first starting watching because I had seen the television production vehicles some months agao and I have become a fan since.

The first scene (at 7.41 minutes) played involves the main character John Amsterdam, a homicide detective, having a discussing with his former partner Andy. The scene is supposed to be on a balcony just off the detective's office space in the local precinct house. Based on the views and the balcony railing it became clear that the scene was shot at Goldwater Hospital just South of the Queensboro Bridge facing East into Queens.

The second scene (at 12.41 minutes) is obviously shot from the Western promenade overlooking the East River with Manhattan and the Queensboro Bridge in the background.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Residents in the News: Donna Chenkin

Roosevelt Island resident Donna Chenkin position as director of the Belmont Child Care Association may seem normal enough until you learn this child care facility resides smack in the midst of Belmont Racetrack and exists to provide services to children whose parents work at the track. The overall article in today's Village Voice is quite interesting and goes to show you that an entire world exists beyond the physical track and grandstand.

Casting Call: Shakespeare on Roosevelt Isle

Auditions for Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing
Roosevelt Island's Second Annual Summer Shakespeare Series

Produced by Michael Flanagan
Directed by John William Schiffbauer
Sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Operating Commission (RIOC)

The Community Room in The Chapel of the Good Shepherd
543 Main Street on Roosevelt Island.
Friday, April 11 from 6-9
Saturday, April 12 from 1-4
Prepare a Shakespearean Monologue. Sides may be provided.

Performance dates:
May 31st and June 1st @ 2PM Rivercross Lawn on Roosevelt Island

No pay, but opportunity to be a part of a growing summer event.

Contact Mike at for more information, or if you cannot make the listed times and would like to schedule an appointment.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sun. April 13th - Tram Off Line 6am to 2pm

While this coming weekend (April 12-13) will see subway service to Roosevelt Island in both directions we can look forward to no tram service on Sunday, April 13th, from 6am to 2pm.

According to RIOC the tram staff will be conducting cabin rescue and evacuation drills. It is probably just because this weekend was planned for several weeks to have a working subway in both directions that RIOC scheduled this outage.

At least the outage will not be all day so this is livable unless the subway goes out unannounced at which point I expect the Tram would back on line as soon as they complete whatever drill was in session.