Wednesday, April 30, 2008
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."
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
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?
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
Saturday, April 26, 2008
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
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
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
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.
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
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.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
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
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
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.
The Roosevelt Islander is indicating that this air link may be an laternative considering the weekend's curent service disruption.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
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.
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
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.
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.
PressHD.com 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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(http://www.nycmagicgarden.com/).
Now I just have to figure out how curacao and pineapple juice are native to Roosevelt Island?