Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NY Senate Video: Serrano Congratulates Elected RIOC Board Nominees

The above NYS Senate video is of State Senator Jose Serrano congratulating those individuals elected to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors who were then chosen as appointees of the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. The video is from June 2008.

Direct YouTube link.

Hunter College AccessRI - Community Review TONIGHT

Link to AccessRI website

Both AccessRI community review meetings, tonight 3/31 and 4/4, are to be held at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center on Main Street, located accross the street from Trellis. Each meeting will present the same information to the public.

Tram Featured as Staycation Destination

A post on the NY Times City Room blog this morning featured the Roosevelt Island Tram as one of several destinations that the author visited on a recent “staycation”.

Get in those staycations now before July 6th or you will miss out until December 2009.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Periodic Return of the Snapple Cap

It’s amazing how much play one little Snapple cap can get over time. Take “Real Fact” cap #266, supposedly retired, which states that “Manhattan is the only borough in NYC that does have a Main Street”. Any Roosevelt Island resident knows this statement to be absurd but every so often the issue comes up again to perennially make us to be the Rodney Dangerfield of Main Street NYC lore. Today this “fact” was again memorialized in the NY Times Metropolitan Diary. The Diarist, rose to our aid, and corrected amused life long City girl Judi Sinnreich, who obviously has never set foot on our shores.

Happy Birthday Queensboro ( fka Blackwell's Island) Bridge !

Many, certainly not all, Roosevelt Island residents know that the Queensboro Bridge, which turns 100 years old today, was once named for the island's former name "Blackwell's Island".

But few know that the bridge due to opposition to the British sounding name "Queensboro" almost did not get renamed to its curent moniker. The below article from the NY Times archive reports on a City hearing about the name change proposal and that one City Alderman did not believe those in favor of the name change had made their point.

As it is the bridge and the island have gone by many names. And many music fans outside NYC are not aware that the Simon and Garfunfle standard "The 59th Street Bridge" song is the Queensboro Bridge anyway.

To buy the above book about the Queensboro Bridge and to support the Roosevelt Island Historical Society which produced the book in conjunction with the Astoria Historical Society please link HERE.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Will Spider-Man The Play Feature the Renwick Ruin or the Tram?

Will the Broadway play Spider-Man feature a fight scene with the Green Goblin holding the Roosevelt Island Tram hostage or at the Renwick Ruin?

[Semi - amusing comment re the first movie and the Tram: Since the Tram is on a clothesline system when the Green Goblin let go the Tram cabin, most non Island residents had no clue that the other cabin must have already crashed below - but residents certainly did.]

If the Tram is featured will RIOC get a fee?

Apparently the play's book is going to be nothing like the movie franchise based on comments by Director Julie Taymor published in a New York Post news article by Michael Reidel. Oh well I guess the Tram will not be heading to Broadway..

Amusing thoughts.

Earth Hour 2009 - March 28th 830pm-930pm

I only just sent an email a few hours ago into the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation asking if they have any plans to participate in Earth Hour 2009 by turning off non-essential lighting so I have not yet received a response. Like many people I am guessing they did not even hear of this effort. I only heard my self a few days ago.

Didn't the Earth get a whole day a few years back? This year Earth Hour is from 830pm to 930 pm on March 28th , Saturday night in your time zone.

Anyhow I was wondering if RIOC were to participate what lights would they turn off? My assumption would be the Lighthouse and Renwick Ruin.

I am not sure regarding the Lighthouse as I thought it was no longer working in the true sense of its original purpose,(yes the lights works but I thought it was decommissioned due to radar etc) but obviously if it it prevents any ship from running aground I am guessing we would not want to turn it off.

Just random thoughts.

Lighthouse picture via Flickr and Renwick ruin via Bowery Boys.

ROOSEVELT L!VE - Summer Concert Series

Last October, on Saturdays, it was KidFest on Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk Commons, this May it will be ROOSEVELT L!VE. According to a NY Press blog post, starting May 23rd, this new concert series will kick off and run through September 5th.

According to the post the confirmed acts include " trumpeter Steven Bernstein on July 11; Dance L!VE Brazil featuring Nation Beat (July 18), and Chicha Libre (pictured) of Barbes fame (Aug. 22). All of the concerts begin at 4 p.m. ".

The question is will the concert series do as well as KidFest did with no tram starting July 6th? The web link provided so far only allows the the reader to subscibe to email updates.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Subway Update re 3/26-4/10 Weeknight Disruptions

Update per MTA website: The service changes to the F Line described below, between 3/26 and 4/10, are only in effect on Tuesdays through Fridays Midnight through 5:am.
179 St-bound "F Trains" trains run on the "V Line" from 47-50 Sts to Queens Plaza Late night.

For service from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge, take the "F Train" to Roosevelt Av and transfer to a Coney Island-bound "F Train" .

-----Original Message-----
From: Parker, Deirdre, MTA Spokesperson.
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 13:27:41
To: <rooseveltisland360@Gmail.Com>
Subject: RE: FW: Roosevelt Islands

Please be advised that due to emergency work, there will be no northbound F service at Roosevelt Island on weeknights from 12:01 AM - 5AM, March 26th to April 10th. We apologize for any inconvenience thismay cause.

Bad 1980's Movie Filmed on Roosevelt Isle

Old Man Grumpus on Live Journal blogged yesterday about a really bad movie titled Robot Holocaust that was filmed partially on Roosevelt Island. Grumpus lays out the plot fairly well but in short the robots rebelled and wiped out civilization and the remnants of mankind apparently were outside the last city (of course NYC) and well would you believe it were here on little Roosevelt Island. I guess we don't need RIOC to divulge their evacuation plan as this rock turns out to be the safest place left on the planet. Pretty wild.

Well I had to see for myself and after watching 10 minutes I could not take it anymore and turned it off but very clearly many scenes were filmed down at Southpoint Park. From the look of it the park was still in formation.

If you want to see this movie before it is taken off Hulu you only have about 2 to 3 more days to see it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

F Train: 3/26 - 4/10 Late Night Week Day Service Changes

-----Original Message-----
From: Parker, Deirdre, MTA Spokesperson.
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 13:27:41
To: <rooseveltisland360@Gmail.Com>
Subject: RE: FW: Roosevelt Islands

Please be advised that due to emergency work, there will be no northbound F service at Roosevelt Island on weeknights from 12:01 AM - 5AM, March 26th to April 10th. We apologize for any inconvenience thismay cause.

One Very Upset Local Blogger - NY GULAG 10044

A local resident blogging under the title "nygulag10044" published on line today a letter written, in August 2008, to New York State Inspector General Joseph Frisch alleging corruption and more at all levels of state government involving Roosevelt Island.
Without knowing the specific facts backing up the blogger's claims it's hard to say if anything written has legitimate merit. I just know from the comments posted to the Roosevelt Landings post a lot of folks are very unhappy.

The Little Red Bus - Can't Beat It's 25¢ Fare

There has been talk that soon even the Red Bus, Roosevelt Island's other red painted transportation symbol, may have to raise it's fare above the current 25¢. We shall see if that occurs but in the mean time two bus enthusiasts (not me) took the below videos of the Red Buses and posted them recently on YouTube.

Direct YouTube Link by FL92002

Direct YouTube Link by FL92002

Direct YouTube Link by Eman2211

Mystery Photo: 1936 Cornerstone

This week's mystery Roosevelt Island photo is of a 1936 cornerstone. The question is what building is this cornerstone from?

To see the answer link here to the Flickr photo posted by The Real Janelle.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

S Stands for "Salt" Film Shoot ?

While I never received confirmation from the Roosevelt island Operating Corporation that a film permit was issued for the movie "Salt" it appears that the signs that have been posted with the letter "S" indicate that it is likely the movie is filming on the island.

Granted one letter is not outright confirmation and I admit I have not ventured down to Goldwater or Southpoint to confirm in person but the odds are pretty good. Still no word regarding any possible sightings of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt or the kids.

Monday, March 23, 2009

$2.50 Fare Card = $170 Break Even Monthly Card for these Roosevelt Island Parents

Double Click to View Clearer Image

With the likelihood of a $2.50 base fare card and a monthly card at $103 it was time to again determine what the break even for a Roosevelt Island couple that incurs 6 fares per day on the MTA would be. My wife and I incur approximately 136 fares /month which with a $81 monthly card averages out to $1.19/fare.

Based on the below analysis my break even goes from $136/month at $2/fare to now a whopping $170 per monthly fare card if the full fare is as expected raised to $2.50/ride. This is actually a reduction from a $204/month break even if the fare jumped to $3.00/ride.

The Rolling Seas of East 60th Street

As I stood this morning on the Roosevelt Island Tram, heading into Manhattan, I was struck by the wind that was making the cabin swing so much today . I have been on the tram on windier days, as many residents have, but with a half empty cabin you tend to feel it in your feet more. Makes that bump when we platform all the more exciting.

Supposedly when the new tram cables are strung the guide cables will be father apart, perhaps even ten feet on either side of each cabin decreasing the amount of swing. It will not be the same.

Amusing start to the day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Multicultural Event - Around the World Right Here on Roosevelt Island

The above video found on YouTube is of a multicultural event held here on Roosevelt Island and shows a number of varying dance routines. I believe the stage to be at Goldwater Hospital but it could also be PS 217. I am not sure. Any info would be appreciated.

The video was created by "peckerwoodtwist". No indication as to the actual date of filming.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cease and Desist: MTA 1; This Blogger 0

This past week I was copied on an electronic cease and desist letter, sent to me via email, from the MTA regarding a graphic I created for Roosevelt Island's local newspaper The Main Street WIRE, which ran in its March 7, 2009 edition. The graphic was titled "Unofficial Service Changes" and detailed the weekends the MTA has planned (for the period March 1 through June 1) to institute service disruptions affecting the stations serviced by the 63rd Street Tunnel between Manhattan and Queens. I say planned as all New Yorkers know any service changes, announced or otherwise, or always subject to change.

The letter asserts that the graphic violates the MTA's federal copyrights as well as puts forth service information not sanctioned by the MTA and which may be subject to change.

While I admit the graphic was created to evoke the image of Service Change notices issued by the MTA it could not generally be confused to be an officially sanctioned and issued notice due to its header which read "Unofficial Service Changes". I do admit I mistakenly left the MTA's footer on the image which only upon being enlarged to 400% could even be read and was still blurry.

As for the content of the notice I can only say the information stated was provided to me by an MTA spokesperson in writing (via email) and who had provided such info to me in the past and knew its purpose was for publication (from earlier correspondence) in the WIRE. Granted this individual did not know nor did I state I would be presenting the info in an "unofficial" service change mock up.

The whole goal of the graphic notice was to present information to the public not to mock or berate the MTA so the intent was only to benefit the public. I see on the Internet, on TV, and within print media use of the subway line bullet logos all the time so I was highly surprised this little graphic caused an issue warranting a cease and desist letter.

The WIRE in its current issue, dated March 21, 2009, has referred to the cease and desist letter in its editorial and presented it, in full, within its "Letters to the Editor" section along with a response from the WIRE's legal counsel. The info I provided is again presented but within a simple text box, not prepared or designed by me, titled "Subway Dis-Service".

For myself, this blog post is my mea culpa for something I do believe was not copyright infringement nor done with malice. But as a working dad supporting a family in this fragile economy I will be more careful to not use official logos in such forms prospectively as legal action is not something I can afford right now. But where it is called for I expect to publish photos, graphics, and stories dealing with the F subway line and the local station without hesitancy.

The graphic in my left side bar is my current method for stating the possible service change dates communicated to me. I don't believe I am threatening the copyrights held by the MTA at this time. I am sure I will be told if I cross the line as they see it again.

So right now the result is: MTA 1; This Blogger 0

Residents Who Fear the Back of the Red Bus

What is it about the raised back section of our Roosevelt Island Red Buses that scares residents from walking up those two little steps on a normal week day morning?

The front of the local bus is jammed tight by the time the bus leaves the Good Shepherd Church stop but the back aisle remains empty and clear. Sometimes a simple request by the driver or fellow passengers seems to wake commuters out of their fear but more often pleas to move back go unheard as if taking those steps is the equivalent of crossing the River Styx.

I just don't get it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Brad Pitt Visits / Angela Jolie To Film Locally Next Week

Apparently Brad Pitt brought all five of his children to check out Roosevelt Island yesterday. I guess the visit was in preparation for when / if mom Angelina Jolie's film "Salt" is rumored to be shooting here next week. No confirm from RIOC regarding whether a permit was issued for that film.

According to one island employee, Mr. Pitt appeared to be alone with his children and was in full control of all five kids at once. Perhaps he can teach a few of us to handle the kids we have.

Through the Looking Glass....

My daughter keeps asking me to take her to see Coraline which is in some ways an update of Alice in Wonderland. Sometimes it feels like coming to Roosevelt Island was like stepping through the looking glass. Of course without the Cheshire Cat.

Some would say that living on an Island controlled by a State authority sitting semi-outside the domain of New York City is a bit out of the ordinary and comparable to Alice's Tea Party but life would be too dull otherwise don't you think?

Original photo by ni_san_shijp on Flickr.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

News Release: Lappin & NYS Nurses Hold Vigil at Goldwater Hospital

The following is the text of a news release from NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin:

Lappin and New York State Nurses Association hold vigil at Coler-Goldwater Hospital

Council Member Jessica Lappin joined with the New York State Nurses Association and a representative from Assemblyman Micah Kellner’s office on Thursday morning for a vigil outside the Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital & Nursing Facilities to protest management’s decision to eliminate alternate work schedules.

Two years ago, the hospital management allowed nurses to choose between working five 8-hour shifts or more flexible 12-hour shifts three to four days a week. The 12-hour shifts proved to be a popular choice and helped recruit many new nurses to the hospitals. In fact, other HHC hospitals are moving toward adopting the alternate work schedule for that reason.

After two years of successfully implementing this schedule, the management is now forcing everyone to return to a five-day schedule. Considering our city’s nursing shortage and the fierce competition amongst hospitals to hire and retain nurses, this seems like a foolhardy decision.

This change will also drive nurses away from these hospitals at a time when a hiring freeze prevents new nurses from being added. As a result, nurses who plan to remain at the hospital expect to see their workloads rise even further with no relief in sight.

“We need to look at what’s best for the patients of this hospital and what’s best for the nurses who work there. Neither of those groups are being well served by this switch,” Council Member Lappin said. “I strongly urge the hospital to rethink its decision.”

“The decision to eliminate the alternative work schedule at Coler-Goldwater punishes the hard-working nurses who devote their lives to caring for their patients and the patients themselves,” said Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner. “Coler-Goldwater must reconsider its options during this time of hardship and make the choice that does the most good for all involved.”

“I’m committed to my patients here a Goldwater, but I’m also committed to my family,” said Keron Capleton, an RN at Goldwater for 16 years. “By eliminating the alternate work schedule, the hospital is forcing me to choose between the two.”
For more info contact the Office of Council Member Jessica Lappin at (212) 788-6865. Picture provided by John Moore of Jessica Lappin's office.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Interested in Buying "Your" Roosevelt Island Apartment Cheaply?

Starting next Monday, you may be able to buy an apartment on Roosevelt Island for $50 or an entire house for $250. Well in truth these prices are not for actual real estate on Roosevelt Island but for an interest in the model of Roosevelt Island that is part of the Panorama of the City of New York originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair.

The Panorama has for years now resided at the Queens Museum of Art and as part of their “Adopt-a-Building” program individuals are being offered the chance to buy apartments, single family houses, or even add new buildings to the Panorama for $10,000. I expect that any building purchase of $10,000 is tax deductible up to a limit. At least I would hope so.

The opportunity to support the Panorama and the Queens Museum was reported on today by the NY Times online. Link here to the article. No link on the Queens Museum site for the program.

Based on the above picture of the Panoramic Roosevelt Island it appears that each of the WIRE buildings is represented as is Manhattan Park. No further island residential “construction” appears to have been added to the Panorama in years. Perhaps the “Adopt-a-Building” will allow for adoptions of other Roosevelt Island landmarks, if they exist, such as the Lighthouse, Tram Station, Good Shepherd Church, and each of the Coler-Goldwater Hospitals campus buildings. Based on the above photo there is no model for Blackhouse House present on the Panorama.

Although I am sure most island charitable organizations would rather that your donations be put to local uses this is a cute promotional idea to raise funds for the Museum at costs most New Yorkers can justify spending.

63rd Street Tunnel Subway Stations No Longer MTA Newest

Since October 28, 1989, the stations that make up the 63rd Street Tunnel extension, including Lex/63rd , Roosevelt Island, and 21st St Queensbridge had the distinction of being the newest stations in the NYC Transit Authority subway system. That answer is no longer accurate.

Today the MTA opened up a new station at South Ferry replacing the old one. One less trivia question where Roosevelt Island is the answer.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Manhattan Hi-Rise Views of Roosevelt island

Chi the Islander has posted on Flickr some great night panorama style pictures of Roosevelt Island, the Queensboro Bridge and Queens.

I recommend the following photos 1, 2, and 3 without hestitation as worthy of checking out. According to the Flickr pages they were taken from a 38th floor rooftop. Thanks Chi !

Cool Tram Video: Lego and Actual

When you write a blog about Roosevelt Island you tend, by occupational hazard, to watch a lot of Tram videos posted on YouTube. Most are run of the mill and published in real time speeds. The above video has that something extra.

The video, posted by toyshansolo, is comprised of trips from and to Manhattan preceded by video of the Lego version of the Tram and the actual footage is sped (misp?) up avoiding the views I see every day being played out in ho hum real time. Good choice of music as well.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Asthma Alley, Playgrounds, & Roosevelt Island

This is a great little playground and one of only two public playgrounds on Roosevelt Island that have gates and locks but I am always amazed that this island does not have a higher percentage of asthma among our kids or the adult population.

The power plant in the background, in Long Island City, was formerly owned by Keyspan and known by many as Big Alis. For many in Queens it is believed to be the source of their asthma problems and hence the reason many in LOC refer to the area as Asthma Alley. If Roosevelt Island did not have the breezes associated with the river those issues might be ours as well. To my knowledge there has not been any kind of c omprehensive study of island residents or our kids in years, if at all.

The crazy thing about this picture, by Jerome Bailly on Flickr, is that if the picture was taken from the other side of the park you would see a great view of the Queensborough Bridge in the background.

From Farm House to Town House

Ever wonder where the Blackwell family went after they left Blackwell (now Roosevelt) Island?

OK, so maybe that question never crossed your mind. But apparently one descendent Louis Blackwell was for a time a member of the New York Stock Exchange and lived in town house in what is now Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The blog "Save the Slope" has an interesting post about Louis Blackwell's residence at 99 Berklely Place and some historical facts about this Blackwell and his connection to now Roosevelt Island.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Raised Subway Platforms for Wheelchairs

The Roosevelt Islander in a post this afternoon answered a question I raised to a spokesperson from the MTA but from whom I had not received an answer: "What was the purpose of the continuing platform construction at the Roosevelt Island subway station on both the Queens Bound and Manhattan Bound Platforms?"

According to Steve Shane via the Roosevelt Islander:

"The MTA is working on the platforms to eliminate the "gap" for the handicapped. The raised platform area is in the middle of each platform so that the handicapped may be observed by the conductor who controls the doors. The project is not yet finished, but is ongoing to get tile, etc. suitable for the job, plus signage and public notice. "

While I think the goal is a great one and obviously needed the location is at the thinnest point of the entire platform. So either a wheelchair waits in the waiting area in the foreground of the above picture and zips to this new boarding area or the individual waits in this boarding area potentially adding to the narrowness of this segment of the platform.

It's no ones fault that the center of the train just happens to line up here but it has the potential to be annoying for all parties. But at least the issue of the gap between the platforms and the train doors is being addressed allowing individuals to actually board the subway where before for a number of individuals they woudl need assistance to simply roll into a subway car.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Introducing: Gabriela, a Multicultural Doll, from Roosevelt Island

Today’s NY Times online speaks about an AIDs event that took place yesterday where the organizers could not find enough black and brown dolls even though 90% of the woman living with H.I.V. in NYC are black and Hispanic. It instantly made me recall that I knew of a doll company that specifically manufactured multi-cultural dolls for children. I first learned of this doll company while attending Roosevelt Island Day where they had set up a table.

The following is from a news release I found about the company:

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) - Vannuzza, LLC recently announced the launch of the Vanange® multicultural and multi-ethnic dolls now available for girls of all ages. The doll line was inspired by the continuing need to raise the self-esteem of young girls across the globe. "Little girls are receiving the wrong messages about their self-image: They are confused and they suffer silently! The result is destruction of the society!" says Toussaint-Cali of Vannuzza LLC.

The AIDs event is obviously over but if you are interested in a beautifully crafted dolls I would recommend your considering these dolls as I saw them up close and they looked great. Maybe Gabriela from Roosevelt Island will find a home with your child.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Even a Punk Rocker Would Settle Here....

It’s always very cool to read how visitors to Roosevelt Island find that they could see themselves settling down on the island. Blogger “Cruelty Free K”, when off duty from his “punkrockeracademyfightsongs” indicated he could see himself doing just that.

In his own words on his blog “I WON’T BE LEFT…”:

"I always enjoy venturing to Roosevelt Island after the dining for a brief moment with a swagger of character in its community. It intrigues the hell out of me. The parking is aweful, but it is mad peaceful. I would totally raise a family there….. Anyways, it is a cool pad, in a bizarre way. Gorgeous view of the waterfront near Manhattan that I could easily sit and think nearby for hours."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Runaway Barge off Roosevelt Island

Our friends over at the Populuxe Books blog "Retro Info!" just informed us that this afternoon a barge must have gotten away from a tugboat just off Roosevelt Island in the East River (West Channel) just North of the Octagon. The funny thing is I was doing laundry this afternoon and my building's laundry room faces the West Channel and I think I saw this barge go by but from my angle I had no clue anything was out of the ordinary.

The above picture is from Populuxe Books. To see more shots link over that site.

NY1: Resident Concerns re July Tram Outage

The Roosevelt Islander within his blog post about Roosevelt Island on the web this Saturday added a link to the NY1 article and video about resident concerns about this coming Summer's planned tram outage.

The blog post by the Roosevelt Islander is an update of the Internet links provided by the Roosevelt Islander which ran in this weekend's Main Street WIRE.

Vernissage 8 at RIVAA

The Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA) is hosting Vernissage 8 starting on March 14, 2009 running through April 19, 2009. This group show is always a great one to catch as the variance of artists is extremely enjoyable.

As per Bonnie Goodman of RIVAA: "Vernissage has its roots in the old practice of setting aside a day before an exhibition’s opening for artists to varnish and put finishing touches to their paintings – a tradition that dates back to 1809 when it was instituted by England’s Royal Academy of Arts."

Friday, March 6, 2009

One Good Push Deserves Another....

Anne over at the blog "The Unemployment Benefits" tells the story of how she helped one Roosevelt Island wheel chair bound resident down Main Street all the way onto the subway and what she learned from her good deed.

It's a very nice story, now go read it, and Anne we thank you for your kindness.

Purim Spiels Aplenty on Esther Roosevelt Island...

I will admit I have not always been a good Jew as far knowing how it all works but I always thought Purim was on one night only but this year we are celebrating the holiday over two nights on Roosevelt Island. What makes this night different from all others? Sorry wrong holiday. Updates here when I learn more about my confusion.

The RIJC as part of its celebration will be hosting Rabbi Pincus (aka Rabbi Morritt) who will be moderating the ongoing great debate which is better latkes vs. hamantashen and Chabad of Roosevelt Island will be hosting a Chinese Purim the next night.

Giant Water Guns to Power Tram

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation in an effort to spur tourism, having learned something about the power of water from Olafur Eliasson's NYC WaterFall Project, has gone ahead and purchased giant water guns, actually canons, to be used to power the tram cabins back and forth across the East River.

When asked if this was considered a waste of water, an unnamed source at RIOC (it has been rumored) responded that the water meters on the island have not yet been fixed so NYC is actually footing the bill for this exhibition as well.
Full size image available on Flickr by tatoodjj ................................... (spoof)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Low Res: Manhattan's Roosevelt Island Tram Station:

Low resolution video of the Manhattan Roosevelt Island Tram Station

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Governor Forces RIOC Board Member to Resign from Simultaneously Holding Resident's Association Seat

Jonathan Kalkin, Courtesy of The Main Street WIRE

-----Original Message-----

From: Frank Farance
Date: Wed, 04 Mar 2009 11:45:18

To: Steve Shane
Subject: Re: Official Resignation from The Roosevelt Island Resident's Association (RIRA)
To: RIOC President, RIOC Board of Directors
Dear Steve and Ken-

I received the following E-mail below, which is appalling.

Could you explain:

(1) under what grounds Mr. Kalkin is being forced to resign from RIRA
(2) what is the written policy that establishes this policy
(3) what has changed, if anything, regarding Mr. Kalkin (and future RIOC board candidates) that would require their resignation from RIRA.

I note that RIOC Directors Kraut and Stewart were former RIRA Presidents and were permitted to be on the RIOC Board and retain their RIRA positions. What has changed?

Frank Farance
RIRA President


From: Jonathan Kalkin
To: Frank Farance

Subject: Official Resignation from The Roosevelt Island Resident's Association (RIRA)
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 11:08:02 -0500
Cc: Stephen Shane & Kenneth Leitner

Dear RIRA President Frank Farance,

I have just been informed that Governor Paterson's office, upon a second review of my file and the file of possible new board members, has stated that I must regretfully resign my position as a RIRA Council Member. On the original review I was not told to resign. Since I have been informed, I officially and regretfully resign from my seat on the Roosevelt Island Resident's Association.

Thank you,

Jonathan Kalkin
New York, NY 10044

Police Raid [Roosevelt] Island Prison

Seventy years ago this week, On March 1, 1939, Warner Brothers premiered the film "Blackwell's Island" starring John Garfield. The movie focuses on one repoprter's quest and the eventual raid made by the police upon the prison which was at that time on Blackwell's Island (later Welfare Island and now Roosevelt Island).

The NY Times review stated that it was a "sound melodrama ... and amusing, too, in a cynical way". The movie was loosely based on the actual 1934 raid that revealed widespread corruption at the prison. It was the actual 1934 raid that prompted NYC to soon after move all the inmates off Blackwell's Island into the new prison buildings built at Riker's Island abandoning Blackwell's Island where the site was later razed and upon which was built Goldwater Hospital.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

flickr: Deserted Roosevelt Island Structures

The above image links to two flickr photo sets of buildings abandoned on Roosevelt Island prior to their demolition. The first being Sacred Heart a Catholic Church and second the old Central Nurses' Residence that sat where Riverwalk (465 and 475 Main) now stands. [Correction made].

Double Click Map for Full Map - Nurses Residence at #7

Weekend Subway Service Update thru June 1st

[Image Created by RI360]

Yesterday evening I received the following e-mail from Deidre Parker, the MTA NYC Transit Spokeperson, regarding F Train weekend subway service affecting Roosevelt Island and the two other stations that are served by the 63rd Street Tunnel. In short we can expect three weekends of service disruptions between now and June 1st:

"From Deidre Parker
To: Roosevelt Island 360
Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 6:22 PM
Subject:: F Train Weekend Service
Changes Affecting 63rd St Tunnel ???


There is no northbound F service on the weekend of April 4-6. There is no southbound F service on May 23-26 and May 30-June 1 weekends. Transit is trying to avoid work that affects 63rd Street during the time of the tram outage and will only do a reroute if there is an emergency.

Deirdre Parker"

Monday, March 2, 2009

FERI wants Stimulus Money to Build FDR Park

Updated: 2:51pm for addition of City Council Member Lappin's Response

As reported on Crain New York Business.com the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt institute is applying for $25 million in Federal stimulus monies to supplement the funds they themselves could not raise in 30 plus years for the planned Four Freedoms Park to be built on Roosevelt Island. While the creation of the park will create jobs in the short term I still don't believe this is the best use of public monies at this time.

Per Crains:
"The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute wants roughly $25 million to create a park on Roosevelt Island that was designed years ago by legendary architect Louis Kahn to honor the 32nd president.

“We can begin construction in June, provide 300 jobs and be an incredible tourist attraction for New York,” says former diplomat William vanden Heuvel, who founded the institute.

Mr. vanden Heuvel has dispatched detailed applications to Gov. David Paterson, Sen. Charles Schumer and other power brokers, but he has no idea when to expect an answer. "

Other than City Council Member Jessica Lappin's (D - 5th District) comments below no word yet from our other elected officials as to whether they support this request by FERI.

If any monies are allocated to the Park out of the stimulus funds it would be shocking if they were to receive all $25M they are asking for. As such if these monies are so allocated it should be stipulated that the public areas of the park and not the memorial site and "room" be built first for fear that the FERI folks will never raise the entire $40M plus they project the Parks creation will require.

City Council Member Jessica Lappin's comments re FERI's request (courtesy of the council member's Press Secretary, John Moore):
“I do support the use of federal stimulus money to support this project. In the short term, the construction of the park will directly create 200 construction jobs over the 30 months that it will take to complete the project. In the longer term, the completion of this project will make Roosevelt Island a destination for tourists and others who wish to visit the only memorial to Franklin Roosevelt in his home state. With the design of the park completed, this is a “shovel-ready” project that will have both short and long term benefits for the Island and for our city.”