Friday, May 29, 2009

THIS This Weekend: Queensboro Bridge Centennial Festivities on Roosevelt Island

Somehow last weekend I ran the below post well I was off a week but here we are now.

Three events will be taking place this Sunday 5/31 on Roosevelt Island to commemorate the Queensboro Bridge Centennial:

"All Aboard to the past; the Queensboro Bridge Trolley" as photographed by Sid Kaplan
RIHS Visitor Center, Tram Plaza
1pm to 7ppm


"Connecting Islands and Generations - the Queensboro at 100"

Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street
2pm to 7pm


Grucci Fireworks

Viewable on the Island anywhere above Southpoint Park
(no barges but launched from Southpoint)
Have a great weekend everybody !!!!

Tomorrow: Start of Roosevelt Live Concert Series

While the MP3 event was touted as the start of the Roosevelt Live concert series here on Roosevelt Island it is really this weekend wit their first concert featuring Alex Battles and the Whiskey Rebellion as well as Dock Oscar & the Ambassadors of Love.

And again another weekend with no Brooklyn / Manhattan bound subway service.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Twitter: Meetup and Photo Shoot This Sunday

The ONGOING word on Twitter is that this Sunday May 31st there will be an "AdoramaPix Tweetup/Shootout" here on Roosevelt Island.

The idea is for a group of individuals to wander about the island text messaging like mad be about photos they are taking of the island and from the island.
According to one of the organizers the event is for photographers from Twitter, and anyone else interested. After conducting some research it was decided that Roosevelt Island was an interesting place to have a photo tour.

Thanks to AdoramaPix and Preetalina for the info and definitions. RVSP to these ladies through Twitter if you want to join in the fun.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tram Closure Delayed Until Fall 2009

The Roosevelt Islander has the "Breaking News" (he always wanted to say that) that the Roosevelt Island Tram modernization program is behind schedule and the scheduled July 6th closure date is being pushed back until September 2009. Link to his blog to read RIOC President Steve Shane's confirmation.

Former Resident Tom McGeveran Named Interim Editor of The New York Observer

Via the Internet from "The New York Observer":

"Tom McGeveran has been named interim editor of The New York Observer starting June 1. He will be replacing Peter Kaplan, who announced his departure from the paper a little over a month ago.

“I’m a McGeveran man,” said Mr. Kaplan. “Tom has intellectual depth, he is a deadline journalist, and most of all, he is a New Yorker.”

Mr. McGeveran ... was born in the Bronx and raised on Roosevelt Island..."

It Has Begun...17 Bikes Removed Overnight

It has begun. The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department has begun enforcement of the overnight ban on bikes being parked at the subway and tram bike racks. So if you are looking for your bike (17 of you should be accordin g to the below e-mails) and you missed the whole tagging process get yourself over to the PSD office at 504 Main Street to reclaim your bike within the next day or so.

No word yet on increased signage although I keep asking.

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

Date: Wed, 27 May 2009 18:13:25
To: Keith Guerra
Cc: Estrella Suarez; Fernando Martinez; Sergeant Desk; Steve Shane
Subject: Re: Bike racks - enforcement start date ?

Keith -

Thank you for your reply. I am assuming that the statistics will prospectively be added to the daily public safety reports on an ongoing basis.

Any word on increased signage beyong the clipped laminated letters being posted at the racks?

Thank you again

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

From: Keith Guerra
Date: Wed, 27 May 2009 13:52:45
Cc: Estrella Suarez; Fernando Martinez; Sergeant Desk; Stephen Shane

Subject: Re: Bike racks - enforcement start date ?


So far, over the last 2 nights, 17 bikes have been taken to Public Safety. One of the bikes was retrieved by the owner, without incident. There were 3 bikes that were tagged and not removed as of yet. Those had special bike locks on them and require a special tool to remove. They will be removed tonight - if they are still there.

We are noticing that many residents have removed their bikes on their own and there is now plenty of room for those that wish to use the bike racks.

Keith Guerra, Director
Roosevelt Island
Department of Public Safety

----Original Message----
Date: Wed, 27 May 2009 18:13:25
To: Keith Guerra
Subject: Re: Bike racks - enforcement start date ?

Dear Keith -

May I ask how many bicycles were impounded due to last night enforcement of the overnight ban? I also noticed that while most bikes which were tagged previously were removed at least or two remained which had tags previously. May I ask what caused these bikes to be spared?

Do the enacted procedures now include a day count based on the tag date before a bike is removed? I had thought this was to be.strict interpretation of no overnight parking between 2am and 5am.

Thank you,


F Train Delays Force Morning Tram Shuffle

Due to either a sick passenger or signal problems, the announcements were inaudible, riders waited for more than 25 minutes, between 7:40 and 8:10am (that we spoke to), on the platform at Roosevelt Island before the mass exodus began out of the station. My family included.

Riders quickly walked to a growing Tram line which stretched back to the kiosk by approximately 8:15 am. It is unknown what the true problem was and when and if it has cleared up. No service advisory was received via email from the MTA at this time.
Thankfully the Tram is not scheduled to go off line for about 6 weeks.

Town Hall Meeting Tonight Re FDR Memorial Park

The folks from FERI will be making a presentation tonight at the Good Shephered Community Center regarding the proposed Louis Kahn design FDR Four Freedoms Memorial for Southpoint Park.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 pm and will also include a presentation on behlf of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association who are against the current design including its lack of inclusion of any element not recognizing FDR's disability

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Still There....?

As of 8:10 am the tagged bikes were still chained to the bike racks outside the Roosevelt Island subway station.

No word as to what has delayed the expected enforcement.

Perhaps the thoughts were to wait a day for possible Memorial Day vacationers to return home? Stay tuned....

Monday, May 25, 2009

Subway/Tram Bike Racks - Enforcement Starts Tonight

This is it folks. Starting tonight at 2:00 am bikes left overnight at the two racks by the Roosevelt Island subway station and the one rack by the subway will be cleared of any bikes not retrieved prior to that time. All bikes to be cleared have been tagged giving them notice, theoretically, of their impending removal and very short storage before being given to charity.

------Original Message------
From: Keith Guerra
To: Roosevelt Island 360
Cc: Estrella Suarez
Cc: Fernando Martinez
Cc: Sergeant Desk
Sent: May 25, 2009 5:06 PM
Subject: Re: Bike racks - enforcement start date ?

Tuesday morning 2:00-5:00.

-----Original Message-----
Cc: Martinez, Fernando
To: Guerra, Keith
Sent: 5/25/2009 5:03:42 PM
Subject: Bike racks - enforcement start date ?

Dear Keith -

Does the enforcement of the bike ban on the subway bike racks start tonight Tuesday the 26th at 2am or Wednesday the 27th at 2am ? Last week Mr. Shane stated next week but with the holiday I was unsure of the exact date and the tags don't give a date other than May 18th.

Thank you,

Initial Reactions to the MP3 Event

Experiencing an Improv Everywhere event can vary depending on your knowledge of what is going on and what is yet to come. That fact certainly affected my and my family views when we settled down on the Riverwalk Commons lawn this past Saturday to watch MP3 Experiment 6. My wife and I had watched a number of videos from past “scenes” including past MP3 events. My young children had not. I purposely did not participate so I can experience the events with no preconceptions as best I could.

Seeing approximately 2000 plus individuals spread out from Blackwell House down to 425 Main Street in various primary colors was amusing. My kids commented that Red must be winning as they saw more red shirts that anything else. When the event started our kids were very amused. Not scared in any way thankfully. Although during the high five sequence one young woman did chase my 7 year old a bit and he was a bit confused but he had fun with it.

A young participant blogger, named Megan, wrote online today the following which I found most intuitive as most Improv Everywhere events seem to go for reactions of the locals. Here the locals were out numbered by almost 50 to 1 for the areas overwhelmed by “agents”:

“Since we were the overwhelming majority on the island on Saturday (participants were dressed in red, blue, green or yellow t-shirts with white undershirts), it didn't feel like we were putting on much of a show for the few bystanders around us. The few who were on the island and not participating got a lot of attention though, as there weren't enough of them to go around when we were instructed to "give a high five to a stranger" or "follow someone's every move who is not participating". In this respect I was a little disappointed with the overall dynamic of the event, because way back in 2006 when I watched the report on .mp3 experiment III there were far fewer participants than there were bystanders in Central Park, so the effect of having a "slightly too large a group acting together to be normal" as being surprising, suspicious or unnerving to more bystanders was significantly diminished. Though I imagine that to the handful of bystanders on Roosevelt Island an army of 2000 primary-colored people marching in silence across the island was pretty intense, this event felt very much like we were doing it for ourselves, rather than performing for the enjoyment of others.”

The pictures on Flickr (1,2,3,4) linked from the Improv Everywhere site are great.

A few comments I have seen and received. The Tram staff was almost overwhelmed as they were the sole direct exit to Manhattan from the Island. As the event started at 4:00 pm it hit during a Goldwater shift change and a few residents thought a greater PSD presence was needed for traffic direction purposes. I can’t comment as I never ventured South of the Riverwalk Commons.

I wonder what the 2000 plus visitors thought of Southpoint park and what their reactions would be to the FERI approved Louis Kahn design as the 360 degree views these folks enjoyed on Saturday would be quite different if the expected trees were in place. Since island residents overall are not a concern to FERI and the architects I wonder what these unbiased visitors would think. Too bad I could not conduct a snap poll but my kids wanted dinner.
Note: Link through the photos to the photographers Flickr page for that photo.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Putting the Memory back into Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day for rememberance for those lost and sacrificed to war. Too often this is lost. Only a few who have served in my extended family were lost and these were long ago. For those of you that have not been so lucky my thoughts are with you.

To those veterans out there keep on reminding us what the day is for. We salute you work this weekend as we did back on Veteran's Day.

This Weekend: Roosevelt Island Based Queensboro Bridge Centennial Events

Three events will be taking place this Sunday 5/31 on Roosevelt Island to commemorate the Queensboro Bridge Centennial:

"All Aboard to the past; the Queensboro Bridge Trolley" as photographed by Sid Kaplan

RIHS Visitor Center, Tram Plaza

1pm to 7ppm


"Connecting Islands and Generations - the Queensboro at 100"

Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street

2pm to 7pm


Grucci Fireworks

Southpoint Park

Have a great weekend everybody !!!!

Long Holiday Weekend: Only Queensbound Subway Stopping at Roosevelt Island

Only the Queensbound F Train will be making stops this weekend through Tuesday, 5/26, at 5:00am on Roosevelt Island so if you are coming over for the below listed events and need to return to any borough plan on taking the Tram to get off the island if you did not arrive by car.

Affected events:
(1) Saturday 5/23, 4:00 pm Improv Everywhere MP3 Six
(2) Sunday 5/31 Adorama Tweetup / Shootout
(3) Sunday 5/31 Queensboro Bridge Centennial Events at the Visitors Kiosk and RIVAA
(4) Sunday 5/31, 9:00 pm Centennial Fireworks

You would have thought for a holiday weekend the MTA could have delayed this stoppage as it must be affecting events and festivities up and own the F Train line.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

NBC: What's the Deal: Roosevelt Island

The second of two videos with our local City Council Member Jessica Lappin. The first on the Tram and now Roosevelt Island itself.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 21st: Free Family Law Legal Clinic

News Release Received from the Office of Assembly Member Micah Kellner:
Are you facing the Family Court system without a lawyer? On May 21, 2009, from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m., my office will partner with LIFT (Legal Information for Families Today), to bring a free legal information drop-in clinic to the Church of the Good Shepherd (546 Main Street, Roosevelt Island). The clinic will offer Roosevelt Island’s parents and grandparents who have questions about child support, custody, and visitation cases the chance to meet one-on-one with LIFT staff for help.

LIFT is an award-winning nonprofit organization that operates community and court-based programs all of which empower vulnerable families to advocate for themselves in Family Court, ensuring that all families – no matter what their income level or ability to hire a lawyer – have the ability to access justice in the complex Family Court system.

There is no need to schedule an appointment for the May 21st event, nor must you be a Roosevelt Island resident. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information about any of LIFT’s programs call 212-343-1122 or visit

Fw: WIRE-BULLETIN: Smith, Shinozaki Win Residents' RIOC Board Nominations

----Original Message----

From: WIRE Bulletin
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 11:22 PM
To: wire-bulletin
Subject: WIRE-BULLETIN: Smith, Shinozaki Win Residents' RIOC Board Nominations
Smith and Shinozaki Capture Islanders' RIOC Board Nominations

Winners in Tuesday's voting for residents' nominees to the RIOC Board of Directors were Margie Smith, with 578 votes, and Michael Shinozaki, with 318. Their names will be forwarded to Governor David Paterson as the community's nominees for open seats on the board. Under law, the Governor appoints board members.

The count:

Margie Smith 578
Michael Shinozaki 318
Lee Edelman 287
Tammy Jackson 187

The Main Street WIRE will have a breakdown of voting in its May 30 edition.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bike Rack Enforcement Delayed One Week

Apparently the bike rack enforcement has been delayed a week. Perhaps we will get better signage.

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

From: Steve Shane
To: Roosevelt Island 360
Cc: Fernando Martinez
Cc: Keith Guerra
Sent: May 19, 2009 10:37 AM
Subject: Re: Bike Racks

We decided to put warning tags on this week. ......enforcement next week.

I'll forward your suggestion on signage.


----Original Message----

From: Roosevelt Island 360
To: Steve Shane
Sent: May 19, 2009 10:00 AM
Subject: Re: Bike Racks

Dear Steve -

I expected to see virtually empty bike racks this morning but I believe many of the bikes were there the night before. Am I incorrect or was the enforcement delayed and if so why?

I also wanted to ask if the policy notices posted could be posted more prominently. The two notices I found on the rack adjacent to the subway were not very visible as they were almost blending in with the bikes as the notice is clipped to the rack. Could the notice be posted on the wall behind the rack above the handlebar level? I think that would be better received than the current notice locations.

Thank you,


H1N1 Virus Hits Private School on Roosevelt Island

Last night the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation released the following advisory regarding a confirmed case of the H1N1 virus at The Child School located in several buildings on Roosevelt Island.

In addition I was sent a copy of the e-mail letter sent to all Child School parents notifying them of the temporary school closure, for at least the next twto days, put into effect to sanitize the school. The full letter can be read on the Child School website HERE.

----- Original Message -----
From: RIOC Advisories
To: RIOC Advisories
Sent: Mon May 18 17:55:10 2009
Subject: The Child Legacy School Closing

The first known case of the H1N1 virus "Swine Flu" has been announced on Roosevelt Island by the Principal of The Child School. The School will be closed for the next two days while administrators take the pro-active approach of a complete disinfecting process. The NYC Board of Health has been informed. RIOC will communicate updates as we learn more. For information on what to do to better protect yourself and your family please go to the New York City Health Department website at -

Attached is helpful NYC Health Dept. information on what to do if you think you may have H1N1 or have come in contact with it. Further questions - please call 311.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

TODAY - RIOC Board Nominee Elections - Please VOTE !

Starting this morning at 6:00 am residents of Roosevelt Island will have their second opportunity to directly influence the direction of this island by directly electing nominees for seats on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors. Once elected, the two nominees, will be submitted to the Governor and Mayor for appointment and if they are appointed the nominee will need to be confirmed by the State Senate.

To read the position statements of each of the four candidates I stronly urge all residents to link to this week's Main Street WIRE if you have not already read the hard copy version distributed to our apartments. Each of the candidates appear qualified and worthy of your review and consideration. They are Lee Edelman, Tammy Jackson, Michael Shinozaki, and Margie Smith.

Voting Location Schedule:

Octagon Residents
6am to 10am vote at the Octagon
10am to 4pm vote at Good Shepherd Community Center
4pm to 9pm vote at the Octagon

Manhattan Park, Westview, Island House, Rivercross and Roosevelt Landings (Eastwood) Residents
6am to 9pm vote at Good Shepherd Community Center

Southtown / Riverwalk Residents
6am to 10am vote at 455 Main Street
10am to 4pm vote at Good Shepherd Community Center
4pm to 9pm vote at 455 Main Street

Please remind your neighbors, spouses, room-mates etc all to vote. For Albany to take these votes seroiusly we need to show a volume of voters to evidence our desire for this process to continue. Note as this is not a state sponsored election, but one sponsored by the residents association, and as such you do not have to be a US citizen to vote but merely a resident of Roosevelt Island.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bike Rack Enforcement to Begin Tonight at 2am

A reminder to all Roosevelt Island residents who have been "storing" your bikes on the Riverwalk bike racks that RIOC is still planning to start their enforcement of no overnight parking tonight.

So make sure before you go to bed to remove those bikes or tomorrow you will find your chains cut and your bikes in temporary storage. After two days the last plan I heard was bikes not retrieved from storage will be given to the Thift Shop.

Improv Everywhere: Primary Colors to Invade Roosevelt Island

Well not exactly an invasion but the Improv Everywhere participants dressed in red, blue, yellow and green shirts, will be scattered about SouthTown on Roosevelt Island this coming Saturday May 23rd at 4:00 pm.

Based on the above map their "agents" will be anywhere from between the 425 Main St- Riverwalk building North to the Southern exposures of the Eastwood and the Rivercross buildings.

For full instructions on how to participate go to their web site.

Birthday Party Today (#33) for the Roosevelt Island Tram

Today between 3pm and 6pm the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation will be throwing a birthday party for the Tram.

The party is in honor of the Tram's 33rd year of service and is being thrown now as the current cabins will be decommissioned once the Tram begins its scheduled July 6th recnstruction and overhaul.

So come on down between 3pm and 6pm today and raise a piece of cake in honor of Cabin 1 and Cabin 2 who will be dropping in as the parties progresses. According to Steve Shane's RIOC column in this week's Main Street WIRE 'a videographer will interview residents for [their] tram stories".

FYI, the Tram's actual "birthday" was actually yesterday May 17th as on that day in 1976 service was inaugurated. According to a Main Street WIRE article the festivities included a fireboat salute as well as remarks by Mayor Abe Beame.

Friday, May 15, 2009

No F Train to Queens This Weekend from RI

Sorry folks but I missed the announcement on the MTA website that

NO QUEENS BOUND subway service this weekend through the 63rd Street Tunnel affecting the following stations: Lex/63rd, Roosevelt Island, and 21st/ Queensbridge.

Starting tonight, May 16th at 12:01 am through May 18th, Monday morning at 5:00 am.

I had been relying on prior emails I had received from the MTA which did not include this disruption. Hopefully your plans were not disrupted and hopefully the Tram will pick up the slack as it usually does.

To go to Queens you will need to take the F into Manhattan to the 47-50th and transfer back to a Queens bound F which will run on the E Line through the 53rd Street Tunnel until Roosevelt Avenue.

Bike Rack Update - Only Tram & Subway Racks Affected

Updated 5:50pm

Stephen Shane, President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, according to a report on the Roosevelt Islander, has stated that the enforcement of the overnight bike parking ban will ONLY apply to the racks outside the subway and tram.

It appears based on the below response that the Southtown bike rack facing Queens on New Main Street will also be included in the overnight ban as RIOC believes it close enough to the subway to qualify. In subsequent e-mails, Mr. Shane indicated his belief that because the two sets of Riverwalk racks are so close that residents who are just clogging the racks would just do so as well at the rack near the Japanese restaurant.

Apparently this all began based in part on the requests of the Riverwalk developers to RIOC. It has been pointed out to me that perhaps some of the bikes parked outside are outside as opposed to their being parked inside interior Riverwalk bike rooms that are available to residents only for a fee.

Conclusion: No Southtown - Riverwalk Commons bike racks are safe to park at overnight.

------Original Message------
From: Steve Shane
To: Roosevelt Island 360
Cc: Keith Guerra
Sent: May 15, 2009 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: Bike rack by Japanese Restaurant ?

Safe? I would not recommend leaving a bicycle overnight. Isn't the rack by the Japanese restaurant close enough to the subway and visible enough so that the same reasons apply? Your fellow residents are the originators of this initiative. "Eyesore", "hogging available space to discourage others who would use their bikes", propagates chaining to street signs and other inappropriate places. The Southtown commons is not supposed to be a storage area.

------Original Message------
From: Roosevelt Island 360
To: Steve Shane
Sent: May 15, 2009 4:33 PM
Subject: Re: Bike rack by Japanese Restaurant ?

Steve, I read your response to Rick that only the subway and tram racks will be enforcing the overnight ban. I presume the Southtown rack by the Japanese Restaurant is safe for overnight parking? At least for now?

Thank you,


Free Concert Tonight, Health & Fitness Day Tomorrow

There's a lot to do this weekend on Roosevelt Island starting off with tonight's FREE concert at 8:00 pm at the Good Shepherd Community Center and then onto tomorrow's RIOC sponsored Third Annual Health & Fitness Day !

Thursday, May 14, 2009

No More Main Street Bicycle Storage

5/15 update at 430pm See new post.


Update: Re Roosevelt Island Impounding of Bikes Left Out Overnight:

5/15 330pm:

What I have been told is that the complaint has been that the racks are being used as long term storage by residents who don't want to take their bikes inside and that those bikes are preventing commuters and others from using the bikes on a daily short term basis.

There is some logic to this.

-----Original Message-----
From: RIOC Advisories
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:27 PM
To: RIOC Advisories
Subject: Bicycle Storage Addendum

While we wish to encourage residents continuing to ride their bicycles as it is a healthy activity, we wish to discourage residents from storing their bicycles overnight on the bicycle racks throughout the island.

Bicycles will be removed by the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. and stored at Public Safety for a period of 48 hours. If the owner retrieves their bicycle during the 48 hour period there will be no charge for storing their bicycle. If the owner does not retrieve their bicycle during the 48 hour period it will be donated to the Thrift Shop.

Storing the bicycles on the bike racks has been a quality of life issue for many residents, thus we wish to address this quality of life issue.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

PSD Advisory: Roosevelt Island PSD to confiscate bikes left on racks overnight.

Original Post:

No word yet on where the bikes will be impounded to or whether a fine will be levied to get the bikes back or whether unclaimed bikes will be sold, auctioned etc. More later.

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

From: RIOC Advisories
Sent: Thu May 14 14:49:34 2009
Subject: Bicycle Storage

Please be advised effective Monday, May 18, 2009 there will be no bicycle storage on the bicycle racks island wide between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. (overnight).

Any bicycles found in violation will be removed by the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Please visit us on the web at

Dragonfly Bionic Vegetable Tower at 600 Meters

Nicolas, a resident of Roosevelt Island sent me to a story link regarding a “Bionic Tower” envisioned to be built at Southpoint Park. The Tower, designed, by Vincent Callebaut, is actually titled “Dragonfly” and is described as a “metabolic farm for urban agriculture”. According to the official website the top floor would stand at 575 meters with the roof at 600 meters and its antenna at 700meters.

Link to Vincent Callebaut official Dragonfly website.
Below text per World Architecture News via

The unique 128 floor, 700m concept design is spread over two oblong towers and suggests building a prototype of an urban farm in which a mixed programme of housing, offices, laboratories and farming spaces are vertically laid out over several floors and cultivated by its inhabitants. The architecture of the design proposes reinventing the vertical building, so associated with the New York skyline of the 19th and 20th centuries, both structurally and functionally as well as ecologically.

The functional organisation of the design is arranged around two 600m towers, symmetrically arranged around a huge climactic greenhouse that links them, and constructed of glass and steel. This greenhouse, which defines the shape of the design, supports the load of the building and is directly inspired by the structural exoskeleton of dragonfly wings. Two inhabited rings buttress around the ‘wings,’ and along the exterior of these are solar panels, which will provide up to half the buildings electricity, with the rest being supplied by three wind machines along the vertical axes of the building.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rendering - New Manhattan Tram Station

RIOC via Steve Shane has made public the first proposed rendering of the new Manhattan Roosevelt Island Tram station.

------Original Message------
From: Steve Shane
To: Roosevelt Island 360
Sent: May 12, 2009 3:51 PM
Subject: Re: Sketch Manhattan Tram Station

Does have a retractable roof look, but it does not retract. We must stay within the envelope of the present station or get into real difficulties with the Parks Dept. Functionally, interior will be much the same as the present station. There will be platform doors protecting the bays and we're trying to reorganize the exits to be more centrally positioned onto 2nd Avenue, but otherwise the same. Budget is very limiting.

Last Night’s RIOC Candidate Event – My Apologies

I have nothing to write this morning about last night’s “Meet the RIOC Board Nominee Candidate” event as I was home sick. My apologies.

If you attended last night and have comments about last night's event please post them here as your neighbors I am sure are interested in your views and reactions.

I am sure that my fellow blogger the Roosevelt Islander was there so please head on over to his blog to catch up on his take of each of the candidates or if you did not make it to the Good Shepherd Community Center you can wait for this week’s Main Street WIRE which we all know will have complete coverage.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Trolley Car on Roosevelt Island ?

When I first viewed the above photo on Twitpic I thought that the vehicle partially shown was a subway car or trolley but only after focusing on the buildings across the East River did I realize that the photographer, Kadiyah, took this picture at Goldwater Hospital.

Between the partial view and the fencing I thought I was looking at a vehicle on elevated tracks. OK, maybe it was just my eyes that saw this.

Everytime I see this view it is no wonder that real estate developers would love to get their hands on this property.

Candidate Night Tonight - RIOC Board Nominees

Tonight at 7pm in the Good Shephered Community Center the Roosevelt Island Residents Association will be hosting a Meet the Candidates event for the five announced candidates for the open Board of Director seats opening up on the RI Operating Corporation Board.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Caution - May 31st: Its a Tweetup / Shootout !

The word today on Twitter is that on May 31st there will be an "AdoramaPix Tweetup/Shootout" here on Roosevelt Island.

So if you see a mass of individuals wandering about the island all constantly text messaging like mad be warned what you say or do as your actions may be instantly "tweeted" (aka reported) to the world via words and pictures.

According to one of the organizers the event is for photographers from Twitter and they decided after conducting some research that Roosevelt Island was an interesting place to have a photo tour. More later as I learn where the tour will begin.

As you have no doubt guessed by this point "A tweetup is a meeting of people who twitter. A shootout means we'll be taking pix! " Thanks to AdoramaPix and Preetalina for the info and definitions.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Roosevelt Island Softball: Prelim Sched - May, June, July

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

From: Frank Farance
Sent: May 8, 2009 6:40 AM
Subject: Roosevelt Island Softball: Preliminary Schedule for May, June, July


I have the permits, based upon our discussions last Sunday.

Here's the summary:

- Co-ed league
- Slow pitch, 6-12 arc, 1-1 staring count
- Play at Capobianco Field (across from PS/IS 217)
- Sundays, 9AM-1PM
- May: 17, 31
- June: 7, 14, 21, 28
- July: 12 (championship)

Shortly, I'll have more information about team registration.

My contact info is:

E-mail: (be sure to put "softball" in the Subject: line)


Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 31st Fireworks from Southpoint for Queensboro Bridge Centennial

Roosevelt Island may miss out on this year’s July 4th fireworks as they move to the Hudson River but we will front row and center for the fireworks being planned for the Queensboro Bridge Centennial scheduled for May 31, 2009.

Per the NYC Bridge Centennial Commission website the Grucci fireworks will be from Roosevelt Island’s Southpoint Park. According to the NY Daily News the Grucci fireworks are being sponsored by John Catsimatides.

Update: Previously it was reported that tickets were required for this event, based on then existing pages at the Centennial Commission site LINK. Apparently the webpage was created in error as no tickets are needed for this event. This info is per Judy Berdy of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wanted: One Paper Model Roosevelt Island Tram

This is a repeat of a post that ran back in May 2008 which I am re-running with the hope of finding a paper Roosevelt Island Tram. You may have seen my posters at the Manhattan Tram station. I figured with the Tram going out this July perhaps its time for another contest or at least an exhibition to say goodbye to the current cabins.

Original Post:

I have written in the past about the paper Tram model contest that took place here on Roosevelt Island a few years back. I am again renewing my call / request to be able to examine one of these models where I would be allowed to open the model up so I can copy the original measurements of the model. My goal is to eventualy investigate mass producing templates that can be made available to kids and visitors alike.

Just a tad of back history. The templates for the trams pictured in the above and below images were provided by Colgate - Palmolive's tooth paste box manufacturer after measurements of the actual trams were taken.

The color photos were taken by and are of a model tram that may still be displayed at the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery and the black and white photos are courtesy of the Main Street WIRE.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Roosevelt Live Expands Concert Web Site

The folks over at Roosevelt L!ve have expanded their website to truly give interested concert goers full detail about the groups that will be attending this exciting Roosevelt Island located Summer concert series.

Do you think the character of the island or public perception of the island could change a bit if this concert series is successful?

WNBC's "Whats the Deal" Focuses on The Tram

The video of the Roosevelt Island Tram includes an interview with Council Member Jessica Lappin. Very cool and stylishly edited.

Is Increasing Main Street Parking Rates the Answer?

Is the answer to Main Street's parking woes raising the parking rates so parking on the street is more expensive than parking in Roosevelt Island’s Motorgate? This was one of several proposals put forth by the students that participated in the Columbia Transportation studio. See the April 18th Main Street WIRE, for detailed coverage of the proposals. In theory I can see how this can make sense with respect to individuals who are looking to park for several hours.

I am not disagreeing with Frank Farance, our RIRA President, in his argument within this week’s May 2nd dated Main Street WIRE, that increasing the rates would be unfair to short term parkers who are loading or unloading etc. But to be honest many of those individuals from what I have seen double park or park in no parking zones for the short period they need and while a number are told by PSD to move their vehicles many finish their loading / unloading without incident. I do think Frank missed the Columbia student’s point that it is the long term parkers that they were trying to target. But to fair to his point, the students may not have been familiar with the short term parkers.

According to today’s Gothamist, the NYC Department of Transporation, started a pilot program in Park Slope, Brooklyn, of increasing parking rates during peak hours only. Perhaps that is a compromise that would work on Main Street? Your thoughts?

[Image from Gothamist.]

Henry Hudson Festivities Cancel July 4th RIOC Event

As discussed in Roosevelt Island Operation Corporation President Steve Shane's column in the Main Street WIRE there will be no July 4th Fireworks Viewing from Southpoint this year. I was curious if a smaller event would still be thrown at the site and I received the following email:

------Original Message------
From: Erica Wilder
To: Roosevelt Island 360
Cc: Donna Masly
Sent: May 4, 2009 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: July 4th


As a result of the barges being moved to the Hudson as part of the Henry Hudson Quad-Centennial celebration, there will not be any other festivities occurring at Southpoint Park on July 4th. However, other ideas have been thrown our way for potential events at Southpoint Park after July 4th.


Erica Wilder
Community Relations Specialist
Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation

------Original Message------
To: Erica Wilder
From: Roosevelt Island 360
Cc: Donna Masly
Sent: May 4, 2009 12:27 PM
Subject: Re: July 4th

Good afternoon,

In light of the City's movement of the Macys Fireworks to the Hudson River will there be any RIOC sponsored festivities at Southpoint Park this year for the holiday or is the entire event cancelled as a result?



Former & Current Coler-Goldwater Employees Honored

NY Daily News - May 4, 2009

"Gloria Calderon, a former employee of Roosevelt Island's Coler-Goldwater Hospital, was honored by the NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation for her work as a volunteer in the city's Department for the Aging Foster Grandparent Program. Calderon supervised a maintenance crew at Coler-Goldwater until she retired at 62."

"Other awardees include Robert Wilson, for his work in the Therapeutic Recreation and Friendly Visitor program at Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility; Lygia Kensenhuis, who is on the auxiliary community advisory board and patient care committees at Coler-Goldwater."

Monday Morning Linkage

Views of 5 Boro Bike TourPopuluxe Books Blog - Reto Info !

Rentals are the New Condos (Octagon Review)The New York Observer

Resident and Tennis Club Manager Quoted re USPS Priority Mail – NY Daily News

Friday, May 1, 2009

Clarification Post Regarding Columbia Studio Subway Analysis

In my prior post referring to the Columbia studio regarding Roosevelt Island transportation issues I stated that for the study to be relevant regarding crowding on the platforms and cars that more than one day was needed to test conditions. I had incorrectly stated that the students only tested for one day but also stated my recollection could be wrong.

Well I admit I was wrong and the below emails and photos prove out that the students did indeed witness three morning rush hours which they documented. The photo montages also, as discussed below, indicate times when riders were indeed left behind on the Manhattan bound platform. I can't argue with the images portrayed on these images unless I can prove nobody went to the work on those days.

I still believe overall that during the 815am to 845am period, that the trains and platform are overcrowded. I have no solution to this problem other than encouraging residents to arrive on the platform earlier as I TRY to do as I have encountered little issue at any time before 8:10am.

Again I thank the students for their work although I disagree with their conclusions in this segment of their studio. By next Friday, the students will be putting up a website with a link to their final report in full detail and recommendations. You can be sure it will be linked to from here.

From: David Krulewitch
Date: Fri, 1 May 2009 12:46:58 -0400
To: Roosevelt Island360; Dr. Floyd Lapp


Here are the photomontages of the 3 surveys we did on Roosevelt Island in the am peak. If you look closely, the times with an asterisk are the times not all people could get on the train. I hope that clarifies some things. Also, we attempted to get the data from the MTA regarding how many times these trains do not run on time, but they did not have that data (shocking!). Feel free to post these photomontages.


From: David Krulewitch
Date: Fri, 1 May 2009 12:46:58 -0400
To: Roosevelt Island 360;; Dr. Floyd Lapp

Hi Eric,

I actually was the point person on the subway, we will be submitting a final report to RIOC next week which will flesh out the subway data in more detail. Just to make clear what my conclusions were: If the subway runs on schedule there is little to no overcrowding at the Roosevelt Island Subway stop. The train is scheduled to run 15 times an hour (every 4 minutes). There are only serious problems if trains get backed up in queens. We did three surveys and two of the surveys there were no delays because 15 trains ran in an hour, and on the 3rd survey only 9 trains ran in an hour and there were significant delays. I will have more analysis for you soon, but the report is still in a draft stage, and we have to get a bunch of stuff done by next Thursday.


Projected F Train Subway Service Changes: May through July 2nd

The below service changes to the F Train affecting Roosevelt Island and each of the stations serviced by the 63rd Street Tunnel are provided by Ms. Parker of the MTA but are subject to change and not all have been posted yet on the MTA website. A calendar graph of these dates is slated to appear in this week's Main Street WIRE.

Subsequent to the email received below, Ms. Parker, clarified that "weeknights" for purposes of these changes refers to Tuesdays through Fridays. Southbound refers to Trains Bound for Manhattan and Brooklyn and Northbound refers to trains coming from Manhattan bound for Queens.

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

From: Deirdre Parker
To: Roosevelt Island 360
Sent: Apr 29, 2009 2:34 PM
Subject: RE: Projected Subway Service Changes

- Weeknights, from May 5th - June 16 (except May 26th), 12:01 AM - 5 AM, there will no southbound service at Roosevelt Island.

- Weekends, from May 23rd, 12:01 AM, to May 25th, 5 AM, and May 30th, 12:01 AM, to June 1st, 5 AM, there will be no southbound service at Roosevelt Island.

- Tuesdays to Fridays, June 23 to July 2nd, 12:01 AM to 5:00 AM, there will be no northbound service at Roosevelt Island.

These changes are needed to support tunnel and track work.

Deirdre K. Parker
Deputy Director, Public Affairs
MTA NYC Transit

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