Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Subway: New Directional Signage & Safety Sensors (?)

ES418 - Motion Sensors

The reconstructed escalators (ES 418 and ES419) connecting the Roosevelt Island subway station’s lower mezzanine to the track platforms have been outfitted with new LED signage that appear to not only indicate the escalators direction but also have some sort of light / motion sensors that presumably would warn an individual if they are about to enter an escalator from the wrong direction.

I tried walking the wrong way through the sensors and got no reaction from the “column” so I am unsure if this feature is fully operational. This actually seems like a good idea so those individuals whose sight is impaired can safely be informed if they are indeed going the wrong way.

The only other new feature evident since these escalators have returned to service is we get to continually be annoyed by the voice reminding us to hold the handrail.

ES419 - Low Mezz View


As previously guessed by a reader of this blog the LED signage hanging on the lower mezzanine was indeed another waste of energy “hold the handrails” sign as opposed to something useful if the signs faced the escalators informing individuals which track an incoming train was to be on. And note the LED on the right is already not working fully.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another Roosevelt Island Blog? Cool !

New blog - lost in RI

It looks like we may have a new Roosevelt Island blog on the block and based on the single post published we may get another camera’s view of life here on the Island.

It’s title as noted above is “Lost in Roosevelt Island”. We will have to wait and see as sometimes the Internet gremlins set up shells to fool us.

Subway Escalator ES413 Out of Service Until Nov 7th

2007Oct30 - ES13 - service date

If you are taking the escalators up out of the Roosevelt Island subway station you can end up getting a rude surprise when you get to the Upper Mezzanine as Escalator 413 is out of service until November 7th. What is especially annoying about this is that if you can’t walk the remaining stairs you have to go back down two levels and walk about ½ of the platform's length to get to one the elevators. And to boot the elevator on the Manhattan platform has been finicky lately and we just got two of the lower escalators back on line. We can't catch a break at this station.

The below map details which escalator is which for reference purposes.


Aluminum “Anable” Tree Spotted Floating East of Roosevelt Island

Anable Tree

In case you were wondering what that silver tree was floating off of Long Island City just East of Southpoint Park you can read all about it at The Gothamist. In short the floating aluminum tree referred to as the Anable Tree is an art installation which evokes Anable Basin’s historical interplay between industrial and ecological activity. Anable Basin—a 500-ft-long notch in the East River—was carved from tidal wetlands in 1868 to serve as loading slip for oil tankers and other cargo ships.

Monday, October 29, 2007

NYT City Room Posts about Haunted Roosevelt Island

The New York Times City Room blog tonight published a post titled “Answers about Haunted New York”. Kate Davey, “the co-founder of the Web site findingDulcinea … and is an expert on the tales and legends of New York’s paranormal history, is taking questions from City Room readers this week of which one of the first questions addresses the haunted history of Roosevelt Island.

Bet you did not know that the play The Tap Dance Kid was about a family of dancers from Roosevelt Island and the story includes a visit to the “kid” from his ghostly grandfather encouraging him. The Times blog post also addresses the real life ghostly encounters known to many Octagon residents as well as several other claims and ghostly accolades accorded the Island.

Check it out at this LINK.

Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade Held Despite Earlier Rains

This past Saturday's Annual Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade looked like it was not going to happen all the way up to 12:00 Noon when the rains let up enough for many kids and the families to scramble outside to join the ghouls and goblins who planned to tough out the rain and march up Main Street no matter what.

As with most of the Halloween parades there is little structure except for the marchers to march behind the local building vehicles which have been ghouled up for the occasion. The parade did not include the planned marching band who must have cancelled due to the rain but a fun time was had by all.

The rain held off until most of the marchers made it into PS / IS 217 where they were greeted by “goodie” bags full of cookies, chips, and juice drinks and Amalgamated Bank soft backpacks filled with Frisbees, toy footballs, and a travel first aid case. The party at PS / IS 217 included a reading in the school cafeteria by Dr. Loretta Long, who played “Susan” when Sesame Street premiered. She read excerpts I believe from her book Courtney’s Birthday Party which seemed to me to be a strange choice for a Halloween party.

For small children after the reading there were art stations, a mini carousel and other free dime store rides for the kids to enjoy. We never made it downstairs but I heard there was some sort of inflatable enclosed bouncing booth for the kids. All in all it was fun despite a bit crowded inside the school.

Eighteen Years Ago Today: A 1948 Subway Visits Roosevelt Island

FanTrain - 1989

The above image (double – click here to see the enlarged original) of an MTA Fan Trip featured a1948 R-10 subway train stopping at the Roosevelt Island subway station 18 years ago today. Photo credit posted below.

The original image was posted on and was referred to and linked to via a discussion thread posted today on SubChat. The station hasn’t changed much.

Fan Train - Credits

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Quest: The Film “Roosevelt Island – Land Without Dogs”

rihs film fest 2004

Direct YouTube Link by ashoutinthestreet

In 2004, as part of the Roosevelt Island Historiocal Society’s Film Festival a 14 minute short film was run titled “Roosevelt Island: Land Without Dogs”. According to the film summaries on the RIHS site:

“A hilarious mockumentry about New York's oft-forgotten island. Dogs have traditionally been excluded from island residency. See the consequences when some canines attempt to live on Roosevelt Island.”

The above YouTube film includes a few snippets of that film. I am hoping to find the rest of it and perhaps link to it if it is indeed available digitally and can be placed on-line.

Next Week: Limited Access 2 of 3 Roosevelt Island Transit Links

big 3 v2

Recipe for a "Perfect Storm"?

Next Tuesday 10/30 and Wednesday 10/31 two of three transportation links onto and off Roosevelt Island will be affected by either construction or maintenance. I just hope there are no rain storms those days that affect the subway system.

As issued earlier this week the Roosevelt Island Bridge on those dates will open but with one lane affected due to the installation of the paint containment barriers that are obviously required for the reconstruction project. The hours affected are 10am to 3pm. As issued today, RIOC announced that on each of those days the Tram will be on an hourly schedule for the same 5 hour period 10am to 3pm for normal maintenance work.

You may recall that in August 2004, the island experienced for an hour all three transportation links being down at once. As reported in the New York Times (Times Select) and in an April 2007 StreetsBlog post:

"The tram was down for a periodic tune-up. The Roosevelt Island Bridge, which lifts to allow boat traffic to pass through, was stuck in the open position. Electrical problems temporarily halted service on the F train."

Granted next week the Bridge will not be opened as part of the installation being planned but you never know. It will be Halloween after all.

City Leaders Meet to Push FDR Memorial on Roosevelt Island

FDR Memorial - NY1 Video Link

Both the NY Sun and Curbed are running stories this morning about a planned meeting of City leaders who want to jump start the building of the memorial to FDR.

As per the NY Sun:
The city leaders set to attend the event include Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney; City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin; New York State Assembly member Micah Kellner, and the president of Manhattan, Scott Stringer.

Curbed is having some fun with this suggesting that the tents from The Encampment shoudl have left up and renamed after FDR. Curbed does point out that this project to the public's eye has started and stopped and never has taken on the momentum of a project that appears headed for completion.

Update 1:
The Roosevelt Islander post on this topic this afternoon adds a lot of detail from prior news pieces in one place and his blog post title adds his own opinion whether the memorial is one for FDR or the architect Louis Kahn who designed the planned memorial.

Update 2:
The New York Times City Room page has a detailed article on the meeting and the history of the planned memorial. The comments are interesting to read and support the Roosevelt Islander's opinion that for many this is a memorial to Kahn not FDR.

Fri 10/26 Halloween Party to Benefit PS/IS 217

Celebrate Halloween early tonight from 6pm to 9pm at the Manhattan Park Theatre Club located at 8 River Road. The party benefits PS/IS 217 and features a magician from 7pm to 745pm.

For more details double click on the poster image to enlarge it.

The party is hosted by the PTA and Manhattan Park Management. Additional support by the FDNY Special Operations Command, the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association, the RI Publis Safety Department and Wengard Farmer.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Are Your Roosevelt Island Ghouls & Goblins Ready? The Halloween Parade is Almost Here !

If there is one place in NYC that should access to the lost souls of NYC it should be Roosevelt Island. With oor history of being the home to the lunatic asylum, the prison, the almshouses you would have thought Poltergeist should have been filmed here in the first years that Northtown was built. Either way make sure your ghouls are dressed for Saturday's parade!

Halloween Poster vRI360

Lower Mezzanine to Track Escalators Back In Service

For those of that have not been in the Roosevelt Island subway station this week we can report that both of the escalators connecting the lower mezzanine to the track platforms (Manhattan and Queens-bound) have been opened up.

They have each been augmented with LED signage to show which way the escalator is running in case your eyes did not notice. I am not sure if they each have a braile component as they would actually make them useful so that a blind person would not try to step onto an escalator going the wrong way. Pictures to follow.

The Most Popular Roosevelt Island Playground: Grandpa Al Lewis

Roosevelt Island’s most popular playground does not have swings, it’s smaller than all the other playgrounds and because it has two non-gated exits parents or caregivers need to watch their child a little closer to make sure they don’t run out of it. Which playground am I talking about? The Grandpa Al Lewis Playground.

I don’t know the full history of how the playground came to be named after Grandpa only that it was named for him in the Fall of 2005 before he passed away in February 2006. I am also unsure what prompted this playground to be so honored. Either way the honor binds his name to a location that every kid on the Island knows and will generally pick above the other playgrounds.

First off let me first say this playground is not built for toddlers and unless school is in session I would not suggest letting a toddler wander through Al Lewis unattended or without your being very close by. The average age in the park runs from 4 / 5 year old through pre-teens who can at times be all running through playing chase, base, or whatever other games are now the rage.

The equipment by Game-Time includes a spiral slide, a double slide suited for younger children, as well as a number of features that encourage climbing. There is a wheel that has fascinated most of the kids I have seen encounter it where they all want to push pine needled into the wheels cavity which I am sure the manufacturer did not expect or plan for. Again as the equipment has several differing levels young children must be monitored as they are a number of locations / gaps where an unattended small child can fall.

The kids love this playground and on a Saturday morning or after school when there is no snow on the ground it’s rare that no kids are hanging around. The playground is centrally located on Main Street across from PS 217 and is bounded by Capobianco Field, the Paddle Ball Courts, and beyond the picnic tables the basketball court. For adults the playground offers four lengthy benches which are much appreciated by every adult I know who has visited this park as getting your charge to leave is never easy and if you have to wait “another five minutes” you might as well wait sitting down.


If I had to characterize each of the island's other playgrounds it would be as follows:

The Octagon - Most Scenic - Great rock climbing walls & two defined play structures (one specifically for the younger set) - Four benches but in the gated area between playground sections (not great for those quick need to catch / hold them moments. Newest and largest structures.

Manhattan Park - Best View of Manhattan - No sun protection on a sunny day, best in the AM before the sun rises over the adjoining buildings. Great slat bridge and a cute built in piano complete with four number coded tunes. Plenty of slides. One or two adult benches. Watch out for the child exit "hole" at the park's North end. Stairs left over from prior park designs - annoying when with strollers. They need to open up water side gate and close the current gate.

Riverwalk - Best for Toddlers - The only park with swings (2 baby, 2 standard) - Also best park for toddler digging area by the trees. Four adult benches. View of Keyspan not too inviting but great view of 59th Street Bridge.

There are also two or three other small playgrounds which are known more as apartment defined which generaly parents don't seek out unless you live in taht building. Two are adjoining to Manhattan Park buildings. One of which is by a garbage area which makes no sense. The last stand alone playground is within the Island House courtyard.

The Eastwood Castle Playground - slated for demolition - Great visual design but the cement construction lent itself to plenty of scrapes and bruises. The adjoining hybrid wood playground equipment was situated to close and kids in the past coming off the Castle's wide slide would slam into the apparatus. Once demolished RIOC is planning to install a Game-Time apparatus of yet unknown design and theme. The sprayground is expected to remain.

The Former Lillies School Playground (between the Castle and Main Street) - The two pieces of aparatus in this small area should be demolished. They are not kept up and invariably due to flooding always have puddles of sitting water nearby. The wall surrounding this equipment does not allow parents or children a clear view into or out of the area.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Using Trams as On-Line Logos & Website Banners

I was surfing the various transit blogs out there when I happened upon a blog titled “Live from the Third Rail”. What made this blog interesting to me was that it featured the Tram in its web banner.

Now a website featuring the Tram is not so unusual, many Roosevelt Island based blogs do, including the Roosevelt Islander, as pictured in the above slideshow. What made this blog more interesting was the juxtaposition of its title and the Tram. To my knowledge all trams, including ours, are pulled by cables in one direction or another. No third rail powers them. I have an inquiry into one of the contacts listed on the Third Rail blog as I am quite curious how this came to be.

The sites pictured in the above slide show include RIOC, the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, Island Cats, the Roosevelt Islander, Landmark the Tram, and the website of Carolyn Maloney, Member of Congress, United States House of Representatives for the 14th District. I also threw in a picture of the awning from the Tramway Diner. If anyone knows of others let me know.

Roosevelt Island Bridge - Construction Advisory

RIOC issued the following advisory earlier today:

"On Tuesday October 30, 2007 & Wednesday October 31, 2007 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. a temporary lane reversal will be established on the Roosevelt Island Bridge for the purpose of installing the above roadway painting containment system on the lift span.

NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agents will be deployed at 36th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard to mitigate vehicular traffic.

Pedestrians will continue to access the existing sidewalk without any interruptions."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Will Roosevelt Island Get an N Train Stop as Result of Second Avenue Subway?

As part of the SubChat thread discussing the LIRR East Side Access project and the LIRR tunnels below Roosevelt Island one discussion participant indicated that the N train may is going to stop at Roosevelt Island as a result of the Second Avenue Subway expansion. Read the below line of discussion as that appears to be what is being stated. I have no confirmation of this but this certainly would add capacity to our station.

Broadway Lion: “Besides, the (N) train *will* be going through there too as part of the Second Avenue Subway project. The (Q) will go up 2nd Avenue, and there will be no terminal at 57th Street any more. The (N) will run via 63rd Street and the (R) and (W) trains will run via the 60th Street Tunnel.”

RI 360: “Are you saying you heard something that the *N* will be rerouted to travel through the 63rd Street Tunnel and stop on Roosevelt Island?”

Broadway Lion: “Yes. The (Q) and the (N) trains are both express on Broadway.The Broadway Express trains will take the 63rd Street routing and run via the Bridge.The Broadway Local trains will take the 60th Street tunnel and run via the Tunnel.This will simplify switching and increase the capacity and speed up the running times on the Broadway line. The (N) will return to Continental Avenue, and the (R) will return to Astoria. (R) trains will continue to be serviced in Jamaica.”

This is the first I have heard of this possibility so I have not yet tried confirming this with anyone or the MTA but if true this is exciting. If this has been part of the overall Second Avenue Subway plan why has no one on Roosevelt Island heard this before?

UPDATE - 615pm:

RI 360: "I am guessing this is all very educated conjecture with nothing yet published by the MTA indicating that these are planned route changes? If this is published somewhere I'd be interested in knowing the source. "

Broadway Lion: "Correct. LIONs are smarter than a whole box of burocrats."

OK, so this is all conjecture. It will be nice to dream that it could happen. In the meantime we only have our F Train.

No F Train Paper Report Cards Available At Roosevelt Island

This past weekend the posters went up at the Roosevelt Island subway station advertising the availabillty of paper report cards. The posters are wrong. Each day I have asked if they have any and each day I am told they do not. The effect of no paper ballots is that individuals who do not have access to the Internet can not grade the F subway train.

Today I also asked for the report cards at the 63rd Street station and the MTA station agents indicated they also had no paper ballots and have been calling requesting the forms. They suggested I call Pamela Bell (718-694-3025) the Superintendant of both their station and the Roosevelt Island station requesting that each station be provided the report cards as soon as possible.

When I called the phone number posted for Ms. Bell I was connected with Customer Service and not Ms. Bell. I informed the agent why I was calling and she took down my requests. She also asked if I had spoken with the station agents and I stated it was they who suggested I call this number. I suggest we all call the number provided and request ballots be stocked as soon as possible I expect that all of you like I will reflect this in the overall service grade for this line.

My Roosvelt Island Tram Video - 360 Degree View

I have watched a lot of Tram videos and many of them are great. I realized my video / image blog would not be complete if I did not contribute to the library of Tram videos that continues to grow with each tourist that passes over the East River.

So here's my entry. Nothing flashy. Just a video of a nearly empty tram allowing me to capture a continual rotating 360 degree view as the tram glides on her tracks across the river one Sunday morning.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Linkage: Transport to Roosevelt Island

Spiderman Tram ASM162Cover

Today seems to be a day for blogging about transportation to Roosevelt Island so I felt like compiling and linking to the other blog posts (besides my own LIRR East Side Access posts) out there. I also could not resist putting up this cover of Spidey swinging by the Tram published in November 1976. I believe this issue is the one that followed the issue from which the Bowery Boys pulled their Spider-man picture from.

Mysteries of Roosevelt Island: Terror on the Tram [Bowery Boys]

Getting to Roosevelt Island [Roosevelt Islander]

Hipster Wannebees Needed for Ferry Service [Roosevelt Islander]

SubChat Thread re LIRR Access for Roosevelt Island

As I expected most of the individuals on SubChat that responded to my query whether access to the LIRR tunnel that exists beneath Roosevelt Island is even possible agreed that the MTA would never attempt or pay for such access.

One individual, Michael549, did cite an example when a lower platform was actually created in an existing station due to rider demand for increased subway service:

“The closet example of what you are talking about would be the creation of the express platforms on the Lexington Avenue line at 59th Street. The express tracks exist below the local tracks, and when the station was originally created only the local trains stopped at the 59th Street station, the upper platforms. The heavy ridership at 59th Street, and the amount of riders transferring to local trains for that station was what prompted the TA to build the express platforms and other improvements.”

Another comment received from WillD included:

“What makes you think the LIRR trains passing through 63rd St Lower Level tunnel would be any less crowded than the F? If the MTA goes and spends perhaps another billion dollar to build a station on the lower level tunnel you may find that it doesn't provide any better service. In that case instead of competing with commuters from Jamaica for seats on the F you'd be competing with commuters from Ronkonkoma, Babylon, Long Beach or other points on the LIRR.”

My response to WillD was as follows:

“I understand and admit that any LIRR train would be crowded as are the F Trains but then at least individuals boarding at those two stops would have two options and those riders could be potentially absorbed by both systems. Currently there are 12,000 residents on Roosevelt Islander. Five new buildings slated for or under construction will add another 3500 individuals at a minimum. Future development could add another 5000. One subway and one tram will never be able to absorb these numbers. The option of LIRR access seems the most economical as the tunneling down at that width already exists as opposed to attempting new stations where the two other subway lines cross under Roosevelt Island.”

I was offered encouragement by Edwards! but also a note to be realistic:

“It possible to create such a station, but it would take a great deal of blasting to carve out a new platform AND access. This in and of itself would cost a large sum of cash,something I don't believe the MTA is prepared to deal with at this or any other moment in the future. But nothings stopping you from forming a group to push the idea..with ENOUGH people just MAY have a chace at an honorable mention..which is saying alot..seeing how the FTA is penny pinching us as it is. My advise to you is..take a shot at voice can start something going.”

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Access to the LIRR: On Roosevelt Island?


Access from Roosevelt Island onto the LIRR track below the subway station is undoubtedly a pipe dream. But building a entrance to the LIRR East Side Access spur would be much easier and cheaper than ever building a new subway station connecting to either the N,R or E,V lines which each also travel underneath Roosevelt Island.

For those of you that were not aware there is another tunnel directly below the tunnel that brings the subway through Roosevelt Island. This second tunnel was built with the long term goal of bring the LIRR onto Manhattan's East Side and down into Grand Central Terminal (see the below map).

The alternatives to increasing transportation access to and from Roosevelt Island are pretty limited as we all know. So perhaps the logistics and possibility of a LIRR station stop on the Island should be investigated.

Access must exist currently to the LIRR track level for security and emergency access. What probably entered the planners minds but obviously not the pocketbooks of the MTA was the foresight to build a platform where passengers (that what LIRR straphangers are called) could board or disembark the train. It would be this cost and time required to make this pipedream even a possibility.


I am sure the technocrats would scream that security issues and that such a scope expansion would make this an impossibility. In reality we will always be seen as too small a market for anyone to care. But if Goldwater Hospital is ever razed and 10 more buildings are built on that site every alternative must be seriously looked at. This one seems the cheapest of all the subterranean options.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Roosevelt Island, the Ravenswood Keyspan Plant and Asthma Alley

Oct 6 - Portrait

Over the last few weeks while taking one of my kids to Saturday morning soccer at Capobianco Field you can’t help but notice the Keyspan Plant across the East Chanel. Its formal name is the Ravenswood Keyspan Generating Station. With the demise of the Manhattan power plant just South of the United Nations this plant and that at 14th Street in Manhattan are the two major generation plants along the East River

When we moved here to the Island we immediately were concerned about the plant but were told that RIOC had once tested the island for the level of EMFs generated (electro magnetic fields) and it was determined that the levels were low and posed no risk to the children or residents of the island. I never pursued whether any tests were actually run and we were so excited about moving here that we put our worries aside. But sometimes I do still wonder.

The other concern when you live near a plant like this is the pollutants put out by the plant’s stacks day and night. In a March, 2001 WIRE article the following list of such pollutants was recited:

Brown fumes rise above the plant. Chemical odors waft across the river when the wind blows in this direction. The facility's three red-and-white smokestacks spill out nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter that help make this area among the worst-polluted in New York State.”

I have never smelled anything from the East Channel or seen actual brown fumes but having lived near the 14th Street Con Ed plant I know asthma levels are higher for those living nearby and as the 2001 article states sections of NorthWest Queens have earned the name “Asthma Alley”. I also recognize the levels of soot landing on my windowsills as similar to that when I lived downtown.

I am now interested in learning when and what studies were ever undertaken regarding asthma and EMF levels for our area. The 2001 article refers to an organization named the Coalition Helping Organize a Kleaner Environment (CHOKE), and described it as a watchdog group that is fighting on behalf of the residents of the Queens neighborhoods near the plant. The website for CHOKE ( appears to be inactive. If I find any organization that succeeded and took over where CHOKE left off I will report it here. In the mean time I will make some inquiries with RIOC, CB8 and RIRA.

Friday, October 19, 2007

In the Paper - Main Street Wire - 2007 Oct 20


The headlines of the current issue being delivered this afternoon, and available on-line currently, are as follows:

>RIOC Board Votes to Pursue Possibility of Dual Tram System
>Trouble Finding Parking? On a Small Crusade, Islander Says Too Many Get Illegitamate Free Ride
>Islanders Take to Blogs
>Children’s Book Has Island Setting
>Photos: fall for Arts
>The Encampment Visits Island Past

I am assuming this blog and the Roosevelt Islander are both mentioned in the above listed blog article but as my Adobe file is not working at the moment I will live in suspense until this evening.

blog article picture


The blog article, was written by Jami Bernard, and features a great profile of the Roosevelt Islander (the public learns his first name) and touches upon this blog and a few other Island related blogs including the RIRA blog, the My Space Roosevelt Island blog, as well as Island Cats and a couple of the building based sites which are each really simple website as opposed to blogs.

I was taken aback by Jami's characterization of my posting a promo poster "on a lamp post" (which is a RIOC no-no) when it was on one of the poster kiosks (the big fat round cement tack boards). Apparently "lamp post" was supposed to be substituted out at a later point but it fell through. It happens ...but I admit I felt like I was labelled a criminal. I got over it.

Roosevelt Island Gets to Vote on F Train & Station Starting Oct 22nd

Report Card - F Line Poster - Starting Oct 22

This is finally it. Starting next week Roosevelt Island Residents and everyone else riding the F line can grade the line and let the MTA know how this line is doing. If the results of the previous lines are any indicator the line will do no better than a C overall.

Riders can grade the line either by picking up the pre-printed surveys at their subway stations or by completing the survey on-line. I am wondering if the survey I already completed on line is still in their system or not. Either way I am filling it out again.

As I have ranted about in previous posts my major issues with the line as it applies to my boarding the Manhattan bound trains have been the frequency of trains, how crowded they are, and the status of our escalators and elevators.

Vote early, often and make sure your friends and family all vote.

f train report card - item list

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mayor Visits Coler-Goldwater to Announce Training Initiative

Goldwater at 12p

The Roosevelt Islander reported earlier today that the Mayor and an entourage were seen at the Tram on Roosevelt Island. A anonymous comment gave a quick summary of why. Here is the detail:

mrb AT cg

According to a press release issued today by City Hall:

“Mayor Bloomberg today announced a new Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) initiative that will create the Nurse Career Ladder Program for 400 mainly poor and low-income New Yorkers to enter and advance in the nursing profession over the next four school years. The program fills two needs: it creates a career ladder program in a growth industry, and it provides healthcare facilities with nurses who are currently in short supply. Joining the Mayor at Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island were CEO Executive Director Veronica White; Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC ) President Alan D. Aviles; Deputy Schools Chancellor Kathleen Grimm; District 79 Alternative High Schools and Programs Superintendent Cami Anderson and Long Island University School of Nursing Dean Dawn F. Kilts. This initiative puts into action another Center for Economic Opportunity recommendation, and it will focus on helping entry-level healthcare and other low-wage workers take advantage of an opportunity to earn a degree as a registered nurse (RN) or a certificate to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN).”


Apparently part of the nursing program will be at Coler-Goldwater. You can link through to video of the news conference on the press release page.

Increased Subway Service? Not for the F

Transit Museum - F Train - Toy Train

Yesterday the MTA announced increased service for both the L and 7 lines. What about the F? Yes both the L and 7 deserve and need more trains but the F as it travels into Manhattan from Queens must be recognized as running at capacity and worthy of some assistance.

Transportation to and from Roosevelt Island is one of the number one issues in my mind this island faces. With new construction started or planned for five addittional buildings the current crowds are only going to increase.

Yesterday I met a woman who was scheduled to view an apartment on the island. I mentioned that while all the buildings have pluses and minus the feature I would definitely factor into her decison is the commuting distance to the subway or tram. Waiting times at our bus stops and at each station will only increase until the subway service is increased. And when the tram is offline...well we remember Summer 2006 all too well.

Roosevelt Island Halloween Extravaganza – Oct 27th, 2007

Halloween Poster vRI360

As the poster states on Saturday October 27th, Roosevelt Island courtesy of RIOC and the management of Eastwood, will play host to the Annual Halloween Extravaganza. In addition to a parade fronted by the New York All-City High School Marching Band there will be activities galore. The parade starts outside Blackwell House and proceeds North on Main Street.

The Eastwood Halloween Scarecrows

I am unsure how many years these scarecrows have been forewarning of the annual Roosevelt Island Halloween parades but each year it is said that certain nights you might just see one of these scarecrows move from their appointed place to take a stroll down Main Street.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Directional Decals for Roosevelt Island? I Don’t Think So

Surface Decals - Cropped

Like many New Yorkers I have to admit to occasionally coming out of a subway and not being sure which way I need to go. So when I saw the news stories today about the above directional compass decals they are testing I had to agree it might be worthwhile in parts on Manhattan. Living on or visiting Roosevelt Island however means you should never worry about getting lost.

Main Street runs North to South and if you go too far East or West you need to have your swim suit on as you will fall over the sea wall and land in the East River. Maybe someone should design a version of the decal just for fun and post them by the Tram and Subway to see the reactions.

Roosevelt Island Halloween Parades 2002-2006

Roosevelt Island has a great tradition of shutting down Main Street, our only street, each year for the annual Halloween parade. This year's parade is set for October 27, 2007. The above slide show is a compilation of photo spreads taken from the Main Street Wire during each of the last 5 years. My understanding is that this year the festivities will be even bigger than last year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Image: Kayaking by Roosevelt Island

Simply great image of a social kayaker in the East Channel of the East River facing North with the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse in the distance and the island to the left. Thank you for this shot. You can read more of the photographers experience over at the Normal Blog.

The Blackwell Legacy – A Video Game?

game - blackwell game images

Apparently there are two video games (by Wadjet Eye Games) out there that take place here on Roosevelt Island, circa 1973, and involve a ghost haunting the descendants of the Blackwell family. The games are titled “The Blackwell Legacy” and “Blackwell Unbound”. Double click the game titles to see the plot of each.

Descriptions of the two central characters include:

After watching her mother wither and die, Lauren Blackwell has no desire to follow the same path. With nothing to lose, she accepts her newfound duty as a medium with extreme zeal.

Joey Mallone has been haunting the Blackwell family for generations. Nobody knows why, least of all Joey

A gaming review blog titled “Games for Lunch” reviewed Blackwell Unbound last week on Oct 9th and gave it a thumbs up.

RI Bridge Construction - DOT Signage

According to the DOT via RIOC, construction work was to begin last week on the Roosevelt Island Bridge. This past weekend it appears that the above LED sign was set up waiting for the project to begin. I hope they remembered to angle the sign better by yesterday morning as otherwise only the kids playing ball at Grandpa Al Lewis playground would know the timing of the construction schedule.

Photo: USAF Aircraft Flying Up East River

Aerial View 2004 with War Planes

The above photo is part of a collection photographed by Victoria Arocho Photography and presented by Rocka Rho Publishing on the website for the 2006 Bethpage Federal Credit Union New York Air Show at Jones Beach. It is an amazing photo and really cannot be appreciated unless you view it HERE for its full size.

The planes starting from top middle rotating clockwise are the A-10 Thunderbolt, the F-15 Eagle, the P-51 Mustang, and lastly the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

For those of you outside New York I am sure you are surprised by the thought of an airshow on Long Island but then again maybe not after all Lindbergh did take off from Mitchell Field and Bethpage Long Island was home to Grumman Aerospace for more than half my life and as any Grumbag can tell you it was the birthplace of the Navy F-14 Tomcat. This does not even address great airfields and other originally Long Island based companies such as Fairchild.

RIVAA: New Exhibit and Newly Redesigned Web Page

This past weekend the Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association opened a new show featuring the works of Ioan Popoiu and Beatrice Popoiu. The show will last just under a month until November 11, 2007.

According to a newly designed (in progress) web page on the RIVAA website:

“Ioan Popoiu’s artworks are playful abstractions employing pastels and whites, the mood of which represents his worldview. His works brim with positivity search of eternal beauty, instantly disarming the viewer. Indeed, there is a timeless, organic quality to Popoiu's art as streaks of white haze flow downward or across muted pastel backgrounds.

The RIVAA home page is apparently going from this current web page to this new design. The new site appears to be much more interactive allowing the viewer to interact with some of the images enlarging those from the home page they wish to see in a larger format as well as presenting greater samples of the artists in residence.

RIVAA - Popoiu Exhbit 1013-1111