Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Midnight Bingo Tonight at the Renwick Ruin

Ok, I lied we will not be bringing in the New Year playing bingo at the Renwick Ruin. I am trying to sell the idea to OpenHouse New York though. But don't the stones from the former smallpox hospital on Roosevelt Island, which is currently undergoing a restoration and stabilization effort look like giant bingo tiles? The stones are being removed and numbered in order to put it back together again at a later date.

The above picture is on Flickr by Trixiebedlam. The below pic is also on Flickr by embeedub. For a full size version which is readable link through the picture.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Roosevelt Island: Independence at Home: Obama Health Care Forum

Change.Gov - Obama Transition Team Video

Dec. 29, 2008
Contact Jonathan Posen
(917) 834-7918

"Independence at Home: Obama Health Care Forum
TODAY on Roosevelt Island

Independence at Home will be the topic of an Obama Transition Team Health Care Forum on Monday, Dec. 29th, at the Good Shepherd Community Center on Roosevelt Island at 7:30 PM. The event, hosted by Dr. Jack Resnick and organized in response to the Obama Transition Team's request for Community Health Care Forums, will focus on the benefits of health care at home.

"Our health care system is broken. It costs too much and provides low quality care," said Dr. Resnick. "It's not enough to fix the financing of the system. We need to make it better, safer, and more cost-effective, and this forum will give voice to the growing movement to move health care into the home."

By moving care out of hospitals and nursing facilities and into the home, our system can improve the quality of care by reducing infections and human errors, and by providing personalized, informed care from one doctor – not by a faceless rotation.

The forum will open with a video entitled "The Roosevelt Doctor: Independence at Home." The film features several elderly or disabled Roosevelt Island residents who attest to the unquestioned advantages – medical, physical, and psychological – of health care in the home.

Attendees will be invited to share their stories of success or difficulty with the health care system, and Dr. Resnick will be available to answer questions about the financial and medical benefits of care at home. "

Saturday, December 27, 2008

East Side Panorama

The above panoramas each include Roosevelt Island and are from the blog "New York Panorama". Go to theblog to see full size versions of each. The top half of the above image features the Queensboro Bridge with Roosevelt Island in the background and is the blog's header image and the lower half of the image features Roosevelt Island in the foreground with Manhattan in the background.

Additionally look for the night panorama in a future Main Street WIRE as Dick Lutz, the editor, appears interested from the comment and inquiry he left on the blog.

Coat Drive : Dec 27-28 & Jan 3-4

This weekend and next drop off your gently used winter coats at the Roosevelt Island Visitors Center from Noon to 5pm.

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Double Decker Tram Design Unveiled (spoof)

As opposed to the service cuts proposed by the 2009 MTA austerity budget the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation unveiled its new design for the tram. The double decker design took most residents by surprise as it was not expected that RIOC would be so forward thinking to take into account the island's growth and transportation needs.

There are still several right of way concerns that must be worked out as the tram is not allowed to drop below a certain height as it crosses Second Avenue. City Hall has stated through an unnamed spokesman that it is exactly this sort of innovation that the MTA needs to get us through the coming years. According to the unnamed spokesman "If they could build a double decker LIRR train and now the tram why not double decker subway cars" .

Roosevelt Island residents are fearful that the new design will be followed by a decoupling of the tram from the MTA metrocard system as it is rumored that the fare for the double decker tram will double to $4.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

3pm Music Bach ; 5pm Menorah Lighting

YouTube: Timelapse, Snow, and Tram

YouTube videos posted regarding Roosevelt Island in the last 24 hours:

(1) Timelapse by conorfuhduh; (2) Snow by rebknell; (3) tram by paxymax

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Church Takes Flight after First Snow

Floating Church

Within the imagination of artist Tony Vita, the Church of the Good Shepherd takes flight and seems to float above Roosevelt Island's main plaza while a child plays by the church bell now a fixture on the plaza itself.

The painting is one of several whimsical paintings by Vita that are being shown and rotated through the Rivercross Window Gallery. Link here for a Slide show for earlier and current paintings being shown.

Tony Vita - Window Gallery Card

The Day After the Tree Lighting

I shot the above picture of Blackwell House, here on Roosevelt Island, a day after the annual tree lighting and arrival of Santa Claus.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First Snow of This December

Lilian C. Moreira has posted on YouTube a short one minute video of the first snow from earlier today here on Roosevelt Island. Lilian has a number of Roosevelt Island videos posted on YouTube that are worth checking out.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Roosevelt Island Dominoes

Ritwik over at Deydreamers Weblog took the above picture of the Riverwalk buildings on Roosevelt Island and has been waiting for that exact moment for two years. Ritwick is apparently a resident of the island up at the Octagon based on another shot of the Dayspring Church and the Octagon playground titled "From My Window". Cool shots and we'll be looking for future posts about RI.

CBS News Video re Verdant Tidal Power

CBS News on line posted the above video and a related article about the Verdant Power Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy RITE project on Sunday December 14 , 2008.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lower Escalator Update: 2 Up & Now 2 Down

Ok, this may be good news for morning rush hour Roosevelt Island commuters but some commuters at night may not be happy with me.

Based on my November 25th post of last month, Paul Curtis, the Community Liason / Legislative Aide to Assembly member Micah Z. Kellner, asked the MTA why all four of the lower escalators are continuously running UP from the subway platforms to the lower mezzanine and not an even split of two up and two down.

Well, according to Mr. Curtis, the MTA finally got back to him and they expect, with the exception of rush hours, to now split the four escalators up with each platform having one escaltor running up and the other down. we'll see how well the station personnel do at switching the directions before and after each rush hour.

I can now see a number of evening commuters being unhappy with me as their sbway car empties by the escalator, not yet switched, going the wrong way as they see it.

Rescheduled Main St Tree LIghting Monday Night

RIOC rescheduled the Roosevelt Island yearly tree lighting to this Monday (Dec. 15th) night at 7:00 pm due to last Thursday's rains. Santa, however, has already been spotted on Roosevelt Island's Main Street, singing and dancing in the beauty parlor.

Extended Holiday Shopping on Roosevelt Island - Today, This Thursday Night

The Roosevelt Island Historiocal Society Visitors Center offers some great holiday shopping options right here without leaving the island. In addition to being open today, Sunday December 14th from Noon through 5:00 pm the Kiosk will be open this coming Thursday, December 18th from 5:00 pm through 9:00 pm.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Tram Sleigh Cards 2008 ?

Over the last two years I recall that one enterprising resident was selling great holiday cards featuring the Tram as Santa's sleigh. I have not heard or seen the gentlemen yet this year but I have placed a call to the number he placed in last year's Main Street WIRE ad. We can only hope these cards are back as they were great.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The "Kings" of Roosevelt Island

Parking is a bit messed up today on Roosevelt Island's Main Street due to filming associated with the new NBC show "Kings" expected to air in March 2009.

The show is "a modern-day reimagining of the historical story of King David featuring a young heroic soldier who winds up dethroning a corrupt monarch to become king of a great and powerful city." according to Yahoo TV and stars Ian McShane and Chris Egan. Deadwood this aint.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mystery Photo - Where is This ?

It has been a while since I have found a reasonable, much less, a good Roosevelt Island mystery photo to post so we got lucky finding this little gem (presented here in a cropped version of the original). Most residents are familiar with the 4 "moorings" that face Manhattan by the Octagon Soccer Fields but where was this photo taken?

To skip to the answer you can view the whole picture taken by WayneWHuang on Flickr.

Mid Day Fire at 560 Main Street

A fire has been reported at Roosevelt Island's 560 Main Street, Apt 422, called in at 12:24pm on Wednesday 12/3, was "knocked down" according to FDNY reports by 12:40 pm and classified as under control by 12:50 pm.

Initially the incident was reported as a smoke condition from the flower shop and then as a fire at the shop. Fire Box 1942 sits across from the flower shop and as the closest fire box the fire is classified as reported through the box even if the report was not made through the box itself.

No indication that any residents or FDNY personnel being injured.

Due to the nature of the structure and the fact that many elderly and handicapped live within the building, the report indicated that the FDNY at one point had up to ten trucks on scene.

Roosevelt Island Attorney Indicted

According to the website North County a Roosevelt Island attorney has been indicted for grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

Per the article linked the attorney James John Armenakis, 65, of Roosevelt Island, and his law firm were "indicted for stealing a $735,000 deposit in a real estate transaction as well as a separate felony complaint for the lawyer’s failure to pay withholding taxes and filing his own false tax returns." The indictment was also reported in the website

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

DEP Delays Water Main Repair

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

From: Stephen Shane
Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2008 18:55:07
To: Rooseveltisland360
Cc: Fernando Martinez; Thomas Turcic

Subject: Re: Water Main repair

DEP has notified us this afternoon that nothing is likely to happen until next week. We are all at their mercy. Will advise as soon as we hear anything.

Stephen H. Shane
President & CEO
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp.

Access RI to Host Open House This Saturday

Access RI will be hosting an open house this Saturday at Good Shepherd starting at 10:00 am. See their post below or link directly to their blog HERE or via the above image.

Roosevelt Island Mumbai Memorial Observance

Link to Chabad RI site through Image

From: "Zalman and Nechama Duchman"
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2008 11:21:31 -0500
Subject: Mumbai Memorial Observance

Please can you put a post on your blog:

Communal Memorial Observance in memory of the victims of the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks

Hosted by Rabbi Zalman and Nechama Duchman in memory of our dear friends and colleagues Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg

Thursday, December 4th 2008, 7:30pm
Community Room of 425 Main Street

For more information:

Thank you,
Zalman and Nechama Duchman

The New Octagon Playroom

Courtesy of Roosevelt Island blogger Populuxe Books and reported on by New York Magazine I learned that the Octagon has a new playroom for the kids. There is a second smaller playroom that I remember that still exists (for now?) that my son once played in while visiting friends.

As noted in NY Mag, buildings are now offering such amenities to help attract potential tenants. I will say as a parent with young kids that in the Winter and on a rainy day such spaces are godsends. Based on the pics on the Populuxe Books blog this is a great playroom.

Holiday Shopping Dec 4 at the Roosevelt Island Visitors Ctr

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Center located at the old trolley kiosk is offering holiday shopping on the evenings of December 4th and December 18th from 5pm to 9 pm each evening.

So as you come off the Tram or out of the subway stop on by. A variety of gifts are offered from jewelry, cards, books, calendars and toys. Refreshments will be served..

Monday, December 1, 2008

Court Upholds DHCR 30% Max Maint. Surcharge Against Rivercross

In an Article 78 proceeding brought by Roosevelt Island's Rivercross Tenants Corporation against the Department of Housing and Community Renewal the trial court ruled that the DHCR order to increase the maximum maintenance surcharge from 20% to 30% be upheld.

In an internal memo, dated November 26, 2008, circulated among the tenant shareholders, the Rivercross Board announced it intends to appeal the decision to the Appellate Division. The memo indicated that it would be about 6 months before any decision could be expected in their appeal.

The Rivercross Board asserts as one component to their case that in 2001 the DHCR argued that Mitchell Lama Coops be allowed to set their own surcharge schedule and that now DHCR is claiming that the Coop Board now not be allowed that to do just that.

The Roosevelt Islander discussed this case with a good amount of background info this past August linked HERE.