Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Congrats to PSD on Subway Pier Rescue

Base Picture Courtesy Roosevelt Islander

This weekend Public Safety Director Keith Guerra sent the below message out to all of the Roosevelt Island media outlets, including both blogs and the Main Street WIRE among others regarding the rescue effort of a Goldwater patient who decided to take a dip in the East River and found himself sucked under and trapped by the Subway Pier.

Fellow blogger Roosevelt Islander had a great post on the rescue and included pictures taken at the scene that afternoon. Subsequent to the Roosevelt Islander posting on Twitter I "retweeted" his notice on Twitter.

PSD Director Keith Guerra:

Today was a good day. In addition to watching a couple of well played baseball games by our local Little Leaguers, there was also a well attended Roosevelt Island Reunion at South Point Park.

The excitement didn't end there as we also had a Goldwater Hospital Patient jump off the dock into the East River. Sgt. Raul Hernandez led the rescue effort by the Public Safety Department. Det. John Malone lowered him onto the rocks because they couldn't see the jumper. Apparently, he was trapped under the dock. The officers were able to throw a Life Ring to him and attempted to pull him to safety. He was a bit incapacitated and could not be pulled out, so Officer David Vernet maintained control of the line while Sgt. Ramon Azular held onto Sgt. Hernandez. They maintained control of him until members from the NYPD and FDNY could respond to complete the save. All in all, it was a great job by the Public Safety Officers, who aided the other agencies in the rescue. I had left the island, but received many calls complimenting the job the officers performed. I'm very proud of them for putting themselves in harm's way to rescue the hospital patient.

Bridge Closed Late Nights July 7 - 10

According to the above NYC Department of Transportaion notice the Roosevelt Island Bridge will be closed during the overnight hours of 12:30am to 5:30am Tuesday July 7th through Friday July 10th.

According to the notice (double click to enlarge) the Tram will operate on a half hour schedule during the bridge closure. No word yet whether extra emergency personnel will be stationed on the island during the affected hours as was put into place during the last closure.

Report of Falling Bricks at Coler Hospital

Local blog Roosevelt Island Dogs is reporting that the fences erected partially around selected Coler Memorial Hospital buildings may be due to concerns of falling bricks.

I bicycled around Coler this past Sunday while photographing the island's fire call boxes and the fences are out in force. Had no idea there might be a safety concern and I did not notice any signage to that effect.

Momma Stop & Baby Stop

Momma Stop teaching Baby Stop the ropes on Roosevelt island at the Tram turnaround.

[Posted on TwitPic earlier today but I could not resist posting here as well.]

Little League "Majors" Championship Hit 6-27-09

The above video was shot this past weekend at Firefighter's Field on Roosevelt Island and really gives you a feel for what playing at this field feels like (given its less than one minute) with the Riverwalk Buldings towering over the outfield. I hope to find a video of what it looked like before Southtown started being built.

Direct YouTube link by Jcalenberg

Monday, June 29, 2009

Repainted Crosswalks and Yield Signs Along Main Street

I got to give the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation credit as somehow with all the rain these past few weeks they snuck in, as they had reported they would, the ability to repaint the street crosswalks and on street yield signs.

Makes a difference. Whether the cars, buses, trucks are paying attention is another matter.

Call Boxes to Return to Service Possibly Today

After trading e-mails with a member of the FDNY Communications unit we can expect to see the call boxes return to service possibly as early as today. It appears the issue was a faulty circuit and there is no plan to phase out the boxes that exist today on Roosevelt Island.

As this issue has now been cleared up I will now keep my keyboard quiet regarding this issue. Thank you for indulging me.

For those readers that can appreciate anything that yells vintage old New York check out Call Box 1914 which sits just East of the gate into Southpoint Park as well as Call Box 1913 which sits across from Goldwater Hospital on the grassy divide between the street and the promenade.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Call Box Status: Out of Service Total Increases

Update: 3:00pm within last paragraph
Ok, it can definitely be said I am beating the issue of Roosevelt Island's "Temporarily Out of Order" fire /police call boxes to a bloody pulp but regarding a safety issue I have no problem doing so.
As of this morning there are 9 boxes "temporarily out of order", 4 stumps, and only 7 working boxes. I actually have no idea if they are working I just know there are no posted notices they are not working.

All boxes South of Capobianco Field (not counting the box just behind the infield backstop) down to Southpoint Park's gate are out of service or have been reduced to a stump. As I stated in earlier posts it appears the City is in the process of decommissioning the box system, per discussion threads on NYCFire.net. If this is true so the chances of these boxes coming back online is slim.

Again I believe this is a loss of services to the community and I just wanted folks to know of this loss. I called 311 as suggested within the comments and was told to contact the FDNY with the number they provided. I will provide an update after I call tomorrow during business hours.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Are We Manhattan or Queens for Fire Emergencies?

When reporting a fire or other emergencies time is always precious but apparently whoever put the above signs forgot that Queens is assigned all Roosevelt Island emergencies requiring the dispatch of emergency personnel. Box 1915 says to call Manhattan yet Box 1924 says to call Queens. I am not sure yet what borough Box 1948 says to call.

We may be Manhattan for voting and schools but if its a fire Engine 260 and Ladder 116 are our assigned first response units and they are based in Queens, LIC to be exact. So ignore the sign to call Manhattan. Call the Queens Dispatch Center at 999 - 5555. It is more direct than 911 for fire emergencies.

Now Three Fire Call Boxes Out in a Row: Reason for Concern ?

As of this morning three Roosevelt Island Fire Call Boxes are out in a row. Perhaps more but I have seen only three. Yesterday I posted about Box 1915 and now Box 1948, just North of 1915 and which was pictured at the bottom of yesterday's post has a "temporariy out of order" sign. Box 1948 lies on the edge of Rivercross Lawn facing South.

And as pictured above Box 1924 which faces the Tram plaza with its back to new Riverwalk building 405 Main Street has been tagged as well as out of order. It is thought that the issue may be the telecommunications circuit that may connect all three causing the problem. This is not confirmed.

With all three boxes out that means there are no street call boxes from the Tram up through Blackwell House with the first working box being across from 504 Main Street, where PSD currently has their temporary offices.

Adoptable Roosevelt Island Cats

Based on the dates three of photos were posted on Flickr, June 25th, by the local Roosevelt Island Cats group I'd assume these cats are adoptable today. Doubleclick image to expand photo.

The link to these photos on Flickr is HERE and the link to the official RI Cats site, ISLAND CATS, is HERE.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Evil Fog Referred to in My Tweets

I traded messages earlier this week, on Thursday June 24th, with an individual on Twitter about the fog they noted as enveloping Roosevelt Island. Readers of this blog only saw my side of the conversation, as fed into my left side bar, the whole exchange is below.

The above shot from Morback on Flickr evidences the depth of that fog.

Our Street Fire Boxes: A Vanishing Necessity ?

For some reason since I moved to Roosevelt Island I have been fascinated with our street Fire Call Boxes. It probably has to do with the fact that years ago I survived a fire in the brownstone I lived within while living in Brooklyn. That's another story. Anyway yesterday I noticed that Box 1915 which sits almost behind 465 Main Street, facing Manhattan and the East River, has been tagged as "temporarily out of service".

Last year when I traded emails with Public Safety Director Keith Guerra about the three stumps of former fire boxes, that sit in front of 415 - 475 Main Street, Southtown, he confirmed that usually when boxes go out of order tat they are removed. Per e-mail discussion threads on NYCFire.net I learned that the "stumps" are kept as the circuits run through them on their way to working boxes so the stumps remain.

It would appear then that 1915, which in addition to being on of the few boxes on that side of Riverwalk, may be headed for partial removal. I always iked this box as it was the classic design as opposed to the ugly grey boxes we have further up Main Street. Putting the aesthetics aside I do believe these boxes still serve a purpose. Even though cell phones are virtually everywhere there are still instances where individuals don't have one and these individuals may find themselves needing to report an incident, fire or otherwise, and these boxes are a link to our emergency services on and off the island.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Local Architect Determines that Kahn Design for FDR Park Included Two Sculptures

Roosevelt Island resident Marc Diamond, an architect himself, in a letter to the RIOC Board of Directors points out that the original Louis Kahn design for the FDR Four Freedoms Park was to include a second sculpture which in the FERI design has been omitted.

Mr. Diamond in his letter passionately points out the design of the sculpture was not the focus for Kahn but that he did include two. He reasons that RIOC has as much vested in the design of the park [presumably as the prospective party charged with the care and upkeep of the park] as does FERI and if FERI chose to ignore an original facet of the Kahn design then RIOC has the ability to request that it be reinstated with the shape of the [2nd] sculpture to be determined.

Mr. Diamond points to a April 25, 1974 NY Times article where it clearly states that the original design left by Kahn included a second sculpture evidenced further by the graphics presented in the article and represented with this blog post.

Interesting stuff.

Improv Everywhere: Subway Art Gallery

On the same day Improv Everywhere ran their MP3 experiment here on Roosevelt Island, Agents of IE also set up an underground art gallery on the subway platform giving residents and visitors a taste of an earlier event they ran at another "platform gallery". As opposed to that earlier experiment we did not get the full black tie treatment (see linked post & video) but the photos and "art descriptions" of the local installations were still fun to read and see today.

Thanks to fleepy_99 from Flickr for permission to use her photos and text. To see her complete photo set of the show link here.

"This piece, inspired by the "The Treachery of Images" pipe painting by René Magritte, mirrors that famous work with the suggestion that although the sign claims the availability of assistance through the mediation of an intercom, the assistance which is described will not be forthcoming, just as the pipe in the painting was not, in fact, a pipe: just an emotionally unsatisfying painting of a pipe."

"This surrealist piece plays on the idea that the mystery of what is inside sparks the imagination more than the reality of what is inside. Perhaps concealing an electrical panel, or labyrinthine underground passageways, this locked space nevertheless fascinates us, introducing the possibility that the unseen space contains hidden wonders"

"These speakers, eerily silent, engage the viewer in a peculiar non-discourse as a commentary on the ineffable nature of technologically-mediated communication within the quasi-unreal space of commuting.

"Intended to be purely ornamental in contrast to the escalators, these antiquated sequentially raised steps draw the viewer to inescapable conclusions about the mechanically-mediated nature of movement in technological society."

Monday, June 22, 2009

What Road Markings or Signs Make our Main Street Safer?

It has been said that Main Street on Roosevelt Island has too many signs by some and others want to replace the pedestrian yield signs with more stop signs? Which is safer for pedestrians I am not sure. Certainly requiring drivers to make a full stop would seem the most sensible.

Drivers who frequent Main Street at this point are well acquainted with the Yield to Pedestrian signs that sit in the middle of Main Street at most pedestrian crossings and which sometimes I believe many residents, foolishly, take to mean they have right of way no matter what.

I have also noticed that the painted street markers, from the street crossings themselves to the painted yield signs have faded at many locations and are in need of repainting. According to RIOC President Steve Shane the repainting of these markers is "RIOC's responsibility" and they have started a program to repaint the faded markers but they "need 2 dry days in a row to advance the whole project". Well I believe this week they are actualy projecting dry weather so maybe soon we'll see this repainting come to fruition.

Fading Pedestrian Crossing at 510 Main

As a parent with young kids, the older of which is clamoring to be given more freedom to run around with less supervision I am hoping the signage is enough to protect him from himself and all our neighbors. I have never heard of any serious incidents along Main Street and I hope it stays that way.

Well Painted Pedestrian Crossing at PS 217 (above)

Faded Pedestrian Crossing at 580 Main Street / Deli Bus Stop (below)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rendering of New Fountain at Tram Plaza Turnaround

I received the above image from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation in response to my request for a rendering of the new fountain. Based on the description, see below image, it appears that the fountain will have 16 perimeter jets, 5 cascading jets all in addition to a central cascading nozzle. The above image is more a sketch than a true rendering and so we are left to wonder what it really will look like when completed but it gives us some idea.

The fountain additionally will be lit up at night based on the inclusion of 18 low voltage lights. No further renderings were providing but I am hoping to find an image on the manufacturer's web site, a company named Stonewear Fountains.

The turnaround circle certainly needs something whether it called for a fountain is unclear. Anything more than the current dirt will be a welcome change. Although a nice set of manicured bushes and hedges with flowers would certainly have been cheaper and easier to maintain

The Tram as School Bus....

In less than two weeks my near daily trips across the East River via the Roosevelt Island Tram to take one of my children to school (with a transfer to a downtown M15 bus) down near 23rd Street after 3 plus years will be coming to an end.

I have to say seeing the number of kids that travel off island via the Tram and subway to ge to school has been an a real eye opener. These kids are real troopers have had to deal with all the commuting nonsense their parents (me included) have put them through. It has also been a lot of fun as all the Tram operators have been great with my kids and all the kids and at least for me the kids have brightened every ride they have been on.

Next year both of my kids will be taking the F Train to get to school so we will not be affected by the Tram overhaul scheduled to start this coming September and most likely last most of the school year. G-d help those families that will be taking the F Train along with us that must then double back East and then also need to travel either Uptown or Downtown that would have simply taken the Tram as their School Bus.

What if they remade Nighthawks today?

Roy Edroso over at the Village Voice blog Runnin’Scared had some fun mocking up remakes of 1970s movies he would define as nightmarish resuscitations in reaction to Chris Rosen at the New York Observer writing an article about Hollywood’s fascination with 1970s movies (ala the New Pelham 1 2 3). I could not resist joining in so here is my expectation if they remade an early 1980’s movie Roosevelt Island residents are mostly familiar with:

"Nighthawks (2010)

Deke DaSilva (Kiefer Sutherland) is an aging vampire (ala Lost Boys) who turned good and is laying low as a cop newly assigned to the NYPD anti-terrorist unit with the goal of hunting down fugitive and much younger vampire / now terrorist Wulfgar (Robert Pattinson). DaSilva’s partner Maddy Fox (Jada Pinkett Smith) is attacked by Wulfgar as she patrols the F Train stop on Roosevelt Island.

The climatic hostage scenes on the Tram would be reshot aboard the newly designed tram cabins which are conducted by futuristic fembot Svedka tram operators who decide they want Wulfgar (Masterson) for their own pleasure at which point he releases the hostages bound for Hudson / Related sponsored Roosevelt Live 2010 performances with the goal of selling / leasing apartments in the still unoccupied buildings 405 and 415 Main Street. "

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sabrina Contemplates Her World View

I have written before about how Sabrina came to Roosevelt Island and her connection to the universe, Amherst College and Roosevelt Island and many photos have been shown of her but few of her view of the world from Roosevelt Island looking outward.

We thank Tisdale on Flickr for the above photo. My apologies as Blogger seems to be slightly distorting the image. Link to Flickr to see the original image.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Improv Everywhere Posts Video of Island MP3 Event

In what was the most colorful event and most participatory for non residents ever coming to Roosevelt Island the Improv Everywhere MP3 Event was a overwhelming sucess. Have fun watching the above video.

Escalators Reversing Directions or Not Working ?

What’s the deal with our local Roosevelt Island subway escalators?

ES 414 which normally runs down from the Upper to the Lower Mezzanine alternatively shut down for repairs to running "up" to being shut down again.
ES 415 which normally runs up from the Lower to the Upper Mezz has been running as a down escalator and is now also out of service.

ES 411 which normally runs down and ES 412 which normally runs up are both reversed. (They run between the street level to the Upper Mezzanine).
And weren’t we promised some time ago that two of the four escalators which run between the Lower Mezzanine and the platforms would run down to the platforms during the morning rush hours? I think that was in effect for what maybe two weeks. The idea was that the station agent would use their key and put all four back into an up mode after the rush hour concluded.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Juice Business for Roosevelt Island

A new retail business started up this week on Roosevelt Island and it again is in Southtown / Riverwalk escaping the public authorities issues surrounding the empty storefronts on Main Street.

The business will be starting slow, opening a few days a week, and only a few hours each day. It’s young owners are balancing their education requirements as well as family life so you can forgive them if they start small. You will find their stand at the East end of Riverwalk Commons between the small bike rack and the Japanese restaurant. As noted on the shirt of one of the owners their location is right off the F Train.

They will be open, as per their original business plan, on Wednesdays and Friday evenings from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and all day on Saturdays. All hours are contingent on the prevailing weather that day as well as who has not finished their homework at least until the school year officially closes.

The business has yet to decide on one name but they will be offering Sweet Lemonade or Slightly Sour Lemonade depending on that day's lemon shipment. Juice will be offered at $1 a cup but this blogger bets they will negotiate depending on the volume purchased.

No word yet how the young entrepreneurs expect to spend their profits or rather if they plan to reinvest in the business perhaps at an additional location further North on the island.

The youngsters probably recognize they are not the first to start a lemonade stand on Roosevelt Island so they may or may not realize this is a purely seasonal business. So if you are thirsty stop on by now while the stand is open.
Note: The blogger is not related to this new business or its owners in any way and himself found the stand by accident and through his own thirst for a good cup of lemonade.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Down Escalator ES 411 Out of Service until June 9th

At least when we found the down escalator out of service this morning they had one of the normally UP escalators running down for the morning commute.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Officer PePe was Here !!!

I am always amused seeing tourist photos taken from Roosevelt Island as you never think of your home as a tourist destination but at some level that is what Roosevelt Island is for many that come here.

In this case the above photo, posted on the web today, is from a blog, The Adventures of Officer PePe, that takes photos of this toy copy everywhere the blog author goes. Apparently there is an audience for anything. Personally I am not sure why this toy as Officer PePe seems perpetually mad.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mystery Photo - Where Are These Flowers ?

Where on Roosevelt Island is this flowerbox? Care to guess?

The above photo was shot by Preetalina during this pat weekend's Adorama Tweetip / Shootout here on Roosevelt Island of photographers who found each other on Twitter. You can find this photo on Flickr HERE.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

PSD Arrests Little Leaguer's Father In Front of Kids; "Enough Blame to Go All Around"

It what has to be one of the most unfortunate incidents I can remember in the few years I have lived on Roosevelt Island a local parent was arrested by a PSD officer, at a Little League game at Capobianco Field, in front of not only his son but all the kids who were hoping to complete their game. The worst part about it is that from all accounts it never had to come to that.

I will not try to summarize all the facts but direct you to a Main Street WIRE article that is still under preparation for the next issue regarding the incident.

Michael Shinozaki, local resident, former and expected future member of the RIOC Board, who witnessed the events as they unfolded had the following to say (as quoted in the aforementioned WIRE article):

"There is so much blame to go around that it isn't funny," Shinozaki said. "They should have called the game [when time ran out]. RIOC didn't have the field prepared. The parents should not have been rabble- rousing. Public Safety escalated the situation. The only one with no blame in all this are the kids, and they are the ones who were ultimately hurt. They'll end up with a negative view of Public Safety, of government, and an upset memory about their summer baseball fun. They are the only ones who were really hurt."

All I can say is that Saturday was a sad day for all parties involved.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Roosevelt Island Day This Saturday - June 6th

This Saturday, June 6th, is Roosevelt Island Day. As always the day will begin with volunteers planting flowers, childrena d adults waitiing on line for t-shirts, children having a ball at the petting zoo. We have not even got to the rides, free food and concert later that evening. And did I mention it is all FREE.

Lilian Moreira of Lateral Window gives us the below preview of this year's shirts.

Sign My Petition: Modify the FDR Four Freedoms Memorial Park Design To Recognize FDR's Legacy as a Disabled American

I have created an online petition on line which states the following text regarding the ongoing call to modify or add to the Louis Kahn design of the FDR Four Freedoms Memorial Park, planned for Roosevelt Island, to recognize FDR's legacy as a disabled American:

To: FERI, RIOC, All Federal, State and Local Govt Officials

We, the undersigned, believe that the FDR Four Freedoms Memorial Park, as currently designed by Louis Kahn, and planned for Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island within New York City should be modified to include a depiction of FDR in some form recognizing his disability.

(1) By recognizing FDR's disability it would further strengthen FDR as a role model to all those with disabilities and again prove that being being differently abled is not a bar and individuals can transcend any impediment placed before them.

(2) By recognizing FDR's disability it would further tie the Memorial to the unique history of Roosevelt Island (formerly known as Blackwell's Island and later Welfare Island) as a home to hospitals and instititions dedicated to the health and well being of individuals who are differently abled.

(3) By recognizing FDR's disability it would additional tie the Memorial to Roosevelt Island recognizing that as a planned community reborn a core component of its rebirth was to enable its disabled citizens to live and function at a level not reached in other communities.

For these reasons and others, we, the undersigned, call upon the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, and each of the elected officials representing Roosevelt Island to modify the park's current design to include a depiction in some form of FDR as a disabled American as that fact is as much a part of his legacy as is the Four Freedoms that he brought to this nation.


The Petition can be found HERE.

Signage Better at Subway Racks Regarding Overnight Bike Ban

It appears that the ongoing overnight bicycle ban at the Subway racks is working allowing a greater number of spots to be available to commuters biking to the Roosevelt Island subway station. The signage also has increased warning bike owners to not leave their bikes out overnight.

If as earlier reported it is true that part of this began due to complaints of the Riverwalk management I wonder if parking in their bike rooms (fee based) has increased or has this simply lead to a greater number of local Riverwalk bikes being paraded through their lobbies and elevators tracking dirt and grime along the way.

I certainly have not seen an increase in bikes locked to street signs and other immovable objects which RIOC also wanted to stop but then again I don’t ever recall that being too much of a problem.