Monday, January 23, 2017

150 Roosevelt Island Residents Participate In Saturday's New York City Women's March - Next Step Is Social Action To Fight The Good Fight Decides Marchers

A contingent of Roosevelt Island residents made their presence known during last Saturday's New York City Women's March. Helena Blumen shares this photo of banner held at the March proclaiming:

We, The People Of Roosevelt Island.
Image From Helena Blumen

and Janet Falk gives her account of participating in the New York City Women's March:
Report from the Women's March in New York City.

I attended the march with a group of about 150 people from Roosevelt Island. We gathered at 59th Street and Second Avenue. We walked down Second Avenue, which was closed to traffic below 57th Street. We waited at 49th and Second Avenue for two hours, thinking we would go to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, but the call to go forward never came. A small group peeled off and headed there. I went with another small group, seeing people moving north on Third Avenue; we headed west on 49th Street. When we got to Third Avenue, there were no cars in the street. It was like the line in the film Woodstock: "New York City is closed, man." We headed up to 51st Street, then went west again to Lexington Avenue.

We continued west to Fifth Avenue. Nuns outside St. Patrick's cathedral waved to us. At Fifth Avenue, we merged into the crowd, first on the sidewalk, then later on the street itself. When we were near St. Thomas Church, the carillon played music: "This Land is Your Land," "America the Beautiful", "Amazing Grace" and then "The Star Spangled Banner." That brought tears to my eyes and to others of the group as well. The entire march was peaceful, some chanting (This is what democracy looks like), some anti-Trump slogans. It was young and old, diversity at its finest. The march ended at 55th Street, and we dispersed, heading toward the subway at 56th/57th and 6th Avenue.

It was an amazing day, both for the camaraderie of everyone sharing and photographing their signs, guesstimating the size of the crowds, cheering when helicopters and drones appeared overhead to photograph the enormous size of the crowds and feeling that you were a part of something bigger than yourself.

Over drinks at Riverwalk, we decided to form a group for Social Action in connection with the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association, to keep our elected officials aware of our concerns and keep them motivated to fight the good fight. Schumer, Gillibrand and Maloney have a tough road ahead. They need to know that we support them and are keeping our eyes on them.

I am so glad I went.
Roosevelt Island Historical Society President shares these photos of some Roosevelt Island Women's Marchers and adds:
I really was thrilled to participate.

Though we did not do the full march,

the enthusiasm, and sincerity of the marchers

was apparent.
Here's an interesting discussion about whether the January 21 Women's March

will have any lasting impact.

Maybe it will on Roosevelt Island. It's up to you.

UPDATE 6:15 PM - A reader suggests 10 actions for 100 days.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Community Coalition Annual Board Election Meeting Monday, January 23 - Get Update On Cornell Tech Campus Issues, Transportation, Ferry, New Hotel, PS/IS 217 Adoption And Unfulfilled Funding Promise By NY State

The Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC): an advocate for the health and well being of the Island community and its organizations during the Cornell development. We work to urge the fulfillment of Cornell's verbal and written commitments to the community....
RICC Board member Judy Buck invites the Roosevelt Island public to its annual Board election meeting tomorrow evening. Ms. Buck reports:
RICC 2017 Board Election Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) will hold its annual Board election meeting on Monday, January 23, 2017, 6:45 PM - 8 PM, at 546 Main Street, 12th Floor Conference Room.

All Island residents are welcome, but attendance of RICC membership is especially important, as RICC requires a quorum in order to nominate and vote for a new Board of Directors.

With just six months to go before Cornell-Tech officially “opens,” there are issues to discuss. Current board members will report briefly on transportation issues, the new ferry, the Cornell Tech Hotel, Cornell adoption of PS217 -- and the as-yet-unfulfilled promise of New York State funding to Roosevelt Island. Members are invited to comment, raise new issues, make suggestions.

Light refreshments will be served.
More on the unfulfilled funding promise to Roosevelt Island by New York State at this prior post.

Watch a very cool time lapse video of the Cornell Tech campus construction starting with the demolition of Goldwater Hospital to now.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend - E Train Roosevelt Island Service Too

According to the MTA, there will be Roosevelt Island F Train

service to and from Manhattan this weekend.

F Trains run local in both directions between Roosevelt Av and 71 Av
E Trains run via the F in both directions between W 4 St and 21 St-Queensbridge
E Trains run local in both directions between Roosevelt Av and 71 Av

"Bridges Not Walls" Anti Donald Trump Banner Flying On Queensboro Bridge Over East River Next To Roosevelt Island On Morning Of Presidential Inauguration

On the morning of Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States

protesters hung a banner saying:
on the Queensboro Bridge over the East River next to Roosevelt Island.

Peter Blumen shares this photo of the banner

Image From Peter Blumen

and the Twitterverse shows us the BRIDGES NOT WALLS banner too.
UPDATE 11:30:
UPDATE 1:25 PM - The Roosevelt Island Tram passes by the Bridges Not Walls banner on Queensboro Bridge.

Apparently, NYC is not in much of a hurry to remove the banner.

UPDATE 6:10 PM - More from the Twitterverse:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Free Basketball Saturday Program - Bring The Younger Kids To Learn Fundamentals From Coach Tommy And Games For Older Kids - More Volunteer Coaches Needed Too

Resident Frank Farance shares these photos and reports on the free basketball program offered on Saturday's by the Roosevelt Islands Youth Program (RIYP) at PS/IS 217. According to Mr. Farance:


At the recent Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Children, Youth, and Education committee meeting, some parents said they were unaware of some of the offerings for their children. I am compiling a list and, as I see things come by, I will pass them along (we're trying to get something more formalized ready, but you'll have missed the opportunities by then).

If you don't know coach Tommy, you should: he is fantastic, he really has a knack with kids and teaching the fundamentals,

and he gives a lot of individual attention.

My daughter learned how to properly throw a baseball, and shoot a hoop (she'd bet a cheeseburger she could do it, and then double down with two in a row). My son learned much coordination/movement and feels comfortable playing a pick-up game with friends.

The photos, from the 5 and 6 year-old classes, show Coach Tommy teaching the kids several kinds of passes (with thumbs down follow through),

how to dribble,

a fake or two, and how to run backwards (an important coordination skill). 

Parents can help with coaching, such as parent Ben shows how to fake and shoot. The instruction ends with the coach explaining some of the finer points, and then a Hands In!

Older kids (3rd grade and above) have teams and games.

Here is the schedule:

Basketball Ages 5-16 Every Saturday at PS/IS 217:
- 9AM 5 year olds/Kindergartners (Instructional)
- 10:15AM 6 year olds/1st Graders (Instructional)
- 11:30AM 7 year olds/2nd Graders (Instructional)
- 12:45PM 8-9 year olds/ 3rd&4th Graders Teams and games (Coaches needed)
- 1:50PM 10-12 year olds/5th thru 8th Graders Teams and games/Round Robin(Coaches needed)
- 3:30PM 13-16 year olds/9th thru 12th Graders Teams and games/Round Robin (Coaches needed)
Afternoon times are tentative

Contact Andrey at for more information.

Also, if you'd like to be on the RIYP E-mail list for program/activities announcements, let him know in your E-mail. The program is FREE.

Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Explains Why She Is Attending January 20 Inauguration Of Donald Trump As President Of The United States - President Obama Says We'll Be OK

Donald Trump will be inaugurated Friday, January 20, as the 45th President of the United States. But,

According to The Atlantic:
A steadily growing number of congressional Democrats are refusing to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration, sending a message of resistance at the outset of Trump’s presidency. It’s less clear, however, what exactly that message is, and whether it will do the Democratic Party much good as it attempts to find its way in the Trump era.

The high-profile protest was galvanized by the president-elect’s rebuke of civil rights icon John Lewis as “all talk” and no action” over the weekend after the Georgia congressman said he does not view Trump “as a legitimate president” and did not plan to attend Trump’s inauguration. At the latest count, more than 60 Democrats in Congress have now announced they will not show up. Painting a bleak picture of what the country now faces, some Democrats warn that the incoming Trump administration could fundamentally erode American democracy....
Among the New York Congressional delegation, these members will not be attending tomorrow's Presidential inauguration:
  • Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. José E. Serrano (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.)
Representatives Nadler and Espaillat explain why they are boycotting the Trump Inauguration.

Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney announced she will be attending the inauguration of Donald Trump as President.

Roosevelt Island resident Elva Rosas writes:
Carolyn Maloney attending DJT's inauguration. Her reason for attending sounds more like opportunism than of "respect for the office and America's tradition of peaceful transfers of power,"... DJT himself has no respect for American traditions. I will no longer support Ms. Maloney.
I asked Ms. Maloney why she is attending the inauguration? Ms. Maloney replied:
Along with President Obama, Secretary Clinton, the entire United States Senate and the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives, I am attending the inauguration out of respect for our country's peaceful transition of power. However, more than ever, I am resolved to stand up to any attack from Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans on women's rights, the Affordable Care Act, our social safety net, our civil liberties, and more. That is why the day after the inauguration, I will be attending the women's protest march in New York City and I will be there every step of the way going forward to vigorously defend our progressive values.
Yesterday, Ms. Maloney sent the following letter to President-Elect Donald Trump:
President-Elect Donald J. Trump

Trump Tower

725 5th Avenue

New York, NY 10022

Dear President-Elect Trump,

We the undersigned Representatives from the State of New York, write to you today to convey the disastrous consequences repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would have on your home state. We implore you to consider both the economic and social impacts of repeal on the businesses and families of New York.

There is no doubt that repeal of the ACA would significantly impact the working families in the state, while providing a tax cut to wealthy New Yorkers. Repeal would cause over 2.7 million New Yorkers to lose health insurance coverage, including more than 218,000 in your home borough of Manhattan alone. Beyond people directly covered through the New York state insurance exchange, repeal would have devastating consequences to our entire health care system. Repeal means that all families could once again be subject to annual and lifetime limits and could be denied care for a pre-existing condition. Because repeal would reopen the prescription drug donut hole, seniors across the state would face higher prescription drug costs of $1,195 annually.

Additionally, repeal will cause a $24 billion budget shortfall for hospitals across New York state. Rural hospitals, in particular, would be under enormous financial pressure and could have to close their doors, leaving many in these areas without access to care. From Manhattan to Massena, New Yorkers reject this starkly ideological plan to repeal the ACA that would throw our entire health care system into disarray and not solve the real problems that families face.

While we acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, we will not stand idly by as you inflict a great wound on the people of New York we are sworn to represent and protect. We implore you to stop playing politics with the lives of our constituents and stop efforts to repeal this life-saving law.

Carolyn B. Maloney

Tom Suozzi

Kathleen Rice

Gregory Meeks

Grace Meng

Nydia Velázquez

Hakeem Jeffries

Yvette Clarke

Jerrold Nadler

Adriano Espaillat

Joseph Crowley

José Enrique Serrano

Eliot Engel

Nita Lowey

Sean Patrick Maloney

Paul Tonko

Louise Slaughter

Brian Higgins
The business of governing continues.

The inauguration of Donald Trump tomorrow will be seen much differently on Roosevelt Island than was the 2008 inauguration of President Obama.

Thank you Obama.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Blacklist TV Show Filming On Roosevelt Island January 18 - 19 - Watch Out For Prop Weapons & Emergency Vehicles, Foreign Street Signage, Traffic Delays & Increased Pedestrian Traffic Says RIOC

The NBC television show Blacklist

is filming on Roosevelt Island today and tomorrow. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Please be advised that on Wednesday and Thursday, January 18th and 19th, 2017 from7AM - 11 PM, the following area has been permitted for a film shoot: Main St from 500 Main St (Blackwell turn around) to 510 Main St (Roosevelt Landings bldg) and East seawall from 504 - 560 Main St. Also, various locations inside of 516 and 556 Main St (Roosevelt Landings bldgs).

There will be “No Parking, No Stopping and No Standing” in front of 501 - 513 Main St on Wed., January 18th, 2017 from 5AM to 5PM.

The film shoot will include various foreign prop cars / emergency vehicles utilizing emergency lights and foreign street signage. There will also be the use of prop weapons with minimal air soft noises.

During this time, expect intermittent traffic delays and increased pedestrian traffic in the area.

The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department (RIPSD) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Movie Unit will be present during this film shoot to facilitate vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

We appreciate your cooperation during this project.

You're Invited To Senior Law Day At Roosevelt Island Carter Burden Center Thursday January 19 - Workshop On Legal And Financial Planning With Attorney Robert Freedman Too, Please RSVP

The Carter Burden Center for the Aging tweets:

Roosevelt Island Carter Burden Senior Center Outreach Director Hallie Shapiro adds:
Please join us for SENIOR LAW DAY on Thursday, January 19th! We will have 19 resource organizations here to discuss their resources from 10am-1pm and a workshop on Legal/Financial Planning with Robert Freedman from 1-2pm. RSVP for the workshop by emailing me. Refreshments will be served – we look forward to seeing you!

Among the legal topics Mr. Freedman will address are:
  • 5 essential legal documents
  • Financial Planning,
  • Tax Issues,
  • Scams and
  • Healthcare costs (including Medicare/Medicaid

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Art And Technique Of Japanese Zen Painting Featured In New Exhibition At Roosevelt Island's Paul Calendrillo New York Art Gallery - You're Invited To Opening Reception Of Phillip Smallwood's The Art Of White Space Wednesday January 18

Roosevelt Island resident and new art gallery owner Paul Calendrillo invites you to the opening reception for artist Phillip Smallwood's The Art Of White Space exhibition

According to Mr. Calendrillo:

Philip Smallwood
The Art of White Space
January 17th 2017 to February 11th 2017
Opening Reception January 18th
6pm to 8pm
Paul Calendrillo New York Gallery
507 Main St. New York, NY 10044

Paul Calendrillo New York proudly presents the first gallery showing of Philip Smallwood's abstracts in the Sumi-e style of Zen painting. The art and technique of this Japanese Ink Painting is summarized the parable below:

A Chinese painter was once commissioned to paint the Emperor's favorite goat. The artist asked for the goat, that he might study it. After two years, the emperor, growing impatient, asked for the return of the goat; the artists obliged.

Then the Emperor asked about the painting. The artist confessed he had not yet made one, and taking an ink brush he drew eight nonchalant strokes, creating the most perfect goat in the annals of Chinese painting.

The ZEN artists believe that great economy of means is necessary to express the purity and simplicity of the eternal nature of the subject. Zen Art does not try to create the illusion of reality. It abandons true-life perspective, and works with artificial space relations that make one think beyond reality into the essence of reality. This concept of essence as opposed to illusion is basic ZEN Art in all phases.

Smallwood integrates this philosophy and technique with his incomparable skill as a watercolorist. Breaking with tradition, he abandons the horsehair brush and ink traditionally used in this work and crafts his own brushes and works in vivid watercolor. Smallwood uses great sensitivity when working in this medium without any preconceived visual content and has only one attempt to get things right. He begins with one stroke, and like Kandinsky, tunes in on every other stroke without contemplation. The length and intensity of every line are what matters. Images come from the freedom. They are born in the moment through the kinetic energy applied by the brush. Smallwood knows if it is right only after he views it.

The title of this exhibition, The Art of White Space, derives its name from the positive nature of the white space that gives birth and purpose to each line. White space is an equal player, much like in Taoist philosophy where perfection is at our first breath. The lotus petal and the art of Sumi-e serve as the backdrops for his unique approach to the genre.

Influenced by his older brother, Fredrick Smallwood, the artist developed a keen interest in visual art that developed into a second career. This artistic journey has taken him and his works across the country and abroad. Mr. Smallwood is the consummate observer, who uses his talents to give a resonance and reason to subjects and places that would normally be ignored. These images are rendered with a dignity and grace that is usually reserved for the upper echelons of society. Smallwood is the recipient of numerous accolades and awards from the most distinguished art societies and organizations nationally and internationally.

Gallery Hours:
Sunday Closed
Monday Closed
Tuesday 11:30am to 6:30pm
Wednesday 11:30am to 6:30pm
Thursday ​11:30am to 6:30pm
Friday 11:30am to 5:00pm
Saturday 11:30am to 5:00pm