Halloween Fundraisers: Don a Costume for a Cause

Local Parents Band Together to Protest New Dog Park Site

Main Street Block Party a Fall Hit

Octagon Field Renamed McManus, Tensions Remain

Islanders Enjoy Fall for the Arts Festival

RIOC and RIRA Meet on Back to Back Evenings Last Week

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May 1, 2018

Island audiences will soon be the first to watch a brand-new musical, The Monkey King, premiering at the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) May 11-14. 

Written by husband and wife team Jonathan and Kimbirdlee Fadner, and supported by an initial commission from MST&DA Executive Director Kristi Towey, The Monkey King will be staged by the company’s Children’s Theatre.  

Actors in the Children’s Theatre production of Monkey King.

In this mode...

April 19, 2018

They may be two members down, but there was still plenty to get done at last night's meeting of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors.

Southtown buildings 8 and 9 inched closer to breaking ground with the approval of an environmental impact report (saying there would essentially be no impact); a firm was selected to help manage RIOC's four-year $90 million capital improvement plan currently underway; and RIOC upped it...

March 12, 2018

It was a dramatic turn of events for a program that has served generations of Island youth. 

On March 1, sitting before a crowd of emotional Island parents, many of whom had come out to show support for the youth organization they had grown up with and then sent their own kids to, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors voted to withdraw its operator grant for the Island’s Youth Center. 

For several heartbeats, the packed room stoo...

March 12, 2018

On a recent Thursday afternoon, more than two dozen kids, some as young as five years old, faced off over rows of chess boards. They were tucked into the back corner of the Island’s New York Public Library branch. On the sidelines, an excited crowd of parents, siblings, and impatient challengers paced nervously, occasionally blurting out, “That’s check!” before being shushed by a nearby adult.

By the time the last checkmate was called, four chess-savvy...

March 3, 2018

[This story was last updated Tuesday, March 6] 

In a late Friday press release, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation announced that it would assume operation of the Island's Youth Center as of Monday, March 5. 

“We wanted to make sure that the center is open for the children while RIOC decides the future plans for the Youth Center,” said RIOC President Susan Rosenthal.

The announcement comes one day after the Corporation's Board of Direct...

March 2, 2018

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors voted Thursday night to withdraw the hotly contested Youth Center operator grant. The vote paints an uncertain future for the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, which has operated the center at 506 Main Street for the past decade and served youth on the Island for nearly 40 years. The group has received funding from RIOC to operate the center through March 31, though they have said they may ha...

February 7, 2018

The Monkey King is coming to Roosevelt Island’s Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance this spring – but it won’t be stopping there. 

The musical, The Monkey King: A Kungfusical, is a new work from MST&DA’s new assistant executive director, Kimbirdlee Fadner, and her husband, composer Jonathan Fadner. It will be performed for the first time by the MST&DA children’s theater in May. 

Last month, the pair was awarded a New Works grant by the Queens Counc...

February 7, 2018

The Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance begins its 2018 production season February 9 with a staging of She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition, performed by the teen theater and directed by Island native Joan Marie Cusick.  The play, written by Qui Nguyen, offers a nostalgic romp through 1990s pop culture while also examining the still-too-relevant issues of bullying, outsider culture, and intolerance.  “It’s a comedy with a serious message,” s...

February 1, 2018

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens may top Julie Andrews’ list of favorites, but for the cast and crew of NBC’s Today Show, a trip across the East River on our iconic red Tram is what makes the cut. 

From left, Sheinelle Jones, a Today Show and MSNBC news anchor, RIOC Vice President Shelton Hayes, and Dylan Dreyer, an NBC News meteorologist, chat Wednesday during a Today Show taping at the Tram station. Photo from RIOC.

The morning show’s Al Rok...

February 1, 2018

It’s been a rollercoaster of a month for Roy Magsisi, director of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) and one of the program’s music teachers. 

Days after learning that his program had earned the top score and thus the recommendation from an outside panel to continue running free youth services on the Island, Magsisi got more good news: the organization had finally received a School-Age Child Care (SACC) license from the New York Office of Childr...

December 20, 2017

For those of you who couldn’t make the 5:30 p.m. Board meeting of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (because, um, jobs), here’s what you need to know:

1. The Tram: Good news...mostly

As of Monday, both Tram cars are running! That’s a huge relief for Islanders who have seen hour-long lines at times while RIOC repaired and waterproofed the platforms on both sides. However, the repairs aren’t entirely done. The Tram will need to be reduced to one...

December 16, 2017

When FIRST, a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging engineering and scientific exploration in kids, needed a team that could showcase the group’s impact at its annual Inspire Gala event in November, they knew exactly who to call: Girl Scout Troop 3001 from Roosevelt Island. 

The troop’s robotics team is a competitor in the FIRST Lego League, an international competition that challenges kids to present innovative solutions to real-world problems, as well a...

December 16, 2017

Last summer, it struck 16-year-old Mark Shinozaki just how quickly the Island around him was changing. 

For example, the high school junior says he remembers when the Octagon soccer field was just dirt and Four Freedoms Park didn’t exist. “And I never thought the Island would have a chain store like Subway. I thought it would always just be local shops.

“I started to think, what with the election, and all these different things happening on the Island w...

December 1, 2017

With musical apples, edible slime, and 3-D printed s’mores, Sue’s Tech Kitchen isn’t your typical culinary outing with the kids. 

The temporary, interactive exhibit, located in Cornell Tech’s Bridge building on Roosevelt Island, is a kid-friendly celebration of all things geeky. It’s open only through January 1 and then, presumably, will vanish in a puff of liquid nitrogen smoke.

A 3D printers prints a chocolate design for s’mores. It can also print a h...

October 29, 2017

Every Saturday morning, four large, empty green bins are rolled to the southern edge of the farmer’s market across from PS/IS 217. Over the next few hours, they slowly fill as passing Islanders drop off the past week’s food scraps – an intoxicating mixture of blackened banana peels, moldy rolls, corn husks, rotting fruit, and more.

The collection is part of an effort by the New York City Compost Project, hosted by Big Reuse, to divert some of the more...

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