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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October 29, 2017

Growing up on Roosevelt Island in the 1970s and 1980s, Micheline Hess was addicted to comic books. Her father traveled for business and would bring back comics from all over the world. “I was fascinated by them,” she recalls. “I couldn’t understand what was being said a lot of the time, but it didn’t really matter, because the visuals are what strung the story along. It really sparked a love of comics in me.”

But within the pages she spent so much time...

September 21, 2017

After ten years, Swan Salon is closing its doors for the last time. The nail salon at 455 Main Street, next door to Starbucks, announced last weekend that it was going out of business. 

On Wednesday afternoon, a steady stream of customers came in for pedicures and manicures and final farewells. A chair next to the door sported a sticker labeled $15. Bottles of glittery nail polish were going for 50 cents. 

“I feel bad,” said customer Susan Beola, w...

September 20, 2017

In the years since Cornell was granted the land on which the gleaming, modern Cornell Tech campus now stands, there has been much debate – and more than a little handwringing – among residents about whether the new institution would choose to embrace the rest of the Island community or would instead live in its own bubble at the southern end of the Island.

But for at least one family on the Island, these boundaries between old and new, them and us, cam...

August 26, 2017

The Island’s playgrounds are scheduled to receive some much needed attention.

According to Mary Cunneen, director of parks and recreation for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), three play spaces on the Island are slated to receive new flooring in the coming months, and all of our public playgrounds are being evaluated for necessary repairs and maintenance.

Cunneen says it’s just the first step in a larger initiative to update – and possi...

August 26, 2017

How does a love of detective novels and Jules Verne land you on the field at a New York Yankees game? Ask eight-year-old Islander Mariam Khelashvili.

The PS/IS 217 student was one of just three winners in a city-wide essay contest held by the New York Public Library (NYPL). The contest asked kids ages six to eighteen to write an essay about how a book they were reading – or just books in general – could help make the world a better place.


July 31, 2017

It’s a scene that plays out over and over again: A Tram lands on the Island and, slowly, small groups of riders separate from the flow of residents and workers to look around, consult a map, and then wander over to the small white building with a lit Open sign. They come in for directions, or advice, or a bit of history. Some come in asking where to grab a bite to eat and then  stay to peruse shelves stocked with Island-themed toys, accessories, and h...

June 25, 2017

Ask ten Islanders about the impending fate of the former Trellis diner at the north end of Good Shepherd Plaza, and you’re likely to get ten different answers. 

“The question I get asked more than anything else is, ‘What is happening with Trellis,’” says RIOC board member Margie Smith. 

The diner, once a favorite haunt of Islanders looking for a place to linger over a cup of coffee or to gather with neighbors, closed in September of 2014 to begin a reno...

June 25, 2017

Tapioca lovers, get out your oversized straws.

On June 13, in its first public meeting of 2017, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s Real Estate Committee announced the signing of a new retail lease holder, and updated the status on several others.

The short version? New restaurants and cafés are coming – just not anytime soon. 

The former Main Street Sweets will become a bubble tea shop

Alexandra Kaplan, Associate Project Manager for Hudson Relat...

June 11, 2017

 Despite the rain, Islanders came out to enjoy the Island's annual festival, which included a petting zoo sponsored by Island Kids, Hands-only CPR training, Kids art activities, planting, sponsored by A Living Library, and booths, games, and bouncy houses. Photo gallery sponsored by Urban America. 

May 27, 2017

On a recent Sunday, despite the closed blinds and an apologetic sign explaining that the store was restocking, a four-year-old pressed her face against the windows of We Are One Boutique at 599 Main Street and strained for a better look. Through the thin cracks in the blinds, one could just make out the form of an oversized stuffed unicorn. 

Nestled at the southern end of the Westview arcade, just past Island Wines, We Are One has long styled itself as...

May 1, 2017

Islanders and visitors seeking refuge from city life will soon be able to spend time in the quiet company of tulips and peonies. The Roosevelt Island Garden Club, a community garden nestled between the Octagon Soccer Field and the Pony Field at the north end of the Island, will open its gates to the public on weekends starting May 6. 

This year, the group is also hoping to catch the attention of off-Islanders by printing a brochure inviting visitors to...

April 30, 2017

Some of the most beloved characters from children’s literature are coming to a stage near you. 

From May 5 through May 8, the children’s theater cast at the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) will perform Seussical Jr., a family-friendly musical about the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, the residents of Whoville, as well as other characters from iconic children’s book author Dr. Seuss. 

Director Jackie Lucid-Cusick works with members...

April 30, 2017

The search for love – in all its messy, joyful, aching, hopeful forms – will be on display this weekend at the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance’s teen performance of the acclaimed romantic comedy Almost, Maine. Performances run through Sunday, April 30, at the Howe Theater in the Cultural Center at 548 Main Street. 

The production is also the directorial debut of 22-year-old Islander Joan Marie Cusick, who was once herself a fixture on the communit...

March 26, 2017

In a brightly lit room overlooking the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, 11 musicians warm up their instruments and grouse good-naturedly about their chilly commutes. A flute player says she spent an hour traveling from Riverside. The group hopes their violinist, coming all the way from Long Island, will be able to make it through the snow. Despite the wintry weather, the musicians are excited to get down to business, tackling Tchaikovsky’s Suite No. 4 (“M...

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