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 19, 2019

Halloween is a great time for fun... and fundraising.  Next weekend beloved island institutions Island Kids and Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance (MSTDA) are offering up an extra special night of spooky mischief to raise support for vital programming that benefits Island youth and adults alike.

Nikki Giovanni and Kristi Towey, Executive Directors of Island Kids and Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance (MSTDA), wish their events weren’t conf...

October 19, 2019

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation board voted unanimously at their last meeting to place a dog run in the northeast corner of Blackwell Park, squeezing it into an already congested area abutting the big kids playground, the basketball courts, and the pending bike path.

In November of 2017, David Kramer, president of The Hudson Companies, announced that the Southtown dog run would need to move make way for construction of two new residential to...

October 8, 2019

Last Saturday, October 5 saw the Roosevelt Island’s first ever Main Street block party sponsored by Hudson Related, the master lease holder of 90,000 square feet of retail across 25 stores on Roosevelt Island’s Main Street. 

The block party highlighted local businesses by bringing them outside offering food, art, festivities and fun. Each shop opened their doors to showcase their business through one-day only experiences. 

It raised public awareness abo...

October 8, 2019

Last week, over a year after its abrupt closure last August, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) re-opened Octagon Field and re-naming it Jack McManus Field in honor of the recently retired Chief of the Island’s Public Safety Department (PSD).

Former chief, Jack McManus, second from left on the field bearing his name, and new chief, Kevin Brown, far right

“We decided to name the field after Jack for two reasons,” explained Susan Rosenthal,...

June 14, 2019

A shimmering, larger-than-life unicorn, propelled by a human-powered go-cart escorting a mounted human at a soaring height, with its magnificent, moving head and neck steered around Lighthouse Park. Then there were swings; enormous, moveable beach balls, a big frog with an unfurling tongue and joyous rhythmic music that made you want to dance. There was a costume shop, overflowing with silly and colorful hats and outfits free for the taking, with the...

May 31, 2019

When the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) took away the bus stop near the Community Garden last month due to a road construction project, they took the rug out from under some people who relied on it to get to their happy place.

What to some may not be much of an issue, for mobility-challenged Islanders, suddenly having to walk a half mile from the next nearest bus stop at 40 River Road to the garden became an arduous journey. Some garden...

April 29, 2019

This Friday another exciting production opens at Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance (MSTDA):  The Theory of Relativity, presented by the teen acting class and directed by longtime MSTDA director Jacqueline Cusick.  The “song cycle” is chock full of songs, scenes and monologues that celebrate our unique, wonderful, and surprisingly interconnected lives. The three performances, are this upcoming Friday and Saturday at 8pm, as well as Sunday at 7pm....

April 29, 2019

The Roosevelt Island New York Public Library has added yet another tutoring option to it’s increasingly robust roster of events and services that include a variety of different age and genre focused book discussion groups; but also coloring, calligraphy, history presentations, movie screenings, gardening programs, and tech programming.

Saturdays at the library now feature additional tutoring slots provided by Stuyvesant High School freshman, Anika Amin...

April 8, 2019

With Spring Break fast approaching, there is still time to sign up for some great enrichment opportunities for your children right here on Roosevelt Island.

MSTDA Broadway Bootcamps: Spring and Summer

After launching their first Broadway Bootcamp during mid-winter break, Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance (MSTDA) will again offer a fun filled, action packed musical theater experience the week of April 23rd.  This time they will run two separate...

April 7, 2019

When I was in high school in Brooklyn back in the 1980’s, I remember a joke told by a classmate: How can you tell the difference between New Yorkers and tourists? Answer: The tourists are all looking up at the skyscrapers, and the New Yorkers are all looking down at the dog poop.

Had I been growing up on Roosevelt Island, that joke would not have been so relevant, since, until about ten years ago, Roosevelt Island had a bylaw forbidding dogs from eve...

March 18, 2019

Islanders no longer have to head down to Washington Square or Union Square Park to wait for a willing partner to play chess with. Walk into the local Roosevelt Island branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL) on a weekday afternoon or a Saturday and see chess being played by local youth. While chess is undeniably “a thinking person's game” it has become more mainstream and and chess programs are seeing heavy enrollment numbers throughout the City,...

February 21, 2019

Things are going to start to get colorful around here come June, and it won’t just be the typical color of summer abloom. Roosevelt Island is the new chosen home for Figment, a dynamic arts festival which emerged out of Burning Man, a yearly week long art festival in the Nevada desert that has been rising in popularity since its inception in the 1980’s.

Figment is the brainchild of David Koren, and began 12 years ago on Governor’s Island. Since that ti...

February 11, 2019

The RI Jazz Collaborative Band, featuring Lynn Beville, provided live music at the opening, by Alexandre Tolipan

This year’s annual Black History Month Exhibition, running through March 3, is entitled Cultural Preservation. Curated by Lorraine Williams in partnership with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and RIVAA (Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association), the exhibit showcases a diverse range of African and African-American voices and visio...

January 29, 2019

This weekend, Islanders will be treated to Shakespeare comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, acted by the local teens in Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance’s (MST&DA) Teen Theater class. Directed by Island resident Joan Marie, with music by Jon Cook, scene design by the Roosevelt Island Visual Artist's Association's Dan Nistor, and Graphic Design by Ana McCasland, the cast is comprised of 15 actors whose ages range from the eighth grade to seniors in...

January 28, 2019

Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance's (MST&DA) Director of Teen Theatre, actor/director Joan Marie Cusick, who goes by stage name Joan Marie, not only grew up on Roosevelt Island; her family moved here when she was in preschool, but she has been doing theatre almost as long, thanks to MST&DA where she first studied. Marie is directing the upcoming teen performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a play she once starred in, as lead, He...

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