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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March 5, 2019

In 1968, Mayor John Lindsay tasked a 22-member committee with developing ideas for the underutilized, though ideally situated, Welfare Island. At the time, the narrow sliver of land in the East River was home to abandoned institutions and crumbling buildings. Urban renewal projects, and the enthusiastic social activism that guided them, were transforming neighborhoods all around the City, and the island’s close proximity to Midtown made it a prime can...

December 16, 2018

*this is reprinted from http://mswire.nyc/issuepdfs/3504.pdf, Subway Service Here Reaches the Quarter-Century Mark on Wednesday

The New York Times announced the opening of our subway line close to 30 years ago, on October 29, 1989, with the headline The Subway to Nowhere Now Goes Somewhere. It took 19 years and 11 months, and cost $868 million. In the beginning, the Q-line served the stop on weekdays, and B trains ran on evenings and weekends. Construc...

December 11, 2018

It was standing room only at the Roosevelt Island branch of the New York Public Library Thursday night, as Islanders braved below freezing temperatures to hear Stacy Horn talk about Damnation Island, her book that spans a particularly depressing 60-year period of Island history. The lecture was hosted by the the Roosevelt Island Historical Society.

The book starts in 1839, with the founding of the New York City Lunatic Asylum (which was added to the Na...

April 28, 2018

A record-breaking 10,000 people strolled the Island’s blooming promenade last Saturday for the seventh annual Cherry Blossom Festival, according to estimates from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC). 

The spring event is a celebration of Japanese culture and includes a traditional tea ceremony, Japanese food stands, crafts, and music and dance performances by Japanese artists. But the star of the day is the Island itself, thanks to its mo...

March 29, 2018

For Islanders who fought on the frontlines of the Women’s Movement, lessons still resonate.

The first skirmishes for women’s rights were likely sit-downs by cavewomen who wanted to get out of the house and hunt for dinner with their husbands. Today, many of the battles have been won, though some insidious failures remain. 

Women like Roosevelt Islanders Lorraine Altman, Sharon Bermon, and Gilda Hannah fought on the front lines in the second wave of the...

November 12, 2017

[Editor’s note: The following is a reprint of an article published in 2007, at the time of RIRA’s 30th anniversary, with some minor edits. We feel the perspective it offers of RIRA’s history, and the issues the organization has faced, is important for new – as well as long-term – Islanders.]

Though Roosevelt Island now boasts a Starbucks and a Duane Reade, some aspects of life on the “Little Apple” have remained remarkably the same since my family move...

October 13, 2017

Long before Cornell Tech’s campus stood at the southern end of Roosevelt Island, serving as a beacon for innovation and emerging technology, the site was a source for cutting-edge research of another type. Goldwater Memorial Hospital, the ten-acre facility that was torn down to make way for Cornell Tech, once housed a permanent research division that led pioneering studies in chronic diseases and, later, provided important resources for the U.S. gover...

April 9, 2017

Today, the role of antiseptics and good hygiene in preventing the spread of disease and infection is considered a cornerstone of medicine. And it’s often taken for granted that patients with severe or chronic injuries should receive physical rehabilitation. What’s less known is that both these practices, and several other medical advancements, originated on Roosevelt Island. 

In a March 22 lecture at the Carter Burden Network Senior Center, Roosevelt I...

February 19, 2017

Between the asylum, penitentiary, multiple hospitals, sprawling apartment complexes, and the soon-to-be-completed Cornell Tech campus, Roosevelt Island has a history of unique architecture. And one of the Island’s more storied structures also happens to be its smallest: the Lighthouse.

Situated at the northernmost tip of the Island, the Blackwell Island Light, as it’s officially known, was built in 1872 and kept in use until 1940. Although the landmark...

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