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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Fade is what they refuse to do.  Disappearing into the background is not going to happen.  Fighting to ensure their fate does not befall the youth of future generations is what they are doing with all their might. And they are healing through the redemptive power of words. 

FADE is a new play by Coler Hospital-based non-profit Open Doors opening this weekend at Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance's Howe Theatre. Joel Francois and the...

May 14, 2019

Island Kids has launched its new initiative, Moving Forward, a program developed for high schoolers (ages 14-18), and separately, one for young adults (ages 18 - 30) with work readiness, cooking, and songwriting programs. They hope to bridge a programming gap that has an increased focus on younger children and babies, at the expense of teens and young adults, to provide enrichment and programming for this forgotten cohort.

Roosevelt Island suffers a gl...

March 19, 2019

In November of last year, a Daily News story announced that Coler Hospital would be the next public hospital to shut down. It relied on information from two anonymous sources who claimed knowledge about NYC Health + Hospitals (HHC) planning. Robert DeLuna, from the press office at HHC, emailed us a denial of that claim, “We are committed to maintaining and improving our post-acute care services and have no plans to reduce services.

At last week’s Coler...

February 22, 2019

Artists’ and the neighborhoods where their careers took flight can become inextricably linked – Allen Ginsberg and the East Village, Patti Smith and Chelsea, Romare Bearden and Harlem. Here on Roosevelt Island we are witnessing the creative (r)evolution of The Reality Poets, the core members of OPEN DOORS, an organization at Coler Hospital that supports the leadership and creativity of residents who have been harmed by gun violence. Islanders may have...

October 7, 2018

Reimagine End of Life, billed as a week that explores big questions about life and death through creativity and conversation, is coming to New York – and Roosevelt Island – for the first time in its two-year history.

Brought to the Island by Westview resident J. Khadijah Abdurahman, the October 28 event includes three art workshops, which will let participants explore the theme through clay, theater, and music. The day will culminate in a panel discus...

June 25, 2018

“I am lucky” are words I didn’t expect to hear from LeVar Lawrence when we met a few weeks ago under the leafy canopy next to Coler Hospital. 

Roosevelt Island, he says, is his “suburban” home, a calm retreat where he lives with some of his closest friends, fellow victims of gun violence who, like Lawrence, will live in wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. 

His real home though, the home where his heart is and will always be, is the Walt Whitman Hou...

June 25, 2018

On the southern part of Roosevelt Island lies the gleaming Cornell Tech campus, a graduate school designed to engage our rapidly evolving global society. It opened in the fall with fanfare and a who’s who of politicians and luminaries. In the north sits rehabilitation hospital NYC Health & Hospitals/Coler, a public hospital that opened in 1952 to care for patients with long-term needs. In 2013, Coler took in some of the patients displaced by Goldwater...

May 12, 2018

Andres “Jay” Molina is tired of talking about his wheelchair. 

As part of the Open Doors program, he and a small group of fellow Coler patients have spent the last few years using poetry, podcasts, video, and art to explore their experiences as men of color now living in wheelchairs and the circumstances that got them there. Now, he says, they are ready to talk about more. 

“There is no way I could tell that story any better. I’ll come back to it later,...

October 27, 2017

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, the Coler Hospital Canteen – adorned with paintings, crochet displays, and beautiful multi-colored lighting – boasted a crowd to match. The guests extended in both directions, through and down the long, wide hallways, in celebration of the hospital’s annual art show. 

In the center of all this, sat a single, stripped-down wheelchair painted entirely red. Around it, stood seven life-sized black-and-white portraits, each...

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