Cornell Architects Enthusiastic On Fit To Academic Plan

Written by richard lutz.

If you think Roosevelt Islanders and Cornellians are excited about Cornell NYC Tech’s project on Roosevelt Island, you should listen to the project architects.  They are eXcited, too, with a boldface capital X.  They use a whole new catalog of buzzwords to describe what they’re doing – new to the lay ear, anyway.

Coming Changes Spur Ferry Need

Written by Briana Warsing.

It’s deceiving – how close Manhattan looks from the Island.  The impression is often forcefully corrected by the trip there.  The F train is always crowded during rush hour – sometimes so crowded that a few trains must go through before you can board.  The Tram, always full during the rush, isn’t much better.  Often, bikes and strollers must wait for the next crossing.

In all this, there is a question:  How bad will it be when three new Southtown buildings come on line, and later, when Cornell’s population arrives?

Islanders Have Many Yoga Choices

“Roosevelt Island is a perfect place to practice yoga,” says yoga teacher Jax Schott.  “Yoga means union, Roosevelt Island is a community, and classes become a community as well.”  Lauren Blankstein, another teacher, agrees, describing her classes as “a community gathering; that is what yoga is really supposed to be about.”  A third teacher, Keren Messer, says, “I find that our community is thirsty for yoga, for movement – for something other than the gym.”

History: Penitentiary For NYC Women Here

Welfare Island’s prison for women is the setting for Island Girls, a play being presented by Theater for the New City (see ComingUp, page 5).

The play, set in 1927, is running now, but a performance to benefit the Roosevelt Island Historical Society will take place Sunday, January 19.  Tickets are available from RIHS by phoning 212-688-4836 or by checking in at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The plot of the play makes a newly-minted social worker confront her biases amid women of varying ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds, all of whom have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

History: Island’s Convalescent Camp

In 1937, hospital patients who returned to their residences in tenements were hard-pressed to recover from serious  illnesses, due to miserable living conditions in their homes and neighborhoods.

Dr. S. S. Goldwater, New York City’s Hospital Commissioner, conceived the idea of a day camp for these patients, to be located on Welfare Island – today’s Roosevelt Island.  From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., participants received nourishing meals and attended sessions in arts and crafts, occupational therapy, and sports, along with other fresh-air activities.  They were transported to and from the camp, located in what is now Manhattan Park, by a ferry at East 79th Street. From 1939 to the late 1940s, the camp’s services saved thousands of lives.

Historian Judith Berdy will recount the little-known history of the convalescent camp, its construction, patients, and the fate of its structures, in a lecture on Dr. S. S. Goldwater and the Convalescent Camp sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, on Tuesday, January 14, at 6:30 p.m.

The event is free, and is  the first in a series of spring lectures sponsored by the Historical Society.

The Historical Society promotes awareness of our Island’s unique story and pursues preservation of its landmarks and artifacts. For more information, please visit

The RIRA Column

It is difficult to write a column on Monday reporting news that will be stale by the time it is read.  This issue is particularly daunting. 

Continuing Events & Activities

Art Exhibits

Vernissage XIII, RIVAA members annual group exhibition, through May 4. Gallery hours Sat-Sun 11am-5pm, Tue & Thu 1-5pm, Wed & Fri 6-9pm.

Spring, RIVAA members group exhibition, Octagon Gallery, 888 Main St. Daily 9am-9pm. Through Sun May 11.


Southpoint Park open daily 6am-10pm.

FDR Four Freedoms Park open daily 9am-7pm.

Lighthouse Park open daily 7am-9pm.

Classes(alphabetical, then Sat-Fri)

Art, taught by members of the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA), Sat 11am-2pm, Sportspark. Free


Jazz Salon, 1st Sun (except Apr 6 and Jul-Aug) 5-7pm, Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main St. $5 donation. Resumes May 4.

Drum lessons for 5th-9th-graders, Tue & Thu 3:30-5:30pm, Youth Center, 506 Main St. Info: Call 212‑527-2505 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Piano lessons for 5th-9th-graders, Wed & Fri 3:30-5:30pm, Youth Center, 506 Main St. Info: Call 212‑527-2505 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Exercise & Sports (alphabetical)

Basketball (all ages), Sat 2-5pm, Sportspark. Free.

Basketball (adults), Mon-Thu 8-10pm, PS/IS 217. Free.

Pilates with Karen, Tue & Thu 7:15pm; Wed 8:45am, 10am; Fri 9am, 10am; Sat 10am. Info 212-750-6223.

Pilates, Wed & Fri 6:30-7:30pm, PS/IS217.

Ping Pong (all ages), Tue Wed Fri 6-9pm, Sportspark.

Sportspark extended hours (ages 16-25), Fri-Sat 9pm-midnight.

Swimming (all ages; no instructor) – Sat-Sun 12-3pm, Mon-Fri 6-10am, Mon Wed Thu Fri 7:30-10:30pm.

(All Sportspark swimming $5; free for disabled, seniors 60+, and ages 0-3.)

Swimming (18 yrs+) – Sat-Sun 4-7pm, Tue 7:30-10:30pm, Sportspark.

Swimming – Water Aerobics, Sun 12-1pm, Wed & Fri 9-10am, Sportspark.

Yoga (open-level), Mon & Thu 6:15-7:15pm, Sat 11:15am-12:15pm, Sportspark. $5. Mats available.

Yoga with Keren Messer, Mon & Tue 8-9pm. $17; multi-session rates. Location and other info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 212‑614‑9181.

Yoga with Jax Schott, Wed 7:30-8:40pm, Island Kids, 536 Main St. $15.

Yoga (open-level) with Lauren Blankstein, Thu 7:30-8:30pm, PS/IS 217 Beacon. Free.

Zumba, Mon 6:30-7:30 & 7:30-8:30pm, Thu 8:30-9:30pm, Sat 10-11am, Sportspark. $5.

Zumba/Dance/Cardio, Mon & Wed 6:30-7:30pm, PS/IS 217. Free. (Replaced with Pilates until new instructor is found.)

Birth through Toddler (listed Sat-Fri)

Swimming classes (age 3-up), Sat 3-4pm, Sportspark. $15 or $100/10 weeks. Questions/registration, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 917‑261‑2771.

Art for Kids with Connie Tanner (ages 3-8), last Sun, 10-11:30am, Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main St. $10 suggested donation; materials supplied. No reservation required.

Baby & Toddler Swim classes (6-36 mo), Sun 11am & 11:30am, Wed 10:30 & 11:00 (starts Mar 16, ends wk of May 4), Sportspark. Drop-in rate $7. Info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 212-832-4569. Pre-registration rate $5/class.

Baby Story Time (0-18 mo), Mon 10:30am, Library. Advance registration required.

Baby Playtime (0-18 mo), Mon 11am, Library.

Story Time with Olya (pre-school ages), Tue & Thu 9am, Main Street Sweets, 559 Main St. Free.

Toddler Story Time (18-36 mo), Wed 11am, Library. Registration required. Free.

Toddler Play Time (18-36 mo), Wed 11:30am, Library.

Island Kids Baby Group (0-14 mo), Thu 10am, 536 Main St. Info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read Aloud (3-6 yrs), Fri 3:30pm, Library.

Older Kids(Sat-Fri)

TennisNew York Junior Tennis League (ages 5-18), Sat-Sun 6-8am, Racquet Club. Free.

Tennis – Junior Tennis, Sat & Mon-Fri after school, Racquet Club. Info 212-935-0250.

Teen Time (ages 13-18), Mon-Fri 3pm, Library.

Beacon After-School Program for 1st-8th-graders, Mon-Fri 3-6pm, PS/IS 217. Free. Info: 212-527-2505 or

Reading Aloud (children), Fri 3:30pm, Library.

Open Gym for high school students, Mon & Wed 6-8pm, PS/IS 217.

Board Games (5-12 yrs), Tue 4pm, Library. Free.

Teen Game Night, Wed 6pm, Main Street Sweets, 559 Main St.

Girl Scouts (6-13 yrs), Fri 6-8pm, PS/IS 217. Info: 212‑527‑2505.

Seniors (also see page 18)

Lunch, Mon-Fri noon, Senior Center, 546 Main St. $1.50. Menus outside social worker office.

Regular Meetings(Sat-Fri)

Toastmasters, 2nd & 4th Mon 7:30pm. Info: 212-751-9577.

Sci-Fi Discussion Group, 1st Tue 6:30pm, Library.

114th Precinct Community Meeting, 4th Tue 7pm, Riccardo’s by the Bridge, 2101 24th Av., Astoria.

RIRA Common Council meeting 1st Wed (except Jul-Aug) 8pm, Good Shepherd Community Center.

Book Discussion, 3rd Thu 6:30-8pm, Library.

Office Hours

RIOC’s Community Office Hours, Mon 3-5pm, 591 Main St.

Constituent Service Hours for Assemblymember Micah Kellner and/or staff, Mon-Fri 9:30am-5:30pm, District Office (1365 First Av at 73rd St.). Call 212-860-4906 for appointment.

Constituent Service Hours for State Senator Jose Serrano and/or staff, 2nd Mon 4-7pm, Senior Center, 546 Main St. Info: 212-828-5829.

Constituent Service Hours for City Councilmember Ben Kallos, 1st Wed 4-7pm, Senior Center, 546 Main St.


Knitting & Crocheting Circle (adults), Thu 11:30am, Library.

Food Box Orders for Helping Families Help Themselves, ordering period 1st-11th of month. Menu online at Info 347-985-7540; pickup period at 546 Main St. 15th of month.


Events, regular and otherwise?

Send your organization’s information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Contact Info

The Main Street WIRE
531 Main Street #413
New York, NY 10044
Tel: 212-826-9056