The RIRA Column

May 23, 2015

Jeffrey Escobar, President
Roosevelt Island Residents Association
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It seems like only yesterday that we were pining for the warmth of the spring sun as the grip of winter continued its hold on our little ship in the East River. Now, as the cool nights and perfect days of spring begin to wane, it is only natural that our minds wander to the days of lulling fans and active air-conditioners, family dinners around the picnic table, and our Island children playing outside on seemingly endless evenings. From Saturday Night movies at Firefighters’ Field to Youth Baseball practice and pool parties, life on Roosevelt Island blooms fully into an idyllic picture of what summer should be in the middle of our sometimes crazy city.

Annual Blood Drive

In the run-up to Roosevelt Island Day and the kickoff of summer, RIRA will be holding its 14th consecutive annual Blood Drive. Every Saturday through June 13, RIRA volunteers will be manning a table at the Farmer’s Market to sign up potential donors. The drive will culminate with the pledged donations occurring during the June 13 Roosevelt Island Day festivities. If you’re able to donate, please sign up (or just show up that day) – you can save a life.

Roosevelt Island Day

Your RIRA Common Council invites you to kick off your summer right by attending this year’s Roosevelt Island Day on Saturday, June 13, for a day of family fun, games, rides, and more. Not only does Roosevelt Island Day allow us to come together and strengthen the bonds that make us a community, to meet neighbors old and new, and to have another excuse to be outdoors, but it is also a day when you, as a resident, can give back to the Island. It’s often forgotten that Roosevelt Island Day was originally created as a day of service and beautification – a day when everyone is encouraged to plant flowers and seedlings throughout the Island, to clean up and attend to various Island elements, and to generally come together as a community to make this a cleaner and more beautiful place to live, work, and play. Interested in being a volunteer or want to help? All you need to do is show up on Roosevelt Island Day, raise your hand, and you’ll be given a t-shirt and a task. We hope to see all of you there. And come by the RIRA hospitality table, hosted by our Social, Cultural & Educational Services Committee, for coffee, bagels, and juice, as well as a chance to catch up with your neighbors while you fortify for the day ahead of further beautifying our Island.

Relay for Life

In support of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life chapter here on Roosevelt Island, RIRA is sponsoring a team of walkers to participate in this year’s event, on Saturday, June 20, from 10 a.m - 10 p.m. at the Octagon Soccer Field, across from the Fire Station. If you’re not already on a team, we encourage you to join the RIRA-sponsored team as we work with the other 13 registered teams of walkers and the volunteers, taking strides against cancer and raising money for the American Cancer Society in its mission to fund research for a cure. Head to and click on “Sign Up.” From there, choose “RIRA 4 Relay 4 Life” and join. We look forward to seeing you on Octagon Field!

Cornell and PS/IS 217

All current and future parents of children at PS/IS 217, I invite you to attend a close-up meeting with Principal Mandana Beckman and Diane Levitt, Cornell Tech’s Director of K-12 Education, to be held jointly by Community Board 8’s Roosevelt Island Committee and its Youth and Education Committee on Monday, June 8, at 7 p.m. in the PS/IS 217 auditorium. Come to discuss and get an update on Cornell Tech’s proposed partnership with the school, and what that really means for the next few years. The evening will present a unique opportunity for parents and other attendees to have direct access to, and ask questions of, the stakeholders in the partnership, and everyone is strongly encouraged to attend.

Contact Info

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