Y’all welcome to RIOC’s Swift Rapid RIVAA COVID-19 Art Testing Site Gallery

Y’all welcome to RIOC’s Swift Rapid RIVAA COVID-19 Art Testing Site Gallery

Roosevelt Island’s original hybrid, the Swift RIVAA COVID-19 Art Testing Site Gallery is coming soon. And y’all are welcome to the confection born of art and nose swabs.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

Yessir, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s (RIOC) making us all proud again. This time, it’s an all new things, a previously unimagined mix of public health and high culture.

Swift Rapid Testing Site, Empty at mid-afternoon, Day Two
Swift Rapid COVID Testing Site during working hours.
Gallery RIVAA, Vernissage 20
RIVAA Gallery during Vernissage 20 opening reception.

So, here’s what tumbled out of the alleged Communications Team on Monday afternoon.

“Please be advised that the COVID-19 Testing Site will be closed from Wednesday, May 19th through Saturday, May 22nd. This temporary closure comes ahead of an anticipated relocation of the site to RIVAA Gallery (527 Main Street).”

Your first reaction is probably, “What?” as was mine. My second was, “Ew, that’s awkward.”

The wording I mean, struggling for formality where casual is called for. But then, there’s the striking peculiarity of packing up the huge but barely used COVID testing site and carting it across the street, jamming it into RIVAA’s gallery.

Swift RIVAA question… of which we have a few answers

First, is RIVAA being kicked out? No, but Swift Rapid’s needing someplace to bunk. And RIVAA’s got some spare hours when the gallery is closed. Details are not fully worked out yet, but no conflicts are expected.

That’s possible because Swift Rapid’s become Swift Limited. To just two days a week.

Testing is down all across New York City, and Swift Rapid was never nearly as busy as RIOC anticipated. Or, sadly, reported.

Second, is this fair to RIVAA? Apart from being associated with RIOC’s biggest boondoggle in years, yes. Although we don’t have a lot of details, we know that RIOC CFO John O’Reilly is working things out. O’Reilly’s like the adult in the room in RIOC’s snakepit/playpen. He has a solid reputation for integrity and ingenuity in finding solutions, a RIOC rarity.

And look at it this way: the very few people using the Swift RIVAA site get free cultural immersion in the bargain.

Third, is this good for Roosevelt Island? Well, yes and no. Yes, because it reduces the burden on Roosevelt Island taxpayers, up to nearly half-a-million dollars blown through so far. And no, because RIOC still refuses to square with residents paying all the bills.

Details are as scarce snowflakes in Tijuana. RIOC just doesn’t want us to know what they’re doing with our money? Is a little knowledge really a dangerous thing?

As we reported after last month’s RIOC board meeting, a presentation raised questions about possible financial shenanigans involved in setting up the Swift Rapid Testing Center. And then, what appeared as inflated charges for some testing rolled out doubled the doubts.

Conclusion

With an agreement expected soon, the Swift RIVAA COVID-19 Art Testing Site Gallery will open, restoring the old library site as a yawning Main Street gap again. Flops On Main will resume its floppiness of storefronts as empty as David Kramer’s promises.

Nostalgic in a twisted way, once you think about it. If you can bear thinking about it.

Anyway, y’all are welcome for a visit. Come for the nose swab, stay for the art.

More from Roosevelt Island Daily News…

  • Julie Menin takes the helm of the New York City Council’s Committee on Small Business
    The Roosevelt Island Daily News “I ran for City Council on a platform to help support our struggling small businesses with a detailed plan of action focused on reducing onerous fines, implementing legacy small business legislation, reducing the commercial rent tax and creating a one stop portal for licenses and permits,” Menin said in a
  • Nobody beats the Wiz, but fortunately Roosevelt Island did…
    Nobody beats the Wiz? What’s that got to do with Roosevelt Island? Nothing now, and that’s the good news. Here’s why… by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News Carhartt Men’s Knit Cuffed Beanie Here’s how it looked in 2000 – when RIOC agreed to let Nobody beats the Wiz founder Stephen S. Jemal build
  • Robert K. Hughes, After 35 Years, Ends His Service on Roosevelt Island
    Rob Hughes started work on Roosevelt Island in 1982 as a hospital care investigator at Goldwater Hospital, now the site of Cornell Tech. He leaves as Coler-Goldwater’s executive director after nearly 13 years in the post. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News Hughes service on Roosevelt Island was interrupted in 1997 when he
  • Slow Job Growth Reflects Omicron’s Economic Toll
    Greg David, THE CITY This article was originally publishedon Jan 20 at 7:55pm ESTby THE CITY/Sign up here to get the latest stories from THE CITY delivered to you each morning. Even with the city filled with tourists and office workers coming back to their desks, New York gained only 26,000 jobs in December, a pace that would put
  • Who killed the Tram Plaza Reindeer?
    Property destruction comes in all flavors, but some land in a whole new category of stupid – like what happened to the Tram Plaza Reindeer… by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News More from the Roosevelt Island Daily davidstone1313 See author's posts
Share

Written by:

812 Posts

View All Posts
Follow Me :

Leave a Reply

One thought on “Y’all welcome to RIOC’s Swift Rapid RIVAA COVID-19 Art Testing Site Gallery

%d bloggers like this: