Is it expensive living on Roosevelt Island? Not when you know where to look

Is it expensive living on Roosevelt Island? Not when you know where to look

“This just made me so sad for this lovely Island…

“I just observed a woman urinating in a cup in the sitting area at top of subway steps/elevators.  No public safety, no NYC police and no mta  employees visible,” our friend wrote.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

“I have only been working on RI 5 years.  Many noticeable quality of life declines I have observed.”

You can imagine, we told her, what it’s like for those of us who’ve been here for much longer and watched so much slide downhill.

What’s so sad for this lovely island?

The longer you’ve lived here, the sadder you’re likely to be over the circumstances.

Roosevelt Island’s still a great place to live, but in core areas, official neglect, indifference and gross lack of government talent set things at a precarious edge.

The woman in the subway…?

Appalling as public urination might be, it’s worse where a homeless person has no choice.

For decades, the community complained about the lack of public facilities without significant response from our absentee landlord, RIOC. In fact, the restroom at the Tram, once available for the public, has been “out of service” for over a year.

And we can’t imagine that the woman squatting in the subway was any more happy about it than those watching her. Imagine going to the trouble of finding a cup when you can’t find a home.

But what choice had she?

But is it expensive living on Roosevelt Island…?

Not when you know where to look…

Living on Roosevelt Island…. under the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix.

The photo above was taken just after noon. Under the helix where the state wants to spend millions on a bike ramp.

Let’s be clear. This is all on RIOC.

Out of a $30 million per year budget, much of it absorbed by bloated staffing and excessive salaries, we are not aware of a single dime set aside for dealing with our growing homeless problem.

No one should be living on Roosevelt Island under these conditions, let alone anywhere else in America.

But locally, the community’s being managed in an especially callous manner.

When the pandemic hit, the best RIOC could come up with was free face masks. A hearty team of volunteers did all the work while RIOC stood by, most of them “working” at home.

But they wasted a good part of half-a-million dollars on COVID testing without considering alternatives of doing any kind or research.

In the meantime, homelessness grew much worse while the state did nothing to help.

Conclusion: Is it expensive living on Roosevelt Island?

The pandemic slowed the center of local gravity drifting south. But as a general trend, living expenses are rising, even as quality of life is in serious decline.

And, when you think about it, all those improvements we read about and RIOC boasts about…? None are residential, and none help local businesses.

Parks and campuses and a first hotel are great, but let’s be realistic. Although Cornell Tech adds over the top community outreach, none of what’s new was done with the people who live here in mind.

The state overseers in Albany left residents behind.

From landscaping to roadwork, neglect is the rule with RIOC, and as long as they are here and without oversight, nothing will improve enough.

The talent’s not there because it’s become a political dump, but worse, commitment and good intentions aren’t there either.

More from the Roosevelt Island Daily

  • Management Fail: Hot Dog Wars Force Summer Drama
    Hot dog wars broiled all summer in the Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza, thanks to poor judgment and absenteeism in RIOC’s management ranks. Because the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation is deeply bunkered, blocking public engagement, knowing who the genius was who decided to jam a hot dog cart into an area reduced by construction isn’t possible.
  • Plan Ahead: No F Train Service Into Manhattan This Weekend
    Starting tonight – Friday, August 12th – F Train Service into Manhattan from Roosevelt Island ends for the weekend. F Trains will be rerouted along the E Line, starting at 9:45 p.m., until 5:00 a.m. on Monday. This presents some problems, but here are a few easy enough work arounds. by David Stone The Roosevelt
  • Ivory Needs a Loving Home. Here’s Her Story. 
    By Lylia Saurel Special to The Roosevelt Island Daily News A report from Shelter Animal Count shows that shelters have observed an overall increase in population nationwide by 9.5% over the first quarter of 2022, compared to the same period last year. The report also shows that gross intake, which represents the population of animals
  • FDR Four Freedoms State Park, Cool Green Oasis in a Hot City
    The long, hot days of summer can be a brutal experience in the city. The concrete and asphalt reflect the heat back up at you, and the dry air seems to suck all the moisture out of your skin. But just across the river, there’s a cool green oasis waiting for you. by David Stone
  • THE GREAT MIGRATION FAILED TO BRIDGE THE RACIAL WEALTH DIVIDE. WHAT’S NEXT?
    Real and lasting economic opportunities for Black families will come only through a serious national reckoning on race. By Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Briana Shelton | August 3, 2022 Republished with Permission: The Roosevelt Island Daily News During the early 1900s through 1970, millions of African Americans migrated from the deeply segregated agricultural South to the industrial, less segregated Midwest

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