Roosevelt Island 2021, A Year in Pictures

Roosevelt Island 2021, A Year in Pictures

A lot happened on Roosevelt Island in 2021. The second COVID-colored year saw a community evolving, adjusting and, mostly, appreciating life here. We picked one photo from each month as representing its most memorable event. So much went on, we were surprised at how much we left out. Local spirit burned through the COVID haze, more often than not.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Roosevelt Island 2021, January thru December

Swift Rapid Testing Site Opens in January.

In one of the years biggest sour notes and one that still needs investigating, RIOC opened its Swift COVID-19 Rapid Testing Site. While later claiming dubious testing counts, the location was such a bust that – probably illegally – a PSD officer was positioned as a sidewalk barker on the second day.

February, we had some snow…

It was, again, a mild winter, but February brought a couple of rounds of snow early in the month.

Cornell Tech Campus, March 2021 on Roosevelt Island.

Shortened winter led into early spring. As the city began reopening, people came outside, enjoying fresh, mild air and what became the first pass out of COVID.

Cherry blossom filled promenades drew visitors mixing with residents in April.

Although they begin opening along the East Promenade in March, April is always the month for cherry blossoms in fair weather.

Blacklist filming on Roosevelt Island in May.

For one warm day in May, Roosevelt Island 2021 became somewhere else, clandestine and dramatic. The TV series Blacklist filmed scenes in multiple locations.

Ribbon-cutting, The Graduate Hotel, June 2021.

In June, Roosevelt Island got its first ever hotel, complete with a ribbon-cutting.


Roosevelt Island 2021, from Mid-Year to New Year’s Eve

Hope Memorial finally opens in July. Photo Credit: Irina Hage, Irina Island Images

After fundraising and COVID-related delays, the FDR Hope Memorial opened on an appropriately sunny day in July.

In August, the historic, original Roosevelt Island Tram cabins were trashed by graffiti artists after RIOC took down protective fencing.

But it wasn’t all good news as RIOC failed at protecting the historic Tram cabins left for years behind the Motorgate atrium. After proposals for saving and/or repurposing the cabins were turned aside, vandals took over.

Residents Association President Rosanna Ceruzzi places flags around the September 11th Memorial Tree.

After RIOC tried skating, with little effort, past a serious tribute to September 11th on its 20th Anniversary, Ceruzzi – at her own expense – tried rescuing the event on behalf of caring residents.

October, the coronavirus surge began growing, but RIOC still could not do much of anything about repeated mask mandate violators on the Tram and Red Buses.

Listless enforcement of state mask mandates continued into October.

Roosevelt Island’s backyard, November 2021.

But somehow, much of Roosevelt Island’s natural beauty survives. November brought the usual spectacular of color, although with fewer trees for another year.

In December, The Girl Puzzle opened.

Crowning the year with art, The Girl Puzzle, a tribute to Nellie Bly brought crowds out for a ribbon-cutting. The event drews international coverage.

What’s up for 2022?

We’ll catch as many moments as we can, but there will be surprises.

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