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
Roosevelt Island 2021, January thru December
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.
It was, again, a mild winter, but February brought a couple of rounds of snow early in the month.
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.
Although they begin opening along the East Promenade in March, April is always the month for cherry blossoms in fair weather.
For one warm day in May, Roosevelt Island 2021 became somewhere else, clandestine and dramatic. The TV series Blacklist filmed scenes in multiple locations.
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
After fundraising and COVID-related delays, the FDR Hope Memorial opened on an appropriately sunny day in July.
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.
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.
Listless enforcement of state mask mandates continued into October.
But somehow, much of Roosevelt Island’s natural beauty survives. November brought the usual spectacular of color, although with fewer trees for another year.
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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