Now, it’s official. Southpoint is Closed on the 4th of July

Now, it’s official. Southpoint is Closed on the 4th of July

As we reported on Thursday, RIOC, the state agency that always gets it right, implied that it would shut everyone out of Southpoint Park on the 4th of July. But now, in an advisory emailed (twice), late Friday, it’s official. They are shutting it down as if it’s an office building. Without the whiff of an apology.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The announcement was cold and detached, added like an afterthought following an amateurish and confusing list of parking and driving restrictions:


Monday, JULY 4TH:

  • All RIOC administrative offices
  •  South Point Park*
  •  Four Freedoms Park, unless you have a valid ticket to the Fireworks event

*The state agency that never makes a mistake did. There is no such place as “South Point Park.” You have to wonder who’s writing these things, if they’ve ever visited Roosevelt Island.

4th of July on Roosevelt Island Before the Haynes Era

Southpoint ParK on the 4th of July before the Haynes/Hochul Era.

In years before President/CEO took control of RIOC, there was a tradition of the community celebrating Independence Day together in Southpoint. Food trucks set up along the winding roadways. Families and friends spread blankets under shady trees for picnics.

Once the fireworks got underway, it was a little difficult seeing over or through the trees and the Smallpox Hospital, but it was enough. Kids cried out with glee when the sky lit up with flashing displays reflecting off Manhattan’s glass towers.

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But no more. The era of wobbly laziness dragged in by Haynes means RIOC is no longer willing to make the effort to treat the residents ponying up for his payroll and footing the bill for operations.

Why celebrating Independence Day as a community matters

Forbes points out, “In a world where we are more connected than ever, it is important to have events and holidays that unite us.”

What better way to celebrate the holiday than by coming together as a community?

It’s a sad day for Roosevelt Island when RIOC shuts down one of our most beloved parks on Independence Day.

The Hochul/Haynes operation settled in Blackwell House is more about disconnection and distance in the worst of times for Roosevelt Island.

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Images… the way we were.

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