The state agency that already wrecked the Tram experience for many Roosevelt Islanders is jumping on the bandwagon with Halloween as a NYC for free event. It’s another in the unpopular series A Community Giveth and RIOC Taketh Away.
by David Stone
This poster appeared on the NYC for Free website:
“Roosevelt Island,” it says, “is excited to host its annual Halloween Parade & Extravaganza on Saturday, October 28th!
“This year’s event will once again kick-off with a parade down Main Street and proceed all the way to South Point Park, where they’ll be hosting Halloween fun for the whole family featuring food, music, pumpkin decorating, fun amusements and much more!”
It’s a reminder of what RIOC did for Roosevelt Island Day, filling the Rivercross lawn with kids in bouncy houses without much of anything Roosevelt Island about it.
Really? Is “Roosevelt island” Hosting This Free Event?
The truth is, Roosevelt Islanders are being forced to pay for the Halloween Extravaganza while RIOC invites anyone and everyone. For free. Roosevelt Island, the real thing, was never asked, and while being open to all is one thing, inviting the entire universe on someone else’s dime is another.
What to expect…
Kids and families -Who knows how many? – will join in the fun. That’s great, and for some, it might be their best and only chance. Enjoying a happy Halloween Parade and following events is something we can proudly share.
But let’s get serious. With the Tram already overcrowded and considered unsafe by many, has RIOC thought through the logistics?
How do you jam even a hundred more passengers in cabins that have repeatedly swung out of control?
What about the expenses? These are not trivial, and RIOC coughs them up out of its own budget – meaning that residents foot the vast majority of the state’s unapproved hospitality.
Roosevelt Island is not hosting this, and RIOC does not speak for the community. But how would all those seeing this promotion know?
Last year, RIOC tried eliminating the event but was pressured out of that decision. Now, it sees the benefits – for real estate developers rapidly changing Roosevelt Island by pricing long-time residents out.
Undoubtedly Team RIOC has spread this “good news” elsewhere. What was once a community event may go the way of the Tram, Roosevelt Islanders footing the bills shoved aside, making way for tourists.