After several years of worsening Holiday Extravaganzas, RIOC drags Roosevelt Island to the apex of awful – clunky, junky holiday displays that degrade the community. It’s like dropping used cars on their last miles onto undefended lots where nothing at all would look better.
by David Stone
UPDATE! December 1st, 2023: Here at the Roosevelt Island Daily are thrilled to announce that some reindeer survived the culling of the herd in the Tram Plaza. Yesterday, we found a small number gathered under the protection of RIOC at
Dear Leader Mansion… Blackwell House.
Thank you, RIOC!
End of Update
It’s five years now since RIOC President/CEO Susan Rosenthal brought the first Holiday Extravaganza to Roosevelt Island.
Walking down Main Street after work, on her way to the Tram, she noticed how dreary things were, she told the board. So, let’s spruce things up.
The $75,000 costs were handled in a let’s-call-it eccentric way, sidestepping bidding requirements by letting Hudson-Related pay, then compensating them on the backend. For the state agency with consistently creative fiscals, it wasn’t the worst but continued a trend that flourishes today.
It was good but not perfect.
Some now old, clunky and junky friends appeared for the first time. One, prone to collapse, did so at the first gust of wind in Riverwalk Commons. But trees were set up with lights strung around them, creating a festive mood in Roosevelt Island’s busiest area.
Today, visitors get nothing, nada, a holiday-free plaza.
To the Clunky, Junky Ex-Extravaganza in 2023
In 2018, no one could have imagined how dreary RIOC’s holiday season efforts would become.
In 2022, they at least dragged the reindeer out.
But for 2023, we’ve got damaged, discolored snowflakes… Two in all, one big and one small.
These greet the tourists piling out of Tram cabin after Tram cabin, the RIOC salute on behalf of Roosevelt Island.
Add it to the list.