On Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island Tram Gets a Fortieth Birthday Salute

Updated 3 years ago Peter McCarthy
Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Band
Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Band
© David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

With a crowd of 200 on hand, you had to figure more would have been attracted to this local event were it not held on a weekday afternoon. But then, we might have missed out on the best part of it: the PS/IS 217 School Band.

Sure, it was great to have Judy Berdy share her years of historical perspective with the Tram arriving and departing overhead. She took time to honor the workers who have - and some who still do - run the system over four decades. Yet the kids stole the show. It didn't seem to reduce their pleasure in performance that some of their parents weren't alive yet when the cabins first lifted off toward Manhattan.

Ben Kallos, our City Council Member who shows up for so many events you suspect he has a double - or a triple, glided in by Tram, and State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright sent her Chief of Staff Katarina Matic. Both graciously praised the Tram and the community in brief remarks.

And then, the School Band played another number before packing up and carrying their equipment back up Main Street.

The crowd included folks who participated in the original Roosevelt Island design, back for a look at what's become of it, and former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. President and CEO Steve Shane, the leader who managed to save our iconic transportation system and, with State help, rebuild it.

Shane compared notes with current Acting President/CEO Susan Rosenthal and chatted with members from the RIOC Board that ousted him in "a back-room coup," as it was then described in the New York Times.

It was another, quirky Roosevelt Island afternoon without sour notes. The Band, by the way, was invited to come back for the Fiftieth Anniversary. It's another event we can look forward to.

See a gallery of photos from the event by clicking here.


The Tram Is a Community Win

The Roosevelt Island Tram, Then

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