Cusp of Change

Roosevelt Island, August 2017, History Meets Future

Updated 5 weeks ago David Stone

August is New York's quietest month, the bane of sales people with quotas to meet, wish fulfilled for dreamers of a calmer, less crowded city. But this year, on Roosevelt Island, it's the month where projects line up for September's robust rollout into the future.

 

At the Visitor Center Kiosk, the Historical Society welcomes the future.
At the Visitor Center Kiosk, the Historical Society welcomes the future.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Maybe it takes an historian to get it just right.

The Roosevelt Island History Society's Visitor Kiosk sets the tone. Giant steps await.

You can walk into the Bloomberg Center today and buy fresh food in The Cafe. A full calendar of academic activity begins at Cornell Tech in September.

Before that, NYC Ferry opens the Astoria Line to and from Roosevelt Island, and if owner Kaie Razaghi has it right, dreams come true as Nisi begins treating guests to a stylish Greek cuisine.

Cornell Tech's campus entrance off Main Street invites visitors to walk in and experience the birth of a campus like no other.
Cornell Tech's campus entrance off Main Street invites visitors to walk in and experience the birth of a campus like no other.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Contrasts brace history. Construction on a hotel at Cornell continues near the entrance gate, even after the campus is in full swing, and with a contract already signed, RIOC readies 18th Century built Blackwell House for its first public visitors in thirteen years.

Blackwell House reconstruction begins soon and will return it to public use after 13 years.
Blackwell House reconstruction begins soon and will return it to public use after 13 years.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Low key as Cornell University has been as it gracefully introduces its world class technology campus to New York City, artfully integrating with our community, you can't overestimate the hybrid post graduate school/new technology incubator's potential for spurring innovation that will change the world.

The Bloomberg Center, largely financed by former Mayor Michael and named in honor of Emma and Georgina Bloomberg, features a design that matches its promise as a compact technological birthing place for tomorrow.

Dozens of geothermal wells sunk into the bedrock and a broad array of solar panels announce the coming decades for students, interns and innovators who will try to build it.

Already open to the public, the Bloomberg Center is one of the most environmentally innovative buildings in the world.
Already open to the public, the Bloomberg Center is one of the most environmentally innovative buildings in the world.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Fresh ideas will be hatched, nurtured and encouraged where The Bridge makes a home for entrepreneurs from business, academia and government.

The Bridge, set to incubate technologies that will send waves of change around the world, reflects the century old Queensboro Bridge.
The Bridge, set to incubate technologies that will send waves of change around the world, reflects the century old Queensboro Bridge.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Lest we forget. Refreshments for a newly energized community will be needed. Soon, bubble tea answers the call. If you climb on the bench to peek inside, you see that work is already in progress.

With reminders of the popular Main Street Sweets still on the windows, Bubble Tea Emporium has begun building inside. Step up on the bench to see more.
With reminders of the popular Main Street Sweets still on the windows, Bubble Tea Emporium has begun building inside. Step up on the bench to see more.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Opportunities for relaxation, fresh air and new venues swell as Cornell Tech's campus joins Main Street with public spaces for walking, sitting on plentiful benches... and playing ping pong.

Take a peaceful stroll through a campus designed to remember that technology begins and ends with people.
Take a peaceful stroll through a campus designed to remember that technology begins and ends with people.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily
Yes, next to the freshly planted garden, that's a ping pong table. Let the tournaments begin!
Yes, next to the freshly planted garden, that's a ping pong table. Let the tournaments begin!
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Decades of imagining, pushing political buttons and nagging leaders finally result in ferry service for Roosevelt Island. Starting on August 29th, the Astoria line gives us water-based access to Queens, Midtown, Wall Street and connections all the way out to the Rockaways. 

Gangplank is down and ready to board passengers when ferry service begins on August 29th.
Gangplank is down and ready to board passengers when ferry service begins on August 29th.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

And if the plans Kaie Razaghi shared with Jim Luce reach fruition, the flowers he and his son Alex placed in their new restaurant last year will finally serve the purpose for which they were intended.

Razaghi's dream of feeding Greek food to a hungry community will come true. 

Possibly most eagerly awaited of all, Nisi opens where Trellis closed three years ago.
Possibly most eagerly awaited of all, Nisi opens where Trellis closed three years ago.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

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