Roosevelt Island’s biggest week of the year begins on Monday, September 23rd, the first day of Autumn, and it skips through events until a quieter Sunday.

This week’s the biggest of 2019 for Roosevelt Island. Important stuff’s going on, and some of it’s like nowhere else.

Start with U.N. week. Diplomats come to town from all over the world meet. A lot of them stay right here on Roosevelt Island. Maybe not as much as when Kofi Annan lived in Island House, but expect lots of black cars and security.

Inconvenience makes U.N. Week impossible to ignore. The Roosevelt Island Bridge raises slowly for passing boats, and ferry schedules are disrupted. It’s all for security as our role in promoting world peace can’t be avoided.

Our little noticed connection with the U.N.

Diplomats call Roosevelt Island home. They have from the beginning, but you might’ve missed the Blue Dragon child sculpture near Southpoint Park. It faces Gustav Kraitz’s other New York sculpture. Hope, a tribute to heroic Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, rests in United Nations Plaza.

Blue Dragon, child sculpture by Gustav Kraitz
Gustav Kraitz child sculpture, Blue Dragon, welcomed by Roosevelt Island kids in 2016.

Wednesday, Roy Eaton plays piano in Bryant Park

Roosevelt Island’s biggest week steps up when local treasure Roy Eaton starts his annual gig in Bryant Park. For 2019, construction limits him to three days instead of the full week.

But on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, enjoy his program, a lively mix featuring Chopin and Scott Joplin, from 12:30 until 2:30.

What makes this so important?

Not enough people know, so I’ll repeat it here, Roy Eaton is honored nationally as “the Jackie Robinson of Advertising.” He broke the color line on Madison Avenue, just as #42 did at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, and he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2010.

And not just that. A classically trained musician, Roy played in Carnegie Hall in 1937 when he was a teenager. Before adulthood, he soloed with the Chicago Symphony.

This two career all-star survived a car crash and a stroke, after both of which he was given less than 10% chances for survival, to bring his gifts to Bryant Park.

Don’t miss it.

Roosevelt Island’s biggest week crescendo rises Friday

Two unique to Roosevelt Island events fill the weekend, and this year, RIOC adds some fun with a Friday night kickoff in Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street, from 6:00 to 9:00.

Join your neighbors for light refreshments and live music by local artists surrounded by Bogdan Matei’s expressionist paintings.

And then…

Fall for Arts and Kite Flight for Peace and Human Rights make Saturday unforgettable

What makes this Roosevelt Island’s biggest week of the year are twin events on Saturday, both unique and original.

Just as artists begin painting murals in green space from the Rivercross Lawn south, Four Freedoms Park gets kites sailing for peace and freedom.

Keyed to RIOC’s longstanding commitment to make art Roosevelt Island’s mark, Fall for Arts has no twin anywhere in the world. RIOC recruits artists, outfits them with supplies and gives them a day to do their stuff with public murals.

This year’s theme is “EarthLove: Protect, Renew, Grow.”

Roosevelt Island’s biggest week continues with kites…

Kite Flight for Peace and Human Rights, as unique in the world as Fall for Arts, is a free event in Four Freedoms Park. It’s the park’s way of honoring Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s philosophical contribution to human rights, and it’s tied into the International Day of Peace.

Likewise free, Four Freedoms offers kite making and flying lessons along with all the materials needed to set imaginations sailing into the clear autumn sky.

At the end, a day of rest…

Roosevelt Island’s biggest week closes out with a quieter day. Take time to for a fresh look at art scattered throughout the southern half. Fair weather’s in the forecast, and we’ve got much to enjoy.

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