In their own words: Our 2016 WHSAD Interns

In their own words: Our 2016 WHSAD Interns

Great to see weathered teak woodwork go from grey to gold! Great to see youth learn to do it!  Read how Christopher, Christie, Cesar, Devere and Jose describe their summer, in their own words.  PortSide is psyched to be growing our CTE summer preservation internship program!  We are partnering with the fantastic preservation-themed Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design (WHSAD).  This program is supported by the NYC Department of Education which pays the students, and by ConEd which supported costs on our end.

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Paint the ship red! Free cassoulet in return!

I don't know when the last time is that you painted a ship or when you had a great cassoulet; but I do know that this Saturday could be the next time for both!

Come and join us in Red Hook and make the Mary A Whalen red again! (And varnished!)

Stuff your friendly face with the best French dish ever! Cooked by real Frenchman Nicolas Anderson of Red Hook.

Beautiful weather ahead, 4 hours commitment minimum

Sat 11/19, 10am to 4pm

Work is sanding, painting, varnishing 

Please RSVP to Chiclet@portsidenewyork.org

Getting here:

Lots of free parking next to ship!

Directions at http://portsidenewyork.org/visitor-info/

Bus and Citibike info in real time on our Red HookWaterStories project site https://redhookwaterstories.org/. Click last two layers on the map icon.

Guest supervisor, His Bigness Paul Kennedy, railroad mechanic. Double whammy, learn about trains and ships!

Additional bonus, selfies with world-famous shipcat Chiclet!

Thanks!

Info on volunteering in general at http://portsidenewyork.org/volunteer/

PUBLIC COMMENT: Greater boat access near Statue of Liberty

Photo courtesy of MarineTraffic.com

Photo courtesy of MarineTraffic.com

Public comments due to USCG on 1/3/17

Proposed: more boat access around Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Boating safety sited as reason for change

11/14/16.  This just in from the Harbor Ops Committee:

"Please be advised that USCG Sector New York has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking which pertains to a potential change to the security zone around Liberty State Park and Ellis Island.

The proposed change would enhance Harbor Safety by allowing smaller vessels to pass behind the Statue of Liberty and avoid being forced to travel in the more heavily used and current-impacted open channel.

MAPONY/NJ SUPPORTS this change and will file written comments in support thereof.

We urge you to review this ANPRM and file comments.

The corrected ANPRM can be accessed via the following link:

New York Harbor - security zone proposal
The US Coast Guard issued a technical correction to its advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) of 3 November. The proposal related to potential changes to the security zone around Liberty State Park and Ellis Island. In the notice, the summary erroneously stated that removal of the security zone was being considered, while the proposal itself discussed only the possibility of modifying the zone.

81 Fed. Reg. 78759 (11/9/16) [https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-11-09/pdf/2016-27037.pdf].

FOR IMMEDIATAE RELEASE: PortSide NewYork launches Red Hook WaterStories

FOR IMMEDIATAE RELEASE: PortSide NewYork launches Red Hook WaterStories

On the occasion of the 4th anniversary of superstorm Sandy, PortSide NewYork launches Red Hook WaterStories.  Red Hook WaterStories is a major addition to Brooklyn and NYC heritage.  This is a digital museum with significant resiliency information. The site covers 400+ years of Red Hook waterfront history - NYC’s maritime story in microcosm - and reveals forgotten and overlooked stories from this evocative neighborhood.  It’s a resource for locals, tourists, history buffs, urban-planners, educators, investors, and flaneurs.  In 2013, PortSide won a White House “Champions of Change” award and honors from the New York State Senate for Sandy recovery work.

 

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Visitors enthralled by PortSide TankerTours of MARY A. WHALEN during OHNY Weekend

PortSide opened the MARY A. WHALEN for Sunday of OHNY Weekend.  Our ship MARY worked her magic, and so did our ship cat Chiclet who was a magnet in her own right. Our "Salty Selfies" photo station provided great souvenir moments. We believe in having fun while learning maritime history!  If you missed this, come enjoy the main deck for #TankerTime

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Portify as we fortify: maritime & resiliency, MARAD & FEMA

Portify as we fortify: maritime & resiliency, MARAD & FEMA

I am concerned that superstorm Sandy could drown a good idea. By that I mean, that the focus on protecting NYC from water could prevent NYC from "activating the waterways" with greater and more diverse uses such as advocated by Vision 2020, the city's second comprehensive (and great) waterfront plan. "Activation" is urban planner speak for use them more.

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Memorial Day Weekend: Fleet Week + Saturday Mary Whalen TankerTours

Thurs 5/26 - Mon 5/30 "Fleet Week" ship tours in Red Hook, Brooklyn

Sat 5/28 TankerTours of MARY A. WHALEN (info at bottom)

This year, Fleet Week “Celebrating The Sea Services” has three ships open to the public in the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. This is the first time that Fleet Week has been at that cruise terminal.  There will be two Navy Destroyers and one Coast Guard cutter (see photos below):

  • Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99)
  • Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96)
  • Coast Guard USCGC Forward (WMEC 911)

Fleet Week ships visiting hours  Thurs 5/26/16 - Mon 5/30/16 from 8am to 5pm each day. Entry may be closed at 3pm each day to allow visitors aboard to cycle out.

Directions to Brooklyn Cruise Terminal  (for cars, public transit, walking, biking, ferry)

Fleet Week rules on what you can't bring & need to bring, etc. See their FAQs for what you need to have (IDs of people over 18) and can't bring aboard: strollers (leave them on the pier), bottles, cans, knives and more, and should avoid (high heels, sandals, open toed shoes and more).

Visit historic Red Hook, home to great restaurants, bars, cultural institutions and parks! Info

Sat 5/28 TANKERTOURS FOR MARY A. WHALEN

Sat 5/28/16 from 10am-5pm
Sign up for tours on-site. Groups of 20 will be admitted every 20 minutes. No tours at 1:00 & 1:20 as we break for lunch.
Can't make it? For other ways to experience the MARY, see Visitor Info

PortSide NewYork will open our ship, the tanker MARY A. WHALEN in honor of her 78th birthday! She is the only oil tanker cultural center in the world.  She is the last of her kind in the USA and is listed on the National Register of historic places.  She is significant for her role in the 1975 Supreme Court legal decision U.S. vs Reliable Transfer, a major case in US maritime law. The MARY is a symbol of  resiliency because the PortSide crew rode out superstorm Sandy on the ship, and then we brought our office equipment ashore to set up and run a hurricane Sandy pop-up aid station.

The MARY A. WHALEN's story is woven into Red Hook WaterStories because she was built for the Red Hook company Ira S. Bushey & Sons and was based in Red Hook for decades as tanker and then as a floating dock and office for Hughes Marine after she went out of service in 1994. She became PortSide's flagship in 2007.

The MARY was launched May 21, 1938 at Mathis in Camden, NJ and built for Bushey's, an innovative and unusually diverse maritime company which closed in the 1980s. Bushey's was based at the foot of Court Street and ran a ship yard, fuel terminal and fuel delivery fleet of tugs, tankers and barges. Bushey's built over 200 ships for the Navy and commercial service and had ships built at other yards.  Today, the Bushey property remains an active maritime site with the fuel tanks operated by Buckeye and their fuel moved by our friends at Vane Brothers. Vane runs a fleet of tugs and fuel barges and has often towed our MARY A. WHALEN for free.  Vane also introduced us to their paint supplier International Paint who has donated all the paint to recoat the decks and house.

Please donate now to support our restoration of the MARY A. WHALEN, public programs aboard which include TankerTours, TankerTime,
and our summer preservation internships with the WHSAD high school
and programs off the ship such as
our Sandy recovery and resiliency work and  
Red Hook WaterStories which tells Red Hook maritime history over 400+ years.

Help us match a grant and raise another $20,000 for Red Hook WaterStories by the end of June and donate here!

Red Hook WaterStories is supported in part by Councilman Carlos Menchaca.

FREE TankerTours for MARY A. WHALEN's 78th Birthday Sat 5/28

PortSide NewYork is excited to welcome you aboard our historic flagship, the tanker MARY A. WHALEN in honor of her 78th birthday!  

Sat 5/28/16 from 10am-5pm
Sign up for tours on-site. Groups of 20 will be admitted every 20 minutes. No tours at 1:00 & 1:20 as we break for lunch.
Can't make it? For other ways to experience the MARY, see Visitor Info 
Flat soled shoes recommended.  Directions here 
More Ships!  On the next pier at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, Fleet Week will have three ships open to visit at the same time. Those ships will be open Thursday through Monday of Memorial Day Weekend. More info here.
Visit historic Red Hook, home to great restaurants, bars, cultural institutions and parks! Info

Please support our restoration of the MARY and other programs, donate to our Red Hook WaterStories campaign. Help us raise $20,000 by the end of June to match a grant. Red Hook WaterStories is funded in part by Councilman Carlos Menchaca and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

More about the MARY A. WHALEN

The MARY A. WHALEN is the only oil tanker cultural center in the world and an icon of Red Hook maritime history.  She is the last of her kind in the USA and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  She is significant for her role in the 1975 Supreme Court legal decision U.S. vs Reliable Transfer, a major case in US maritime law. The MARY is a symbol of  resiliency because PortSide's crew rode out superstorm Sandy on the ship, and then brought our office equipment ashore to set up and run a hurricane Sandy pop-up aid station.

The MARY A. WHALEN's story is woven into Red Hook WaterStories because she was built for the Red Hook company Ira S. Bushey & Sons and has been based in Red Hook for a good half of her life, first as a working tanker, later as a floating dock and office for Hughes Marine, and as PortSide's flagship since 2007.

The MARY was launched May 21, 1938 at Mathis in Camden, NJ and built for Bushey's, an innovative and unusually diverse maritime company which closed in the 1980s. Bushey's was based at the foot of Court Street and ran a ship yard, fuel terminal and fuel delivery fleet of tugs, tankers and barges. Bushey's built over 200 ships for the Navy and commercial service and had ships built at other yards.  Today, the Bushey property remains an active maritime site with the fuel tanks operated by Buckeye and their fuel moved by our friends at Vane Brothers. Vane runs a fleet of tugs and fuel barges and has often towed our MARY A. WHALEN for free.  Vane also introduced us to their paint supplier International Paint who has donated all the paint to recoat the decks and house.

 

Please donate now to support our restoration of the MARY A. WHALEN, public programs aboard which include TankerTours, TankerTime,
and our summer preservation internships with the WHSAD high school, 
programs off the ship such as
our Sandy recovery and resiliency work and  
Red Hook WaterStories which tells Red Hook maritime history over 400+ years.

Help us match a grant and raise another $20,000 for Red Hook WaterStories by the end of June and donate here!

PortSide NewYork Awarded Two-Year REDC NYSCA Grant

PortSide NewYork is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a two-year New York City Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) grant for $49,500. We just commenced the contract.   The allocation comes from the New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) and supports culture as economic development.  REDC grants are very competitive, and we won the first time we applied!  We also broke a glass ceiling -- maritime activity has not often been embraced as cultural activity.  

PortSide activities cited in our grant application include:

Preservation programs and internships with WHSAD, a fabulous CTE (career and technical educational) high school, what used to be called a vocational school.  Read what our summer 2015 WHSAD interns thought of it, in their own words.

Job training program with the Painters Union District Council 9 (DC9) who are the MARY A. WHALEN as a training site. 

Our WaterStories cultural programs which also include our Visiting Vessel program and TankerTours of the MARY A. WHALEN

Red Hook WaterStories a history, mapping, cultural tourism and resiliency project that tells the history of Red Hook, Brooklyn via a water theme.  In microcosm, Red Hook WaterStories tells New York City's maritime story. 

Our role on the Sunset Park Task Force, where we are represented by our President Carolina Salguero. The first job of the Task Force was helping the NYC EDC shape the RFP for South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.  Carolina advocated for maritime uses, for avoiding an RFP that had so many proscriptions it would deter respondents, and pushed to allow maritime uses that were originally not going to be allowed (ferries and historic ships).  Here is a Task Force description from the NYC EDC:

  • "Since July 2015, NYCEDC has worked with Councilmember Menchaca and community partners to establish and convene a Sunset Park Task Force, comprised of representatives from local community groups, businesses, and elected officials.  
    • The goals of the Task Force are to:
      • Maximize the potential of the Sunset Park waterfront in a sustainable and just manner to serve as an economic hub of traditional and innovating industries, including job creation and workforce development;
      • Establish and promote regional and local priorities for efficient goods movement;
      • Balance community access and needs across public and private initiatives and development; and 
      • Advocate for preserving and expanding Sunset Park's industrial, manufacturing, and maritime businesses, as well as nonprofit organizations and auxiliary/amenity businesses supporting the local community."

Our work on Red Hook's NY Rising Committee. Carolina Salguero was one of the original appointees to the committee by Governor Cuomo's office. She made significant contributions to the final plan submitted to NYS for the $3MM in funding.  We are pleased that her advocacy for maritime activation made it into the NY Rising plan and was subsequently picked up by the NYC EDC in their planning for Red Hook's IFPS (Integrated Flood Protection System). The Red Hook community strongly supporting maritime activation as a key value to ensure in any flood protection scheme: "residents said they wanted to encourage the development of the maritime industry and businesses to set up shop in the neighborhood."  Carolina's research and writing for the committee is supported by work done by PortSide staff and interns. 

FREE historic ship 66.5’ Canadian Coast Guard ice-breaker buoy tender NOKOMIS

The foreward mast  and boom is now a crane.

The foreward mast  and boom is now a crane.

Dear Friends,  

PortSide NewYork has  received an urgent request for help giving away a historic  vessel.

FREE.  

Needs a home by 4/15/16.  UPDATE: There is more time. 4/30/16 is the new deadline.

Near Baltimore,  Pasadena, MD vicinity  Canadian Coast Guard ice-breaking buoy tender NOKOMIS.

There were two  other sisterships . The NOKOMIS is the last of three.

LOA 66.5’ Length at Water line 63.4
Beam 17.6
Depth 8.3 loaded. 99Tons  M/T.4.  
USCG Document  No.1111459.  Canadian No.3101215.  
Heavily Built can  penetrate 24 inches of blue fresh water ice.  

Built -1957 Commissioned  1958 Canadian Coast Guard. By Lunenburg Engineering  and Foundry, Lunenburg , Nova Scotia.

Hull and Superstructure  -Steel
Propulsion-Fairbanks Morse  31A-61/4X9 6 cylinder Air Start Direct Reversable Pneumatic Brake on flywheel.     210 HP.6.Propellor 46X46 4 Blade on 4 inch shaft  RH.     2/1  Reduction Spring Bearing on Shaft.7.RPM 720 MAX. Idle-220.
Fuel consumption: 2 GPH.  Speed 12-KTS. All Hydraulic Steering with power assist
Has Skin cooling in Engine room for heavy ice ops. Two fuel bunker tanks 400 gal ea 100 gal day tank furnace and stove tank.
Bulkheads go to Weather  Deck.

Head with holding tank, Shower and  Washbasin Galley with Diesel stove and Two refrigerators, two inflatable life rafts.   Air Horn and Two bilge Pumps plus One new navy pump very heavy duty, Delaval oil  purifier, Deutz Generator 5 Kw 240 volt. Large cargo hold  with HIAB knuckle crane 7,300lbs.two- anchors with hydraulic  windlass One-300lb  navy ,  One- 500lb Danforth. Sperry Gyrocompass W  repeaters, Sperry  40 mile radar,  Recording chart depth indicator. New name Ocean Spray. Two VHF Radios. 

Wood paneling in all occupied compartments. Steam heat with WATTS Boiler.

This is a  Ship USCG and CACG- any vessel 65' or over gets a name and is a  Ship. Very High Quality Construction.  

Attempt was made to get  her running but the exhaust manifold has cracks in it. Any interested  party has have to tow the 100 ton vessel. She is seaworthy  and floating.

Contact  John Kopke 443-854-4311 Email northatlanticsailor@yahoo.com
 

 

 

 

Red Hook WaterStories team makes headway

"Red Hook WaterStories” (RHWS) Project Moves Forward
Team grows and makes substantial headway!

What is Red Hook WaterStories

A water-themed history trail about and for fascinating Red Hook, Brooklyn. It will educate visitors and locals, help revitalize Red Hook and help protect this community from floods.  It tells NYC's maritime story in microcosm.  This year, we are launching a pilot multimedia map and creating a hard copy visitor guide and signs with QR codes around the neighborhood that alert people to the website. We will create large, outdoor, exhibit panels with this content.  We are taping more oral histories to share.

PortSide offices aboard the ship MARY A. WHALEN are a buzz as we push ahead with Red Hook WaterStories. Many new consultants and interns have come aboard to help develop and catalog content. The accessibility of our new home is allowing people with valuable skills, but no prior relationship to PortSide, to literally step (or ride their bicycle like David Levine) up to the pier and get involved.

We thank Councilman Carlos Menchaca both for seeing the importance of our new home and for the $20,000 in funding that is pushing the project forward.  We have applied for other funding, and have launched a campaign to raise another $20,000 by then end of June 2016.  

New people, new energy!

Our Curator and Historian Peter Rothenberg has been joined by a team of consultants, advisors and interns.  Some are interviewing, some research archives, some are deep in the html end of the archive. Bios of the team on the Red Hook WaterStories webpage.

We have been collecting new content and looking backward, meaning we sought technology and advice on how to get our archive coded and organized.  David Levine has 25 years experience in content management at major corporations and is leading the tech end of the project, selecting the software for content management and website creation.  Lots of conversations between him, Peter and new advisors Johnathan Thayer and Marilyn Oliva helped selected us Omeka as the archivist software to use. The first version of the multimedia RHWS website may be Omeka itself. Much to learn and code in all this!

Johnathan Thayer teaches archival practice and preservation at Queens College and is the Senior Archivist at Seaman’s Church Institute, founded in 1834 which has thousands of items and oral histories in its collection.  Despite all that content, they have nothing about Red Hook in their files – proof that PortSide’s project has something to contribute.

Regina Carra, a graduate student at CUNY Queens College studying Library Science and History, learned about RHWS from Johnathan and was so excited by the project that she rejiggered her schedule to work with us one day a week. 

We have had long meetings and brainstorming sessions around the galley table to discuss what themes, issues and peoples to include so we know to look for such content and  have the archive coded in advance to be ready to receive that kind of content.  “War” and “”military,” how are they the same or different? With our focus on immigrants who arrived by water or worked on the waterfront, what do we do about the “non-ethnics,” the English or WASPS?  How do we deal with false history (the errors so often repeated in the era of Google)?  

Do we include a layer that explains sources so people can see that many a map or engraving that has been used to show “this was Red Hook” is an illustration of a plan, an intention, and did not yet exist? That kind of discussion is so pertinent to the resiliency (flood prep) aspect to Red Hook WaterStories. 

As a water-aware organization, we planned to talk about underground water issues since we started this work in 2005.  After superstorm Sandy, information about the historic filling of creeks, swamp and shoreline is very timely.  It's key to understand that so many historic maps of Red Hook show a street grid of intentions over “land” that remained water and swamp into the 1900s. On a lighter note, in honor of our ship cat Chiclet and her devoted followers, we decided to add cat WaterStories. History needs to be fun too!

We have a bottomless font of facts and tips about the history in advisor Norman Brouwer, a noted maritime historian and the person who built the South Street Seaport library. He also has a personal collection of thousands of maritime postcards which we hope to access for illustrations.

Julia Golia, Director of Public History at the Brooklyn Historical Society, told us about resources in their archives and was receptive to partnering as they move ahead with their waterfront museum and waterfront history website in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

Melinda Boros, an immigrant from Romania, brings us a fresh perspective in her role as consultant. Red Hook was one of the first neighborhoods she found after emigrating in 1998. It's abandonment was something she expected in Ceaucescu’s Romania not the USA, so she dove deep into historical research to come to understand it. Barbara Wye, a recent grad in Anthropology and Digital Media Design with experience in community organizing around preservation, is helping with outreach, event planning and graphic design.

Many Red Hook WaterStories involve Spanish speakers, especially since the first point of arrival for Puerto Ricans in NYC was ships docking at Red Hook piers.  Intern Ivy Ann Rosado, a senior at Hunter College of Dominican heritage is helping with this research and other aspects of the project.

We are interviewing more people for more video and oral histories. Jenny Kane leads the oral history work. John Weaver handles the video camera. Our President Carolina Salguero, an award-winning photojournalist in her prior career, does some of the interviewing.

If you, or someone you know has some Red Hook WaterStories to share, get in touch! WaterStories include: all things working waterfront (shipbuilding/repair, ports/freight movement, creation of ports/changing shoreline, merchant marine/worked on boats, ferries), emigrated here by ship, worked at waterfront facilities, played/fished/relaxed on the waterfront, waterfront religious rituals, drownings, Sandy experiences, created an art work or piece of literature inspired by the Red Hook waterfront.

Funding

This project is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and funding from NYC Councilman Carlos Menchaca.

 

 

 

TechCrunch & PortSide growing Red Hook relationship with Brooklyn Cruise Terminal & Atlantic Basin tenants

First, there are opportunities for Red Hook at TechCrunch, May 9-11, 2016!

Second, info on how to get involved below!

Background: PortSide NewYork knows that the Red Hook community has wanted to see benefits to having the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (BCT) in the neighborhood. Our being on site in Atlantic Basin on Pier 11 since May 2015 is helping us help grow such relationships.

We brought up this goal with the special events manager of BCT Jason Scharf when the Ringling Brothers circus RVs were parked next to the MARY A. WHALEN a few weeks back, and we got to work making connections.   We introduced the circus staff to local suppliers and helped them get a discount at Kevin's Restaurant.

Soon after that, Scharf brought over Ned Desmond, COO of Tech Crunch. We told him how entrepreneurially great Red Hook is, that Red Hook wanted to be involved with events at BCT, and that Red Hook businesses were great at pop-ups and would likely be interested in vending at Tech Crunch's Disrupt NY. We provided contact info for neighborhood players in the biz and non-profit sectors, told them about the Brooklyn Spirit Trail which includes several Red Hook businesses, and offered our famous historic ship, the MARY A. WHALEN, as a venue and proposed partnership ideas with PortSide. We also said ferries to Atlantic Basin could dock at our ship if Pier 11 is full.   

Our ship on Pier 11 is next to the cruise terminal on Pier 12 and figures prominently in the TechCrunch video about why Red Hook is such a cool place for Disrupt NY. (A little cheer for us... Red Hook has lured TechCrunch out of Manhattan! Go Red Hook, go Brooklyn, go PortSide NewYork!)

We are pleased to report that TechCrunch is put out a promo blogpost saying "Red Hook has a lot to offer" and TechCrunch is, in their own words, " "launching a program called “Discover Red Hook”, which offers local businesses the opportunity to exhibit free-of-charge at Disrupt. We hope that means this Disrupt will be graced by many interesting and tasty offerings from Red Hook’s small businesses."  

Sign up to be a Red Hook vendor or exhibitor at TechCrunch Disrupt NY at this link

PortSide has also been connecting the owners and crew of other boats docked on Pier 11 to local suppliers.  Typical requests have been for restaurants and sources of hardware and marine electrical supplies.  Once again, PortSide NewYork brings the community afloat and the community ashore closer together for the benefit of both!

All this networking fulfills our mission to grow connections between the waterfront and inland community (businesses, residents and non-profits) and to help revitalize Red Hook.

great views from our ship mary a. whalen

great views from our ship mary a. whalen

 

 

Not Curbing My Enthusiasm

REBUILD BY DESIGN PLAN BY HR&A COOPERS ROBERTSON PUTS PARK SPACE ON TOP OF THEIR PROPOSED PROTECTIVE SEAWALL.

REBUILD BY DESIGN PLAN BY HR&A COOPERS ROBERTSON PUTS PARK SPACE ON TOP OF THEIR PROPOSED PROTECTIVE SEAWALL.

By Carolina Salguero

This blogpost is a response to Curbed’s 1/28/16 article about Red Hook which carried only parts of several long conversations with Nathan Kensinger.  Here is more of what I said so that my position, and PortSide NewYork’s, on changing Red Hook is better rendered.  

The Curbed article looks back; my waterfront work, from my photojournalism to founding the forward-looking non-profit PortSide, focuses on the growing maritime sector, making change and shaping the future. At PortSide, we use history to further Red Hook's development. All images, except the rendering above, are copyright Carolina Salguero.

How I would frame the future of Red Hook?

Red Hook has evolved from a place perceived by 1990’s national media as a hopeless crack den to a peninsula that in 2014 was the announced recipient of a "first in the nation" plan for urban flood protection..  Hello IFPS! That is our future, example to the nation.

Est4te Four

I understood Est4te Four to be the core of Nathan’s intended story. Thus, I said that, given that Red Hook was going to change, hugely change, it was better that we have Est4te Four, with a curated vision and their standards, than have the building boom of “luxury”’ housing such as occurred on Fourth Avenue in Park Slope/Gowanus. That left us with a hodgepodge of dreadful buildings like the yellow brick one looming over the historic Old Stone House.

We all fall in love with the Red Hook we first met

Yes, we talked nostalgia.  We talked a lot about Red Hook changes and my personal markers for the stages of evolution.  

This led me to remark that we all seem to fall in love with the Red Hook of our first contact, and the point of that remark was not to say that my first experience of 1997 (as a visitor, I moved here in 1999) was better or more valid than that of someone arriving in 2002 or the 1980s, but to convey how Red Hook triggers a deep love that is very nostalgia based.  

All newcomers to Red Hook love Red Hook, that’s why they come (you don’t come here for the great transportation), and their love starts in, and connects to, the era they arrive.

I said that was one of the great things about my being involved with Red Hook, it has an engaged community that cares about this place. 

IKEA

My view of Red Hook is so NOT nostalgia-driven that I had a lot positive to say about IKEA.  IKEA’s Sandy recovery work (done with Swedish modesty that did not tout what they did) was so significant that PortSide honored them for it.

I said the IKEA waterfront esplanade was very well designed, one of the best in the city. I said all that despite saying that closing the graving dock was a policy mistake by the city and a personal loss to me; it was my photographic muse for 5 years.  I had unfettered, permitted access to it and could come by land or sea, day or night; and I had the run of the old shipyard too. 

NYCHA, The Red Hook Houses and the new Red Hook

The Curbed piece concludes with the quote “"It's not going to be the same Red Hook for a lot of the people who live here now."”’  whereas I talked quite a bit about the people who are likely to stay in Red Hook, the overwhelming majority of Red Hook’s residents, eg the residents of the NYCHA development in the Red Hook Houses East and Red Hook Houses West.  I said that for all the problems faced by those folks, they had a large measure of residential stability.  

I said that one of my hopes for Red Hook was that, with all the change, wealth and resources coming to the Red Hook around the Houses, more resources would be focused on helping those NYCHA residents. Some of that was visible in the great number of homegrown non-profits on this small peninsula. I said that entrenched, urban poverty was a tough challenge, but that we should try. It is certainly part of PortSide’s mission.

090708 RH street life 003.jpg

Same old, same old with new people

I said that even with all the new people moving in, much stayed the same:  Red Hook the close knit community where gossip and rumor are big.  Gary Baum, the friend of the pick-up truck sledding mentioned by Nathan, used to joke that if you sneezed, in 10 minutes people know that 7 blocks away.

All of which led me to remark that what I wish Red Hook would get better at research and negotiation since so many of our land use issues were characterized by “did you hear that?!!” shock that was not necessarily based on fact; and that, as a community, we had yet to negotiate benefits from any major real estate development.  Segue to NY Rising, a change in that dynamic.

NY Rising and the future of Red Hook

Once Nathan and I got off the nostalgia beat, I spent a lot of time talking about NY Rising, my voice starting to crack with emotion when I talked about how beautiful it was for me to see that the disaster of Sandy had germinated something that augured such good for Red Hook.

NY Rising is a NYS program, and its Red Hook committee members (including me) were appointed by the State to craft a resiliency plan for $3MM in funds the state would provide.  

It was a helluva lot of work over some 9 months, but we had the benefits of the region’s best consultants, paid by the state, to support the effort. I said it was a new model worth remembering:  government paid to give grassroots community members planning resources (as opposed to Community Boards in gentrifying areas that are overwhelmed by trying to respond to Land Use permits and variances and that are not funded in proportion to that workload. Hint, hint, NYC.)  

Official NYS webpage for NY Rising statewide
Official NYS webpage for NY Rising Red Hook committee
Blog of Red Hook’s NY Rising committee  
Final resiliency plan of NY Rising Red Hook committee, shorter executive summary and mini brochure version.

Red Hook's NY Rising committee has gone well beyond the State-appointed mission.  We proposed programs exceeding that budget. The committee has already sought and secured outside funding to further some projects, including the microgrid. The committee has continued to meet and is becoming a non-profit to further work in Red Hook.  It is also looking to expand members.  GET INVOLVED!  It sought the support of the Municipal Art Society to host the Red Hook Summit about resiliency projects in Red Hook.

COME TO THE RED HOOK SUMMIT! It is Saturday, 1/30/16, 10am – 1pm at Summit Academy, 27 Huntington Street. Full disclosure, I am presenting for PortSide there.

I talked to Nathan about my role on NY Rising where I tried to raise NYCHA issues (I proposed the solar-powered emergency lights in the final plan) and my big focus was activation of the waterfront (the waterways, really) and ensuring that the wisdom of NYC’s 2011 waterfront plan Vision 2020 (embrace and activate the waterways!) was not drowned by Sandy (water is destructive, let’s build walls!). 

As a result, I was very moved when at the IFPS (Integrated Flood Protection Study) meeting last week, community members very strongly supported the idea of waterfront access and maritime activation that were on the sheet of NY Rising “values” had the room discuss.  

Listening to the IFPS room, with the report-back from each break-out table echoing PortSide values for the waterfront, I felt that I, and PortSide staff and interns, had really made a difference preparing  advocacy papers, blogposts, webpages, walk-to-ferry-landings studies, etc  for NY  Rising, all of which is shared on our website.  Our NY Rising work and waterfront vision was embraced by the room without our having spoken up for it in that room.  Given that the IFPS is a “first in the nation” program, the eyes of the world are on us in Red Hook, so it was powerful for me to see PortSide’s harbor advocacy work picked up by the IFPS process.

090809 kayak into Van B apt window 001.jpg

Changes in Red Hook – growth of maritime sector

The thrust of Nathan’s Curbed piece is displacement, new replacing the old, but I also talked about what NYC’s real estate driven press (Ahoy, Curbed!) does not cover very much: the growth of the maritime sector.  So I rattled off some Red Hook increases in maritime activity since I moved here in 1999: New York Water Taxi (a new company, and headquartered in Red Hook), Vane Brothers tug and barge company expanding two times beyond the footprint of the old Ira S. Bushey yard at the foot of Court Street (where the MARY A. WHALEN started work in 1938) to GBX and Port Authority piers, a new cruise terminal, and Red Hook Container Terminal expanded business (despite hiccups of lawsuits, Sandy and more), and the founding of PortSide NewYork, to create a maritime hub that would foster the community revitalization of Red Hook along a water and maritime theme, combine working waterfront, public access and community development and be a test lab and advocate for expand that model harborwide. 

PortSide NewYork services to a future Red Hook

I told Nathan that in September, 2015, PortSide asked the EDC for the space inside the Pier 11 warehouse next to the ship that had been promised to us in 2009, 2010, and 2011 – space that the EDC had also promised to the community as the home for PortSide.

I concluded by sending Nathan two renderings of what PortSide plans for Pier 11, a forward-looking vision for Red Hook. Here is what we are working towards!  #GetOnBoard and join us!



PortSide NewYork 2015 year in review

third graders from elementary school crispus attucks 21 in Bedford Styvesant, Brooklyn came to us to learn about hurricane sandy and community resiliency. Photo by myra hernandez, Behind the book

third graders from elementary school crispus attucks 21 in Bedford Styvesant, Brooklyn came to us to learn about hurricane sandy and community resiliency. Photo by myra hernandez, Behind the book

2015: the search is over. The future is now.

2015 was a year of major milestones and growth.  See, read and feel it below.  

The pivot point was the exhilarating move on May 29 in the video at right.  

Our new site strengthens our ability to fulfill the PortSide vision of combining the working waterfront, public access and community development.  

Please donate now and support our momentum!  

 

 

Education

The public access at our new home enables us to grow our educational programs.  We hopped on it right away with outreach such as our Open House for Educators Week and researching new curricula.  We gained new partners in the World Monuments Fund, the Williamsburgh HS of Architecture and Design (WHSAD), and Behind the Book. We had three summer interns from WHSAD and two college interns from Spain.  We created a curriculum for simple machines aboard the MARY A. WHALEN and taught Hurricane Sandy & resiliency to elementary school kids. For adult job training, we furthered our relationship with the painters' union District Council 9

WaterStories cultural programs

We secured $20,000 in funding from Councilman Carlos Menchaca to support our Red Hook WaterStories cultural tourism, placemaking and resiliency project.  We were invited to join a historic ship flotilla that celebrated Cunard's 175th anniversary and got community members in the parade via our partner, the historic tug CORNELL. We curated and ran a great POW! weekend with TankerTours, TankerTime and gifted flamenco jazz musicians who have offered to make this an annual event.  We produced a distinctive multimedia history night with Norwegian Red Hook WaterStories with bluegrass musicians from Norway, history speakers, and vintage video. Out shipcat Chiclet has become an attraction, with a growing fan club of regulars who come by to see her.

Ship restoration:

Volunteers repainted three cabins!  Thank you, volunteers! Three summer interns from WHSAD did enormous work restoring the teak rail around the wheelhouse.  The painters' union District Council 9 will repaint the exterior as a training excercise with paint donated by International Paint. DC9 scoped out the job, did some prep work, and laid plans for painting in 2016.

History: research, acquisitions & programs

History runs through so many of our programs: all events on the ship, programs such as our Norwegian Red Hook WaterStories night, info content we share on our Facebook and Twitter, our blogposts such the one about the important sale of slave ERIE ship in Atlantic Basin which marked an important step in the end of slavery in the USA.  In 2015, we added considerably to Mary A. Whalen history:  more former crew members found us (thanks to our new home): Engineer Bill Siebert who works on a Vane tug and retired, 86-year old, former relief captain Thomas J. Smith.  Captain Smith donated his maritime papers to us, and we have taped hours of interviews with him. A big boost in the history department was the visit by Scott Gellatly and his wife Pat. They ran a waterborne fuel transportation company years ago and almost bought the MARY.  The Gellatlys donated photos, recorded hours of interview and brought along retired engineer Bryan Sinram, another trove of history, who had worked for Eklof, the company that ran the MARY WHALEN for years. Walter Barschow donated the folk painting of the MARY aground in the slide show above and gave us leads on Red Hook WaterStories about his family that ran a scrap yard for decades, founded by his German immigrant grandmother. Karen Dyrland and John Weaver donated another large cache of photos, letters and documents from Alf Dyrland, Captain of the MARY from 1958-1978.  And, our home, the historic tanker MARY A. WHALEN turned 77!

Inspiring artists

PortSide continued to inspire filmmakers, painters and multi-media artists.  Most find us because they can now see us.  The MARY A. WHALEN is visible from our new friends and partners Pioneer Works which leads to a steady stream of artists coming to brainstorm, photograph, get ideas, one even collects salt water for a printing project. We gave the title to the documentary film BLUESPACE and appeared in it.  We invited painter Jim Ebersole to memorialize our final week in the Red Hook Containerport.

Policy/Planning

This important work does not generate inspiring, cuddly or sexy photos.  It involves a slew of emails and hundreds of conversations that advance our vision for bringing change to NYC's waterfront.  Some highlights: Our President Carolina Salguero was appointed to the Sunset Park Task Force whose first task was to advise the EDC on creating an RFP for SBMT. How's that for alphabet soup!  The Task Force continues to meet to shape the Sunset Park waterfront and industrial waterfront district.  PortSide provided info and advice on the siting of a Citywide ferry stop in Red Hook.  We are engaged with the ongoing work of Red Hook's NY Rising committee.  We had a photogenic policy gig by being a stop on Alex Washburn's OHNY Resiliency bike tour.

Capacity Building - great progress undergirds all the above!

Getting our new home in Atlantic Basin, has provided PortSide NewYork with much needed stability and allowed us to turn energies to growing PortSide's capacity.  We grew the team with 2 board members and 4 advisory board members.  We completed the long slog of paperwork of a FEMA Sandy Alternate Project application, along with other important funding applications.  We were awarded $20,000 by Councilman Carlos Menchaca to support our Red Hook WaterStories project.  In Late October, PortSide launched a year-long growth campaign #GetOnBoard.  In December, we were awarded a competitive Regional Economic Development Council grant of $49,500 via the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. We scored new major sponsors in the Weather Channel and International Paint.  There is strong growth in the number of entities reaching out to get involved: we have heard from college community service programs, schools, teachers and individuals.  

Please donate now and support our momentum!