Wagenborg failure re-routes SI ferry

Red Hook, Brooklyn
by Carolina Salguero

For reasons I can't explain, I so love it when the Staten Island ferries whoosh past the MARY A. WHALEN in the Buttermilk. Is it because they are my favorite color (orange)? Is it the wonderful way they stream by leaving no wake? or how they look so big slipping between the land masses of Red Hook and Governors Island?

This afternoon, I spotted one coming up the channel.


I called Staten Island Ferry Captain Jim Parese at 1544 to ask if he was steering the ferry headed my way. 

He called back a while later to say that "that's my boat.. but I'm not on it."  He was just leaving their simulator room. I asked why the ferry was coming this side of Governors Island, and he explained that a small ship in the 250'-300' size had lost steerage and dropped anchor off the range on Governors Island.

Jim Parese is a new friend thanks to PortSide's exhibit on the mariners response to 9/11. Jim evacuated thousands of people on 9/11, and his interview appears in the book "All Available Boats" and you could hear his oral history at our exhibit.

He sent the following photos of Wagenborg vessel which was having the trouble.  

If you have any more info about what transpired, please call or write!


Big Money, Big Ideas for Bklyn Waterfront Today - or not

Last night Brooklyn Bridge Park officials revealed proposals for development on Pier 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Below we offer a one-stop shop of today's links to Pier 1 coverage to make the proposal images easier to find.


In other (and the really astounding) waterfront news, the Times reports today that the Center for Urban Real Estate, which they call "a new research group at Columbia University" proposes connecting Governor's Island to Manhattan with landfill. The idea comes with a realtor-ready neighborhood moniker “LoLo” (Lower Lower Manhattan).

Hopping hollyhocks! Where to start on this one?  

There's the environmental issue of filling the harbor, there's shutting down a major maritime channel, and then there are other questions such as:

Why give Governors Island to Manhattan? It was once more closely related to Brooklyn. At low tide, people reputedly could walk over from Red Hook, and it is fact that the Buttermilk Channel was dredged as far back as the 1800s to open up a shipping channel. 

Alternatively, if one is to fill, would it be more useful for the city and region at the metalevel to fill out to the pier headline in Sunset Park and put a post-Panamax containerport there? Backers of that idea say the raising of the Bayonne Bridge is too little too late and doesn't address the hard right turn the ships have to make. 

Or how about the idea that maybe what makes Governors Island so great now is that it IS an island?  As LoLo, it's just another development.

Then there is the PortSide way of thinking, eg, it's OK to think big, but what is key is to get stuff happening right away with the infrastructure you have (open up all those city piers with nothing doing on them, make Governors Island piers more used) or build smaller projects to reflect real users (hello, "maritime piers" of 125th Street West Harlem, Pier 25 in Hudson River Park or the upcoming Pier 15 in the East River that are not designed for easy boat use). Hello, LoLo, rather than MegaBuild, how about “small but now”?  Isn’t there a recession on? How about some now now while there is no there there?  

Happy Thanksgiving.