As of late February 2013 this is updated as info comes in and time allows.

We would appreciate funding to support this effort and our other Sandy refief efforts. To support this, see our webpage DONATE.

Short link for this page http://bit.ly/RHSandy  (case senstive)
more about PortSide at www.portsidenewyork.org

video about Red Hook Recovery and our role see     

Deadline to apply for FEMA aid extended to 3/29/13

FEMA Spanish 
FEMA Arabic 
FEMA Chinese
FEMA Haitian
FEMA Hebrew
FEMA Korean
FEMA Russian
FEMA Tagalog
FEMA Vietnamese

FEMA “Help After Disaster Guide” in many languages at http://www.fema.gov/help-after-disaster

Services at 351 Van Brunt Our walk-in aid center has been closed.  The back room behind the partition is still available for Sandy recovery meetings; if you want it, send an emailWe continue to provide new info here and our Twitter feed at @PortSideNewYork.

PortSide's home, the tanker MARY A. WHALEN weathered hurricane Sandy with minimal damage.  Not so our neighbors ashore in Red Hook. In response, PortSide set up a Sandy recovery station at 351 Van Brunt Street. Thanks to Realty Collective for 351's space, internet, electricity. Thanks to their tenant Gallery Brooklyn for sharing the space!

IMPORTANT If your heat is still not back on due to Sandy, please see this video to avoid starting a fire if you are using space heaters.

TEXT Needs/Damages to (347)778-0570
Format TEXT as Need @ Your Location

(i.e. "Gas, Water Pump @ Van Brundt and Pioneer Brooklyn")
TEXT Needs/Damages to (347)778-0570
Format TEXT as Need @ Your Location

(i.e. "Gas, Water Pump @ Van Brundt and Pioneer Brooklyn")
TEXT Needs/Damages to (347)778-0570
Format TEXT as Need @ Your Location

(i.e. "Gas, Water Pump @ Van Brundt and Pioneer Brooklyn")

Red Hook Sandy volunteers
  • Fri Sat Sun 10am-4pm walk-in sign-up at 360 Van Brunt Street opposite the school playground.
  • Mon-Thur contact redhookvolunteers.org 718-306-9149, redhookvolunteers@gmail.com 
Educate yourself about future risk of flooding
See our blogpost with Jim McMahon's map of Red Hook Sandy flooding which shows land elevations (height above sea water) and PortSide instructions on how to calculate tide + surge to determine possible flood levels near you.

Red Hook Sandy Meetings + Workshops
Fri 3/1/13 10am-6pm NYS Department of Financial Services Mobil Command Center (MCC) will be located at 402 Van Brunt Street this Friday, March 1st from 10am – 6pm.  Flyer   Bring all relevant documents with you when you visit the MCC, such as correspondence with your insurer or bank. If you can’t visit the MCC in person, get help with insurance issues or file complaints via the NYS Disaster Relief site www.nyinsure.ny.gov or by calling the Disaster Relief Hotline at 1-800-339-1759 Mon to Fri, 8am to 8pm; Sat and Sun, 10am to 5pm.

Fri 3/1/13 Red Hook Fairway re-opens. Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Miss America are attending. No word on when or if Fine Fare supermarket opposite the NYCHA housing will re-open.
Fri 3/1/13 10am-12pm at Red Hook Initiative. Lawyers Alliance of New York Workshop and individual consultation for non-profits and faith-based organizations, in recognition of how they stepped up to serve after Sandy.  "Now it is time to mobilize in support of Red Hook's nonprofit and faith-based organizations and to examine what these organizations will need to recover from the storm and support long-term rebuilding efforts. RSVP and details here

Wed 11/14/12  5pm Community Meeting at PS 27  Minutes

Thurs 11/8/12 6:30pm architect Jim Garrison advised building owners about how to rebuild, negotiate FEMA process etc. info  We will post follow-up info 

Recovery guides
Advice on health issues caused by Sandy info

NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery highly recommended March 2013 guide to new National Flood Maps & National Flood insurance.  See pg 4

NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery Older recovery guide

New York City Bar guide for residents and businesses 46 page guide

Start Small Think Big Start Small Think Big builds small businesses and grows financial empowerment in NYC's most underserved communities. Thanks to Sandy, PortSide is helping to bring them into Red Hook. Their guide

General Recovery info:

Deadline to apply for FEMA aid extended to 3/29/13 

FEMA en Espanol

NYC Housing Recovery office (new since Sandy) website and on Twitter @NYCHousingRecov

SIRR (NYC Special Initiative for Rebuilding + Resiliency) is a special long-term effort to plan for resilient (more storm-proof) rebuilding after Sandy. The SIRR office itself is a short-term project which works with existing city, state and federal agencies and has the deadline of creating a rebuilding and resilience report by May.  That report will shape how the federal Sandy funds coming to NYC will be allocated and will shape NYC policy about rebuilding over a longer term. SIRR asks for community input.  It is time to step up and speak up everyone!!!  As of 2/27/13 SIRR has no website up yet, so keep coming back here for info until www.nycsirr.org goes live.

Thurs 3/7/13 7:30pm SIRR meeting for Red Hook, Gowanus, and Sunset Park***  P.S. 58, 330 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 RSVP requested! Get RSVP info and more here.   

***Sit tight, Williamsburg, DUMBO and Greenpoint; your meeting will be the following week.
NYCHA rent abatement info

NYCHA Sandy Recovery Jobs Immediate temp jobs avail in NYCHA  developments. Individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy strongly encouraged to apply.  Recruitment Event, Mon 12/10/12 9am-12:30pm Red Hook PAL Miccio Community Center,110 W 9th Street, info
NYS Dept. of Labor Sandy Clean-Up Jobs Call 1-888-469-7365 or www.labor.ny.gov/sandyjobs or visit a Restoration Center (see below). You must be unemployed to be eligible. Pay is around $15/hour to work on cleaning and repair projects in declared disaster areas. info

NYLAG "NYLAG provides free civil legal services to New Yorkers who cannot afford a private attorney" Storm line 212-584-3365 info 

FEMA application advice for non-profits (via Mayor's office)
briefing sessions Fri 11/16 10am-2pm and 2pm-4pm
Mon 11/19 10am to 12pm and 2pm-4pm Info *** FEMA non-profit deadline extended to 12/31/12 apply to NYS OEM http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/recovery/  OR fax forms to 518-322-4984

NYC Rapid Repair Program Provides contractors to building owners (this spares you risk of contractor fraud**) and costs are paid directly by FEMA. If approved, you will NOT need to pay upfront for repairs and wait for reimbursement. Note Electricity must be on first.  Contractors, to sign up to work, call 311.
  1. First, you need to register with FEMA + get FEMA ID. Do that via  DisasterAssistance.gov, calling 1-800-621-3362 or go to the IKEA Red Hook restaurant to see FEMA there.
  2. Call 311 or go to NYC.gov with your FEMA ID number.
  3. You will be contacted withing 48 hours by a inspector/contractor
  4. If who want to know "when is my area scheduled?" Call 311 or Visit a Restoration Center.
  5. For other types of questions (missed appointment, question about the kind of work being done, etc): call 1 866-210-8084 
  6. If you have a question about work completed by Rapid Repairs, call  (212) 615-8366 or email: RapidRepairsCare@recovery.nyc.gov
Rapid Repairs team promises to will work closely with City agencies, including the Department  of Buildings, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to make sure that necessary inspections and certifications are done quickly.

** doing repairs on your own/suspect contractor fraud?  File complaints with Dept of Stat 800-697-1220 dos.ny.gov  http://bit.ly/11CEcKP

NYC suspending water bills until 6/1/13 for customers whose properties were severely damaged by Sandy.

NYC offering property tax relief for Sandy damaged buildings:interest-free extension on the next property tax bill for owners whose homes damaged beyond repair or need “extensive structural repairs before they can be re-inhabited." press release and analysis by Crains

National Grid is providing a $150 rebate when gas is reconnected.
Sales tax exemptions on purchases of rebuilding materials and  equipment for businesses info

Homeowner re-occupancy guidelines info
Gowanus Canal water toxicity concerns EPA sampling results

Food Stamps  
NEW Disaster Food Stamps (D-SNAP) for Sandy victims application period has closed.

Alternative housing

Airbnb free housing in other people's homes info

Short-term apartment listings 

Family to Family program sign up to provide a space or say you need one info

Wall Street Journal suggests there is available space in FEMA-paid hotels info

Replacing lost documents (SS card; ID cards, birth certificates). Scroll down two screenloads for tips from the Gov. Cuomo's office info 

Aid for Artists
Joe's Pub list of resources  
Park Avenue Armory temp space for artists info

PEN grants for writers affected by Hurricane Sandy info 

Red Hook Small Business update
Support Red Hook and shop the following stores re-opened: Brooklyn Crab, Steve's Key Lime Pie, Baked, Fort Defiance, Hope+Anchor, home/made, The Good Fork, Botta DiVino, Dry Dock (moved north to Van Brunt+Wolcott), Metal+Thread, Foxy+Winston, Erie Basin, Cute Bicycle Shop, Bait+Tackle, Ice House, Wen Gee Chinese Food. Support revival of our small retail businesses by donating to ReStore Red Hook

Tiburon closing 1/27/13 due to rent increase by landlord.

Many businesses are running their own fundraising. Links posted as we get 'em!

NYC EDC aid to businesses various forms of support info printable form here

Gallery Brooklyn, co-host with Realty Collective of PortSide's 351 Van Brunt Sandy aid center, gave 10% of the proceeds from the show up during Sandy to Red Hook recovery.

New ReStore Red Hook Fund to support Sandy recovery of the small businesses so essential to serving Red Hook, sustaining the vibe and making us a destination info  See their moving video

Brooklyn Recovery Fund, a joint effort of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Brooklyn Borough President, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce created a pooled fund to support Brooklyn non-profits working in areas most affected by Sandy. Text ‘Brooklyn’ to 25383 to donate $10 to this fund.  11/30/12 Red Hook has received a Community Collaborative Grant $100,000 grant from this fund! info
Past Fundraisers - listed so you can find and still support these causes
Sat 12/1- Sun 12/2 fundraising workshop for She-Weld art forge run by Marsha Trattner. She-Weld was featured in BRIC video about artists affected by Sandy. Try blacksmithing yourself and make holiday presents with visiting master Blacksmith Charles Cooper from San Antonio. info   

Sat 12/1, 6-12pm “Flooded Art” fundraiser, Kidd Yellin Gallery, Imlay Street, Red Hook. Buy storm damaged art to raise money for artists hurt by Sandy. info Wall Street Journal article

Sat 12/1, 6-12pm 7pm - 11 pm Fundraiser for Sunny's Bar, Hamilton Gallery Theater, 498 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (between Luquer + Nelson).  Sunny's was huge in making the new Red Hook. Back in the day, his was the only place open to the public at night (as opposed to the VFW and K of C). Open only one night a week (Friday) and operating as a private club, busloads would come in from Williamsburg to mingle with harbor workers, old-timers and the pioneers of the new Red Hook. The bar was our town hall, open for meetings of all sorts. Please help Sunny's! info

Buy a bike jersey fundraiser - Order by 12/1/12 short or long sleeved Red Hook jersey: Red Hook Criterium + race sponsor Castelli teamed up to make this fundraiser jersey. info

Tues 11/27/12 7:30-9:30pm BrooklynBased and Work It Brooklyn offer a night of food, beer, and stories about kitchen mishaps and surviving Sandy with Brooklyn chefs, followed by Work It Brooklyn's signature speed networking sessions for food professionals. Food and raffle giveaways. Raffle and ticket sales will benefit ReStore Red Hook

Wed 11/21/12 7pm Jalopy Theatre + Friends Musical Extravaganza starring Rosanne Cash plus Alex Battles and the Whisky Spitter Rebellion and screening "B6" A film by Michael Buscemi. Supports ReStore Red Hook Tickets $30 info

Wed 11/14 Literary Benefit Wed 11/14 proceeds go to RestoreRedHook.org

Mon 11/12 Brooklyn Greenway held a fundraiser where 100% of funds will be donated to Brooklyn Recovery Fund. Thank you BGI!  

ANIMAL ISSUES - Thanks to Red Hook Dog Rescue for getting us this info
  • ASPCA. The ASPCA is helping rescue stranded pets as well as giving pet food to those in need. They have a dedicated emergency pet rescue hotline and have been going door to door looking for abandoned animals.
  • Sean Casey Animal Rescue. This group has been taking in a lot of rescued and abandoned pets, especially dogs, from the shore areas of Brooklyn, which were hit particularly hard. But they also have taken in turtles, birds, cats and snakes. See moving BRIC video about them here
  • Alley Cat Allies. This group has been all over NY + NJ feeding feral cats who survived storm, including the famous outdoor cats of the Atlantic City boardwalk, most of whom miraculously survived Sandy.
  • Help with pets 347-573-1561.  Pet food is at Visitation Church. 

Past Mayor's Office Updates:
  • 11/26/12 (Mayor announces that landlords must make repairs or face enforcement proceedings)
  • 11/20/12
  • 11/18/12 (a lot info on building condemnation, green + reg tags)
  • 11/16/12


NYC Historic Ships need greater and easier access to NYC piers!
Friday 3/16/12 the City Council Committee on Waterfronts held a hearing about the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) WAVES initiative.  WAVES includes this goal of the Mayor's office for 2012: 

"Create uniform landing protocol and application for City-owned properties to facilitate docking of historic vessels." 

If such a protocol were in place, PortSide would surely not be suffering our current real estate crisis. 
At th3 3/16/12 hearing, a noteworthy number of people testified solely on the theme of historic ships.

Many people mentioned PortSide's real estate crisis - we became the theme du jour - and supported having the MARY A. WHALEN get a new home fast.

The value and struggles of historic ships in NYC was affirmed by several members of the newly formed coalition of historic ships (a formal name, mission statement and website for the group are in the works).  Members of this coalition, which includes PortSide NewYork, testified in person or sent in written testimony.

Here are links to some of the testimony from that day (official City Council transcripts are not yet ready):

Carolina Salguero, Director, PortSide NewYork click

Capt. Maggie Flanagan, maritime educator & program developer click

Mary Habstritt, Museum Director, LILAC Preservation Project click

Capt. Pamela Hepburn, Director, Tug PEGASUS Preservation Project click 

David Sharps, President, Waterfront Museum Barge click

Please support our getting a new home and all historic ships in NYC by signing our petition at http://chn.ge/PortSideSOS

For a quick summary of our programs see this video click


Want to help a great non-profit?

Can you find PortSide NewYork a space that we could use for an office for one month?   We would also like to use this to sell off a collection of maritime artifacts, part of our fundraising endeavors. We cannot do that from the port where we are not accessible on a walk-up basis.

For owners/brokers of vacant storefronts:  it is easier to rent a space that is in use (that's why there are so many pop-up cultural centers).   Having PortSide in a space attract a lot of visitors, blog buzz, good press, and good kharma! We always return any space cleaner than we found it.  It would be a office for 3-4 people and visiting volunteers.  If you have a space or lead on a space, please email us at portsidenewyork(at)gmail.com or call 917-414-0565. 

We are looking for a temporary office because tightened Port Authority security regs (as of 2/13) are severely blocking volunteers trying to help us at a time we really need help (see our petition here)  Our office is on the historic ship MARY A. WHALEN in a Port Authority containerport where Homeland Security TWIC cards are needed to enter.

As of 2/13, our Director Carolina Salguero is the only PortSide person who can escort guests without TWIC cards to the tanker MARY A. WHALENOther PortSide holders of TWIC cards no longer have escort priveledges (including our Shipwork Volunteer Coordinator).  

This is a new Port Authority ruleTWIC cards cost about $135, a federal background check and about 2 weeks to get, so we cannot get TWICs for all visitors or volunteers.  

So... this means that if Carolina Salguero is out of the office on PortSide business (visiting a potential pier, attending a meeting or conference) all the volunteers offering to help during our crisis have to get out of the office.  Last week, Carolina was out of the office almost four days on business.  

If Carolina is here, it means that her day is interrupted by biking back and forth six blocks to the gate to get volunteers or visitors coming for appointments.

Carolina can't leave a non-TWIC card holder alone on the boat (even though there are other TWIC card holders in the office), so if we have a guest coming after the first one, she has to take the 1st guest out with her to collect the 2nd guest, etc.  

In short, if PortSide had a publicly accessible office right now it would help HUGELY.  We don't need phone lines.  We run the office on cellphones. We need electricity to power computers and internet access.

If you have a space or lead on a space, please email us at portsidenewyork(at)gmail.com or call 917-414-0565.


PortSide has a crisis: we have looked for a home for 6+ years and had a real estate agreement fall through after 3+ years of work.   

We need a home confirmed by April 30th or we close and our historic ship, the tanker MARY A. WHALEN would likely be scrapped as there are few commercial uses for her.

Please help us by writing City Council members who are reviewing a city initiative that is supposed to make docking easier for historic ships.

The Mayor's office has declared a 2012 goal to created a uniform docking protocol for historic ships. This goal is embeded in the Economic Development Corporation’s Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy (WAVES).

Friday, 3/16/12, the City Council Committee on Waterfronts will be holding a hearing on at 1:00 pm, 14th Floor Committee Room, 250 Broadway, Manhattan.  Please attend and testify if you can; but PLEASE write the committee at the following email addresses:

Chair, CM Michael C. Nelson (mnelson1@council.nyc.gov)
CM Gale A. Brewer (gbrewer@council.nyc.gov)
CM Brad S. Lander (lander@council.nyc.gov)
CM Eric A. Ulrich (eulrich@council.nyc.gov)
CM Peter F. Vallone (pvallonejr@council.nyc.gov

For inspiration, here is a sample letter 

< < < Date

re:  March 16, 2012 Council Committee on Waterfronts hearing

The plight of the non-profit PortSide NewYork and their home, the historic tanker MARY A. WHALEN is of particular concern to me.  I want to see the PortSide’s innovative waterfront-themed programs survive and grow and ensure that the MARY A. WHALEN is saved from being scrapped. PortSide NewYork needs to get a homeport secured immediately for these to happen.

I strongly urge you to help improve docking options for historic ships in NYC by creating a uniform landing protocol -- this will help PortSide and the MARY A. WHALEN.    

Without a clear set of rules and procedures that reflect the needs and operations of vessels, historic ships will continue to have difficulty finding usable berths and will be forced out of our waterfront.

I am writing now because there is a City Council Committee on Waterfronts hearing on March 16 to follow-up on the Waterfront Action Agenda (WAVES) of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC).  One goal of WAVES is: “Create uniform landing protocol and application for City-owned properties to facilitate docking of historic vessels (Mayor’s Office, 2012).”  

NYC’s historic ships offer a diverse range of experiences I value:  they teach about the past of this port and waterfront city, they offer great recreational, educational and workforce training opportunities for youth, they run wonderful cultural programs for people of all ages. Ships offer the most exciting and easy staycation options in New York City; being afloat is like nothing else!  Historic ships move around, linking and servicing service communities and boroughs in ways that land-based museums cannot.  

Please make piers easier for historic ships to use in NYC and historic ships to bring NYC’s revitalizing waterfront to life!  They are THE embodiment of “Vision 2020,” the city’s new waterfront plan.

< < < Add Any Additional Comments Here


        < < < Be sure to include this information


2012 painting + frame donated by Frank Hanavan
PortSide NewYork is urgently seeking a new home after the deal for Atlantic Basin fell through so that we can continue to serve the public and save the historic ship tanker MARY A. WHALEN.  In the few weeks since announcing our crisis, we have received a groundswell of support from elected officials, mariners, local residents, artists, restaurants, bloggers and others.

Some of the offers of help we have received include:

Noted author/historian Mike Wallace and his wife Carmen Boullosa, offered to host a dinner on the Mary A. Whalen that she cooks and during which he talks about NYC's waterfront history.   

Michael Miscione, Manhattan Borough Historian is donating a tour or private history session.  

Fort Defiance
Fort Defiance bar/restaurant has offered their place for meetings and will plan a summer fundraiser for us.  

Charles Knapp, cheesemonger at the Red Hook Fairway, will run a cheese tasting fundraiser.

The band Deedle Deedle Dees will donate a concert

Maggie Flanagan, former Director of Marine Education at the old South Street Seaport Museum will run a free children's nautical event fundraiser for us.
A free cruise on the 97' luxury yacht Justine


SeaStreak ferry will let PortSide flyer their passengers and is willing to announce our cause to them.

Naima Raum print
Artists donating work:     

Bill Murphy limited edition print  
Frank Hanavan  new painting of the Mary Whalen 
Christina Sun new drawing of the the Mary Whalen
Barbara Mensch photograph
Naima Raum limited edition print

We seek:
  • Venues to take advantage of some of the offers above. Our ship is not accessible while in the Red Hook Container Terminal, so we need places for the concert, children's maritime event, cheese tasting and more.
  • A large boat for a fundraising cruise. The only way many people can see the MARY A. WHALEN is from the water.
Is there a service or place you can offer?

Crisis at PortSideCrisis at PortSide, help save us & MARY A. WHALEN

February 17, 2012 
Pier 9B
Posted by Carolina Salguero

Here is some urgent news and a call for your support so that PortSide NewYork can stay open and the tanker MARY A. WHALEN can be saved. Please read and forward this flyer about our meeting on Monday 2/27/12:

Mon 2/27, 6:30-8:30pm  directions
LICH Conference Rooms A & B
339 Hicks Street, Brooklyn NY 11201

After that, until 10:30pm at Montero's Bar
across Atlantic Ave from LICH just south of Hicks.

The Bad News:

We will not be getting a home in Atlantic Basin in time to keep us in business.  After six years of working on getting a home, and 3+ years working on Atlantic Basin, we finally need a place.

PortSide needs to have a home confirmed by April 30th, or we will close and the tanker MARY A. WHALEN will likely be scrapped, as there are few commercial uses for her.

You may wonder why we cannot continue with the MARY A. WHALEN docked in the Red Hook Containerport.  PortSide is very grateful for that berth, but the need to secure the port means there are Homeland Security regulations and Port Authority rules that prevent us from using the ship for programs or revenue generating activities there. More on that at bottom of the post.

Without a location where YOU can visit us, PortSide cannot meet its goals for the community, or earn money with the ship, and cannot continue.

Some Good News:

We have have identified several locations that we think could work for us, including some nearby.  We are fully engaged in reaching out to those places

Help us continue programs like these!:

We created the public performance in a local container port, with the TankerOpera.  We created the first cultural program in GMD shipyard in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  We introduced the Dutch Flat Bottom Fleet to Atlantic Basin and created the first public programs there including 44 events during July and August 2010 and the free sails on the Clipper City earlier in the year.  We created the first free, public, bilingual historic ship tours in NYC during Concierto Tipico, a salsa concert in Sunset Park.   

We are redesigning the BoatBox used by the Red Hook Boaters in Valentino Park to make it an amenity for the whole community.  We invented Kayak Valet, now an established harbor term.   

We created an important 9/11 exhibit about how the marine industry evacuated hundreds of thousands of people on 9/11 and went on to help NYC recover from the attacks. 

And, PortSide NewYork is the first - and only - group to save a tanker ship in the USA for public use.  We did the paperwork to have the MARY A. WHALEN deemed eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

More good news:

PortSide does not need to be in the new home by the end of April (though that would be a blessing); we just need it confirmed to enable fundraising. 

How real estate affects funding:

Funders want to see that an organization has a stable base of operations and that programs can occur on a predictable basis.  Up until now, PortSide has been forced to negotiate permits for every event we have ever done, and we have never received permission on more than 3 weeks notice!  After months of planning, one big event, the Dutch Flat Bottom Fleet Open House of 2009, was approved only nine days in advance. Our summer 2010 permit for Atlantic Basin took 7 months to negotiate and was only cleared 20 days in advance.

PortSide has been negotiating for a publicly accessible home for almost seven years. 

As you all know, homelessness is an exhausting proposition. It makes it hard to get things done. 

I am sharing this news with you in the hope that you will support PortSide and help us bring this real estate hunt to a speedy conclusion.  PortSide needs a real home for our ship so we can deliver the programs we have promised and I keenly want to deliver.

It’s been six years and nine months since we did our business plan funded by the Department of Small Business Services (SBS).  It is four years and five months since we responded to the EDC RFEI for Atlantic Basin, and five years since we responded to an EDC RFP for Atlantic Basin.

In late 2008, the EDC announced that PortSide would have a home in Atlantic Basin. They asked us to do programs there every year, which we did, but without the security of an underlying ongoing lease agreement, we did not have the ability to apply for grants, seek major donors and conduct fundraisers based on a known schedule of programs.  Under those conditions, planning and doing programming is not sustainable and we need to get into a situation that allows for proper capacity building.

Note that Atlantic Basin is owned by the Port Authority, and the EDC leases Atlantic Basin from the Port Authority which has ultimate say about activities there.

What we did do in Atlantic Basin and all our other temporary outposts is provide a taste of what we will do when we have a place where we can flourish.  If PortSide can do as much as we have while homeless, imagine how much more we can do with a proper home!

We have plans and the capability to do more for you in the future; we just need a place to do it.   I ask you to please come to PortSide’s meeting at 6:30pm on Monday 2/27 at LICH and help PortSide by speaking up and stepping up. 

Details about why staying in the Red Hook Containerport is not viable:

For example, if you don’t have a Homeland Security ID, a TWIC card, we have to escort you five blocks from the gate to the ship. Since the onset of TWIC cards in March 2009, each card holder could only escort five visitors who did not have a TWIC. It is pretty hard to get a school group here under such circumstances; and large audiences such as attended the 2007 opera are impossible.

As of new rules effective Monday February 13, I am now the only person at PortSide NewYork who can escort any visitors at all. That means only five non-TWIC card holders can come to a meeting at our office on the ship, or tour the boat, or work on a volunteer day.

Progress! MARY WHALEN before+after photos

Pier 9B
Posted by Carolina Salguero

This post is still under construction. Some more photos coming soon!

Looking something up in our files, I happened upon an old photo of the MARY WHALEN's bow as it looked before her haul out by GMD in January-February 2007, when this blog began. The photo of her bow looking so nasty really drove home how much work has been done around here. So for encouragement's sake, here is a series of before-and-after photos.

Fall 2006, before shipyard. Note that the anchor cannot be raised and is tied off with a line, and many fenders have been burned off leaving her bow snaggle-toothed with weldments. Weldments are not a Altoid product, they are the vestiges of where things were once welded.

2007 after shipyard.  The spirket place (Charlie Deroko introduced me to that term) was repainted white based on old photos of the tanker.  Charlie even forwarded a poem using the term spirket.

2005 before purchase, she was literally in the weeds in Erie Basin. The eagle on the front of the house is not original. That was a gift to Hughes Brothers and they removed it and kept it before selling the boat.

2008, after most of the house was repainted

Main deck and boom, 2005 before purchase.  In the midst of all that deck clutter was a marine toilet, possibly one removed from the boat.  Lying on deck to the right of the photo is a spud that is for sale at time of writing.
2011 Main deck and boom in final stages of refurbishing said post as reported in blog post about shipwork and pizza

2006 galley

2009 galley

2006 Captain's Cabin
2008 Captain's Cabin

wheelhouse before purchase 2005

Wheelhouse 2011

1/12/2008 First time her house lights were working since acquisition. Thank you Ed Fanuzzi for that work!

One loss:  The brass builder's plaque was was stolen from front of the house before the boat was purchased.   
(So was a vintage safety sign from the fidley; we have no photos of that)
Here is the plaque in April 2005.   

Reward for retun of the plaque; no questions asked!  

The MARY A. WHALEN began life as the S.T. KIDDOO, named for Solomon Thomas Kiddoo, then the Treasurer of Fairbanks Morse. Ira S. Bushey & Sons who had the tanker built, distributed Fairbanks Morse engine parts, and this boat has one of their engines.

Portrait of Carolina Salguero in NYC Waterfront book "New York" by MARE Verlag

A portrait of PortSide NewYork Founder and Director Carolina Salguero is included in the coffeetable book "New York" recently issued by MARE, an innovative and award-winning German publishing house specializing in maritime themes (as we do!).

The luscious and often surprsing book features images of the city by renowned Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin and portraits by acclaimed photographer Stefan Pielow of New Yorkers whose lived are defined by the water.

Photo (c) Stefan Pielo

First snow day of 2012 on MARY WHALEN, Chiclet asks for help shovelling the deck!

Pier 9B
Posted by Carolina Salguero

That's Chiclet coming in this morning after a night off the boat.

Soon after that, I sent an email blast out to volunteers for help shoveling at 3pm.  Chiclet asks for help!

I did that rather last minute, I know, but I wasn’t on the ball vis a vis work yesterday. It was my birthday and day 13 of a cold, two different excuses for being a dingbat.

Before shoveling, I'm relishing the cozy delights of snow day: Irish oatmeal with currants on the diesel stove.

Chiclet snoozing on her galley tuffet. 

Snowy light on silver polished by Jenny Kane for a Supper Club dinner; thank you Jenny!    

WBGO Rhythm Revue streaming. Dave Black, thanks for introducing me to that!

Here’s a snow day shot from 3 years ago, a stove multi-tasking, heating up the shovel so I can wax it and warming soup at the same time.  

This is also a sign of progress! In 2008, the fidley deck had not been repainted yet (note the peeling paint on floor) and we were using an old shovel with a taped handle (it was a classic though), and now we have mod Canadian shovels with plastic blades and carbon fiber handles. Come use one today! Stevedores will start plowing the pier next to the ship sometime after 1pm and deck shoveling starts at 3pm!

After that, I've invited people to join me at Montero's Bar at 6pm and raise a glass in honor of bar founder Pilar Montero who passed away at 90 this week and celebrate her and the great place she created.


73 Atlantic Ave @ Hicks

Brooklyn Heights

Boom! meets Pizza!

Pier 9B, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Posted by Carolina Salguero
Photos by Carolina Salguero unless otherwise indicated.

The first volunteer day of 2012, Saturday, was blessed with GLORIOUS weather with temps hovering around 50 degrees and the sun mostly out all day.  Project Boom! is in its final stages. Mike I-love-rigging Abegg tweaked the cable running through the boom's refurbished blocks, attached a block to the end of the boom, running its line through the fair leads used during the MARY WHALEN's days of carrying fuel hose.  We'll use that block instead of  the boom chainfall (so key for gangway tending) to do things like lift pallet loads of hard coal. We'll be getting 2 tons of coal once the boom is back up. Time to play Break Bulk! Better that than Break Back from carrying eighty 50-pound bags of coal up the gangway...

Today's goals:  get shipwork work done, have fun (as always) and learn to make pizza to feed the crew.  It's cold enough to want something warm at the end of the day, and deep inside the container terminal TWIC zone as we are, no take-out deliveries are possible.  Today, we received a donated pizza stone from by A Cook's Companion - thank you! - picked up by John Weaver and Karen Dyrland who popped by to deliver my new used Leica digital camera (photos here may improve) and put in an hour of work.  Before the volunteers arrived Smitty, a wizard musician on the steel guitar, came and donated to the firewood pile, walnut offcuts from his cabinetry work.
Today's work list was aspirationally long; but hey, Mike Abegg says to make a bigger list than we can do!

First thing I did before shipwork was make the sauce for the pizza. Time for a shout out here to thank Scott Pfaffman and Molly Blieden for donating a stack of saucepans after their tenant restaurant O'Barone closed. This is one of the big ones. So great!
Sauce is being cooked on our Webb Perfection diesel pot-burner stove, a design patented in 1918.
Diesel simply piddles down the pipe, turns right and then heads towards the back and into the "pot," aka a Valjean Burner. The holes allow oxygen to enter.  The overflow safety cutoff is the little chain dangling to the right of the down-sticking overflow pipe. If the pot floods, the extra diesel spills down that pipe and into a cup. Once that cup get heavy (you have to calibrate that), it pulls down on the chain and cuts off the intake. Originally there was a round-bottomed brass cup. Now, we have a bean can with a dead padlock to give it heft. If someone knows where to get such a Webb brass cup, we'd love to know.
First volunteer in, Peter Rothenberg, nets the day's Best Dressed Award.  Pete is painting the boom mast fully and his shirt not very much.
Mike Abegg where he likes to go, up the ladder and into what little rigging an oil tanker has to offer. Photo by Karen Dyrland.

Though the South Street Seaport is rising like a phoenix and has reactivated their volunteer program, our Save Our Seaport friends are still around.  After spending the morning volunteering on the Seaport fleet, Mike Cohen, Nelson Chin and Linda Beal spend their afternoon at PortSide. Here they're pitching in on final stages of Mike Abegg's boom project.

Somehow Linda Beal seems to get involved in projects stretching things out on the pier. This time she handles it without Chiclet's assistance. Chiclet punked out this work day and did not supervise.

Me, setting off to cut firewood on the pier. Photo by Nelson Chin.

Linda Beal and Mike Cohen wire brushing the boom guy wires. Heckuva job! I wrote the guy wires off as badly rusted; but after Linda and Mike's diligent brushing, the wire rope looked really good!
Me, cutting wood offcuts donated by Ralph Gorham of Brooklyn Farm Table and Red Hook Lobster Pound. That's so Red Hook... that kind of range out of one person. I'm sorry to burn such wonderful old timbers and set aside a few for Mike Abegg who is also a cabinetmaker (what was I saying about people with diverse skill sets...). The axe here is a wanna be. I swung it twice and concluded that my shoulder is NOT healed after being hit by a truck on 1/14/11, so it's a good thing that I'm switching the fidley stove from wood burning to coal burning... I'll need much less wood this winter, just enough to start the coal fires...
Speaking of fuel. Here, passing us is the kind of 2nd generation equipment that replaced the MARY A. WHALEN. The first generation after coastal oil tankers was fuel barges pushed by harbor tugs. Now there are these huge "pin boats," ATB (articulated tug and barge units) whose tugs are pinned to double hulled fuel barges.  The MARY is an old single hull. She carried 8,019 barrels.  That's Reinauer equipment passing us, and their bigger barges carry 100,000 barrels and more, all of which constitutes a heads up as to how much fuel consumption has soared from 1938 when the MARY WHALEN was built until now.  Photo by Karen Dyrland. Her father was captain of the MARY A. WHALEN from 1958 to 1978.

The wind really came up by the end of the day; and here Mike Cohen is wrastling the wheelhouse window tarps back into place. They came down for New Years Eve fireworks viewing....

Pizza #4. What you can't see here was the learning curve from Pizza #1, the pizza that was a lesson in corn meal or semolina flour. eg, without it scattered on your pizza peel, you're not getting your pizza off the peel! A nimble committee lept into action and helped me drag deformed Pizza 1 onto the Pizza stone. 

Nelson Chin cutting pizza, Mike Cohen and Mike Abegg  to the right of him.

Matt Perricone of the Tug Cornell and Amy Bucciferro arrived in time for Pizza #4. Matt was in to pick up two old radar monitors that were donated to us.  We're trading them for work time from Matt.  We all laughed about Lessons of Shipwork, The Shopvac Episodes.  My tale covered why not to use one to vacuum out a diesel stove--clogs your filter in minutes, and there is  no way to clean that off without getting blackened like a coal  miner.   Matt said "never use one without a filter; because if  you do, what was over there, just goes zzzzip over to here."  Matt described cleaning out the MARY WHALEN's boiler chimney on New Year's day. He removed about 15 gallons of rust scale and one dead pigeon.  Minus the bird and friends, could we finally get the boiler to work? Wouldn't central heat be grand....

And with that, I'll leave you with the Shop Vac Song

Boom! and other shipwork projects

More coming soon about more restoration work on the cargo boom, galley stove, fidley stove and more!

Amy Bucciferro priming parts of the block from the cargo boom. Mike Abegg took all the blocks apart for servicing and we're replacing all the wire in the running and standing rigging.
Mike Cohen (L) and Mike Abegg (R) both of the Save Our Seaport group, giving the gangway some TLC

Hugh McCallion working on galley stove chimney

Hugh McCallion servicing the galley stove.

Carolina Salguero in forepeak removing last of ballast water put in for Hurricane Irene. After 2 pumps burned out, the last bit went out in buckets. Care to donate more pumps anyone?

Dirty forepeak mucking crew Frank Hanavan (L), Carolina Salguero (R) and Mike Abegg who popped by our project (center)

Ben Paolino on top of the wheelhouse capping the tankerman's cabin vent for the winter

Hugh McCallion tackles the stove in the fidley this time, swapping out stove pipe

Our 2009 intern from Germany Yolanda Rother popped by for a surprise visit and jumped right in

PortSide AddYourVoice campaign

Please send us a message that expresses 

what PortSide and/or the MARY A. WHALEN means to you
or what great experience you had with us, etc.

You can post directly to AddYourVoice by adding a comment below or

Messages from our AddYourVoice campaign will be used in grant 
applications and in our quest for a home for 
PortSide and the MARY A. WHALEN.  

We are trying very hard to get out from behind the containerport fence to a place where we can provide programs more often and expand our program mix.Please support this effort and chime in to say why you want us out of here!

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Click the link below "View comments" to see submissions to the campaign.

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!

NPYD security training on the MARY A. WHALEN

Today's New York Times reports on the underwater cameras used by the NYPD. Now that the secret's out, here's some news.

The NYPD trained officers on how to use the new cameras on the MARY A. WHALEN during May of 2007. 

An NYPD boat came along side, and an officer in sunglasses skipped over introductions and said "can we look at your bottom with an underwater camera?"

I said, "I don't show my bottom to just any guy... who's asking?"

Without the hint of a laugh, Detective Keith Duval handed over a card and said he was with the Counter Terrorism Division.  

"All the big stuff is either busy or moving," he explained; so the Mary Whalen would be helpful to him to use. He said the cameras cost some $80,000. 

Elaine Carmichael, our urban planner from Economic Stewardship was visiting NYC.  She and I interrupted our meeting to watch for awhile, and then just let the NYPD do their job. 

Here are some more photos from their visit.

PortSide uses the MARY A. WHALEN as an educational resource in diverse ways and for diverse groups. We have given TankerTours to the general public in English and Spanish.  We have helped train college professors in a City Tech program. We have run workshops and lectures (TankerTalks) aboard, and we've helped train the NYPD.  We look forward to partnering with maritime training institutions to help offer professional training.

If you think your school, academy, or program could use the MARY A. WHALEN in some educational fashion, please get in touch with us at portsidenewyork(at)gmail.com

Carolina Salguero