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.

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

Christmas in the Red Hook Container Terminal, back in the day

Every object has a history. Unlocking that history is what interpretation is all about and is something we try and do here at PortSide NewYork with our WaterStories project. Here’s a story related to the crèche you can see outside the Red Hook Containerport.

December 2010, PortSide received an email out of the blue from a Fred DeAngelis. Here are some excerpts.

To whom it may concern,
My name is Fred DeAngelis. I am so glad to have found your website. In short I was practically raised on pier 9.
My dad worked there with JOHN McGrath for over 20+ years. Of course I would like to volunteer my time to support your project. I have not been on the pier itself since 1986 & would love the opportunity to revisit.

Fred and his wife and small child visited the Mary Whalen on 3/12/2011.  While leaving, he spotted the battered crèche inside the shed on Pier 9b. He was very moved. He said “my father built that.”  He got out of his car to photograph it.

When the crèche was installed outside the port this December, I emailed him to tell him it was in place in case he wanted to photograph it. I thought it might not be around forever, what with the changes in the port. He wrote back with a history of Christmas in the port from the 70s and 80s. His father was here from 1972 to 1986 when as he put it “John McGrath was the name of the company that was pier 9.”

The Holiday session on the water front was something literally out of a movie. The surrounding neighborhood wasn't as pretty as it is now becoming and the workers tried to make it as festive as possible.
Now remember these were the tough and rugged Longshoreman of yesteryear. However the special feeling of the holidays touched almost everyone.  As I remember most of the waterfront would decorate a little.

My dad and his friends would cut a damaged container up and make a shed for the decorations that they would put on display. The nativity set was always the center of attraction with a lighted sign that would say "MERRY CHRISTMAS"

Santa was incorporated with strings of lights and the feelings of the holidays approaching would settle in.

Food was also another big part of celebrating the holidays. Through out certain parts of the pier they had what they would call shacks. This is a place where till today I have never tasted an Italian meal so good. Joe Black was the cook and also the forklift operator for John McGrath at the time and a special family friend.

You could picture snow on the ground, ships all docked at the piers and small shacks that would have smoke coming out of a chimney with friends inside eating and drinking together.

Indeed a special time and memories that will last a lifetime.

Happy holidays, whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate it.

From http://saveredhooklights.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/

Eerie Sea Smoke in time for Halloween

So WHAT'S with the weather?!

Today's plummeting temperature brought more than snow, it brought sea smoke. Fast moving sea smoke, that is, given the winds. Here's a glimpse.

Last time I saw sea smoke on salt water in such quantities, it was 2 degrees out, and I was shooting my muse, the Janice Anne Reinauer. This summer she was sold to a Nigerian company and left on the Blue Marlin.

See what today's sea smoke looks like from the wheelhouse of a tug dockside at Carteret in another evocative video by Bill Brucato, Captain of the Nicole L. Reinauer.