Report from Waterfront Sunday 6/19 in Red Hook

PortSide assembled a Power Team to man our set-up at the Red Hook sidewalk sale organized by RHED.  Fresh off the Mermaid Parade, we had Will Van Dorp Tugster; and Frank Hanavan, the creative omnicompetent and maker of the Schooner Pioneer and Admiral Nelson costumes; from PortSide, Stephanie Ortiz, one of our interns, Dan Goncharoff and Carolina Salguero, and Michele Kogon, copy editor, ensuring that all our written emissions were spot on.

Smitty played the guitar for a while.

Will Van Dorp aka Tugster

We engaged in some family-friendly, maritime street theatre to raise awareness of our programs (so hard to do while locked behind the port fence!) and money for our teen Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).  

Most of us took turns being Admiral Nelson to the amusement of passersby.

Frank, who also believes a good prop is key, used the kiddie pool to flag cars.

Suited up as the traffic schooner for the first time since the Bar Tini move, Carolina slowed traffic with a flamboyant leaf-letting technique and got cars to stop, talk, donate and/or take information on PortSide's fundraising drive for the teen Summer Youth Employment Program.

Frank - creating maritime awareness one knot at a time - left one of his Turks Head Tags on the bus stop pole.

One new storekeeper of the Fulla T-shirt shop liked our hubbub so much he asked if we'd be out every weekend. He said if we were, he'd open up on weekends - even though we looked pretty strong in the t-shirt department ourselves!

Waterfront Sunday 6/19 in Red Hook

Admiral Nelson, kayaking, seafood, circus on a barge, Red Hook-wide sidewalk sale & more...

Red Hook Sidewalk Sale 11am-4pm:
Enjoy hunting for treasures and discounts along Van Brunt Street. Or SELL. Set up your own table along Van Brunt.

PortSide will be in front of 281 Van Brunt Street (just north of Pioneer) selling t-shirts, talking about our programs and raising money for our Summer Youth Employment Program. 
If you can't see us in person, please donate here.    

Smitty will play guitar for an hour, we will have a kiddie pool with ducks and boats, a DIY photo booth with industrial objects such as our super-sized wrench (far right), and we will be joined by Admiral Nelson.

We'll be next to Kevin's Restaurant who will be selling smoothies outside and seafood inside.  Eggs Chesapeake (eggs benedict with a crabcake instead of ham) is a favorite.

Across the street and just up the block is the famed Red Hook Lobster Pound

Around the corner to the west on Pioneer is the new Filipino eatery Philly Pinoy  This hole-in-the-wall centers around a sidewalk tikki hut and is targeted at the Filipino crews of the cruise ships. They're hoping that the Brooklyn foodie scene finds them*** update, they are currently only open when a cruise ship is in. Schedule here. Hot food is made on the spot, and imported bagged and canned goods are inside.

Waterfront Museum Barge is running their annual Showboat Shazzam of family entertainment and circus artistry. $10 in advance, $15 at door. Shows 1pm, 4pm

Red Hook Boaters free kayaking Valentino Pier Park 1-5pm

For last minute shoppers, father's day gifts can be found at our three garden centers or Red Hook's unusual boutiques which include Metal & Thread selling lamps made from blowfish and curious, antique hardware.

Dads can end the day listening to live music at Bait & Tackle surrounded by taxidermy.

Mary A. Whalen gets new and national recognition!

WE ARE EXCITED!  We applied to The NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (SHPO) to see if the Mary A. Whalen were eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and she is!

vintage photo of Mary A. Whalen when she was the S.T. KiddooWe've always said that we wanted to secure a lease before we could justify trying to raise money for the ship (please pick up the pace on that lease, EDC!) but enough things had aligned for us to start moving on getting recognition for the ship.

A first move to be eligible for major funding is to have the Mary Whalen become a NYC Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places or "be deemed eligible to be on the National Register" a sort of interim status that implies significant documentation work in and of itself.

Many thanks to one of our spring interns Stephanie Ortiz,  an Architect in training from Puerto Rico and a Historic Preservation student at Pratt for helping to translate the preservation concepts, digging up the official guide on how to do this, doing additional historical research, and contributing to the whole process.

The process was itself gratifying because we came to realize how much information we had accumulated on the ship since 2005!

She came to PortSide with no history. Nada. Not even awareness of her role in the major Supreme Court decision US vs Reliable Fuel.

Tom Rinaldi, a young history buff working for the Central Park Conservancy, told us about the case around 2007. (This reveals how much more data has been uploaded and is now findable by google than in 2005).

We were able to fill in some gaps in our information via rushed consultations with Charlie Deroko, Norman Brouwer, Gerry Weinstein of Archive of Industry and Steamer Lilac. As Norman has helped write some of the national guides to ship preservation, his help was a real boost. Thanks to all of you!

We will be sharing some of what we learned from them in upcoming posts...

We pulled it all together and  SHPO reviewed our application in record time and wrote back "Great application!" They said they were pleased to hear from us, adding "we've been watching the Mary Whalen." 

Read their Determination of Eligibility letter here and check out her history page.  

The Mary Whalen's eligibility for the National Register increases funding opportunities and visibility for the ship, for PortSide and for Red Hook.

We have related news of PortSide's 2011 summer youth employment program to do restoration work on the Mary Whalen. You can support that via crowdrise. More on that soon!