In 2010, PortSide ran programs in three locations:

Sunset Park, the Red Hook Container Port, Atlantic Basin

In Sunset Park

In June, invited by Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, we gave TankerTours at the 2nd Annual Concierto Tipico, a salsa concert on Pier 4, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Sunset Park. These were the first, free, public, bilingual historic ship tours in NYC. We gave them in Spanish and English to 400 happy visitors, many of whom had never been on a boat before. Video

In the Red Hook Container Port

In June, we gave professional education TankerTours to two groups of college professors enrolled in City Tech's new program "Along the Shore" that uses Brooklyn's industrial waterfront as a place-based education teaching tool. This program is linked to a prior PortSide effort to save the Red Hook graving dock which was paved over for the IKEA store. The preservation movement led to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2007 designation of Brooklyn's Industrial Waterfront as the USA's most endangered site. Video

In June, we also hosted the memorial service of the marine journalist Don Sutherland on the deck of the MARY A WHALEN.

photo by Leah Latella

In Atlantic Basin

 We went into Atlantic Basin two times in 2010, the first time without the tanker

Event photos from here

featured in NY Times

PortSide distributed 550 free tickets to community sails on the Clipper City on Fri 4/30, Sat 4/1, Fri 5/7, Sat 5/8. PortSide, working with the NYC EDC, secured a winter berth for two majestic schooners: the Clipper City, a 158' long topsail schooner, and Shearwater, a 82-foot 1920's luxury schooner yacht.  PortSide proposed they offer the free sails as part of their wharfage.


BlueBQ FunRaiser Sat 7/3

180 people attended a relaxed event that steel guitarist Smitty said, "felt like Memphis." Thanks to our sponsors: Brooklyn Based and Brooklyn Based Kids, Brooklyn Brewery, Realty Collective, OrangeYouGlad, Saranac Soft Drinks, Tom Cat Bakery, Betty Brooklyn, Yale Alumni Association of NY (YAAMNY), The Good Fork, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Tom Cat Bakery, and Trader Joes.   See video here.


On selected days and times the public will be invited to enjoy the main deck of the tanker. We request no dogs on deck (not popular with the ship's cat Chiclet) and no boomboxes or noise makers. Dog water will be available on the pier. 

Wed mornings 7:00-11:00 AM: 7/14, 7/21, 7/28, 8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25.

Thurs Evening 8/19 only 5:30-9:00 PM :  (there are evening TankerTalks, TankerFlicks, TankerTunes the other Thursdays)

Sunday Evenings 5:00-9:00 PM: on  7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/15, 8/22 - end the day with cool sea breezes and harbor sunset

Sun 8/8 TankerTunes+TankerTime converge in a free singalong: 
Songs of Many Waters:
  From oceans to puddles, songs of the seas, lakes, canals, and the ships and sailors who sail them. A singalong evening aboard a historic tanker, the MARY WHALEN. Bring voices, instruments, and ears. Bring the kids. Bring a picnic. This will be a grand evening for the whole family.   Singers and musicians from the Folk Music Society of New York and friends.


Thurs 7/22 Random Lunacy whose protagonist Papa Neutrino sailed a raft of junk across the Atlantic and was profiled in the New Yorker.

Wed 8/4 Lavender Lake the humorous classic about the Gowanus Canal and its issues.

Wed 8/11 Ferry Tales a lively peek at commuters in the ladies powder room of the Staten Island Ferry.

Red Hook Water Stories Walking Tours

Sun 7/25 Industrial history of Red Hook, led by Mary Habstritt, president of the Society of Industrial Archeology and Museum Director of the Lilac.

8/1  The tour will cover the Italian-American ethnicity, culture, and politics of Red Hook and describe its differences to and relationship with (or not) the Irish-run docks on the westside of Manhattan, in short explaining why the Port of New York was divided into a collection of villages.  Tour will be led as a conversation between Carolina Salguero, Director of PortSide NewYork and James T. Fisher, author of “Irish Waterfront” and Professor of Theology at Fordham, ( and Background from Fisher's Book, The Hook, here Cancelled due to illness

Wed 8/4, 8/11 Norwegian-American history of Red Hook, led by Historian of the Norwegian Immigrant Association, Lars Nilsen.

Wed 8/11 “Brooklyn in Development,” covering environment, history, industry, architecture, and planning, led by Dan Wiley, Community Coordinator for Congresswoman Velazquez.

Sun 8/22, 11:00 AM Norwegian-American history of Red Hook, led by Historian of the Norwegian Immigrant Association, Lars Nilsen.


Fri 7/30 The Songs of Lewis & Clark, and Other American Roots Sara Bouchard and The Union Street Preservation Society String Band.  Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Sara Bouchard sings selections from her album “Songs of Lewis & Clark,” featuring lyrics taken directly from the journals of the 1804-1806 expedition up the Missouri river and across the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean. Following her solo performance, Bouchard will be joined by the Union Street Preservation Society, a string band whose soulful vocal harmonies blend with down-home country pickin' on beloved blues, folk and gospel tunes, offering as a backdrop the recurrence of water, travel and landscape in the American folk tradition.

Sun 8/8 TankerTunes+TankerTime converge in a free singalong
Songs of Many Waters:
  From oceans to puddles, songs of the seas, lakes, canals, and the ships and sailors who sail them. A singalong evening aboard a historic tanker, the MARY WHALEN. Bring voices, instruments, and ears. Bring the kids. Bring a picnic. This will be a grand evening for the whole family.   Singers and musicians from the Folk Music Society of New York and friends.

Fri 8/13, 8:45 PM  "Smitty & Co" featuring Smitty playing steel guitar, Tim Givens on upright bass and Pat Daugherty on various keyboards. Wicked steel guitar…the whining side of Mississippi delta blues... traces of bluegrass, country, Tejano and Hawaiian… truly hot and really cool.

Wed 8/18, 7:30 PM Jalopy Theatre (a local music venue, school, event space), will host their weekly “Roots & Ruckus” event on the MARY featuring: Two-Man Gentleman Band, Stephanie Nilles, Mamie Minch and Dayna Kurtz, and Feral Foster.  This one-of-a-kind show and a night not to be missed, "Roots and Ruckus" is a chance to enjoy good music and support the non-profit PortSide. Everyone goes home happy.

  • The Two Man Gentlemen Band is distinguished for their impeccably tailored outfits, rowdy sing-alongs, furious banjo strumming, free kazoos and a set of full of off-center, clever, sometimes-naughty original tunes. Thought of as modern day vaudeville, this acoustic duo concocts a ruckus that is lively, danceable, and instantly fun.
  • Stephanie Nilles is a truly unique artist whose songs, sometimes her own and sometimes jazz standards modified in vocalese style, address issues ranging from drug busts in her Harlem neighborhood and feminism to the recent presidential election season and the challenges and joys of life on the road. "She is a poet without being pretentious about it; she is bluesy, jazzy, soulful (in her way), and lets her music pour out in such an organic way... Whenever she plays, the room falls dead silent."
  • Dayna Kurtz, a slide guitarist whose singing is influenced by everything from Lightnin' Hopkins to Dale Hawkins and 50's Jazz first met Mamie Minch, an up and coming singer-songwriter whose biggest musical influences are Bessie Smith and Memphis Minnie in Brooklyn in 2008. They discovered a mutual love of underappreciated Smithsonian Folkways Hazel Dickens, and they will be singing songs for her at this event.
  • Feral Foster is a NYC based folk singer who has been running his own show, Roots n Ruckus since high school.  His powerful voice and amazing stage presence are matched by original heartfelt songwriting.


Thurs 8/5 Eugene Kahn will read from “Deep Water” a gay love story, and a memoir about sailing, a lover’s death from AIDS, and founding the Knickerbocker Sailing Association, which “serves gay & lesbian sailors from New York to Rhode Island.”

Thurs 8/12 HET VEER - (the Ferry) Robert LaValva, founder of New Amsterdam Market, will discuss the past, present, and future of New York's waterfront markets and the Vision for the Seaport, New York's public market district since 1642.

Sun 8/15, 11:00 AM Seth Goodwin, Dockmaster, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and founder of the Red Hook Maritime Guild, will give a knot-tying demonstration and talk about the history of knots and rope.

Tues 8/17, 8:45 PM Conrad Milster, The romance and commerce of travel by steamboat!  Conrad Milster, Chief Engineer of Pratt Institute Power Plant and industrial historian, presents a talk and slide show about the century plus of steamships on the Hudson and the Hudson River Day Line. Conrad worked on the boats themselves and lovingly documented their origins, use and demise. PortSide Director Carolina Salguero will speak briefly about the resurgence of excursion boats along the Hudson and the initiatives by towns and small cities along the Hudson to rebuild their docks and waterfronts to receive them.

Tall Ship Gazela

Thurs 8/19 -Mon 8/23

Gazela, Philadelphia's flagship and the oldest wooden square-rigger still sailing in the USA, has been trying to come to NYC for several years; PortSide is thrilled to be her host. She comes with daytime tours and two cabaret performances a night, THE SEVEN DEADLY SEAS, by Cabaret Red Light

Built in Portugal in 1883, Gazela sailed from Lisbon across the Atlantic over 100 times during 70 years of hard work fishing the Grand Banks off Canada.  Visiting the Gazela is a way to learn about life in the age of sail and about an environmental story: the once bountiful cod, the fishery of the Grand Banks and how it was decimated.  Cod changed history, and for 1,000 years was live gold, as author  Mark Kurlansky illuminated in his 1997 book “Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World.” It was the Gazela's job to bring in this cod and feed a European appetite for a fish that goes back to the Viking period. 

Gazela Ship Tour Schedule

Gazela Due:  Wed 8/18/10

Gazela ship tours:
Thu      8/19      2pm-5pm
Fri        8/20      2pm-6pm
Sat       8/21      closed for tours
                              cabaret is open
Sun      8/22      10am-6pm
Mon      8/23      2pm-5pm

Gazela Departs:  Tues    8/24/10$5 donation requested but not mandatory

Cabaret Red Light Performances 

Cabaret tickets are $25, available at 

Thu      8/19      8pm, 10pm

Fri        8/20      8pm, 10pm

Sat       8/21      8pm, 10pm

Sun      8/22      8pm, 10pm

Mon      8/23      rain date

Show is in the open air, so check the Cabaret Red Light website for details and rain date info

Gazela brochure here.

Press release for their visit here.


PortSide created programs for this satellite location for City of Water Day, “the largest family waterfront event in the region.” Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (MWA) has run the event on Governors Island for two years, and branched out to other locations this year.

TankerTours of the 172' MARY A WHALEN, ship tours the 173’ STEAMER LILAC and photo exhibitions aboard the Lilac by David Hodgson, Gerry Weinstein, and David Goodman; Port exhibits with US Customs marine security display and reach stacker container-mover from American Stevedoring; Underwater NY SoundTank recording your thoughts; BookCourt selling water-themed books; Food vendors: Kevin’s Restaurant; PortSide Paint Your Own Fish T-shirt booth; Kiddie pools with boat models and rubber ducks; Photo booth from MVS Studio; The Red Hook Ramblers band

Please consider donating so we can keep up the momentum.