Archive for June, 2010

On July 3, PortSide NewYork will hold a fundraiser “BlueBQ” to support its summer BlueSpace programs. It should be a lot of fun: music, food, an auction, and entertainment. Full details are here. If you can’t attend, please consider making a donation to support the work of this waterfront-based organization.

Here is the Mary A. Whalen, PortSide’s headquarters:

On an unrelated topic: More pictures of Reid Stowe’s return are here.

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One thousand, one hundred, fifty-two days after setting sail, Reid Stowe today sailed up to Pier 81 in New York City and stepped ashore. He had just completed the longest non-stop ocean voyage in history.

I took the longest non-stop lunch break in my history to walk over to the Hudson River to watch him arrive. Here are some shots of Reid sailing up the Hudson and approaching Pier 81:

Reid greets the crowd:

While his girlfriend, Soanya Ahmad, patiently waits with their son, Darshen:

Soanya started the voyage with Reid, and stayed with him for more than 300 days before her chronic seasickness turned out to be morning sickness. She got off the boat near Australia, and Reid continued alone.

Soanya addresses the crowd and the press:

In 1985, at the age of 18, Tania Aebi set sail from New York City to become the first American woman and the youngest person ever (at that time) to complete a solo circumnavigation. Here she makes a few remarks:

These are a few pictures of the schooner Anne (built by Reid and named for his mother). This is what happens to a boat during a more-than-three-year voyage with no stops for repairs:

Welcome home, Reid! And congratulations!

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Back in March, the Annisquam River buoy broke its mooring during a nor’easter and ended up on Coffin’s Beach in Gloucester, MA. At the end of May, the Gloucester Times reported, “This buoy’s going nowhere.” No one, it seems, was able to remove the buoy from the beach.

In early May, my parents moved to Gloucester. Their house is just up the hill from Coffin’s Beach.

Acting on a tip that an attempt to remove the buoy would be made this morning, my father headed down to the beach, camera in hand.

Riverside & Pickering’s 55-foot, 900 horsepower tug Creole Miss arrives on the scene:

Workmen approach the buoy with a heavy tow rope:

Creole Miss waits just off shore:

The buoy is rolled toward the water:

And away it floats:

All photos by Marty Luster. For more photos of the salvage, please visit his gallery.

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While reading frogma today, I came across her post about the waterbloggers’ food tour. Here, briefly, is the original challenge from Carol Anne of Five O’Clock Somewhere:

A horde of your fellow waterbloggers has come to your home waters to join you sailing, paddling, or doing whatever other sort of water recreation you do. It’s the end of the day, and they are now all tired and hungry. What do you serve for dinner?

Here’s my menu.

Monkfish ceviche (fish and head of lettuce for the garnish purchased at the Cortelyou Road Greenmarket):

Accompanied by a tomato and fresh basil salad (tomatoes and basil from the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket):

The ceviche recipe is here. It called for striped bass, which works nicely, but I substituted monkfish. I’ve also used hake and flounder.

The tomato salad recipe comes from the greenmarket. It’s very simple: 2 large, ripe tomatoes; 8 medium basil leaves, torn in half; some balsamic vinegar; some olive oil; salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Bon appetit!

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A few events of interest to New York City waterfront aficionados will take place in the next two weeks.

First up, on Wednesday, June 16, at Pier 66A at 12 noon a new postage stamp will be unveiled. The new stamp features the New York state flag and an image of the fireboat John J. Harvey along with other fireboats (based on a photo by Bernard Ente). Here’s the media advisory from the U.S. Postal Service. (They note that the Harvey “gained infamy” for its response to the September 11th attacks. I’m pretty sure they meant to say the Harvey gained fame. You can read about the experiences of the Harvey and its crew on September 11th in Jessica Dulong‘s very interesting My River Chronicles.)

Next, on Thursday, June 17, Reid Stowe returns to New York on the schooner Anne after more than 1000 days at sea. A flotilla will gather north of Sandy Hook, NJ, at 10:00 a.m. and sail together to Pier 81 in Manhattan. The best place for land-based viewing of the flotilla will be the Battery Park Esplanade between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Click here for a map.

Finally, on June 24, the New York City planning department will hold its next-to-last workshop to discuss the comprehensive waterfront agenda. The workshop to discuss the “blue network” and citywide issues will be held at P.S. 234, the Independence School, 292 Greenwich Street in Manhattan from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

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I write a lot about bridges here, so today it’s time to write about a tunnel. Hidden beneath Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn is the oldest subway tunnel in the world. It was built in 1844 for the Long Island Railroad and was closed up in 1861.

Passengers traveling up the eastern seaboard would take a ferry across New York Harbor to Brooklyn, where they would board the train. The train would take them to Greenport, almost the very end of Long Island’s north fork. From there, passengers would take a ferry across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they would catch another train for Boston. At first the train through Brooklyn ran at street level, but as the area was developed there were a lot of unpleasant and grisly incidents involving trains and people, so a tunnel was dug to provide “grade separation.”

Bob Diamond discovered the old tunnel in 1980, and in 1982 he founded the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association “to preserve, publicize and provide public access to the historic tunnel.” To do this, they run public tours under Atlantic Avenue. Karen, the kids, and I took the tour this afternoon.

To enter the tunnel, we lined up in the middle of Atlantic Avenue, waiting our turn to climb the ladder down the manhole.

Y was first down the ladder:

Followed by P:

Once down the hole we walked about fifteen feet to the tunnel entrance. After squeezing through a small opening, we emerged into the vast space of the tunnel, about half a mile long. Here’s a look back at the entrance and the stairs leading down into the tunnel:

And another view of the entrance:

Here are three of the intrepid explorers:

After everyone entered the tunnel, Bob Diamond gave a very interesting and lively talk on a range of topics, from the history of the tunnel to conspiracy theories involving John Wilkes Booth to political corruption.

The tunnel, which Walt Whitman described as “all closed and filled up, and soon to be utterly forgotten” is well worth a visit. Information about upcoming tours is on the BHRA website. After the tour you will agree with Walt:

The tunnel: dark as the grave, cold, damp, and silent. How beautiful look earth and heaven again, as we emerge from the gloom!

(And to find out why Y is wearing a Lakers T-shirt, read his blog: A Lakers Fan in NYC.)

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The first six (of ten) boats participating in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race have arrived at New York City’s North Cove Marina. I went down after work this evening to try to find the skipper of my boat in the 05-06 race (now the race director) and another former crewmate (now the race manager), but I had no luck. I did get to see the boats, talk with a couple of current racers, and take some pictures.

The boats will take part in the annual blessing of the fleet on Friday evening and will leave for the next stopover port, on Cape Breton Island, at 10:00 a.m Sunday.

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