Posts Tagged ‘steamship lilac’

July 24th was City of Water Day in New York Harbor, sponsored by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. This year’s event expanded beyond last year’s single venue of Governors Island to also include Atlantic Basin and Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn and Liberty State Park in Jersey City. Last year we made City of Water Day history by being the only non-human-powered recreational vessel to participate and dock at Governors Island (read about it here and here). This year we again took part, only we were not allowed to dock at Governors Island. (We didn’t take it personally. Well… not too personally.) We did get permission to tie up to the seawall at Liberty State Park, though, and that helped us feel like we were really participating. And we did get to visit some of the other venues, at least in passing.

First stop was Atlantic Basin, where PortSide NewYork‘s HQ, the Mary A. Whalen, is now berthed. Visiting for the day from its usual home on Manhattan’s west side was the steamship Lilac. Here’s Lilac tied up alongside the Whalen in an empty and quiet Atlantic Basin:

The m/v Cape Race was also visiting Brooklyn:

Cape Race was originally a deep sea trawler, built in 1963, and is now being converted into a “go anywhere in comfort expedition yacht.” The Cape Race website has lots of information and some amazing video of her in heavy seas.

Leaving Atlantic Basin, we passed north of Governors Island and caught a glimpse of the activity on shore. A quick trip across the harbor brought us between Ellis and Liberty islands on our way to Liberty State Park. Here’s the view back toward city:

And here’s Puffin tied up to the seawall at Liberty State Park:

The Hudson River sloop Clearwater took part in City of Water Day, too. Here she is making Puffin look tiny:

We had a lovely view of Lady Liberty’s backside from the park, a side of her not often seen by New Yorkers:

After the day’s activities wrapped up, we took Louis, one of the organizers from MWA, and George, a volunteer, for a quick circumnavigation of Liberty Island, which gave us another great view of Liberty’s aft section:

After dropping our passengers back at the park, we headed to the anchorage just beyond the park’s embayments for the night. This anchorage is quiet with good holding ground, and it’s well protected from wakes and most winds. We had it almost to ourselves:

We also had the unique opportunity to sleep within sight of both the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the Willis Avenue Bridge, but more on that in another post.

The moon was very nearly full, and the night was hot and clear (until a quick-moving thunderstorm passed through around 1 in the morning):

Photos 1, 2, 3, and 7 by Karen; all others by Brian

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Tonight Karen and I saw the play The Report of My Death, a one-person show starring Michael Graves and written and directed by Adam Klasfeld.

The play itself was witty and wise. But the remarkable thing about it was the venue. This production is the latest in the new tradition (is that an oxymoron?) of staging theatrical productions on old boats. The trend started when an opera was produced aboard the Mary Whalen (scroll down the linked page for details), and tonight’s performance took place on the deck of the steamship LILAC, a decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse tender moored at Pier 40 on the Hudson River.

The story of the play (or docudrama, as Klasfeld calls it) is Mark Twain traveling around the world by steamship and train, giving lectures to try to recoup his losses from a bad business deal. As such, it is highly appropriate to stage it on the deck of an old steamship. Here’s the set:

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Set of The Report of My Death

The gentle rocking of the boat, the breeze from the river, and the threat of rain all enhanced the experience. Also adding to the ambiance was the presence of Iggy, the ship’s cat:

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Tugster has more on LILAC here. And Bowsprite shows off one of her amazing watercolors of the ship here.

The play runs for a few more days; follow this link to try to get tickets.

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