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PortSide NewYork, a nonprofit maritime organization in Red Hook, Brooklyn will be having a massive “heavy metal” sale of maritime hardware this Sunday, from 11am – 4pm, as reported by DNAinfo.

Head over to Red Hook this Sunday and get yourself a Crosby Hook, or a 4-foot tall turnbuckle – there’s 3 shipping containers full and everything has to go!

DNAinfo: “This is a gold mine for people who repurpose,” said Carolina Salguero, the organization’s founder and director. Funds raised will benefit the nonprofit and its Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

All of the items — which were donated by a local shipping supplies firm that shut down — are in working condition and can still be used in the marine industry, Salguero said.

Photo via Portside New York

Single souvenirs like the Crosby Hook — which has become the informal symbol of Red Hook — will also be available in large numbers. “A lot of local people are interested in hooks,” she said.

PortSide NewYork’s “Heavy Metal” fundraising sale will be held on July 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pier 11 loading dock in Red Hook.

Read more at DNAinfo here or visit Portside New York for more information.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee



Maher Terminal Port Elizabeth. Photo by John Skelson

Go behind the scenes of our bustling port on a Hidden Harbor Tour this Saturday. The Working Harbor Committee presents their 2.5 hour fully narrated Hidden Harbor Tour of Port Newark, in partnership with Circle Line Sightseeing.

Bill Miller, “Mr Ocean-Liner” is the guest speaker and together with Captain John Doswell, they will give industry-insider tidbits as the tour boat winds her way through the harbor. Get tickets here.

Explorer of the Seas Pearl River and Quantico Creek. Photo by John Skelson

The tour departs from Pier 84 on the Hudson River (W42nd Street and 12 Avenue), on a comfortable Circle Line boat with an outdoor deck as well as an air-conditioned deck and cruises through “tugboat alley” – the Kill Van Kull, to the container terminals of Port Newark.

Laura K Moran Pushing Hard. Photo by John Skelson

a journalist from recently joined us on a tour. She wrote of her experience:

It’s easy for us New Yorkers to forget that we’re actually islanders, and even easier to lose sight of the size and scope of the working port that our city’s harbor once was . . . and very much still is. In fact, New York Harbor today only trails Long Beach and Los Angeles in California amongst the nation’s largest ports in terms of size, and holds the title of the busiest working port on the East Coast.

So many photos! Photo by John Skelson

For some insight into this behind-the-scenes side of NYC, Hidden Harbor Tours recently launched operations aboard Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises (the tours were previously conducted on New York Water Taxi) to showcase a fascinating back-door peek into the goings-on of New York Harbor (including both the New York and New Jersey waterfronts) that’s far removed from the typical tourist boat circuits that normally ply these waters.

Underway. Photo by John Skelson

Participants get to ogle nooks and crannies where the other tourist boats don’t venture, offering up-close encounters with tugboats, shipping barges, and other assorted maritime vessels, plus plenty of hidden-from-view shoreline sights that you wouldn’t be able to see any other way.

Morgan Reinauer at Caddell’s Dry Dock. Photo by John Skelson

Designed by nonprofit organization Working Harbor Committee, the narrated 2.5-hour tours launched in June 2014, and are scheduled to run on select Saturdays through October. Commentary onboard is offered by a rotating roster of noted maritime speakers and historians.

Gramma T Lee Moran huffin’ and puffin’. Photo by John Skelson

Cruises board at 10:30am, and sail from 11am to 1:30pm. Tickets cost $40/adults; $35/seniors; and $26/kids ages 3 to 12 (children under 3 are free). A portion of the ticket proceeds go toward supporting Working Harbor Committee’s mission. Visit or  to book; sailings embark on Circle Line from Pier 83 on the Hudson River (at W. 42nd St. & 12th Ave.). Read more at here

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee. All photos except image of Bill Miller by John Skelson.

Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, a nonprofit organization of hundreds of artists, will open their summer exhibit “Out of Order” this weekend in Red Hook, as reported by The Observer.

Jessica Fox, “Graffiti Girl.” (Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition) via The Observer.

BWAC is housed in 25,000 square feet of gorgeous waterfront space in one of the O’Connell Organization‘s historic Civil War-era warehouses at the tip of Van Brunt Street across from Fairway supermarket in Red Hook.

499 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook Brooklyn. Photo via

The Observer: The organization started as a tight-knit group of Dumbo artists in 1978, but they didn’t have a permanent home until developer Greg O’Connell stepped in, said Jane Gutterman, the organization’s arts administrator.

Photo via

“We started as a very small organization and we didn’t have a space,” Ms. Gutterman said. “Then 20 odd years ago, he gave us a space—first a smaller portion of the space and now 25,000 square feet. It’s really wonderful.”

Photo: (BWAC) via RedHook

The art exhibition will feature over 800 pieces by over 200 artists working in traditional and digital medias, and starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 26. Immerse yourself in art, live jazz and chocolate cocktails at the ‘meet-and-greet’ reception with the artists.

Charlotta Janssen, “Arrested July 13, 1961, Jackson, MS: Eddie Austin, 18.” (BWAC) via The Observer

The Observer: “The show will contain works critical and comical, traditional and digital, flat and 3D,” says a prepared announcement from the organization. “There is a special juried section, ‘World Out of Order,’ where problems such as homelessness, poverty and hunger are addressed and 25 percent of the sales will be donated to charities.” Read more at The Observer here…

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee





State Senator Daniel Squadron. Photo by Theodorakis via the New York Daily News

Get it done.

Local pols State Senator Daniel Squadron and Councilman Steve Levin put the pressure on last week to get East River Ferry’s India Street pier in Greenpoint reopened before the 5-week long scheduled shutdown of the G train between Greenpoint, Brooklyn and LIC in Queens. [The Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

Photo via East River Ferry

The ferry landing was closed and fenced-off in mid-February when the gangway collapsed into the river. Thankfully, no one was hurt but repairs to the vital commuting option have been stalled for 5 long months in a hot-potato game of who’s responsible while ferry boats bypass Greenpoint altogether.

India Street Pier, Greenpoint, before the collapse. Photo by Jim Henderson, Wikipedia Commons via Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle: “With two weeks before the G train’s summer shutdown, we still haven’t received a firm date on when the India Street pier will be reopened,” the pols said in a joint statement. “This is a transportation lifeline for Greenpointers and northern Brooklynites, especially with the looming G train shutdown. Though the EDC has worked with us to create a shuttle service, the ferry landing has not been available for use since February 13 of this year.”

Photo by lesterhead/Flickr via New York Observer

Can it happen in a week?

Now, the Greenpoint ferry stop could be back in service by next Friday, according to NYCEDC spokesman Ian Fried, as reported by DNAinfo. A barge-mounted crane appeared on-site Thursday morning to install new piles for the new ferry landing and gangway.

Photo via Instagram/East River Ferry

DNAinfo: “The G train is a critical transportation link for people in the area,” Fried said. “We recognize the importance of making sure the East River Ferry is operating in Greenpoint prior to the G train shutdown. Red Sky has always operated with this in mind.”

Weeks on the scene. Photo by Doyle Murphy via New York Daily News

The city allowed Red Sky to move forward by building a new landing and gangway instead of repairing the old one.

“Obviously safety is the first priority,” Fried said. “There’s no way that the ferry landing will open until it is absolutely safe to do so.”

Read more at Brooklyn Daily Eagle here and DNAinfo here

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

The New York Times reports that the historic steamship SS United States could be headed for Brooklyn in a matter of months.

SS United States docked at Philadelphia, Pa. Photo by Lowlova via wikipedia

The 990-foot-long, luxury ocean liner that once steamed across the Atlantic has been slowly disintegrating, tied to a pier in South Philly.

The ships financially struggling owner, the SS United States Conservancy has been talking to several developers about options for converting the vessel into a hotel/entertainment/shopping mall complex, or some other combination of reuse, in an effort to save the “last American ocean liner” from being scrapped.

SS United States at sea, 1950s. Photo via wikipedia item held by John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

The New York Times: Scrapping the ship would destroy a piece of American social history and an engineering landmark that still holds the record for the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing by an ocean liner, said Susan L. Gibbs, executive director of the conservancy and granddaughter of the ship’s designer, William Francis Gibbs.

“There is no other American ocean liner left,” she said in an interview. “This is the last one.”

SS United States in dock at Pier 86 in New York on 31 July 1964. Photo by JR Covert via wikipedia

Now there’s word that the ship could come back to homeport here in Brooklyn.

The ship may move to a location in Brooklyn within four to six months if negotiations with the conservancy succeed, according to a person with knowledge of the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity because negotiations are continuing.

The person said he was optimistic that a deal would be done, and that the ship would be reborn as a commercial and cultural center.

The SS United States in Philadelphia February 25, 2012. Photo by Smallbones via wikipedia

Simply keeping the ship tied up in Philadelphia costs at least $60,000 a month, and that has drained the conservancy’s resources to the point where redevelopment is the only option, Ms. Gibbs said.

SS United States in New York Harbor. Photo postcard via Cafe Parisian

Despite the ship’s historic listing, the conservancy receives no government funding, she said. Read more at the The New York Times here…

Anyone know where she might be headed in Brooklyn? Any speculations?

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

City of Water Day was held this past Saturday, with a visit to the FDNY Fireboat 343, and a cruise on the Fireboat John J Harvey. Also, there are a few photos from the ferry ride to Manhattan.

Cape Beale at Stapleton. Photo by John Skelson

Evening Tide. Photo by John Skelson

Tug Jay Michael and Launch Alex D with dredging ops at MOT Channel Bayonne. Photo by John Skelson

Still at Weeks Marine, Jersey City, Left Coast Lifter’s boom has been raised, maybe finally preparing to head for the Tappan Zee Bridge. Photo by John Skelson

Justine McAllister with an oil barge “On the Hip”. Photo by John Skelson

Fireboat “Three Forty Three”. Photo by John Skelson

The huge Bow Monitor on Three Forty Three capable of delivering 18,000 gallons of water per minute. Photo by John Skelson

Tug Pegasus taking on passengers for a cruise. Photo by John Skelson

Fireboat John J Harvey. Photo by John Skelson

John J Harvey salutes Norwegian Gem as she leaves port on a cruise. Photo by John Skelson

Keep spotting,
John Skelson

All photos by John Skelson, generously shared with the Working Harbor Committee

Ed Note: Don’t forget, John’s photos are on exhibit through July 31st onboard the Historic Lighthouse Tender “Lilac”. Ship hours are: 4:00 to 7:00 PM Thursdays and 2:00 to 7:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is Free. (Directions to Pier 25.)

Photo via Baylander.US

Be the first to tour Baylander, the tiniest ex-U.S. Navy aircraft carrier!

Only 131 feet in length, Baylander served in Vietnam before being converted into a helicopter trainer for pilots from the U.S. Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard. [MarineLink/Trenk Family Foundation]

Photo via Baylander.US

Heralded as the US Navy’s “smallest aircraft carrier”, the historic vessel will be docked at Brooklyn Bridge Park‘s Pier 5 on weekends for FREE ship tours that will highlight her history and extraordinary service. Weekend ship tours start July 26 from 10am – 4pm.

Baylander IX-514′s arrival highlights the anticipated completion of Brooklyn Bridge Park Marina, the largest recreational marina to be developed in New York Harbor in 50 years.

Photo via Baylander.US

MarineLink: In addition, the developers of Brooklyn Bridge Park Marina, the largest recreational marina to be developed in New York Harbor in 50 years, say they are excited to announce an array of programming goals for the summer of 2014 associated with the arrival of Baylander, which will further BBP’s goal of promoting recreational boating and on- water educational programming, and provide New Yorkers even more opportunities to actively connect with their waterfront.

Fireboat John J. Harvey. Photo: ©John Skelson

The development team currently anticipates an open date of April 2015 for the marina. Prior to the start of construction, it is bringing Baylander to BBP to serve as the platform for other vessels to access the park. 

Letti G. Howard is put back in service with help from New York Harbor School students. Photo by Xavi Ocaña via Downtown Magazine NYC

These will include, amongst other historic vessels, Lettie G. Howard, a wooden Schooner built in 1893, owned by South Street Seaport Museum and operated by the Urban Assembly Harbor School, as well as Fireboat John J. Harvey a retired FDNY fireboat built in 1931.

Read more at MarineLink here…

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Photo via New Amsterdam Market facebook page

Founder Robert LaValva announced this week that the New Amsterdam Market that has been a staple in the South Street Seaport neighborhood since 2007, is no more – kaput, shuttered, done. [Downtown Express]

Although Amsterdam Market had an event scheduled for July 26th, with “noted chef David Tanis, formerly of Chez Panisse, on a seasonally inspired clam bake” – it seems that the most recent market day on June 21st was the last one.

Downtown Express: New Amsterdam Market board member Roland Lewis, who is also president of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, told Downtown Express that the move to close the non-profit greenmarket by LaValva came as a surprise to its board.

“We haven’t spoken to Robert,” Lewis said. “It’s always been a challenge for the market to make it.”

The board held an emergency meeting Monday to discuss how to proceed.

“We would like to see the market continue,” he said.

Photo via New Amsterdam Market facebook page.

LaValva blamed the markets closure on elected officials in a scathing email announcing the markets demise. Read more at Downtown Express here.

Photo via New Amsterdam Market facebook page

The below was also posted on the New Amsterdam Market website.

Founded in 2005, New Amsterdam Market was first held at the site of the Old Fulton Fish Market in Lower Manhattan on December 16, 2007. Over the ensuing seven years, the market grew in frequency and scope while nurturing an evolving community of small businesses dedicated to sustainable food production, regional economies, and fair trade.

Photo via New Amsterdam Market facebook page

Through our steadfast presence under every adversity, we also championed the preservation of New York City’s oldest commons, where public trade has been conducted since 1642. But in 2013 the community was betrayed by elected officials who had professed their support but were ultimately swayed by the demands of the suburban shopping mall developer, Howard Hughes. As a result, Lower Manhattan has already lost one acre of irreplaceable public space and is now seeing its most precious public asset ruined by inappropriate programming.

Our last market at this location was held on Saturday, June 21, 2014.

We thank all who participated in this endeavor.

This photo was captioned “Stay tuned…” on the New Amsterdam Market facebook page last night.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Photo via The Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Golten Marine, who has been repairing engines and machining parts for ships in Red Hook for some 60-odd years, has closed their Van Brunt facility, Micah B. Rubin reports in the Red Hook Star-Revue.

Photo via Golten Marine.

For decades, marine mechanics worked long hours rebuilding the engines of stranded ships and tankers from all over the world.

Photo via Golten Marine

Now, the previously ever-present hiss of the shops air-compressor has gone quiet.

Photo via Golten Marine

Red Hook Star-Revue: On July 3, Goltens went silent, the building sold to LIVWRK, a developer with plans to convert the industrial space into office and creative spaces. 

Sandro and Ivo in the newly empty space. Photo by Micah B. Rubin/Red Hook Star-Revue

For the employees of Goltens – many of whom spent their careers covered in the building’s grease and grime – the closing hurts. Not because on April 4th, they lost their jobs. Not because they lost their income. Because they lost their family.

Photo via Golten Marine

Since then, the same guys who spent years mending and repairing damaged ship parts have been dismantling their second home… Read more by Micah B. Rubin in the Red Hook Star-Revue here.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee, hat tip to John McCluskey, WHC steering committee member


Samuel I. Newhouse, one of two Barberi class ferry boats in the fleet. Photo via wikipedia

Yesterday, the 40th annual “Boat Ride for God’s Exceptional Children” took place aboard the Staten Island Ferry boat, Samuel I. Newhouse.

For the past 4 decades, The Marine and Aviation Club, Branch 119, has hosted a very special tour around the harbor for special needs people of all ages. [Staten Island Advance]

The annual event hosted 1,000 guests this year. Photo courtesy of Matthew Montalto via Staten Island Advance.

Although organizing the event can be challenging, the sheer joy on the faces of the happy guests are so rewarding that some 24 volunteer organizations work tirelessly each year to raise donations and organize the logistics for the much-anticipated event.

Mickey and Minnie entertain the crowd. Photo courtesy of Matthew Montalto via Staten Island Advance.

The annual event transforms the ferry boat into a huge floating party space, with hundreds of balloons and thousands of hot-dogs, dancing clowns and costumed characters entertaining the guests while 3 DJ’s played music on the three separate decks.

A FDNY fireboat shoots water into New York Harbor during the 40th annual “Boat Ride for God’s Exceptional Children,” event. Photo courtesy of Matthew Montalto via Staten Island Advance

The FDNY always delights children and adults alike with an impressive water salute.

Members from Marine and Aviation Anchor Club, Branch 119. From left to right: Charles Karbowski, Ron Roaldsen, honoree Thomas Edward Monahan, Thomas Reilly, and Tom Monahan. Photo courtesy of Matthew Montalto via Staten Island Advance

This year’s trip honored Thomas Edward Monahan, secretary of the Marine and Aviation Anchor Club, Branch 119 who has been involved with the charity event for more than 30 years.

Read more at the Staten Island Advance here and here

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

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