Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One more post for PortSide NewYork

I'd posted a link to an update not too long ago when I'd gotten an update on the status of the search for a home for the Mary A. Whalen, saying that I thought could be read as "cautiously optimistic". They'd gotten temporary office space, and options are being looked at and discussed, and it didn't sound too bad, but here's the catch...

There's still no actual home for the tanker and the end of April's coming up awfully fast.

I wanted to write something eloquent but I have simply been too brain-fried from budget & royalty season. So, I'll just try to keep this simple -

I want to see PortSide NewYork keep on going and thriving on NYC's waterfront. There are an awful lot of us who are very attached to being on and beside the "Sixth Borough". Some work on it, some play on it, some want to live next to it, some just want to enjoy it as scenery. All well and good, but the various ways various sets want to use it aren't always complementary, and left to our own devices, I think we get a bit of a blind-man-and-the-elephant thing going on - can't see the other guy's version. I myself still remember writing some sort of wretched essay early on in my paddling career; someone had actually asked me to and I think they were after the newbie's wide-eyed wonder thing, which I gave them in spades. I've lost track of that particular piece of writing & I'll be happy if it stays lost for good. I don't remember much of what it said but I call it wretched because I clearly remember starting it off with a paragraph of mournful reflections on crumbling piers, blah blah blah.

If I could go back & whisper in my own ear as I was writing that, I would tell myself, "Stop writing. You don't know how little you know. You haven't gone around Staten Island yet. You haven't paddled the Brooklyn waterfront. You haven't seen anything but a teeny little piece of the NYC coastline & trust me, there's WAY more out there than you realize. Wait until you've seen more. Wait until you've hung out with people who earn their living out there on the harbor. You'll have a very different picture then."

I think I could've learned all of that a lot faster if there'd been an organization like PortSide NewYork around. The organization, and the handsome old tanker on which it is based, has served as a great place for all of the different types of people who appreciate different aspects of the waterfront to gather, teach, learn, and enjoy all sorts of wonderful programming.

To learn more about all the different stuff that goes on there, check out their blog. It actually does a pretty good job of showing why I have had a hard time figuring out what to say - there's just so much, where do you start? It's a bit like describing the crowd that turned out at the planning meeting at the start of all of this - we had lawyers, sailors, historians, artists, kayakers, engineers, food truck vendors, deckhands, pilots (both nautical & aeronautical, I think), photographers, journalists, at least one finance analyst(hiya)- really an amazing range of people.

That's all I can really think of to say right now except that I hope that there's good news sometime soon. There just isn't much more time.

Want to help out? Easiest way is to sign the petition. For more ways to help, here's the link to the same e-mail newsletter I'd linked to before - at this point I think it's still the best rundown of the current status as there is.

Hoping for the best.

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