Friday, July 31, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Great Music Events Next Week - Pacific Music, and Whales With Music

Once again in a bit of a scramble mode at work (what else is new, right?) that's not leaving me much time for blogging, but I did want to toss up a quick mention of two terrific musical events that are coming up next week. 
Doodle du jour - an illustration for a music music and whales post.*,**

First one is on Monday the 27th and the timing is going to be rough for most of us working stiffs but if you're retired, have flexible hours, or maybe detect a touch of the sniffles coming on that you, considerate soul that you are, don't want to pass on to your colleagues...well, this is about as Only In New York as it gets and in fact this is the first time I've ever heard of such a thing here - whalewatching with musical performances by the cast of the off-off-Broadway concert play The SeaWife, now in its last days at the Herman Melville Theater at the South Street Seaport Museum. Join the cast and Gotham Whale aboard the American Princess for an afternoon of excerpts from a nautical ghost story in modern folk music, and (knock wood) whales! The tale is of a whaler, but Gotham Whale promises that the whales will be shot with cameras only. Trip launches at noon at Riis Dock on the Rockaway Peninsula on 7/27, at noon sharp. Click here for more details and reservations.

Second one is on Wednesday, July 29th, and this is another musical fundraiser for the 2016 visit of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle'a that I'm so looking forward to these days (click on the Hōkūle'a NYC label below for more posts on the subject if you missed 'em!). Click here for more details on Hālāwai Presents A Night of Pacific Music. I can't make this one either (plans for next week have been set in stone for a while now) but I went to the first fundraising showcase for the visit that Hālāwai put together back in May and it was really amazing - not just Hawaiian, but music and dance from all over the Pacific, an amazing variety and all beautifully performed. This will be well worth the very reasonable $20 ticket price!

And as long as I'm talking about theatrical events, I'm also going to mention something cool that will quite likely be coming to a (now publicly accessible, Huzzah!) tanker Mary A. Whalen near you (or at least not too far if you're in or near NYC) at some point in the not-too-distant future. I should've posted about this back when the Whalen started posting on Facebook (yes, the tanker has a great Facebook page) about the Threadbare Theater Production's Kickstarter campaign for Or, The Whale, a staged production of Moby Dick  - fortunately they made their goal and then a little bit more, so with that in place, and a magnificent potential venue at Red Hook's Atlantic Basin, they're well underway. Click here for more info and their Kickstarter video. I don't know when this will be staged, but it's something to look forward to and I'll certainly post updates if I hear anything new.

*This really was a doodle, only took a few minutes once I got the whim to draw something for this, but I kind of liked how it came out. I dedicate this doodle to one of my open-water swimming friends, Brooklyn's most awesome mermaid, Patricia Sener, who spent the day swimming seventeen miles, from Sandy Hook to Atlantic Beach, Long Island, crossing the New York Bight to raise fund for Clean Ocean Action and Gotham Whale. What a Wednesday! Congratulations Patricia! Click here to read more about it.

**And although the doodle is not not entirely plagiarized, I probably should give a hat tip to Gary Larsen, who I'm pretty sure did a much funnier singing whale cartoon a long long time ago. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Morning at Sebago's City of Water Day In Your Neighborhood event

Despite a thundery, rainy start to the day, we still had a very nice turnout for Sebago's City of Water Day In Your Neighborhood. Unfortunately, after leading one trip and helping a couple more launch and land I finally had to admit that what I've been trying to write off as "allergies" were actually turning into a full-blown cold, plus I broke my camera, so it wasn't the best day I've ever had at the club, but I think everybody who came had a good time (and we were very impressed that so many people came out despite the iffy weather!). Also, unfortunately no pix from Governor's Island, but I'd arranged for Hālāwai to have a table there to talk about the Hōkūle'a Polynesian voyaging canoe's Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, and it sounds like they had an enjoyable day there. So all in all a good weekend! Now if this stupid cold would just go away...
Sebago's entrant in a pre-City of Water Day Cardboard Canoe Race that was staged for the media at the North Cove Marina. Not the fastest entrant, but finished third by virtue of not sinking! Congrats Cardboard Canoe Team!

Sebagoites arrive for the day

Chris leads Trip 1 in the standard intro to strokes we give prior to taking people out on the water

Tony and Ellie share a laugh on the dock

First kayak trip of the day sets out

Holly brings a Sunfish in for a perfect landing at a rather small bit of dock. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Classical Theater of Harlem's The Tempest, running through the end of July - great show by a fairly new entrant on the free Shakespeare In the Park scene!

Photo by Jill Jones, from Mark Canavera's review in the Huffington Post 

Just a quick post about something really fun I did last night, before I run out to another fun thing I'm doing tonight. I'll definitely give this the "New Yorky" label.

Big big thanks to my friend Laurie P. for organizing a lovely evening of free Shakespeare in a park, without waiting in line! This wasn't the Joe Papp Public Theater (the lines, the liiiiiiiines) most of my NYC friends think of when they think of open-air Shakespeare, this was an excellent performance of The Tempest by the 15 year old Classical Theater of Harlem, which has been presenting July runs of plays by Shakespeare at the Richard Rodgers Auditorium in Marcus Garvey Park for the last 3 years. It's free, there were NO lines (I got there and the nice folks at the entrance waved me on in as I approached, saying "Come on in and take a seat", I hardly knew what to do with myself!), and they put on a wonderful show. I'd actually never seen this play before, and I think that when I go back and read it now I'm always going to be picturing this cast performing it.

I don't take advantage of NYC's rich offerings of free summer arts programming as I used to, but I think that an evening of Shakespeare in Marcus Garvey Park would make a great addition to my summer rituals. I'm sorry I missed their Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, sounds like those were also very well done.

The Tempest continues through July 26th, so if you are in the NYC area and enjoy classical theater, I'd recommend this highly. Show starts at 8 pm all nights but Friday, when it starts at 8:15, and there's no performance on Monday the 20th. No tickets or reservations required, just go to the ampitheater, walk on in, and enjoy!

Oh, and if you get there early enough, or want to grab a bite after the show, there are some nice restaurants in the area. We adjourned to Amy Ruth's Harlem for chicken and waffles and ribs and mmmmm peach cobbler afterwards, and we were very happy with that decision; if that's not your cuppa (sweet) tea, we passed a couple of other places that looked nice too. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

City of Water Day Again - Saturday, July 18th!

From City of Boats Boats And More Boats!

Yes, it's that time of year again! Come one come all to a fantastic celebration of our urban waterfront, thrown for your enjoyment by the partners of the Waterfront Alliance (formerly known as the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance). The central event will be held at the original location on Governor's Island on Saturday the 18th from 10 - 14, and then there are also a ton of satellite events.

I can't make it to Gov's I 'cause I'll be leading trips at Sebago but if you go there I hope you'll go say hello to my friends from Hawai'i at the Hālāwai table, who'll be there spreading the word about the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle'a's Worldwide Voyage, including a June 2016 visit to NYC!  There will of course be lots of other things to see and do there, and then the list of City of Water Day In Your Neighborhood locations is getting to be seriously impressive, with events in all five boroughs AND Yonkers AND New Jersey (phew that's a lot!). 

 I still think that left to my own devices I would go play with the remote control motorboats on the Gowanus and then head on out to Gov's I to talk story about Hōkūle'a and also see all the other stuff going on there - the one major bummer about the In Your Neighborhood stuff is missing the Governor's Island day (it was especially fun when we used to get to camp there and then paddle back to Sebago in the morning), but we'll have lots of fun in Canarsie, too!

Click on the City of Water Day label below for all of my prior posts about the day. For info about this year's event, visit; for the burgeoning list of In Your Neighborhood events, click here, and for specifics about our day at Sebago, click here. Hope you can make it! 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

How Does My Garden Grow?

Pretty well, considering that I just haven't had time to get out there to take care of it for the last few weeks. Fortunately, we've been having regular rain. I should've done before and after pix for the weeding as the bed was looking a bit shaggy, but the veggies all had had a good enough start that they were holding their own (except for the beets, which got a late start and weren't growing much under the canopy of weeds that had outgrown them badly).

I ate the first ripe grape tomatoes, which were delicious, and there are a couple of full-sized tomatoes coming along to look forward to with the basil, which is doing well as well, although not quite the thicket I've had in some years. Chard's also doing great. The cucumber vines have unfortunately got the same fungus as last year - I did pick the more infected leaves off today and threw them in the dumpster (no fungi in the compost, please) and sprayed the rest some peppermint oil spray that's supposed to help - maybe if I can do better about getting out there I can save them but it's been going on for a while now. Have already gotten a bunch of nice cukes though, at least - in fact there were so many ready to be picked I gave a couple away.

Went for a surfski paddle afterwards - boy, after a season with the surfski out of commission, getting back on it is requiring some building up, I'd forgotten how much more demanding than a sea kayak it is! I used to do a fairly regular after-work paddle of 8 miles, out to the Marine Park Bridge and back; I have paddled the ski twice now this year and it's very clear that the old regular is something I now have to work back up to - first ski paddle was on July 3rd and I think I went about 6; today's paddle ended up being a bit over 7, made it around the corner to where I could SEE the bridge at least, but it got a bit choppy out there and I felt like down to the bridge was going to be pushing myself a bit too far. Great having the ski as an option again, at least!

Growing fairly well except the beets that are supposed to be under the recumbent tomato cage in front (cat discourager).

Delicious grape tomatoes! 


This is the sad disease that the cukes have again - starts like this -

Then the yellow spots turn brown and it just spread until the whole leaf dies. This is where the distance to the club really makes it hard to be a good gardener - I noticed this was happening a couple of weeks ago, I forgot to take the anti-fungal peppermint spray last weekend, and there's been too much going on for me to make it out after work - I did clean out the dead and sicker leaves and spray today but I'm not hopeful. May try another variety next year, or something different, clearly whatever got last year's vines was still in the soil waiting for this year's. :(

Nice mystery tomato coming along - got the Dragonetti's mixed "Heirloom Tomato" pack this year, they don't say what you're getting. Glad I planted the grape tomatoes for faster gratification!

Chard & basil doing OK. 

Canarsie sunset. Must've been pretty from the dock but there was laundry to do so I had to head for home after my paddle. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Flashback Friday - Manhattan Kayak Company moves to John Krevey's Barge, Pier 63 Maritime

OK, I know it's supposed to be Throwback Thursday, but I wanted the post with the link to the memorial pictures to be the top post for a while. Still wanted to re-share my story about when MKC moved from Chelsea Piers to Pier 63 Maritime though. I'd written these back in 2011 after John Krevey passed away most unexpectedly; I ran across them again yesterday when I was thinking of adding pictures of Krevey and Doswell to the memorial post and it was just sort of fun revisiting these memories of earlier days in the Hudson River Park and the strange, fun, rusty, seat-of-the-pants little world John Krevey created there at 23rd Street. John Doswell isn't mentioned in this story 'cause we were just getting started there at this point, but he and Jean had their boat, the Laissez Faire, there, so of course that's where I was lucky enough to get to become friends with them as they welcomed the new kids to the barge.

Part 1: Moving to the Barge

Part 2: Making a Home for the Kayaks 

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Memorial for Capts. John Doswell and John Krevey - another photo set.

I have another small set of photos to share with you today - not as happy this time, as the event in question was a memorial for Captains John Doswell and John Krevey, both gone from us far too soon. Hard to imagine what sort of waterfront we'd have without them, but I think it would be a lot less fun and accessible. Krevey (both were regularly called by their last names) was providing recreational access to the Hudson at Pier 63 at a time when there was still some resistance to and even resentment of the growing popularity of recreational boating on our reviving estuary, and I think that by welcoming paddlers and trusting us to take responsibility for our own safety out there, he laid a solid part of the foundation for today's growing acceptance of our presence out there.

In the meantime Doswell was drawing the attention of us "civilians" to the w
orking waterfront - there is still a solid maritime industry here in NYC, but the casual visitor to the shores of most of our boroughs could be forgiven if they didn't realize that, with all of the pretty parks that have sprung up in the more residential areas; Doswell celebrated that industry (and let us less-salty types celebrate it too) with the  Working Harbor Committee's Hidden Harbor Tours and the big annual Labor Day Tugboat Race and Skills Contest (those both carry on, that site has details if you're interested).

The memorial was held at Pier 66 (which I still always want to call Pier 63 even though it was moved to 26th street several years ago). A parade of boats was organized, including the kayaks and outrigger canoes that found such good early homes on Krevey's rusty masterpiece ("Pier 66" is actually a retired railroad barge); Hudson River Park based paddling  did ask me if I wanted to join them but I decided that since I was coming from work it would probably simplify my life if I just went to the barge - and besides, that way I could bring my Lumix and get some nice pictures, which I think I did. 
It was a beautiful evening, with a wonderful collection of people and boats turning out to pay their respects. 

 Click here to visit the album

Friday, July 03, 2015

Where are the HERMIONE pictures?

 L'Hermione will be at the South Street Seaport for the weekend of July 4th (except when she's in a parade) then continuing north up the East Coast. See yesterday's post for visit details and other blogs that are covering. Beautiful vessel, I'm so glad I got to visit! 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

L'Hermione In NYC - Starting Today!

L'Hermione crossing the Atlantic, May 2015. Photo from Hermione Voyage FB Page.  

Bad boat blogger, bad. I've been going on and on and on about Hokule'a coming here in 2016, but totally forgot to ever say anything about another spectacular replica which actually arrived in NY Harbor today and will be here for the 4th of July weekend. 

Our current visitor is a beautiful replica of the Hermione, the frigate that brought Major General Lafayette to America in 1780. She was built in France; the build began in 1997 and she was launched in 2014, with sea trials in September of the year. In April of 2015, she set out from France, bound for the East Coast of the USA. May was spent sailing across the Atlantic Ocean (photo above was somewhere in the middle, isn't it gorgeous?), she arrived in Yorktown, VA at the beginning of June, and she's now making her way up the East Coast, arriving in NY Harbor just this morning. She'll be staying at Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport, where she'll have visiting hours for tours throughout the weekend, and on July 4th there'll be a grand parade past the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson along Manhattan's West Side. For full details for her NYC visit, click here, for the additional schedule and ports of call, click here

Thank you to PortSide NewYork for the morning heads-up about where L'Hermione is staying while in NY. Keep an eye on Tugster, New York Media Boat, and the Old Salt Blog for more reporting of the visit; at the time I write this, none of them have posts yet, but I know Tugster Will and Bjoern Kils (NY Media Boat) went down to the Lower Harbor to meet her this morning, and Rick Spilman at the Old Salt Blog is the one who first told me about the visit, and I suspect he was at the welcoming ceremony at the South Street Seaport today, and I expect they'll all be putting something up eventually. I'm also hoping to get aboard tomorrow, so I might have something more to share too.Will did post a few photos on his Facebook page this morning - here was my favorite, Hermione in Gravesend Bay. Lovely, can't wait to see his writeup! 5:14 update - Tugster's first post is up with some pictures from the morning that are simply Ooooh La La!