Seaport Report: September 2017



Crisp nights. Kids in school. Fall’s around the corner though lately it feels as if it’s already here. Time to break out the wool?

Photo by Mike Rubio
Author Patricia Ryan has written several books set around her South Street Seaport home near the Brooklyn Bridge.

WATERFRONT WRITER… For more than 40 years, journalist, author, and poet Patricia Ryan has gazed out of her Southbridge Towers apartment at the Brooklyn Bridge and South Street Seaport. She’s watched it morph from a working Fish Market to a tourist destination. She’s witnessed changes brought on by natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy and the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “I remember walking down Peck Slip at night and you could hear your shoes echo on the cobblestones,” she told Seaport Report. “It was quiet, healing, enchanted.” Ryan began her love affair with Downtown’s waterfront as Shipping News reporter for the NY Herald Tribune. She has turned her bird’s eye view of our neighborhood into much-praised books and poetry. “On a first night here I saw an accident outside my window and started taking notes of my impressions.” In “Living With The Brooklyn Bridge,” Ryan writes about this revered monument’s multiple personalities as they are revealed from her windows. It’s an enchanted bridge during quiet snowfalls, a working bridge bringing people in and out of the city during the week, and a brutal bridge of crashes and suicides. In her recent mystery novel, “War In A Beautiful Country,” she draws on local Downtown landmarks, as well as a vibe of vague foreboding known by longtime locals. “Most of the novel’s story could not have taken place without Downtown’s recent history of random terror and still have the same impact,” Ms. Ryan explained. Both works are available as free E-books on Amazon, iTunes and Nook. So what does she think of current changes to the area? “It’s too crowded, too noisy, too commercial,” she said. “The East River Promenade never came into being as a thing of beauty, water and history. Instead, it’s dog poop and people crowding one another.”

CELEBRATE IN STYLE… If you haven’t gotten tickets yet, hurry! Let’s all celebrate the 50th anniversary of South Street Seaport Museum on Sept. 19. For a half-century a core group of history buffs, politicos, business folks and neighbors have worked hard and faced many challenges to keep Seaport history alive and vital. The Sept. 19 benefit begins with a VIP cocktail reception in the Wavertree’s quarterdeck and Captain’s saloon, followed by a general admission cocktail reception aboard the 1885 sailing ship. Dockside dinner catered by Cipriani follows. The benefit honors SSSM board chairs who brought it through start-up and hard times: Jakob Isbrandtsen; James R. Shepley; John B. Ricker, Jr.; Robert W. McCullough; Peter A. Aron; Lawrence S. Huntington; Frank J. Sciame, Jr. and Robert G.M. Keating. Special recognition goes to Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilwoman Margaret Chin for their support of Downtown and the South Street Seaport Historic District. Tickets are $350 — $500 for the VIP party, available at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/978255.

South Street Seaport Museum
The Pioneer is a historic 1885 schooner that the South Street Seaport Museum uses for various educational programs.

SAIL AWAY… Love the gracefulness of South Street Seaport Museum’s schooner Pioneer? Dream of early leaf-peeping from its deck? Then here’s a fun afternoon for you. The historic ship sails up to Rockland County for educational trips this month. Students will haul lines to raise sails, and learn science, math and the technology of sailing, while studying water quality aboard this lovely floating classroom. But while on this teaching mission, she’s also hosting public sailing trips along the Hudson River. Two-hour sails depart on Friday, Sept. 22 at 2 pm and Saturday, Sept. 23 at noon and 3 pm from Haverstraw Marina, in West Haverstraw. Then on Sunday, Sept. 24, board at Emeline Park in Haverstraw for either a noon or 2:15 pm sail. Adult tickets are $28, children $25. Reservations: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/10194127.

FINEST FILM FEST… Our neighbors, Animation Nights New York (180 Maiden Lane), host the 2nd-annual ANNY Best of Fest symposium later this month. For two-days, fans can mingle with creators, and budding artists can meet current filmmakers. The event features screenings, fine art exhibits, an eye-popping virtual reality animation showcase, and a whopper of a wrap party. Among the more than a dozen discussion panels are “History of Animation,” with Tommy Stathes of Cartoons on Film, David Kay of The Winthrop Group, and a special “surprise guest.” Other panels focus on the creative process, including “Pitching Animation” with Elise McCave of Kickstarter and LaToye Adams with Children’s Media Association. Some 175 films were submitted but only 20 selected. The finalists come from around the world. Pixar’s Andrew Gordon (“Finding Dory,” “Cars”) is judging the Grand Prize Award. Tickets come in two packages: “Enthusiast,” which offers free access both days to first floor screenings, exhibits and panels; and “Industry” for $30 with access to the events PLUS pre-registration for the Virtual Reality Animation Showcase and industry events. One well-known New Yorker and animation enthusiast, author/cartoonist Anthony Haden-Guest said about the fest: “Georges Méliès’s rocket reached the moon, Felix the cat hit the road, and the great journey continues.” 2nd-annual ANNY Best of Fest, Friday & Saturday, Sept. 29-30, noon to 10 pm, at 180 Maiden Lane. For information & Tickets: https://www.annybestoffest.com. And ANNY is giving Downtown Express readers 50-percent off Industry Badges! Go to this link for yours: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/anny-best-of-fest-sept-29-30-2017-12pm-10pm-two-days-of-events-tickets-33179314222?discount=2017VIPANNYDOWNTOWNEXPRESS