Governors Island

Cardboard Kayak Race & Gowanus Voyage: Celebrate City of Water Day! (7/20)

Part of why Greenpoint is so special is because of our waterfront location. And while many still make disgusted faces when thinking of getting anywhere near the Newtown Creek or The East River, others are paddling up our local waterways and even fishing off our piers.

We still have a long way to go before we can even safely touch the water, but with more awareness and recreation on our waterways, the faster they will be cleaned up for future generations to enjoy.

City of Water Day, which is taking place this Saturday July 20th is “a celebration of the potential of the waterfront,” and lots of events are going on nearby.

The main events take place between 10am – 4pm on Governors Island and Liberty State Park in NJ, but many neighborhoods are participating as well.

The North Brooklyn Boat Club is paddling to Governor’s Island, where lots of fun events like a cardboard kayak race (and overnight camping) are taking place! NBBC’s paddling spots are full, but you can meet them there by taking the ferry over to Governors Island.

You can also reserve a spot on a free boat tour around the city.

While nothing specifically is organized on Greenpoint’s waterfront, enjoy a picnic in Transmitter Park or at the Newtown Creek Nature Walk or watch the sunset on the India St Pier or the Manhattan Ave Streetend Park. We have lots of waterfront access in Greenpoint.

If you want to travel to the other end of Brooklyn, Greenpointers who brought you the Newtown Creek Armada along with the Gowanus Dredgers & Brooklyn Atlantis are taking on our sister super-fund waterway, The Gowanus Canal with the Gowanus Voyage, an interactive public boat pond on the Gowanus Canal in which you can explore above and below the surface of this historic waterway by piloting miniature remote control boats and aquatic robots equipped with video cameras and environmental sensors. Gowanus Voyage will take place on Saturday, July 20th, from 1pm-6pm at the 2nd Street boat launch near Bond Street in Brooklyn and is presented with the support of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club. The rain date will be Sunday, July 21st.

Happy Water Day!

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Figment NYC & The Puzzle Project This Weekend!

I already told you about a great project called PaperJam at Figment NYC, which is happening this weekend on Governors Island. I want to introduce to you another amazing project called The Puzzle Project by an amazing Greenpointer named Tim Kelly.

The Puzzle Installation & Collaborative Project is a huge traveling group art exhibition that continues to grow. It originated at the Monmouth County Arts Council, but the project gained such popularity and momentum among art and community organizations, like our own Greenpoint YMCA, and schools throughout the US and abroad that it’s become Tim’s full-time gig, which is completely self-funded. When you see the scale of this project you will wonder what fuels him.

When you meet Tim you will quickly understand it is his genuine love for art and his passion for sharing that love that gives him the energy to manage this huge endeavor.

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Call for Art: Figment

FIGMENT NYC is now accepting proposals for the following:

FIGMENT 2012 NYC Weekend
This year, FIGMENT NYC will take place during the weekend of June 9-10 on Governors Island in New York City. We are seeking proposals for FIGMENT Weekend projects. Projects can include but are not limited to: installations, performances, games, activities, workshops, multimedia, electronic art, music, social experiments, etc. Your FIGMENT Weekend project can be submitted by an individual or collective of individuals. Projects will be selected based on creativity, interactivity, structural integrity, context and impact, sustainability, feasibility, budget, and community involvement.

Deadline: May 1, 2012

Details about this opportunity for artists can be found on our website at:

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Ferry Frustrations

Earlier this week, I greeted my work day aboard the upper deck of the East River Ferry, which just started service from Greenpoint’s brand new India St. Pier. My fellow passengers and I lined the ships railings like wide-eyed pilgrims, taking in the curious wonders of the shoreline as we passed. We arrived at 34th street in under ten minutes, our sea legs barely earned.

India St. Pier
Passengers lined up Saturday for Greenpoint's new East River Ferry service.

Once in Manhattan however, the connecting shuttle bus detailed on the pier’s ferry map failed to materialize and I ended up walking the twenty or so blocks to my midtown office. I did eye some possible pre-ferry/after work watering holes within the squeaky clean blocks of Murray Hill (Pinetree Lodge you may have a Greenpoint regular). I would recommend bringing your bike as the travel options from that far east on the island are pretty limited and are not eligible for a transfer. Over all the experience was pleasant but not entirely practical.

The weekend service was a different story. On Saturday, my girlfriend and I waited for twenty-five minutes amongst a growing crowd on the pier, which was shadeless and hot in the mid-morning sun. The boat eventually docked and soon a ferryman approached us from the opposite side of the gate. “Only 6 of you…” He told the crowd of about fifty, a dozen of them a group of teenage bicyclists perhaps hoping to spend the day riding and picnicking on the lush greens of Governors Island. The lucky few hurried on board, the rest of us left to wait another half-hour on the pier, or to give up entirely.

I’m sure ridership will drop-off significantly once NY Waterways begins charging four-dollars a ride and I do understand that they need a few weeks to work out the kinks (they’ve already issued and advisory addressing capacity issues), but their slogan “Relax. We’ll get you there.” might take some time to stick. Our neighborhood has been underserviced for a long time and the Ferry is certainly part of the solution, but it may take some coordination with the MTA before a sea voyage becomes a practical part of many Greenpointers commutes.


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