A few years ago, we experienced an amazing event on the Brooklyn Waterfront–a live opera performed aboard the deck of a retired oil tanker called the Mary A. Whalen (that’s her, above). Only recently did we realize that an organization called PortSide New York is responsible for the programming and restoration of this maritime relic, which is docked in Red Hook this summer at Pier 11 in Atlantic Basin, where the cruise ships drop their anchors.
PortSide has many fabulous things in store for kids and adults–tours, movies and concerts on the deck (there’s room for 150 seats!), yoga, and more. But it costs a lot of money to provide insurance for public events in Atlantic Basin ($13,000), and more money is needed for the programming that will allow the Mary A. Whalen to become a public fixture on the water—much like the Frying Pan on the Hudson, or Red Hook’s own Waterfront Museum.
So, we’ve planned a fabulous BBQ on Saturday July 3, from 6-8:30 pm that will benefit PortSide. Unless you’ve booked a trip on the QM2, this is a rare chance to hang out on the working waterfront with the Mary Whalen and take the ultimate cruise…to nowhere! Brooklyn Brewery will be providing beer, The Good Fork is making pulled pork sliders with Asian slaw, Red Hook Lobster Pound is whipping up shrimp salad, Betty Brooklyn is catering with fresh salads, and Saranac soft drinks is providing Root Beer, Orange Cream soda and Shirley Temples. Local Red Hook blues legend Smitty will be playing live music and we have plenty of fun stuff to entertain the kids, too, including Pete “The Ballon Meister” Waldman, who is renowned for his inflatable sculptural skills, and Jack Putnam from the South Street Seaport Museum, who’ll be channelling Herman Melville. (Let PortSide know if you’re interested in volunteering. There’s a lot of watermelon to slice!)
A live auction will also take place during the event–items on sale include 1916 six-burner cookstove and sails aboard the Clipper City and Shearwater. After the BBQ, revelers are invited to stay and watch the sunset.
Tickets, which include all food and drink, are now $35 for adults and $10 for kids (infants and toddlers will be admitted for free). A small price for a fun cause.