Monday, July 18, 2011

City of Water Day Festival 2011, Brooklyn to Governors Island

McBrooklyn joined the thousands of New Yorkers who got out on the water Saturday for the City of Water Day to remember our maritime roots. Our first stop was the Waterfront Museum (aboard the 1914 Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79 shown above, left) and the 1907 Tugboat Pegasus, which were docked at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6.

The Waterfront Museum and Pegasus will both remain docked at Pier 6 through July 24. You can tour them most days from 3 to 5 p.m., and on several of these days there will be shows and workshops -- more details here and here.

The barge is quirky and there's an art show (Creatures of the Deep), so make sure you go on board and ask lots of questions. A family lives in the museum, down in the hold, and though they don't have windows down there they do have wi-fi.

Check out the kinetic sculpture by George Rhoades in front of the painted stage. You have to stare at it for a couple of minutes to see what happens to the balls after they crank up to the top.

Then jump aboard the Pegasus. You can wander all over this old tug. Look at the beautiful old wood interior and engine room.

We would kill for this stove.

There were projects and activities at Pier 6 Saturday for kids and adults. One of the projects was constructing your own fishing gear from recycled bottles. There was a lady who cut up something fishy which went on your hook, then over the side it went. We were terribly afraid we would catch something.

From there we decided to take the ferry to Governors Island, where the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and its partners were throwing a giant maritime festival.

There were exhibits and activities all over the island. The Army Corps of Engineers set up tanks filled with living creatures that swim in the ocean right off Brooklyn.

These included rays (left) and horseshoe crabs (right), which you might accidentally step on while swimming at Coney Island.

Among the advocacy groups was the Stop Fracking Now organization. Do you know that New York City's drinking water may soon be polluted with toxic chemicals used to squeeze natural gas out of rocks underground?

Sign an anti-fracking petition now (and view the Colbert Report's interview with ex-Gov. Tom Ridge, a powerful pro- fracking lobbyist).

There were lots of kids activities. Disney gave away toys and books.

There were games for older people too. This one was called "hunter-gatherers."

After a day of wandering around the island we were tired and happy to hop back on the ferry to Pier 6 and home. It was a fun and education day -- and it was all free, including the ferry rides.

City of Water Day Festival was sponsored by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. Pier 6 activities provided by Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.

Photos copyright MK Metz

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