The third annual ART by the Ferry Festival runs this weekend and next in Staten Island. Offerings will include visual arts, music, performance art, street performers, circus acts, crafts, literary readings, workshops and local food. Everything takes place within a few blocks of the St. George Ferry Terminal.
Saturday and Sunday, June 5th & 6th, 12th & 13th, Noon-8pm
Events and performances are free; workshops are $5 per person.
As part of its annual SummerFest, the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) joins artist Tattfoo Tan in hosting a mobile garden expo and parade this Saturday, June 5th in the Tompkinsville neighborhood of Staten Island. Attendees are encouraged to bring mobile gardens—gardens on wheels, in the form of skateboards, rolling office chairs, shopping carts or anything portable—to Tan’s garden on Monroe Street for the expo, followed by a parade to the St. George Ferry Terminal, where the gardens will take up residence for a month in the taxi plaza as part of the NYC Department of Transporation‘s urban art program, Arteventions.
Saturday’s event will also include a workshop by artist Jay Weichun on making ‘flower bombs’—clumps of flower seeds mixed with clay and potting soil to be tossed into abandoned urban spaces to help nature regain footing and beautify blight.
Sat, June 5, 2010 | 2-6 pm
Tattfoo Tan’s Garden
67 Monroe Avenue, Staten Island
The fifth annual Staten Island Film Festival starts tomorrow and features a slate of dozens of intriguing short and feature-length films, many of them about or featuring New York City’s outer boroughs. Participating filmmakers include 15 from Staten Island (including Wu-Tang Clan leader the RZA) as well as many more from throughout New York City and as far afield as Las Vegas and Australia. Some of these films sound amazing, and especially in the case of the Staten Island-based ones, this could be the best opportunity to catch them. The festival kicks off at the St. George Theatre with Michael J. Weithorn’s A Little Help tomorrow at 7pm.
This coming Tuesday, we’re happy to have photographer Nathan Kensinger joining us for a Staten-Island-centered follow-up to his March talk and slideshow on New York’s post-industrial waterfront. Nathan will be presenting photos from around Staten Island, including an abandoned chewing gum factory, a partially demolished color works, rotting train stations, empty hospitals and boat graveyards. His work has been described in the Staten Island Advance as documenting “places that even the forgotten have forgotten.”
This talk will be co-hosted by the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island. Should be a fun one.
Tuesday, May 18, 6:30 p.m. @ Cargo Cafe
120 Bay Street, Staten Island (a short walk from the St. George Ferry Terminal)
FREE| No RSVP necessary
The Spring/Summer issue of the Freshkills Park newsletter, Fresh Perspectives, is up on the official Parks homepage for Freshkills Park. In this issue are a review of the past year’s expanded tour programs at the Freshkills Park site and a profile of the Department of Sanitation’s compost facility, located just beside the former landfill, in addition to the cover story, which offers a history of the Fresh Kills area before landfilling began in 1948 and an annotated map of historic activities onsite.
We put this newsletter out every six months and distribute hard copies to various parks and cultural institutions throughout the City, in addition to handing them out on our public bus tours of the Freshkills Park site. Digital archives of past newsletters are available on the homepage, under the ‘More Information’ tab.
Tomorrow evening, Dr. Judith S. Weis, Professor of Biological Sciences at Rutgers University will be talking about and signing copies of her book Salt Marshes: A Natural and Unnatural History at the Greenbelt Nature Center on Staten Island. The book is first a history of American salt marshes, their ecological functions, gradual destruction and several profiles of contemporary restoration projects. Should be a rich and interesting talk.
Special attention is given in the book to the New Jersey Meadowlands and the “250 years of development, drainage, diking, filling, garbage dumping, and sewage pumping” that happened there; the Freshkills Park site met a similar fate. Once primarily salt marsh, hundreds of acres have been filled and denied their ecological function. But considerable marshland still remains onsite, and we are currently developing restoration plans for it.
Friday, May 7th, 2010 @ 7 pm
The Greenbelt Nature Center
700 Rockland Avenue
Staten Island, NY
Suggested donation: $5
Light refreshments served
Gothamist discovers the Witte Marine Salvage Yard, one of the largest marine scrapyards on the East Coast, along the shore of the Arthur Kill just south of the Freshkills Park site’s West Mound. It’s a pretty spectacular and much photographed sight to see these rusted heaps—mostly tugboats and cargo ships—half sunken in the Arthur Kill, and the various plant and marine life that has made its home there. The Times provided some history on the yard back in 1990, and we’ve included it as an attraction in our Staten Island day-trips for folks visiting the Island to join one of our Freshkills Park tours. This is just one more site that really validates the whole ‘Forgotten Borough’ moniker, in the most compelling way.
If photos of industrial decay excite you, you might be interested to know that photographer Nathan Kensinger will be sharing his photos and stories of this site and others the evening of Tuesday, May 18th at Staten Island’s Cargo Cafe, as part of our Freshkills Park Talks series.
Last month’s professional photographers’ tour of the Freshkills Park site yielded some beautiful results. We’ve posted a selection of photos by Linda Jaquez, Vincent Verdi and Michael Bonanno in our flickr stream; photographs by Jarred Sutton are posted on his website.
We’ll be hosting a Staten Island-centered talk and slideshow by Nathan Kensinger, another photographer who has joined us on a photographers’ tour (and who gave our March Freshkills Park Talk in downtown Brooklyn), on Tuesday, May 18th at 6:30pm at Cargo Cafe on Staten Island, near the Ferry Terminal. Nathan will be talking about and showing his terrific photos of forgotten Staten Island sites and buildings, from chewing gum factories to color works to the Freshkills Park site, itself.
Our next tour for professional photographers is in June. If you’re a professional photographer interested in participating, feel free to be in touch.
Currently on view at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor in Staten Island is Hope-A-Holic, a group exhibition of 21 artists exploring Utopian ideas in contemporary work. The show features installation, drawing, painting, video, performance and interactive works.
The Freshkills Park team will take part in a program in conjunction with Hope-A-Holic called Trash to Treasure, this Tuesday, February 23rd at 6pm. Trash to Treasure will feature a presentation about the Freshkills Park project, including a history of the site, details about the park’s master plan and our current projects and programs. This presentation will be followed by a workshop given by the Staten Island Compost Project outlining the simple steps involved in composting at home.
Trash to Treasure
Tuesday, February 23rd, 6pm
FREE | to RSVP, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (718) 425-3557.
Hope-A-Holic will run until April 4th. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and students and free for kids 12 and under.