May to August 2018
An exhibition called "Dunsmore: Illustrating the American Revolutionary War" is at the Fraunces Tavern Museum through June 2018. John Ward Dunsmore (1856-1945) was a realistic and accurate genre painter who focused on the American Revolution and Early Republic. Through a chronological display of the Revolutionary War, this exhibition returns 47 recently conserved paintings to their rightful place in the iconography of American culture. Place: 54 Pearl St. Open daily except Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Admission: $7; $4 (seniors, students and children 6 to 18); free (children under 5 and active military). For more information, click here
"Confidential: The American Revolution's Agents of Espionage" opened at the Fraunces Tavern Museum on Sept. 16. It features never-before-seen objects from the Museum's collection that tell the story of how tailors, school teachers, and enslaved people operated as secret agents gathering intelligence for the American cause. Visitors get an opportunity to become agents of espionage themselves by using a cipher wheel to uncover the secret messages hidden in the object labels. The exhibition will run through September 2019. Place: 54 Pearl St. For hours and admission fees, click here.
The National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission. It offers free films, docent-led tours of its exhibitions and tours of its premises, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, designed by Cass Gilbert. The building, which was completed in 1907, is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Place: One Bowling Green. Phone: (212) 514-3700. For the museum's calendar, click here.
Governors Island News and Events
Governors Island, a treasure 800 yards from the coast of Manhattan and only 400 yards from Brooklyn, has opened for the 2018 season with something to interest, beguile and amaze just about anyone. For starters, there's the island itself, with its forts and other historical monuments, its shaded, grassy lawns, its vistas of the harbor, its sea and land birds, its wildflowers and its hills where a soft wind blows even when city streets are sticky and hot.
In addition, there's plenty to do.
This season, for instance, there will be a new outdoor film series: 'Escape in New York: Outdoor Films on Governors Island,' with four free film screenings - one each month beginning in June. The films will be shown on the Island's newly restored Parade Ground, an eight-acre lawn with dramatic views of Lower Manhattan. The first evening of films, on June 8, will be "Escape from New York" (John Carpenter, 1981) paired with a short film by a local filmmaker, "The Road to Magnasanti (John Wilson, 2017). The Film Society of Lincoln Center, in partnership with the Trust for Governors Island has selected the films. (For more information, about the film series, click here.)
New York City Audubon returns to the Island this year with a nature center in Nolan Park featuring displays on conservation, a children's room with books and activities and bird walks. The first one is scheduled for Saturday, May 5 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The nature center is open on weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For the adventurous, Governors Island has a zipline enabling two people to zip down a 300-foot-long cable side by side, reaching speeds of up to 21 mph. There's also a 25-foot-tall climbing wall and a maze. (For more information, click here.)
For the less adventurous, there are walking tours. Part of the Island is a National Monument under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Park rangers lead tours of Governors Island's forts, conduct historic weapons demonstrations and during one summer weekend, reenact events from the Civil War, when, among other military activities, Governors Island served as a prison for Confederate soliders. (For more information about Governors Island National Monument, click here.)
On the part of the Island administered by the Trust for Governors Island, volunteers lead one-hour walking tours that describe the past of Governors Island and talk about its transformation and its future. Historic preservation, innovative design and environmental stewardship have all played a part. Walking tours begin at the Governors Island Welcome Center at Soissons Landing and are hosted by the Friends of Governors Island. (For more information about these walking tours, click here.)
This summer, look for the return of a public art installation in Fort Jay called "Rock, Mosquito, and Hummingbird: A Pre-History of Governors Island." Artist David Brooks bore into the Island's core to depths of 90 to 125 feet at three sites on the Island's original footprint. He arranged the cores into sculptures that snake through what was once an ammunition magazine in Fort Jay, whose massive walls provide a time-textured backdrop for Brooks's meditation on history and time. (For more information, click here.)
On June 2, two monumental art works by New York-based artist Jacob Hashimoto will open inside St. Cornelius Chapel and in Liggett Hall Archway. One of them, "The Eclipse," consists of thousands of delicate, rice paper kites. St. Cornelius Chapel, owned by Trinity Wall Street, will be open for the first time in five years to display Hashimoto's work. His other sculpture for Governors Island, called "Never Comes Tomorrow," will be constructed of hundreds of wooden cubes and massive steel funnels. It will hang in the Liggett Arch passageway between the Island's historic district and its newly designed park.
Many visitors to Governors Island bring a picnic and a blanket to spread out on a lawn. There are barbecue grills with picnic tables that can be rented for $26 a day (reservations are necessary) and there are also dining options at Island Oyster, Taco Beach, Little Eva's Beer Garden and Grill, the Liggett Terrace Food Court, Blue Marble Ice Cream and Fauzia's Heavenly Delights, a family run food vendor that serves Jamaican fusion food. (For information on renting grills, click here.)
This season, for the first time, Governors Island will be open until 10 p.m. every Friday night. The eating facilities will remain open, also.
Ferries to and from Governors Island leave from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South St. and from Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6. For ferry schedules and fees, click here.
Battery Dance Festival. (Photos © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
Summer in Battery Park City: From May to August, Battery Park City's parks and garden are the settings for concerts, dances, lectures, classes, nature walks, festivals and games, all of them open to the public and most of them free. The programming is largely funded and produced by the Battery Park City Authority.
This summer, the BPCA has scheduled more than 600 public programs, the most ever. In fact, Battery Park City is celebrating a very special occasion - its 50th anniversary. In May 1968, Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller signed the Battery Park City Authority Act, creating what is now a fully formed community on what was then an idea that 92 acres of landfill could be deposited in the Hudson River and used as the platform for apartment and office buildings, cemented by commercial strips and 33 acres of parks.
May 31: This is the actual anniversary of Battery Park City's Golden Jubilee. Celebrate in BPC's Rockefeller Park. Bring a picnic dinner and listen to street music from Bang on a Can's Asphalt Orchestra and funky reggae from Brown Rice Family. The first 150 people to register at email@example.com will receive a free commemorative 50th anniversary picnic blanket. Time: 5:30 p.m.
June 3: A walk and talk on the subject of "The 50-Year-Greening of Battery Park City: From Landfill to Gardens" will explore the remarkable evolution of Battery Park City in its use of sustainable horticulturL practices and innovative design. Anne O'Neill, BPCA Director of Horticulture and James dePadua and Manuel Rivera, senior horticulturists, will lead the tour, which will start in South Cove. Time: 2 p.m.
June 16: Juneteeth Celebration. Juneteenth, or Emancipation Day, originated in Texas and commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. Artists Autumn Ewalt and Dharmesh Patel, creators of the adjacent public art installation, "Sunrise, Sunset (Revolution)" will share tales of celebrating in Texas. The Federation of Black Cowboys with their horses will be there and there will be music by Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens and spoken word by Zell Miller III. Place: Pier A Plaza. Time: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
These are among the events coming up in May and June. Also, look for a Fiddle Celebration on Thursdays at the Irish Hunger Memorial (June 7, June 14 and June 21 at 5 p.m.) and on June 22, the mammoth, glorious Swedish Midsummer Festival & Dance starting at 5 p.m. in Wagner Park.
For the complete calendar of Battery Park City events between May and August, click here.
Summer on the water
Pioneer, the 1885 schooner belonging to the South Street Seaport Museum, began its seasonal public sails of New York Harbor on May 26. Pioneer is the oldest sailboat still taking the public on regular sailing trips of the harbor. In the days before paved roads, small coastal schooners such as Pioneer were the delivery trucks of their era, carrying cargo of various kinds between coastal communities: lumber and stone from the islands of Maine, brick on the Hudson River, and oyster shell on the Chesapeake Bay. Almost all American cargo sloops and schooners were wood, but because Pioneer was built in what was then this country's center of iron shipbuilding, Pioneer has a wrought-iron hull. She was the first of only two cargo sloops built of iron in this country, and is the only iron-hulled American merchant sailing vessel still in existence. Pioneer tickets include free admission to the Museum's exhibitions. Choose the afternoon special when selecting your trip and then bring your ticket to the Museum before or after your sail. Museum tours leave every half hour starting at 11:30 a.m. Be sure to arrive with ample time before your sail if you wish to visit the museum before your trip. Click here for dates and times and tickets.
The Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 in Hudson River Park has begun its season of free public kayaking in the Hudson River. The Downtown Boathouse is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free public access to the harbor in New York City through public kayaking programs. The Downtown Boathouse offers free sit-on-top kayaks for public use in protected Hudson River embayments throughout the season (May-October). The Boathouse provides brief instruction plus all necessary safety equipment as well as changing rooms, lockers and locks, bike locks, sun block, and first aid equipment. Place: Pier 26 at North Moore and West Streets. Weekends and holidays: May 20 to Oct. 9. Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays evenings: Jun 20 to Sept. 14, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Last boat goes out half an hour before closing. The Downtown Boathouse also offers free kayaking on Governors Island beginning on June 16. For more information, click here.
Irish Hunger Memorial. (Photo © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)
A wharf in the Fulton Fish Market, 1946. The photograph, by Todd Webb, was in the exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York of Webb's photographs from 1945 to 1960.
Downtown Post NYC
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"New Dimensions in Testimony" is a new, interactive installation at the Museum of Jewish Heritage that allows visitors to ask questions of Holocaust survivors and hear their answers. Place: 36 Battery Place. Free with Museum admission. Advance registration recommended. For additional information, click here.
A temporary art installation called "Sunrise, Sunset (Revolution)" is at Pier A Plaza (where Battery Park City meets Battery Park). The piece is an interactive sculpture made of 27 aluminum panels embedded with 3,000 crystal prisms. The artists, Dharmesh Patel and Autumn Ewalt, made it specifically for the Pier A Plaza site. The installation will be on view through the summer of 2018.