…With apologies to Arthur Miller, Brooklyn Bridge Park is a work in progress.
By Nancy Mandell
Last week, Karen Altfest hosted a docent-led tour of the Neue Museum’s collection of Viennese and German art with 15 of her sister alums from McGill University. After a fascinating tour of works by German artist Otto Dix (on view through Aug. 30), we stopped for lunch in the museum’s Café Zabarsky.
When conversation turned to the subject of this blog, a friend of Karen’s who lives in—and loves—Brooklyn, told us of the exciting events that are taking place in Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer.
The result of 20 years of advocacy and planning—as well as $226 million in funding from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the City of New York—construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park began in January 2009, and the first six acres of the park—including the first waterfront promenade, lawns, a playground and the “Granite Prospect”—opened in March of this year at Pier 1 (Old Fulton Street). Pier 6 opened in June. An additional 3.5 acres of parkland on Pier 1 and 1.4 acres of parkland on the Pier 2 uplands will be opened later this summer. Meanwhile, Brooklyn Bridge Park is offering a full schedule of events this summer, with activities planned for almost every day of the week.
Starting at mid-week, Thursday evenings are reserved for Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy’s 11th annual Movies With A View ( Movies With A View) Bring a blanket to Harbor View Lawn at Pier 1—chairs are not permitted on the lawn—in time to picnic and enjoy music from 6 pm until the show begins at sunset. The schedule for the rest of the summer is:
DREAMGIRLS [PG 13]
THE BLUES BROTHERS [R]
INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE [PG 13]
Feature films are preceded by shorts.
This Friday (Aug. 13) there is a special event for the kids and grandchildren in your lives, when the City Parks Foundation PuppetMobile Presents “Sleeping Beauty” on Pier 1. The free 90-minute show starts at 10:30 am, and is geared to 2- to 8-year-olds.
Over the next three Saturdays, the park offers a series of special tours and events: Sat., Aug. 13, the Conservancy conducts a walking tour to explore and identify The Trees of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The tour starts at 10:30 am at Pier 1. On the 21st, the Conservancy invites you to “Seining the River Wild” from noon to 1:30 pm using a 30-foot seining net to catch and release fish and other river creatures.
Aug. 28 marks the beginning of Tug and Barge Week when two antique vessels—a tugboat and a barge— will be on view through the 31st. It’s important to make email reservations for the walkup tug trips however, since each excursion is limited to 40 passengers. While the free tours and trips continue through Tuesday, the week culminates from 5 to 8 pm that evening with a Community Fundraiser Admission of $35 includes refreshments and entertainment. For information call David Sharps at (718) 624-4719 x11 or email.
Other ongoing events in the park are weekend walkup kayaking and rowing (BBPB Walk-Up Kayaking and Community Rowing) Saturday and Sunday afternoons at times depending on the tides. No training or prior experience required, but the ability to swim is! Kayaks are available on a first-come-first-served basis. All equipment is free.
From 3:30 to 4:30 every Sunday, you can also participate in a fitness program based on Latin and international dance music called ZUMBA presented by the Dodge YMCA (ZUMBA© presented by Dodge YMCA) at the Promenade in the southwest corner of Pier 1 or, in case of rain, in the Tobacco Warehouse.
On Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 6:45 pm, interested visitors can meet at the Pier 1 Gatehouse for walking tours of the park led by some of the site’s designers and planners. It’s a great way to learn about the history and special features of the project. Reservations are recommended, but not necessary.