Prospect Park: City of Forest Day Tour | Saturday, October 15

Large tree in a field with a family riding bicycles beneath it.

Saturday, October 15, 10:30am

Prospect Park is home to Brooklyn’s largest and oldest forest, an important hotspot of biodiversity with over 30,000 trees of 200+ species. On this guided walking tour with Prospect Park Alliance touring partner Turnstile Tours, we will explore the history of the stewardship of this forest over the past 150 years, looking at some of the park’s oldest trees, exploring the management practices developed by park co-designer Frederick Law Olmsted, the work of the Alliance to restore these urban woodlands over the past 30 years, and contemporary challenges to forests due to climate change and invasive pests.

This tour is appropriate for all ages, and we will walk approximately 1.5 miles. There will be limited access to restrooms, and extended periods of standing and walking over uneven surfaces is required. This event is part of City of Forest Day, a citywide effort to raise awareness of our urban forest.

Archtober at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Presented by the Center for Architecture, Archtober is an annual festival of lectures, tours, exhibitions, and films that celebrate all things architecture in New York City. These special tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard will focus on the Yard’s unique built environment, including our Architecture & Infrastructure Tour examining current development in the Yard, our Urban Ecology Bicycle Tour, which will visit green roofs and landscape architecture at the Yard, and other tours about the site, its history, and contemporary mission.

The Tideshift Project: Session 3 | Episode 277

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

The Waterfront Museum presents the final session of The Tideshift Project, featuring stories of waterfront workers from the pre-containerization era and people working in today’s final mile shipping industry. Tideshift is a three-part series of oral history collecting events presented live, virtually, and in person aboard the 1914 Lehigh Valley Railroad No. 79 wooden lighterage barge moored at 290 Conover St in Red Hook, Brooklyn. In this series of events, The Waterfront Museum has recorded stories from waterfront workers who have handled freight in and near Red Hook, and from their descendants. In this episode, we were joined by waterfront veterans Jeff Gartner and Gaetano Parisi, who both worked from the 1960s through the 1980s on docks in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey during the transition from breakbulk to containerized cargo.

The Tideshift Project was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

>> Continue reading

Boxed in Brooklyn: Robert Gair and the Packaging Revolution | Episode 276

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

In 1879, Scottish-born businessman Robert Gair stumbled upon an invention that would transform packaging and consumer products forever: a fast, mechanized way to manufacture cardboard boxes. This invention would grow into an empire of paper mills, box factories, printing plants, and even marketing and advertising arm—a vertically-integrated packaging company, based in today’s DUMBO, Brooklyn. This virtual program will look at how, a century ago, this present-day corner of the “Brooklyn Tech Triangle” was also a center of innovation for packaged food and household products.

>> Continue reading

Fleet Week New York Celebration | Episode 275

Flight deck of USS Bataan during Fleet Week

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

After a two-year hiatus, Fleet Week New York is back! So to mark the day that units arrive in New York for the celebration, we will be looking at some of the participating ships, among them two large Navy ships, four training vessels, two Coast Guard cutters, and a Royal Navy icebreaker, and the opportunities to visit them in Manhattan and Staten Island. We will also look at the history of Fleet Week and other naval reviews in New York, from the return of the victorious fleet after the Spanish-American War, the vast flotilla assembled after World War II, and our present-day Fleet Week tradition dating back to 1988. We will share images and stories of some of the special visits of military vessels to our harbor and to the Brooklyn waterfront.

>> Continue reading

Barge Family Reunion Celebration: The Tideshift Project, Session 2 | Episode 274

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

The Waterfront Museum presents the Barge Family Reunion Celebration, stories and images from people who have lived and worked aboard barges and their families. This is the second part of The Tideshift Project, a three-part series of oral history collecting events presented live, virtually, and in person aboard the 1914 Lehigh Valley Railroad No. 79 wooden lighterage barge moored at 290 Conover St in Red Hook, Brooklyn. In this series of events, The Waterfront Museum will record stories from waterfront workers who have handled freight in and near Red Hook and from their descendants. The Tideshift Project was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

>> Continue reading

St. George Ferry Virtual Tour | Virtual Program | Episode 273

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

While the Staten Island Ferry is the oldest continuously operating ferry line in New York City, the NYC Ferry to the island is the newest. Ride with us from the Javits Center to Battery Park City to St. George as we explore the highlights of the commute on both sides of the Hudson River and Lower New York Bay. We will zip past many museum ships, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Robbins Reef Lighthouse, and Bayonne’s container terminal. We will then take a stroll around the new ferry landing in St. George and discuss challenges and changes for Staten Island’s North Shore.

>> Continue reading

May Day: Labor History of the Brooklyn Navy Yard | Episode 272

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

Waterfront workers were at the vanguard of the labor movement; the word “strike” has its origins in work stoppages on the London docks in 1768, when sailors “struck” the sails of ships to keep them in port. In New York, skilled shipworkers organized some of the earliest trade associations, and they agitated for steady wages and reduced working hours as far back as the 1820s. At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, federal regulations and political patronage often stifled workers’ ability to strike, but by the time of World War II, the massive workforce of the Yard was heavily unionized, and the good-paying jobs would form the backbone of Brooklyn’s middle class. In this virtual program, we will examine the long history of labor organizing at the Yard, how workers fought for their rights in the absence of formal unions, and how the unions ultimately proved powerless against changing politics and economics of the shipbuilding industry in New York.

>> Continue reading

My Little Chickpea: An Exploration of Falafel | Episode 270

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

Most of the same food carts selling the ubiquitous street meat also offer a strikingly vegan dish that is both traditional and modern. Falafel checks all the boxes from traditional, healthy, and delicious. On this hunger inducing virtual program, our resident food expert Brian Hoffman will explore all aspects of this humble little fritter from its historic controversial origins to recommendations on the best versions in New York to an explanation on how they are made. Along the way, we will learn from some of the best falafel chefs on New York food carts, and Brian will show us how to make great falafel at home with a live cooking demonstration.

>> Continue reading

OLMSTED 200: Parks in Conversation | Virtual Tour of Prospect Park and Central Park | Episode 269

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

Join us for a special virtual tour in celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday that explores two of his New York City masterpieces—Central Park and Prospect Park. Built a decade apart, Central and Prospect Park share many similarities, but also reflect Olmsted’s evolution as a park designer and his lasting influence on landscape design and public space. Guides from Central Park Conservancy will be on site to highlight Central Park’s arches, meadows, and natural features, as Turnstile Tours guides examine parallel features in Prospect Park and compare and contrast the different elements of the parks, including examples of Olmsted designs that have been adapted to fit better with modern-day recreational uses and ecological practices. 

>> Continue reading