Thursday, June 28, 2012

Explore New York City's Newtown Creek

I've written before about the wonderful tours of New York harbor and the environs along the Brooklyn and New Jersey waterfronts: tours organised and run by the New York's, Working Harbor Committee (WHC).

On July 22, the WHC is organising a tour of Brooklyn's Newtown Creek, a body of water that was once the busiest waterway in North America! Not that you would think that today, given the present state of the creek.

The heart of industrial New York, Newtown Creek was home port to hundreds of tugboats (one of which is the historic WO Decker). It was also an international destination for oceangoing ships and a vast intermodal shipping and manufacturing hub that employed hundreds of thousands of people. Forming the border of Brooklyn and Queens for nearly three miles, five great cities grew rich along the Newtown Creek's bulkheads -- Greenpoint, Willamsburg, Bushwick, Long Island City and Manhattan itself. The waterway is still a vital part of the harbor and the Working Harbor Committee (WHC) is presenting this tour as part of the celebration of their tenth anniversary year.

Mitch Waxman, a member of WHC's steering committee and the group's official photographer, also serves with the Newtown Creek Alliance as its group Historian. In addition to working on WHC's boat tours of the Creek, Mitch offers a regular lineup of popular walking tours, and presents a series of well-attended slideshows for political, governmental, antiquarian, historical and school groups. His website chronicles his adventures along the Newtown Creek and in the greater Working Harbor.

Hidden Harbor Tours: Newtown Creek Exploration

On 22 July, Mitch will share his unique point of view and deep understanding of the past, present and future conditions of the Newtown Creek as the narrator and expedition leader for the Newtown Creek Exploration. Other scheduled speakers are Captain John Doswell of the WHC and special guest speakers from the towing industry and industrial users of the creek.

The tour departs by New York Water Taxi from Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport at 11 a.m. (sharp) for a three hour tour of the Newtown Creek. From the East River the tour will move into the Newtown Creek where participants will explore vast amounts of maritime infrastructure, see many movable bridges and discover the very heart of the Hidden Harbor.

Limited seating is available, and tickets cost $50. New York Water Taxi's have indoor and outdoor seating, and tours run rain or shine.

Unfortunately, I will miss the tour by barely a week since I won't arrive in New York until August 1st. It's a great shame. Having been on other Hidden Harbor tours I know how interesting they are, and for visitors and locals alike, they offer a unique look at aspects of the city that most people never see or experience.

Click here to purchase tickets...

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